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Up Close & Personal: 12 Questions with Logan LaHive of Belly

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Next week, we’re introducing Sessions to the city where it all began for Tech Cocktail – Chicago, Illinois.  And to kick off this inaugural event, we’ve lined up pair of exceptional Chicago-area entrepreneurs: Logan LaHive and Neal Sales-Griffin.

On August 8th, you’ll get the chance to learn the secrets behind their successes (register here).  But what about the individual sitting on the CEO’s throne?  Who is the entrepreneur behind the business?

Today, we ask:  Who is Logan LaHive?  

Logan serves as the CEO and founder at Belly, a loyalty and rewards platform for small and medium sized businesses.  Since launching late last year, Belly has gotten off to a fast start, exemplified with a $10M series B round of funding earlier this year.

Previously, Logan was the Director of New Business at Redbox after successfully leading the company’s initiative to test and roll out video game rentals. Since then, Logan has spent the past 7 years in startups, and he’s developed a passion for helping small businesses achieve their goals. Logan will have succeeded in his efforts when he finally owns the San Francisco 49ers. He admits to wanting to shave his barber’s beard; fortunately, he’s created a product, Belly, which allows him to do so.

We caught up with Logan to learn more.

12 Questions with Logan LaHive

My favorite Midwest beer is…..

Logan LaHive:  Don’t have one. I’m an amber and brown kind of guy on my craft beers. My favorite beer is Boont Amber Ale – not widely available in Chicago, but if you find it, drink it. I also frequently find myself drinking Mexican beers… Tecate, Dos Equis.

In the past 5 years I have lived in the following cities, and I will ultimately end up in…

LaHive:  I’ve been exclusively in Chicago for the past 6 years or so. Before that, I was a road warrior – launching new markets for Pay By Touch (first startup job post-college), living in places like Virginia, Minneapolis, Fort Wayne, IN, Mason City, IA, and San Francisco. Ultimately, I think I’ll end up staying put in Chicago – if I ever do leave, it’d be back home to the Bay Area, but I’d have some convincing to do with my wife.

My favorite part of the startup life is…

LaHive:  I don’t really have a favorite part. I love every single day that I get to wake up and do what I’ve always known I wanted to do with my life. Some people want to be a baseball player, some want to act or dance. Not me. This is it for me. (But man, sometimes I want to kick my own ass for it… there had to be an easy career choice… but alas….)

The first time I realized I was an entrepreneur when…

LaHive:  I know everyone wants to hear the “paper route” story, or the lemonade stand hustle…. I started little side businesses, including my first true hustle selling the Centerfolds out of my neighbor’s dad’s Playboy collection, but for me, I really knew my senior year of high school. I got into startup competitions, and it drove me – like nothing else…. It was immediately clear. So I majored in Entrepreneurship (wish I’d done Computer Science, we all have regrets) and have worked at or on startups ever since.Spotify

The mobile app I use most often (aside from Belly) is…

LaHive:  Probably Twitter. I also love Uber, Foursquare for discovery, FIFA12 for distraction, and Spotify.

So good, it’s the best movie of the year, and not even a movie.

The best movie I’ve seen in 2012 is…

LaHive:  No idea. Obviously not a movie, but only thing I can think of is Game of Thrones.

A fellow entrepreneur I really look up to is…

LaHive:  I look up to most entrepreneurs. The list is pages long. I respect aspects of each person as an individual and try to take pieces of each interaction and use it to improve myself. Some top of mind folks: Matt Maloney, Harper Reed, Brad and Eric, Mark Achler, Jack Dorsey, Jeff Jordan.

Because…

LaHive:  Different reason for each. There isn’t a mold for what makes a great entrepreneur – hustle, passion, and hard work are requirements – but each of the folks I mentioned have completely different backgrounds, personalities, skill sets….

My superhero entrepreneurial skill is…

Logan LaHive

LaHive:  Making fast decisions with a high batting average.

My greatest weakness is…

LaHive:  I know a little about a lot, but no true expertise.

And I overcome this by…

LaHive:  Hiring people a lot smarter and talented than myself and empowering them to make decisions.

My most cherished non-entrepreneurial accomplishment is…

LaHive:  

Convincing my beautiful wife that it’d be a good idea to marry a fat ginger that works all the time.

Want more?  Check out Logan’s talk on “turning ideas into action” at the upcoming Chicago Tech Cocktail Sessions.

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About the Author

When Zach Davis isn't getting lost in the mountains, he is hustling from Boulder, CO as Tech Cocktail's Director of Marketing. He is the author of Appalachian Trials, a book chronicling the mindset necessary for thru-hiking all 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail, a feat he accomplished in 2011. Zach is a green tea enthusiast, die-hard Chicago sports fan, and avid concert-goer. Follow Zach on Twitter: @zrdavis.

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