Speaker: justin copie
Company: Innovative Solutions

So you want to be an entrepreneur...

"Less than 5% of the US population has the guts and tenacity to run their own business. So why do so many people want to be an entrepreneur? Why do we think about running our own business, and why are we so attracted to the idea? Could it be, that it scratches our itch for ultimate autonomy? Could it be that it allows us to help a broader set of people that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to, as an individual contributor? Come to this talk if you’re interested in some hard hitting insights and real life stories into what it really takes to run your own business.

This talk examines ten reasons why taking an idea from a thought bubble above your head to a full-fledged business, is almost never done. Furthermore, we’ll examine why most don’t startups don’t survive. The average founder’s salary is around $50k per year, most startups require over 65 working hours per week in order to operate, they’re more than 80% self-funded, and dominate in one of three major industries (software, media, and biotech). But, 90% OF ALL STARTUPS FAIL. Why? - No market need, no cash, and the wrong people. Market need and cash are the science, but the right people and culture are the art. People can make or break any business. Come learn about the interplay of all three of these through a number of lessons learned. You’ll walk out with a deeper sense of urgency to run toward your future – guaranteed!"

Yet the 80 people working at Innovative don’t work for him. He works for them. As CEO and leader, Justin provides safety and direction: safety in voicing opinions, trying new things, and failing, and direction in where to go on the path to success. He serves others in cultivating a culture where people can come to work every day feeling safe and free to do what they love to do, and in turn help Innovative reach its vision.
A vision of not only creating a culture of growth and success at Innovative, but of leading the fast-paced change of technology and being the spark that lights the I.T. industry on fire.
Justin first witnessed the fear and lack of choice that surrounds I.T. when he was running a side business called Rent-A-Geek while a student at Rochester Institute of Technology. Making house calls to help with tech issues, he often encountered people who were simply afraid to touch more than the keyboard on their computers. From there, he worked for Verizon, selling DSL all over the country. Again, he recognized the volume of people who didn’t understand and were afraid of tech until they had a frank, human conversation.
A love of sales and the ability to have those honest conversations that change the way people view technology is what brought Justin to Innovative in 2003 as the company’s youngest employee at age 20. Starting on the ground floor as a sales representative, his knack for failing more than anyone else fed his insatiable appetite for learning, and his ever-growing hunger for driving change is what advanced him in just over a decade from Account Executive to Director of Business Development to Executive Vice President to chief servant to others as CEO.
As now-CEO, his desire to change the way things have always been done has only grown. And his path to do that is learning -- asking questions, challenging opinions, adopting multiple perspectives. He credits Innovative with giving him the learning experiences, the safety to fail, and the culture to grow and feel loved he needed to be able to do that.
And now it’s his aim to do the same for others; to give brilliant minds space to do their work, while cultivating people who will be the catalysts for change for decades to come.
Despite having Innovative on the mind around the clock, when he’s not at work, Justin’s likely on the water jetskiing or wakeboarding, building something with his hands, or spending time with his dogs, family, and close friends. An avid reader of personal development books and voracious learner of life, he’s consumed more TED Talks than he can count.
His goal so far has been growth and forward direction. His goal moving forward is no different; yet his impact and desire for growth now extends well beyond himself as he empowers both other people as well as the industry itself to be more than what it is today.

Justin Copie
Innovative Solutions