Entrepreneurs: drive to thrive

moderated by Deborah Norville, host of Inside Edition

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Session recap

How do entrepreneurs turn an idea into a successful business? How do they turn a not-so-obvious opportunity into a profitable enterprise? In the Entrepreneurs: drive to thrive session Saturday, we heard how three EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winners turned their ideas into reality.

Andrew Mack saw a country that was largely indifferent to tea surrounded by a world that loved it. And he asked: why don’t people in the U.S. get it? And how can we make them get it? Teavana was the answer.

Kevin Reddy of Noodles and Company began working at McDonald’s at 15, and he was quickly captivated by the business. “I think the restaurant business is great. A lot of life happens around a meal,” Reddy said.

And Dr. Alan Ulsifer founded FYIdoctors to help eye care practitioners retain and gain market share. He pitched the idea of building a supply chain to 10 independent practices; his company took off after “they called my bluff,” he said.

As their companies grew, each focused on getting the infrastructure in place to scale their companies. Whether that took the form of a line of credit, private equity or eventually going public, each emphasized that preparation is key, and investment in infrastructure is essential.

Reddy gave the audience this advice: “Do as much as you can when you’re under the radar screen, because once you’re on it, everything’s exposed.”



Deborah Norville speaks at EY Strategic Growth Forum

Deborah Norville
Inside Edition



Andrew Mack speaks at EY Strategic Growth Forum

Andrew Mack
Chief Executive Officer, Teavana and Senior Vice President, Global Tea, Starbucks

Kevin Reddy speaks at EY Strategic Growth Forum

Kevin Reddy
Chairman and CEO
Noodles & Company

Dr. Alan Ulsifer speaks at EY Strategic Growth Forum

Dr. Alan Ulsifer
CEO & President