Archive for the ‘Gregory on Business Blog’ Category

The Accelerator Triad of Start-up Tools

August 22, 2012

Looking to gear up as Summer 2012 winds down, there are three items specifically emphasized at the Orange County Business Accelerator that we use to help our entrepreneur clients to accelerate, which make our program so successful.

First, the business plan is an evergreen document, one that has at its core your explanation of how you are going to balance marketing, finance, and operations (value delivery). Show some excitement with the document, but avoid hyperbole. If you have writer’s aversion, or brainlock, relax and just try to tell your story with as much compelling evidence that supports your expectations of success. Would You believe You? We’ll help you put together an awesome plan that wins customers and financing.

Second, your website business system starts putting your business case on the line. This is your first chance to shout to the world who you are and why the world should care. Are you doing the right things to induce prospects to contact you or buy your product?  Remember, your website business system is dynamic – a set-and-forget site will hardly ever produce business success.

Third, the web infomercial, with you as the star, combines the best of your elevator speech, a longer-duration script, told with the support of rich media. We have been producing one- to five-minute infomercials to create buzz for your product or service.

These three start-up steps can assure you are on the right path to winning loyal clients. Expect to spend three to six months producing this combination, and expect to be working furiously to make them mesh comfortably with your prospect-audience’s hearts and minds.  The path to effectively combining these tools is not linear, you will find.  It takes great care to produce an intentional message that produces the expected reaction.

The end of summer is always a rush season at the Accelerator. We normally receive an influx of interest as students go back to school and there is a revived energy in getting your business profitable and sustainable by years end, almost like a set of mid-year resolutions!

Enjoy these final weeks of the summer and please watch for our calendar of seminars that take place almost every Thursday through the end of the year. We hope to see you up on the hill where we are situated, overlooking Stewart International Airport, and we look forward to assisting you with realizing your dreams. Remember, nobody leaves the Accelerator unimproved!

Best,

Peter

Business Incubator of NYS a great resource for start-ups

May 22, 2012

Good Afternoon to you all on this, the 22nd of May, 2012.

Big Things were happening at the Business Incubator Association of NY (BIANYS) from their Annual Meeting last Friday that I attended at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in downtown Buffalo.

First, David Hochman, Executive Director of BIANYS, tirelessly works every day to help business accelerators and incubators keep up with best practices.  Startup executives can do well to follow the constant news feed at the site, bianys.org. I recommend this site to start-ups for at least one very important reason – there is constant dialogue regarding funding sources.  Remember, you need a great plan to be funded, however.

 

BIANYS Executive Director David Hochman and Kelly Mooney-Lester, Esq, on JOBS Act and crowdfunding.

 

A big thing at the Annual Meeting was the topic of crowdfunding, especially with respect to the new JOBS Act, as we heard from Kelly Mooney Lester, Partner at Phillips Lytle. The JOBS Act, or Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, is legislation backed by both parties and signed by the President of the United States with the idea to enable funding for startup companies in the US – startup companies that are generally recognized as the breeding grounds of future jobs. The main idea is easing of restrictions on new companies to a) raise funds, and b) reporting and compliance items, like Sarbanes-Oxley.  Kelly’s message was that we should see continual advancement in the structure of crowdfunding on the internet, with many more portals and funding groups popping up as the body of law advances to allow easier access to online “collective” investment – a $1,000 at a time on the internet.

One of the most impressive features of the Annual meeting to me was the extensive involvement in startup creation and support by Thomas Mancuso.  Around the business incubation world, the Mancuso name is synonymous with the origins of structured help for early businesses. Thomas’ dad is the founder of the first business incubator in the country which was started only 45 minutes from Buffalo in Batavia, NY. Here’s a short description from the founder himself about how and why he created the first incubator. Thomas is still expanding the business incubator definition, 53 years after his dad inaugurated the world’s first recognized incubator.

 

B. Thomas Mancuso, speaking at the BIANYS Annual Meeting at the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus, Friday, 18 May 2012.

 

Thursday, 24 May, 2012 Popup Knowledge Series at noon

On a quick note about happenings at OCBA, this Thursday be sure to be here for the noon business seminar from Branding Maven Geri Mazur, who is coming in from NY City to help us get our arms, brains and hearts around just what is branding.  As the OCBA Center of Excellence in Marketing grows, branding will become a major theme for all companies, whether OCBA clients or companies from the Hudson Valley startup ecosystem that are using OCBA as a regional Best Practices Business Center.

I’ll also say a few words about the five individuals who visited US East coast yesterday for the purpose of exploring possibilities for partnership and locating their companies in USA sponsored by Ankara Economic Development Agency for the medical technology transfer program. Through a memorandum of understanding, OCBA is working with Dr. Guven Yalcintas to attract offshore companies to put their beachhead here at OCBA! Very exciting, indeed.

 

With Warmest Regards and Best Wishes for Your Success,

Peter Gregory

845.220.2208

pgregory@ocaccelerator.com

www.ocaccelerator.com

Another first for an OCBA client

May 16, 2012

What has been going on at the Accelerator for this, the 16th of May, 2012?

Well, as usual, SO MUCH is going on at the Accelerator every day.

Let me cover a late-breaking FIRST for one of our clients.

Peter Matos, President and Founder of Braided Oaks Distillery was just sharing with me that he has inaugurated an IndieGoGo.com fundraising site ( see here for his latest progress.) A few minutes spent on the site and you will get the basics of the IndieGoGo fundraising premise, if you haven’t been to the site already.  I saw up-close in 3D and living color the very attractive hardwood walking stick offered on Peter’s IndieGoGo pledging page.  You’ll love the other merchandise Peter is using to solicit pledges to get his company off the ground.

 

Now, this is the first of OCBA clients to use this tool for raising capital from the cloud.

In rolling out a complete social media campaign, Peter launched his Facebook business page, as well, that coordinates Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, and the IndieGoGo site.

Peter worked with us at OCBA over the last four months to refine his financial projections and put more “meat on the bones” of an already excellent business plan which he began under the Orange County Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur Assistance Program.  At OCBA, we always work better with clients that have taken this 10-week, 20-class program that is so much more than the sum of its parts.  Give Cynthia Marsh-Croll a call at the Chamber to find our more about this program.

We’re looking forward to having Peter as a speaker during next season’s PopUp Knowledge Series to let us know how the campaign went.

 

I hope to see you at this Thursday’s 7:30 a.m. Popup Knowledge Series Seminar with Keith Studt, President of Independent Telecommunications Corporation, to sort out all the possibilities of the new age of the mobile workstyle:

1. “The Instant World”

2. Keeping in touch with your Customer – as well as your Office, and

3. Trends for the Future ???,

 

With Warmest Regards and Best Wishes for Your Success,

 

Peter Gregory

845.220.2208

pgregory@ocaccelerator.com

www.ocaccelerator.com

Another successful year at the NYC Xpo

May 7, 2012

Hello from OCBA Managing Director Peter Gregory on this Monday, 7th of May, 2012.

Well, with SO MUCH going on at the Accelerator every day, it is hard to compress all that is happening into a short blog. But here’s a try.

This week, see that OCBA uses its general proximity to NY City to spread the message that Orange County is Open for Business.

1.  NY XPO a Marketing and Advertising Success for OCBA

OCBA was the star performer in the Empire State Development Pavilion, at the 7th Annual NY XPO last Wednesday and Thursday at the Jacob Javits Center. Click the image to go to the event site.

This was an excellent opportunity for all growth-seeking business leaders to connect, collaborate and communicate at the largest and most profitable business to business convention in the Northeast! New York XPO is the only two day event of its kind that provides small & mid-market business owners with opportunities to GROW. This annual trade show brings together businesses of all sizes from across industries to advance America’s engine of economic growth – small business.

Sugar Websites Exhibiting with OCBA at the NY XPO on Wednesday and Thursday, 2-3 May 2012

Gerson and Judy Levitas, OCBA client 911 Family of Products, stopping by the OCBA booth

See Facebook for more pictures of exhibitors on the show floor.

How good is this event for business pitching and networking?

While demographics aren’t quite yet available for this 2012 event, please take a look at the November 2011 demographics of over 15,000 attendees to see who you could have reached by exhibiting at this event: http://www.eventmanagement.org/newyork/demographics.php

2. Upcoming OCBA Seminar for this Thursday, 10 May

Please join us this Thursday morning 10th May to meet Michael Durant, New York State Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Mike is a return presenter who bears important news from his lobbying efforts in both Albany and DC. Come share your concerns as a business leader with Mike, as well as hear what the NFIB is up to in representing business-at-large interests.

3. More Events

Here is a snapshot of some Upcoming Events at the Accelerator – please, always refer to the OCBA Events Page on the website for latest info:

I hope to see you at this Thursday’s 7:30 a.m. Popup Knowledge Series Seminar with Mike Durant of National Federation of Independent Businesses,

With Warmest Regards and Best Wishes for Your Success,

Peter Gregory

845.220.2208

pgregory@ocaccelerator.com

www.ocaccelerator.com

New clients, Xpo and upcoming events

April 30, 2012

Hello from OCBA Managing Director Peter Gregory on this Monday, 30th of April, 2012.

With two new clients coming in, along with our busy seminar schedule and events schedule, the pace of business at the Accelerator never slows.

1. New Clients with Cool Products

We’re very happy to introduce one new Resident and one new Associate Client at the Accelerator, both in what I would characterize as the “consumer luxury goods” sector. Both represent new, advanced manufacturing to take place in Orange County.

Our newest Resident Client is John Koerner, with Elite Outfitting Solutions, or EOS. Click on his logo below to be taken to his website where you can learn more about the iPhone cases John designs and fabricates using exotic materials for a very personalized look.  In additional to looking “boss” the iPhone covers offer the best protection for your smartphone. Get one personalized for yourself or as a gift.

To read a stellar review of John’s product and service, click on this image below to be taken to an independent review site of John’s product.

David Stark of Backyard DJ is our newest Associate Client and will be announcing the release of a really snazzy electronic product for the consumer entertainment market – just in time for all the pool openings that will take place over the next weeks, to give you a hint. Follow us for more details as David advances his marketing for this new product.

Stark

2. We’d like to invite you attend the 7th Annual NY XPO this Wednesday and/or Thursday at the Jacob Javits Center.  Please call us at 845 220 2208 to get a promo code to register online for free, to get into the XPO.  This event is a great way to view potential clients, partners, suppliers, and even competitors.  Make sure you attend one of the many great seminars while you are there – the Social Media thread. Click image to go to NY XPO site.

looks to be very informative.  Also, please seek OCBA out at the XPO if you attend, and we will be in the Empire State Development Pavilion – a great place to see many other small-business services from our area and around the state.

3. Upcoming OCBA Seminar for this Thursday, 3 May, No scheduled event at the Accelerator this Thursday as I will be in the booth at the NY XPO. Please watch our Facebook page as I hope to upload video interviews from the conference to share with you.

Her is a snapshot of some Upcoming Events at the Accelerator – always refer to the OCBA Events Page on the website for latest info:

I hope to see you at the XPO,

With Warmest Regards and Best Wishes for Your Success,

Peter Gregory

845.220.2208

pgregory@ocaccelerator.com

www.ocaccelerator.com

Expos, seminars and more!

April 23, 2012

Hello from OCBA Managing Director Peter Gregory on this Monday, 23rd of April, 2012. I have a lot to cover in this extended blog, and offer some links to you, below, to important NY City companies and media outlets you may find it worth following.

1. I’m very excited that OCBA and two clients, Frugaldoo and 4e Productions, will be appearing next week on Wednesday and Thursday at the 7th Annual New York XPO. It is located at the Jacob Javits Center.

One of OCBA’s lead cards we play as an attractor to companies to select an Orange County site for their business is Orange County’s proximity to the NY market, and we’re going to take advantage of that in upcoming days!

I am pleased to mention that OCBA will be attending for the second time at NY XPO by way of invitation from Empire State Development in its Pavilion, a major NY XPO Sponsor.

See more about ESD at http://www.esd.ny.gov/.

OCBA client Frugaldoo will be a guest of ours at the OCBA booth, and client 4e Productions will be appearing as the guest of our neighbor and good business partner, the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation. We are expecting big wins for both companies – please wish them well in breaking into the NY City market!

From the show’s LinkedIn page:

NY Business XPO: “#1 B2B EXPO FOR SMALL & MID-SIZED BUSINESSES!

Network with 10,000+ business owners and attend over 50+ SEMINARS all designed to build your business. Walk the show’s 200 EXHIBITS, identify the latest products & services to meet your competitive challenges, learn from the nation’s driving business leaders and energize your entrepreneurial spirit.”

With the expanded format of 2 days instead of one, the dates were changed from November to May – so OCBA has enjoyed the benefit of rapid coverage in barely half of a year.

The same event company runs events in Hartford and Boston, and once you have a chance to attend or exhibit at the NY XPO, you may find your business territory expansion needs may be satisfied by appearing at these other two venues.

 

Please give us a call at the OCBA office if you would like to coordinate making the trip to Jacob Javits Center on either Wednesday or Thursday next week – 845.220.2208.

 

2. Added Bonus this blog – Doing the hard work for you!

Below, I have inserted some web page links for some interesting NY XPO Sponsors I plan to meet with, myself, while at the XPO next week.  Use the links, yourself, to visit the websites of these companies and I encourage you to link via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or RSS feed:

Empire State Development (of course, our personal sponsor!)

Crains

New York Enterprise Report

Small Business Trends

Small Biz Technology

Social Media Examiner

Latinvision

Business Review USA

 

3. OCBA Seminar for this Thursday, 7:30a.m. is Liz Kallen, “How to do business with the Federal Government”.  Liz is very busy in our area explaining via her office, PTAC Procurement Technical Assistance Center, how to do business with the Federal Gov’t, State, County, and municipalities.

Liz’s office is very supportive of companies getting on the Request for Proposal target list for all these entities.  You must stop in to this seminar to gain understanding about the process of getting registered “in the system.”

 

Well, I hope you have enough good, new information to make it a fantastic week, and I look forward to seeing you at this Thursday’s event!  I look forward to hearing great accounts of your business successes, as well.

 

With Warmest Regards and Best Wishes for Your Success,

Peter Gregory

www.ocaccelerator.com

A Day of Improv at the Accelerator

April 16, 2012

Good Monday morning from Peter Gregory, Managing Director of the Orange County Business Accelerator.

Really pushing the edge of entrepreneurial training, this past Friday’s client pizza roundtable had Will Rodman, C(4e)O  of 4e Productions, Inc., and Kay Rubacek, professional voice-over artist, as well as OCBA client (CEO of Sugar Websites), performing a live rendition of 4e’s “Letters to Daddy” web-info-mercial to the 20 clients in the audience.

For six months now,  I have been working with Bruce Newman, CEO of The Productivity Institute and wwWebevents.com, to produce scripted and recorded sales pitches for several OCBA clients that clock in at around 3 minutes.  Three minutes is the peak amount of time that the targeted audience remains engaged by the medium and is then emotionally primed to respond to “the call to action” at the end of the video.  Beyond the business plans and website-based ” web business systems,” that we help develop with clients at the Accelerator, this 3-minute video format is an up-and-coming vehicle to quickly get highly focused messages to our clients’ desired markets.

By performing the “Letters to Daddyweb-info-mercial live, Will and Kay demonstrated the results of two month elapsed time of scripting and rehearsal that took place, with an investment of approximately 120 people-hours – all met with a hearty ovation from the client-audience as a testament to the hard work that went into the production of the video.

Great results, Will and Kay!

To view the completed web-info-mercial, watch the Accelerator Facebook page this week for its release.

Thanks!

Peter

Accelerator blasts into new frontier of video seminars

April 9, 2012

Once again, the Accelerator is making big strides with our seminars. Except this time, it’s not just the expert speaker or the hot topic, but the medium.

Last Thursday, we held our first video conference seminar! We conferenced in Pete Goode, owner of In Goode Company and Goode Design, via internet video chat from South Carolina to show us how he uses Evernote to help organize his business.

Check out more pics on Facebook. Hope you can join us in the future!

Wishing Mike DiTullo all the best in his new post

April 2, 2012

Incoming Managing Director Peter Gregory stepping in this week to congratulate outgoing Managing Director Mike DiTullo!

Mike is taking up a new post as head of Rockland Economic Development Corporation. He’s been instrumental in filling the Accelerator within its first two and a a half years of operation with early-stage firms in all of our core industry clusters and will continue to be a steward for economic development in the Hudson Valley.

Mike, you’ve lent great assistance to small business growth in Orange County and rest assured the mission will continue as we plan into the future for new ways to accelerate entrepreneurs!

 

We extend All Our Best to you, Mike!

For a full photo gallery of this event and many more, visit our Facebook page!

Another busy week for the Accelerator

March 26, 2012

Last week… appearance on WGNY on Wednesday and Pop-up Knowledge Series on Thursday. Great people, great networking! Here’s a taste.

For more photos, check out Facebook!