If someone told us to listen to business insights from a former game show contestant back in the day when The Price is Right was the closest thing to a televised business competition, we would have laughed in their face. Since then The Apprentice has attracted many ambitious young professionals to do battle for a spot in the Trump Organization. The winners have all been entrepreneurs, and Kelly’s resume has the word ‘founder’ repeated more than enough times to qualify him as a serial entrepreneur. Kelly is the winner of The Apprentice 2 and is seven weeks into his apprenticeship with the Trump Organization.
1:10 Career beginnings in the Army
- Went to West Point.
- Signed up for the Army at age 17 1/2.
3:25 Getting an MBA/JD
4:15 First venture
- ImageTel International, Inc.
- Raised half million in venture capital while in school.
- ‘I can attribute a number of my successes to the training I received’ in the Army.
6:30 Worked at Deloitte Consulting (then called Braxton Group)
- ‘I was always the one at the company meetings with my hand up asking when we were going to do profit sharing.’
8:30 Worked at eteamz
- Won business plan competition at UCLA.
- Raised about $1 million from the Tech Coast Angels.
- Raised about $4 million more from venture capitalists.
- ‘The only two sports sites that had more than we did were CBS SportsLine and ESPN.’
- Got acquired by Active.com.
- ‘You can have the best idea in the world, and a fantastic team assigned to you ‘ and I do believe that you make your own luck ‘ but market timing really is very important.’
12:25 If you were filmed while you were working on all these entrepreneurial ventures, would you come off the way that you did on The Apprentice?
- ‘I guess it depends who’s editing it… just kidding.’
- ‘I could see a little bit of myself and my past in each of the other candidates: Raj‘s wanting to be the center of attention. Andy‘s creativity in coming up with ideas. John‘s passion for stuff. Kevin‘s work ethic.’
- ‘I understand that decisions have to be made with imperfect information.’
- ‘I trust my gut a lot more then I used to.’
- ‘You know when you know.’
- ‘At eteamz we kept one of those spin dials on the wall that would either be a smiley face or frowney face.’
16:35 Pre-Apprentice enterprises
- Started MotorPride by bootstrapping.
- CEO of CoreObjects that built software for software companies.
- ‘Seven or eight years ago venture capitalists wouldn’t give you money if you were developing your software offshore because they were concerned about the intellectual property. Now they require it.’
- ‘CoreObjects took advantage of that.’
19:00 Risk of appearing on The Apprentice
21:00 Appearing on The Apprentice
- Being an entrepreneur ‘helped us [Bill Rancic and I] to excel in the different tasks.’
- ‘I did not attempt to be entertaining.’
24:00 The technology industry vs. real estate
- ‘I am definitely going to be spending a lot more time in real estate.’
24:40 Trump projects
- 40 Wall Street
- Trump Tower Tampa
- Trump Ice – ‘It’s the best water ever!’
- ‘The buck stops with me on Trump Ice.’
- ‘I haven’t had to fire anyone yet.’
26:55 Business vs. entertainment
- On Trump’s firing style: ‘That’s for the cameras and that’s a big part of the show.’
27:30 On New York
- ‘New York is the center of the business universe.’
28:00 Trump Organization
- ‘I think that sometime down the road Mr. Trump and I’ll be working on stuff together.’
29:00 What’s next?
- Proposals can be sent to Kelly’s official Web site.
- Contact may be made through Kelly’s LinkedIn profile.
30:30 Book deal
- Deal with Regnery Publishing.
32:40 Apprentice’s impact on America
- ‘The Apprentice allows for Monday morning quarterbacking for business.’
36:20 To do list for today
36:45 The future