Entrepreneur Daymond John speaks at first American Dreams Academy Summit

John relayed his experiences and advice to student entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur Daymond John speaks at first American Dreams Academy Summit

Daymond John speaks at an event separate from American University.

Businessman and entrepreneur Daymond John spoke at the Home Shopping Network American Dreams Academy, a two day summit for emerging entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses, held at American University.

The Nov. 16 event was the first American Dreams Academy that HSN has hosted. The summit included 140 participants who came together for training seminars focused on educating entrepreneurs and small business owners from the East Coast. The Academy focused on branding, entrepreneurial strategy, business regulations and more.

For John, speaking at events such as these is nothing new. He said in an interview with the The Eagle that he strives to empower other entrepreneurs and inspire them to expand their businesses. John has also been on the cast of Shark Tank, an ABC show where people can pitch their business ideas to investors. Since 2009, John has invested over $7 million in businesses pitched to him on the show.

“It’s something that I absolutely love doing. I have a great relationship with HSN and I know that they have an agenda to empower more and more people with the American Dream series, so I wanted to be part of it any way that I could,” John said.

John also spoke to The Eagle about his experiences and what hopeful student entrepreneurs can do to jumpstart their careers. 

“[Being at a university] gives you access to people to get real life experience and then marry it with what the professors are teaching you,” John said. “Get as much knowledge as you can, and don’t think you know it all because I’m still learning.”

Becoming a successful entrepreneur is not something that can happen quickly, but students have an advantage because they are able to learn the fundamentals at a university, John said.

John has also worked with programs such as My Brother’s Keeper and served as an Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship under President Barack Obama. Through these positions, he has educated others, especially those from low-income and minority backgrounds, about starting a business and giving back to their communities. John said he hopes to continue his work to empower entrepreneurs, and wants to be an example for others that they too can become successful businesspeople.

“I want people to be able to use me and say if he can do it, trust me, I can do it,” John said. “Everyone else out there is trying to paint the picture that they overcame so many big obstacles when people do it every single day.”


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