Eberly Alumnus Shares Entrepreneurial Experiences

Posted on 4/10/2015 3:06:30 PM

Michael Molli '91 visits with Eberly College students to share his entrepreneurial experiences.Eberly College of Business alumnus Michael Molli ’91 returned to IUP to visit professor John Lipinski’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship class on April 7, 2015.

Molli is an experienced entrepreneur and an active angel investor. He shared his insights on what it takes to successfully network, build your personal brand, and leverage that effort into both professional and personal opportunities. 

Molli spoke about early missteps that he made in his career and how he leveraged the lessons from those early mistakes into future opportunities. Along his career path, he discussed the importance of doing a solid job with great integrity. Putting forth hard work and conducting yourself with dignity and integrity always pays off in the long run. 

In building his network, he commented on how critical it is for people to go outside of their comfort zone and work to build relationships. A strong network is critical if one wants to become a successful entrepreneur, and maintaining that network is predicated on the elements of building a strong personal brand. 

“Mr. Molli has taught me that if you give an honest effort, are personable, and work hard, people will recognize you and your work. Then, in return, they will reach out and try to help you and boost your success” said Francesca Ritchie, a student in Lipinski’s class.

Molli’s visit to campus also included a session with the students working in the Small Business Development Center. He had the opportunity to sit down with 15 students and share his thoughts on what it takes to succeed in the business world. He also shared tips. 

“It was great to interact and really get to learn from him,” said Ashley Ford, a SBDC intern and student of professor Lipinski. “It was a great experience. He had such wonderful insight on business and great advice for passionate upcoming business professionals. One aspect of his presentation I really enjoyed was when he talked about times he didn't make the best business decisions (in terms of investments), and that was very respectable. It is hard for anyone to admit when they made a bad business decision, but he came by it honestly, and stressed the importance of learning from mistakes. When he visited the SBDC, everyone was captivated by his interesting background and experience, especially that he was an entrepreneur and worked on business plans and with start-up companies just as we are trying to do. He had a wonderful message… DO IT, as he would say, ‘just show up’, go, and make the most out of it.”

It was a wonderful welcoming Molli back to campus.  He commented that he was looking forward to his next visit. Without a doubt, it will be a rewarding visit.

—John Lipinski

Eberly College of Business and Information Technology