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Entrepreneur, educator, advisor, investor, John Richards, Startup Ignition, Show 026

Entrepreneur, educator, advisor, investor

John Richards, Startup Ignition


John Richards
  is an entrepreneur, educator, advisor, investor, John Richards, startup ignition. He has also been described as a mentor, angel investor, tenacious, helps others succeed and a connector of people. In his home state of Utah he is known as the godfather of Utah’s startup scene.

Currently he is co-founder of Startup Ignition with his son Tyler.

In 1994 the early days of the internet John Richards took his and the print business online/with the Yellow Pages later Info Space purchased his online business and he continued to work at Info Space until 2001.

John became founder and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at Brigham Young University, At BYU he was a professor of entrepreneurship and pursued angel investing.

What we will learned on the show was how his company Startup Ignition teaches entrepreneurs what they need to know to launch their startup. Its an entrepreneurship bootcamp. How he works with his sons and backed his son Tyler’s business DevMountain which is a coding bootcamp.

Prior to startup ignition he was involved with boom startup which was a mentorship bootcamp.

Recently he left Google late last year heading up their Business Operations for Fiber which was Googles entry into Utah via the purchase of the iProvo fiber network.

We learned his secret for building networks – and how he helps provide other entrepreneurs that special connection to other people.

Some of the things that contributes most to his success: honesty, hard work ethic, tenacity and perseverence.

His advice to those startups in their first 30 days you need to first validate your idea. Validate your market for your business, pivot until you arrive at a place that you know when to launch your service or product and then take it to market.

We do a deep dive into his personal story where he tells us a little bit more about your background and how it ties in to how you are helping people today. John tells us about the mission and vision for Startup Ignition boot camp. We discuss the common set of problems that startups face and that startup ignition helps to resolve. He provides valuable advice to those in the middle of their career who want to startup a business and speaks directly to young college age students who can take the risk in starting something new. What are reoccurring themes aspiring entrepreneurs face and he summarizes them to help provide resources.

We also do a deep dive into what happens when you have several shareholders in the business or partners that raise issues of control and management before you even startup.

Other covered subjects in our interview:

What is the role in higher education for entrepreneurship – Bringham Young University

John raises the concept of the Lean Startup model – lean startup process and how that model helps angel investors find companies to invest.

We have talked about crowd funding and using Kickstart and Indiegogo to economically valide an idea. Why raising capital to early can actually hurt the entire entrepreneurial process.

What do you think are the most common mistakes other startups or entrepreneurs or students interested in business make that delay or prevent their success?

What do you mean that entrepreneurs are constantly on the lookout for pains and problems.

What is the role of formal education in entrepreneurship?

“The best, best thing that entrepreneurs get about attending a university is the collisions with other peers and likeminded people, where they can have their ideas, get together and merge ideas, form teams and do great things.”

Raises a story of one of his students at BYU, Garrett Gee who was the founder of Scan, a QR code-scanning mobile app and sold company to Snapchat for $54 million.

Fast Round 


1) Best business advice that you would place on a bill board.
Authenticate your business idea before you go full force and launch your product or service.

2) name a book that has helped you in either business family or life


John Mullins – The New Business Road Test – Before you even think about writing that business plan validate your idea first.

3) App that you use to help you in business, family or life

A group of Google employees left the company to form Asana.

4) A quote or mantra that you use to inspire and motivate

motto “learn, earn and return”

5) Less than $100 purchase that has impacted your life the most –

Ever Contact – integrates well with gmail and keeps track of all your contacts in one place.

6) Fun fact:

John is an avid pickle ball player.

7) Worse advice being given to young entrepreneurs today –

8) When you think of the word successful what first name comes to your mind

John Huntsman

How can people stay in contact with John:

Learn more about Startup Ignition bootcamp

Today’s show is sponsored by two sponsors:

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Mitchell Chadrow

Listenup Show - Startups Smarter Mitchell Chadrow talks with startups, entrepreneurs, business owners and others on building startups smarter several times a month! Why Listenup? Whether you’re a student, recent graduate, startup entrepreneur, career professional, an employee in transition or a successful business owner, or recent retiree, I want to help people just like you. I interview successful professionals, business leaders, entrepreneurs and find out the resources, tools, tactics, that they use to execute and implement their own personal and business goals. The guest's personal stories provide a roadmap of actionable and executable steps and a wealth of wisdom to help you achieve your own business, family, and life goals and dreams. These stories also provide solutions, practical advice and tips for everyday problems and issues.Startup now at

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