Creative Coast kicks off entrepreneurial lecture series 1 Million Cups

Article on Business in Savannah by Julia Ritchey.

The Creative Coast kicked off its new coffee and speaker series, 1 Million Cups, on Wednesday morning, giving two local entrepreneurs a chance to present their startups to a diverse cross section of Savannah’s business community. About 50 people gathered at the nonprofit’s new digs, called the Creators’ Foundry, on West Boundary Street to listen to Ian Nott of startup Aetho and Justin Sacks with the website StartupPoint, who talked about their business plans and goals. View Spotted® photos from the event. “We were looking for events that could be consistent … and we very much want events like this where the brains are in the 20-minute question-and-answer session — the brains are in the smart Savannah community,” said Bea Wray, executive director of Creative Coast. The Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City-based nonprofit focused on entrepreneurship, started 1 Million Cups a few years ago to help entrepreneurs gain insight into ways they could improve their businesses. The series now has programs in more than 50 cities and takes place from 9 to 10 a.m. every Wednesday at the Foundry. Each week, two presenters briefly introduce their companies before engaging in 20 minutes of questions from the audience. The format is designed to spark ideas, interest and excitement in the local business community. Nott’s company, Aetho, is developing stabilization companion products to the popular line of GoPro cameras, allowing consumers to create high quality video. Nott told the crowd his company had just wrapped up its first round of funding for several hundred thousand dollars and was entering its next phase of manufacturing a product before going to Kickstarter. “The biggest component we’re missing right now is an excellent engineer and product manager person,” Nott said. The audience at the Creative Coast peppered Nott with questions about Aetho, asking about his manufacturing plans and exit strategy and offering some blunt advice on finding an engineer. “Trying to find a good engineer and product manager in one person is like trying to find a unicorn,” said Kevin Lawver, a web developer and board member of Creative Coast, suggesting Nott look for two qualified people to tackle those roles. Presenting second, Justin Sacks introduced his company, StartupPoint, an online crowd-sourced network aimed at connecting entrepreneurs with other like-minded people to help build their startups. He said the concept behind his system was “if you ask enough people a question, you’ll eventually get the right answer.” During the feedback portion, some suggested that Sacks incorporate a review-based system that would allow users to candidly rate whether an entrepreneur was actually qualified, unlike positive-only referral sites such as LinkedIn. Wray said the series allows entrepreneurs to get really candid with each other as well as get rapid feedback on new ideas. “We hope that what’s happening between 9 and 10 a.m. every Wednesday morning is basically what’s going to be happening 9 to 5, five days a week here,” she said. “This is all about letting your guard down so you can learn.”
This has been a News Recap by The Creative Coast! Here we provide our news mentions and bi-weekly columns… just in case you missed them. Source: Business In Savannah]]>

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