Skip Navigation LinksNews > Awards > Counselor Awards > 2010 > Supplier Entrepreneur of the Year
Printer Friendly


2010 Supplier Entrepreneur of the Year: Bill Grassmyer, MediaTree
By Joan Chaykin
May 2010

FaceBook Twitter Delicious Digg LinkedIn

Some of the top characteristics of an entrepreneur include persistence, confidence, dedication and vision. He has to be motivated and brave enough to take risks. As Supplier Entrepreneur of the Year, Bill Grassmyer is living proof of how these traits pay off.

As an undergraduate at Virginia Tech, and later during graduate school at MIT, Grassmyer, CEO of MediaTree (asi/70303),  knew he wanted to do his own thing right away. "When I graduated, I figured I’m poor, I might as well remain poor for a long time," he jokes. After graduation, he dabbled in the telecom business before getting into ad specialties. "I knew nothing about the promo products industry," he says. "So I had to go through that learning curve. With my engineering background and a passion to start my own business, I jumped right into it."

MediaTree began as a phone-card company called Telenations in 2000. "We came into the game late, so it was a struggle for many years, because that market rapidly declined," Grassmyer says. "But it’s like anything – if you stick around long enough, you see another opportunity. We saw the second version of the Internet. Just like any other traditional promo product, there’s a retail need first by the consumer. Same thing in our business. Once people started downloading music online, using online photo services, ringtones, etc., we created our own products with these cards. You can use the cards to drive people online. That was the vision."

In 2004, the company relaunched itself as MediaTree. Grassmyer came up with the name to signify the various products it started offering. "The tree signifies branches. At one time we were just offering ringtones and music, but we saw there were all these other online services and products that we wanted to offer as well," he says.

Today, Grassmyer’s entrepreneurial vision is paying off, as the supplier has grown its revenues 58% over the past two years. As for the vision of MediaTree going forward, Grassmyer says: "The distributor is required to sell a full solution. The more savvy distributors are figuring that out now. Where we fit in is being the solution provider for the online part. With our product, it’s the whole promotion. We can build new products and offer services – that’s what we bring to the table." – JC

Sponsored By: