When other NC State students were preparing for their first job interviews after graduation in December 2003, Sherard Griffin ’03 didn’t have to look far. He planned to be his own boss.
After majoring in computer science and minoring in music, he was busy starting his first business. AvanGuard Solutions, a company of four, focused on mobile technology and consulting.
But Griffin had no one to guide him. And that lack of a mentor and AvanGuard’s failure have pushed the entrepreneur to start a new business. NoodleShare fully launched on the Internet last week.
“This came out of a struggle I had,” Griffin says. At AvanGuard he made rookie business mistakes like assembling a team of partners who only had technical know-how, but no marketing experience. “With this one, I just want to make sure people have a place to go.”
NoodleShare will house an online community in which people can present innovative ideas for businesses or products. “We want to start with the inception of the idea and let the community give you feedback on the idea and incubate it,” he says. Then, Griffin and his team will link those people with business partners who can turn the idea into a commodity. “It can be a grandmother who has thought of a new utensil. She can post her idea and look for someone to fund and develop it.”
Griffin and his partners will also hold meetings with local businesses to imbue a sense of entrepreneurship in the Triangle and to teach others from the mistakes that have taught him to revise his approach.
“Four technical people are not good at selling products,” Griffin says. “This time we did the opposite. We have one technical person, and everyone else is in marketing strategy.”