Jaclyn Baumgarten, CEO of Boatsetter, on How to be a Successful Entrepreneur


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On this episode of Unconventional Genius, Jaclyn Baumgarten, CEO of Boatsetter, a peer-to-peer platform for boat rentals, shares advice on how to be a successful entrepreneur. Boatsetter is the #1 boat sharing community and leader in the boat sharing industry. During this episode, you will hear Jaclyn tell me about how she led the company to become a provider of over 4000 boats in 2500 locations.

Before starting Boatsetter, Jaclyn Baumgarten did everything from launching new divisions in Fortune 500 corporations that grew to over a billion dollars, to spearheading one of the largest commercial real estate developments in Los Angeles. Along the way, she has learned a lot about how to lead and grow a technology company. Listen to this episode to hear more about Jaclyn and to gain insight from her experience.

Turn a challenge into an opportunity

Jaclyn Baumgarten started Boatsetter out of a love for boating and a desire to earn money for herself instead of for someone else. Investing your time and energy into something that you are passionate about can give you the motivation to press on even through the most difficult situations. Jaclyn shares about some really large hurdles she had to jump over in order to make her idea a reality.

One of the biggest challenges to starting Boatsetter was solving the insurance problem. Under traditional recreational insurance policies, boat owners can’t rent or charter their boats. Rather than letting that be a setback, Jaclyn faced the challenge head-on and worked with insurance companies to develop a new kind of policy that would allow for peer-to-peer sharing.

Growing a company into both a locally and internationally recognized brand

After determining the legitimacy of the idea, the next step for Jaclyn was to understand market potential and secure funding from investors. While there was already a value proposition in place, the operational side wasn’t solidified. Jaclyn explains how being diligent in learning as much as you can while remaining flexible enough to make necessary changes can help you become a successful entrepreneur.

Boatsetter’s model was proven in South Florida, but now has expanded all over the country and internationally as well. There is also great potential for continued growth by tapping into the 13 million privately owned boats in the United States alone. Regarding growth, Jaclyn says, “With any marketplace, it is essential to maintain the equilibrium between supply and demand.”

How to be a successful entrepreneur by creating a compelling culture

One of the major reasons Jaclyn Baumgarten says she decided to start her own business was the opportunity to develop her own company culture. Engrained in the DNA of Boatsetter is a culture where people feel valued and are expected to contribute in meaningful ways. Jaclyn talks about the importance of having alignment of vision and communication within the organization.

There are several ways that the culture of Boatsetter is maintained. There are incentives given to employees who execute above and beyond the set expectations. There is also built in opportunity for honest and constructive feedback. Jaclyn shares with me her views on culture and how she continues to monitor it at Boatsetter during this insightful conversation.

3 keys to being a successful entrepreneur

So much of what is learned in business comes from making mistakes. Though they often seem like setbacks, often mistakes can open the door for greater understanding that can help you become a successful entrepreneur. Hard work and determination can help counter the inevitable missteps that you will make while trying to get a startup off the ground.

From being in business and management to now starting a successful tech company, Jaclyn has learned several keys to success. She has especially pertinent advice to entrepreneurs looking to start or lead their own companies. During our conversation, she gives 3 keys to success. Hear those and much more on this episode of Unconventional Genius.

If you are with a consumer technology company planning to launch a new product at CES or are even looking ahead to CES 2019, the Max Borges Agency can help you succeed. To learn more, check out: www.maxborgesagency.com.

Topics Featured In This Episode

  • [2:08] Introduction of guest Jaclyn Baumgarten, CEO of Boatsetter, a peer to peer boat sharing platform
  • [2:41] How Boatsetter works and how it affordably exposes people to boating
  • [5:47] What led Jaclyn to start Boatsetter and how she changed recreational insurance
  • [8:10] The challenges of starting the company and how Jaclyn overcame them
  • [13:28] Surprising lessons that have shaped the business model of Boatsetter
  • [16:04] The growth and trajectory of Boatsetter based on the success in South Florida
  • [20:26] Jaclyn's entrepreneurial spirit is not only inherited but also fostered through education and experience
  • [24:05] How culture is instilled and how to remain unified around that culture
  • [32:28] Advice that has guided Jaclyn as she leads Boatsetter
  • [34:26] 3 Keys to being a successful entrepreneur

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