The other thing that emboldened me to pursue this and decline graduate school was that I had come across Top Gun, I had come across the Maine SBDC. Because in November 2012 when I made the decision to pursue Blue Ox Malthouse in earnest, or with more energy and intention, I started talking to craft brewers, to people in agriculture, to farmers. I talked to business owners, too. I started doing a survey of the resources available, and through the Maine SBDC I was encouraged to apply for the TechStart grant from MTI and then I got plugged into the really strong network of Blackstone Accelerates Growth, the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and that whole community. The other resource I took advantage of, and which provided emotional support and served as a connector, was Slow Money Maine. I had one tremendously amazing early partner named Steve Culver, who I met through the Slow Money Maine network.
That network of people gave me the confidence in the idea and the confidence that there was a support network out there that could help me realize it. And that was tremendous.
Read the entire interview with Joel here!