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15 Creative Ways to Finance Your Small Business.

By: Dave Mielach
BusinessNewsDaily Writer

The road to starting a successful business can be a long one, filled with many hurdles and obstacles along the way. And perhaps there is no part of that journey more challenging than finding the right way to fund your business. While the process may sound daunting, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for future business owners, who now have a multitude of ways to finance their business. Here’s an overview of some of the traditional and creative financing options available to those thinking of starting their own business.

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Small Business Administration loan

The Small Business Administration (SBA) was started in 1953 to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. Under the SBA, there are two types of loans that can help prospective borrowers get the capital they need to start their business: a 7(a) guarantee small business loan and the 504 fixed-asset small business finance program.

The 7(a) guarantee loans for small businesses are more common for small businesses. Prospective borrowers can apply for these loans at banks that participate in the SBA loan process.

“Both programs look for businesses not in the startup phase,” said Chuck Evans, co-founder of Prudent Lenders LLC. “They look for businesses two years into the business cycle that are generating cash flow.”

These loans have a number of advantages for small businesses.

“The advantage to the borrower is, they have more access to capital,” said Evans of the 7(a) guarantee loan. “When borrowing with a loan, collateral or purpose often dictates the terms. If you look at real estate, you are looking at a 20- to 25-year term. If you are financing equipment, you look at the useful life and may finance it for five years. With a guarantee from the SBA, banks can go up to 10 years for working capital, 10 years for equipment and 25 years for real estate. It gives the borrower longer terms and improved cash flow.”

“Because the loans are sold in the secondary market, they tend to structure a lot of those loans on a variable basis,” said Evans. “The interest-rate risk is greater on the 7(a) program.”

Additionally, borrowers must make a smart choice when choosing a lender, Evans said.

“If you take 100 banks in the state of Pennsylvania, maybe only 20 banks made more than 10 SBA loans last year,” Evans said. “If you deal with that few loans a year, you are not going to be able to understand the nuances of a program that is constantly changing, so it can turn into a slow and cumbersome process. If you go to a bank that does it well and does it on a regular basis, you stand a much better chance of a more simplified process because they understand it.

Selling your products

Selling your products is an often-overlooked way of raising the money needed for financing your business, but it can be highly effective. Priska Diaz was able to raise $50,000 for her company Bittylab with a presale of her Bare air-free baby bottles.

“I decided to take a different path [in financing] and do a presale,” Diaz said. “That allowed me to drive traffic to my site, get additional social media followers and offer my customers discounts. It was a win-win approach.”

The money Diaz was able to raise helped her pay for inventory, and also helped to open some doors in retail and learn about her website’s visitors. Though Diaz was able to benefit greatly from this means of financing, she does have a word of caution.

“The biggest challenge was in coordinating the inventory delivery times from our supplier so that we could start fulfilling orders,” Diaz said. “Another challenge was forecasting the number of units we were going to presell, resulting in a shortage. We’ve now passed the presale stage and sold more than originally anticipated, resulting in back orders.”

Friends and family

Know of a rich aunt or a wealthy friend who has some extra money to throw around? Then you have another way to finance your business. Borrowing from friends and family presents an interesting alternative to traditional forms of financing, and can have some unique advantages.

“If you are in an early stage of business, you are going to be forced to go to friends and family because the banks may not entertain your requests,” Evans said. “Also, friends and family are not going to charge you a high price for that investment. This funding is available when you need it and with less contractual hassles.”

However, Evans cautioned that those who use these methods risk muddying personal relationships with a business decision.

“The downside is that you risk lots of other things within the family dynamic,” he said.

Having another business

New business owners can also look to double dip as a means of funding their startups. Alex Genadinik was able to do this by using the revenues from tours he led on the website ComeHike.com. On that site, Genadinik was able to organize hikes to fund Problemio.com, which builds mobile apps for planning and starting a business.

“I tried everything else before that, including monetizing with ads and becoming an affiliate reseller for outdoor gear, but it didn’t quite work,” said Genadinik. “So this was just one of the things I tried among many others.”

After receiving donations for some of the free hikes he organized on the site, Genadinik began to charge for events.

“That amount of money, plus the other revenue streams, allowed me to break even month to month,” Genadinik said. “That allowed me to work on my project without the distraction of looking for investors. So, I got exercise and maintained my health, used the events to market my site, and earn revenue all in one.”

Home equity loan

A home equity loan is based on the equity the person seeking a business loan has in his or her home. For those who have equity — the home’s value minus what you owe — in their home, this is a great option for financing a small business because they generally offer interest rates that are both flexible and lower than traditional commercial rates.

“Home equity loans, first of all, are very cheap, rate-wise,” said Al Engel, executive vice president of consumer lending at Valley National Bank. “It is a very-low-cost form of borrowing that is very controllable by the entrepreneur as far as when he pays funds and redraws funds. The flexibility is tremendous.”

However, there are potential drawbacks to home equity loans.

“The risk is, you are putting your home on the line,” said Engel. “If the business fails or you fail to maintain the terms and conditions of the home equity loan or line, you risk foreclosure…There is personal liability for home equity loans.”

Selling assets

Other times, financing methods can be right under a business owner’s nose. That was the case for Hamid Saify, who was able to fund his business, ChoicePunch, by making the tough decision to sell a dream car that he had wanted to pass along to his children.

“I realized I needed to
get rid of it to support the development of ChoicePunch,” said Saify.

Though it was a tough decision, Saify was able to make $30,000 from the sale of the car. That money, in turn, went toward some very important aspects of the fledgling startup.

“I used some of that money to help with the last payments to our design and development contractors,” Saify said. “The rest I put into our account and used to help support marketing during our beta launch months.”

Credit cards

Other people looking for additional financing for their small business should look no further than their wallets: Business credit cards are among the most readily available ways to finance a business. However, experts warn that there are some significant considerations to keep in mind before swiping that piece of plastic.

“There are minimal advantages to using credit cards to finance your small business,” said Ken Nickel, senior vice president of community lending at Valley National Bank. “One of the few advantages is that the minimum payment on a credit card is very low. If you are a new business who is just starting out and you don’t have a lot of money coming in, or you don’t have a ton of expenses, you can put it on a credit card and pay the minimum payment.”

However, those benefits are far outweighed by several large disadvantages.

“The downside to credit card financing is that it doesn’t go away quickly, and it also costs you a lot of money,” Nickel said. “Particularly if a new business gets started and then has trouble making the payments, the interest rates and costs on the cards can build very quickly. The commercial loan market right now is in a range of probably 5.5 to 6 percent for commercial loans. When you get into the credit card market, you can be looking at interest rates of 24 percent and over. It can be really devastating to a business over a period of time to have to carry that kind of debt.”

Credit-card-balance transfers

Small business owners often rely on credit cards as a means of covering the costs of their businesses, but savvy business owners can use those cards for more than just buying products.  Ben Bakhshi was able to transfer credit card balances as a way to fund the $25,000 in startup costs for Coordinato.com, which creates appointment reminder software for small businesses.

“In my case, I didn’t have any credit card debt, but I had two offers for attractive financing,” Bakhshi said, adding that he was able to negotiate those rates even lower.

Bakhshi said the credit card company transferred funds onto another one of his credit cards, giving him a positive balance. Now, he’s required to make minimum payments to the credit card company, and plans to pay off the balance at the end of the year with income generated from the business.

“The money is being used for design work, as well as marketing and advertising,” said Bakhshi. “This all provided much-needed cash flow for my startup, and at a very good price.”

Angel investors

Those looking to finance their business can always look to an angel — angel investor, that is. Angel investors have been responsible for helping to start up several prominent companies, including Google, Yahoo and Costco. This alternative form of investing generally occurs in a company’s early stages of growth, with investors expecting a 20 to 25 percent return on their investment.

“The principal advantage of an angel investor is generally that you have a friendlier atmosphere and a quicker decision-making circumstance for a smaller amount of dollars,” said Mark DiSalvo, CEO of Sema4 Inc., a provider of private equity funds. “You are not going to invest the levels of time, experience and diligence that an institutional investor would require.”

In addition, angel investors can help nascent businesses by serving as advisers.

“Angel investors are an aggregate of smaller high-net-worth individuals that are going to afford fitting in a more appropriate amount of money,” said DiSalvo. “Very few institutional investors today will invest less than $2 million, whereas angels will invest from $100,000 to $2 million easily. You are more likely to get an investor who has strategic experience, so they can provide tactical benefit to the company they are investing in. That could mean that they have customers lined up for them. It can also mean they might have partnership opportunities for these businesses.”

Despite those benefits, entrepreneurs must be sure to find the angel investor that’s right for their business.

“In every stage, the investor and entrepreneur need to make sure they are the right partners for each other,” DiSalvo said. “You have to fit the kind of investment with the need the entity has. That, however, is a difficult thing to discern.”

Winning a contest

Other times, businesses can benefit from a bit of luck. That was the case for Roberto Torres and Luis Montanez, who funded a portion of their startup costs for apparel company Black & Denim with winnings from a business-plan competition.

“We utilized the funds to purchase manufacturing equipment that allowed us to scale our products and meet demand,” the owners said. “This advantage gave us the opportunity to increase our production and get into bigger players like Stein Mart and Walt Disney World.”

In addition to the $25,000 in financing, the pair was able to gain valuable advice about the best way to run their business and how to ensure the company’s long-term success.

“The competition gave us access to business experts that asked us the tough questions while allowing us to retain our equity — a perk that would have been very difficult to obtain otherwise,” the owners said.

Venture capitalists

While venture capitalists are synonymous with the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s and early 2000s, the truth is that they may be a great source of capital if your business falls into certain categories. For small businesses that are beyond the startup phase and already have revenues coming in, a venture-capital investment may be appropriate.

For a fast-growth company with an exit strategy already in place, venture capitalists present a great way to quickly gain up to tens of millions of dollars that can be used to invest, network and grow their company quickly.

“The benefit of venture-capital investors to a startup is that they can help them get the money and provide them with professional management expertise,” said Brian Haughey, assistant professor of finance and director of the investment center at Marist College. “You may have a venture capitalist who concentrates on physics or nanotechnology. Because they focus on specific industries, they can generally offer advice to the entrepreneur on whether the product is going to fly or what they need to do to bring it to market.”

However, Haughey cautioned, “Sometimes, the money comes in too easily. During the dot-com bubble, the venture capitalists were throwing money at the startups, and as a result, many startups forgot about what they should be focused on,” he said. “A lot of businesses started thinking about fancy offices, and they forget the commercial imperative that they needed to be making money. If money is too available, it lets some people get lazy.”

Beware, though — venture capitalists have a short leash when it comes to company loyalty and often look to recover their investment within a three- to five-year time window.

“They also have to make a return and usually have a five-year time horizon,” said Haughey.  “So they invest, and you have to be able to show a profit in five years to return the capital. If you have a product that is taking longer than that to get to market, then venture-capital investors may not be very interested in you.”

Real estate

Business owners with a Midas touch in real estate can also put that skill to good use in financing business ventures. Shelli Trung, founder of online real estate magazine Investors Beat, has been able to build her business thanks to investments she has made over the past seven years.

“I am currently financing my business with the cash flow from my real estate investments,” Trung said. “Having had some success with property investing over the past years, I have made enough to fund the real estate investing online magazine in its current startup phase.”

Trung has also been able to grow her business out of the startup phase by relying on those investments.

“In the beginning, we used the budget to hire outsourced staff,” Trung said. “However, this did not work very effectively once our business started to grow, and we needed more hands-on support. Now, we use this budget to manage and grow our social media and have started the process of hiring and training full-time staff. Once they are trained up, we will use a portion of that budget as a base salary as our advertising revenue grows concurrently.”

Strategic investors

In 2007, software developers began working on a then-unknown personal assistant application. The application — Siri — was bought by Apple three years later, in 2010. One year later, with the release of the iPhone 4S, Siri has become one of the most well-known and intriguing features of the iPhone. Apple’s investment serves as an example of what a strategic investment can provide an upstart company.

“Strategic investing is more for a large company that identifies promising technologies,” Haughey said. “For whatever reason, that company may not want to build up the research-and-development department in-house to produce that product, so they buy a percentage of the company. It is a cheap investment, but the company could turn out to be the next Google or Facebook for them.”

However, those using strategic investing must also think about the restrictions the investing companies may place on them, as they can prevent dealing with any competitors and possibly even cancel the business relationship at any time.

“The first disadvantage would be loss of control,” said Haughey. “You have this great idea, and now you have to answer to someone else, and you have to give up a percentage of your company. The question then becomes, ‘Would you rather have 100 percent of a tiny pizza or 50 percent of a huge pizza?'”

Renting an apartment

Cutting out liabilities is another creative way for new business owners to fund their startups. For Fay Johnson, founder and editor of deliberateLIFE, that meant renting out her apartment. Johnson was able to do this by placing her San Francisco apartment on Airbnb and renting it out for anywhere between five nights and a month at a time.

The decision has been successful for Johnson, who has used the money raised to fund the costs of the first few issues of her magazine.

“The money has been used for a mix of sustaining myself, my assistants and the magazine,” Johnson said. “I have also invested that capital into the marketing and production of the first three issues.”

Though the move has allowed Johnson to finance her startup, it has not come without its share of headaches, including tight time restraints.

“As an entrepreneur, time is one of your most valuable resources,” Johnson said. “When renting, I have to keep in mind that I need to clean and reclean the apartment, and since I work from home, I also have to find a place to work during those days. However, the guests have been great when I have rented the apartment.”

Crowdfunding

Sometimes, there really is wisdom in crowds, especially if you are looking to start a new business. Crowdfunding on websites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and others that are geared more toward businesses can give a big boost to the financing aspirations of small businesses. These sites allow businesses to pool small investments from a number of investors instead of forcing companies to look for a single investment. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act has been pivotal in helping to popularize this form of financing in recent years.

There are numerous advantages to crowdfunding as a means of financing. Perhaps the biggest is that businesses are able to raise money without giving up an equity stake in their business. Many sites allow companies to raise money in exchange for rewards or products. Other sites do, however, have an equity-based model in which businesses do give up a bit of equity.

Certain sites require businesses to raise their full stated goal in order to keep any money raised on the platform. Other sites will allow companies to keep any money they raise. Additionally, sites can charge a percentage — sometimes up to 10 percent — for any money raised on the site. Sites often also charge a payment-processing fee for money raised.

Numerous businesses have turned to crowdfunding as a means of financing their ventures. One of those businesses, DropShades,was able to raise more than $78,000 on Kickstarter, despite having a goal of only $15,000 on the site. The company produces sunglasses with lenses that can change colors based on the beats of music.

“After coming up with the idea for DropShades, we needed money to cover engineering expenses as well as manufacturing startup costs like tooling,” said Brooks Johnson, chief communications officer at DropShades. “Banks are almost never going to finance startups without a history of sales or collateral. After considering multiple options, we settled on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. It was the perfect way for us to maintain equity and test the market for our product. ”

The money raised has been invaluable for DropShades, helping fund everything from engineering and manufacturing to preorders and the company website.

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Forget campfires, more kids heading to entrepreneur camp

 

100900097-Unknown-1r.240x160By CNBC’s Karma Allen

At a time when most teens are trying to fit in with peers, Joerod Collier started his own business, Surreal Styles, designing unique sneakers when he was 15.

“I knew that I liked cool sneakers. I liked to be different, and my friends were always requesting that I design things for them,” Collier said. “That’s when I realized that Surreal Styles could be a lucrative business,” said Collier, now 24.

Expanding his business seemed like a pipe-dream until one of his teachers recommended a summer camp for young entrepreneurs. Based in Tampa, Fla., the camp, called Forward Thinking Initiatives‘ Teen Business and Innovation Camp, taught him business skills such as how to market his product and file the right paperwork.

Forget campfires and lake swimming. Entrepreneur camps are gaining popularity as more parents fork over hundreds of dollars in hopes junior will learn the skills to become the next Mark Zuckerberg with a hot new start-up.

The Florida day-camp, founded in 2004, is one of the more affordable entrepreneur camps at $250 for a five- day session. Camp prices can reach four figures. No matter the cost, the common goal is training well-prepared young men and women for a more competitive workforce—recession or no recession.

The unemployment rate for young people between the ages of 16 and 24 is 17.1 percent, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2013. The rate has declined since the peak average unemployment rate of 19.6 percent in April 2010.

The Florida camp began as a for-profit organization but transitioned to non-profit status during the economic downturn in 2010, when enrollment declined.

“As the economy went down, the irony was that parents were not willing to pay to have their kids learn how to be more self-reliant. … They would rather have their kids bag at the supermarket and come home with five bucks in their pocket immediately,” said Debra Campbell, president and executive director of the Florida Forward Thinking Initiatives camp, which includes support from Verizon.

Campbell said the camp’s goal is to show kids they can have big dreams and follow their passions, if they work hard. As a non-profit organization, she receives much of her funding from grants, yet she still struggles to keep her program available to all hopeful young entrepreneurs.

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Source: Camp BizSmart

That’s because camps that teach entrepreneurial skills traditionally have targeted at-risk young adults because that’s where the grant money is. But Campbell said she wanted to broaden the camp’s reach beyond at-risk young adults.

“I don’t want to target at-risk kids. I want to target kids,” Campbell said. “Many of them have not thought about their future.”

Silicon Valley camp

Another entrepreneur camp is Silicon Valley’s Camp BizSmart in Los Gatos, Calif..

Peggy Gibbs and her husband Mike Gibbs founded the summer camp in 2008. Peggy Gibbs said Camp BizSmart refuses grant funding because many grant providers in the industry require camps to serve a very narrow population. “There are not a lot of programs out there for passionate kids. We care about passionate kids who really want to make a difference,” Peggy Gibbs said.

For a cost of $1,480, the 10-day Camp BizSmart emphasizes executing an idea successfully, while working with a team and competing among peers. Camp partners include tech heavyweights such as Microsoft, Cisco and Google.

“They form teams of six, taking on actual executive positions as if they were in that company solving this issue while working with the actual CEOs and founders of the company who are mentoring them,” Peggy Gibbs said.

Camp BizSmart participants learn product design, leadership skills and problem solving techniques from some of Silicon Valley’s most prominent founders and CEOs. The next camp will be held at Stanford University.

“I think the competition aspect gives them a bit of an edge and we have kids who come back because they didn’t win the year before,” Camp BizSmart co-founder Mike Gibbs said. “Silicon Valley is all about risk and reward and we define entrepreneurs as people who risk their time their talent and their money to create value for the customer and solve really big problems, he said.

Emergence of new camps

As America’s workforce and challenges have changed over time, so too have camps for young adults.

“The camp experience has diversified drastically in the past 10 years to reflect the needs of society and the workforce,” said Peg Smith, CEO of the American Camp Association, which accredits more than 2,400 camps that meet its health, safety, and quality standards.

“Traditional summer camp is a tremendous learning laboratory, but as you get older you may want more of a real-life building opportunity that is more skill based or driven toward a particular interest. The camp laboratory can still be used, but you just have to be more specific about what you’re looking for,” said Smith of the association.

Young entrepreneur Collier said the core skills he learned while at entrepreneur camp—networking, collaboration and creative brainstorming—helped him to become a better leader. He runs a staff of 10, and is in the process of creating his own shoe line.

Collier’s mom, Ramona Collier, said she believes entrepreneur camps are worth the investment. “I saw how excited he was about it and I liked that it gave him a sense of self-worth. It really helped him gain confidence and motivation to succeed,” Ramona Collier said. “We considered sending him to basketball camp but it wasn’t geared toward education, or a future outside of basketball, in any way. Forward Thinking Initiatives showed him that he had options in life,” she said.

Campbell says Collier is the perfect example of how tenacity, determination and innovation can pay off in the long run.

“We’re teaching hard stuff like entrepreneurship, career development and financial literacy,” Campbell said. “If we can ignite a child’s passion, motivation and interest in learning, those seeds can grow into the next great entrepreneur.”

Guest Blogger James Chan

Guest Blog: Public Transportation as a Way to Attract Young Professionals

Guest Blogger James Chan

Guest Blogger James Chan

When I’m in Minneapolis for the school year, driving is just an option, not a necessity as it is in Florida. In Minneapolis, I only fill up my fuel tank once every month, or even once very two months. However, when I’m back in Florida, I am at the gas station weekly, sometimes twice a week.

Every time I’m stuck on I-4 or any other Florida highway, I am wasting time sitting in bumper to-bumper traffic when I could be more productive. It’s frustrating. What should be a 20-minute drive to home or work ends up taking an hour. This is simply unacceptable and arguably a reason many of our young, talented Floridians are leaving our state for places that have embraced public  transportation.

Reliable public transportation is a factor for many young professionals when deciding where to settle down for their careers. Some businesses, schools, and nonprofits in the Twin Cities metropolitan area work with Metro Transit to offer frequent riders discounted fares to encourage more ridership.

According to multiple studies and news stories, such as this New York Times article, millenials are simply driving less. Reliable public transportation should be seen as an advantage for businesses.

Let’s do some simple math: if I’m spending $70 to fill up my Toyota Corolla twice a week, that comes to about $280 a month. If Florida embraced an efficient, effective public transportation system, Floridians could spend that gas money on other things, like eating out and entertainment, which would go back into the local economy.

While $280 a month may not sound like a lot of money, it is a meaningful figure for young adults like me who may have just graduated from college with some debt. Instead of wasting that money buying fuel from a large corporation, why not spend some of it at a local business that might decide to hire one or two more people to meet the increased demand?

For those who argue that Floridians would still need to pay to utilize the transit system so it wouldn’t save them much money, I point to a successful model that disproves that criticism: The Metro Transit in the Twin Cities area encourages businesses in Minneapolis to subsidize passes for their employees by offering tax credits.

Building a great Florida public transportation system won’t be easy. However, I do know that if Florida lawmakers don’t take initiative on this issue, our young professionals will continue to flee the state; new talent won’t set down roots here, and lastly, more hours will be wasted sitting on Florida highways.

James Chan is a second year Master of Public Policy student at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Research Director at FloridaNEXT this summer.

ImpactForum

Impact Forum in the news

Thank you to Creative Loafing writer Terrence Smith for covering our Impact Forum Wednesday night! We appreciate the article!

ImpactForum

by Terrence Smith

The non-profit group Florida Next hosted a gathering of some of the area’s brightest entrepreneurial minds Wednesday night in an effort to develop ideas on improving life in the Bay Area.

The event was a cross between a town hall meeting and a fast pace brain storming session. Each participant was given 90 seconds to pitch an idea. Concepts varied widely, from travel packages marketed towards young professionals to homeless shelters that focused more on rehabilitating than housing.

Once every idea was presented the audience voted for their top three ideas and then split into groups to give more attention to the three most popular ideas and creating a defined plan on how to achieve each respective goal. Florida Next then keeps tabs on the plan, fostering communication and development.

This is the second of these types of meetings held by the organization in Florida, with the first edition held in Orlando leading to the development of a tourism video.

“Our organization is really focused on the innovation of Florida’s economy and bringing innovative ideas to both economic development and community development,” said Ned Pope, president of Florida Next. “You can’t expect to try the same old things and expect different results. I know people always cite this as the old adage about insanity, but it rings true in a civic space. You have to try new things. You have to try and provoke a audience, and that’s what Florida Next is all about.”

While in the beginning stages there was a some timidity in the crowd towards standing up and presenting their ideas, the audience warmed up quickly and began volunteering to submit more pitches.

“I think this is brilliant,” said Ryan Iacovacci, who submitted his own pitch consisting of a developed bike path and planting produce in abandoned lots. “Now after talking to everybody I think we should do this more. Silicon Valley, why the ideas coming out of there are so powerful is because of these happenings, because people with these crazy ideas come together and create.

There were several ideas that were quite popular, but the leading vote getter was Keisha Pickett’s idea for what she referred to as “Sunday Sounds”.

“Sunday Sounds is just what it sounds like,” said Pickett as she explained the plan. “We’re going to be listening to sounds of some great local artists on Sunday afternoons. The idea was because Tampa doesn’t have that thing that unites us and everybody relates to music of some sort of way. So I wanted to do something that included our local and regional artists as well as local businesses to bring them out as well, to give them an opportunity and platform to set up their stands so people can support and get to know our local businesses and local business owners and have some commerce for us to take part of.”

During the discussion period, a group consisting of both observers and those who didn’t have their idea chosen discussed the plan, particularly in how to gain sponsorships, working with people who hold similar style concerts, and what the Sunday events will generally consist of.

“I think that coming together like this to share ideas is what works,” said Pickett. “Teamwork always makes a good dream work. One brain is good, but when you have 20 others with you, you can’t lose.”

Florida Next plans to continue these meetings across the state, with tentative plans to hold another in six months. Pope hopes that the ideas discussed will be coming into fruition and serve as an example of what a combined entrepreneurial effort can bring to the area.

 

tampaIFCReative

Creative Loafing: Local entrepreneurs convene to discuss ideas for improving Tampa Bay

Creative Loafing’s Terrance Smith writes:

The event was a cross between a town hall meeting and a fast pace brain storming session.

Read the full article here.