A Conversation with Entrepreneur & Tech Newcomer: Matthew Solomon

Simply Thriving Lifestyle Series
 
 For the second feature in our Simply Thriving Lifestyle Series, we decided to reach out and interview Matthew Solomon. Not only is he a Florida State University graduate, but he's a motivated entrepreneur who managed to start two successful businesses while still in school. Running two companies is a recipe for busy days and long nights, but despite his hectic schedule, Solomon still took the time to thoughtfully answer our questions and describe to us what it takes to thrive. 
  • What’s your name?
    • Matthew Solomon
  • What do you do/what is the business that you own?
    • I own two businesses. The first is a company called The Collegiate Lineup. We custom manufacture Greek apparel and other lifestyle shirts. I started it while I was a junior in college as a way to make some extra money. Four years later the company now works with about 50 organizations nationwide and it has allowed me to start a technology company called Hummingbiird - College Services. This is an on demand service platform that allows safe, transparent interactions for everyday problems college students have. The inspiration for this came while I was in college and had a hard time finding someone to assist me with everyday tasks. The company so far has won multiple awards and grants from the likes of IBM, FSU, and more.
  • What were some milestone moments in getting to where you are today?
    • Some notable milestones I like to look back on is when I graduated from Florida State, and when I launched Hummingbiird. Starting a technology company was always a dream of mine, as I find it fascinating how technology is able to affect so many lives for the better. Some other more recent moments was when Hummingbiird was selected as one of the final grant winners from Florida State and also being selected as a finalist in a competition that we are presenting at next week about how we redefine the way we identify ourselves online.
  • What does a typical day look like for you (if there’s such thing as “typical”)?
    • I wouldn’t say any day for me is the same, although I do have some routines. I wake up at 5:30 A.M. for the gym and to take my dog on a morning run. I am usually working by 7:00. The typical work day changes between running everyday operations and having meetings. At night I enjoy taking the time to relax by watching sports, playing with my dog, and reading.
  • What made you want to start your business?
    • I wouldn’t say anything made me want to start a business, it was something that just happened. Although it is very strenuous at times, seeing the progression over the months and years make everything worth it.
  • What makes you thrive in general (i.e., family, friends, lovers, hobbies, etc.) or what continually inspires you to keep going?
    • My family and friends. They are constantly pushing me to be my best self and give me the motivation to continue to work. And my dog. Can’t forget about Brady!
  • What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
    • From a business standpoint, [it] was when I was able to hire my first employee with The Collegiate Lineup. That was when I first realized all the progress that was achieved. With Hummingbiird it was when the first worker made $2000 in just one semester of working on the platform, that is when I realized how many people we could help as we continue to grow.
  • How would you describe your personal style? Does it align with your professional style? 
    • I am not a huge fan of the professional look. I think you should dress how you are. You’re not going to act a different way then you actually are, so why be forced to dress that way? Although at times, for fancier events, it does feel nice to dress up, especially when it is not part of your everyday wardrobe.
  • What/who inspires you to dress?
    • I honestly have multiple wardrobes. Everyday I love the athleisure look. It’s simple and comfortable. On weeks I want to be a bit more trendy, I go with a pair of slightly ripped jeans and a complimenting shirt. I get inspiration from streetwear brands I follow online.
  • You’re on a hypothetical first date, what are you wearing?
    • I would wear a plain shirt and nice pants, don't want to get too fancy on the first date!
  • What drew you most to the Simply Thriving Brand?
    • To start, I love the concept of space. It is extremely unknown and so fascinating to hear about. I also love the company brand of what they stand for– to be your best self.
  • What are some professional dreams that you're pushing for this year?
    • This year I really want Hummingbiird to excel. We just ended a concentrated beta launch and are rapidly preparing to expand to other colleges nationwide. I am hoping to expand to all Florida colleges and see how many students we can help with their everyday problems.
  • Does the unknown scare you? Why or why not?
    • I actually enjoy the unknown, it makes life interesting. I guess that is partly why I like having my own business. Although there are some routine aspects in life, it’s nice to constantly have a change of pace and tackle new problems. I think it’s good for people to get out of their comfort zone.

 

   Based on his success thus far, it's safe to assume that the world is Solomon's oyster. Whether it be designing t-shirts or assisting fellow college students, this Astroguy doesn't seem to be quitting the entrepreneurial game anytime soon. Instead, he's confidently headed towards the unknown and consequently inspiring us along the way. 

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