Tag Archives: Michigan Events

SE Michigan Event: Create Your Own Personal Board of Directors

Personally, I found joining a mastermind group was the single most valuable investment I made in my business.

If you’ve considered joining a mastermind group and can’t find one near you or one that fits, there’s always the option of creating your own. Mastermind groups tend to serve the role of a “personal” board of directors, vs. a board of advisors which serves your company. (Worth noting: A Board of Directors is a different animal altogether. A Board of Directors is a formal entity with the power to hire and fire a CEO, and is fairly uncommon in early second stage.)

Personally, I found joining a mastermind group was the single most valuable investment I made in my business, so I’m excited to see that the Jackson Inventors Network (JIN) is holding a meeting on the topic tomorrow, April 22nd. It’s called “The Mastermind Group – creating your own personal Board of Directors”. It will be led by Steve Ward who founded and ran Micro-Plastics for 16 years.

As the Inventors Network describes this seminar on their website: “Let’s face it – inventing a product and trying to launch it is a daunting task – anyone who has ever tried knows the feeling that they need guidance and direction. No-one can effectively do it all. The focus of this presentation is on getting the inventor / entrepreneur to recognize and utilize resources within their existing lives that can become valuable trusted advisors necessary to keep them focused, on task and successful.”

Program begins at 6:30. Registration and more information via the Jackson Inventors Network.

For more articles on this topic see “Finding a Sounding Board.”

Build a Powerful Story with this Business Storytelling Workshop (and Discount)

Screenshot 2014-03-19 11.13.33One lucky friend of Beyond Startup will attend a day-long Entre-SLAM business storytelling workshop at half price – for only $62.50!

Who needs to attend this workshop?

Any entrepreneur working on growing their business and finding it challenging to get media attention, customer orders, employee buy-in, etc. As workshop leader Christa Chambers-Price puts it, “Too often, entrepreneurs get lost in ‘companyspeak’: PowerPoint slides, dry mission statements, and product ‘rah-rah’. If you are struggling with this, you are not alone. If you are seeking ways for your business to have a more effective, memorable impact on your market, come prepared to go on this new journey with Entre-SLAM.”

This one-day workshop will challenge you to:

  • Explore how to use the twists, turns and bumps of your business journey to build authentic connections;
  • Declare and embrace what it is you’re really trying to accomplish with your business;
  • Learn how to harness the principles of a well-told story to get folks rising to their feet with applause instead of ignoring you;
  • Play with your new business narrative and adapt it for other media, pitches and team building.

Too often, entrepreneurs get lost in ‘companyspeak’: PowerPoint slides, dry mission statements, and product ‘rah-rah’. If you are struggling with this, you are not alone.

After this workshop you will have:

  • Learned why perfecting your business narrative is an important tool of leadership
  • Clarified and strengthened your understanding of your core brand and what it is you’re really selling
  • Explored and prototyped case studies of effective business storytelling from highly successful entrepreneurs
  • Examined how to effectively adapt and apply your business narrative to a variety of purposes

I’m hard pressed to think of a better investment in growing your business. An all day workshop like this for $62.50 is an absolute steal. Be the first to email me (catherine @ beyond-startup.com) to receive your discount; others register here: Entre-SLAM Registration.

Dates and Locations:

  • Bamboo Detroit: Saturday, March 22, 2014 – 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • New Foundry | Ann Arbor: Saturday, March 29, 2014 – 9:00 – 5:00pm
  • Incu-BAKE | Lansing: Saturday, April 12, 2014 – 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • D:hive Detroit: Monday, April 21, 2014 – 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Grand Circus | Detroit: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 – 9:00am – 5:00pm

Happy storytelling!

Free Inc. Leadership Event Comes to Detroit

Inc. Magazine Logo

The journey to leadership is often an accidental one. An entrepreneur, doing what they love, hires a few people to help… And wakes up one day surrounded by a team. A team that needs leadership to head in the same direction and deliver the same sort of amazing service and consistent results that drew in their first customers.

Some entrepreneurs are born with the ability to switch gears and perform this new function. The rest of us need a little help making the transition. ;-) The good news is, as with nearly all of the operational challenges you’ll face, a roadmap already exists for what makes a great team “click”. Among the first things you’ll find on that list: leadership and a shared vision. And that’s what this event is all about!

I’ve traveled across the country to see Bo and Paul speak (two of the three presenters), so if you’re within driving distance on December 4th, you’re in for a treat! Sign up today, as the event is free but is capped at a limited number of local business leaders. Enjoy!

Sign up is available on the Inc. site.


Additional Resources:

  • The Small Giants Community An international group committed to business workplace cultures of excellence
  • Small Giants by Bo Burlingham.
  • Why is Everyone Smiling? A leadership book by Paul Spiegelman.

Top Listing of Michigan Entrepreneurial Events via GLEQ


One of the best places to keep tabs on great events for entrepreneurs in Michigan is GLEQ’s newsletter. Here’s a sampling from this month’s update as you won’t find all of these events posted in one place on the web – this newsletter is truly a great resource! To subscribe, send an email to Miche Suboski at . Although the events are focused on startups, you’ll find many applicable to second stage as well.

Post with Purpose. Social Media Strategies for Startups will present social media consultant Emily Hay of Hay There Social Media to discuss how small business owners can effectively use social media to increase engagement and ultimately drive business growth. You’ll learn how to define your content goals, create a social media strategy and communicate your message loud and clear.

Thursday, October 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
TechTown, 440 Burroughs, Detroit.

The Collaboration Revolution. Join Dr. David E. Cole, Chairman of the AutoHarvest Foundation and Chairman Emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research, for this free webinar as he addresses this important challenge – Accelerating Innovation through an IP and Skills-rich Environment.

Thursday, October 18, 2-3 p.m.

Entrepreneurship Forum. The Entrepreneurship Forum, a new, monthly breakfast speaker series at Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business, will attempt to bring the stories of area people who have had entrepreneurial success to the greater Kalamazoo community starting this month. Jen Randall, president of Maestro, which helps companies and organizations build communication, sales and training programs using online, mobile and blended-learning technologies, will be the inaugural speaker.

Friday, October 19, 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Western Michigan University, Schneider Hall, Kalamazoo.

Social Networking for Small Businesses. Learn the basics and etiquette of social networking for your small business. Content will include how to leverage social networks to help grow your business while reducing your marketing costs. Benefits, disadvantages and tricks of the major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and Linked-In) will be discussed.

Tuesday, October 23, 6-9 p.m.
Business Development Center, 18600 Haggerty, Livonia.

Jackson Inventors Network. The group’s monthly meeting features Dr. Ron Sadler who will help participants to better approach Market Research projects and get the results they need.

Tuesday, October 23, 6-8:30 p.m.
Jackson Community College, Justin Whiting Building Room 158, 2111 Emmons Road, Jackson.
[email protected]

Advancing Innovation: Tools and Resources for Your Business. The purpose of this event is to educate West Michigan entrepreneurs to the variety of programs available to help accelerate their company. Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask questions and network with the panel, including GLEQ’s executive Director, Diane Durance, after the event.

Wednesday, October 24, 3:30-5 p.m.
MSU Bioeconomy Institute, 242 Howard Ave., Holland.

SBIR/STTR 101 Plus: Introduction and Agency Overview. Come and learn more about this non-dilutive $2.4 billion federal R&D funding program set aside exclusively for small businesses with under 500 employees. This full-day workshop covers the SBIR/STTR program basics, including specific program information for key agencies such as National Science Foundation, Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health. The introduction section includes information on program purpose, eligibility and sources of funding.

Wednesday, October 24, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Michigan Tech Advanced Development Complex, 1402 E. Sharon Ave, Houghton.

Working for Yourself: The Ins & Outs of Becoming a Consultant, a Contractor or other Service Provider. Are you an experienced professional with valuable-defined skill sets, looking for a new career avenue? Think about taking your expertise and becoming an independent consultant, a contractor, or a service provider. Explore the steps to form your business (LLC or other), market yourself and your services, create an action-oriented business plan, and define your client engagement.

Wednesday, October 24, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Business Development Center, 18600 Haggerty, Livonia.

Entre-SLAM. Entre-SLAM is a storytelling competition for entrepreneurs. Entre-SLAM offers a different theme each month and entrepreneurs voluntarily tell a related, true story for about 5 minutes. They are judged by a jury of their peers (ie., you) and at the end of the night, 3 folks will walk away with prizes. In between acts, the storytellers and/or audience members may be mercilessly (but lovingly) harassed by Al McWilliams from Quack Media (the emcee).

Thursday, October 25, 7-9 p.m.
LIVE A2, 1ST and Huron, Ann Arbor.

SBIR/STTR 101: Introduction and Overview. This half-day workshop covers the SBIR/STTR program basics, including: program purpose; eligibility; and sources of funding. It is designed to provide enough information for attendees to determine if they would like to seriously pursue proposal development.

Thursday, October 24, 9 a.m.-noon
TechTown, 440 Burroughs Street, Detroit.

Crash Course: SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep – NSF Focus. NSF Phase I deadlines are nearing — Dec. 3 for SBIRs and Dec. 20 for STTRs. BBCetc hopes you are well on your way to preparing your proposal, but just in case…This National Science Foundation-focused crash course will arm you with helpful information to meet NSF requirements, avoid common pitfalls and problems, write a proposal that will meet reviewer expectations and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to put your best foot forward!

Tuesday, October 30, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
BBCetc, 803 N. Main, Ann Arbor.

Diary of An Entrepreneur. Vince Thomas, founder and CEO of Troy-based Billhighway, a provider of cloud-based financial management solutions tailor-made for nonprofit, donor and member-based organizations, will talk candidly about the ups and downs of his entrepreneurial journey, paying special attention to the most-important lessons learned. Vince’s discussion will be followed by Q&A and networking.

Thursday, November 1, 6-8 p.m.
Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company, 3695 Woodward Ave., Detroit

eFest! 2012. According to e-merge Program Manager Suzanne Velarde, a number of organizations are working together to plan and host this year’s eFest! events. “We hope that eFest! will build awareness of the many resources available to people who are thinking about being business owners, people in the process of starting a business, or people who already own and run a small business in our region,” she said. “Some of these events have been offered in the past, and some are being offered for the first time. Promoting them all under the eFest! name allows us to showcase a sampling of what is regularly available, and demonstrates how a number of organizations are collaborating to offer programs and assistance to West Michigan entrepreneurs.” For more information go to http://bit.ly/TeyY14.

Look for events over the next few weeks:

  • October 24, Fundamentals of Marketing Your Business
  • October 26, State Resources for Small Business
  • October 27,” Entrée-preneurship” for Food Entrepreneurs
  • November 4, “Entrepremusic” for Musicians
  • November 7, BOOST! Muskegon
  • November 12, Meet the Lender
  • November 13, BOOST! West Shore
  • November 14, Fundamentals of Financial Management