Keynote Speaker: Jim Beach

Keynote Speaker: Jim Beach

Keynote Speaker: Jim Beach

Radio host and author of “School for Startups”

Radio host and author of “School for Startups”

Jim Beach’s first book, School for Startups, was published by McGraw-Hill in June 2011 and reached as high as number 9 on Amazon’s business section. Jim has started businesses and has taught entrepreneurship around the world and he recently won the Small Business Administration Media Advocate Award for his terrestrial radio show.

Jim received his Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Hawaii and Japan-America Institute of Management Science of Tokyo, Japan in December 1992. He specialized in Japanese Financial Systems and was selected to receive the Fujitsu Foundation for International Education Scholarship, was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, and also was awarded Highest Honors. He worked for the Japanese government trade promotion office (JETRO) where he helped American companies export to Japan and for The Coca-Cola Company, both in Japan and in the United States.

At the age of 25, Jim founded American Computer Experience. From 1993 to 2000, Jim grew the company, with no capital infusion, to $12 million in annual revenue and to over 60 permanent and 700 temporary employees, operating in 39 states and in three countries. With locations at MIT, Stanford, UCLA, Georgetown, and other exclusive universities, the company was the world’s largest technology training company for children, and enjoyed corporate tie-ins with Microsoft, Intel, Lego, NASA, and many others. In 2000, Jim closed two rounds of venture funding, one for $2.4 million and another for $6.4 million. The Atlanta Business Chronicle recognized the company as one of the fastest growing companies in Georgia for both 1999 and 2000. In 2001, Jim was selected as one of the “Forty under Forty” most influential citizens by Georgia Trend magazine. He appeared on NPR, MBNBC, CNN, and in the New York Times, Wired, and Entrepreneur Magazine as an expert on technology and education.

In 2001, Jim joined the Institute of International Business at Georgia State University. He taught international entrepreneurship, with a focus on risk avoidance, creativity, and internet marketing skills. Jim was the highest-ranked professor in the Business College for 12 straight semesters (of 600 professors), was named Study Abroad Director of the Year for the State of Georgia, and was invited to lecture at universities around the U.S.

In 2002, Jim started his first import/export firm, called Timeless Chair. The firm was the result of a bet he made with a class. The class got to choose the industry and country in which he must start a company, and he had three months to repay all startup capital and have positive cash flow. The class selected furniture and Pakistan. Jim, in response, took 100-year-old Kilim and Persian rugs and used them as the fabric for very high-end furniture. The firm was profitable by the end of the semester, winning the bet for Jim. Since then he has started a high-end designer leather clothing import firm from Argentina, a leather jacket and purse import firm, and several other import- or export-related businesses.

In 2009, Jim founded the School for Startups, a web resource devoted to teaching his philosophy of low-risk entrepreneurship. He believes that anyone can be an entrepreneur when they forget about risk, creativity, and passion. He has lectured on this topic around the world, most recently at the India Institute of Technology’s Entrepreneur Summit (IIT is the most exclusive university in the world). He is also Executive Director of a non-profit source on entrepreneurship for over 100 countries called www.InternationalEntrepreneurship.com.

After sending a proposal to just one publisher, McGraw-Hill agreed to publish Jim’s first book. Along with co-authors Chris Hanks (head of UGA Entrepreneurship program) and David Beasley (Atlanta Journal Constitution and Bloomberg reporter), Jim wrote School for Startups. It was published in the summer of 2011. Promoting the book, he has done over 150 radio interviews (without an agent), was featured in a UPS commercial, was referred to as the “Simon Cowell of small business” by CNN, and was excerpted by Entrepreneur Magazine and the Wall Street Journal India. The book reached #9 on Amazon’s business list, is 5-star rated, and still sells very well into its third year in print.

In 2012, Jim started two radio shows, one for restaurants called RestaurantOwnerRadio.com and one extending the School for Startups brand called SchoolforStartupsRadio.com. School for Startups Radio airs on 12 AM/Fm stations (Tampa, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Long Beach, Kansas City and other cities) and won the 2014 Small Business Administration Media Award.

Jim has been invited to present at or for Wells Fargo, Toshiba, UPS, SunTrust, Chick-fil-A and Edelman PR, in addition to countless Chambers and Universities. In the last five years, he has spoken in India, Japan, South Korea, Egypt, and Dubai. Jim can present on about 85 topics (he was a professor!), but some of the most popular are:

  • Riskless Entrepreneurship
  • Passionless Entrepreneurship
  • Zero-Creativity Entrepreneurship
  • Rock Stars in an Elevator: 14 songs that help create perfect elevator pitches”
  • Future of Oil Scarcity
  • Personality by Decision: Creating a new you

Jim has served on the selection committee for the Metro Atlanta Chamber Entrepreneur of the Year program for the last six years, and in July 2013, he was asked to join the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Induction Committee.

He lives in Atlanta, is married and has four children, ages 1, 5, 16, and 18.