The Atlanta GA stop on the “Find Your Voice Tour” included joining the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit as a Business Mentor for the attendees and Media Coverage.
My favorite moments:
1,200 + entrepreneurs from almost every city gathered in Atlanta, GA for the 2015 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit #BESummit hosted by Nationwide. Three days (May 13-15) of life-changing connections, sessions, and events filled the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. With the Black Enterprise Mobile app, attendees were able to keep updated with the schedule, receive info from the sponsors and view all social media in one place.
I had the opportunity of attending the summit with two roles: First- as a media partner connecting with my audience through my Blog, Stanard Report and my Philly-Based Radio Show, Philly Speaks. Second- as a business coach mentoring individuals trying to start or grow their businesses.
The week featured many highlights, here are mine:
Wednesday: May 13th
Going up: The Elevator Pitch- Hosted by AT&T
A select group of finalists get 60 seconds to pitch their business to a group of judges and to go head-to-head for a chance to win $10,000 in this high-stakes competition.
Earl “Butch” Graves, Jr., President & CEO, Black Enterprise
Lisa Nichols, CEO, Motivating the Masses
Winner of the $10,000 Prize: Pop Up Plus is an online and pop up shop for curvy trendsetters sizes 14 + Our collection is a curated assortment of Junior Plus, Indie, International & Contemporary pieces. popupplusonline.com
Now I personally love watching entrepreneurs pitch their companies, the presentations are exciting to me because I get to see how many great ideas are being created in different cities. Being a serial entrepreneur and a soon-to-be investor, I get just as excited as the company when they love their industry.
Thursday: May 14th
Game Planning for your Business
One-to-one, your coach will provide you with insights, strategies, and tips.
I was one of the Business Coaches during the summit and on the first day met awesome businesses I loved, including: Ujammabox- a monthly subscription box featuring awesome products from black-owned businesses. http://www.ujammabox.com
Loved this digital section during the summit, AT&T offered a fun and interactive way for us connect our devices and connect with attendees.
Accelerating Your Tech Startup
Accelerators are helping entrepreneurs put pedal to the metal, aiding startups with funding, venture capital pitching courses, visibility opportunities, and equity financing.
Chris Bennett, Co-Founder and CEO, Soldsie: Black Founders (NewME)
Jewel Burks, Co-Founder & CEO, Partpic
Joel Lyons, Technology Editor, Black Enterprise
I enjoyed hearing the different views from each of the speakers, especially on the topic of joining an accelerator to raise capital and find resources. I’ve applied for a couple of tech programs just to perfect my company pitch and to find the right city to explore. The process is intense and sometimes you do not get much feedback from the program managers on why you do not get it. But the process is needed for any company to explain on continuous basis the reasons they know their company will be successful.
Small Business Awards Luncheon
Talent plus drive; creativity matched by confidence. In 2014 small businesses put it all on the line. The best and brightest came up winners, and BE honors their achievements. Join us as we honor the best in small business.
Guest: Jermaine Dupri, CEO, So So Def Recordings
I never knew Jermaine Dupri’s backstory and how he started when he was 12 yrs and couldn’t finish high school because his school in ATL wouldn’t take his schoolwork from on the road. You grow up watching a lot of your favorite entertainers but do not take the time to know their background unless they tell us during an interview. I also did not know how involved Dupri was in technology, now a lot of people love technology especially if you have a smartphone. But most people do not take the time to learn about the business side of tech and start a company or invest in one.
A Fireside Chat with Steve Harvey
Now I’ve always admired Harvey’s hustle and family life but never knew his background about being homeless for years and failed marriages. During his talk, Steve got slightly emotional about his struggles and his AHA moment when he realized his true calling.
Some of my favorite quotes from the Chat:
“Your imagination is evidence of things not seen”. @IAmSteveHarvey
“My life is called grace”. @IAmSteveHarvey
“As long as you stay in your gift, you will have the best chance for success.” @IAmSteveHarvey
Friday: May 15th
Game Planning for your Business
One-to-one, your coach will provide you with insights, strategies, and tips
Day 2 of my business coaching sessions and I had the privilege of meeting more inspiring entrepreneurs. One entrepreneur started a media company to feature new artists during a monthly showcase; the second entrepreneur started a fashion company with his wife to help women with selecting various fashions. Overall, these entrepreneurs will be successful not only because they have great ideas, they had the courage to ask for help in the beginner stages of growing their companies.
Loved this digital section during the summit, AT&T offered a fun and interactive way for us connect our devices and connect with attendees. I had the best conversations while trying to charge my phone.
Leveraging Reality TV to Further Your Business
Reality TV is a guilty pleasure, for sure. But it’s also big business, and these savvy entrepreneurs not only recognized that potential, they capitalized on it in ways that go far beyond their 15 minutes of fame.
Egypt Sherrod, HGTV Host, CEO of the The Egypt Sherrod Real Estate Group & Author
Reality TV is new way of “becoming famous” just like sources such as youtube. Now depending on what type of reality show you are casted for you can gain great exposure from yourself, company or brand. Understanding entertainment and how most people associate good tv with drama and fighting you have to be careful with how real you would like your reality to be. If done correctly the brand you build while being on TV can take you to new levels if you have the team to get you there.
One of my favorite quotes:
The Corporate Procurement Game: Operating Small, Smelling Big
Corporate America spends more than $100 billion on goods and services provided by small suppliers—and big buyers have even more cash burning holes in their pockets, looking for new links in their expanding supply chains. Opportunity abounds, but beware: Navigating that supply chain can be challenging … and costly!
Frantz Tiffeau, Director, Supplier Diversity and Development, Nationwide
Terrez Thompson, Vice President, Global Supplier Diversity, The Coca Cola Company
Oliver Turman, Director, Supplier Diversity, AT&T
Stacey Key, President & CEO, Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council
I’ve owned my marketing company, Prestige Concepts for 7 years and working with large corporation definitely started out as very difficult. Companies have to build a strong relationship with different departments and personnel to get on the radar when RFP’s are posted. Even if the company has all the requirements to receive the contract the process still can take almost 6 months to a year to finalize. Staying focus and creating a list of people and corporations you would like to work with makes the process a little easier.
Two of my favorite quotes:
“A small project with @ATT could be $5 million dollars” Oliver Turman from @ATT
“Don’t try to spread yourself around like peanut butter, be focused” Oliver Turman from @ATT
BE Top 35 Companies for Supplier Diversity Recognition Ceremony
BE 100 Award presentation to Financial Services Company of the Year
One-on-One Conversation with Michael Lee Chin
Now I didn’t know much about Chin prior to the luncheon (I need to make it a point to know every single billionaire in the world, you know just in case LOL), I really enjoyed hearing about his story and upbringings in Jamaica. When I think of Jamaica I always reflect on great beaches, tropical drinks, heavy accents, and the “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” movie. Never crossed my mind to invest in Jamaica by growing or starting a business with local residents. The difference between billionaires and non-billionaires not only do they invest in their cities but they invest in places people forget about and saturate the market.
One of my favorite quotes:
Michael Lee Chin, “Role models are important because they inspire confidence & enthusiasm in a generation”.
BE 100s Anniversary
Our stay in Atlanta culminates with the gala event of the year! Come join in as we celebrate the year’s most compelling and inspiring business success stories in spectacular fashion.
Gale V. King, EVP, Chief Administrative Officer, Nationwide
Mistress of Ceremonies:
Zain Asher, News Anchor, CNN International
Trailblazer Award Recipients:
Clarence Avant, Music Executive, Entrepreneurs, Film Producer
Quincy Jones, Musician, Multimedia Entrepreneur, Humanitarian
A.G. Gaston Award Recipient:
Michael Lee Chin, Executive Chairman, CEO, Chief Investment Officer & Portfolio Manager, Portland Investment Counsel
My Favorite Quotes:
“If you never go away…. you will never have to make a comeback.” @QuincyDJones
“Try something. If it doesn’t work, try something else” Clarence Avant