Louisville Business First: 20 People to Know: Trey Riddle #harvard #business
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Louisville Business First: 20 People to Know: Trey Riddle
Favorite way to spend time away from work:
Describe your company:
Sunstrand is a manufacturer and supplier of biomaterials for a variety of technical and industrial applications. Our focus markets are polymer composites, plastics and technical nonwovens. Basically, we take raw agricultural feedstocks (bamboo, kenaf, flax, hemp) and manufacture our products that take the form of fibers and fillers (particulates).
Our customers (upstream manufacturers) then incorporate these materials into their products. Ultimately, our materials will be used in a variety of applications, including consumer goods, automotive, building materials and sporting goods.
What is the biggest hurdle for entrepreneurs in the area?
Acquisition of capital is probably the No. 1 most challenging issue facing startups in the area. The community has done a really good job of highlighting some of the bigger names in local investment, but that is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.
How do we get below the water line? Additionally, there are way more companies needing capital than investors, and that breeds deal partiality.
What is some advice for people who want to start a company?
Seek out help. I have found that people are generally willing to have open discussions with you about a variety of business-related topics if you just ask nicely. The key in those situation is to not push product, but rather reach out for advice. Be dedicated and stay vigilant — there will be ups and downs. It is not all about the money. If you are not passionate about the business, don’t even think about starting it.
What’s the most interesting question a potential investor has ever asked you?
What is your plan? Not what is the business plan, but where do I see myself personally in 10 years. I think the key here was that the potential investor was interested in my personal goals because he knew that it would affect the business in the long run.
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