Ideas aren’t everything, execution matters greatly, but starting often requires an idea and so we asked folks to think back and tell us the story of how they came up with the idea for their businesses. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite stories below.

Jessica Patay | Founder & Executive Director

We Are Brave Together is born out of a beautiful collision in my heart: my passion for the friendship of women, connection and community– colliding with my heart/burden for caregiving moms of children with disabilities. I have a 17 year old son, Ryan, with a rare, genetic disorder, called Prader-Willi syndrome. It has been a unique, difficult and beautiful journey! I know the highs and lows, the stresses, the cyclical grief, and the isolation that mothers face. Caring for Ryan and living with PWS has brought me resilience, depth, a million life lessons, and a heart of gratitude. If I can serve and inspire and encourage other mothers facing chronic hardship, then I must! Sometime calling comes out of crisis. WABT is working to combat compassion fatigue and isolation that mothers deal with by offering support groups, workshops and retreats. (In the midst of COVID-19, we are offering all of this virtually until restrictions lift.) We also have a podcast Brave Together. Read more>>

Gunnar Rohrbacher | Master Comedy Coach

I love this question because Actors Comedy Studio is unique in the world. We teach acting, writing and audition technique for television comedy. I created ACS with my business partner, Lauren Bertoni to teach comedy performing and writing that meet industry standards. I’m a writer, actor, improviser and director as well as an acting coach. I also spent a brief time working in casting. It was there a giant light bulb went off for me. I realized that there were a lot of talented actors who didn’t audition well, especially with comedy. They were lacking one or more skills that made them competitive and I saw time after time, that they had no clue what they were doing wrong. Heartbreaking! Some had theater training but no relationship to the camera. Others were improvisers – some very well known – but they prioritized making every line funny over embodying the character in a truthful, believable way. Read more>>

Chris Ellis | Entrepreneur & Startup Advisor

We started AudioCardio with the mission to develop and provide an easily accessible and affordable hearing solution without the negative social stigma of the devices currently on the market. During the summer of 2016, I took my grandfather on one last trip where he would be physically able to walk, fish and get around all on his own. We spent 5 full days and nights together during this trip and my grandfather couldn’t hide or “laugh off” his declining mental condition. I realized that my grandfather’s signs of aging and memory loss were much worse than we had previously thought. I realized my grandfather’s condition was much more than simple forgetfulness. He was showing serious signs of cognitive decline and it was clearly accelerating. Read more>>

Steve Melen | Author& Financial Advisor

Being a racehorse owner for a little over 9 years we felt the high of winning but the agony of losing more often Getting into the winners circle took a combination of hard work by the horse caregivers, trainers vets and especially the horse. With all that, there is always a big need for some luck. We found that in life in general believing you’re lucky and putting yourself in the spot to receive luck gave us a much better chance for success. I have been lucky to survive cancer that had me at only 15% chance of survival and addiction recovery from pain meds given to me in the process. My wife and I decided to not only collect the horse shoes off the winning horse after a win but be the first ever to melt down some of those shoes and create even luckier coins and charms. If a winning horseshoe is what someone needs or wants we have those but have specific coins and charms from horses that have achieved that hard to find, Winner’s Circle. Read more>>

Jewel Moore | Creator & Curator

Wanting to create something that incorporated my love for food, obsession with music, and need to bring people together in cool new spaces is how the concept for SoulFood & SoundTracks was born. I wanted to create more than just a dinner party, I wanted to create a one -of – a – kind experience. At SoulFood & SoundTracks, special guest chefs curate a personalized menu based on some of your favorite songs, from some of your favorite movie soundtracks. Tone, pitch, and flavors are all perfectly synched to brings out every beat in every bite. What will your favorite song taste like? Visit our website today to join our next dinner part. Read more>>