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Entrepreneur-in-residence Shawn Glinter shares business-building experience with students

Shawn Glinter has been creating and running start-up companies since he was just 15 years old.

At one of his high school’s athletic games, a female athlete broke her leg, and Glinter noticed it took more than 45 minutes for Emergency Medical Services to arrive. Perplexed as to why it took so long for medical aid to get there, he decided to find a solution to the problem.

“I raised over $470,000 through bake sales and car washes to buy supplies and equipment to train student athletic trainers,” he said. “By the time I graduated high school, I had trained over 60 students and my business was bought for $25,000. Five years later, it was sold for $22 million.”

The Canada native then began George Washington University’s on-campus EMS program – now one of the top in the nation.

“The dean of the university wouldn’t support me and my initiative. So, I got the chief of police to give me $50,000 to begin the program. I read an article that campus EMS responders could use bikes instead of ambulances, so that’s where the money went – four bikes. Now it’s one of the top programs in the country,” he said.

He moved to Nashville to further his career in emergency medicine and hospital administration at Vanderbilt University, but he soon left to launch a biotech company.

“I didn’t know I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to be a NHL goalie, physician or hospital administrator. But I didn’t. And now I wake up every day loving that I’m an entrepreneur,” Glinter said.

Glinter has launched many successful startups, sold three companies and even failed one, but he credits the experience to his personal and professional growth.

In addition to mentoring thousands of student entrepreneurs, he is also one of the master mentors at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and guides the Belmont accelerator program for just seven select student-run businesses.

“He is very familiar with the Nashville entrepreneurial community and is able to bring that to Belmont which really benefits our community. He has office hours for students of all majors, so he is always working with our students to help them with their entrepreneurial ventures and succeed,” said Elizabeth Gortmaker, director of the Center of Entrepreneurship at Belmont.

Article and photo by Meghan Winter.

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