Host Company: Compendium Blogware
Current Company: Lesson.ly
The Fellowship offered Max exactly what he wanted: two years to learn the ins and outs of creating a successful startup. During his time in Orr Fellowship, Max worked at Compendium and was introduced to influential people across the Indianapolis area. One such person was Chris Baggott. Chris co-founded ExactTarget, which was acquired by Salesforce in 2013 for $2.5 billion. “Chris told me ‘you can do anything you want,” Max said. “He really encouraged me.”
During his two years in the Fellowship, Max also met business partner and best friend Conner Burt. Conner Burt is the President of Lessonly and an Orr Fellowship alumnus. Conner and Max bring out the best in one another and are the driving force behind Lessonly’s success. “It makes me want to be as good on the product side as I can be because he’s over there on the sales side not letting up. I never wanna let Conner down.”
If you walk into Lessonly’s office today, you won’t be able to find a department without an Orr Fellow in it (Max could have his own TLC show called 19 Orr Fellows and Counting). With 180 employees at Lessonly, Max fosters a similar culture to Orr Fellowship where people are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones so they can continue to grow professionally and personally.
“The whole idea of a comfort zone is a place where you’re not being challenged—where you don’t grow. The only way you grow in life is through challenges—to go through the unsure nature of ‘can I do this or not?’ People need permission to play at the edge of their competencies where they’re going to make mistakes. They need permission to know that it’s okay.” Orr Fellowship gave Max that permission, and with that permission came success that he plans to continue.