Jacob Reisch’s BIO
Jacob Reisch is an undergraduate senior in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. In 2012, he founded Energy Corps at Cornell University, a student organization promoting energy conservation through the implementation of cost effective energy saving technology. He currently serves as an advisor to the group, which has grown to over 30 students, proposed projects to save over $216,000 and gained preliminary approval for a $1,000,000 revolving loan fund at Cornell University. In January of 2013, Jacob founded Party Headphones, a company specializing in renting and selling radio frequency wireless headphone systems. The company aims to be a leading provider of wireless headphones for tour guides, corporate conferences and silent discos across the country.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
1. Please share with us what prompted your creation of Party Headphones?
Jacob: Party Headphones is the result of an entrepreneurship class business plan, too much caffeine and my love for music. After presenting the company for an Entrepreneurship and Private Equity class in Cornell’s Johnson School of Management, I decided to spend the first few weeks of the summer seeing if it would actually work. I started by pitching the idea to potential customers and cold calling for feedback. 2 weeks later, I had dozens of positive responses, 3 events booked and zero headphones.
2. There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.
Jacob: At least 80% of my days are spent providing our team with feedback, answering questions and sending emails. It’s not very romantic.
3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?
Jacob: I can’t live without Asana. It’s the foundation to my personal life and my business’ organization. I also use the Way of Life app on my phone to help keep consistent with daily habits.
4. What are your tricks for time management?
Jacob: I recently started doing all core business work on Monday-Wednesday and all business development, client meetings and networking events on Thursday and Friday. I’ve found this to be a big help with planning out a busy week.
5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?
Jacob: Read the eMyth by Michael Gerber. Cover to cover. Twice. It changed the way I look at my business entirely.
6. Given the current economic climate, what has been your strategy for building awareness of Party Headphones? ( what you do for short term and long term growth)?
Jacob: In the short term, we do a lot of search engine optimization, search engine marketing and social media. These generate immediate traffic and sales. Our long-term strategies involve partnerships so we stay front and center for our niche.
7. What is your proudest achievement as an accomplished entrepreneur?
Jacob: My proudest moment was when we hired our first full time contractor for the team. This was mostly because it feels great being able to build a fun, positive work environment that emphasizes our company values. Hiring our first full time contractor marked the moment where we could really start spreading our businesses culture of positivity, simplicity and transparency.
8. How do you achieve balance in your life?
Jacob: I’ll take a pass at answering that question…
9. Your top 3 book recommendations?
1) Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky ;
2) eMyth by Michael Gerber ;
3) 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.
10. What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?
Jacob: Entrepreneurship for me started with charities. I captained a Relay for Life team in honor of a friend and we raised over $8000 with over 80 team members. My second semester at Cornell, a team of students and I founded an organization called Energy Corps at Cornell University. That group now has 30+ students making a big impact on campus. You can find more info on them at rso.cornell.edu/energycorps .
11. Who has influenced your career the most?
Jacob: Willie Rago influenced my career the most and is largely what motivates me to this day. Simply put, I wouldn’t be as educated, driven and understanding had I not known Willie.
12. What is your advice for someone interested in entrepreneurship?
Jacob: Buckle up for the ride, have a clear goal for where you are going, don’t be paranoid about someone stealing your ideas, add value to others wherever you can and choose your founders carefully.