OUT TO LUNCH finds economist and Tulane finance professor Peter Ricchiuti conducting business New Orleans style: over lunch at Commander's Palace restaurant. Each week Peter invites guests from the New Orleans business renaissance to join him. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Inc magazine have all named New Orleans the best city in the USA to be an entrepreneur. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the new New Orleans entrepreneurial movement. You can also hear the show on WWNO 89.9FM.
Photo by Rick Lineberger
Most people who start a new business build on what has come before them. Every now and again there are revolutionary game changers, like Apple's iPhone, but coming up with a totally new product is not the rule, it's the exception. And that's what makes Al Andrews exceptional.
When Al founded TASC in 2009, with three other members of his family, he didn’t just change the design of sports apparel, he created a whole new fabric. Workout wear that's made from bamboo. Today TASC products can be found in stores across America, and they’re spreading around the world.
When a business like TASC gets successful one of its options is to go public. That opens the door to exponential growth. But it also means that entrepreneurs who have good reason to trust their own judgment now have shareholders to answer to. And those shareholders don’t always approve of you, even if you did dream up the whole company.
Ron Bienvenu is co-founder of Spearpoint Capital. Spearpoint specializes in using a shareholder stake in a public company to get involved and make changes.
In the You Heard It Here First Segment of the show, Peter introduces Robert Armbruster and his entrepreneurial business Landing Zone NOLA, an innovative for-profit approach to giving military vets a leg up in business. You can hear a longer conversation about Landing Zone NOLA with Peter, Al, Ron, and Robert here.