ENTREPRENEURSHIP

I have been fortunate enough to have employees, generate over millions in revenue by myself, raise significant venture capital, sit on numerous boards, and partner in a pro sports venture which is cool but incredibly difficult to navigate. I’ve also failed to make payroll and had to lay people off. I’ve been sued. I’ve had my technology product crash when I got my big chance to partner with Def Jam Records on the launch of Watch The Throne. I’ve curled up in a ball and wanted to die probably 20 or more times over the last 10 years. Nothing about this is for the faint of heart.

But I wouldn’t trade any of it. The failures are inevitable. But the effort, the planning, the heart, the autonomy… these things are magic, and I think they are only accessible to the average person through entrepreneurship. That’s why I’m so passionate about it.

I also believe there is a ton of bullshit out there about entrepreneurship. Because I learned by doing as an adult, I had to figure out the hard way what was real and what wasn’t. As an investor, mentor, advisor, partner, and now content creator, my take on entrepreneurship will be consistent and authentic with good intentions even if it’s hard to swallow. The game is hard enough, you don’t need bad guidance to make it any harder.

 

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

I have been fortunate enough to have employees, generate over $1M in revenue by myself, raise significant venture capital, sit on numerous boards, and most recently partner in a pro sports venture which is incredibly cool but also incredibly difficult to navigate. I’ve also failed to make payroll and had to lay people off. I’ve been sued. I’ve had my technology product crash when I got my big chance to partner with Def Jam records on the launch of Watch The Throne. I’ve curled up in a ball and wanted to die probably 20 or more times over the last 10 years. Nothing about this is for the faint of heart.

But I wouldn’t trade any of it. The failures are inevitable. But the effort, the planning, the heart, the autonomy… these things are magic, and I think they are only accessible to the average person through entrepreneurship. That’s why I’m so passionate about it.

I also believe there is a ton of bullshit out there about entrepreneurship. Because I learned by doing as an adult, I had to figure out the hard way what was real and what wasn’t. As an investor, mentor, advisor, partner and now content creator, my take on entrepreneurship will be consistent and authentic with good intentions even if it’s hard to swallow. The game is hard enough, you don’t need bad guidance to make it any harder.

 

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

C+O 2

Create and Orchestrate Episode 02: Everything You Use Was Built By Somebody

Episode 1

Create and Orchestrate Episode 01: The Introduction

Meet Nashville's Unlikely Entrepreneur

Bright The Mag: Meet Nashville’s Unlikely Entrepreneur

In true startup fashion, Whitney outlined his plan for The Unlikely Company in a Medium post, and then began to move. In the post he wrote, “I had a hunch, but it was deeply troubling to confirm that getting a bachelor’s degree and joining the workforce alone provides the average American almost no hope for true economic mobility. This is a real problem.…Even if you don’t plan on being an entrepreneur, knowing how to act like one might be the only way for you to achieve economic mobility in America in the 21st century.”
Whitney has a long way to go before reaching his target of 1,000 teens, but he knows his target market needs him now more than ever, and he’s ready for the company.

The Atlantic marcus whitney feature

The Atlantic: Marcus Whitney is trying to create more “unlikely” entrepreneurs

Marcus Whitney is trying to create more “unlikely” entrepreneurs. Whitney calls investing in black enterprises “the black civil rights issue of this millennium.”

Tech Investor Sees Lucrative Opportunity In Making Health Care Cool

WPLN: Nashville’s ‘Discoverers:’ Tech Investor Sees Lucrative Opportunity In Making Health Care Cool

Nashville entrepreneur Marcus Whitney knows what opportunity looks like. He has helped build several successful tech companies — including Emma and Moontoast — and now he invests in other people’s startups. He talked to reporter Emily Siner during WPLN’s live series Movers & Thinkers about discovering the next big idea — and how he’s changed that discovery process over the years.

Five People Nashvillians Should Know

The Tennessean: Five people Nashvillians should know

On August 10, 2015, I was featured here in the Tennessean. Click here or below to read the full article. Five people Nashvillians should know

Marcus Whitney’s company beats Kickstarter goal

The Tennessean: Marcus Whitney’s company beats Kickstarter goal

Nashville tech entrepreneur Marcus Whitney, who is creating an initiative to support “unlikely” entrepreneurs, met his $20,000 Kickstarter goal in 12 hours to fund the project.

Entrepreneurship Saved My Life

Entrepreneurship Saved My Life

I’ll be 40 years old in December, and as you do when this milestone approaches, I’ve been reviewing my journey and looking for themes. Maybe I’m searching for my purpose. At this point in my life, I think most people who know me professionally would associate me with entrepreneurship. I serve as President of Jumpstart Foundry,…

A new era for Jumpstart Foundry

The Tennessean: A new era for Jumpstart Foundry

In its early days, Jumpstart Foundry was a local version of the television hit “Shark Tank”: A few teams pitched their company idea and a group of 20 experienced Nashville entrepreneurs and investors, meeting over beer and pizza at Belmont University, would choose the best concept to invest in and help build. The next month, they did it all over again.

Nashville's soccer club upset by relocation talks

The Tennessean: Nashville’s soccer club upset by relocation talks

Preliminary talks between Metro and the United Soccer League’s Harrisburg City Islanders about a possible relocation from Pennsylvania to Nashville have left Music City’s fan-owned soccer team feeling disrespected.

The Next Big Thing For Nashville’s Tech Startups? One Investor Is Betting On Healthcare

WPLN: The Next Big Thing For Nashville’s Tech Startups? One Investor Is Betting On Healthcare

Jumpstart president Marcus Whitney gives these statistics: Jumpstart has graduated 37 tech companies, and they’ve gone on to raise $25 million in total. Only seven startups were related to healthcare.

“But those seven companies, about 20 percent of our graduates, have raised more than half of the money and have had a better success rate — meaning they’ve survived more than the average Jumpstart company,” Whitney said.

Marcus Whitney named Jumpstart Foundry president

The Tennessean: Marcus Whitney named Jumpstart Foundry president

Marcus Whitney, the Moontoast co-founder who exited his company last week, will become president of Jumpstart Foundry, the startup accelerator he helped create.

The-Grind-91-Fin

The Grind 91 Fin

Fin. Today is my birthday. I’m 44 now. A year ago today, I had no idea how much The Grind would change my life, or help others navigate theirs. There is something about The Grind that resonated with people. Of course, there’s the title. Many people believe that life is nothing more than a grind.…

The Grind 90 Mind Body and Soul

The Grind 90 Mind, Body and Soul

Decide to transform I figured something out this year. I don’t know that anyone was lying to me. Still, somewhere along the line, I got the idea that money was the answer to most problems, and that making money always needed to be the priority. That was the mindset I had, and it seemed to…

The Grind 89 The Resistance

The Grind 89 The Resistance

The first action the hero makes is the refusal of the call. The refusal is the signal of the significant fear one must overcome to start the process of transformation. The first and most important thing we do on the way to greatness is change our minds. No one constantly hurdles through life making brave…

The Grind 88 Let It Go

The Grind 88 Let It Go

I can’t play small anymore It’s time to admit that I don’t want to let go. I found a groove, and it’s comfortable. I found it here, in this newsletter to you every week. This was the place that I put down the burden of my shadows and allowed them to find sunlight. This is…

The Grind 87 Nap Time

The Grind 87 Nap Time

The realm of diminishing returns I took the first week of November off from work at Jumpstart / Health:Further to focus on one last editing pass on my book before I submitted it to my publisher for their edit. That went really well, and the book is off with the editors now getting a thorough…

The Grind 86 Renewal

The Grind 86 Renewal

what it feels like to be naturally happy Today marks one year and one day since the last time I drank alcohol. I’ve talked about quitting alcohol quite a bit. As this date drew closer, I’ve been feeling like it’s something I want to stop talking about so much. But with this milestone, it’s worth…

The Grind 85 White Belt Wonderland

The Grind 85 White Belt Wonderland

The disorientation of being initiated Two weeks ago, I decided to start a new journey. Something I had been mulling over for a while. I started practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). Four years ago, I began practicing Hapkido and a year ago earned my first degree Black Belt. I love Hapkido and intend to continue…

The Grind 84 Jedi Training

The Grind 84 Jedi Training

The arbitrage of not giving a damn Last week I took some time away from my standard work schedule to work on some creative projects and reflect. While doing so, I couldn’t help but see things in the context of next year. 2020 is looking like a great year for me. I spent a ton…

The Grind 83 Imaginary Lines

The Grind 83 – Imaginary Lines

The engine of happiness My father recently turned 82 years old. He has lived an incredible life. Quite frankly, I marvel at any African American who was born in the 30s or before who is still alive and well. The shifts in society they lived through are hard for me to imagine. The progress they…

The Grind 82 What Did You Expect

The Grind 82 What Did You Expect?

Emotions don’t care about what’s fair It’s Fall. It’s getting darker, earlier. The temperature is dropping, and the holiday season is upon us. In conversations these days, we ask questions of ourselves and others that are both reflective and forecasting. “How has the year gone?” “What are we doing for the holidays?” “Any big plans…

The Grind 81 Decisions Vs Judgments

The Grind 81 Decisions Vs Judgments

We’re not robots; we’re humans. Last week was a great week for me, work-wise. It was a week of long days working on a big vision with great people. The week wrapped up on Friday morning, and I went to see my hairstylist Ebonee to get my hair done. While sitting in Ebonee’s chair in…

The Grind 80 Maturity Matters

The Grind 80 Maturity Matters

Tell it like it is When I was six years old and in the 2nd grade, I rode home on a small private bus that my parents hired. The bus dropped me off at my grandmother’s house on St. Johns Place in Brooklyn. St. Johns is a very wide street for New York City, with…