Hub Client Profile–Ludela

LuDela is an innovative maker of next-generation “smart” candles whose motto is, “Better Light, Better Lives.” Founder Jamie Bianchini has chosen Adams Hub to incubate his startup.

Your candle-lit dinner is about to get disrupted. LuDela is committed to offering the safest, most convenient, feature-rich candlelight in history. Imagine lighting an entire room full of candles in your home with a touch of a button on your smartphone. Or having a candle that self-extinguishes if it’s knocked over or if something is sensed above the flame.

A unique IoT (Internet of things) play, the LuDela Smart Candle has caught the attention of a major catalog company Frontgate and Brookstone for a holiday launch. Other channels, including Target and QVC, are also courting LuDela to roll out a low-tech version of LuDela called the Perfect Pillar.

Jamie Bianchini recently relocated with his family from the Bay Area to Minden, Nevada, to enjoy a slower, saner pace of life.

 

“I grew up biking and skiing in the Sierra Nevada,” he says. In fact, the idea for LuDela was born on a bicycle trip through West Africa a decade ago, where Jamie survived a common but deadly phenomenon: a candle fire in the guest house where he was sleeping. He was stunned to learn that candle fires and toxic kerosene-lamp fumes are a major cause of death in developing countries. So LuDela was designed from the start to give back. Partnering with the charity Books for Africa, LuDela donates solar lights and books to communities in need with every LuDela candle or refill purchase.

Jamie partnered with top Silicon Valley product development firm SurfaceInk to create LuDela’s elegant, solutions. LuDela candles use patent-pending design and technology to deliver a safer, more convenient experience of the world’s most adored source of light and ambiance: fire. Now it’s time for the next step in the company’s growth.

“There is so much interest in LuDela candles and our mission as a social venture,” he says. “It’s what we dreamed of, and now we have to execute.” Currently, he’s raising funds to enable the company to finalize development and move into mass production to fulfill holiday 2017 orders from large retailers.

To scale the company, LuDela is seeking local impact investors in the Northern Nevada and Tahoe areas, “someone who wants to make the world a better place and also achieve great financial returns,” says Jamie. LuDela’s technology has already caught the attention of the press, including Tech Crunch, Gizmodo, C|net, Popular Mechanics and Thrillist.

Why did he make Adams Hub his entrepreneurial base camp?
“I needed to get out of the garage, where it was cold and the kids were running through,” he laughs. “I like the energy, and being around smart people who add value and make the process of starting and growing a company so much more enjoyable.” Whether he is in a mentor meeting or collaborating with a Hub intern on his social media campaigns, Jamie’s intense dedication to his mission is obvious.

“We’re going to shine a bright light from the Tahoe region,” he says. “I can’t wait to share what we’re up to on the 22nd at our Open House.”

LuDela will be hosting a Happy Hour/Open House in The Studio @ Adams Hub, on Wednesday, March 22 at 4:30, followed by a product demonstration and company presentation at 6 p.m. RSVP to Jamie Bianchini at jamie@ludela.com.

Artrepreneurs Workshop Series Debuts in Carson

A new four-week arts marketing workshop series for Northern Nevada “Artrepreneurs” is taking aim at the cliché of the Starving Artist. The workshop promises to help visual artists, artisans, and performing artists achieve business success as they follow their creative passion.

The series is a unique collaboration between the Nevada Arts Council, The Carson City Visitors Bureau and Adams Hub for innovation. Mark Salinas, the new Arts & Culture Coordinator at CCVB, will be sharing his knowledge and experience, along with an extensive list of guest speakers and subject matter experts. The workshops are practical, tactical sessions that help participants build skills, and will culminate in a final event, a show at The Studio at Adams Hub.

Topics include the creation of a compelling web presence and social media strategies for artists. Artists will also learn how to define and express their unique personal brand and tell their story through effective documentation. The workshop series includes hands-on skills labs, including sessions with a professional photographer and videographer, as well as a segment on writing artist biographies and profiles and honing an artist’s “elevator pitch.” Also included will be a session on sales skills. The workshops will explore the channels through which artists can generate revenue and visibility, including galleries, venues, fairs, grants and residencies. A highlight of the final workshop will be a panel discussion with experts from the art world.

The workshops will take place on four consecutive Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., beginning May 3rd and ending May 24th.

Space is limited to 20. Applications are available on our registration site.
Five seats were added and the new application deadline is Monday April 17.

Participants are asked to contribute a materials fee of $49. Refreshments will be provided.

Mentor Moment: Dr. Bob Whitcomb

Dr. Bob Whitcomb teaches courses at Western Nevada College and serves as an Adams Hub Mentor. WNC’s 101 course is taught in the Studio at Adams Hub, bringing students into the business incubator environment and exposing them to entrepreneurial culture. Bob brings passion, joy and a sense of humor to his work as a as well as a mentor. He has a unique gift for putting others at ease and challenging them to grow at the same time. Dr. Whitcomb divides his time between Northern Nevada and Alaska, where he spends four months of each year.

Why do you Mentor? I’ve been a teacher for a long time, and I love seeing the ideas and successes of my students. Being at the Hub enables me to see people come in with great ideas, then help them craft these into something that’s viable, workable. Creative people generate great ideas, great concepts, and many have great strength in their field, but they don’t have that business acumen you need to be successful. That’s why I’m so delighted to partner with the Hub. We get to use our skills and passions and share them with others.

Why did you focus on marketing? I’m a marketer by training and by nature. The root of marketing is meeting needs. How are we meeting customer needs? Marketing is fun. If I’m not having fun I’m not going to do it. Marketing isn’t rocket science. It’s gratifying to see students take advantage of the resources here at the Hub. For example, the Carson City librarians are bringing these amazing databases here, and when students sit down with them to explore markets, they can discover unmet needs. Putting the tools and inspiration together is what we’re all about.

Did that naturally lead to mentoring? Mentoring is a blast. You bring your perspective, you’re not trying to impress anyone. You’re just offering your ideas, sharing your experience. It’s exciting to see the light bulb go on, or give someone an idea that will help them solve a problem.

How else do you give back?
You know, non-profits have a serious struggle to attract talent. One of the things that we do is have students work with non-profits, build a non-profit experience base. It’s important as a manager and people benefit from that. That’s the caring, compassionate side of me that wants to help people. I’ve never cared about the money.

What’s your Alaska life like? I’m in Alaska for three months each summer, and one month during the holidays. I have dogs, a house, friends. I kayak, hike and run away from bears. If the barge doesn’t make it up for 2 weeks there’s no food in town, so everyone has a larder. Ben & Jerry’s is eight bucks a pint! I have to go to the yarn shop to get internet. Everyone knows your business. It’s a different way of life.
I mentor in Alaska, too, I can’t help it. Marketing is very unsophisticated there. But the local culture there is very interdependent, everyone just naturally helps each other. Houses burn down every winter and the community comes right out to help.

What was your career path? I graduated high school with a 1.8 GPA because I wasn’t interested. I told my parents I was going to be an auto mechanic. One day I got in an accident I realized I couldn’t bend over engines for the rest of my career. I went back to college, and had a very dynamic marketing instructor; he was great, and so was the next one. I decided that marketing was what I wanted to do. I truly believe that marketing is the soul of the business. Because it’s about customer needs. It’s how I look at the world.

When I decided to teach for a living, it changed my world view. Then I had to work out what students needed to be successful. I don’t want my classes to just be a bunch of theory. Kids do their own marketing plans in the marketing class, they write training plans, HR manuals. It’s very practical, real-world, and hands-on.

I knew I wanted to teach when I was in college, and when I graduated, I decided to go to grad school and got an assistantship in 1985, found I enjoyed that and I’m good at it. One-on-one, few-on-one, is best for my teaching approach.

How did you find your way to Carson? I had a pivotal moment when I worked for Home Depot. I was HR manager at the store in Juno, Alaska, and for a store with a staff of 100, I had to hire 125 new employees each year. We had incredible turnover. I decided to go back to teaching in colleges, but I really wanted to work at a college where I could teach these first-job people. I was drawn to the opportunity to help regular students who wanted to get their first job. I love to work with that population.

When I got the offer from WNC, I loaded up my pickup truck with six boxes, rented an apartment in Carson City sight unseen, and slept on the floor for the first six weeks. It was an adventure. WNC has been open to letting me create a my own curriculum. I remember how hard it was to learn when I wasn’t engaged, so I work hard to make my classes very engaging. The college is truly committed to the community. Education is the economic driver. Bringing my class to Adams Hub has helped my students to start thinking outside the classroom box. I encourage them to take advantage of everything that’s going on here.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? One of the neatest things happened to me last year. A former asked, “Are you the Bob Whitcomb who used to teach in Maine?” Turns out he had friends who both had been students of mine, many years ago. These kids had ended up getting married. I reconnected with this couple. They told me, “You just need to know you changed our lives. Your style of management and instruction changed our lives. You are one of the significant people in our lives.” I had no idea. All I did was what I do. That’s the reward of teaching.

Over the years, I was fortunate to meet people who were willing to develop me, to cultivate me. It’s great to take the time to stop and thank the people who taught us. I’m blessed to have people in my life that took me for what I was, and helped me achieve my potential.

Julie Arsenault, Founder of PantyDrop, on the value of the Adams Hub Pre-Accelerator Program

Recent Adams Hub Pre-Accelerator startup Panty Drop is an online lingerie subscription service. Julie Arsenault, founder of PantyDrop, shared her thoughts about the experience in this mini-interview:

What was the format of the Pre-Accelerator?

“Based on Lean Startup Principles, and pulling from the Y Combinator curriculum, the 5-week program pushed us to “get outside the building” and validate customer demand for our ideas with interviews, rapid prototyping, and quick feedback cycles.”

What made you decide to join the Pre-Accelerator?

When I started the program, I felt that my growth strategy had stalled, but the program helped me narrow in on a promising niche market segment that’s helping my business get to the next level.

What did you think about your interactions with the Pre-Accelerator mentors and the participants?

Kevin Lyons and Miya MacKenzie are fantastic mentors, and definitely the people I want in my corner. With participants across stages, from the very earliest ideas to post-revenue and customers, the knowledge-sharing within the group was engaging and fun, and weekly goal-setting kept us on track and getting things done.”

What was your final assessment of the program’s value?

The Adams Hub Pre-Accelerator Program was the most impactful thing I did for my business in 2016.
 

Join Diane Dye Hansen for Lunchbox Learning March 21: Lead Generation with LinkedIn

In this powerful hour, you will learn proven strategies and tactics successful businesses are using to become leading experts, get more leads, and grow sales using LinkedIn. We will work through the tactics and practically apply them to your situation so you can walk out with a real competitive advantage. All attendees will also receive an invitation to a complimentary three hour masterclass through Linked University to deepen skills learned.

RSVP to grow@adamshub.com

#Innovator Interview: YOUTH Positive with Molly Dahl

Applying principles of positive psychology to the classroom can have astounding results, as one Adams Hub mentor discovered.
“YOUTH Positive teaches real life, it teaches relationships, and it teaches growth mind-set–how and why to be happy and why it all matters.” Molly Dahl, creator and founder of YOUTH Positive, LLC, has spent 15 years encouraging teens to “live positive” and take an active participatory role in their lives and education. With over 15 years of experience in the high school classroom, both in private and public education, Molly Dahl is a seasoned professional educator.

Tell me about your teaching experience. How did your experience in the classroom inspire you to create YOUTH Positive?

I started what would become my teaching career in the English as a Second Language classroom as a teacher’s aide. About 4 years later, I found myself in my own high school classroom teaching Freshman English at a private Catholic school in Virginia. I thought I would only be there a year or two, but I fell in love with it. I love teenagers. They are so full of life and enthusiasm and are really and willing to participate full-on in life. I was there for 6 years, then moved back to Nevada to teach at Bishop Manogue High School. I was there one year, and then made the big leap to public school. Turns out, I liked it more than my experience in private education!

My classroom experience inspired me to create YOUTH Positive because my students, for 7 years, kept asking me again and again why they weren’t being taught things that really matter in life. They wanted more and they wanted “real”. So I put my studies in Positive Psychology to use and created a program for them that teaches what they asked for.

YOUTH Positive teaches real life, it teaches relationships, and it teaches the growth mind-set: how to be happy and why it all matters. They just wanted more than academics and test scores and college entrance worries. I couldn’t help but be influenced by their asking!

What sort of change did you notice in your students after implementing the youth positive approach?

They wanted to be there, in school. They were interested and engaged. They stated connecting the dots across the curriculum, making sense of what we studied in Spanish–making connections with the Spanish language to their studies in their English classes and connections with Spanish cultures with their history and world cultures classes.

They began to get that nothing is separate and unaffected by everything else, that it’s all interconnected and they can make meaning out of seemingly disparate subjects and then, boy! The lights go on and they get so excited. My students used to ask me if they could stay in my classroom all day long and if I could teach them every subject. Of course, I was flattered, but I encouraged them to find the same enthusiasm they had for my classroom in their other classes and with their other teachers.

My main goal as a teacher was to have my students step over the edge of the high school “nest” with their wings already flapping, ready to take on the world as self-sufficient, well-adjusted, happy and young men and women. I get texts and emails and little messages from them occasionally and guess what? They are thriving and enjoying it life. They are traveling and taking healthy risks and really experiencing life in person, not from behind the screen.
  

Jump-Start Your Week: Monday Motivation at the Hub!

On Motivation Mondays, community businesspeople as well as Adams Hub clients will be able to sit down, one-on-one, with Diane Dye Hansen, Chief Inspiration Officer of What Works Coaching and CarsonNow.org Columnist, and set a course for a successful week. Everyone needs to start the week off on the right foot–it doesn’t matter if you are a CEO, business leader, entrepreneur, manager, or an employee at in a local business. Yet most of us end up simply reacting to the events of our week rather than driving toward our goals and focusing time in our areas of highest priority. You’ve probably about the importance of focus. A mindful plan of action for your week will pay off in higher productivity, steady progress on your big goals, and greater satisfaction in your work.

During your Motivation Monday meeting, you and Diane will look at your week, calendar out your activities, and identify opportunities for growth. You’ll prepare for your challenges and Diane will help you build in touchpoints for growth and success. During your intensive 30-minute session, Diane will do all this with you and help you set an intention to keep you going. This will allow you to capitalize on opportunities and keep your motivation strong all week long.

Come see Diane starting February 6 from 10-2…your first two sessions are free!

Innovator Interview: Justin Huntington, DRI researcher and MapWater co-founder

Read our blog, 8 Daily Habits that Boost Productivity

 

INTERVIEW: Dr. Justin Huntington of MapWater

How did MapWater come into being?

justin-speaking-at-googles-earth-engine-2016-user-summit

Dr. Huntington of the (co-founder of MapWater) giving a presentation at Google’s Earth Engine 2016 User Summit.

Water and agriculture in the western U.S. are multi-billion dollar resources that are central to the regional economy and future development. An important component of water development, management, and sustainability in the western U.S. is a detailed accounting of historical and current water use from irrigated agriculture. There is a great need for accurate, defensible, and timely maps of water use that are summarized on a field-by-field basis–the spatial scale at which water rights are managed. MapWater is a new company founded by researchers at the Desert Institute that provides satellite-based field scale water use and vegetation vigor products using multiple NASA and non-NASA earth observation platforms and spatial data-sets. These products can be used by water and natural resource agencies to support day-to-day decision making, long-term water resource planning and management, hydrologic studies, and obligations for water governance and interstate agreements.

 

Why do you do what you do?

Helping to better manage and protect natural resources using new satellite and cloud computing is quite exciting and inspirational. Just a few years ago making field-scale water use and vegetation vigor maps was very labor intensive and expensive. Now days we can make maps in seconds compared to days or weeks.

What was the most exciting development for you in 2016?

The use of cloud computing to quickly make maps and data summaries that are easily assessible to end users via a web browser.

What lies ahead for 2017?

We are working with several government and NGOs to develop products that best suit their needs.

How has your experience at Adams Hub contributed to your success?

Adams Hub has provided the support and environment to accelerate research to , and development of a sustainable model.

Contact Dr. Huntington at JustinH@.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entrepreneurs Assembly Carson: Where do you want to go in 2017?

Local entrepreneurs can begin their year on the right foot: Entrepreneurs Assembly (EA) Carson starts the New Year on a new schedule: the second Wednesday of the month from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Entrepreneurs, , small businesses, even people working on a new business idea are welcome. There is no charge to participate, and meetings are held at The Studio at Adams Hub, 177 W. Proctor, in Carson City.

EA is a Nevada non-profit whose mission is growing opportunity and prosperity throughout the state through entrepreneurship and . There are now thriving chapters in Reno, South Lake and Incline. EA also launches chapters in 2017 at UNLV and Henderson, Nevada.

City officials and local business experts meet with a group of visiting Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative fellows at the Adams Hub for Innovation in Carson City, Nev. on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016.  Photo by Cathleen Allison

Entrepreneurs Assembly Meeting at The Studio at Adams Hub. Photo by Cathleen Allison

During each meeting, round tables facilitated by experienced volunteer business who act as a “virtual business incubator” in which participants work on their business, not in their business. Confidentiality is key, as members discuss their business . Mentors and peers alike join in the lively interactions, and the formulates a plan of action for the next 30 days. (EA is not a or leads group, though networking happens and business leads often occur.)

“The beauty of this format is that it creates accountability for entrepreneurs, who are generally accustomed to going it alone,” says Matt Westfield, the founder of EA. “This helps keep them on track, moving forward, and making progress. Just as important, our members are able to discuss challenges and concerns that they may not even share with their family members. Our motto is founders helping founders.

Since its inception in 2011, EA has provided support to over 1,000 Nevada entrepreneurs.

To participate, RSVP to grow@adamshub.com or call 775.222.0001.  You’re also welcome to simply show up on the evening of the meeting.

 

 

8 daily habits that boost productivity and reduce stress

For , self-management is one of the keys to success. Not all of us are “monomaniacs on a mission,” like an Elon Musk or Steve Jobs, so most of us exist in that space between wanting to accomplish our goals and wanting to have a life. With the ubiquity of technology, we can work anytime and anywhere, so we do. Entrepreneurs frequently admit that we’re the worst bosses we ever had.

Goals are crucial, but it’s our daily habits that enable us to reach them. During the years that I ran two companies and oversaw 50+ employees, I learned a some best practices that were powerful boosters, not to mention sanity-savers.

1. Don’t start your day with email. If you do, other people’s priorities (and crises) become your own. Reserve the first hour of your day, when you’re freshest, for tasks that require concentration, creativity, or both.

2. Focus on accomplishing just three key things a day. Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach says this is about all we ever manage to do anyhow, and trying to accomplish more sets us up for failure. (If you’re Elon, you’re allowed 100 things a day.) Focusing on three key things helps you focus and provides that all-important sense of accomplishment.

ferriss-quote3. At the end of the day, write down what you’ve accomplished. There’s nothing more dispiriting and de-energizing than looking at a list of things to do that’s as long as your arm, and then adding something to it. Take a minute at the end of the day to write down what you actually did. This prevents you from focusing only on what’s left to do.

4. Move all the items that you can from your “to do” list to your calendar. This is a tried and true technique that really works. It keeps your to-do list from reaching terrifying proportions while it allocates time to the items on it–and that enables you to visualize exactly what you can (and can’t) do.

5. Delegate that! I consulted with many company owners who claimed that delegation “didn’t work,” as an excuse for why they were so overworked and underproductive. Most bosses never learn that there are two distinct transactions involved in an effective delegation: you need both the delegee’s understanding of the task being delegated (can they do it?) and their agreement (will they do it?) Nail down both and you’re golden.

6. Set a brisk operational tempo. Verne Harnish’s classic book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits prescribes a rhythm for business operations that generates a sense of purposeful urgency (not the more popular and widely-used fear and hysteria.) In this system, the rhythm builds steadily from day to week to month to quarter to year to years.

  • Daily: A minutes-long “huddle” in which team members participate in a quick discussion of their top priorities for the day (see previous habit)
  • Weekly: the tempo continues with a one-hour weekly meeting (we changed the name of ours from “operations meeting” to “progress meeting.”) We started those with a quick round-robin of “good news” and “acknowledgements.” As leaders, it’s important for us to make sure we look back at what we’ve accomplished, rather than focus on the stuff that remains to be done.
  • Quarterly: half-day sessions to review progress toward our goals and plan next steps. We conducted these as off-site mini-retreats. This was time to step outside of our daily routine and get strategic.

7. Revisit your goals daily. Remember your awesome strategic plan for 2016? Yeeaaaah. Harnish specializes in fast-growing “Gazelle” companies and offers a famous “One page Strategic Plan” which is one of the most practical and actionable (not to mention free!) tools I ever came across. It enables you to take your company’s long-term BHAG and break it all the way down into quarterly bite-sized chunks, on a simple chart that everyone on the team can read at a glance. While his book explains how to use the plan, he also offers seminars on the topic. Thousands of companies swear by it.

8. Use Different Days in Different Ways. When I first encountered the Strategic Coach I had a 24/7 work lifestyle and so did virtually every I knew in Silicon Valley. I’d just met a terrific guy, but after a month of dating, he told me flat-out, “You don’t have time for a relationship.” Fortunately, I was just about to start attending Strategic Coach sessions.

Dan Sullivan had us divide our week into three distinct days: Focus Days, Buffer Days and Free Days. A Focus Day is one spent 80% in your area of “genius,” activities that you do better than anyone else.  A Free Day is a 24-hour period in which you do not do any work, talk about work, or think about work. (If a family member asks you how your is going, you pleasantly remind them that it’s your Free Day and you’ll have to get back to them. You’ll be surprised at how quickly others around you get trained.) A Buffer Day is when you do things like email, meetings and, well, the stuff that occupies most “normal” work days–and importantly, get ready to enjoy a peaceful Free Day or rock a super-productive Focus Day.

My Free Days enabled me to invest in my relationship and I ended up marrying aforementioned Terrific Guy. Even if you only start with one Free Day per month, the experience is incredibly liberating and rewarding. The hardest days to carve out were Focus Days. Even with 20% of the time allocated to non-Focus interruptions, it’s can be hard to get back on track. You may want to spend your Focus Day out of the office.

As entrepreneurs know, there’s no shortage of good ideas out there. The difference is execution. Execution requires discipline–and good daily work habits are the way vision becomes reality.