“Innovation, Access to capital and resources, Talent, Ideas, Creativity, Openness and Inclusion are the necessary ingredients for building sustainable and impactful Entrepreneurial Ecosystems,” says Tyler LeCompte, Founder of The Road Trep. As LeCompte shared, The Road Trep is a culmination of 15 years of working and networking in the Daytona Beach area and throughout Florida. From involvement in local chambers to launching a Young Professionals Group and eventually organizing 1 Million Cups Daytona Beach, LeCompte is an ecosystem builder looking to connect the makers, doers and builders of entrepreneurial America.
“I’ve been in Daytona Beach since 2001,” LeCompte said. “Prior to that, I was living in South Florida where I opened and managed several restaurants and bars. In addition I’ve opened and exited several professional services businesses, assisted in the launch of five software companies and three app companies. I’ve been an entrepreneur for much of my professional life. My personal experiences and, more significantly, my involvement with 1 Million Cups community is what really sparked the whole idea for The Road Trep.”
According to LeCompte, The Road Trep is an entrepreneurial adventure based around connecting the people and places of entrepreneurial Florida and America. It’s a geo-flexible business model based around travel, storytelling and the great entrepreneurial adventure.
“When I was getting started as an entrepreneur, I wasn’t aware of the resources and people that are on the ground doing the work,” he said. “I want to share their story so others know where to get started. I’ve been working to develop the model and gain some market validation from local and national resource partners in the field. When it comes to The Road Trep, I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. I want to do what’s needed for the greater good.”
LeCompte’s plan is to start local, expand throughout Florida and then eventually take his concept nationwide. His goal is to work with national resource partners and foundations to highlight their organizations, programs and their people, while also helping to spread successful programs and concepts throughout the United States. He’ll offer professional consulting services, speaking services and other industry services based on his own professional experience.
While LeCompte has a good portion of the concept behind The Road Trep ironed out, he openly admits it’s still a work in progress. “There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the ecosystem building industry as a professional,” he shared. “Launching the nomadic portion of the The Road Trep business model will take some serious investment, including a vehicle, outfitting the vehicle and various operating expenses. I’ll look for resource partners and potential clients to help me further develop the model while sharing their message.”
Looking ahead, LeCompte is uncertain what the future holds. The Road Trep is an adventure, and the best adventures aren’t planned. LeCompte sees The Road Trep leading to a number of possible opportunities, from running a mobile digital agency to service the entrepreneurs he meets along the way to building vans for other nomadic entrepreneurs. Wherever The Road Trep leads, LeCompte, like all great entrepreneurs, is optimistic, open-minded and willing to embrace the entire experience.
What advice does LeCompte have for aspiring entrepreneurs? “Anyone considering their own business or entrepreneurial adventure, should work with as many local, state and government resource partners as possible. There are hundreds of programs and people looking to help you. In fact, it’s their job to help you. Getting help will save you time, money and your mind. Good places to start include the Small Business Development Center, SCORE Mentors, incubators and accelerators. Also, volunteer to support or start a local entrepreneurship group such as 1 Million Cups. It’s important to find your tribe! When it comes to the best advice I’ve received, aside from asking for help and saying thank you, someone once told me that you can have anything three ways: good, fast or cheap, but that you have to pick two.”