Drew Ungvarsky

Drew Ungvarsky

Founder, CEO, and Executive Creative Director


Grow

Norfolk, VA USA


You can’t not deliver. You’ve got to come through on your promises, so find another way, even if it’s not what you thought you were going to do.

Videos

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Drew Ungvarsky

Highlight
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01:17
Drew Ungvarsky HighlightInterview Highlight
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04:58
InterviewThe Interview
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02:43
Starting A Tech Company Outside Of The Established Creative HubsWeb Exclusive
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01:10
Day In The Life Of A Founder, CEO, and Executive Creative DirectorWeb Exclusive
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01:52
Failure Isn’t An Option, Find Another WayWeb Exclusive
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03:33
I've Been Mentored By My ClientsWeb Exclusive
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01:31
Don’t Take It Personally When Employees LeaveWeb Exclusive
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02:10
Definition Of SuccessWeb Exclusive
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01:48
My Career PathInterview Excerpt
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01:11
Starting A Company With No ExperienceInterview Excerpt
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01:59
Plan To Work Hard, There Are No ShortcutsInterview Excerpt
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Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Growing up, he loved coding and had the goal of one day making video games.
Attended Old Dominion University where he graduated with his degree in computer science.
Throughout college, he worked for different departments on campus to help them make websites.
He learned how to program in Flash and created a website promoting his ability to create websites.
After he started getting a lot of clients, he decided to hire an additional web designer who helped him tackle the workload.
Eventually, this “side gig” turned into a full-fledged business—his first client was his favorite band, which then led to him creating websites and promotional materials for other entertainers.
In 2006, he rebranded the company as Grow Interactive, hired a few more employees, and began working on building out their client base.
Grow is now an industry-leading creative agency that has worked with clients such as Google, Spotify, and EA Games, and has received top honors in international award shows like the Cannes Lions.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Computer Science
Old Dominion University
Career

Career

Founder, CEO, and Executive Creative Director

I am the founder of a creative agency making industry-leading digital experiences for brands.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Technology
Technology
Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship
Being Creative
Being Creative

Day to Day

I usually get to the office at 8 am and work till 6:30 pm. Prioritizing family time and balancing that with work life is important to me. My daily routine typically consists of meetings and checking in with the different teams on the status of projects. There are a few initiatives that I am directly in charge of like setting the companies culture, having a clear and successful business strategy, etc.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Coding was fundamental in getting me started, but what has made the difference in starting my business is being comfortable with public speaking. Get involved in creative organizations around you, read about different thought leaders, go to events, etc. Getting insight and information from people who have been there before you is invaluable.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for professionals

Be willing to do some work for free or for a fee less than what it is worth when starting out. It is all about whether that sacrifice is worth it in the long run, which can be hard to predict. You just have to weigh your options.

Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"I'm not going to be able to pay you for your work because my business is failing. The only way I can pay you is if you keep doing the work to help me get out of this hole."

I heard this from one particular client whose business was going bankrupt and he told me that he wasn't going to be able to pay us for the work we had done. The money he owed us covered our salaries, so it put us in a very bad position. I stupidly agreed to continue doing some work, but in hindsight, I should have done things differently. I definitely used that as a learning moment. Think about your value all the time and who you are most valuable to.

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
Financial

When starting out, I had to take a few jobs for free or well under market value in order to get my name out there. There were also moments where a client couldn't pay me. You just have to learn from those experiences and be willing to grow.