Andrew Machota

St. Petersburg, Florida

New Town Connections
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Andrew Machota, founder of New Town Connections, conceived of the company's business model after learning that a larger number of people shared his experience of moving to a new city only to find it challenging to make new friends.

"I moved to Florida six years ago and through all the networking and activities I did, I saw that it was not easy to make friends," he said. "The first four years I was here I tried sports, networking, and volunteering and kept hearing the same story of people wanting a better way to meet people. Using my degree in Accounting and Finance, I wrote a business plan, quit my job and started the business."

New Town Connections is an exclusive social club that runs about eight events per month and is a membership-based organization that young professionals can join to connect with others in their community socially.

"We're different in that our group, events are curated," Machota explained. "We conduct video calls with potential members in our vetting process and through that we hear people's stories of who they are, what they do, and who they want to meet. That better helps us connect the members with each other. Our events are different every week and are more than just your standard happy hour at a bar. "

Machota is the author of Friend Request Accepted: Connecting in a Disconnected World. He recommends aspiring entrepreneurs read Pitch Anything and The E-Myth.

"It's really not about your passion; it's about your purpose," he said. "Think long and hard as to why you are here and what you should be doing with your life based on the gifts you have. Make sure you know the difference between your purpose and passion. Many people get confused and start businesses based on their passions, not their purpose. There's more to starting a business than turning your hobby into a full-time occupation. It has to be able to be sustainable for the long haul not just the near term."


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