#Startup802 Update – Student Businesses Up and Running in Bennington, VT

We’ve had 5 classes of #Startup802 – The Entrepreneurial Mindset here in Bennington, VT in conjunction with CCV and The Lightning Jar, and here are some updates on some of the participants in our programs.

Class #1 – Fall 2017

Michelle Marrocco is growing her practice offering voice and violin lessons. Check out her website at https://mmarrocco.com

Class #2 – Late Spring 2018

Forest Byrd continues to contribute to the arts scene here in Bennington with Bennington Murals and Story Night Bennington

Class #3 – Fall 2018

Beth and Jonathan Dow opened The Beyond Art Gallery and Gift Shop in August 2019. Their current showcase TEXTURES is on display through December 1st, 2019

Class #4 – Spring 2019

Kamryn Capriola continues to grow her e-commerce business on Poshmark

Class #5 – Fall 2019

“Homer” is growing his towing business for hire here in Bennington, Homer’s Transport. Call for a scheduled or emergency tow at 802-440-5284 or check out his website

We’ll post more updates soon on other participants in our first 5 classes. Our next course will be offered in Spring 2020 on Wednesday nights from 6-830 at CCV in January.

TrepCon at Fordham University

On Saturday, February 23, Robert Braathe traveled down to New York City to experience Fordham University 8th annual TrepCon. TrepCon is an event put on every year by the Fordham Entrepreneurship society and Fordham Gabelli School of Business, the day consisted of speakers and panels across many different fields discussing their successes in entrepreneurship and the advice they would give to someone who is looking to start their own journey into the world of entrepreneurship. The conference had many valuable speakers from sucessful business owners to sucessful alumi. The final speaker Randy Goldberg Co-founder of Bombas, the revolutionary sock company that has not only created a sock with arch support, but with each pair of socks sold a pair is given to a person in need. Randy spoke about how his idea came to be and the motivation behind creating a company that gives as much as it gets. A smart marketing move by Randy was he gave everyone who attended the conference a free pair of Bombas socks to test out. Overall it was a great conference that I would recommend to anyone who is looking to go into the field of entrepreneurship. Check out the website here: TrepCon

Treocon shirt

BEYourStart Brick and Mortar Supporter Program 2018

Need inventory for your business or equipment? BEYourStart is accepting proposals for $250-2000 no-interest loans (and in some cases, grants or equity investments) to help you get inventory or equipment for your business. Write to us at beyourstart@braatheenterprises.com with:

  1. The Name of Your Company
  2. How You Would Use The Funds
  3. How Soon You Can Pay Them Back
  4. How This Investment Will Benefit You and Your Company (100 words or less)


Early Startup Community Tips

Startup Communities always start out small and become bigger well known communities. Many of these communities are outside of branded and popular startups such as Silicon Valley. There comes many tips on how to become a successful start up in your own community by effectively knowing how to recruit the right people and having planned ahead. Here are tips and recommendations for entrepreneurs looking to create a startups in their community.

Young Startups Look Out!

Financial stability is one of the hardest yet the most important mission.
Here are 5 financial strains that an entrepreneur needs to consider to be SUCCESSFUL:

1. Production Efficiency- in an emerging company or business, try to keep production cost as low as possible. Since this will be the most consistent expenditure.
2. Sales and Marketing- are necessary expenditures for startups. The company needs a name in order to be given recognition and and create visibility. When calculating the return in investment this task is complicated, the most cost effect strategies need to be sought.
3. Consistent Revenue- For young companies the initial revenue can be unpredictable; therefore, the company must do everything they can to keep their initial customers that are attracted to the service or good. So the company can have a consistent customer. Make sure to keep the prices of products or services in an appropriate margin.
4. Workforce Balance- The workforce/ staff should be able to handle the exact amount of work that comes in. Staff should not be understaffed or overstaffed because there is a risk of collapsing or losing money. Employees should be added gradually as the company grows.
5. Cash Flow- the checks and balances of the company should be kept in check. When the employees are paid and when the customers are paying should be efficiently calculated to avoid any sort of negative cash flow.

For more information click here.

How to See Opportunity

A major key to being successful in life is the ability to see opportunity when it happens. By recognizing the problem from the beginning helps you identify and create both an interesting and creative solution. A key step into spotting opportunity would be to think outside the box. It is important to notice opportunities that may have been missed. Another way to see opportunity would be to completely understand your business and/or product inside and out. By understanding your company’s history and preparing your company’s future, you are more than prepared to notice any opportunity and not let them get away. Having confidence in yourself and your business will get you anywhere you want to go in life and will help you develop an open mind to welcome new opportunities. Written by Darrah Hernandez

How Entrepreneurship Changes People’s Perspective of the World

Choosing a career is arguably the biggest decision a person can make. It can determine the people that will surround you on a daily basis, where you will live, how much free time you will have, and even the person you will become. Entrepreneurship gives people a unique opportunity to have more control over these intimidating changes than most, but it comes at a huge risk. There is much talk about how difficult it is to be an entrepreneur and the fierce determination needed to succeed, but there should really be a discussion about the benefits to a person’s outlook that comes from this career path.

The ability to create and control something that you are passionate about gives entrepreneurs a better understanding of the concept of being the master of your own destiny. The ability to choose your team and what your product associates itself with builds an attitude that looks outwards of the limitation that society typically places on it’s members. When asked about careers in college, it is often implied that you will be working for someone else. The chance to be your own boss and not have to report to anyone is seldom brought to light. Experienced entrepreneurs are able to look past this and apply this mindset to other aspects of their lives.

Independence is a skill and habit that is mastered by entrepreneurs. Of course there is the need to collaborate with others in the industry, but entrepreneurs are able to choose who these outside forces are. The ability to create your own timeline and not have to check over work with coworkers allows for fewer restrictions and a feeling of freedom that many are not able to experience in their professional lives. This is liberating and decreases the stress of pleasing others, which creates a more positive frame of mind in general.

Hope is of great importance to entrepreneurs, and a skill that is not developed overnight. It has to be learned and built upon. Those that risk it all to be entrepreneurs have to be optimistic that the rest of the world will also see the potential in their idea that the creator does. There is a need for trust  and the positive thoughts generated from this are powerful in their ventures. When the world is looked at with the thought that anything is possible, the best qualities in everything begin to be blatantly obvious.

Creativity is the key to first coming up with a concept that you can make your career, and it is further developed as you delve into the industry of your choice. Making something that has never been done before is daunting and demands unconventional solutions to problems that appear, such as how to set it your business apart from competitors, finding an audience, and finding funding. There is no blueprint to finding success for an entrepreneur, so they must find their own path.

Although there are so many opportunities for independence for an entrepreneur, networking is a prominent factor in business today. It assists entrepreneurs in getting their product out there through word-of-mouth, which is a very cost effective form of marketing. This also adds a personal touch to your product and allows for your message behind the company to be prominent to investors. Entrepreneurs learn how to bring up their ventures without it seeming that they only have interest in someone’s money. They also have the ability to maintain relationships long-term with many different individuals, in order to keep contact across different fields.