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J. Michael Cline, founder of Fandango, shares the keys to entrepreneurship

Featured Events | Apr 24, 2018 |

If you’ve ever found yourself thinking, “this is the best idea ever,” you’re not alone. In fact, that’s the first point along “the emotional journey of creating something great,” according to J. Michael Cline, founder of Fandango and multiple other businesses, including Exult, Xchanging, Accretive Health, and Accolade.

Speaking at the Gabelli School’s Lincoln Center campus as part of the Gabelli School Speaker Series, Cline explained what he’s found to be the major milestones that occur over the course of starting a new venture.

What happens after that first spark of an idea?

The line on Cline’s chart mapping out the entrepreneurial journey doesn’t immediately shoot upward. Instead, the path looks more like an inverted bell curve, swooping down for quite some time before slowly creeping back up until the idea becomes something the creator is proud of creating. As a serial entrepreneur, Cline has experienced this journey many times.

Below, Fordham students share their biggest takeaways from the discussion about what it takes to create something new.

“Mr. Cline helped me learn the importance of building a strong team from the onset.” —David Cevallo, Gabelli MBA ’19

“I was able to relate to Cline’s experience with teamwork, because it is such an important part of [the Gabelli School’s] curriculum.” —Lauren Piccolini, Gabelli BS ’19

“It’s been made clear that trust is very important—you need to work with people you trust, so they’re willing to take risks and work with you.” —Percy Wu, FCLC ’21

“It was great to see Mr. Cline’s perspective as a serial entrepreneur and understand the emotional roller coaster behind creating anything great. When you get in a ‘swamp of despair,’ which happens with any great project, it is important to stay focused, driven, and persistent.” —Zach Zimmerman, Gabelli BS ’19

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