Calling all Nominations and Applications!

The New Castle County Chamber of Commerce and the Emerging Enterprise Center are looking for nominations for the David J. Freschman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. This award along with the Entrepreneurial Advocate of the Year Award and the NCC Innovates Sponsorship Award will be presented at the 1st Annual Delaware Entrepreneurial Summit on July 12, 2018. Please refer to the website for eligibility criteria and nominate a winner.
David J. Freschman
ENTREPRENEUR 
OF THE YEAR
The newly launched New Castle County Innovates Sponsorship Award is developed by the New Castle County Department of Economic Development. NCC Innovates is a program that identifies opportunities to specifically support economic development through entrepreneurship.
Through NCC Innovates, New Castle County will sponsor a 1 year membership to the Resident Incubator a the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce Emerging Enterprise Center.

Supporting local entrepreneurship and attracting new companies to New Castle County are key elements in the development of a strong innovation ecosystem. The Emerging Enterprise Center provides direct mentoring and
support for local startup companies.

The application review process and selection of a winner will be managed by the Emerging Enterprise Center Advisory Board. 

Specifically, the award covers, Office space (single office) at the Emerging
Enterprise Center, Wi-fi & telephone service (one VoIP per
employee-unlimited minutes), Mail service, Fax/photocopier, Beverage station/kitchen access, 24/7 access to facilities, Access to meeting and conference rooms, Business idea execution guidance & coaching with
one-on-one mentoring via the Growth Wheel®, Platform, Business Growth Workshops and Training, Business networking and connectivity, and a one year membership in the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce

 

The last award, the Entrepreneurial Advocate of the Year, will be chosen by an appointed New Castle County Chamber of Commerce Committee and the Emerging Enterprise Center Advisory Board. The New Castle County Chamber of Commerce would like to recognize a member of the Chamber that have exemplified the entrepreneurial spirit and supported the efforts of the NCC Chamber. This award is presented to someone that has participated in programs and activities that support early stage business, been active in supporting entrepreneurial activity for at least three years, demonstrated an active level of participation in the local  community, and is an active supporter/participant of the NCC Chamber.

The purpose of these awards is to not only recognize businesses and advocates successes right here in New Castle County but to pause for a moment and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit.

Details Released for the 2018 Delaware Entrepreneurial Summit

The Emerging Enterprise Center and the DE Small Business Development Center announced that Chuck Nunan, serial entrepreneur and CEO and Founder of Harvest Ridge Winery will be the keynote speaker at the 1st Annual Delaware Entrepreneurial Summit to be held on July 12, 2018 at the DoubleTree by Hilton on Concord Pike.

“As someone who knows what it is to be an entrepreneur and start a business from scratch, Chuck is an ideal keynote for this event,” says Dora Cheatham, Director of the Emerging Enterprise Center.  Harvest Ridge Winery started with its first grape varieties planted in 2011.  These included

Chardonnay, Viognier, Malbec and Merlot.  Today there are 20 acres under cultivation.

Above: Chuck Nunan, Founder & CEO of Harvest Ridge Winery will be the keynote speaker at the 1st Annual Delaware Entrepreneurial Summit.

The Delaware Entrepreneurial Summit is a full day, high impact event that is aimed at bringing together entrepreneurs, resource providers and mentors with a goal to supporting entrepreneurs and accelerating business growth.  The day will include workshops geared towards both general entrepreneurs and tech/science-based entrepreneurs, a tabletop expo of resource providers to the entrepreneurial community, numerous networking opportunities, and an awards luncheon.  Among the awards will be the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce David J. Freschman Entrepreneur of the Year of Award and Entrepreneurial Advocate of the Year Award and the NCC Innovates Sponsorship Award which is offered through the newly launched NCC Innovates program developed by the New Castle County Department of Economic Development.

The event will also showcase a number of Delaware entrepreneurs that are in various stages of business growth.  Ms. Cheatham says, “Delaware has some terrific entrepreneurs and innovators.  We also have a huge amount of resources and intellectual capital available to entrepreneurs and innovators. The goal of this event is to bring everyone to the table to make things happen quicker and encourage business growth within the state.”

For more information on the event, and how to nominate or apply for awards visit www.EECincubator.com or contact Dora Cheatham or Erica Crell at the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce Emerging Enterprise Center.

A Strategy to Exit

Written by Cheryl Beth Kuchler, CEO Think Tank

STRATEGY TO EXIT

Rich Manders of Freescale Coaching grew his company, iAutomation, to $12Million with $2.5M in EBITDA and sold 75% of the business back in 2007. Over the past decade the company has continued on a growth track reaching over $100M in 2016.

During the acquisition process, the acquiring Private Equity firm, Riverside Company, used the “SPARKLE” model as a checklist evaluate the company’s value. Each letter represents an aspect of your business that should “sparkle” and if your business doesn’t, the acquiring firm wins.

At the 2016 Harvard Innovation Symposium, Rich shared the model and explained how buyers use the checklist to determine the price of a business. HINT: The more a company SPARKLES, the more the right buyer is willing to pay.

I highly recommend watching the entire presentation – about 43 minutes. If you’re time-strapped, however, you can read a recap of what each letter stands for here.

Entrepreneur Profile – Scott Lascelles

Scott has over 22 years in consumer lending in various marketing, risk and analytic roles at companies such as American Express, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and PNC. Most recently, Scott was working in the Fintech sector by making online lending easier for consumers.  Throughout his career, Scott—usually on the buying end of Lead Generation Companies— consistently felt that Lead Generation Companies did not understand consumer lending or the problems he was trying to solve, resulting in misaligned goals.  He founded PrimeRates to resolve this issue.

PrimeRates helps individuals prequalify with lender partners, ensuring that the rates individuals see are the rates they’re more likely to get.  A prime rate generally refers to the rate that a bank charges their best customers, usually big companies with deep pockets, but Scott believes that everyone deserves their best rate, their own prime rate, and that’s what PrimeRates strives to offer.

PrimeRates will launch with lead generation for personal loans and credit card—markets they know and understand extremely well—with a Phase 2 focus on Auto, Student Loan, and Small Business Loans.

 Scott gives advice to others wanting to start a business. He says, “leverage your network to develop your business plan, leverage resources like the EEC, and always ask for help, but make sure that you don’t compromise on your vision.” Scott says, “the EEC provides invaluable resources for small startups, they provide access to experienced business people, organizational workshops and simply advice as needed.”

Entrepreneur Profile – Trevor Brown, DEact Medical Solutions

Trevor Brown founded DEact Medical Solutions in 2016 after completing his phD   thesis on  “The Development of a Chemical Reaction Packet to Destroy/Denature Pharmaceutical Waste.”

Trevor developed a proprietary, patent-pending technology that permanently renders medications ineffective and safe for disposal. The material, when combined with medications and water, forms a solidified gel-like substance that cannot be easily tampered with or leach into the environment.

Opioid abuse is sadly all too commonplace in the US.  Today, nearly 7 out of 10 prescription opioid abusers obtain their supply directly from a friend or family member. Proper disposal of unused or expired medications can prevent the onset of substance abuse y limiting the ease of availability. This patent pending drug disposal pouch neutralizes unused pharmaceuticals, including opioids. Currently, this is DEact’s only product offering which is being made available to a variety of markets including hospitals,  retail pharmacies, drug manufacturers, and many more.

Trevor acknowledges that being a young entrepreneur teaches him valuable lessons. Each failure has led to an incredible opportunity for an early stage of my company. “Every entrepreneur has to be able to accept failure to truly succeed,” says Trevor. DEact Medical Solutions has immediate plans for growth to forge partnerships across the many segments to immerse their flagship product into the market. From there, they plan to expand on their current offerings to penetrate institutional drug disposal.

Trevor says, “The EEC has provided a wide variety of support services that have continually helped push DEact forward. In addition, to the office space, the EEC has provided business coaching and unparalleled access to their community and members.”

4 Key Steps to Entering New Markets

Written by Dora Cheatham, Program Manager, Emerging Enterprise Center

 

As we move closer and closer to 2016, everyone’s checking budget numbers and beginning to think about growth for the new year. Your boss just walked into your office and told you the company wants to take your top products into a new market. Somewhere along the line, someone had the idea that your heavy duty industrial cleaners can be sold into the retail consumer market; or your jan san disinfectants should be extended to the aviation industry (planes are dirty, right?)  How hard can it be?

The truth is, preparing to enter a new market does not need to be a tough process, but it does need to be thorough, and expectations need to be set at realistic levels before even beginning to look at the 4Ps (or 5Ps depending on your approach).

Here are 4 key considerations you should take into account as you look to taking your products into a new market.

Size of the market vs market potential – in order to assess the size of the market you need to have a thorough understanding of the specific application of your product. A product that is used several times a day in one type of market, may only be used once a day in a different market, which radically changes the size of the market. In addition, if the market leader holds 20% market share in the new market, then your total potential in the early stages of commercialization is likely to be just a small portion of that 20% share. Be realistic in your expectations.

Product attributes – Attributes and benefits of a product that are valued by one market are not necessarily valued in a different market. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what your new target market values as well as their specific needs, and ensure that the products you are offering are designed – and positioned – to meet those specific needs. In many cases, relabeling or repackaging a product may not be enough. The product itself may need to be re-engineered to accommodate the needs of your new market.

Regulatory environment – Different markets have different regulatory requirements – for example, a product that can be used to clean your kitchen or bathroom cannot be used to clean surfaces in an aircraft without meeting stringent aviation material safety requirements. Make sure you are fully aware of any industry, state and federal requirements necessary to market your product in an alternative market. Use a consultant if you have to. It’s cheaper than the alternative.

Sales cycle – make sure you understand the sales cycle and method of the market or industry you intend to enter and not just the sales channels. In some cases, the sales cycle can be relatively brief and straightforward, in other cases, the sales cycle could be long and require a consultative approach. This will greatly impact your marketing plan and materials.

Once you have a clear understanding of the market size and potential you can then start thinking about potential strategies. Here are just some alternatives used by different companies:

  • Focus on targeting non-users of the product rather than trying to switch customers from using an existing competitive product.
  • Focus on offering additional attributes not offered by any competitive products
  • Focus on attacking competitive products by offering superior products OR lower pricing.
  • If marketing dollars are available, focus on outspending competition in advertising and promotion, although according to literature, this approach only makes sense if the market leader is in a seriously weaker position and you can outspend the leader at 3:1.
  • Target efforts in a specific geographic area or an area not currently served by current competitors.

Then and only then should you start putting together your Marketing Mix or 5Ps. These are the decisions that surround the Product (performance, features, design, presentations, name, etc), Pricing (direct, distributor, geographical, etc), Promotion (PR, marketing collateral, advertising), Place (distribution channels), and People (tasks, sales, support). In other words, you have gained an understanding of the new market and its customers, you now need to ensure that you have the right products, that they are correctly positioned for that market and that your communications correctly reflect that positioning.

General Eisenhower once said “Plans are nothing, planning is everything.”The purpose of planning is to ensure that all the right questions are asked. Too often we “make it up as we go along” which may yield short term benefits, but more often than not can be harmful in the longer term, often resulting in unintended consequences and incurring unexpected costs. While planning does not necessarily eliminate all of these, it does provide a sense of direction and empowerment that permits effectiveness at all levels of the organization and optimizes strategy execution. In brief, planning x strategy x execution = success.

 

Entrepreneurial Profile – James Jung, Roy Group, Inc.

Roy Group, Inc., led by James Jung, is a natural health/wellness and beauty company that works especially making their own raw material for eco-friendly water-based nail polish and other raw materials in partnership with the world’s largest original design manufacturer and the original equipment manufacturer in costmetics, Cosmax.

The Roy Group hopes to promote more natural health and beauty products that are conscious about what we are putting in and on our bodies. This growing natural health world has seen a demand for human and animal supplements that adheres to the required safety regulations. Natural health products can be used for a variety of reasons, such as preventing or treating an illness or condition, reducing health risks, or maintaining overall good health. Roy Group offers companies and consumers around the world who would want health supplements and natural beauty products at the lowest price anywhere online for them and their pets. They aim to also offer tips for those sick, trying to lose weight, or trying to improve their life through articles and advice. By offering an easy to use website and a high percentage of conversion through membership and pricing, the Roy Group hopes to provide its partners with repeat customers.

 

Roy Group, named in honor of James’ brother, who was born with a rare disability, is a recent start-up business that plans to use its profits to help other people with disabilities to get them more opportunities and a better quality of life. However, James mentions that his biggest challenge right now is that businesses see his young age and lack of experience and are reluctant to partner with him, but he has worked with these companies to show that he has the motivation and perseverance to succeed in providing them with great quality products and repeat customers.

 

“The EEC has had a great impact on my business. They offer a place for me to work on my business, advice anytime whenever I need guidance, and helpful seminars that I can attend not only to get knowledge on a topic but also make connections,” says James.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entrepreneur Profile: Q & A with Rishi Khan, Extreme Scale Solutions

Question: Tell us a little bit about your background and education.

Rishi Khan: I’ve been starting companies since I was in middle school. My first company was a lemonade stand  with my  brother and a friend. My dad financed the initial outlay but made us keep Excel spreadsheets of inventory, sales, P&L, and time spent. I think we broke even, but I learned a lot in the process. In high school I started a tutoring service and I also started two companies while in    college.

I have a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Delaware and a PhD in Computational Biology from a joint  program between the University of Delaware and Thomas Jefferson University. After my PhD, I  started a company with one of my PhD advisors, Dr. James Schwaber, and spent one year as a post doctoral fellow building a proof of concept for a DNA sequencing device that would reduce the then technology cost 1000X.  After my post-doc I joined ET International as the VP of  Research and Development and led projects that brought $8M dollars to the firm over 5 years. I was a Principle Investigator on a number of Dept. of Energy  (DOE) and Dept. of Defense (DOD) high performance computing projects and built a strong network in that field.

Q:  How did the idea of Extreme Scale Solutions arise and develop?

RK:  When I struck out on my own in 2014, the original focus of Extreme Scale Solutions was on the marriage of High Performance Computing and Big  Data, a fusion predicted by Gartner and heavily funded by VCs and the US Government. We originally intended to focus on DOE and DOD Research but started on Enterprise Solutions following a contract from a large Fortune 100 bank. We standardized database configurations and automated for database provisioning reducing a 30 day process with 9 teams to a fully automated 30 minute process.

In 2015, leveraging that initial success, we were contracted by another Fortune 100 bank to build out “Database As a Service”. This included all steps to bring siloed processes from multiple lines of business together into a unified self-service portal for planning,  provisioning, and operations. After this contract, we built a platform, Nubrado, which shortens the journey for large enterprises to move to public cloud, or a private cloud-like environment from years to months.

Additionally, in 2017 we began working with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Qualcomm on building next-generation computer architectures to speed up graph analytics by 1000X within the next five years. We believe these two tracks will converge as operational analytics becomes increasingly graph-oriented.

We often refer to our 3 pillars as R&D, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, and advisory services. Our R&D keeps us on the forefront of analytics and automation. Our SaaS platform provides planning, automation, and analytics support for large enterprise clouds. Our advisory services supplement our platform by helping companies define process and procedures to align their people with the platform.

Q: So what services, in a nutshell, do you offer companies today?

RK:  Today, we provide a platform that enables large enterprises to migrate from legacy bespoke silos to a public or private unified cloud environment. This involves planning (What do I need to buy? Where will all of the databases go? How will they be isolated? How will the share resources? What databases should I migrate first to minimize cost or risk?), automated migration, automated lifecycle management actions, and operational analytics.

 

Q:  What advice would you give to startups seeking to start a business in the world of IT/big data?

RK:  Work at a startup to gain experience, credibility, network, and a cash hoard on somebody else’s dime. Give yourself a one-year runway (either through bootstrap funding, grants, or VC funding) to see if you can start to make money. Exist in a network of other entrepreneurs such as the Emerging Enterprise Center, Small Business Development Center, and CEO Thinktank®. Fail fast and often, and stick with what sells.

Q:  What’s next for Extreme Scale?

Our major effort is to bring our platform, Nubrado, to alpha customers. We are currently engaging with Oracle on a number of potential customers in banking, insurance, telecom, and other fields. Our goal is to make it easy for large companies to manage massive database landscapes through standardization, automation, manage-many-as-one, management through measured metrics.

In addition, our research arm is focusing on extending work on graph analytic processors to machine learning and other problems that can benefit from software-defined reconfigurable hardware.