Partner Profile: Austin Briggs
We recently chatted with Kent State alum Austin Briggs, who will be the first speaker for this semester's Build Your Own Brand (BYOB) cohort on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
Austin is a native of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, who was able to overcome a troubled youth by finding his calling in entrepreneurship. Austin graduated from Kent State University with a BA in Entrepreneurship in 2010.
During his time at Kent he received several awards and scholarships for his entrepreneurial achievements and was recognized in publications such as ESPN, Fox, and the Wall Street Journal. After college, he went on to start several businesses in real estate and education. Austin is the founder of the Cleveland School of Cannabis, and his portfolio of companies are valued over $10M and growing.
How did things go after you graduated from Kent State?
I had a very tough year the year I graduated. I couldn't find a job and lost two of my best friends: one to gun violence and one to suicide. But then I moved to California where I got involved in the cannabis industry and discovered a big opportunity in cannabis education, which led be back to Ohio (after 6 years of sunshine!).
What was the best advice you've received?
We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a year and underestimate what we can accomplish in 3-5.
What's been your biggest "failure" and what did you learn from it?
I have a ton, but one was when I painted my car as a campaign to keep LeBron James in Cleveland and then he left, and the car was an instant enemy of Cleveland.
With all failures, what I learn is that it doesn't matter. You just learn and keep moving forward. Losing money on startups is no different than paying for an education. You give up money to learn valuable lessons. It's part of life.
What's your favorite entrepreneurial book?
What's your biggest fear, and how do you overcome it?
Not reaching my full potential; I overcome it by continuing to reach for the the stars.
What problem do you wish you could solve?
I wish and hope to solve the problem of our education system; I think it needs to be totally restructured to fit the information age and exponential technologies.
How do you express your creativity?
By telling funny jokes about people I know.