Loading...

Follow Nashville Entrepreneur Center on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

One of the best parts of Nashville’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is the way organizations work together to connect individuals with the tools that will help them the most.

At the EC, we do this in part through our free Navigation Assessment, which recommends the best resources to help entrepreneurs get where they want to go.

One of the resources we often refer people to is Pathway Women’s Business Center, which provides mentoring, education and other tools to help entrepreneurs across Tennessee, especially women and minority business owners.

“It’s tough as a woman to be in business on your own, it’s even tougher if you’re a woman of color. It’s tough to be a minority business owner, and so we have to work together to make sure that we are doing everything in our power. And if something doesn’t exist that needs to, we need to step up and create it.”

Courtenay Rogers, Pathway Women’s Business Center Director


Pathway Women’s Business Center won the Navigation Partner award at the 2018 NEXT Awards for its efforts to connect entrepreneurs with resources around Middle Tennessee.

As PWBC’s director, Courtenay Rogers has seen firsthand how equipping business owners with resources can help them to achieve major success, and she’s passionate about paving the way for more women and minority business owners to get plugged into Nashville’s ecosystem.

To help achieve this, PWBC hosted an event called Be Bold, in honor of International Women’s Day. A group of inspirational leaders, businesswomen and innovators spoke to a sold-out crowd of other women about topics like finding mentors, developing a personal brand and learning to be bold.

“The time has gone for me to be shy. The time has gone for me to worry about this big booty when I walk into a room. Because guess what y’all? I’m the first woman who’s a state director for SBA!”

LaTanya Channel, Tennessee Small Business Administration State Director

FINDING MENTORS AND SPONSORS

Nashville’s ecosystem is an especially great place to get started because there’s a lack of ego among business leaders, Rogers said. People understand the value of relationships and are always looking for ways to help those who are coming behind them.

We talk a lot on the Navigate Podcast about the importance of building strong mentoring relationships, but Be Bold speaker and Nashville State Community College President Dr. Shanna Jackson pointed out that it’s even more important to find sponsors, “people who actually have the power and influence to make things happen on your behalf.”

She encouraged the audience to look for people who have the power to create opportunities and open doors for them.

“Develop relationships beyond people who look like you and think like you, but be very strategic in building a network of people who are doing the things you dream of doing.”

Dr. Shanna Jackson, Nashville State Community College President

Though it can be intimidating to try to find a mentor or sponsor, and Rogers thinks it can be especially hard for women, she encourages people to just ask. PWBC also offers resources to connect people with mentors in their fields.

BUILDING A PERSONAL BRAND

To help build a network that’s full of the right people, it’s important to develop a strong brand, Rogers said. It’s easy to focus on branding from a marketing perspective, but PWBC also helps people decide what type of business owner they want to be and develop a personal brand around those core values.

When branding is done effectively, it will help your business attract the right people and reject the wrong ones. HR Expert Christy Pruitt-Haynes unpacked this concept at BeBold, explaining that people know she is a great coach, but that her style is not to be formal. Because she has branded herself in this way, she’s more likely to find people who are a good fit for her.

“When you are self-aware enough of who you are, and you are deliberate enough in your brand, other people will pick up on it... Discover your brand, own your brand, lean into it in every way that you can, and love you or hate you, people will always respect you for it.”

Christy Pruitt-Haynes, HR Expert

Whether you need help with branding, finding mentors or building a stronger network, Pathway Women’s Business Center and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center both have resources that can help. Fill out the navigation form below to get started!

FREE NAVIGATION ASSESSMENT:

Once you've completed the assessment, a friendly EC team member will reach out to guide you with a few recommendations. As a non-profit, it's our mission to champion YOU. We're in your corner.


To learn more about those resources, listen to the full podcast episode above. And don’t forget to subscribe to Navigate wherever you get your podcasts.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

If you’ve been paying attention to Nashville’s growth, you already know Middle Tennessee is no longer only about music.

But what many people may not know is that the region has one of the fastest growing technology sectors in the country.

From 2012 to 2018, the tech job market grew by 30 percent, outpacing the national tech job growth by 10 percent, according to the State of Middle Tennessee Tech 2018 Report.  

With all of this growth, the region’s industry leaders are taking a hard look at issues of developing and attracting talent to the IT workforce. Four industry leaders sat down for a panel discussion about these issues for a live Navigate podcast recording, as part of the the Nashville Post’s Techie 2019 event.  

Techie 2019 was sponsored by WeWork, Cherry Bakaert, the Greater Nashville Technology Council and Virsys12.

TALENT DEVELOPMENT

Growth in the tech industry shows no signs of stopping, so it’s more important than ever to make sure students are developing an early aptitude and passion for technology. To help with this, experts like MTSU Professor of Information Systems Charlie Apigian are re-examining the education pipeline, looking for ways to engage students with technology early on and keep them interested all the way through high school.

“I love thinking about how our kids that are here in Middle Tennessee right now are our future tech leaders, and that’s what I’m really passionate about.”

Charlie Apigian, MTSU Professor of Information Systems and Director of the Data Science Institute

Apigian thinks K-12 schools need to do a better job of not only equipping students with some fundamental skills, but instilling in them a passion for what they want to do. In this, schools need help from the local tech community, Apigian said.

“Education is changing at a very fast rate, and we’re not keeping up. We need you, we need you desperately. Partner with your local K-12 system or your local university or the Nashville Software School,” he said.

But talent development in the Nashville tech industry has expanded beyond just focusing on K-12 and universities. Organizations like the Nashville Software School and the Community Health Systems internship program recognize the importance of training people to work in tech as a second career.

Briana Alexander, CHS Vice President of Processing and Performance Excellence, is especially passionate about giving women and people looking for a new career the opportunity to learn tech skills. CHS started an internship program to do just that, and then partnered with the Greater Nashville Technology Council to create a comprehensive apprenticeship program that gives people paid, on-the-job training for tech careers.

“I’m interested in seeing students and second-time careers and women. I want to see people grow and develop and do something different.”

Briana Alexander, CHS VP of Processing and Performance Excellence

Like Alexander, John Wark recognizes that the number of job openings in Middle Tennessee’s tech industry is much higher than the number of university graduates from tech-related programs.

As founder and CEO of the Nashville Software School, Wark is working to help the industry “grow [its] own talent” with 6-12 months of intensive training for individuals who want to change their careers or learn new skills to keep up in their current fields. By the end of 2019, NSS will have graduated 1,000 software engineers and data scientists.

“What we’re all about is putting talent at the bottom of the talent pool. Then what happens to it is up to our employers, it’s up to them to build and direct their careers, but you have to start by putting talent at the bottom of the talent pool.”

John Wark, Nashville Software School Founder and CEO

LEVERAGING COMMUNITY

But as Wark pointed out, homegrown talent is only part of the solution. The region also needs to attract outside talent to fill the growing number of job openings.

Luckily, the Middle Tennessee tech community has a valuable asset in its unique culture of creativity.

The community also places great value on craftsmanship and creative problem solving, and members of the workforce view their jobs as highly collaborative, said Eventbrite software engineer Rainu Ittycheriah.

With its active meetup community, tech workers also have opportunities to continue learning and connecting with others in the field.

“I think that cycle of constantly being open to newcomers, of being willing to open yourself up to have that conversation is what makes our community so vibrant and amazing.”

Rainu Ittycheriah, Eventbrite Software Engineer

Wark and Ittycheriah are convinced that if industry leaders are intentional about leveraging the appeal of this community, Middle Tennessee will be able to compete with larger cities to grow and maintain its workforce.

To hear more about Nashville’s booming tech industry, listen to the full episode above. And don’t forget to subscribe to Navigate wherever you get your podcasts!

blog post written by Bronte Lebo

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Be Our Guest is a feature on the EC blog highlighting thought leadership from our community - advisors, entrepreneurs, members, and more.

Today’s post is by EC advisor Greg Born. Greg began his career as an Air Force Pilot, then held leadership roles in both Operations and Mergers and Acquisitions at businesses such as GE, Oracle, Comcast, as well as a health and health-tech businesses – including Change Healthcare in Nashville. In all roles, his focus has been improving operational teams, connecting strategy and growth, and leading transformation. Helping it operate better. You can read his other entrepreneurship and leadership articles here.

I’ve been fortunate to have founded or helped lead 4 different startups in my career. One of those failed. These experiences were interspersed with working for larger (sometimes really large) businesses. The markets were just as diverse as the startups – falling into technology, healthcare, industrial. But there were a few things that held true and were the key success drivers. When these things weren’t the gospel, failure followed.

We Already Had Product Demand …. even before we created it.

There were just a few of us and an amazing idea, with big customers who already wanted it. On this “startup”, we were under a bigger business umbrella. They asked us to lead this startup and build the leadership team. It was a bittersweet opportunity. The “umbrella” business gave us the cash to start up, but had some very high expectations to move forward and create the business … with tight deadlines. Within two months we had a clear plan, hired a development team, and were starting to develop code which we expected to be a gamechanger in the marketplace. I was the #2 under the Startup CEO.

Adding More Complexity

Some challenges surfaced not long after – we had planned to integrate this into a larger application that was already available. The integration points that early diligence indicated were available, turned out not to be there. The (startup) CEO decided he would take that on and re-develop the other code, ensuring perfect integration points. I recommended we focus on our main objective that we’d been hired for, and work with others to get the integration points setup … but the CEO felt he could do it better. Not long after, he took on even more additional work outside of our original plans with the similar ideas of making it better (and thus the product better).

Challenges Surfaced

Soon after, delays accumulated. Resources were taxed. Deadlines were missed. Budgets maxed. Not one objective ended up being met. The umbrella business grew frustrated with lack of progress and direction, and eventually shut this initiative down.

Minimum Viable Product

We had failed to follow one of the most important ideas in starting up a business – simplicity. Our business became too complicated too fast. Even more so, we diluted our ability to execute. We didn’t focus on the right things. And lost focus of the MVP. Minimum Viable Product. We talked about this concept in depth early on, but lost focus with the CEO’s drive to take on the other work because he thought he do it better. Looking back, things would have been different if we had maintained focus on our key product plans.

A Successful Startup

I had created a business in my spare time years ago. It was a social network. The goal was to create something that would operate by itself (since I had a full time job). I hired a few offshore programmers. Drew some powerpoint diagrams for workflow, user interface, etc. And created a very simple online application. The interface was basic. The functionality was minimal. But a few users started to use it and give me feedback. It gave me the opportunity to test the idea, and tweak. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had focused my attention on an MVP.

— My View of a MVP —
There are different definitions of a MVP – one view is that the MVP doesn’t need to be fully functional. I think you’ll put yourself at a disadvantage if you take this approach. My belief is to create a SIMPLE, functional and operational product / application / service that your customers can use …. then tweak from there. It allows you to rapidly iterate based on customer feedback (even if it’s a small cohort). Simplicity allows you to avoid many of the downfalls of making something too complex at first.

I got it out the door into users, and improved the product from their feedback. Tweak, repeat. Though I really wanted to deploy all the features and functionality I had in my backlog / roadmap, I really focused on getting something simple, that worked out the door.

Within about a year of regular updates, modifications, enhancements, user feedback, the website was getting about 100,000 unique users a month.

I tried my hand again at a new online movie and TV show search application called SpeedyTV.com. Again, the focus is basic functionality, make it work, get feedback, learn from it all, and make it better incrementally. Using this approach, I was able to quickly learn a few things which differed from my expected roadmap and customer usage. Here are a few examples:

  • Local vs International.

    • Expectation: majority of users from USA, so features were USA-focused with plans for international in the future.

    • What I experienced: significant organic international usage right after roll-out. I had expected the majority of users to be from the USA.

    • What I changed: modified the roadmap priorities to have more international features sooner.

  • Website Functions Would Be Easy to Use:

    • The website had only a few functions initially (simplicity), and those few features were the core of the website.

    • Expectation: I expected these functions to be easy and self-explanatory to use.

    • What I experienced: Most users didn’t use the functions, or if they did, they weren’t used as I had hoped.

    • What I changed: new feature to highlight these key functions and how to use them.

What I’ve Learned

We all hear about MVP. You may have read about it in The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. An outstanding read. This book lays out the foundation for creating a startup.

Focusing on simplicity doesn’t just apply to MVP or startups, as you grow your business, you’ll find that lots of times, you have amazing plans for growing, creating, managing – and often they are complex. Breaking that complexity down to “bite sized” chunks that are much more simple, may help you to achieve your goals.

Did you know the EC has over 280 Advisors?

If you’re an entrepreneur and are looking for more advice from Greg - or someone like him - check out the EC’s Advisor Program. Meet with over 280 mentors from all backgrounds, industries, and specialties. You can learn more here.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Every year, Nashville entrepreneur Brian Hoppes and his wife listen to a frantic 911 call from 2015. It was a cold day in January, and Brian’s wife had just given birth to their son in the backseat of their car. Terrified and in need of direction, Brian called for help. Everyone on the emergency response team, from the 911 dispatcher who calmed Brian down and helped him care for his wife and baby to the EMTs who rushed to the scene, showed Brian and his family just how human healthcare can be.

Now, Brian says, “I could not have been more pleased with the service from that healthcare perspective of the 911 dispatcher, the EMTs, the fire department that came to ensure that not only my wife was doing fine, but our son, who was sitting in her arms in the back of our car in January, was doing well.”

Humanizing Healthcare

While the healthcare industry’s revenue is incredibly important to Nashville’s economy, people are at the heart of the equation. Most of us have a uniquely intimate relationship with healthcare -- we need healthcare when we’re at our most vulnerable, and the quality of the care we receive can profoundly shape, or even save, our lives.

Yet many Americans face obstacles when they need healthcare most. Issues like lack of accessible resources and language barriers can severely limit someone’s ability to get the care they need, or to fully benefit from the healthcare available to them.

According to healthcare entrepreneur Bill Tan, these gaps in accessible care are where innovative startups can help humanize the healthcare industry. Tan’s experience translating for his family in the hospital led him to found Canopy Innovations, which creates digital resources that empower healthcare providers and patients with limited English-proficiency to communicate effectively.

Innovative Healing

Healthcare entrepreneurs know that healthcare is about both quality service and innovative products that transform our approaches to treatment. Luke Benda of Healing Innovations told listeners about his experience creating the Rise&Walk, a physical therapy tool for patients with walking impairment.

Benda offers an important perspective on Nashville’s healthcare ecosystem -- not only is it populated by massive companies like HCA, it also includes startups that address problems in the healthcare industry that others overlook. Benda developed the Rise&Walk to help his friend Tim regain motor abilities after a debilitating car accident had left him paralyzed and his rehab regime had expired.

“After his days expired, he was left with almost no options to continue rehabbing,” Benda remembered. “So we started looking into different methods and different ways to try to help Tim continue rehabbing, and before you know it, we ended up developing a machine that we call the Rise&Walk, which helped him regain his motor abilities so he can now take some steps.” Now, Benda is bringing the Rise&Walk to market to help others like Tim.

How do new products like Rise&Walk connect with the people that need them? Whereas new tools and products used to be introduced to healthcare service providers one-on-one -- salespeople would pitch their products to doctors, and hospitals would buy the products that the doctors requested -- now they must appeal to providers at a larger scale.

This is where companies like Nashville’s Greenlight Medical come in. In a data-driven market, Greenlight Medical connects suppliers and hospitals, helping service providers make informed decisions on the products they purchase and suppliers effectively appeal to their market.

Dee Anna Smith, CEO of HCA’s Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute summed up the mentality that motivates successful healthcare companies: “I am super passionate about being mission-driven in healthcare. And I think the reason for that is that it really is all about the patient.” Throughout the healthcare ecosystem, from startups to established corporations, care for the patient must drive companies to innovate.

“If you have your priorities right in the healthcare space,” Smith says, “everything else seems to come together.”


To hear more about Nashville’s thriving healthcare industry, be sure to listen to the full episode above. And don’t forget to subscribe to Navigate wherever you get your podcasts.

Apply for Project Healthcare Portfolio

Project Healthcare Portfolio leverages the full support of the EC’s expertise and network to accelerate the success of select healthcare-focused entrepreneurs. The program provides year-long, on-demand support and premier quarterly programming for all enrolled entrepreneurs.

Program spots are limited, and applications are competitive. Participants do not need to be based in Nashville, but must be able to attend four in-person, intentionally curated events over the course of the year.

Learn more!
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Fourteen weeks ago, over a dozen brave entrepreneurs started our PreFlight class with just an idea. They spent every Monday night learning and working on a business plan, meeting with advisors, and slowly forming that idea into a viable, tangible business. This Thursday, they're ready to pitch their businesses for the first time at PreFlight Pitch Night.

Take a look below at some of the businesses they're working on, and join us on Thursday to hear their pitches, celebrate their successes, and network with the rest of Nashville’s entrepreneurial community.

RSVP to Pitch Night! TravelSOUL, Anne Fletcher

TravelSOUL is a mobile platform to connect like-minded travelers before and during a trip based on the user's unique travel interests and needs. We want to empower travelers to make meaningful connections with the people and places they visit by creating a platform where travelers can easily find others who are not only going to be at the same place at the same time, but are also interested in the same things. With the TravelSOUL app, travelers can connect, chat, plan and arrive confidently at their destination.

Harmony Fields, Harmony Hensley

Harmony Fields is a world-class wedding and event venue with onsite cabins for overnight accommodations that create meaningful work for people with disabilities.

Paws to Remember, Maryglenn Warnock

Paws to Remember is a pet aftercare business that provides such services as: pet funerals, events and celebrations of life; pet bereavement counseling, and assistance with creating memorials. www.pawstoremember.co

Biz Class Only, Stephen Parker

Biz Class Only is a premium travel subscription service that finds the best deals on business class flights and sends them straight to your inbox — for about the price of a checked bag.

UPTherapy Network, Gigi Jordan

UPTherapy Network is an online network that allows rehabilitation therapy providers and consumers to make valuable connections, and consumers to make informed decisions when choosing an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or speech language pathologist.

In the highly fragmented outpatient rehabilitation market, UPTherapy Network aims to create online rehabilitation therapy ecosystem built on transparency and consumer trust.

By creating a profile, therapists can provide a powerful snapshot of their practice providing the important information without the noise. Consumers can easily connect with providers in their area filtering by location, availability, accepted payment/insurance, and transparent ratings.

Hospital Hoodies, Lauren Bellflower

Hospital gowns suck. They are designed to make you feel exposed, venerable and generally uncomfortable. Yet, your street clothing is inaccessible to IV's and other medical equipment. That's where Hospital Hoodies comes in! We are a fully accessible clothing brand designed for patients who are unique.

Hospital Hoodies was founded by a Crohn's disease patient who was absolutely sick of the traditional hospital gown. She hoped and waited for years for an alternative, before finally striking out on her own. We hope to deliver you the most superior comfort you have ever felt while in one of the most uncomfortable situations.

Piqit, Jordon Washington

At Piqit we believe that a small idea can spark big outcomes. That's why we are focused on leveraging the power of geo-dynamic ad insertion to give small business the chance to use the power of podcast advertising, and we are giving small podcasters a chance to create more great content. Our intentional mix of SaaS and service allows our clients to create and track location based podcast ad campaigns in real time. We are combining the best aspects of old school radio ads with the best parts of new school podcasting to create a powerful new local advertising medium.

The Kindness Project, Nealy Glenn and Ashley Reale

Heartful is an app that partners with Brands, connecting them with their customers (our users) for a daily mission to commit intentional acts of kindness, modeled after Groupon, incentivizing users to share and receive rewards as a result. Our ultimate goal is to create a community of likeminded people who are interested in bringing kindness more into their daily lives with the intention of sharing more positive content on social media.

MyType, Joshua Meyers and Matt Olafson

MyType is a dating app that uses the Enneagram of Personality to help users connect on a deeper level while learning more about themselves in the process. We want to facilitate communicative relationships and strengthen bonds using the Enneagram.

dabr Interactive, David McGuire

Premli is a digital platform that allows licensed professionals to log, track, and manage their continuing education for their profession. Premli was designed for quick and easy reporting of continuing competencies through our mobile application or website. Additionally, Premli makes it easy for state licensing boards to oversee compliance of licensees through the True Audit tool. Premli was specifically created for licensed professionals by a licensed professional and is a product of dabr Interactive.

Residency Health, Phillip Henry

Residency Health is a digital preceptor where we leverage intelligent personality profiling that allows us to connect mentees and mentors in less time. How we do so is by providing key metrics on our medical students and medical professionals before they make initial contact, which would allow for 4-8 years additional training.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

As a child, Phil Shmerling would scour the newspaper’s stock quotes with his father, investing only in companies he thought were the “coolest” at the time - baseball cards and Toys ‘R Us made the top of the list. While Phil’s financial expertise has greatly matured since then, listening to him describe Nashville’s entrepreneurial spirit, it’s clear his excitement for investing in people he believes in has only amplified with age.

Phil Shmerling, Founder of InCrowd Capital & SVP and Relationship Manager at Studio Bank

Shmerling was the founder of InCrowd Capital, an angel investment network with over 53 active members who helped fund 14 different companies, and now works as Senior Vice President and Relationship Manager at Studio Bank. “We’re set on serving creators,” he told listeners in his episode of the Navigate podcast.

“There are not a lot of bankers in Nashville who really understand startup business models and startup processes,” he said, “and of course, if you don’t have three years of operating income or profitability, you’re probably not a good client for them.”

Unlike traditional banks that generate revenue by lending and then recovering money, Studio Bank’s mission is to build out an ecosystem for thought leaders and investors in the entrepreneurial community, one that supports startups in the earliest stages of raising capital.

But as we learned from Shmerling’s interview, navigating the complicated landscape of funding your first company can be a daunting task filled with avoidable errors. Here’s just a few tips he offered on how early-stage entrepreneurs can find venture funding, and some creative ways to use it once it’s secured.

Two Types of Investors: Professional and Non-Professional

The first lesson Shmerling covered was to classify investors into two categories - professional and non-professional.

“Professional investors are what I would call venture capitalists, angel groups or any individual angels,” who invest regularly in startups, he explained. “They are actively seeking investments to make into early-stage companies.”

But Shmerling cautioned listeners that most venture capitalists won’t invest in just ideas, a common misconception of the funding process. “Every entrepreneur, myself included [when starting InCrowd], thinks they have a great idea [or product] and they're just going to go out and tell people about it, and they're going to [get an investment] . But professional investors want to see that dreaded T-word,” he said. “Call me back when you have more traction.” Shmerling said entrepreneurs hear that one all the time.

““It means proof that you can execute. They don’t want to write you a check just to help you test your assumptions.””
— Phil Shmerling

It’s why professional investors account for only 3% of all startup funding. The other 97% of capital, Shmerling explained, often comes from the second type of investor - the non-professionals.

Beyond the obvious - friends and family - Shmerling defines the non-professional investor as anyone with a vested interest in the company. Surprisingly, that may include your own customers. “I think a lot of entrepreneurs don't really think about customers as much as they should,” he said.

Phil Shmerling in a panel discussion at Twende Summit 2019

For a startup founder who is “pre-revenue,” the notion of asking an early customer for investment money may sound a bit presumptuous, perhaps even unrealistic. But Shmerling suggested it’s just a matter of getting creative with the pitch.

“You can go to them and say write me a check for $50,000 and I'll give you $60,000 worth of purchasing power,” he offered as an example. “Most companies I know that have started in Nashville have gotten their funding, their first check, from a customer who paid them in advance,” he said.

By offering discounts to customers for pre-paying or buying in bulk, or even equity shares in the business for investing, entrepreneurs can engage their own clients to help fund their startup.

The approach worked for Shmerling. “It was the first seven customers that paid for me to launch my business,” he said, referring to InCrowd.

Three Unique Ways Early Stage Entrepreneurs Find Funding

Shmerling believes these days there are countless ways entrepreneurs can secure investment capital at the early stages of their startup. He outlined some of the most common for our listeners.

Crowdfunding. Platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and WeFunder are popular crowd-sourced investment vehicles. “They’ve proven that people are willing to pay you for a product that doesn't exist yet,” Shmerling said.

But crowdfunding also reveals another common mistake he sees entrepreneurs often making, a rush to market without laying the proper groundwork.

““Entrepreneurs think crowdfunding is a shortcut. You can’t just show up one day and say hey look how great my idea is. You have to lay the groundwork early. You have to say here’s what I’m working on, here are the milestones I plan to hit.””
— Phil Shmerling

Bootstrapping. Similar to crowdfunding, bootstrapping is another creative way for early stage entrepreneurs to find capital. Successful bootstrapping campaigns may range from asking friends and family for assistance to reaching out to your customers for an investment. “I want to make it clear that you can get funding from your customers,” Shmerling said.

But the pitfall Shmerling warned about with bootstrapping is waiting too long to ask for an investment. “A huge mistake I hear entrepreneurs say all the time is we don't want to talk to investors or customers yet because we don't have a product to show them.” Shmerling argued that is the exact right time entrepreneurs should seek out capital, to help build a working prototype, which can then include customer feedback.

Angel Investors. According to Shmerling, angel investors are people who not only believe in your startup, but who may also know your industry well. Beyond just money, angel investors can help you with connections and other resources you will need to get your product launched.

There is, of course, the elusive fourth option for an early-stage entrepreneur seeking startup funding. It’s turning to venture capitalists like Monique Villa of Mucker Capital.

We caught up with Villa backstage at the recent 2019 Twende Summit, where founders of color gathered for a single mission - to connect with the networks, knowledge, and resources to help them grow beyond the first 3 years of their startup.

Villa represents the professional investor category Shmerling described, the financial backers of only 3% of all startup funding. Villa presented at Twende on ways for early stage entrepreneurs to become more “investable.”

One tactic she offered was not to confuse a venture capitalist’s investment discretion with ego.

“When interacting with investors, the concept that the investor is in a place of power is a complete fallacy.”
— Monique Villa

“By definition we are service providers who are providing capital for founders so they can build their businesses.” It’s why she suggested to think twice when seeking support from investors with a power trip.

“Venture capital is one option,” Villa stated, but “it’s not the option.” She told listeners that despite what many entrepreneurs believe, VC funding should never be the “goal” either. Securing venture capital “does not define success nor prevent you from being a success without it.”

At the moment, Villa is researching the thriving ecosystems of the Southeast. She believes Nashville’s population density is a tremendous asset to the region, but also the surrounding depth of knowledge, resources and industry expertise. “If you combine those things and then add in the fact that people are enthusiastically moving here,” Villa shared, “I believe this is the region that will really explode in the next couple of years.”

Shmerling agrees. It’s why he said it’s a “great time to be a startup in Nashville.”

“A Great Time to be a Startup in Nashville”

As part of his new position with Studio Bank, Shmerling said the process to build an ecosystem for entrepreneurs and investors is a 30-year process. “I’d say we’re about 10 years in,” he said of Nashville’s status. The next step is to get successful angel investors to reinvest in the community.

“The way it starts is entrepreneurs create great businesses. Their exits may be anywhere from $10 to $50 million. Then they become angels themselves and start writing checks for new startups to help the next wave of companies get enough funding to get to $100 million dollar exits.”

In the meantime, Shmerling said the most important thing for an early-stage entrepreneur to do is start with the end in mind. “You have to know where you want to grow your company. What do you want it to look like in 5, 10, 15 years,” he said.

““I tell entrepreneurs if you build a great business, people are going to be throwing money at you. But you can’t just convince people that it’s a great business; you have to show them it’s a great business.””
— Phil Shmerling

To hear more advice from Phil Shmerling on funding your startup as an early stage entrepreneur be sure to listen to the full episode above. Phil And don’t forget to subscribe to Navigate wherever you get your podcasts.

Phil will also be speaking about “How to Raise Early Stage Capital” on Thursday, May 16th at Studio Bank. Register at howtoraise.eventbrite.com and use offer code “NEC2019” for $10 off.

HAVE TROUBLE NAVIGATING ALL OF NASHVILLE'S RESOURCES? TAKE OUR FREE NAVIGATION ASSESSMENT TO BE CONNECTED TO THE RIGHT RESOURCE.

Once you've completed the assessment, a friendly EC team member will reach out to guide you with a few recommendations. As a non-profit, it's our mission to champion YOU. We're in your corner.

SUBSCRIBE IN YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP:

Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotifyStitcherOvercastBreakerTuneIn

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Most budding entrepreneurs will look for any and every opportunity to help build their small businesses.

And thankfully there’s a ton of resources out there for startups looking to grow - ranging from government grants to pitch competitions with the promise of cash awards or investment funding. In fact, according to data compiled by online database PitchBook, in 2017 alone, venture capitalists invested $85 billion into independent entrepreneurs.

Unfortunately for small business owners like Shani Dowell only 2.2% of all that money finds its way to female-founded enterprises. Dowell is the creator and CEO of Possip, a platform that simplifies feedback and communication between parents and schools.

Shani Dowell, Founder and CEO of Possip

First launched in 2017, while also juggling a full-time job, Dowell was able to grow her company from a single school willing to test out her idea to now over 100 schools in sixteen states.

Possip’s success story wouldn’t surprise anyone who studies the data. In fact, Fortune Magazine did the math just last year and revealed that women-run startup companies actually outperformed their male counterparts, generating more revenue - 78 cents per dollar for women compared to 31 cents for men - despite getting less funding.

While those results are promising, it doesn’t make the struggle for women and people of color any easier. “We still have to work twice as hard to get half as far,” Dowell said. “I applied to lots of stuff, and some of that took hours and hours and hours to apply to. And if you get to the next round, it’s more hours, and then the next round, even more hours...”

The application stage itself for many startup competition programs can eat away at critical time most entrepreneurs simply can’t afford to spare. Dowell compared it to playing the lottery. “You invest all this time and you get, if you're lucky, some feedback on the other end. But you've just spent five to ten hours that you could have spent in lots of different ways,” she said.

Shani Dowell at an EC InFlight Session

“I could spend all my time just applying for programs and not getting them as opposed to focusing on building the business or actually just going out to people and asking them for money.”

The low odds and significant application demands, Dowell believes, traps entrepreneurs in a time-squandering cycle. “I think part of why women and people of color do this is because we don't have the same networks,” she said. “At least this is a path and this is something concrete I can be doing towards my business.”

It was this very issue that inspired Dowell to write an article for Medium.com entitled, Are Efforts For Diverse Founders Helping or Hurting? While she made it clear to her readers that she is grateful for all the opportunities that have come from the programs she participated in, she questions whether these efforts are actually helping those who need it the most.

“Women and people of color are being asked to apply to more things with lower pots and low likelihood of winning,” Dowell wrote in her article. “The more time they spend applying to opportunities that don’t yield anything on the other end, the less time they have to build their business.”

Dowell went on to suggest companies, accelerators and VCs that really want to help minority business communities should ensure the time entrepreneurs spend applying for the programs should yield something helpful on the other end.

“Make sure there is more than a press release,” she wrote. “Make sure that your efforts to increase equity in funding and supporting entrepreneurs doesn’t disproportionately put the burden on those you are seeking to serve and support.”

Shani Dowell in studio with Clark & Brynn

All that said, Dowell doesn’t plan to stop applying for programs that offer investment and business resources to women and people of color. She’ll just do it smarter. Her advice to fellow entrepreneurs is not to apply to every program they can find.

“Focus on the opportunities that would be transformational for you and your business...Consider the match of the likelihood of you getting a win, the value of that win once you get it, and the application process that will get you to that win.”

Shani Dowell pitching at InFlight First Look 2019

And if you’re still going to enter the pitch competition? “Make sure you are spending at least equal time tapping into networks, thought leaders, and individuals outside of your natural networks,” Dowell advised.

To hear more about Possip’s incredible growth and Dowell’s advice for diverse founders looking to accelerate their own startups, be sure to listen to the full episode above! And don’t forget to subscribe to Navigate wherever you get your podcasts.

JOIN US APRIL 12TH AT TWENDE SUMMIT

In Kiswahili, twende means let's go. Twende is a summit designed to connect black and brown founders with the networks, knowledge, and resources to help them grow beyond the first 3 years of their startup. We welcome all entrepreneurs, investors, professionals and community members of all backgrounds who are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion, and addressing the issue of inequitable access to funding for founders of color.

Register here SUBSCRIBE IN YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP:

Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotifyStitcherOvercastBreakerTuneIn

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Embed Block Add an embed URL or code. Learn more

“In recovery, I was always taught you can’t keep anything...unless you give it away.”

If you’ve been on this entrepreneurial journey with us from the get-go, you’ll likely recognize those were the inspiring words Michael Brody-Waite shared with our listeners in his episode of the Navigate podcast.

Specifically Brody-Waite was referring to why he chose to return to the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, now as CEO and a mentor. Just a few years earlier, the EC had guided him and his struggling startup successfully through the murky waters of our local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Will and Tiffany Acuff, co-founders of Corner to Corner, modeled their company’s mission after the same lesson - giving back to those around you. The self-described “scrappy” faith-based nonprofit began in 2011 out of their own home with a single purpose - to assist former offenders with finding meaningful employment - and has since grown to provide programming and outreach to multiple communities across Middle Tennessee.

Will Acuff, Co-founder of Corner to Corner

It all started when the Acuffs found themselves surrounded by talented, hard-working individuals - some of them their own neighbors - eager to contribute to Nashville’s flourishing economy but with no clear path or opportunity to do so. That’s when they launched The Academy - Corner to Corner’s entrepreneurial training program - a ten-week course that helps “underestimated” entrepreneurs plan, start and grow their own small business.”

The program offers participants a circle of support, a curriculum of proven success and access to experts from all areas of the small business world. “We bring in guest speakers who highlight some of their own hard-fought wisdom, as well as some pro tips,” Acuff said. “And it all ends in a huge neighborhood celebration that is one-part party and one-part pitch contest. It's a night for the community to really come together.”

So what defines an “underestimated entrepreneur”?

Last Fall, the Mayor’s office conducted a disparity study to determine whether city contracts were being allotted to competitive companies on an “even playing field” regardless of racial or gender differences. Audra Ladd, Manager of Small Business and Creative Economy for the Office of Mayor David Briley shared the findings of that study with our listeners.

“People of color - and women in particular - were not receiving contracts in proportion to their availability and qualifications.”

According to statistics by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, of the 30,000 small businesses in the greater Nashville area - defined as those with 5 or less employees - just one-third of them are woman-owned, and only 2,000 are run by minority founders.

In response to the study, Mayor Briley rolled out historic Equal Business Opportunity legislation which paves the way to overhaul the government’s procurement processes and provide additional resources to establish equity for businesses from more diverse backgrounds.

While Ladd admits the passing of this legislation is a step in the right direction, she believes even more can be done to level the playing field and provide additional guidance to businesses that may otherwise never find the opportunity.

Audra Ladd, Founder & CEO of Nashville Made

The Office of Economic and Community Development supports businesses of all sizes, from startups to global enterprises interested in relocating to Nashville. Ladd’s office is also committed to entrepreneurship and small business development. “We have an amazing group of people who like to work together, who genuinely are invested in seeing everyone succeed,” she shared.

“Everything is here [in Nashville] already,” Ladd said, including the tools to maneuver the sometimes confusing ecosystem. “I think some people don’t realize it’s here. So that’s part of my job to say, ‘Did you know that there are over a dozen resources for you?”

“One thing that I'm working on that will launch this spring is a zero-interest crowdfunding loan program, called Kiva” Ladd said.

The concept behind Ladd’s initiative is that when neighbors invest in each other, the community as a whole wins. Anyone can become a lender too, supporting businesses around them with investments as low as $25, and in return, 36 months later they’ll be paid back and can choose to cash out or offer to re-loan.

Audra Ladd at the Navigate Podcast Launch Party

Better yet, the city recently received a grant from the state which will be used to help bolster new and small businesses in what they call Promise Zones” - high poverty communities in and around Nashville where the federal government will partner with local leaders to encourage and enhance the economic investments in the area.

“If you’re an entrepreneur of color or a woman in the Promise Zone,” Ladd said, “we will use the grant funding to match.” So if an underestimated small business can raise, for example, $5,000 through their own crowdfunding efforts, the city will then match that amount using $5,000 from the grant.

Neighbors helping neighbors is the driving force behind what the Acuffs have been doing with Corner to Corner as well.

“I want to push the entrepreneurship community to stop thinking just in terms of ‘high-growth,’ but start thinking into neighborhood economic engines that can create vehicles of sustainability for families.”

For the past two years, The Academy has graduated over 100 entrepreneurs, each at various stages of owning a small business. One of those graduates, Shana Berkeley, just took over as Director of The Academy.

Much like Brody-Waite had done with the EC, Berkeley now runs the very program that previously assisted her. “I genuinely can't wait to see what Shana does,” Acuff said. “I think she will grow this thing in a phenomenal way.”

Fall 2018 Graduates of Corner to Corner’s program, The Academy.

To hear more about The Academy, including some of their graduate’s success stories, or to find out where in the city you can go to get the resources you need, be sure to listen to the full episode above! And don’t forget to subscribe to Navigate wherever you get your podcasts.

HAVE TROUBLE NAVIGATING ALL OF NASHVILLE'S RESOURCES? TAKE OUR FREE NAVIGATION ASSESSMENT TO BE CONNECTED TO THE RIGHT RESOURCE.

Once you've completed the assessment, a friendly EC team member will reach out to guide you with a few recommendations. As a non-profit, it's our mission to champion YOU. We're in your corner.

SUBSCRIBE IN YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP:

Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotifyStitcherOvercastBreakerTuneIn

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

“In recovery, I was always taught you can’t keep anything...unless you give it away.”

If you’ve been on this entrepreneurial journey with us from the get-go, you’ll likely recognize those were the inspiring words Michael Brody-Waite shared with our listeners in his episode of the Navigate podcast.

Specifically Brody-Waite was referring to why he chose to return to the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, now as CEO and a mentor. Just a few years earlier, the EC had guided him and his startup successfully through the murky waters of our local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Will and Tiffany Acuff, co-founders of Corner to Corner, modeled their company’s mission after the same lesson - giving back to those around you. The self-described “scrappy” faith-based nonprofit began in 2011 out of their own home with a single purpose - to assist former offenders with finding meaningful employment - and has since grown to provide programming and outreach to multiple communities across Middle Tennessee.

Will Acuff, Co-founder of Corner to Corner

It all started when the Acuffs found themselves surrounded by talented, hard-working individuals - some of them their own neighbors - eager to contribute to Nashville’s flourishing economy but with no clear path or opportunity to do so. That’s when they launched The Academy - Corner to Corner’s entrepreneurial training program - a ten-week course that helps “underestimated” entrepreneurs plan, start and grow their own small business.

The program offers participants a circle of support, a curriculum of proven success and access to experts from all areas of the small business world. “We bring in guest speakers who highlight some of their own hard-fought wisdom, as well as some pro tips,” Acuff said. “And it all ends in a huge neighborhood celebration that is one-part party and one-part pitch contest. It's a night for the community to really come together.”

So what defines an “underestimated entrepreneur”?

Last Fall, the Mayor’s office conducted a disparity study to determine whether city contracts were being allotted to competitive companies on an “even playing field” regardless of racial or gender differences. Audra Ladd, Manager of Small Business and Creative Economy for the Office of Mayor David Briley shared the findings of that study with our listeners.

“People of color - and women in particular - were not receiving contracts in proportion to their availability and qualifications.”

According to statistics by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, of the 30,000 small businesses in the greater Nashville area - defined as those with 5 or less employees - just one-third of them are woman-owned, and only 2,000 are run by minority founders.

In response to the study, Mayor Briley rolled out historic Equal Business Opportunity legislation which paves the way to overhaul the government’s procurement processes and provide additional resources to establish equity for businesses from more diverse backgrounds.

While Ladd admits the passing of this legislation is a step in the right direction, she believes even more can be done to level the playing field and provide additional guidance to businesses that may otherwise never find the opportunity.

Audra Ladd, Manager of Small Business and Creative Economy for the Office of Mayor David Briley

The Office of Economic and Community Development supports businesses of all sizes, from startups to global enterprises interested in relocating to Nashville. Ladd’s office is also committed to entrepreneurship and small business development. “We have an amazing group of people who like to work together, who genuinely are invested in seeing everyone succeed,” she shared.

“Everything is here [in Nashville] already,” Ladd said, including the tools to maneuver the sometimes confusing ecosystem. “I think some people don’t realize it’s here. So that’s part of my job to say, ‘Did you know that there are over a dozen resources for you?”

“One thing that I'm working on that will launch this spring is a zero-interest crowdfunding loan program, called Kiva” Ladd said.

The concept behind Ladd’s initiative is that when neighbors invest in each other, the community as a whole wins. Anyone can become a lender too, supporting businesses around them with investments as low as $25, and in return, 36 months later they’ll be paid back and can choose to cash out or offer to re-loan.

Audra Ladd at the Navigate Podcast Launch Party

Better yet, the city recently received a grant from the state which will be used to help bolster new and small businesses in what they call “Promise Zones” - high poverty communities in and around Nashville where the federal government will partner with local leaders to encourage and enhance the economic investments in the area.

“If you’re an entrepreneur of color or a woman in the Promise Zone,” Ladd said, “we will use the grant funding to match.” So if an underestimated small business can raise, for example, $5,000 through their own crowdfunding efforts, the city will then match that amount using $5,000 from the grant.

Neighbors helping neighbors is the driving force behind what the Acuffs have been doing with Corner to Corner as well.

“I want to push the entrepreneurship community to stop thinking just in terms of ‘high-growth,’ but start thinking into neighborhood economic engines that can create vehicles of sustainability for families.”

For the past two years, The Academy has graduated over 100 entrepreneurs, each at various stages of owning a small business. One of those graduates, Shana Berkeley, just took over as Director of The Academy.

Much like Brody-Waite has done with the EC, Berkeley now runs the very program that previously assisted her. “I genuinely can't wait to see what Shana does,” Acuff said. “I think she will grow this thing in a phenomenal way.”

Corner to Corner’s Fall 2018 Graduates

To hear more about The Academy, including some of their graduate’s success stories, or to find out where in the city you can go to get the resources you need, be sure to listen to the full episode above! And don’t forget to subscribe to Navigate wherever you get your podcasts.

HAVE TROUBLE NAVIGATING ALL OF NASHVILLE'S RESOURCES? TAKE OUR FREE NAVIGATION ASSESSMENT TO BE CONNECTED TO THE RIGHT RESOURCE.

Once you've completed the assessment, a friendly EC team member will reach out to guide you with a few recommendations. As a non-profit, it's our mission to champion YOU. We're in your corner.

SUBSCRIBE IN YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP:

Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotifyStitcherOvercastBreakerTuneIn

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

It’s the true story of sweet success, and if you were among the hundreds of hopeful entrepreneurs who joined us at the Entrepreneur Center a few weeks ago for the official launch party of our Navigate podcast, you could just about taste it in the air.

As she took to the stage, Mignon Francois, the woman behind the Cupcake Collection, one of Nashville’s most successful startups, we knew we were in for a real treat. “I don’t know, Clark,” she teased as she slipped a pair of headphones over her ears, then released the first of many wide smiles she would share with us that evening. “This is messing with my afro!”

Mignon Francois at the Navigate Live Podcast Launch event.

To call her account one of “rags-to-riches” may be accurate - she did manage to turn just five dollars into ten million and counting - but listening to Francois describe her journey from foreclosure to fortune, it is clear the one part of her backstory that’s always remained the same is her faith.

“I believe that money doesn’t have much value, but your faith is currency that will perform for you. ”

It was the unwavering belief that she had a purpose, that something greater than her had a plan in place for which Francois credits her inspiration to push onward. “God has such a sense of humor that he will send you a big contract when you don't have any money to start, and then all you can do is trust him to fulfill it.”

And that’s just what Francois did. In 2007, she was approached by a neighbor who offered to pay her for some homemade cupcakes she could gift to her friends and clients. Francois had just finished tucking away the last few dollars of spending money she had for the week - literally $5 - and now had a difficult decision to make: she could feed her family or follow her faith.

So Francois walked to the local supermarket - her car had been recently repossessed - and spent all five dollars on baking ingredients. That night, as she whipped everything together in her kitchen by the dim light of a backup generator - the only electricity she could afford at the time - she never stopped to wonder if she’d ever see a return on her initial investment.

Somehow, she knew her faith would be rewarded.

Later that night she turned over a dozen or so cupcakes to her neighbor and received $60 as payment. She took her initial five back, used it to feed her family, and then reinvested the remaining $55 into more cupcake ingredients. “I’ve been flipping that same money into over five million cupcakes sold, and over $10 million in business,” Francois proudly announced. “We haven’t even been able to count it all yet.”

The Cupcake Collection

It is amusing to her though, she says, to watch all these banks eagerly scramble for her business, years after rejecting her own calls for help. Another one of those ear-to-ear smiles frosts over her face when she reveals she does take some pleasure now being able to tell them all: “Nah, I got this!”

And by the way, she did all this completely debt-free, always replacing whatever initial down payment she had made; it’s how Francois was raised and how she’s been bringing up her own children.

As a mother of “six-plus-one” - Francois adopted a high-school student she was mentoring as one of her own - the moral of her story isn’t about the fame or fortune her incredible hard work has brought her. It’s about the future of those following behind in her footsteps. “My family name hails from one of the largest plantations in Louisiana. What an homage that I get to pay to my ancestors to be out here making a way for the people coming behind me that carry my name,” she shared. “That's the kind of stuff that's important to me.”

Francois also explained why she thinks the Cupcake Collection is so special, and has outlasted all of its competitors. “For me, there is no competition,” she said humbly.

“ So many of us are trying to fake it until we make it. And people are tired of fake people. We want real interactions. We want real conversations. We want real experiences. We want real ingredients. And that’s what the Cupcake Collection is.”

“What you come in to get is not what you walk out the door with,” she continued. “You walk out the door with a different product because we can't serve you what we actually sell in a tangible way. We serve joy. We serve an experience that takes you back to sitting at your grandmother's table where she sliced it, put it on a plate, you ate it with a fork and you had a conversation.”

An opportunity for honest dialogue is just one way Francois sets herself apart - and may just be what brings customers back time and again - besides the delicious baked goods, of course!

It’s easy to see why talking with Francois could make anyone feel warm and special. She has a unique way of speaking about life, business and uphill battles like her own in a digestible, relatable manner - almost like a preacher with pastries.

It’s the advice many budding entrepreneurs in the room gathered to hear.

“Your struggle is directly connected to the reward,” she told us. “Every stupid thing that you've ever had to do, every job, every situation, everybody that left you, everybody that came to help you, everything is preparing you to get from where you are to where it is that you're going to be.”

Q&A at the Navigate Live Podcast Launch event

As part of the conversation, Francois took questions from the audience. She spoke slowly and clearly in her replies, making sure every entrepreneur in the room heard her stance on why so many of them feel paralyzed by fear.

“You're not afraid of failure. You're afraid of success because what's going to happen if you become successful? You gotta get up everyday and do that thing. You got to actually show up,” she said with the authority only a wise grandmother could possess. “There's no one else to fall back on but you, that's what's really scaring you because you actually know it's a good idea and it will work.”

“I think if people knew that's what they were really afraid of,” Francois revealed, “they would approach it all differently. Sometimes we're so busy worrying about the fact that we've been broken, and we think we can't be used because we've been broken. But an egg will rot if it's never broken. And it once it's broken, it can be fully used.”

Francois now owns outright the very same home she almost lost in foreclosure a few years back. It serves as a reminder of where she’s been and what both she and her family have survived through.

“The same hot water that hardens an egg, softens a potato. So it's about the character of what's being put into hot water,” she confessed. “It doesn't matter what kind of hot water you're in, you can make it. You don't have to be changed by your situation; you can become better because of it. This is not happening to you; it's happening for you. And that's what my life has been.”

Mignon Francois, Founder and CEO of The Cupcake Collection

For more inspirational lessons from Mignon Francois be sure to listen to the entire episode of Navigate.

BONUS: PILOT COURSE - Get Help Validating Your Business Idea

Like a pilot guides a plane, our free online course Pilot will guide you through the thought process you need to follow to validate your business idea.

If you’ve ever thought…

“I want to start a business, but I have no idea where to start.”

“I think this is a good idea, but if I’m going to pursue it, I need to know for certain. I don’t want to take a risk on something that will fail.”

“I don’t like what I’m doing now, but I don’t know how to make a change.”

…Pilot could be the first step into your new life as an entrepreneur.

Submit the form below to receive information on how to enroll in a free pilot course to help you workshop your business idea.

NEVER MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE IN YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP:

Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotifyStitcherOvercastBreakerTuneIn

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview