July Dayton Startup Grind Recap – Eric Fulkert

July 20, 2017

The following post originally appeared on new Startup Grind Dayton Chapter Ambassador & Dayton Tech Guide intern Austin Rain’s LinkedIn. Access the original post here.

Did you miss the July Dayton Startup Grind fireside chat with Eric Fulkert? That’s ok, we forgive you!

Who’s Eric Fulkert? He is the CEO of Campus Suite, a school communication platform and is also the COO of Soundstr, a hardware device that helps businesses pay fairer music licensing fees based on actual music usage. Soundstr recently landed $1 million in early-stage equity funding to support their endeavor to disrupt the music industry.

Eric’s been self-employed since he was 22 years old. He leverages that experience, as well as his knowledge of software and hardware ventures to provide insight and advice to startups that are navigating the path of technological entrepreneurship. He does this through Founder’s Institute in Cincinnati, advising startups and walking them through the steps of building a business that will last.

Now that you’ve got the run-down on his background, here are some highlights from the event:

Eric shared the importance of “knowing your customer’s customer”. If you know how your customer works and who they serve, you are better able to solve the problems they are facing.

He also spoke about managing remote teams. Campus Suite has numerous team members in several different countries. Eric spoke about the importance of clear communication and the tools that have helped his team grow. “With clear expectations and honesty, we have been able to build a great team”, he said.

Along those lines, he mentioned that it is “critical to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and then support that team once they are there”. He went on to describe how valuable it is to be available to your team. “If you’re not accessible, you won’t see the opportunities that are waiting there for you. If you make yourself approachable and accessible there are amazing things that can happen for all parties”.

In one part of his talk, Eric shared his opinion on the key quality of a successful entrepreneur. “Being comfortable with risk is by far one of the most important characteristics you can have. You are going out and putting it all on the line. If you aren’t comfortable with that risk, you probably aren’t fit for entrepreneurship”.

When asked to share a process that he practices every day, Eric highlighted BPMN (business process model & notation), a tool he uses to understand all businesses. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to understand business and technological processes. If you can map out a process from beginning to end, which helps you understand problems and find solutions to those problems, you will be golden.”

Lastly, what does the future look like for Eric? He’s eager to continue raising money for Soundstr as well as welcoming the fall cohort for Cincinnati Founder’s Institute.

Also, a shout out to our venue sponsor – SparkBox, for providing a great atmosphere for the entrepreneurs and Dayton community attendees.

To check out our future events, click here.

Austin Rains, Startup Grind Dayton Chapter Ambassador