The view from the Entrepreneurship classroom with Areli, CHS student intern

After having completed Principles of Business and Marketing, I’m now in Entrepreneurship I, an elective course taught by Carson High’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) instructor Billy McHenry. The class provided me with an opportunity for my first internship, here at the Adams Hub. I work directly with entrepreneurs who are starting companies, in a professional business environment.

Last year, Mr. McHenry’s class focused on how to manage our money and make smart decisions with it. It gave us a great foundation for thinking differently about money. This year we’re getting hands-on, and learning how to truly run a business. During our time in this course we create an original business plan, which we eventually present to Mr. McHenry, in hopes of moving on to the “Shark Tank” event, where we then compete for a cash prize that could help us start our own businesses.

I’ve learned some incredible things and worked with some remarkable people, including some who have helped me create a more professional business plan. Molly Dahl, who also works at the Adams Hub, has been a consistent support for the students in the business program as well as myself. Because of her, we’ve learned things we would have never imagined working on, including mindfulness, customer service, teamwork, presentation skills and more. Ms. Dahl is an anchor and constant inspiration to the students in this program.

With her have come other supportive Adams Hub mentors including Miya McKenzie, Matt Westfield, and Peggy Borgman (who I also get the pleasure of working with). They have all come into the business program and shared their knowledge and expertise with the students. Ms. MacKenzie has shared the latest thinking on how to truly “think outside of the box” before starting a business. Matt Westfield has presented a class on how to make a successful business pitch and win any audience over. Peggy Borgman, who has been a small business owner, discussed her experience with running her own company and the importance of offering world-class customer service.

The members of the Adams Hub team have left their mark in the Carson High business program and furthered the love of business we Entrepreneurship students share!

1 Million Cups Live-stream in Carson City

Looking for a little inspiration on Hump Day? Grab a cup of fabulous Hub Coffee Roasters coffee, network with other entrepreneurs and business people, and enjoy the weekly live-stream of a popular Reno entrepreneurial event. While the Reno meetings unfold in the state-of-the-art Innevation Center every Wednesday from 9-10 AM, The Union will live-stream the event for the public in its new coffee house, which features Hub Coffee Roasters. During the casual, networking-friendly event, attendees will also have the option of ordering breakfast, espresso drinks, and fresh-baked pastries from the Union’s new menu.

“We’re excited to bring another great entrepreneurial event to Carson,” notes Miya MacKenzie, Chief Professional Officer at Adams Hub for innovation, a downtown business incubator and co-working habitat. “The Union’s wonderful new space is the ideal venue.”

1 Million Cups events are weekly meetings in which local entrepreneurs engage with their communities by presenting their early-stage businesses to a diverse audience, including other small business owners, advisors, and mentors. Run by more than 800 volunteers in over 40 states and one United States territory, these programs are organized by individual chapters who host their own meetings in locations that include coffee shops and co-working spaces.

The format is simple: entrepreneurs present for six minutes and then hold a twenty-minute question and answer session with the audience. By receiving honest and open real-time feedback from individuals with a similar business mindset, entrepreneurs can gain valuable insight into their startups from their own community, including ways that they can improve, moving forward.

While business owners certainly stand to gain from these events, everyone in attendance can learn a great deal by listening to and interacting with the presenters during the Q & A sessions. 1 Million Cups emphasizes a collaborative and welcoming culture in which attendees are encouraged to support each other in the various stages of their entrepreneurial journeys. All 1 Million Cups events are free and open to anyone.

“Adams Hub hosts an award-winning chapter of Entrepreneurs Assembly each month, and we anticipate that hosting 1MC at the Union will give EA members a chance to continue their networking and collaboration on a weekly basis,” says MacKenzie.

The 1 Million Cups name springs from the idea that millions of new ideas and connections occur over those all-important cups of coffee. The program was developed by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit based in Kansas City, Missouri, and has seen rapid growth in recent years, increasing from 23 communities in January of 2014 to 100 communities in October of 2016. The current number of communities involved in the program is now 165. 1MC has generated buzz in media outlets such as The New York Times, Success, and Fast Company.

The live-streams of the 1 Million Cups Reno chapter’s events will be held at the Coffee Shop located at the rear of The Union Eatery and Taphouse, 301 N Carson Street. You’ll find the coffee shop through the courtyard entrance at West Proctor and Curry Streets.

Live-streams will take place every Wednesday from 9-10 AM.

For more information about the Carson City 1MC event, contact Adams Hub at 775.222.0001.

To learn more about attending or presenting at the Reno live event at UNR’s Innevation Center, visit https://www.1millioncups.com/reno.

New E Network at Carson High: Opening Young Minds to Innovative Thinking

An Interview with NewE Director Molly Dahl

We caught up with NewE Director, Molly Dahl, a veteran educator who is also the creator of YOUTH Positive, a curriculum that is being implemented at Carson High as well as other schools across the country and even internationally.

Give us a quick taste of what the YOUTH Positive collaboration with Carson High is about.

MD: YOUTH Positive is based on the tenets of Positive Psychology, a fairly young discipline within Psychology that seeks to understand how humans use different modes of thinking and emotional self-management to flourish. We’re just applying it to young people.

It seems like every day we hear about the importance of critical-thinking and innovation to the creation of new companies. But we’re also hearing that today’s kids are at a distinct disadvantage after years of being trained to memorize knowledge and pass standardized tests. How can the YOUTH Positive Curriculum affect that?

MD: At Carson High, we’ve started the year by exploring the roots of creativity: mindfulness, divergent thinking and disruptive thinking. Your mind is your greatest creative tool, but you have to be “in” your mind and know how you think. Every student is a little different. We did a strengths assessment and values-discovery process.

We began our process with problem-based learning; most kids ended up working in a group on a problem that they have in real life.

They created a list of 10 possible solutions for each of the selected problems. Then they had 3 weeks to try out those actual solutions and find out which worked (or even that problem was unsolvable.) Then they made 5-minute presentations on their problem, how they came up with solution, and how it worked. It takes a lot of practice to get kids to leave their comfort zone. Most kids are really concerned about failing.

AH: To older adults, this might seem remarkably basic, because our learning experience was different. For example, most Boomer childhoods were pretty “free-range”, with more independence and consequently, more mistakes and failures to learn from.

MD: Yes! Compared to us, young people are remarkably cautious and risk-averse. That’s thanks to years spent being trained to memorize one correct answer. Innovation has always been a hallmark of American culture, and we have to do everything we can to ensure that we cultivate the next generation of innovators. We have some catching up to do!

AH: What else have you been working on?

We’ve brought in guest speakers. Kendra Wong from Sierra Nevada College did a terrific team-building session that was also about expanding one’s thinking. She utilized a tower-building exercise, dividing kids into teams and supplying them with paper, scissors and tape. At first, the kids simply utilized those materials, and everyone basically got the same result. Then she encouraged them to improvise, and all of a sudden the students realized that they weren’t limited to those materials. They started practicing some real creative thinking, and getting outside of the box. The final towers were taller than the original classroom ceiling and even had to be built in a different area—literally getting outside the classroom box. The takeaways for the students included being able to grasp the idea that they had all kinds of options, and that often we superimpose rules and limitations that don’t exist.

Which other guests had an impact on the students?

We had speakers who talked about how they found the path to their livelihood. We wanted to underscore that there may be more than one “right” path, and that exploration is crucial to finding rewarding career.

Casey Sebahar of the Pink House restaurant in Genoa talked about his journey from being a teacher to his finding his real passion: cheese. Casey had to go out and acquire a whole new education to pursue his dream of being a cheesemonger.

His wife Hailey Sebahar had a different path. Hailey, whose father was an early beachwear entrepreneur, spoke about always wanting to be a designer and going to FIDM in New York. She designs and prints her own fabrics and uses them to make clothing, including swimsuits. She discussed how she saved money to launch her business, a company called Paper Sails, which is building a big online following. She sells directly through her online store and at craft fairs and shows.

The takeaways: you may know what you want to do, you might not, but there is more than one path to discovering your dream job. And the other takeaway was the importance of doing something that you love. If you’re not passionate about what you do, you won’t be successful.

Miya MacKenzie (of Adams Hub) did a session on disruptive thinking, and got kids familiar with the idea of disruption vs. divergence. They looked at how you disrupt an industry, with examples such as the creation of counter-intuitive startups Red Bull, sock company Little Miss Matched and Snapchat.

Miya did an exercise to identify assumptions about a category and how you can flip this 180 degrees to create something completely new.

These sound like great exercises. How are the students getting to apply this in the “real world”?

Munycards, an Adams Hub startup, is going to have the kids in our class do user testing with their prototype product, a chore-management and reward app for families. This is a great way for them to be involved in something real, to help a local business, and to apply their new problem-solving chops!

You were an educator for 15 years. How are you finding the students at Carson High?

It’s been so rewarding. These kids are open, very receptive, super sweet and willing to try anything we offer them. They really are engaged. The question, “WHY are we doing this?” has been answered, so they are willing to participate. That’s a great feeling.

Thanks, Molly!

Protected Innovation: Intellectual Property with Craig Macy

By Pierce Baker

At the sound of the alarm, John slowly opened his eyes and registered bright morning light pouring in the bedroom window. He closed the blinds for Mary, allowing her to enjoy a few more minutes of sleep, and headed to the kitchen.

The smell of frying bacon and fresh coffee finally roused Mary. She ambled into the kitchen to watch John preparing her breakfast with his usual care.

“Your dry cleaning is in the closet,” he reminded her with a sunny smile. “You’re going to feel like a million bucks when you walk into that meeting in your favorite blue dress.”

John’s such a great guy, Mary thought. If only he were human.

Brain2Bot is a molecular neuroscience-based Natural Intelligence software startup in Reno, whose goal is to “take the ‘artificial’ out of artificial intelligence.” Their natural-learning technology is being used to teach machines to feel, with a focus on creating “personality platforms” for social and entertainment robots like the theoretical “John.”

It’s exciting, “bleeding-edge” technology that has the potential to change the world. But before that potential can go to market, Brain2Bot’s proprietary machine-learning technology needs to be protected.

Enter Craig Macy, of Fennemore Craig P.C., and an Adams Hub mentor. Macy specializes in helping startups like Brain2Bot patent their intellectual property (IP). Patents are a type of IP protection that enables inventors to prevent others from copying and profiting from their inventions.

“My experience in both business and IP strategy development helps me to identify what risks have to be mitigated and the best, the most affordable and efficient manner to do so ,” Macy said.

He recommends following a specific process before attempting to patent your technology.

Why do you think you need a patent?

As an aspiring startup, you’ll inevitably experience many trials and tribulations. According to Macy, this means that your business will go through significant changes before you settle on a core idea. Not every business needs to patent its IP to be successful. Many founders obsess about protecting their “idea” when they would be better served by directing energy and resources toward perfecting it and getting it to market. (A recent study demonstrated that “timing” is the most important factor in the success of startups.)

Do your due diligence.

Make sure you’re able to show your idea or invention is genuinely new. Do thorough research to demonstrate that your idea is different in some important way from similar inventions. (Inventors often dismiss similar technologies that they believe are inferior.) That doesn’t mean that some aspect of your “better mousetrap” can’t be protected in some way, but if you’re in a competitive space, it can make it more difficult, time-consuming and expensive.

Determine how much time and money you can spend.

The next step is to consider your budget and the amount of time you’re able to devote to your project. Macy guides clients toward investing in legal protections that can mitigate the most significant risks. Still, he cautions that the process of patenting an invention is long and potentially expensive. You need to have a solid, long-term plan for how much money you’re going to spend. Protecting your IP is just one aspect of startup success, so its not the only demand placed on your limited resources..

Work with a mentor on your specific goal.

Mentors help startups with establishing broad strategies and goals. Macy focuses on “cranking out the specifics” at the heart of a technical business opportunity.

“Come to me with a vision and passion, and then we can go from there,” he advises. “I can give you a map that shows where the landmines are, but its still up to you to skip your way to success.

Craig Macy has twenty years experience serving in a variety of technical, managerial, advisory and principal roles throughout the high technology sector. His law practice at Fennemore Craig is focused primarily on IP strategy, patent drafting and prosecution, technology transactions, drafting and negotiating patent, trademark, and copyright licenses, software licenses, and software development agreements, reseller and distributor agreements, and IP asset assignment and transfers. He also advises clients on data rights matters, as well as privacy and data security, contract risk assessments, and IP due diligence services. Contact him at craig.macy@gmail.com.

 

 

This one step will help your sales team close more deals

By Alice Heiman

 

How many of us have had this conversation?

Manager: “How did that sales call go?”

Salesperson: “Great!”

Manager: “Did you close the deal?”

Salesperson: “No, but they love me, and they want the product.”

Manager: “When will it close?”

Salesperson: “Probably this quarter.”

 

Sound familiar? What does this sales manager know about the sales call his salesperson just finished? The answer: not much.

Coaching salespeople when they return from a sales call is important business. It needs to be done routinely and consistently. Salespeople will do a much better job if they know they may be asked for very specific information after a sales call. Having a post-call report format is a good idea, but a quick email or phone call with the right information can tell you exactly where the salesperson stands with that sales objective. Post-call assessments can be quick and painless. Here are some questions you could ask:

  • How did you prepare for the call?
  • What was your objective for the call?
  • How did you make good use of the customer’s time?
  • What questions did you get answered that tell you where the customer is in the sales process?
  • What are the next steps?
  • What action did the customer commit to taking?
  • What action did you commit to taking?
  • Did the customer give you a close date?
  • How will you follow up this sales call?

Managers will have fewer surprises if they make these questions a part of their daily coaching routine. Benefits include a shorter sales cycle, more effective selling and better close ratios. In the long run, this will lead to more accurate forecasting.

 

Learn about sales management, leadership, personal branding, social selling, connected communication, content marketing, professional style and financing for business owners at the 2017 Sierra Sales Summit, on Nov. 17 at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa.

Attendees will receive breakfast and lunch, networking opportunities and a workbook of resources.

Buy your tickets today, or get a sponsorship and bring your whole team. Tickets and more information available at sierrasalessummit2017.eventbrite.com. Use promo code “ADAMSHUB” for 15% off.

 

Alice Heiman is a sales expert and networking guru with more than 20 years of experience coaching and training sales teams and entrepreneurs to get connected and build relationships that close the deal. Connect with her or read her blog at aliceheiman.com.

 

 

 

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Winning More B2B Sales: October’s Lunchbox Learning with Alice Heiman

You built it but they are not coming. Why aren’t companies flocking to buy from you?
Join Alice Heiman for this fast-paced hour-long workshop. B2B, complex sales can be daunting. Alice will help you create a winning sales process to drive the business you need. Learn how to identify your ideal customer and identify the best approach to build awareness, determine interest, educate, close the deal and get more business and referrals.

Alice is a nationally-recognized sales trainer and consultant. Over the course of her two decades of teaching others the art of selling, she’s earned a host of awards, including Saleswoman of the Year, Marketer of the Year, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Blue Ribbon Award. Alice has made numerous guest appearances on television and radio broadcasts, and has been featured in print publications, including Entrepreneur’s Startups and Selling Power magazines.

Alice developed her sales expertise while at Miller Heiman, Inc. before striking out on her own and establishing Alice Heiman, LLC, in 1997. In her years at Miller Heiman she sold to and trained some of the company’s largest and most complex accounts, including Coca Cola, Dow Chemical, Merck and Hewlett Packard.

Lunchbox Learning Workshop
October 24, 2017
12:00-1:00p.m.
Adams Hub for innovation: 111 W Proctor Street, Carson City, NV

Lunchbox Learning Workshops are free by advance reservation and open to the Northern Nevada business community. Just RSVP to grow@adamshub.com. Space is limited, and be sure to bring your lunchbox!

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