DAYTON, OH – The Entrepreneurs Center hosted its first annual all-day entrepreneurial event, The Entrepreneurs Open this past Saturday, February 22, 2014. The free event welcomed over 200 guests and gave entrepreneurs the opportunity to speak with 22 local resource providers about their services and how the organizations could help jumpstart their business idea. The resource providers offered expertise in areas such as financial support, legal advice, investment consulting, marketing services, and business mentorship.
“We were very pleased with the event overall. There were entrepreneurs from across the Dayton-area that didn’t even know there were so many organizations willing to assist them with starting a business and we were happy to bridge that gap,” says Barbara Hayde, President, The Entrepreneurs Center.
There were multiple presentations at The Entrepreneurs Open given by industry experts on topics such as funding, internet marketing, patents and intellectual property. Local entrepreneur Pat Hood, President & CEO of Cornerstone Research Group (CRG) also gave a very candid presentation to a packed room about the journey of entrepreneurship. Throughout the day, entrepreneurs had the opportunity to hear six presentations on the various stages of owning and operating a business.
Presentations were given by the following:
- Andy Cothrel, President, Blue Marble Medical, LLC & Adjunct Professor at the University of Dayton
- Earl Gregorich, District Director, Wright State Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
- Pat Newcomb, The Entrepreneurs Center SBDC & Jim Hill, Business Incubation Manager, The Entrepreneurs Center
- Ran Raider, Government & Legal Information Coordinator, Wright State University Library
- Wesley Deters, Bad Girl Ventures
The Entrepreneurs Center gave a feature presentation about its Advance to Profit assessment tool, which is geared towards assisting entrepreneurs identify the gaps in their business plans and assessing the stage of commercialization a company is currently in.
The Entrepreneurs Open also featured an all-day speed consulting opportunity with the Dayton SCORE chapter and the Small Business Development Center representatives. Entrepreneurs who wanted to pitch an idea were able to receive professional advice and feedback on next steps for growing their respective businesses.
Inside a heated tent, dubbed The Networking Café, entrepreneurs could share insights with like-minded professionals and enjoy food from local vendors such as VooDoo TACO, Go Cupcake, and Miss Riley’s Cookies.
Concluding the day, the Dayton Development Coalition’s entrepreneurial development team, Accelerant™, collaborated with its entrepreneurial partner Wright-Patt Credit Union to host an event called Fund My Idea!
The event featured a group of investors and local business experts such as:
- Eric Graham, Managing Director, Maric Management, Inc.
- David Gasper, President, Assisted Patrol, LLC
- Keith Daniel, Independent Management Consultant
- Joel Ivers, VP, Entrepreneurial Development & Accelerant Fund Manager, Dayton Development Coalition
These judges gave valuable feedback to several pre-selected local companies, which included:
- Scratch Foods, a custom-catering business focusing on preparing meals & nutritional services
- Curo Legal, a company providing alternatives and solutions to the traditional law firm model
- TREWGrip, LLC, a company developing a handheld ‘rear-type’ keyboard & air mouse for mobile technology, smart TVs and desktop devices
- Redwall Technologies, a company that has developed a product called Redwall Mobile™, which uses unique patent-pending techniques to isolate data and applications into containers and profiles
Fund My Idea! was similar to format of ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. A panel of expert judges asked riveting questions to each company about their business plan, profit margins, and ability to grow long-term. Audience members also had an opportunity to vote for their favorite pitch.
“We wanted to show the audience of local entrepreneurs what investors are looking for during sales pitches and hopefully encourage them to get their own business idea off the ground,” says Joel Ivers, VP, Entrepreneurial Development & Accelerant Fund Manager, Accelerant/Dayton Development Coalition.
TREWGrip, LLC, the grand winner of Fund My Idea! received a waived $500 fee from TEC to access its various entrepreneurial services. Pending qualification and interest, there is an opportunity for the presenting companies to enter the due diligence phase with Accelerant and/or other investors.
The Entrepreneurs Open was brought in part by many community partners, including: Montgomery County, Sinclair Community College, the City of Dayton, Acclimate Technologies, Accelerant, the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Julie Walling Photography, Wright-Patt Credit Union, and The Entrepreneurs Giving Back Fund.
The Entrepreneurs Center (TEC) is a technology business incubator in Dayton, Ohio. TEC has enjoyed more than a decade of success leveraging startups in the region and provides affordable access to the many tools required to operate a business.
An initiative of the Dayton Development Coalition, Accelerant™ is a private-public seed-stage venture group whose mission is to strengthen the regional economy by driving talent and capital into scalable technology companies in Western Ohio. Visit www.accelerantdayton.com or email [email protected] for more information.