Posts tagged with "entrepreneurship"

photo of Invest Fest via The Nottingham Group for use by 360 Magazine

EARN YOUR LEISURE × INVEST FEST

The biggest financial literacy podcast, Earn Your Leisure, returned to the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta for their 2nd annual Invest Fest. This year’s festival brought out more than 12,000 people for the weekend-long assortment of activities & expert-led discussions focused on investing, entrepreneurship, real estate, and financial literacy. Speakers included billionaire Dan T. Cathy (chairman of Chick-fil-A), billionaire real estate entrepreneur Donahue Peebles, T.I., Dame Dash, Terrence J, DJ Envy, Angela Yee and many more.

Steve Harvey and Harvey Ventures were strategic partners and co-producers for this year’s Invest Fest and programming. “I am proud to partner with Earn Your Leisure, which was founded by two young and dynamic Black entrepreneurs, to take this year‘s Invest Fest to the next level,” said Steve Harvey. “There is an urgent need for more expansive financial literacy to promote saving, investing, and generational wealth creation for traditionally underserved communities. Rashad and Troy have responded with an incredibly innovative and visionary platform to make this information open and accessible to all.”

The highlight of the festival came when billionaire writer/director Tyler Perry took to the stage alongside Earn Your Leisure hosts Troy Millings, Rashad Bilal to share words of wisdom and influential takeaways he learned throughout his career. Immediately following Tyler Perry’s fireside chat, Steve Harvey joined the guys on stage to congratulate them and to salute Mr. Perry.

“We created Earn Your Leisure and now Invest Fest to marry culture and commerce. We know that information and resources about financial literacy, investing, entrepreneurship and building generational wealth have traditionally been inaccessible for our culture, said Rashad Bilal, Troy Millings, Founders, Earn Your Leisure. Sponsored by ChaseVibraniumBET META, Invest Fest included a vendor marketplace with over 250 small businesses as well as live podcast stages with interviews from top entrepreneurs and celebrities.

The festival began with a VIP kick off-party featuring fireside chats with Terrence J, Kenny Burns and others, followed by a high-energy performance from T-Pain and a surprise performance by multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter Queen Naija.

One of the most anticipated moments of the festival was the all-star billionaire fireside chat with Chick-fil-A chairman Dan T. Cathy, R. Donahue Peebles, moderated by Matthew Garland. Stand-out speakers included Ian Dunlap,19 Keys, Pinky Cole (founder/owner of Slutty Vegan), ET The Hip Hop Preacher and Dame Dash, who dropped gems on ownership and becoming your own boss. The festival came to a close with an explosive, awe-inspiring performance from Hip Hop heavyweight Rick Ross.

Picture of Adam Anderson via Adam Anderson for use by 360 Magazine

ADAM ANDERSON

Listen to Adam Anderson on 360 MAG Podcast HERE

Adam Anderson, the author of Fire Yourself, the Entrepreneurial Endgame and co-host of the Two Stones, One Bird podcast, is a cyber security and space entrepreneur who has been the advisor, founder and/or primary investor in over 30 startups. Adam created the field of the psychological security and started his cybersecurity business to reach the goal of “Building resilient human minds to resist manipulation through technology,” stopping people from hacking minds by making sure everyone is aware of the concept. By taking the human side under consideration, Adam realized that it is still not fully protected when humans are involved in the virtual process where cybercrime happens, even though the underlying technology of crypto and NFT is safe today.

As the world is becoming incredibly digitalized, the businesses that need cyber security the most are those on the supply chain who are trying to adopt new technology but have little perception of blockchain and smart contracts. As a cybersecurity venture, Adam is responsible for the growth of cyber economy by reporting criminal activity and researching companies to ensure they are trustworthy. Adam is also one of the speakers at the NTF-VIP which is happening in NYC from June 19th – to 22nd. Being a person who holds the experience as both an entrepreneur and an institutional investor, Adam is excited and curious about “how do I use traditional bc and pe structure to organize all these things but replace institutional money coming in with money from NFT and DeFi.” At the same time, his engaged and professional speech made him a reliable speaker for clients looking to create a buzz in their communities. 

In 2018, after selling his first cyber security company, Adam recognized that his role should be investing in people building companies that innovate in cyber security instead of staying on the front line. This is the point where he started acting as venture capital. The process of walking alongside those startups from the beginning stage to the final launch and production usually takes five years with three roles involved in each stage: pre-accelerator, accelerator, and incubator. He is now serving as the Chair of the Board for Hook Security and as Managing General Partner for Ansuz Capital

Article:

Iris Li, Armon Hayes, Vaughn Lowery

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Lemonade Day – National Entrepreneurs’ Day

The Lemonade Day Youth Entrepreneurship Program is offering leaders, small business owners and teen entrepreneurs as resources for both the media and influencers regarding the topic of entrepreneurship and entrepreneur education. Lemonade Day has provided educational support to many other youthful, productive entrepreneurs and wishes to continue to spread entrepreneurial education through the country.

Lemonade day is a non-profit organization that aims to inform the youth about valuable business, financial and also character-building life skills that they describe as the “key ingredients of entrepreneurship.” Playing such a vital part in the educational and workforce ecosystem, the non-profit is in 84 licensed markets in the United States, Canada, Bermuda and six U.S. military bases. For more information, visit lemonadeday.org.

The following spokespersons are available for interviews and questions regarding National Entrepreneurs’ Day.

Nicole Cassier-Mason, Lemonade Day National CEO. She is based in Houston, TX.

Joe Daly, Lemonade Day National Board Chairman and Senior Partner at Gallup. He is based in Washington, D.C.

Brianna Garcia, 2021 National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year: Brianna, 9, of Harbor City, California, is the founder of Bri’s Frozen Lemonade and made a significant profit in her first year participating in Lemonade Day. She donated 80% of her profits to the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro. Brianna plans on participating in the 2022 Lemonade Day and is excited to sell more flavors and variety of her product.

Erika and Diego Garcia, parents of Brianna

Heidi Butzine, President/CEO of Lomita Chamber of Commerce: Heidi brought Lemonade Day to Lomita and was a key player in its success. She helped more than 100 kids set up 37 stands in the small, diverse business community with a population of under 25,000.

Mark Waronek, Mayor of Lomita, California: Mark supported Heidi and the Chamber of Commerce in all things throughout the inaugural year of Lemonade Day Lomita. He personally visited close to 20 lemonade stands. He, his wife, and city council members collectively visited every lemonade stand in Lomita.

Mikaila Ulmer, Me and the Bees Founder: At only 4 years old, Mikaila launched her first lemonade business in Austin, TX. From that early experience she started Me and the Bees Lemonade which is now commercially available throughout the United States in thousands of stores. Her product is buzzing off the shelves of Whole Foods Market, The Fresh Market, World Market, H-E-B stores across Texas and Kroger stores in Houston. Learn more at, https://www.meandthebees.com.

Rohit and Sidharth Srinivasan, Trashbots Co-Founders: The two brothers participated in Lemonade Day at the age of 8 and 7 which is how they caught the “entrepreneurial bug” and learned the skills needed to build their own company before even graduating high school in Austin, TX. They were featured speakers at the executive briefing “Business Startup Challenges and Youth Entrepreneurship Opportunities” that was co-hosted by Gallup and Lemonade Day at Gallup World Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in 2018. Learn more at, https://www.trashbots.co/about.

Katie Vonder Haar and Hailey Hertzman, Ooh La Lemon Founders: Starting when they were only 11 years old, Katie and Hailey from Louisville, Kentucky turned their successful lemonade stand into a multifaceted company marketed towards tween girls. They won the 2017 National Youth Entrepreneurs of the Year. The girls have spoken at national conferences and recently started the “Send a Smile” gifts and COVID care packages to help brighten up the day. Learn more at, https://oohlalemon.com.

sports illustration by Allison Christensen for use by 360 Magazine

Kevin McReynolds’ Launches Bank After Ball

Former UCLA Student Athlete Turned Serial Entrepreneur Launches Bank After Ball

With a mission to inspire the next wave of athletes, Kevin McReynolds, founder of Overnght Media launches the platform’s first original series Bank After Ball

After playing 4 years of football for the UCLA Bruins during his undergraduate studies, Kevin McReynolds continued on his student-athlete journey at the University of Nevada, Reno where he received his Masters in Business Administration while playing his last year of eligibility for the Nevada Wolf Pack. During his playing years, and after a few too many threatening concussions, McReynolds shifted gears putting an emphasis on a robust business career, ultimately acting as his saving grace for life after football.

With a powerful stance on growth, development, and success, McReynolds launched Overnght Media on the belief that truly successful people and businesses oftentimes face hardship, struggle, and challenges before reaching an optimal peak. The ever-growing misconception of “overnight success” has been at the forefront of business for decades and McReynolds wanted to debunk that notion while diving into the nitty-gritty reality of true achievement.

After watching many of his talented UCLA teammates and other professional athletes from tennis to gymnastics, basketball, and beyond, carry on to a professional level of sport, McReynolds noticed that while they were achieving an impressive milestone in their careers, one that he always anticipated joining after college himself, many were not prepared for the financial obligations and responsibilities that come with running a business. While maintaining strong relationships with many former student-athletes, McReynolds quickly became a resource for their financial journeys and challenges along the way and he soon realized that while athletics carried many to the next level, they weren’t fully equipped to handle the most important business of all – themselves.

On August 4th, 2021, McReynolds and the Overnght Media team are set to launch the first episode of Bank After Ball, an original series designed to highlight the financial journeys and business ventures of former and current athletes during and after their careers, offering an in-depth look at life and career beyond athletics; because, there is so much more. Season one boasts an impressive lineup including Donovan Carter (Actor on the hit TV show, Ballers), Peng Peng (Olympian, Actress, Influencer), Aaron Wallace (Former NFL Player, Entrepreneur) Dietrich Riley (Top Real Estate Agent, Model), Amanda McGrew (CEO of Playoff Dating App), Lorrie Fair Allen (World Cup Champion U.S., Olympic Gold medalist, Olympic Silver medalist, three-time national champion at the University of North Carolina, and Founding Investor in Angel City FC), and Vic Enwere (Former Cal Student Athlete, Athlete Rep).

For a peek at the season, please view the official Bank After Ball trailer here.

About Bank After Ball

With a mission to inspire the next wave of athletes, Overnght Media is proud to launch its first original series Bank After Ball. The show is designed to tell the financial journeys and business ventures of former and current athletes during and after their careers, offering an in-depth look at life and success beyond athletics.

About Overnght Media

With a powerful stance on growth, development, and success, Overnght was founded on the belief that truly successful people and businesses oftentimes face hardship, struggle, and challenges before reaching an optimal peak. The ever-growing misconception of overnight success has been at the forefront of business for decades and we’re here to debunk that notion while diving into the nitty-gritty reality of true achievement. It’s no secret that powerful businesses, leaders, and entrepreneurs all started somewhere, and more often than not, they started from the bottom or hit many bumps along the way. However, the vast majority of the public does not see the behind-the-scenes work that goes into their successes.

After years of searching for business publications that catered to the younger generation (Millennials and Gen Z) while also providing honest and relatable tools and content that showcased the reality of truly making it, we discovered that resources were scarce. While these groups are touted to be the most disruptive and powerful generations ever in the coming decade, Overnght looks forward to providing a meaningful and approachable platform to become just that.

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Purdue Names First Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellow

Purdue Engineering names first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellow, Yung-Hsiang Lu, professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named the first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellow in Purdue University’s College of Engineering. 

A Purdue University professor and innovator who works to inspire the next generation of technology leaders has been named the first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellow for the College of Engineering.

Yung-Hsiang Lu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, has developed several patented technologies and helped his students start their own companies. He is a Purdue Faculty Scholar, Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Distinguished Scientist of the Association for Computing Machinery.

We move our discoveries in the lab out to the world for impact through patents and commercialization opportunities, Lu said. This new role provides me with a great opportunity to help connect members of our engineering family with resources to move their technologies and research to communities and people in need.

Lu’s appointment comes as the College of Engineering has put a new emphasis on the importance of faculty innovation and commercialization. These entrepreneurial activities can be documented in the formal tenure review process.

Yung is the perfect fit for this position to help connect our College of Engineering with the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and resources to support entrepreneurship and commercialization, said Wayne Chen, associate dean for research and innovation in the College of Engineering and Reilly Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Materials Engineering. We want to further develop our culture of support for faculty and students who take their research and lab work to the world through patents and startups.

Lu will collaborate with the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub, and the Purdue for Life Foundation. He has advised several student teams that won business plan competitions and helped a company obtain two Small Business Innovation Research grants.

Everett Berry, a Purdue alumnus who, with Lu, co-founded a company called Perceive, said he remembers fondly the professor’s belief in the ability of undergraduate innovators.

Having seen Silicon Valley inside and out by this point, I know Dr. Lu embodies the best of the entrepreneurial instinct that we celebrate, Berry said. He was my first, and still strongest, inspiration for building hard technology.

Another alumnus and former member of Lu’s research team, Zohar Kapach, started a company called Oqullo. He said Lu helped him realize his love for computer engineering and the opportunities to grow an entrepreneurial career in the field.

I continue to apply my experiences working with Dr. Lu to my daily research work, Kapach said. I was able to apply the knowledge I gained from working with him to raise a substantial seed fund.

Lu continues to work with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization to patent inventions. This office operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at Purdue’s website.

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Georgia Tech Wins Entrepreneurship Competition

Georgia Tech Team Wins at Global College Entrepreneur Pitch Competition

Insight Optics, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, won third place at the Third Annual TiE University Global Pitch Competition held on May 15-16, 2021.

Representing TiE Atlanta, the Insight Optics team consists of Dr. Aaron Enten and TJ Lagrow. Their business venture delivers a mobile-adapted platform which enables primary care physicians to efficiently detect early signs of avoidable blindness before permanent damage is done. The team was mentored by Greg Cory, Neeti Dewan and Eric Ensor from TiE Atlanta.

The team received a $5,000 cash prize sponsored by the Naadam Foundation, and a $4,000 grant from the REAN Foundation. Insight Optics was “best in class” at the Startup Bootcamp hosted by TiE Silicon Valley in early May.

Insight Optics competed with 27 winning teams from across the globe including teams from TIE Chapters in seven countries across three continents. The teams were mentored by local TiE chapters and supported by global workshops, startup bootcamps and mock sessions. There were 526 startup teams with 1432 students that participated in local TiE chapter college competition rounds.

First prize went to TiE Toronto’s ALT TEX whose founders are from York University and the University of Toronto.  Their venture focuses on sustainable textiles engineered from food waste by tackling two serious issues — food waste and the high levels of pollution caused by the fashion industry.

The second prize winner was TiE Dallas’ SURVIVR whose founder is from the University of Texas at Dallas.  The company aims to make communities safer by providing immersive and humanized police training using virtual reality.

Chapter winners went through a semifinal round on May 15. The virtual event was viewed by over 500 audience members from around the world, and TiE Atlanta’s executive director, Amyn Sadruddin, was instrumental as the MC for a semifinals track.  Worldwide teams pitched diverse business ideas such as bio-toilets, career fulfillment tools for higher education, technology-enabled artificial limbs, and tech kits for 21st century education, among others.

The event also featured a fireside conversation between Prof. Jagdish Sheth from Emory University in Atlanta and Mr. Ronnie Screwvala of Mumbai. The co-founder and chairman of Upgrad, an online edtech startup, Mr. Screwvala inspired young entrepreneurs to take risks.  His book “Dream With Your Eyes Open” is a commitment to champion entrepreneurship and learn from failure.

This year, TiE University extended the concept of entrepreneurship to form a stronger ecosystem, even more strategically focused to dovetail multiple enablers, said Dr. Paul Lopez, Founder and Co-Chair of the TiE University Program. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, this year’s total cash prizes were $65,000, plus in-kind awards of over $600,000 to empower college entrepreneurs.

Eight university teams made it to the finals of the global pitch fest.  In addition to the top three winning teams, the other finalists were TiE Austin’s Clocr, a digital legacy management and emergency planning platform; TiE Chennai’s Kitab, a digital PDF-Reader that redefines the way technical literature and textbooks are consumed; TiE Dubai’s Small World that connects NGOs and high school students; TiE DC’s Early Intervention Systems that builds software and algorithms to enhance elder-care; and TiE New Jersey’s Sulis, a low-cost water sanitization device.

The keynote speaker on Finals Day was Sheel Tyle, Founder/CEO of venture capital global firm Amplo. Interviewed by TiE Coimbatore’s Pradeep Yuvaraj, Tyle has some advice for entrepreneurs, Whether you spend time doing something small or doing something big, it actually takes the same time. If you’re going to spend your precious time on something, do it where your time has the greatest impact on the world.

About the TIE University Program

TiE University, an initiative of TIE Global, aims to foster entrepreneurship among college students. University startup teams gain access to learning resources, mentorship by successful entrepreneurs and opportunities to participate in Hackathons, Startup Bootcamps, and Pitch Competitions. These interactions and experiences help startups take their business from a campus idea into a viable business.

About TiE Atlanta

TiE Atlanta is a top five chapter of TiE Global, a nonprofit consisting of 61 chapters in 14 countries, that generates prosperity through development of entrepreneurs in all stages by creating community and beneficial relationships to support them. TiE Atlanta develops entrepreneurs and startups through mentoring, education, investment, and networking. Learn more at their website.

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JAIN Launches Online Degree Programs

JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) has announced the launch of JAIN Online to offer Undergraduate and Postgraduate Online Degree Programs, in Commerce, Management, Information Technology, and Humanities recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC). JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) is a world-class institution promoted by JAIN Group, with over 30 years of excellence in Education, Research, and Entrepreneurship.

The Chancellor of JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) Dr. Chenraj Roychand stated,

 “The changing landscape of education [has been] globally shaped by disruptions due to the pandemic and technological advancements has caused challenges as well as opportunities for the education sector. When Universities, as we have known them, are being forced to change, online education brings a paradigm change that not only helps in reaching the unreached, but also helps in differentiated program offerings in line with market demands. With JAIN Online, we are extending our commitment to provide high-quality and globally benchmarked education to the masses. The programs are designed in a way that also fulfills the needs of international students. With an industry-driven curriculum and cutting-edge technology, JAIN Online is set to reshape the careers of millions of students, making them global leaders and change-makers of tomorrow.” 

The efficient and robust Learning Management System (LMS) of the University provides a high degree of convenience and flexibility to the learners who can access videos, self-learning materials, virtual labs, assignments, quizzes, discussion forums, and live classes over the weekends from top-notch faculty members are drawn from across the globe. Personalized support is offered to the students to clarify their queries from a dedicated program manager. The learning hours and credits of the online degree programs are at par with the regular programs of the University.

With technology playing a major role in its teaching-learning methodology, the University is all set to deliver an exceptionally engaging and enriching learning experience for its students through its Learning Management System. The learners will additionally get access to live classes on 25 key skills for success and more than 16,000 courses on LinkedIn Learning, where they can learn as per their interests and get certified by LinkedIn and various industry partners like SHRM, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, EC Council, IIBA, etc. The University also extends its Career Advancement Services to its students on JAIN Online to facilitate job placements with over 2000 hiring partners.

With this, JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) has become the first University in India to launch online degrees with prestigious Global Professional Bodies like ACCA – UK, CIMA – UK, CIM – UK, CIIS – UK, IOA – UK, CMA – US, and CPA – USA. The students would also be eligible for exemption of papers or get relevant professional memberships from these professional bodies on successful completion of the Online Degree Programs.

To know more about the programs, please visit this website.

 

Meet the Man Behind Bronx Night Market

By Hannah DiPilato

360 Magazine recently had the opportunity to sit down with Marco Shalma, founder of Round Seven Media and MASC Hospitality Group. He is responsible for beginning a food and culture festival in New York called The Bronx Night Market. In this interview, he talks about everything from advice for young entrepreneurs to his favorite food spots in New York. 

How did you begin Round Seven Media and why did you decide to start this?

I started in 2013, which was after my education at NYU for undergrad and pursuing a master’s degree in film and tv. Marketing was my passion, and I wanted to run a campaign in a different way. I wanted to use the concept of getting people into the mix of the story and I wanted to get that into a narrative for clients in marketing. In 2013, I sold my shares in restaurant groups and I wanted to begin marketing for myself. I went around and started looking for clients in restaurant and hospitality for about 20 years, which I had experience in. With the explosion of Instagram and technology, it was the perfect time to explore marketing opportunities.

When the company started, the first thing was to go find professional people with a school of thought from film and writing. Our business is known for being a launch campaign for ideas, projects, etc. and we will build an online presence for our clients by finding the key demographic. We are focused on the launch period so our work doesn’t really go further than the six month period.

You also founded MASC Hospitality Group, what made you start another business as well?

MASC Hospitality is one of those situations that happened backward, meaning we first took on the Bronx Night Market project in 2017, which then branched out to many other events that were affiliated with the Bronx Night Market. At one point, we needed to incorporate all of these events, so we decided to create MASC Hospitality Group. If you think about it, MASC Hospitality is a company that basically creates different events while Round Seven Media is the one promoting these events. Sometime around 2018, I started taking fewer clients for Round Seven Media and started adding more of my own companies to Round Seven Media. 

What is your favorite event that MASC Hospitality Group is responsible for?

My favorite event hands down is Bronx Night Market. The Bronx Night Market is my baby, it’s a proud moment for me because it came from a vision of bringing something to the Bronx community, my community, that is a prideful event and a reason to be proud of the borrow, without needing to commute to Manhattan or Queens to experience a festival that celebrates culture, cuisine and commerce. 

We always say culture, cuisine and commerce because culture encompasses the diversity of the city with so many different flavors, cuisine because this is the grand unifier, everyone can enjoy a meal together no matter what skin tone or nationality and commerce is the idea of creating space for young entrepreneurs and small local businesses to present what they do to a large number of people and promote their business to help them move into the next stage of their success. This encompasses everything we are about, supporting small businesses, young entrepreneurship and of course, good, good food. 

Have you encountered any problems while being a business owner for these two organizations?

When you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, you always encounter problems. It’s always a matter of hiring the right people, navigating through resources, financing and funding, but mostly it’s identifying and understanding the demographic. I think for me, as a serial entrepreneur, a good idea is a good idea, but you need to identify your key demographic. You need to identify what you do and who it’s for. Then, you work for months or years fine-tuning to make everything connect and basically build a community around your brand.

For example, Round Seven Media is a brand that understands the power of our way of doing business. We are known as one of the top agencies in New York to run launch campaigns for brands because we are dedicated to doing that. With something like The Bronx Night Market, it’s about identifying Bronx-based foodies and people that want to explore offerings and now they have the opportunity to do that in a place where they feel safe, secure and happy. The event is really designed for the community instead of something that could be done anywhere else. 

What do you look for in employees that you hire for your company? 

We hire on a regular basis, we continuously hire for different projects on behalf of companies. When we finish a launch campaign at Round Seven Media, we like to hire people to replace us, younger people, hungry people that can do social media for those brands. When we look at hiring, the most important thing for us at the moment is consistency and the ability to have a follow-up and a follow-through. I think those are the three very, very important elements because in today’s field of business, having consistency and bringing your A-game every time is something that is critical to the success of any business. I’ve unfortunately had to work with people that can bring 120% one day and 30% the next day. This also has a lot to do with company culture and the idea that you need to create an environment that allows people to be consistent.

Another big part is the ability to follow up and follow through. I can’t even tell you how many times you will be doing things where you need to follow up with clients and partners and sometimes it even takes up to 20 emails. Each and every opportunity for you to accomplish something or to create something if you don’t follow through, you have failed. We are also looking for employees that are super savvy with communications and social media because this is becoming a crucial part of any brand. The ability to understand how media works and how to maximize these services is important to our brand. 

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs like you once were?

If I had to give one piece of advice to young entrepreneurs, it would be to not bite off more than you can chew: focus, focus, focus. I keep seeing a lot of young entrepreneurs that I work with trying to do too much. They try to put on six or seven different hats and be the CEO of the universe at the same time. I always say, focus on the one thing, take your time, become the best in your field and then explore from there. From what I’ve seen, the ability to focus and distill your message and brand into the simplest form and show it to other people such as the investors and partners, showing your dedication to a single idea is the most valuable.

When I used to work on movies, right after grad school, one of the exercises I had that influenced me completely was an exercise of writing a logline for a feature film. You have a script of like 90 pages that you need to turn in to a 25-word logline that will explain exactly what that movie is. It’s almost an impossible mission, but once you start on this, you understand how important the focus is. I now tell people you need to understand your business so well that nothing will get in the way. That’s how you get investors and money. 

I know you’re passionate about food, what are some restaurants you would recommend to our readers?

It’s hard to talk about restaurants right now when the restaurant industry is suffering so much. Every day we see another one of my favorite restaurants closing down and the industry is struggling especially when it seems like the industry won’t open soon. I’ll tell you about food in general, as a foodie the most important thing for me is not chasing trends, but a restaurant that has a focused menu, where they know what they’re doing and they’re focused on creating the best experience with a sense of consistency. I know I probably sound like everything is driven like that, but honestly, it’s so important.

Before covid I used to go to a restaurant once a month in West Harlem that used to make the most amazing eggplant pasta, there was also a place I used to go with the most amazing salmon dish and I used to go to another place with the most amazing pad thai. That’s the best thing about living in New York, you get exposed to so much food and you’ll try a lot of trends, but at the end of the day, when you hit something that you know is going to be just as good every time you get it, it becomes the place you go for that dish.

The older I get I realize that’s the most important thing because I want to go back to the restaurant five years later and get the same food and experience. I’m hoping we’ll come out of this soon and be able to go and enjoy restaurants again. Even if you don’t like restaurants and you’re a great cook, you miss sitting down with your friends in a restaurant, eating some food, enjoying a bottle of wine and sharing a good laugh. It’s not about the food, it’s about the experience. 

Where do you see yourself going next in your career? 

At the moment we are trying to get back to normal life especially with Bronx Night Market and other events that we have. I’m working very hard to define what we can do in public spaces to help restaurants and other brick and mortar restaurants come back to life.

At the moment, I’m really dedicating a lot of my time to working with city and state agencies to create programming that will allow brick and mortar businesses to have more visibility as well as helping small businesses that began at home during the pandemic. I like to call these businesses “homentrepreneurs” and they will need a place for their businesses outside to get more traction in the community once the pandemic is over.

I am taking my experience within marketing and media, my ability to push forth different agendas and my ability to plan different activities to bring these skills to neighborhoods around New York and support these businesses and give a place for new entrepreneurs to grow outside of their homes. This is something I have been very excited about for a few months. 

After Covid is over, are there any events you would hope for the MASC Hospitality Group to execute?

Help New Yorkers get back to normal as soon as possible. Possibly that will be creating open-air markets and events relating to many different niches, and just to let New Yorkers come to celebrate returning to normalcy. After covid, trying to figure out with different partners how to help businesses survive the next few months and thrive as soon as we get out of this crisis. This has been a focus for us to do. We have seen way too many friends of ours close shop and disappear. 

Be sure to keep up with Marco Shalma and the Bronx Night Market on Instagram. 

photo credit foodcre8tive
Photo credit to r.ace.me
2021 Illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

5 New Year’s Resolutions To Make Your Business Culture A Winner

New Year’s resolutions are not only for individuals but businesses too. Company goals leaders set for the year ahead are usually measured in data tied to categories like revenue production and expense reduction. 

After a difficult 2020 due to COVID-19, many enterprises’ bottom-line numbers will take on extra importance in 2021. And business culture will be just as crucial. Any resolutions that company leaders make are an effective way to measure their work environment and help their teams meet performance metrics, says Mark McClain, CEO and co-founder of SailPoint and the ForbesBooks author of Joy and Success at Work: Building Organizations that Don’t Suck (the Life Out of People).  

“Meeting individual, team, and company goals begin with employees and managers working well together in a vibrant environment,” McClain says. “And given the changes and challenges of these times, culture and how leaders pay attention to it have never been more important. 

“The bottom line falls into place when everyone is on the same page. But even if leaders have established a strong culture, it bears constant vigilance to ensure everyone is rowing in the same direction, especially now when a volatile world can threaten to throw even the most solid companies off course.”  

McClain offers these business culture resolutions for the New Year that leaders could consider:

  • Focus on shared values. McClain thinks it’s misleading to frequently state that a “family atmosphere” exists in a company. “The bigger a company gets or the more it grows in capability and value, the less it’s going to feel like a family,” he says. “Creative friction and disagreement on processes and concepts are inevitable. Smart companies leverage broader, shared values as common ground on which workers can connect. I’ve found one of the best places for doing that is through service to the community beyond company walls. If your culture encourages people to work together for some greater good, they’ll continue to appreciate each other as humans and fellow workers.” 
  • Avoid prima donnas. ”Talented people are essential for a successful business,” McClain says, “but don’t fall in love with a gifted person if they are constantly letting you know how special they are. Watching them work can be breathtaking, but not when they’re the ones sucking the air out of the room.”
  • Double down on integrity. “Large legacy companies are often loaded with people who are just taking up space and collecting a paycheck,” McClain says. “It’s a significant issue, and it goes hand-in-hand with integrity. Effective workers know the difference between busywork and producing value. Everybody in the organization must be clear on what success looks like. The role of management is to be clear on objectives and then let people run.”
  • Don’t stop innovating. McClain says many companies stagnate in this area and should learn how to expand their innovations while encouraging the cultivation of new ideas. “Innovation is an amalgam of product marketing and product management skills, of listening to the market, and of engineering people who can take a problem and figure out how to solve it,” he says. “But innovation should apply in every direction – in how a company contracts, how they sell, how they market.”
  • Be the first to own mistakes. “Anyone who has been involved in conflict directly knows there’s always the sense that both parties have some responsibility,” McClain says. “The sooner you own yours, the more likely the other person will own theirs – and the project can move forward.”

“New Year’s resolutions are often easily discarded because of a person’s lack of commitment,” McClain says. “For business leaders and their workforce, they reflect company core values and can create or improve a culture that everyone will appreciate and aspire to uphold and deepen.”

About Mark McClain

Mark McClain, ForbesBooks author of Joy and Success at Work: Building Organizations that Don’t Suck (the Life Out of People), is CEO of SailPoint, a leader in the enterprise identity management market. McClain has led the company from its beginnings in 2005, when it started as a three-person team, to today, where SailPoint has grown to more than 1,200 employees who serve customers in 35 countries.