Congratulations To Our EEC Client, Drone Workforce Solutions, For Winning Their Third Grant

The Emerging Enterprise Center is excited to announce that Drone Workforce Solutions has received its third grant from the Delaware Department of Labor, Division of Employment and Training and Delaware Workforce Development Board. This is the third such drone grant awarded by the state of Delaware in its history. DWS is honored to be the recipient of this and all grants for drone training.

In January 2017, DWS Drones was awarded a planning grant to create a Strategic Workforce Training Plan for drone technology that met Delaware employer’s workforce needs, advance the skills of Delaware workers, grow the state’s economy and increase sustainable employment for working families.

In September 2017 DWS Drones was awarded a training grant to teach 10 Delaware citizens how  to  become a highly skilled and paid commercial drone operator. Students graduated in December 2017.

With this award under the “Adult Occupational Skills Training Programs” unemployed students in selected zip codes will participate in a 10-week, 70-hour course which includes topics such as: the anatomy of drones (building their own), aerodynamics and principles of flight, weather, reading sectional charts, flight planning & air space, aerial photography, videography/editing, drone entrepreneurship and many hours of flying drones. They also receive skills training. Additionally, each student will be given the most advanced drone manufactured by DJI, the leader in drone technology, (Phantom 4 Pro v.2).

Drone Workforce Solutions has started a pipeline of talented commercial FAA certified drone operators through its employment company to expand the state’s technology sector and increase sustainable employment for men and women from diverse backgrounds of today’s working families.

DWS graduates will receive a “Certificate of Completion” from Drone Workforce Solutions; the only drone training and employment company that is approved by the Delaware Department of Education, the New Jersey Department of Education, and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Said President Theo Nix, Jr., Esq., “The expansion of commercial drones could add $82 billion in economic value over the next ten years and by 2025 employ an additional 100,000 Americans. Delawareans in particular and Americans in general can be at the forefront globally in this technology”.

DWS also offers employment opportunities for FAA certified drone pilots through its drone staffing and employment part of the company. Pilots are encouraged to contact DWS through its website.

Drone Workforce Solutions was formed by visionary and company President, Theophilus R. Nix, Jr., Esq. and his wife Suzanne Nix, COO. Their goal is to be recognized as “THE” premier global staffing and placement company for DWS validated drone operators, with the “Best in Class” standards for providing service and solutions  to organizations interested in incorporating drones into their operations.

Going Global – One Size Doesn’t Always Fit All

Written by Dora Cheatham, Program Manager, Emerging Enterprise Center

With the ever increasing influence of the universal language of social media, technology and electronics in our day-to-day world it’s easy to forget about individual cultural attitudes reflected in values, language, religion, aesthetics, behavior, even food.

 

Even after living in the US for some 20 years, as a British ex-pat I still believe that tea is best when drunk out of china cup (and quite possibly the answer to all ills), that manners maketh man, and that gas is something that comes out of my stove and should not go into my car.

Why do languages have words that are practically untranslatable in other languages? Greek “filotimo”, Portuguese “saudade”, French “dépaysement”, Spanish “duende”, German “extrawunsch”.

My point is – certain cultural behaviors and beliefs are ingrained: we may adapt but do we really change?

Today’s technology is making international business faster and easier. We’ve all heard the “think global act local” refrain but what does this really mean? Certainly from an operational standpoint you can leverage economies of scale by standardizing wherever possible, but if you truly want to succeed in the global arena, you need to be ready to adjust to those individual cultural attitudes that are ingrained within the country you are trying to enter. Indeed, this is the approach Electrolux took as they tracked market trends and realized that they could maximize value by standardizing basic chassis and components to leverage efficiencies then localize brands to meet the needs of individual customer groups (check out this great HBR read by Christopher Bartlett and Sumantra Ghoshal)

So How DO You Act Local?

As you look to adapt your products and marketing to individual markets, research ahead of time to see what does and doesn’t work in the market(s) you are seeking to enter. Do not assume that a market strategy that worked for your products at home will automatically work in other countries.

Differing approaches to sales by distributors or representatives from region to region could impact how you market and promote your product; consumer perceptions in different regions will affect how you position your product; in some cases, you may even wish to consider localized branding (let’s face it – we’re not all Coke or Nike).

Here are some items to take into consideration as you go global with your small business:

Language – Simply translating your marketing materials from one language to another can open a Pandora’s box of problems – even more so when the nuances of local jargon, idiom
or puns are used as part of the slogan. For example, Qantas’ great slogan “Don’t be a Wallaby, Fly Qantas”, would lose much of its national flavor in any translation and, there is a slew of examples where poor translations resulted in a less than effective marketing campaign – even for some of the best multi-national corporations. Avoid using online translation tools and make sure the cultural “flavor” of your marketing is relevant to your target customer!

Education – a high vs low literacy rate within a culture may impact how you package, deliver and market your final product. For example, countries with a low literacy rate have a tendency to feature a picture of what’s inside a particular package, while usage information is presented in easy-to-understand icon format rather than step-by-step written instructions.

Religion – while religion is often considered a taboo subject, it is smart business to be aware of religious beliefs that may cause offense in your promotional efforts or even your package design; one should also be aware that some religions prohibit the use of certain

goods and services while at the same time creating potential opportunities for markets in alternative products. For example, if you are entering a market where certain foods are taboo or avoided during specific religious periods, is there a potential for offering alternatives?

Aesthetics – designs, forms, colors, shapes, sounds, fragrances, music. Colors have different connotations in different countries, music tastes vary across countries, and different fragrances appeal to different regions as any fragrance manufacturer can tell you. Did you know that…

  • Campbell alters its recipe of tomato soup to suit palates in England, France and Italy;
  • the color red is considered good luck by ethnic Chinese while in the west the color is more often associated with danger or love. What message are you trying to get across and where?
  • in some cultures, black is considered the color of mourning, while others consider white or purple to be the color of mourning;
  • in Japan, products are rarely – if ever – sold in fours since the pronunciation of the Japanese word for four sounds like the word for death.

Do your research and make sure you are aware of the consumer preferences in your target market ahead of time – it’s a lot cheaper than a failed marketing campaign!

Social Organization, Social Behaviors and Material Culture – how people relate to each other (while it’s acceptable to refuse refreshments in most Western European cultures, to do so in the Middle East or Asia is usually considered offensive), the roles of men and women, social classes, family and extended family, marriage, attitudes. Any of these things can contribute to the psychology of a purchasing decision – from the most basic consumer buy to a B2B purchasing process.

Regulatory Requirements – make sure you are aware of the regulatory requirements of the markets you are entering. Protectionist markets such as Brazil have specific requirements regarding the import of certain goods into their country; certain countries prohibit the use of components that are commonly used in others. Find the right experts to help you navigate these areas.

Growing Globally

As your company grows in your chosen global market(s), make sure your ongoing marketing decisions are made with the benefit of local input and ensure that you leverage local strengths. One of the fatal flaws of a global strategy is to assume that “we know it all” based on a single experience or pure economic analysis, but your local representatives – if well chosen – should act as a resource for local opportunities as well as potential threats. In today’s highly connected world – an opportunity or threat can easily extend to other markets so these should be assessed and acted upon quickly and effectively.

As always, the final word goes to the expert:

“Any communication or marketing professional needs cross-cultural research and communications skills to be able to succeed in the future”

 Marye Tharp

Why Continuous Learning Matters

Written by Dora Cheatham, Program Manager, Emerging Enterprise Center

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”  Confucius

When I first entered the world of business more years ago than I care to remember, it was a very different place.  Word processors were just making an appearance and sending a fax was the ultimate in high speed communication, the internet barely existed, and Amazon wasn’t even a glimmer in Jeff Bezos’ eye.

Fast forward to 2018 and while the basic principles of business remain the same, the way we DO business is infinitely different. Technology has changed how we make decisions and embark on a strategic direction, how we execute on strategy, how we transact business, how we communicate. Equally, we have access to more informational and educational resources than ever before. For the small business owner today – more than ever – to ignore the need for continuous learning is to remain stagnant at best, fail at worst.

The Emerging Enterprise Center’s Business Growth Workshops hone in on business processes that every small business and entrepreneur needs while tying into the ever-evolving business environment.  Among these:

Marketing & Communication:  30 years ago, sales and marketing were almost synonymous and advertising represented the main thrust of the marketing and sales effort.  Today the world of sales and marketing couldn’t be more different, yet too often small business owners still believe that, as long as they market their product or business “customers will come”.  This couldn’t be further from the truth, so it is critical that new entrepreneurs as well as small business owners are clear in their own minds of the differences between strategic marketing, marketing communications, advertising, and sales so that they can develop and implement a sustainable business growth plan.

Selling Value:  Probably the toughest thing for first time – and sometimes serial – entrepreneurs to grasp, is the difference between selling a PRODUCT or SERVICE and selling VALUE.  Entrepreneurs and innovators, rightly, are passionate about their product and their passion is reflected when they speak about it.  What it can do, how it can do it, how it was developed, the features, the benefits.  The more clearly those features and benefits can be articulated into end user value, the less important price becomes as a part of the sales equation.  This translates into a more valuable business model that generates greater revenue.  To quote Warren Buffet:  “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”    Are you clear about the value that you are providing to your customers?

Innovation: “Innovate or die” has become a 21st century mantra and rightly so.  Failure to innovate led to the slow demise of companies like Eastman Kodak, Blockbuster, Sears and, more recently, Toys ‘R’ Us.  In today’s world of rapid technological development, changing tastes and increasing competition, product life cycles are becoming shorter and shorter.  Businesses that fail to update are gradually squeezed out of the market.  Innovation doesn’t have to be disruptive – it can be gradual and incremental.  The key is to remain relevant!

Globalization:  Globalization can be a hotly contested topic but has nevertheless had a profound impact on business with increased competition, expanded markets, increased resources, technology transfer.  The increased ease with which business can be transacted internationally means that even the smallest of businesses can access customers and markets which in the past may have seemed unreachable, either directly or through strategic business alliances.

In the end, while ignorance – at times – can be bliss, when running a business, it can be fatal.  As a business owner, I’m all too aware of the fact that the first step to growing a business is the ability to acknowledge that “I don’t know what I don’t know.”  So I make sure I continue to learn.

For more information on the Emerging Enterprise Center’s Business Growth Workshops, contact Erica Crell at (302) 294-2063 or via email.

Comcast Business: Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs 2016 Contest!

How would you invest $30,000 in Technology?

Comcast Business: B4B is once again presenting Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs 2016 Contest!

In 2014 entreDonovan was one of the 6 National Winners!

This year it could be you!

This competition is open to Business owners that are within the Comcast Business service area and have less than 50 employees. Franchises are not eligible.

Submit your entry STARTING February 2, 2016 at CBCOMMUNITY.COMCAST.COM/I4E

Deadline: March 12, 2016

See the flyer below for more details!

Read More about the Comcast Business Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs Contest

Either Ride the Wave, or Watch as it Passes by

There’s a storm brewing in the business community. It’s building around technology, and Delaware just may be in the forefront. Delaware Innovation Week held last week, encompassed 20+ events across Wilmington and New Castle County. It brought together entrepreneurs, technologists, civic leaders and investors.

Two years ago, at the Economic Development Council Luncheon, presented by the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, the keynote speaker was Steven Rosenbaum, Entrepreneur-at-Large for New York City. What resonated with me was him saying that it was “no longer just around biotech or medtech.

Traditional industries were being disrupted by technology. It was becoming “Industrytech”, like financetech and manufacturingtech. We’re already familiar with disruptive technologies. Companies like Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, LinkedIn, eTrade, Turbo Tax, and Expedia have revolutionized entire industries. These are frictionless business models, where technologies are used to identify and resolve inefficient processes in every industry. DeliveryCircle® , a Delaware start-up has done this for small package delivery; matching drivers, consumers and merchants in a fast, easy, seamless transaction. Soon, every company will be a software company.

Fast forward to today in Delaware. Established incubators, the Emerging Enterprise Center and Delaware Technology Park have been joined by the CoinLoft and 1313 Innovation, giving start-ups and entrepreneurs, different types of work spaces.

Zipcode, an intense 12 week program that trains people how to code was launched with the support of private companies like JP Morgan Chase, Capitol One and Chatham Financial. Techies have been getting together at Tech Mashups, and Global StartUp Weekends, to exchange ideas and build a community. Technically Media came to Delaware. Technical.ly grows local technology communities by connecting organizations and people through news, events and services.

Delaware Innovation Week ran November 13th -20th. There were events built around major tracks: Business, Civic, Creative, Dev (Development) and Media, plus events that companies and organizations staged that were incorporated into those tracks. Two specific events demonstrated why Delaware has become a Storm Chaser in this technology tsunami. At Technical.ly Delaware’s Stakeholder Luncheon, 40 people gathered to discuss the state of the tech community in Delaware. Someone commented, “it was a long way from the days when the same tech people sat around telling each other over and over again that something needed to be done”. You had Jeff Flynn from the City of Wilmington, the NCC Chamber of Commerce, along with graphic designers, developers, bankers, coders, and entrepreneurs sharing ideas, accomplishments, challenges and goals. It was a picture of diversity not typically seen in either a techie group, or in the boardroom. The 2015 Innovation Awards was another example. There were typical “tech-type” companies recognized,  but two were not typical; #HugACop, a viral campaign by the Newark Police Department and Delaware Libraries, for extending STEM & 3D Printing literacy to its branches.

Delawareans, coming together, can do amazing things. What I saw at Delaware Innovation Week makes me believe that our community can harness the storm’s energy and be the model for the new technology age that’s coming. Come join us!

 

By Frank DeSantis.

Frank J. DeSants, Program Director for the Emerging Enterprise Center, a business incubator that helps start-ups focus their efforts on driving business growth, developing business skills, and creating a scalable and sustainable business model, by providing support, access to resources and advice, in a nurturing environment.