Alumni Meredith Mazie, Matt Fiedler and Ryan Reisdorf all recently joined the Massey College of Business as the 2021-22 Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, which serve as mentors for student entrepreneurs at Belmont. Each of these alumni were chosen based on their different experiences, personalities and industry focus. This year’s entrepreneurs work in a variety of fields from fashion to the food service industry.
Meredith Mazie, class of 2010, came to Belmont as a music business major. While her aspirations for a career in the music industry waned, she found another outlet that allowed her to fuse her creativity with her passion for business and retail. In 2015, Mazie opened up her fashion boutique ABEDNEGO. Last year, she expanded her business by doubling her storefront space in Germantown.
As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Mazie will support Belmont’s student-run business retail spaces on campus as well as any student seeking to open a brick & mortar or a business within the fashion industry.
Matt Fiedler, class of 2011, majored in entrepreneurship and music business. Fiedler’s passion for music led to him becoming the co-founder of a record-of-the-month club called Vinyl Me, Please (VMP). Fiedler served as the CEO of VMP from 2013-2020, helping the company grow from a passion project to a well-developed business with more than 30,000 subscribers. VMP made the Inc. 5000 list twice, and Fiedler himself won the Runner-Up Entrepreneur of the Year Award by CO Biz magazine.
Although Fiedler currently lives in Denver, he will give lectures and hold student meetings via Zoom.
Ryan Reisdorf, class of 2017, started his business during his time in nursing school at Belmont. Reisdorf believed connecting healthy food with genuine hospitality was the solution for better health and overall healthcare sustainability. This belief resulted in him starting his business, Placemat. Placemat brings chefs into guests’ homes to prepare healthy meals. Today, Placemat serves everyone from the A-list celebrity, professional athlete, next-door neighbor, at-risk students, patients leaving the hospital and people experiencing homelessness.
As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Reisdorf hopes to inspire and encourage students to take risks and to pursue their dreams.
On September 1, the entrepreneurs spoke at a panel where they discussed the importance of mentorship, the benefits of failure and the messiness of getting started. Reisdorf said, “We look to the startup world and we think we are seeing a bunch of instant success. But, there is no such thing. You have to learn to be patient and get your ego out of the way of what you’re capable of doing. Identifying why a failure happened and preventing it from happening again is what I’d consider growth. Phases of growth can be so uncomfortable, but they help you reevaluate, and it’s so beneficial to grow and adapt.”
Students can book appointments with the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence on the Center for Entrepreneurship website.