by Jasmyne Moody
Five of Atlanta’s successful entrepreneurs gathered at Georgia State University on September 23 to address students at Leadership in the City: Entrepreneurship. The panel discussion was co-hosted by the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute and Georgia State’s Leadership Development office. The lunchtime panel discussed the entrepreneurs’ biggest successes, fears, and rewards.
The panelists included three Georgia State alums: Nick Carse, co-founder of King of Pops, a gourmet popsicle company that has diversified to distribution and farming, and now employs more than 600 staff; Kandy Outlaw, co-founder of Inspire2Act, a consulting firm that guides organizations on how to effectively lead change; and Tom Matthesen, a serial entrepreneur and president of Thrive Farmers Coffee, a sustainable farm-to-table company that provides all of Chick-Fil-A’s coffee nationwide.
Matthesen had some advice for prospective entrepreneurs who may not be sure of what it takes to make the jump. He said, “You better make sure that you really believe you should be an entrepreneur because it’s not for everybody. It’s a long road, it’s a hard road but it’s very rewarding. Good luck.”
Other panelists included Tope Awotona, CEO of Calendly, a corporate scheduling and task management tool, and Kadeem Dunwell, CEO of the Young Entrepreneurs of Atlanta Foundation. Dunwell’s non-profit organization educates high school age youth in entrepreneurship. Students were able to speak with the panelists afterwards and build their network, along with asking any questions that may not have been answered during the Q&A session.
Leadership in the City will continue to be held monthly. This series focuses on the idea that leaders are needed in every field and industry. The next two panels will be on law and government, followed by education.View the program