Name: Steven Knight
Alma Mater: Virginia State University
Business Name & Description: The Steven Knight Show – An internet-based radio talk show that covers the latest in entertainment news, sports, fashion, music, and movie reviews.
What year did you found your company? 2011
What has been the most exciting and/or fearful moment during your HBCUpreneur career? In the early days of the show, not knowing if I would attract enough listeners to support the show.
What made you want to start your own company? I was asked to do it based on my Facebook page. Initially, I turned down the offer but after considering the exposure for my own music and the opportunity to interview interesting people, I thought it was a good idea.
Who was the most influential person/people for you during your time in college? I had some great professors who led by example, but the most influential people were some of the students I had the opportunity to meet. Their diverse backgrounds, goals, and things they accomplished just while we were in school impacted me in ways they probably never knew.
How do you handle complex problems? Well initially I pray for clarity, then do my research and consult with people within the same industry.
What is something you wish you had known prior to starting your company? How to get sponsors early on. That would have been very helpful.
What do you believe HBCUs can do to spur more innovation and entrepreneurship while their students are in school either as undergraduate or graduate students? I think the biggest thing is to support past graduates and influence them to mentor and be supportive of current students. If they can build those relationships it could be instrumental in the success of the school and past and present students.
How do you deal with rejection? In this field it is common. It’s really a numbers game. For every five people who reject you, one major guest is interested in being on your show. So it doesn’t bother me.
When you have down time how do you like to spend it? I don’t get much down time between my show, music, and working full time. I make time to workout most days of the week and there are certain days I will take off for a mental break.
What was your most memorable HBCU memory? Graduation day. I had a friend and we were really close for years, but we had a falling out and were not on speaking terms. The morning of graduation, he came over to my house and we had a chance to talk and relive the last four years. It really left everything on a good note. Plus, the accomplishment of completing school with people you went through so much with. That was a good day.
In leaving is there any advice you have for budding HBCUpreneurs? My advice would be that hard work really pays off. Even if the dream is never realized, something really great can really come from your hard work. I know that first hand.