From a dream to a reality

How an idea became a business

When marketing senior Charles Cartwright was a kid, entrepreneurship was always at the top of his mind.

Cartwright wanted to do something that would help other people out, so that is exactly what he did. Three years ago, Cartwright turned an idea into reality when he collaborated with his friend Nicolas Schmidt, who later recruited Kenny Smith, and created Cartwright International.

Cartwright International is a product brokerage firm that works with companies that are not big enough to employ their own sales staff or are struggling to find sales. Cartwright International helps them by facilitiating sales relationship and by providing training.

“We also help… their own in-house sales teams by training them, giving them the appropriate materials [and] mixing a bit of modern sales techniques with traditional sales technique to deliver a result that’s extremely profitable, as well as helping companies that are in financial trouble find venture capital funding [or] angel funding and getting them back on track,” Cartwright said.

Everyone at Cartwright International is able to bring something different to the table.

“There’s a lot of different perspectives we have coming from different angles…, especially because we’re offering different sectors of life,” Schmidt said. “We’re all studying something different, [and] we all engage with different people. None of us have the same outlook, and when you are working as business partners, that’s the best thing.”

Photo courtesy of Charles Cartwright | Cartwright International

Not only does the team at Cartwright International run a business, they also host a podcast. The podcast was Cartwright’s idea, and he created it for those who can’t make it to their events. On the podcast they talk to different people from different backgrounds and explore how they have come up in the business world.

At the time of writing, their first podcast guest was President Bill Pink. On the episode they talked about his educational background and his time as Ferris’ newest president. Cartwright International will soon be recording an episode with the old CEO of CVS Health, Larry Merlo, as well as former Rite Aid executives. Cartwright International is also hoping to speak with current and former politicians to see how they have made their rise in the space.

One of Cartwright International’s goals is to secure offices wherever they can get them in order to further their objective of helping as many businesses as they can.

Since Cartwright Internationals’ conception, they have made strides in the U.S. as well as reaching brands in New Zealand, Canada, Sweden, South Africa, Mozambique and India.

“Our goal for this company is to have offices [on] every continent I can put them on,” Cartwright said. “I want to be not only just a Michigan based business that works in 14 countries. We’re helping hundreds of countries and hundreds of businesses, and I want to make sure we can continue doing just that.”

As the team at Cartwright International has been going through the process of developing a business that people can work with and trust, one of the biggest downfalls they have encountered is people worrying about their ages.

“Whenever we get talked to about our ages, we always have the same response: ‘Not only are we college kids, but our perspective on the world is fresh,’” Cartwright said. “We work with people from the older generation who might have a more pessimistic outlook on the younger generations coming up.”

Cartwright believes that young people should start their businesses sooner rather than later.

“I implore anybody who’s thinking about starting a business — who’s thinking about going after that goal — [to] do it now, do it in your early 20’s,” Cartwright said. “Because I can tell you if you fail now, it’s going to be easier to land on your feet today.”

Cartwright International is hosting events on Nov. 19 and Dec. 17 for future entrepreneurs as well as teams who want to learn tips that will help their businesses thrive. If you are interested in these events, you can register at to reserve a seat.