The original Emcee of Make48 will be serving as the Emcee of two of our city series events this year. “There’s so much I look forward to”, Sean said. “It is such a pleasure to meet the team members and to see them push themselves at a level they would never consider on their own. With the clock always ticking it brings a special level of focus and intensity.”
We first met Sean at the Inventors Center of Kansas City (ICKC), where he served as CEO for 4 years. ICKC is a 501C3 organization created to assist inventors and entrepreneurs to bring their products profitably to market. Sean assumed an active role with ICKC after attending his first meeting as a guest. “While meeting with a client in my advisory practice she told me I should check out ICKC. I asked some very pointed questions to the speaker that night. Afterwards, I was approached and asked to sit on the board. I did so for about a year.”
“Elections were held the next year while I was on vacation. Upon my return I asked the VP of ICKC how they had turned out. He laughed a bit and stated that I had been elected CEO! That was a position that didn’t even exist when I had left for vacation. I humbly accepted and am so grateful that I did. Though ICKC and Make48 I have created some incredible friendships. Folks like Tom, Curt, Rich, and Bobby. Make48 is also where I met my good friend Christopher Guerrera, a Make48 sponsor and supporter. We’ve done several events together and even vacationed together. It's been an amazing ride.”
While serving as CEO of ICKC, Sean saw the creation and launching of the first 48 hour inventors challenge now known as Make48. “At our very first event we had two speakers from the Smithsonian approach us stating that they would love to host a Make48 challenge at the Smithsonian in DC. Of course I thought they were kidding.”
“A couple of months later the director of the Smithsonian Affiliations reached back out stating that they had a time slotted for us.” Sean again served as emcee for Make48 when they held the competition at the Lemelson Center for the study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington DC, in 2016. “It was unreal to be there speaking on stage at the Smithsonian, truly remarkable.” The Smithsonian event was filmed to create a sizzle reel and explore the possibility of securing a television partnership. The end result being a partnership with APT/PBS.
As a graduate of McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin Texas, Sean has worked within the financial industry for the past 32 years. “I’ve been a hustler since I was a kid. By the time I was 16 I had a business generating profits overseeing employees.”
When Sean was 22 at the U. of Texas he met a gentleman that would become his mentor and change his life.
“At school I met a guy named Tim Harper. I came to his investment seminars eight weeks in a row trying desperately to convince him to hire me. He told me to just stay focused on school but I didn’t listen to him. He was wealthy and I wanted to learn how to achieve the same. He finally took me under his wing. Due to his coaching I was a VP running operations within 18 months. He was incredible.”
The Kansas entrepreneur has served as a mentor at the University of Missouri Kansas City; The Bloch School of Business E-Scholars. Its program challenges students to create and develop a sustainable venture within 9 months that can scale to 5 million within 5 years. Scholars have access to the most extensive network of mentors in Kansas City as well as their exceptional faculty. “I have given my contact information out at speaking engagements, but it’s so rare that anyone will give you a call. Just do it. It’s a great form of flattery and you have nothing to lose,” Sean explained. “Mentors won’t find you. You have to seek out the mentor.”
One thing he has learned is to hire good people. In 2016, Sean started a project in his investment advisory practice, an IT software called BDollar$mart. “BDollar$mart is an intuitive financial survey platform that we launched in 2020. Businesses from New York to California, and everywhere in-between have picked up on the platform. It’s a monthly subscription program and there’s nothing like it in the industry. I am not a programmer, but I do know how to hire exceptional people. The four years it took our team to build it didn’t feel like work. It was a blast to create.”
When I asked Sean to give me one of his most rewarding experiences, the serial entrepreneur made it personal. “My children. They are positive, productive, goal-oriented and respectful. I see how they treat other people and could not be more proud. I am blessed to have them in my life. They are by far my greatest reward.”
Sean most recently served as the emcee for the Make48 2020 season competition held at Union Station-Science City in Kansas City. With an extensive background in sales training, time management and public speaking, Sean Murphy is ready to hit the road with the first stop this June in Wichita! If you want to learn more about the Wichita event visit https://www.make48.com/wichita