Positioning Your Startup for Market Traction with David Goetz

On Tuesday, July 16, 10:00 a.m., ID Members are invited to hear entrepreneur and serial founder David Goetz talk about Positioning Your Startup for Market Traction. Goetz’s informational and interactive talk will help answer questions about branding your startup so you will take away how to:

  • Understand the eight positions of positioning power
  • Position your brand in your category
  • Develop the messaging architecture for your startup
  • Connect your brand positioning with creative

    About the presenter: Dave Goetz is president of CZ Strategy, a strategic marketing agency that he founded in 2000. He is the author of three books, including one on messaging strategy and another on fly fishing. He also founded RealityRN, a social community for new nurses; Big Snowy Media, a publishing imprint; and “2 Guys and a River,” a fly fishing podcast.

    When you go:

Place: Innovation DuPage
Date: Tuesday, July 16
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
RSVP ID@innovationdupage.org

Michael Medema Mentor Workshop: Flip-flops and Fast Facts

For a man who has started seven companies (with four successful exits) and is currently running three companies simultaneously, Michael Medema seemed pretty chill. Medema sat down in t-shirt and flip flops to chat with ID members about his experiences scaling startups. His resume includes company sale prices valued at a cumulative $54 million.

His current company, Keono, a digital marketing company which he started in 2011, claims revenue of $18.5 million and has been listed on INC. 50 four years in a row as a “Best Workplace in the U.S.”, among other accolades he said. Medema is a serial entrepreneur with chops. As an ID mentor, he’s willing and able to help others, so ID members were listening closely.

Stay Debt Free
In a staccato delivery style, all business and fast facts, Medema advised ID members to avoid debt if at all possible. He said organic growth is the best growth and the way to achieve organic growth is through personal selling. He said it’s okay to start small, and not to spend a lot of money on marketing at first. For super small companies, if there’s a little money—like $500-$1000 per month to spend–founders are better off hiring sales reps, even 1099 sales reps, to follow up on leads and close deals.

Hook a big client, do something great for them and then leverage that success on to the next. He said to be realistic with financials and remember “Cash and data are king. Debt is crippling.”

Focus on One Thing
No one can be all things to all people. As an example, Medema said his particular strength is on building great companies and teams—fast—and then getting out. “I’m not the CEO to take a company to the next level. My sweet spot is from scratch up to $25 million.” He said to focus on doing one thing great and figuring out how to scale fast.

focus on doing one thing great and figure out how to scale fast.

Get a Great Team
While you’re lasering in on the thing you do best, he advised company leaders to hire slow/fire fast to cultivate a capable team, a powerful network and a high-functioning company culture. Founders have to do everything alone at first. But when it’s time to hire, he said to try to pay on results as much as possible (see paragraph three). Use consultants and 1099 them. Find and hire interns to help. They’re willing and able to work to gain experience. (Hint: the ID partner colleges and universities are full of them!)

Be Ready to Change
“If you’re not changing, you’re dying. I change quickly. I’m always looking over my shoulder,” Medema asserted. The people in the team change, the customers change, the product changes and the markets certainly change. Founders need to be prepared for that. Founders also must “Constantly share their vision, direction and plans with clients, vendors, team members, investors and so on. Keep the vision strong and continue to ask questions and challenge the norm,” he said.

Use the Network
Medema was impressed with the level of talent and vision in the room. He recommended that business founders and owners at Innovation DuPage take the headphones off and work together. ID members could share knowledge and resources and even combine resources to hire needed talent, if possible.

He said, “Most of the companies all have similar issues so leverage the group and discuss key issues together (i.e. prospecting, hiring, etc.). Although the companies are unique and in different stages, sharing ideas would be greatly beneficial. I’ve learned a ton from business partners, friends and other business owners, so network more so you too can learn the ropes.”

This rope is one every ID member will want to swing on! ID Member Symone Lewis, founder and CEO of Barelastics, said “This was amazing and worth every minute.” Stay tuned for the next mentor workshop on Tuesday, July 16, from 10:00 a.m. to noon with Dave Goetz.

 

 

Thank you to everyone who came!

ID’s Grand Opening Open House Was a Big Success

An estimated 300+ people stopped by Innovation DuPage’s new headquarters at the Glen Ellyn Civic Center, 535 Duane Street, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 22, for a Grand Opening.

Be sure to visit Glen Ellyn retailers who are helping celebrate the Grand Opening of Innovation DuPage

People were able to meet some of the start up businesses that are incubating at Innovation DuPage. Also, ID staff offered tours to show off the renovation of the former Glen Ellyn police station and explained how this business development incubator and small business accelerator that is Innovation DuPage will make a big impact on the economic development of the region in the future.

The space is beautiful, the tours take just a few minutes and there are dozens of trendy restaurants and delightful shops to explore in downtown Glen Ellyn!

Participating retailers are offering a free gift through Sunday, May 26, with a minimum purchase of $25 for anyone who stopped by the ID Grand Opening and presents the flyer from the goody bag takeaway.

A big thanks and shout out to these retailers who helped us celebrate our Grand Opening:

Alla Moda Boutique
Blonde Boutique
The Bookstore of Glen Ellyn
Cabernet & Company
Courier Travel
Glen Ellyn Sweet Shoppe
JAYNE
Larc Jewelers
M and Em’s Boutique
Marcel’s Culinary Experience
Marche
Norabella Boutique
Olive ‘n Vinnie’s
Shawn Sargent Designs
Sign of the Whale Antiques
String Theory
Treasure House
UPTOWN

When you go, be sure to take a photo and post to social media with #GO_ID #MyID

How COD Graphic Design Students Created for GOtivation

Portfolio Night 2019 is where design students from College of DuPage and high schools in the community were invited to present their work to a panel of judges and the public. Portfolio Night presents an opportunity to review the work of each student and talk with each artist in person.

One emerging company that worked with COD graphic design students was GOtivation. GOtivation worked with student designers at College of DuPage through their professor, Gautum Wadhwa, to create a series of icons and animated graphics to be used on the GOtivation mobile app. The app helps people get more fit by providing mental motivation through texts and messages to stick with a fitness plan via a game-like interface.

The students did a phenomenal job! Not only were they easy to work with, but they provided some great designs in a short period of time. Their effort has already been put to good use.

GOtivation Founder and CEO Dennis Timpanero said, “The students did a phenomenal job! Not only were they easy to work with, but they provided some great designs in a short period of time. Their effort has already been put to good use. We immediately started using the medals, badges, and other game graphics in the training course this week. Customers replied with comments like ‘ooooh,’ ‘nice!’ and even ‘fancy!’ Customers reached out unprompted and were really impressed with the professional level of the design. We really appreciated how the students worked this project into their busy class schedules and their other commitments.”

GOtivation plans to continue working with College of DuPage students in the future and was visible cheering them on at Portfolio Night 2019.

Portfolio Night 2019 at College of DuPage, an annual event, featured creative work ranging from a graphic design and illustrations to packaging and website designs. Graphic design students were recognized with awards and prizes in the following categories: Portfolio, Identity Design, Publication Design, Illustration, 3-D Design, and Web Design.

Learn more at http://www.cod.edu/design/portfolioReview.htm