Being a Startup Mogul with Gary Fowler
Gary Fowler is the Co-founder of Yva.ai, a revolutionary company that uses AI to reduce staff loss, save money and increase sales. He is a serial entrepreneur with 10 startups under his belt, including a successful IPO. He also co-founded an investment company as well as the top accelerator in Russia.
Needless to say, there is much that we can learn from Gary and his wealth of experiences.
Listen as Gary Fowler and Resilience Radio host Kim Ades discuss what it takes to be a successful startup mogul and more.
In this episode of Resilience Radio, we explore:
- Using AI to let you know that an employee is about to resign.
- What new entrepreneurs and startups need to know to succeed.
- Music and movies that keep your head in the game.
- The secret to networking with the right people.
- How coaching others keeps you mentally healthy.
INSIGHT OF THE WEEK
“A couple of the things that startups don’t know is
1) how to network and
2) they don’t really have practical training. Harvard teaches entrepreneurs very little about entrepreneurship.”
Take a Listen!
Transcription: Being a Startup Mogul with Gary Fowler
Here is a super interesting snippet of our conversation! See transcription (8:17 – 12:42):
Kim Ades: You are a serial entrepreneur, you have 10 different startups, you’ve been at it for a while working on different projects; can you describe some of your other projects?
Gary Fowler: Absolutely. I started the number one accelerator in Russia. After I had gotten divorced, I asked myself, what would I like to do with my life? So I went back to university at 50 years old.
Kim Ades: Wow. What program did you take?
Gary Fowler: I took an open program in the Russian language at Moscow State University, which is like Harvard University here. I went there for five years.
A couple of the things that startups don’t know is 1) how to network and 2) they don’t really have practical training. Harvard teaches entrepreneurs very little about entrepreneurship. What it does is it teaches managers how to manage.
So what we said is, why don’t we create a program to take these incredible minds that are scientifically oriented and help them understand some of the basic tenets of entrepreneurship and startups, like not being afraid to fail? How do you get financing? What’s a series A and what’s a series B? How do you get contacts in Silicon Valley if you’re in Moscow, or Vladivostok or Japan? How do you actually find those kinds of resources?
So we started a program, and incredible things happened. It really opened Russians up to startups. They have incredible expertise in areas like artificial intelligence, and now you see companies like Evernote (they’re a Russian company), and they use that expertise and the knowledge about startups and have created incredible companies.
About 600 companies have gone through the program. I personally was involved in 200 while I was active in my company.
Kim Ades: Why did you choose to do this in Russia? Why not do this in the United States or in Canada?
Gary Fowler: Everybody does that. I wanted to try something that was incredible. Scott McNealy, one of the Founders of Sun Microsystems, once said, “Always go to the area that you fear the most because you’re going to learn the most.” And I was just incredibly afraid of Russia. So I wanted to try it because it was like an Indiana Jones adventure for me. Not many people do it, and I wanted to be one of the people who was successful doing it.
Kim Ades: Well, I’ll tell you, after meeting you in person and speaking for about 40 minutes, I know that everything about you oozes different. When looking back at your life, your adventures and your successes, what has been your greatest adversity?
Gary Fowler: Well, I like to turn adversity into opportunity. One of the things that I do is I don’t look at the negative side of life, I look at the positive side. The glass for me is always half full, not half empty. So in terms of adversity, I got divorced during the economic crisis, and that’s when I went back to a school for five years.
Imagine living in a student dorm after having IPOs and all that, and actually going back to lick your wounds, to get better and to give yourself a chance to explore. And it went from a negative thing into a very positive thing because I grew, I started companies, I learned a lot, I learned Russian, I learned about people from other places and how to value differences. Sometimes we forget how to value the differences, how to value cultural differences. And so I turn things that happen into positive experiences.
Having what it takes to be a successful business owner is much less about what you do and more about what you think. However, your thinking and how it impacts you is largely invisible to you. Most leaders are not at all aware of how their thinking affects their results, leaving them at a great disadvantage.
Thankfully, we’re well known for helping highly driven leaders, executives and entrepreneurs become masterful at observing, understanding and shifting their thinking in order to achieve truly remarkable results.
The first step towards change is to schedule a complimentary coaching call with us. This call alone will help you to clearly see how your thinking is affecting your outcomes. It’s transformational. Click below to schedule your call now.