Featuring Brand Founders and their unique perspectives on success, overcoming challenges and continually moving forward, “In My Eyes” aims to provide inspiration for a future generation of creative entrepreneurs. The unedited and raw format was filmed during an entrepreneurial class, taught by Professor, In my Eyes and 686 Technical Apparel Founder, Michael Akira West, at the University of Southern California Marshall Business School’s Grief Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. In My Eyes is positioned to be a free resource for up and coming entrepreneurs and small business owners. The first season, Available Now on YouTube, showcases personal stories from creatives, brand founders and entrepreneurs, Selema Masekela of Alphanumeric, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, Iva Pawling of Richer Poorer, Jeff Kearl of Pelion Ventures, Amanda Chinchelli of Seea. 

“Entrepreneurship is not about having a portfolio of companies, scaling, moving on to the next thing and then getting out. For me, it’s about really being motivated to make change in the world that you believe in,” explains West. “Your sense of motivation isn’t determined by monetary or ego-centric values. It’s really just trying to be part of something that you can eventually pass on.”

Michael Akira West (Mike West) has been involved in the branded consumer product space for nearly 30 years. He founded 686 Technical Apparel in 1992 from a business plan as a student while enrolled in the USC Entrepreneur Program. Since then, he’s co-founded and been involved in several other lifestyle business’s in the fashion, digital and logistics industries including Matix, Westwell, MAEKAN and NRI Distribution – the largest North American 3PL provider in the Action and Outdoor Market. Mike has a BS from the University of Southern California, EMBA from Pepperdine University, sits on the executive board of Snowsports Industries America and is an Adjunct Professor at USC Marshall Business School.