Badger – Mike Williston

“You have to put yourself out there and be willing to fail.” Mike Williston

In the entrepreneurial journey, very little actually turns out exactly how it was initially expected to. That is why patience is key for survival and success in entrepreneurship. This is according to our guest today, Mike Williston, who also believes that every experience in entrepreneurship leads to something bigger.

 Mike Williston is both a co-founder and the CEO of Satellite Displays. He is a results-driven entrepreneur who thrives in early-stage startups. As CEO, he is responsible for taking an idea to reality in his quest to transform the way we communicate. Satellite Displays’ created Badger, the world’s first closed captioning smart badge that converts speech-to-text and translations in real-time. Badger can also translate in 50+ languages. His vision for the company is what excites his team to elevate to the next level.

Mike’s entrepreneurial journey started at a young age.  In high school, Mike launched his first business venture, MGW Contracting, which he ran and operated throughout his undergrad at Monmouth University where he received a double major in Business Marketing and Management. At Monmouth, he was accepted into the accelerated MBA program and worked as a graduate assistant.  After completing his MBA from Monmouth University, he jumped right into the start-up world at Compliance Wave. Here he was the first employee part of the Founding Team and Director of Lead Generation. 

After launching, Mike and his team rapidly grew the business which resulted in a successful acquisition in 4 years. Next Mike grew interested in manufacturing and began working with Orient Corporation of America, a 100+ year old Japanese manufacturer of dyes and pigment dispersions.  While working for Orient, Mike began developing Badger.  In August 2019, Mike left Orient to pursue Badger full time and his former employer, Orient, became one of the first early investors in his company Satellite Displays.  

Developing, creating and executing ideas is what gets Mike up in the morning, and if you’re in the room with him, you’ll want to learn more and participate in the journey. He makes problem solving fun for those who work with him. He enjoys building exceptional teams while helping everyone hit their personal goals. His family means everything to him, and their dinner conversations range from life goals to sports to business. He developed his competitive edge from playing sports growing up. Outside of work, you can still find him staying active in the gym or playing competitive basketball. And if it’s a windy day, you can find him in the ocean kitesurfing… his favourite type of “board meeting.”

In today’s episode, Mike will elaborate on his passion for kite surfing as well as his entrepreneurial journey towards developing a tool that impact lives for the better.

Listen in!

Social Media

Personal IG: @mgw31

Business IG: @hey.badger


Business LinkedIn:

Start Engine Page:

Facebook: @heybadger

  • I’ve been kite surfing for about five years now and it’s a really tight knit community of entrepreneurs. [2:52]
  • Kite surfing because teaches you how to be patient which is a huge thing when it comes to being an entrepreneur. [3:53]
  • We created a company called satellite displays and a created badge, which is the world’s first closed captioning smart badge that translates or convert speech to text in real time. [5:05]
  • It works just like a television where you can put closed captions on people in real time which is amazing because communications is really what’s going to keep the world spinning. [7:16]
  • A lot of businesses are formed when tragic things happen or there’s a problem where we were building the badger when all of a sudden, the pandemic hit. [8:30]
  • Due to wearing masks, all of a sudden people that had good hearing were now experiencing what it’s like to not have good he [8:56]
  • Using closed captioning is engaging to the person listening and watching so we’re kind of trying to bring that into the real world. [10:57]
  • There are so many stories where badger could have helped such as where translators are needed or when visiting a foreign country and there is language barrier. [11:54]
  • It is all about the patience where you have to be willing to show up for the win and not be scared to fail. [14:37]
  • Commercial break. [15:24]
  • My secret for success is just constantly being confident and knowing that what I am doing is going to make a difference. [17:19]
  • You have to put yourself out there and be willing to fail and to be critiqued while going out there and expressing your passion for what you’re building. [17:42]
  • Every experience that you have leads to something else and without that I couldn’t have done badger and satellite di [19:55]
  • I kept the relationships open with all of you and now, everything that I worked on back in 2011, is now coming to fruition in 2021, with badger and satellite displays. [20:05]
  • If you have an idea, get it to market as fast as possible because without that feedback, you can’t improve, innovate, or keep [22:40]
  • Communication is a two way street where there’s the person that is speaking and the person that is listening, and badger helps both. [24:44]
  • Trust yourself, and keep going on with the journey because if you can stick this out, this is a hell of a ride and it’s a lot of fun. [26:05]


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