Ep 42: How to Build a Better Startup? The Covid Pivot, Turning Down Money, a Conversation with Ethan Glass

Ep 42: How to Build a Better Startup? The Covid Pivot, Turning Down Money, a Conversation with Ethan Glass

Another real conversation with a real entrepreneur, Ethan Glass. In this episode, Ethan shares his journey on what it takes to tackle industry and build a great business.  In that journey, Ethan has become nationally recognized serving as the chair for the 40Under40 National Parking Association board.

Ethan talks about his early days, just volunteering and couch surfing on a futon, to learn first-hand how the parking industry worked. With some trials and tribulation, he was building a good business, then Covid-19 hit and the parking industry retreated. Events were shut down; parking lots were empty. 

Naturally, we talk about the parking industry; we learn it’s not just about selling an empty parking space; it’s sales channels, competitors, marketing companies, technology,  new electric vehicle charging stations, and much more.  

Ethan also talks about the hard decisions and what it was like to decide to turn down lots of money from a buyout offer, to scale the business instead 

Ethan shares practical tips on:

  • How to be resilient and lean into your strengths
  • How to pivot – hint: talk to customers
  • Transitioning to the scaling stage with a North America rollout.
  • Building teams – learning about teams from being on a soccer team
  • What to do when someone offers to buy you out.
  • Building the right startup and long-term company culture.
  • Joining and leveraging a startup accelerator

About the Guest:

CEO and Co-Founder of ParkPlace now known as Ocra. Ethan graduated from Occidental College in 2019 with a degree in both Media Production and Economics. While at Occidental, he was a four-year collegiate athlete, co-captaining the soccer team and being recognized with conference honors. At Occidental, Ethan rebuilt and directed the entrepreneurship program. In doing so, he brought the program to profitability. From the age of 11, Ethan worked with his father in sales (selling everything from fabric to toilets). He ventured into the design and video production in high school where he began freelancing and project managing at a digital marketing firm. Ethan also learned UI/UX and sold his research to the largest online camera retailer. In September 2020, Ethan was named to the National Parking Association 40under40. In 2021, Ethan was asked to take over as the 40under40 Chair. 



About the Host:

Philip Topham is The Savvy Founder. Philip has an inquisitive mind and a passion for ideas. He’s impatient to see tomorrow’s future today. He helps technical founders build the business they want. He helps established businesses tap into their start-up founder to conquer a changing world.  With more than 25 years across start-ups and corporate roles, Philip has been everything from janitor to the Founder and Chief Everything Officer.

Words of Wisdom

  • Ideas are worthless; revenues are priceless; surround yourself with smart people.
  • Life is a journey – mole hills or mountains? it’s your choice.

Talk to The Savvy Founder:


Connect with The Savvy Founder:

Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/company/thesavvyfounder

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thesavvyfounder

Website – https://www.philiptopham.com


 “10 Most Fixable Pitch Deck Mistakes” https://pitchdeck.thesavvyfounder.com

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Working with Universities, Industry, and Students together we invest funding and resources in industry sectors that are key to America’s economic growth. The Kolena Group explores the equitable and meaningful work-based learning activities embedded in a students Orchastrated Career Transformation. This alignment ensures students graduate college and career ready to become entrepreneurs or business operators since they are so critical to the economic development as contributors to innovation and new job growth. The integrated programs of study below connect the dots between what students are learning and how they will use those skills in a future career.

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