Calvin Hart graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach in December of 2004 with a Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems Engineering. He is currently the founder and CEO of Tent Limited.
How has your career progressed and changed since you graduated from Embry-Riddle?
I graduated with a Masters in Human Factors and Systems Engineering and I continued with this after I left but applied the same principles and learnings to the software industry followed by the financial industry. Moving from Florida to Silicon Valley, California then on to Hong Kong for 5 years and then to London where I opened up my own Digital Design studio. Its been recently nominated for a few awards including fastest growing start-up. In 9 months since starting this company, the team has grown from 3 people to 45 people today. I have teams in London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Miami, Seattle and Mexico City.
What made you decide to take the leap and open up your own firm?
I was working in the Finance industry for a very large Bank and started to create my own products (e.g. Online banking tools, platforms for wealth management etc.) which I got funding for from the bank. Once I saw people/customers getting excited about the products I built and increasingly using these products, I decided to set up my own studio and build these out for myself. Its exciting, and every day is its own set of challenges and with this comes reward (and yes, a lot of sleepless nights!) 🙂
Please tell us about your company.
Tent Limited is brand strategy and digital design agency. We provide innovative solutions to organizations through customer insight, strategic thinking and crafted story generation and design that brings our clients’ brands closer to their customers. Although we are a diverse team, we have some remarkable points of alignment. We are passionate, self-motivated, excited by what we do and unafraid of finding, following or even trail breaking on paths less trodden. We work hard, support each other and take the time to recognize great efforts, magic moments and have fun. We work globally; based in the heart of the London digital corridor at Shoreditch but currently working across five continents with multi-national, cultural and linguistic perspectives to bring to light.
What would you say has been the secret to your success so far?
Wanting everything we do, make and touch to be perfect! For this to happen, you have to be really passionate about your Brand and surround yourself with quality people. I am a brand fanatic! My core management team is a highly motivated, self-driven team and they get rewarded based on how much friction they can remove from my life.
What advice do you have for Embry-Riddle alumni who are thinking of starting their own businesses?
– It took me many many years to take the giant leap, and although I always wanted to do it, I was in no hurry. I built up my experience and exposure and learned a lot of lessons along the way (around the world in the last 10 years). My passion is always to improve something ‘just a little’…..very incrementally improve things around you and the bigger wins will fall into place. Use each and every experience as a learning experience no matter how good or bad it is.
– Learn to recognize talent and associate yourself with talented people. This is the core of any successful business or venture.
– With all said and done, it is a lot of hard work, and in my opinion….. a wasted day is a day where I don’t see the sun rise. Long hours are a part of it, but a few years of long hours and it all starts to pay off.