Coworking spaces have grown in popularity for good reason – they offer attractive workspaces without a long-term commitment and boast amenities ranging from free coffee and tea to fully-equipped conference rooms. This is the workspace solution that many businesses have been seeking for years, coworking offices bring like-minded professionals from a wide range of industries together in a collaborative environment. At Venture X, we have found that industries including insurance, real estate, engineering, marketing, finance, and many others are taking advantage of the networking, flexibility, and amenities we offer. Julien Meyer is the Managing Director for NorthStar Venture Partners and a member at Venture X Downtown Orlando.
NorthStar Venture Partners is a new kind of early-stage venture capital/private equity group with a sole focus on changing how entrepreneurs interface with investors. We have a division that looks to invest in and buy out early-stage companies as well as an advisory division that helps entrepreneurs with everything from pitch decks to M&A transactions.
We asked Julien some Q & As to get to know him a little better and learn about the journey he’s been on, career-wise. Here’s what Julien had to say:
· What made you want to get involved in this line of work?
I’m a career entrepreneur and after my last technology venture, I realized that there are plenty of holes in the venture capital community that need to be fixed. Most venture capital firms have not evolved with the times and most private equity groups are ignoring tech ventures. Our goal is to make it easier for entrepreneurs to raise capital, buy other businesses, and sell their current venture.
· What has been the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The best part of this job has been working with entrepreneurs who are on the brink of “burning out”. Many entrepreneurs today are faced with dealing with a “startup culture” that is rather toxic and full of egomaniacs. This boom in entrepreneurship has made it difficult for real entrepreneurs who are focused on revenues and profits not to be overshadowed by companies who simply raise capital. We love helping these entrepreneurs successfully navigate financing or sales transactions and seeing fresh life breathed into their spirit.
· What business tips would you like to share with others?
Talk to people. We live in this “digital-first” world nowadays and it almost seems as though we’ve forgotten that business is all about people. Video conferencing and texting are great, but they are no replacement for a strong look in the eye or a firm handshake. Stop hiding behind the screens and get out and meet people. It will set you apart from your competition.
· What’s the biggest challenge that you have faced in business and how did you overcome it?
I’ve been lucky enough to profitably exit two companies, but I’ve also had two very large failures. Shutting a company down, losing investor money, and having to fire some of your best friends is a terrible experience; something I wouldn’t wish even on my worst enemy. I thank God all the time for the good friends and family who were there to support me through those times. Most of my “friends” disappeared when the money disappeared, so I believe that all entrepreneurs really need to build a strong support system and network of real friends, family, and other entrepreneurs who can support you during those times.
· What has been your favorite part about working at Venture X?
Venture X is awesome! It has the perfect balance of a modern coworking space married with a professional setting. We feel proud to bring people to our office and always get compliments on the space. Furthermore, the staff treats us like family and we feel a real sense of community coming into the office every day!
A Personal Look at Julien Meyer
We asked Julien about his greatest inspiration and found his reply to be inspiring, “Doubters.” He went on to share, “I think most entrepreneurs reach a stage where people who used to laugh at you or potentially even encourage you on your ideas become “jealous” of your success. These people are toxic but they serve as great fuel when it comes to inspiration for running a business.” Julien told us that he thinks about these people all the time and uses that formerly negative energy as a positive reinforcement to continue to prove the “doubters” wrong.
When we asked Julien about his spare time, he explained, “This was one of the first questions I was asked in my first public interview. I sat like a deer in headlights and did not have an answer. Ten years later and I’m still dumbfounded by this question. I don’t know. I love what I do. I’ve been blessed to always be an entrepreneur and I fundamentally believe that when you love what you do, it’s not a job.” That being said, he did say that he often finds himself reading or watching documentaries on topics related to work when he’s not “in the office” but for Julien, it seems like work isn’t really work. He said, “It’s been amazing to always do something that I want to be doing. It’s a borderline miracle.” And to that we say, enjoy the ride, Julien!
When you have decided that you need a place to work that allows you to focus and get things done or that your business is growing out of your current space, consider the benefits of a coworking space, such as Venture X. If you’re not sure, schedule a tour of your local Venture X and see what all the buzz is about. You’ll love working at Venture X!