Co-founder at RootNote
Office Hours: By appointment only
Areas of Expertise: Finance, Music
Jason is a Co-founder (and the older brother) at RootNote, a Nashville-based company that builds, supports, and invests in musician-owned companies. Prior to jumping into the world of music business entrepreneurship, Jason worked as a Fellow at Mustard Seed, a seed stage venture capital firm in London, and as a senior consultant at a Texas-based consultancy. From recording studios in Nairobi to 90’s rock bars in Moscow, Jason’s love of travel and music has taken him to over 45 countries and, finally, to Nashville where he and his brother Jeremy (co-founder number two), have teamed up to support the growing number of incredibly talented artists that lack the expertise, financing, and networks to reach their true potential. Jason holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and MSc in Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Q. What excites you most about the Wond’ry?
A. I love the concept of creating a new startup ecosystem here in Nashville and the Wond’ry is positioned in a very unique place to do that. Few schools have the ability to connect all of the nodes to one central innovation hub and I think that there is massive potential for what the Wond’ry could become.
Q. What do you feel are the most important skills you have to offer in your role as a mentor?
A. I have a pretty diverse professional / educational background that enables me to relate to students on a wide variety of topics, from going back to grad school, to starting a company. I also enjoy listening and thinking strategically about problems. In my opinion, the best mentor has a good ear, a few connections, and solid life experience.
Q. What has been your proudest moment in your career?
A. At the moment, making the plunge to start my own company is my proudest moment. I’ve had plenty of successes and failures in our early beginnings, of which none would have happened had I not taken the leap after grad school.
Q. What has surprised you most about your job?
A. I’ve been amazed at how receptive and supportive the Nashville community has been thus far. In a short amount of time, we’ve been able to work with and talk with some amazing music industry professionals and I don’t take that for granted. I’d like to be able to pay it forward.
Q. If you could do everything over again, would you make the same career choices?
A. Yes. If you would have asked me 10 years ago what I would be doing today, I’d have an entirely different answer. However, it’s been a very unique and interesting combination of career and life choices that have ultimately lead me to a place where I believe I can help inspire change at a global level in an industry that needs it.
Q. In your opinion, what is the most important quality for success?
A. I think that there are many factors that contribute to one’s success, but if I had to pick one, I’d say that persistence is an important quality. Life is hard and we’re all going to have our battles. I’ve noticed that the people who can get up after getting knocked down and keep going are the ones that seem to find long-term success.
Q. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A. An engineer (after I realized that I’d have to figure out a way to grow a few more inches to be the NFL superstar I hoped to be)