Leaders and Influencers: An Interview with Forrest Woolworth

Co-founder of Madison’s Capital Entrepreneurs group and COO of mobile gaming company PerBlue, Forrest Woolworth is a “champion of all things entrepreneurial.” He chatted with us about what’s happening on Madison’s entrepreneurial scene, changes he’d like to see, and what’s most rewarding in his work.

Forrest Woolworth

Forrest Woolworth

Tell us about Capital Entrepreneurs.

Capital Entrepreneurs is a community group for Madison area entrepreneurs. We started the group back in 2009 to bring together the then fledgling entrepreneurial community. By connecting those entrepreneurs and forming the “social fabric” to tie them together, Capital Entrepreneurs established much of the foundation for the now burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem that has emerged over the last few years in Madison.

What’s the single most important change you’d like to see to encourage more innovation and entrepreneurship in our community?

The concept of “ownership” is extremely important. It’s a principal we use extensively at PerBlue, and relates to an individual taking initiative and responsibility to drive a specific task to completion or solve a specific problem. In order to innovate it’s critical to not only identify a problem (or opportunity), but to actually do something about it. If more people take that initiative to act on something they can improve (big or small), we’ll see more entrepreneurs and more innovation. This applies to tackling problems of all facets of society—not just technical or business challenges, but extending to social issues as well.

What book do you think every aspiring entrepreneur should read and why?

First, Break all the Rules. It’s a great book on building a team, which is critical for any startup. We base many of our management practices at PerBlue on principals from this book and have found them very effective.

What are you most excited about at Capital Entrepreneurs at the moment?

StartingBlock Madison is going to really take Madison’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to the next level. We’ve been working for over two years to bring this project to reality, and it’s now finally nearing fruition. StartingBlock will be a 50,000 sq. ft. entrepreneurial hub downtown that will house the Sector67 hackerspace, gener8tor startup accelerator, as well as provide coworking and workspaces for startups of all sizes. Construction on the project is anticipated to start later this year.

What do you find most interesting and rewarding in your position as COO at PerBlue?

Getting to build things. Whether that’s helping build a team, a product, or even an entire entrepreneurial community, I love being able to build new things. Seeing those things go on to achieve success and continue to grow is very rewarding.

 

Visit Fine Point Consulting for more information about the great tools and services we use to help start-ups like PerBlue succeed.