A man in blue with glasses sits next to a man in a suit who holds a microphone and one hand raised as he talks.

Written by Victoria Billings on March 11, 2013

Nerd entrepreneurs, bro entrepreneurs, and inspiration at Cal Poly

I like to think I’m an old hat at Science Cafes. After all, I’ve worked at Kennedy Library for eight months, and already worked two Science Cafes. I should have mastered it, right? Of course, just when I feel like I know what to expect, a Cal Poly Science Café comes along to prove to me just how unique each library event is.

Start From the Very Beginning

The Cal Poly Science Café in question was Start Me Up! and focused on examining the personality traits of successful entrepreneurs and helping attendees work through their own innovative ideas. I figured I would film some interviews, take some photos, count the number of people in attendance and help clean up afterward.

What I didn’t expect was how inspiring Start Me Up! would be.

Delightfully facilitated by Max Mero, guest entrepreneur Eric Meyer shared his experience starting the action sports shoe company Simple Shoes, while Cal Poly entrepreneurship associate professor Jon York explained the key attributes successful entrepreneurs have in common (the top trait is relentlessness). Jessie Becker, Max Mero and Mark Paddon, were also there as three 2012 Cal Poly grads who are all working with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship right now to get their start-ups going.

Nerds, Bros, and Faking It ‘til You Make It

All of our presenters agreed it takes follow-through, commitment and a diverse and supportive team of people to run a company.

Meyer talked us through his first five weeks running a shoe company (and how sometimes, if you don’t have all the resources, you pretend you do until you make it). The Cal Poly grads explained the concept of bro entrepreneurs and nerd entrepreneurs and how both business people and idea people are essential for a successful company.

Club Conviction

And while I took photos, and a head count, and mental notes for this blog post, I also talked with the entrepreneurs about what it takes to move a good idea into a successful business, and left with the very strong conviction that I should join Cal Poly Entrepreneurs, the campus entrepreneurship club.

After all, regardless of who has the Big Idea, there’s nothing quite as exciting as working on something new and fresh that has never been seen before.

More about Start Me Up! is available on our website. Stay tuned for another video from Start Me Up! It will feature Jessie Becker, Max Mero and Mark Paddon.

For more about Cal Poly Entrepreneurs click here.

For more about the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, check their website

Max Mero’s start-up, RepairTech, Inc., has its own site.

So does Mark Paddon’s FireSwing Studios.

Update: Here’s the second video from Start Me Up! featuring Jessie Becker, Max Mero and Mark Paddon.

One comment on “Nerd entrepreneurs, bro entrepreneurs, and inspiration at Cal Poly
  1. This story and video really captures the key points of this Science Cafe- the idea of relentlessness, the need for not just an idea, but a follow through to be successful.

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