Trenton Hughes: Insights from a Serial Entrepreneur & Investor

Meet Trenton Hughes, a Visionary Entrepreneur and Community Builder

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Welcome to another intriguing session of BizStack’s Entrepreneur Spotlight, where we enjoy Trenton Hughes’ journey.

Trenton Hughes is a dynamic entrepreneur whose journey zigzags through founding companies, steering a customer experience organization to scaling new heights, and leading innovative ventures to enrich the entrepreneurial community.

Let’s find out more about his journey and the insights he can share with fellow entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.

From Founder to Venture Studio Managing Partner

Trenton introduces himself as a 2x founder turned investor. He is currently the managing partner at Unfounded Ventures, a venture studio birthing new startups, and TRIBE – their first startup, which serves as a peer community for early-stage founders.

His journey in the entrepreneurial arena includes significant roles, such as CXO of Helpware and CEO of Station Entertainment, showcasing a well-rounded leadership portfolio.

Creating Impact through TRIBE and Unfounded Ventures

At the core of his current undertakings, Unfounded Ventures operates as a holding company and venture studio, launching startups such as TRIBE, designed to be a modern take on elite founder communities like Hampton, EO, or Vistage.

TRIBE, positioned in the community niche, focuses specifically on founders and entrepreneurs, while Unfounded Ventures delves into venture capital.

Sharing insights into the operation and vision of these ventures, Trenton emphasizes the differentiation of roles among co-founders, ensuring clear-cut responsibilities that range from vision and culture to operations, sales, and marketing.

Trenton Hughes
Trenton Hughes – Investor & Managing Partner @ Unfounded Ventures

With less than ten employees, these ventures navigate the industry with a subscription-based business model funded through a mix of venture capital and self-funding mechanisms.

A Week in the Life of Trenton Hughes

Efficiency is at the heart of Trenton’s entrepreneurial ethos. His week is a blend of writing content, deep work, networking, advisory calls, and tactical efforts to bring companies to market.

Trenton highlights the importance of project management and daily operations tools and mentions the pivotal role of G Suite and ClickUp in their ventures.

Key Success Strategies

When asked about the strategies that have propelled the growth of his businesses, Trenton points to the power of experience, reviews, and referrals. He shares,

  • Experience: “Helpware grew to over 1,000 employees through an amazing experience, both on the employee and client front,” he notes.
  • Reviews and referrals: “Station Entertainment grew fast as well, all largely due to an amazing client experience and reputation.”

Such insights underscore the impact of exceptional experiences on a company’s growth trajectory.

Overcoming Challenges and Celebrating Milestones

Entrepreneurial journeys are fraught with challenges, and Trenton’s story is no exception.

He candidly shares the emotional and physical tolls his journey has taken, including reaching rock bottom with stress.

His overcoming strategy? A profound realignment with his core values and what truly mattered in his life, emphasizing family, community, authenticity, self-improvement, and fun.

On achievements, Trenton reflects on the milestone of reaching 1,000 employees at Helpware, an accomplishment that stands out as a testament to their impactful work and community influence.

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Trenton’s advice to budding entrepreneurs is heartfelt and practical:

“Build a company that is intrinsic to you… Find a mission that solves a problem you have experienced. Then build your values into that company’s day to day. That’s a winning combo.”

Trenton Hughes

Trenton Hughes’s Lightning Round

In this lightning round, I asked Trenton Hughes to answer 13 rapid-fire questions:

What’s something that’s in your pocket right now, besides your phone?

airpods

Artificial intelligence: hope or dread?

dread

Your favorite place to think big?

The beach- at night

If you were out of business tomorrow, what job would you pursue?

lawn mowing

One object from your childhood you could never throw away?

I am the worst at this. I throw everything away because I don’t like clutter haha

One feature you wish your phone had?

To become a dumbphone. I want less internet time

Your favorite mobile app?

Spotify

The book that most influenced you?

The Science of Getting Rich

Messy desk or clean desk?

Clean

One thing you always have in your fridge?

BBQ sauce

The most creative measure of success you’ve set for a team?

CSAT by far

Your favorite time-saving hack?

Time blocking business and personal life

Best movie ever?

About Time

Join the Tribe

As our conversation ends, Trenton invites readers looking for a vibrant peer group of founders and entrepreneurs to explore TRIBE. Check out TRIBE to dive into a community where growth, inspiration, and support flow freely amongst its members.

Follow Trenton’s journey and connect with him through the UnFOUNDED website and Twitter at @trentjhughes. Also, learn more about TRIBE and Unfounded Ventures through their LinkedIn company page.

Trenton Hughes’s entrepreneurial path exhibits a blend of innovation, persistence, and a deep commitment to building communities that support and uplift budding entrepreneurs. It’s a journey that not only spells success in the traditional sense but also reflects a profound understanding of the real impact businesses can have on people’s lives.

Stay tuned to BizStack’s Entrepreneur Spotlight series for more enlightening conversations with dynamic entrepreneurs like Trenton. Together, we continue to explore the vast terrains of entrepreneurship, gathering insights, inspiration, and practical advice to fuel your business dreams.


Special thanks to Startup Shinobi for introducing us to Trenton Hughes.

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We will be happy to hear your thoughts
  1. “Find a mission that solves a problem you have experienced. Then build your values into that company’s day to day.”

    I love this. At some point we’ve all seen new companies that solve a problem we have complained about in the past and they end up becoming incredibly successful at it simply because they took action.

  2. Definitely, Sergio!

    I experienced this first hand. I have been trying to work only remotely. It took me 5 years to achieve my goal. I joined communities, applied for hundreds of jobs and gigs, and finally landed my full time remote job in 2020.

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