Real ideas, real dreams and real money were on the table for the five local companies pitching their ideas to local investors at Kickstart Columbus’s Shark Meet event. Kevin O’Leary hit the “waters” of Columbus, OH last night to join Kickstart Columbus, IT Martini, ECDI and the City of Columbus to bring a hometown version of Shark Tank ™ -SharkMeet to the local business community.
Featured in the picturesque background of the Franklin Park Conservatory, five local entrepreneurs pitched their existing business ideas to three local investors and one shark-Mr. Wonderful-Kevin O’Leary in the hopes of gaining advice, endorsements and the ultimate prize-an investment deal.
Shark Tank ™ has become a resource for entrepreneurs everywhere for solid business structure and the nuances of “Pitching” an idea in just nine minutes with the hopes of making a deal with investors.
Kevin O’ Leary’s opening remarks imparted entrepreneurial wisdom every inspiring business owner might want to take to heart. The five main parts Mr. O’Leary emphasized were:
1. Employees are #1 “You must lead and they need to know where you are taking them
2. Customers always come first
3. The highest paid employee is the Director of Sales.
4. Service trumps price.
5. Everyone is replaceable
His over all philosophy is that “Business is WAR.” By treating the competition as enemy (in a good way) and never underestimate them.” The motivation to be excellent in all methods of execution for your business directives.
The Golden Rule of a business and the foundation of all business is (that) “It is the business/your responsibility to make money”
This line has become blurred in the quest for social entrepreneurship. This is especially applicable for the rush of socially conscious women trending to turn their life experiences into community empowerment ventures. While this is an understandably powerful healing tool, most of these launched endeavors suffer short longevity and lack of financial success.
“As a single mother, successful business owner I understand all too well the balance required to create a cash flow based on enterprise which still supports a Philtropic attitude for the community”, stated Kimberly Bradford founder of the non profit, Dunamis (God’s Power) focused on resources and co-oped housing for single mothers.
There were several organizations which came together to bring SharkMeet to the community. Columbus City Council partnered with KickStart Columbus to provide a platform for local entrepreneurs to share their ideas, products and services in the hopes of an opportunity to launch them into the next phase of their growth. This is an exciting next step for the Council’s Small & Minority Business Development Committee mentioned Council President Pro Tem, A. Troy Miller.
One of the organizers, IT Martini located off Town St. in downtown Columbus was founded by John Bishop and Aladin Gohar with the intention of connecting and broadening the local homegrown technology community through social and business networking events.