“Yes, it’s an interesting story and I don’t have a linear journey for my job,” said Petersen. “Ocean Spray reached out and hooked up with me to help them get CarryOn on the market and get it out and try to see where they can get it. It grew out of something called the Lighthouse Incubator and I found the concept really fascinating. “
Petersen described the program as a happy medium between a real startup and a company innovation. He said it allows him to focus on growing the brand with financial support, experts, research and development and all the other benefits the beverage giant has to offer.
“We can rely on Ocean Spray’s experts in beverage development, research and development, sales and all the infrastructure that Ocean Spray has built over the past 90 years. But even as a start-up founder, I have enough rope where I don’t have to bring every little detail back from the company myself. So it’s a wonderful kind of middle ground between the two. “
In addition to CarryOn, Petersen is both Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Cincinnati and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the 1819 Venture Lab. He said that to be a successful entrepreneur, simplicity is key.
“I think we live in a culture today that many of our celebrities grew up in … like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Athletes were the idea of celebrity and we now live in this interesting time when athletes are certainly celebrities and pop stars, but also really successful entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk are the people we usually hear so much about in the news and I think that can lead to people becoming interested in becoming entrepreneurs, “said Petersen. “So I would advise people to really break free of the idea that to be a successful entrepreneur you have to be a unicorn company or a billionaire.”
To hear the rest of Petersen’s advice for entrepreneurs, listen to NutraCast.
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NutraCast is a podcast that focuses on insights from the food industry. It is a production of NutraIngredients-USA. Music by Kevin Macleod.