2012 Forty Under 40 Winner: Brad Phillips
Friday, March 16, 2012 7:00 AM
Age 30 | Agent, Farm Bureau Financial Services
Brad Phillips is proud of the fact that he was among the first entrepreneurial students to move into the University of Iowa’s student business incubator when it opened in May 2004. He’s even more proud that just four months later, he was the first tenant to be “kicked out” of the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory (BELL) because his film production business had begun turning a profit.
Phillips, a former professional motocross racer who competed for six years on the Grand National circuit, launched Premis Industries LLC to produce films of motocross events throughout North America for television sports networks In 2006, Premis won an “Extremey” award, the motocross industry’s equivalent of an Oscar.
Drawing from his experience as an entrepreneur, the U of I graduate serves as vice president of the John Pappajohn Entreprenurial Center Alumni Board and for the past eight years has mentored budding entrepreneurs as a volunteer for the BELL business incubator.
“My big enjoyment comes from having been there, so I know the struggles they’re going through,” he said. “A young person with a great idea is just amazing to be around.”
Facing increased government safety regulations, spiraling fuel prices that made extensive cross-country travel prohibitive and the recession, Phillips exited the film business and accepted a recruiter’s pitch in September 2009 to join Farm Bureau Financial Services as an agent.
Besides applying his entrepreneurial energy to selling financial products, he also has been credited for developing new innovative marketing strategies for the company such as a program to help agents build their personal websites. Outside the office, he serves as president of New View, the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce’s young professionals group.
Five reasons he’s a 40:
• Successful entrepreneur who built a market-leading company within three years.
• Was recognized as a Top Ten Global Student Entrepreneur by Mercedes-Benz Financial and the Entrepreneur Organization.
• Received Farm Bureau Financial Services’ Heritage Award for surpassing sales goals in his first year.
• Mentors young entrepreneurs.
• Serves on the board of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and as a chamber ambassador.
Phillips wrote a chapter about his business for the book “Student Entrepreneurs: Graduating With a Profit,” which was published in 2007.
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