After the 2017 Natural Products Expo West show, we highlighted numerous trends in our 2017 Expo West Trends Report. Last week, we had boots on the ground at the 2017 Expo East show and we noted that many of those trends are continuing to expand. We’ll feature growth in these areas below:

Click here to see The Garage Group’s 2017 Expo West: Natural Food, Beverage, & Beauty Summary Report

A Better Swap. Consumers love their current food forms and formats, but are looking for ways to make their forms/formats healthier. These swaps are great because they come with built-in consumer consumption occasion understanding.

Tolerant Foods Legume Pasta. Tolerant Foods makes high-protein legume pasta like Chickpea Pasta, Green Lentil and Kale Pasta, and Green Lentil and Beet Pasta with simple, clean ingredients. They’re perfect for kids, athletes, vegetarians, vegans, and those who have restricted diets.

*Hilary’s Millet Medleys. Hilary’s Millet Medleys took home a 2017 Nexty Award for Best New Frozen Product. These medleys put a spin on traditional pilaf by making them with gluten-free millet and other gluten-free ingredients. They have four varieties, all of them infused with different herbs and spices.

P.S. Snacks Cookie Dough. P.S. Snacks, based in Washington, DC, is just getting their start but their vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free raw cookie dough was a hit at the show. Made with either chickpeas or black beans as the base, these cookie doughs are an indulgent treat while still being nutrient dense.

Energy Through Fat. “Healthy fat” is a phrase heard constantly in the natural food space. Consumers have been told to cut the sugar and up the fats, but to make sure it’s the right kind of fat.

Picnik Butter Coffee. Picnik got their start in Austin, TX with a food trailer turned restaurant but they wanted a way to offer their butter coffee to the masses. Their butter coffee is shelf-stable and contains grass-fed butter, MCT oil, organic coffee, grass-fed whey, and maple syrup.

Anita’s Coconut Yogurt. This is dairy-free yogurt alternative that every Instagram Influencer wants to get their hands on. Anita’s is full fat and is made from unprocessed coconut milk. It also contains four probiotic strains that aid in digestion.

Forager Good Plant Fat Drinks and Yogurt. Forager plans to launch their Good Plant Fat Drinks and Yogurt later this year. They’ve beefed up their traditional ‘cashewgurt’ by adding coconut and therefore increasing the healthy fat. They’ve also added five new drinks to their line, each with 15g of fat or more.

Clear Constraint Call-Out. Brands know their consumers want transparency and they want to see clear labels right on the front of the package. Consumers want to easily be able to distinguish if a product is for them, and labeling with dietary compliance (like Whole30 or Paleo) can be a helpful shortcut.

Paleo Powder Seasoning. This company has developed seasoning blends that support specific dietary needs and put those right on the front of their packaging. They recently added an AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) blend and a FODMAP blend to their line, making these blends accessible to people with some of the most restrictive dietary constraints.

*Yai’s Thai Thai Almond Sauce. Yai’s Thai created their own take on a traditional peanut sauce so that those who follow a Paleo or Whole30 lifestyle can still dress their (veggie!) noodles. Sweetened with only tamarind juice, consumers trying to cut down on added processed sugar will find this product appealing.

Kitchfix Grain-Free Waffles. Kitchfix kept their waffles grain- and nut-free using cassava and coconut flour, only sweetening with maple syrup. Labeled Paleo (3 times front of pack!), as well as non-GMO.

Interplay Between Beauty, Supplements, and Food. As we noted in the 2017 Expo West Report, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of what they’re putting into their bodies, as well as what they’re applying topically. We’re also seeing a surge in the number of products that are created for ingestion, but deliver physical or emotional benefits.

*Amazing Grass Beauty Elixir. This powder contains Amazing Grass’ classic greens grown on their farm in Kansas and gets a boost with adaptogenic herbs and functional ingredients helping to support the hair, skin, and nails.

Wildway Smoothie Bowl Starter Mixes. These mixes launched at Expo East and are made with probiotics as well as various adaptogens and herbs. Each of the four mixes has a different emotional benefit: Recover, Recharge, Restore, or Relax.

The Four M’s: Monk Fruit. We’re adding another M (previously maca, mushrooms and matcha). This sweetener is having a moment because it is keto-friendly. Also known as Luo Han Guo, it has zero glycemic index.

Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener. Non-GMO and 100% monkfruit when many other monkfruit sweeteners have additives. It’s reportedly 100x or 200x sweeter than sugar, so only a little is needed.

The Four M’s: Matcha. Even though Matcha has been around for thousands of years, it continues to grow in US prominence. Companies are adding it to everything and are using it to give their products an extra antioxidant boost.

Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen. Vital Proteins is already a leader in the supplement space and they launched numerous new products at the show. One is their new Matcha Collagen, in both Peach and Unflavored SKUs.

Product I’m Most Excited About – Renee

Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer. I already add coconut milk powder and collagen to my bulletproof coffee in the mornings, but this product combines the two separate ingredients into one handy, streamlined scoop.

 

 

Product I’m Most Excited About – Kat Downs of Crunchy Kat, Guest Blogger


Fourth and Heart Chocti Chocolate Ghee Spread. I’m always looking for healthy, indulgent treats and this new chocolate spread made with ghee is perfect. It’s so smooth and creamy and I’m already dreaming of topping my coconut ice cream with it.

*Notes Nexty Winner

In our 2017 Expo West Trends Report, we noted the growing voice of consumers asking for the ability to personalize their own nutrition and wellness plan. Instead of guessing and elimination diets, a slew of in-home kits allow consumers to get direct access to real data that lets them personalize their wellness plan. We’ve kept an eye on the trend since Expo West, and wanted to note some advancements.

Habit, the Campbell-backed startup that allows “personalization from test to table,” recently pushed its boundaries beyond California, to nationwide availability of testing. We couldn’t help but order a kit ourselves.

With 3 quick finger-prick blood samples, 3 inside-of-cheek swabs, the kit is minimally invasive, and is completed from your own home. It’s stunningly designed, with clear steps on each “page” of the kit “book,” along with a video that explains the process. We’ve done our fair share of at-home medical tests, each with sub-par usability, and Habit is like comparing apples and oranges – they’ve made this kit with the user in mind. We can’t wait to get our results back!

Also noteworthy on the personalized, at-home-test kit front, 23andMe is back in good standing with the FDA, as of April, even being allowed to provide genetic risk information for 10 diseases (with lots of disclaimer screens on how risk is differentiated from diagnosing or developing the disease). They’ve rolled out more functionality than was previously allowed. Further demonstrating their traction, this week Sequoia Capital was reported to be leading a $200 million funding round for genetics research and further product development at 23andMe.

Advancements in wearable data-collecting devices are a noteworthy part of this personalization trend, as well. Garmin and Fitbit have been growing their trackable data options, but the market continues to fragment beyond the key players. Key influencers in the wellness sphere have shared about ŌURA over the past year, which “brings you actionable insights about your well-being so you can be ready for what’s next.” Where Habit helps personalize diet and nutrition, OURA “helps you understand how your lifestyle choices affect your sleep & performance,” enabling wearers to make decisions to maximize their “readiness.”

Supplements don’t have to be “trial and error” now, either. Care/of uses a questionnaire about goals, lifestyle and values to suggest personalized supplements.

While not fully personalized, Brandless and Thrive Market take typical grocery shopping a step closer to personalized with “values” that can be shopped on, as filters: Non-GMO, Paleo, No Added Sugar, and more.

Gone are the days where a “one size fits all” plan is appealing or acceptable to consumers. In the era of personalization, they expect healthcare providers, nutrition plans (and increasingly food and beverage products) and other aspects of their wellness to be personalized.

One of the best ways to fuel fresh thinking is to leverage external insights and trends. Our recent favorite comes from the podcast How I Built This by Guy Raz. It’s a podcast “about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.” Check out some of the themes we picked up from the amazing stories of these battle-tested entrepreneurs – and be sure to tune in. It’s guaranteed to inspire!

Rent the Runway
We’ve admired RTR’s iterative testing cycles for the last several years – however, in the HIBT podcast we were most inspired by their persistence. Early on, co-founder Jennifer Hyman thought Diane Von Furstenberg would be the perfect person to not only gather feedback from, but also potentially test their idea (as if she’s not busy!). Originally, the idea was to rent the dresses directly from DVF’s site, however, they didn’t know Diane or have any way of contacting her. They brainstormed every potential e-mail address for Diane and sent an email to each address. To their amazement, they got a response and scheduled a meeting with Diane. While on their way to the second meeting with Diane, they got a call from her assistant saying that she was no longer interested in the idea and did not want to meet. Jennifer initially responded that they were right around the corner and they would be right there. After a few back and forths, the assistant (rather frustrated) blatantly told them that Diane didn’t want to meet. Jennifer said “Oh, you’re breaking up, I can’t hear you,” and then hung up. They showed up to the meeting anyway and Diane agreed to meet with them. While the idea eventually evolved, Diane’s dresses are very much a part of RTR’s inventory even today.

Consider: What’s getting in the way of your challenge or hurdle? How can you creatively solve it and not take “no” for an answer?

AirBnB
During AirBnB’s first real prototype, they had 6 listings during South by Southwest in Austin. Unfortunately, only 2 people signed up – and one of them was the founder! It was during this test, however, that they gained critical insight that online payments would significantly reduce barriers to adoption – and they chose to keep pursuing the idea despite the underwhelming results in the first test. If you’re acting like an entrepreneur, it becomes pretty clear after quick, iterative rounds of research what needs to happen. It’s not typically a “yes, proceed” or a “no, let’s stop.” It’s more nuanced. They didn’t increase resources or double the investment until they really understood whether there was sufficient appeal behind the idea and, likewise, they didn’t kill the idea with only a 16% adoption rate in the first pass.

Consider: What ideas or projects should be doubled down on and receive increased investment and resources? Pivoted with a new learning path? Abandoned with resources being reallocated?

Clif Bar
Clif founder Gary Erickson was determined to make a better tasting protein bar. After testing and failing hundreds of attempts with fellow athletes using Greek-inspired recipes from his mom, he finally landed on the perfect recipe. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the equipment to make the quantity of bars needed to test on a larger scale. The equipment was expensive and where he was at in the journey didn’t warrant purchasing new equipment. So, he negotiated with a bakery in his neighborhood to borrow the equipment for a set amount of time. Rather than focus his time on raising funds and going into debt early, he creatively figured out how to solve his problem until he’d proven out his proposition enough to warrant purchasing his own equipment.

Consider: What consumers do you have at your disposal to test your idea? What physical assets are available to test your idea? Who in your professional network can enable quick learning cycles?

Instagram
Co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger didn’t start Instagram as a photo sharing platform. Originally dubbed as Burbn, it was built similar to Foursquare but had the ability to add photos when you checked into places. Even though they had a small user base, they leveraged advice from Eric Ries and prioritized learning from Burbn’s current users first. They set out to understand why people were using it and what it helped them do that other social platforms couldn’t. They quickly discovered that the biggest reason for using the app was the ability to share photos. When they asked non-users about sharing their photos, they were intrigued by the idea but weren’t confident in their ability to take pretty and interesting pictures. With this insight, the X-PRO II filter was born.

Consider: Does your idea need to pivot to serve a broader audience? What can you learn from people who love your brand or initial product?

Spanx
Spanx Founder Sara Blakely takes hustle to the next level. For her (and all of the entrepreneurs featured in this post), her motivation was never money. She fell in love with a problem within the hosiery market and it’s what drove her to make bold choices along the journey, specifically with her first in-market test at Neiman Marcus. She could tell in her pitch meeting that she wasn’t connecting with her female buyer. In an instant decision, she asked her to go to the restroom with her. She showed her the difference between her outfit with and without Spanx and landed her first 7-store, in-market test. She was determined to make this small test a huge success, but quickly learned that her product was being sold in the wrong part of the department store. Without skipping a beat, she headed to Target, purchased envelope holders and set them on the counters of all 7 stores and filled them with the product. Neiman Marcus employees thought it was approved corporately and she enjoyed secondary placement as a result.

Consider: What are you passionate enough about to take the risks that Sara did? How can you creatively persuade and create demand around your idea?

This summer we had the opportunity to work with five awesome interns. As our time with them winds down, we asked them to share some of their favorite memories and lessons learned from working with us.

All in all, we narrowed it down to our top 5 Lessons Learned on how to be successful in a fast-paced company, like The Garage Group:

1. Quick learning is critical; and in order to learn quickly, you have to ask questions and get involved. Say yes to every opportunity presented to you, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing–it’s the best way to learn.

2. Courage is huge when you’re in ambiguous situations–which is all the time at The Garage Group. Embrace the ambiguity and strive for success by taking that leap into the unknown.

3. Collaboration is at the heart of entrepreneurship. Just about everything here at The Garage Group requires teamwork and support, so it’s important to have open communication between team members, followed by encouragement after a job-well-done or feedback to improve.

4. Fun is an essential part of the hustle. Working at The Garage Group is all about tackling challenges and solving problems, while also making some time for a quick game of foosball or a hand of euchre.

5. Learn from failures. A growth mindset is critical to entrepreneurial thinking; it’s having the confidence to fail, identifying key takeaways from the failure, then utilizing those takeaways to be successful in the future.

We’ve gotten to know them all summer long, so we wanted to provide you with the same opportunity:

Name: Dominick Calcara
School & Area(s) of Study: University of Alabama; Finance
Hometown: Bridgetown, OH
Something not many people know about you: Dreams big: wants to enter the stocks & investments industry to help other countries develop successful economies.

 

What’s your favorite memory at TGG?
Eliminating Jason & Keri in Foosball
Who at TGG has pushed you the most? How so?
Jason. Pushes us to strive for the best, and is always helpful and resourceful.
Which of TGG’s five values has resonated most with you this summer?
Trailblazer: nobody/no company can be truly successful without risk and taking initiative, the trailblazer will become the leader of the industry.
You’re soon to be graduating in a time of rapid disruption across all industries. What have you learned at TGG this summer that will enable you to be successful in such an environment?
TGG has taught me that in rougher circumstances, consistency is key, and that you must leverage all possibilities in order to be successful.

Name: Dylan Castner
School & Area(s) of Study: Miami University, Finance/ Entrepreneurship Co-Majors
Hometown: Liberty Township, OH
Something not many people know about you: When I was a little kid I got my thumb stuck inside an older style stationary bike(Got to keep the thumb;)).

What’s your favorite memory at TGG?
Presenting and being a part of an actual client session where I was able to get a much better understanding of what we do as a company.
Who at TGG has pushed you the most? How so?
Dennis. He continuously pushes you to think about the next steps or what else could you be missing when contemplating through a process.
Which of TGG’s five values resonates most with you?
Authentic. Working in an environment with so many genuine people has really shown me how vital it is to show your true personality.
You’re soon to be graduating in a time of rapid disruption across all industries. What have you learned at TGG this summer that will enable you to be successful in such an environment?
Be willing to take a stab at any kind of work and that experience is truly gained on site, so be involved with as much as possible because that is how the real learning is done.

Name: Nathaniel Hauer
School & Area(s) of Study: The Ohio State University, Environmental Science
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Something not many people know about you: Active in Hamilton Co. 4-H, raising market chickens and turkeys.

What’s your favorite memory at TGG?
Being told that I was now a Growth Hacker, not having a clue what that meant.
Who at TGG has pushed you the most? How so?
Jason. He strongly encourages experimentation, while also emphasizing pragmatic solutions.
Which of TGG’s five values has resonated most with you this summer? Professional. TGG has taught me to embrace success and learn from failure.
You’re soon to be graduating in a time of rapid disruption across all industries. What have you learned at TGG this summer that will enable you to be successful in such an environment?
TGG has taught me that adapting to change is key when trying to stay relevant amidst rapid disruption. Growth Hacking skills that I picked up this summer will certainly be useful down the road, as they are built upon experimentation within the continually changing environment.

Name: Morgan Langhammer
School & Area(s) of Study: Miami University, Entrepreneurship Major
Hometown: Hamilton, OH
Something not many people know about you: Bees are my favorite animal; the plan is to buy a couple of hives (as soon as I move out of my parents’ house).

What’s your favorite memory at TGG?
Seeing my bio and picture uploaded onto the website. It finally became real to me that I was working here.
Who at TGG has pushed you the most? How so?
Erin. When talking strategy on client sessions she really pushes you to think like an entrepreneur and back up your ideas. It proved to be really strong on-the-job practice.
Which of TGG’s five values has resonated most with you this summer?
Authenticity. The Garage Group’s strength really does come from it’s people, and the entrepreneurial culture that has been created, and authenticity is such a key factor in that strength.
You’re soon to be graduating in a time of rapid disruption across all industries. What have you learned at TGG this summer that will enable you to be successful in such an environment?
The ability to quickly and rapidly test ideas before committing all of my resources to something. I’m not sure exactly where I’m going to end up after college, but with so many industries in need of innovation, that is a skill that spans across all of them.

Name: Rachel Van Fleet
School & Area(s) of Study: Miami University, Entrepreneurship & Marketing
Hometown: Bellbrook, Ohio
Something not many people know about you: I collect coins

 

What’s your favorite memory at TGG?
I don’t know if I can narrow it down to just one memory when my favorite thing about TGG is the people. Everyone is always willing to help me when I need it, encourage me when I do something right, and provide feedback to be better. The support I felt throughout the entire summer is something I haven’t found anywhere else, and something I’ll never forget.
Who at TGG has pushed you the most? How so?
Taylor. She’s taught me so much about being an entrepreneurial leader in everything I do, whether that means having a growth mindset, or saying yes to everything. She’s the one I look up to most at The Garage Group, and the one that’s challenged me to learn from each experience I have.
Which of TGG’s five values has resonated most with you this summer?
Authentic. From the first day I walked into the office, I could feel the passion everyone had. Every action taken in the company is completely genuine, from lunch-time conversations to client presentations. Just being in that kind of environment is encouraging to me to stay authentic in everything I do.
You’re soon to be graduating in a time of rapid disruption across all industries. What have you learned at TGG this summer that will enable you to be successful in such an environment?
Mindset is everything. Disruption is always going to happen, no matter what industry or size of company I work for. The key to navigating that disruption is to do so with a growth mindset. Fearing the unknown is just a waste of time and energy. Fearing failure is an even bigger waste of time and energy; we should be excited about failing when we have so much to learn from it.

Mark Lacker does everything with purpose, whether it’s to learn from something or to contribute to something. He’s the last person in the world to brag about himself, but his students and colleagues know just how much of an educating powerhouse he is. As the current Miami University Alumni Association Effective Educator of the Year in the #8 entrepreneurship program of public universities, we decided to sit down with Mark to understand what it takes to be so successful in educating young entrepreneurs, and what Bigcos can learn from him.

We’re impressed with your leadership creating opportunities for students to learn and get immersed in entrepreneurship. How did you get started, and what drives your passion?

I was running a small business in Cincinnati and Miami’s entrepreneurship program contacted me to ask if I’d like to have some interns. Those interns turned out to be unbelievably great, and along the way I figured out that these students were really bright and really quick. After that, I did a lot of guest speaking, which led to teaching one class a semester, and found out that I loved it; what I loved most were the students and their possibilities.

As for passion, there are two drivers. The first is how fantastic our team is. I’ve been through enough business experiences and teams to know that being on a great team in which everyone is aligned, collegial, and committed to purpose and each other happens far too rarely–and we have that in the Miami Entrepreneurship program. But when it’s all said and done, you teach because it’s about the students.

About 10 years ago I read a book by Tom Brokaw called The Greatest Generation, and I did some research around it. The characteristics of The Greatest Generation–which were the WWII Vets going into the workplace in the 1950s–were described with the same terms and phrases that people in the workforce today use with Millennials. At the heart of it, Millennials want to do more, quickly; they want to do things that make meaning now. So, it’s my challenge to figure out how to prepare a student to go make meaning, make a difference, and be successful–whether it’s in a Bigco, a nonprofit, or a funded startup. That’s what drives me.

 

Some people argue that entrepreneurship can’t be taught. What do you say to that?

Our definition of entrepreneurship at Miami is that it’s a way of thinking and acting, and understanding entrepreneurship means you have to understand the contexts in which entrepreneurial thinking and acting take place. For instance, McKinsey did a world-wide study a couple years ago and found that 80% of Chief Strategy Officers of large companies believed their business model was at risk. So Bigcos need entrepreneurial thinking and acting–more creative minds, more entrepreneurial minds, more innovative minds, people that can see opportunities where others don’t. They need people that not only find those opportunities, but know what to do to test, prove, build, and deploy solutions in a way that improves speed and reduces risk. Those processes and opportunity-recognition skills can absolutely be taught. High-growth companies and startups are looking for people that can tolerate ambiguity, learn things on the fly, and are excellent at collaboration–all things that can be taught.

 

What is the most challenging part of teaching entrepreneurship?

A student is going to take 5-6 courses, participate in student and social organizations, hang out with friends, and may even have a job. In that entire mix of things, the biggest challenge isn’t the material–it’s getting mindshare. My biggest challenge is to show my students why the things we’re doing will matter to them. If I can’t do that, my students won’t care. But if I can, then the challenge becomes to deliver relevant growing experiences that lead to a better understanding of my students’ sense of self and more doors opened.

 

What are the key principles you center on while teaching entrepreneurship?

One is embodied by John Altman, the man who started Miami University’s Entrepreneurship program. He told me years ago, “When I walk into the classroom, I consider myself first among equals.” Everybody in the room is equal, and as the first among equals, my job is to curate the course. Once I’m in the room though, we’re on all the same plane. In addition to that, I say the same thing on the first day of every course, “I’m not here to teach you. I’m here to help you learn.” My students have a responsibility in their learning; it’s up to them to come prepared already having read through the material, and it’s my job to help them make better sense of it.

The last thing students want to do is spend time memorizing something only to regurgitate it back out–it’s a waste of time. Teachers are no longer the oracle of information when you can learn everything you need to know at the tips of your fingers. It’s my job to help students put it in context and apply it. This allows for my students to thrive in Bigcos who are desperate for new and entrepreneurial thinking, but also in startups that don’t have a training program. Either way, new employees are thrown right in, so I structure my classes accordingly. While these are some of my principles, they all boil down to my honest belief that this is the greatest generation; they’re going to change the world for all the right reasons.

 

How has Miami University embraced the entrepreneurial culture?

When asked this question, he turned it over to one of our interns, a current Miami University Entrepreneurship student, who said:
I would rather spend my time in the entrepreneurship department than I would my major’s department. When asked, I also say I’m studying entrepreneurship, and then I say I’m studying marketing because I fit into the culture of our program more than anywhere else. Everyone has the growth mindset, and everyone’s so supportive of each other. I can go to just about anyone in the program for feedback, and they’ll spend as much time as I need with them. You can’t find that anywhere else. It’s also about what we’re learning. I feel that whatever job I have, I can apply what I’m learning. Yes, the entrepreneurship classes I take are much harder than some of my other classes, but I’d rather take them knowing that I’m actually going to use what I learn.

Mark agreed, and built onto it, saying:
The entire team is aligned. We all believe in the students. We’re all current on what we’re teaching. We all push the students to do their work. I don’t know of any other department that acts so in concert and is so fresh with its teachings.

 

How do you think entrepreneurship is changing the business landscape?

Every discipline has recognized the need to be more entrepreneurial–leaner, quicker, more impactful, shedding the old-school, doing more with less. What we’re doing at Miami matters to any job, any organization, any size, in any sector. The fact that it’s now widely recognized is gratifying, but it’s also a challenge for us to deliver so our students are ready for the challenges, whether it’s in gerontology or primary education. It’s not all about starting a business; it’s about affecting the business.

 

How does entrepreneurship relate to the corporate world? How should Bigcos be thinking about leveraging it?

“We need to be more ____” Fill in the blank with Lean, Agile or Innovative and you have the mantra of many Bigcos. Underpinning this is a fear of being disrupted and a need to act more swiftly, reduce risk and explore more opportunities. Lean Startup methods provide the playbook to do just that. By emphasizing iterative testing, empirical evidence, and fragmenting large R&D builds into smaller chunks of deliverable progress.

 

How do you incorporate lean innovation principles and methodologies into your teaching? What about your own work?

We use some of the same materials that highly-regarded companies use in teaching innovation to Bigcos. We also use the same iterative lean process that has been widely distributed and adopted by startups. So, if you think of Lean Startup and Business Model Generation as fundamental processes, we teach them. We teach them in our 200-level classes and then apply them in our 400-level classes and internship programs. Our students are learning the same things–tools, processes, and resources–that a Fortune 500 company teaches its employees. Our curriculum is all externally driven.

At the higher-ed level, you can’t sit in an office and think about what you ought to be teaching to entrepreneurial students; you have to go ask entrepreneurial organizations what they’re teaching and learning. When I go to these CEOs and upper-management personnel at high-growth companies, I ask two questions: 1) “What would make you salivate over one of our students on graduation day?” In other words: How do they need to think? How do they need to act? What skills and experiences do they need? What do they need to be able to do so that you would not just interview them, but that you would actually fight to have them on your team? 2) I also ask how they organize and structure, and especially what pieces of software and training they use; then I go research it. After I gather all this information, I look at what’s most relevant to the 18-22 cohort, and determine the most appropriate structure for the classroom.