Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

Affordable Housing’s Ripple Effect

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Affordable Housing’s Ripple Effect

The availability of affordable housing is a growing problem across the country. A consequence of economic growth in many cities across the country, lack of affordable housing options have forced many residents to move to more rural areas. But as the move to rural areas may offer a short-term solution for housing, other issues from living in a rural area may become problematic, outlined below.

  • Lack of employment opportunities in rural areas leads to longer commutes
  • Access to appropriate healthcare services – e.g. specialty care or mental health counselors
  • Social networks and community ties
  • Spaces for leisure and recreation

When these factors are combined with a longer commute, a sedentary lifestyle becomes status quo. Therefore, affordable housing, should be viewed as a public health issue.

So, how are we tackling this issue?

At this point, it seems like most cities are still in planning mode. “Best practices” to solve affordable housing are few, if any. Most of the solutions require policy (zoning) and/or money (appropriation funds) – two things that don’t necessarily lead to quick action. One solution that comes up in the discussion most often is a public-private partnership with the city and for-profit developers. The catch, however, is appropriated funding in the form of tax credits for developers to build new affordable housing complexes, which could take months to years to come to fruition. But while we wait, many more residents are displaced.

Are these the only solutions?

Problem-solvers unite

Earlier this year, the Impact Hub in Austin hosted a showcase to a diverse group of stakeholders – affordable housing advocates, legislative staff, investors, mortgage brokers, and other community members – for their issue-specific Affordable Housing Accelerator. In the course of three months, 9 ventures focused their attention on directing innovative problem-solving and entrepreneurship toward the city’s affordable housing problem. The 2017 cohort included startup companies focused on 3D-printed structures, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and tiny homes, while other solutions offered innovative financing models or analytical tools to support data-driven decisions. Each of the 9 teams plan to continue building their companies at their respective stages, according to the Hub’s managing director. One company, Sprout Tiny Homes, exceeded expectations for the accelerator program and secured a $26m contract to provide 275 tiny homes in South Austin.

To recap, in a span of three months, 9 distinct solutions to Austin’s affordable housing problem were prototyped, tested, and refined during this issue-specific accelerator program.

Complex social issues like this one can’t be solved with a narrow perspective. City and state governments need to empower entrepreneurs to tackle social challenges and provide them with the resources to do what they do best – solve problems. And when synced with the work of public health and healthcare professionals, we have an opportunity to impact communities, and quality of life, in holistic and sustainable ways.

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Public Health in Action – Predictably Irrational

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Richard H. Thaler is a kind of a big deal, and if you don’t know, now you know.

Professor Thaler, who teaches at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences last month for his contributions to the field, specifically in understanding human behaviors. His life’s work illustrated that humans act irrationally in consistent ways that can be predicted and modeled. The implications of his work transcend all sectors. In 2008, Thaler co-authored “Nudge” and encouraged governments to use their insights for public good. Enrollment in retirement savings accounts significantly increased with a slight change: enrollment was the default option, which forced people to “opt out” if they weren’t interested. Observing and prioritizing human behavior, such as what behavioral economists describe above as “inertia”, over standard economic theories of rational actors, has made all the difference and has created myriad pathways into practical application.

Take the Center for Advanced Hindsight (CAH) at Duke, founded by Ted rockstar Dan Ariely. It houses decades worth of social and behavioral science knowledge, researchers AND entrepreneurs all under the same roof. CAH’s current focus has been working with startups that address financial security or health behaviors.

Public health, like economics, was built on the assumption that people behave rationally at all times. Thaler and Ariely have challenged those assumptions time and time again. We, as public health professionals, need to lean into uncertainty, especially when in matters of health behaviors. The populations that are most at-risk and need public health folks the most don’t live in ideal conditions. They may or may not have stable income, housing, transportation or have access to their next meal. If we can’t assume that people will behave rationally in a “normal” situation, we can’t assume they would behave rationally in a “distressed” situation.

Those are exactly the questions that crossed Allison Sosna’s mind at various points in her life and she shares her experience with us, below.

 

Allison Sosna, aka Chef Alli, is the founder of the MicroGreens Project

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Me: How did you end up doing the work that you’re currently doing?  Describe your journey to your current role as founder of MicroGreens.

Allison Sosna: I was in college and on the rowing team. Food, at that time, was synonymous for fuel that my body needed to perform. Sure, I ate healthily – lots of veggies, carbs, and protein (mostly chicken and eggs) but I did not give it any further thought. In my junior year, I lived in Italy. It was there that I was enlightened by the power of food on a community and would therein change the course of my life. I lived in a small neighborhood outside of Rome where residents all knew one another. They knew the barista and asked him how school was going. They wanted to know if the butcher’s cold had gone away. Everyone cared about one another and food was clearly the denominator of affection. In Rome, I realized that I wanted to do something with food and people. I did not come back wanting to be a chef, but, I saw that as a way for me to create food and community. So, I volunteered as a prep cook down the street when I got back to DC. I loved it. I loved the physical exertion that went into working on the line during dinner service. I loved wearing a uniform and feeling part of a community; a diverse community of women, men, people of different races, and different backgrounds with different stories. The sociologist in me was in love.

Shortly after, I went to culinary school, had a jaunt in fine dining, and then got a full time job at Dean and Deluca. While I learned a lot there, I realized I wanted to do more with my community; I didn’t want to feed rich people anymore. I had veered off course from the initial eureka moment. Leaving that job, I landed a job at a non-profit called DC Central Kitchen overseeing Fresh Start Catering, the social enterprise of the non-profit. When I started, we were providing the food services for a private school for at-risk boys, but it was generic and too similar to the lackluster school food that America is known for. Seeing such, I brought in healthier options, started making food like meatballs in-house, a salad bar, and marketed our vegetables to be more “fun” by using them as anecdotes. For example, I would say that foods like roasted carrots was a veggie that basketball players ate to perform better on the court (It’s true!). We had a lot of success there and that led us to win a food service bid for 8 DC Public Schools. We served thousands of meals a day to low-income kids who didn’t have easy access to fruits and vegetables (in 2010). Kids, of course, were coming to school with chips and soda, but I wanted to do something about it. I thought about the parents or guardians that were at home with the kids. How did they eat? Was it influencing their kids’ eating behaviors? How could I shift behavior? What I drew from all these questions was the question of their budget. How does a low-income family eat healthily? If I was a parent on SNAP, how did I use my money? Did I know how to cook? Did I know what to buy? The majority did not. As a result, I started MicroGreens and the Allison Sosna Group (ASG). ASG is my consulting “firm” for menu development, food service consulting, and private chef services. I had left my job to start MicroGreens, but also needed an income! I continue to consult today.

MicroGreens teaches kids to cook on a budget of $3.50 per meal, per family of four. The program has graduated over 150 kids across the country, with the help of community leaders that want to make their neighborhoods healthier. MicroGreens can be implemented anywhere, for any income level, for any length of time, and with any age group.

I moved to New York City in 2013 and while I was still working on MicroGreens and taking chef jobs, I needed an income and a job I truly cared about. So, I applied to jobs in public health nutrition with a focus on project coordination. After a year and a half of coming close to many jobs (NYC is tough!), I went back to school for a Master in Public Health degree.

Over the last year I’ve been intrigued with hospital food and its obligation (or lack thereof) to ensure that everyone has access to healthy food – from its staff to patients and also to visitors. While I am not trained in therapeutic meal development, I am trained to assist in cafeteria food services. I’ve been fortunate, by way of hustling and networking, to be part of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Healthy Hospitals and Colleges Initiatives. We are working with food distributors to get chefs and food service directors healthier products for their hospital or college. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to be on the other side helping the chef. I would have loved this help when I was working.

Me: What inspires you on a daily basis, especially when things get hard?

AS: On a daily basis, knowing that I am a part of something larger gets me through tough times. I know inherently that I am making a difference by bringing in healthier options for people. Every time a consumer replaces an unhealthy product for a healthier option, I know that I helped facilitate that. And as we all know too well, establishing healthy behaviors takes time.

As a student with a part-time job, I’m constantly moving around, not being able to cook for myself nearly as much as I want to, paying copious amounts for transportation, and don’t have a social life. But, I know I will, and am looking forward to graduating next year, when I can stay put and focus on doing work for my community full-time.

Moreover, the people I work with are incredibly supportive and that support allows me to focus on doing well in school and do an even better job at work.

Me: Tell us more about MicroGreens. How did you get into the social impact space? Why is it important to reach underprivileged populations?

AS: We must think about sustainability when we design programs. That being said, MicroGreens was originally going to be funded by a fast casual restaurant I was going to open. It would serve as part of the capital going into the non-profit. I’ve always believed that business needs to be part of the equation when designing interventions such as MicroGreens. I got 70% funded for the project but then had to let it go. I came close though and I’m proud of that.

If we do not focus on creating upstream programs first, we are doing a disservice to our communities, whether they are privileged or not. It truly does come down to the old adage “Give a person a fish and feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.”

One of the most impactful experiences I had with MicroGreens was not related to cooking. A student who had taken the class before was walking by our teaching classroom and walked in to say hi. He walked over to one of the kids who was having trouble cutting carrots (cutting carrots is hard!) and said “If you ever need help, let me know. I’m MicroGreens alumni.” Not only had this student learned skills and put them into action, but the program had instilled pride and confidence to teach others. There was a kindred relationship forming, a mentorship. That made me so proud.

Me: What are the current needs in New York City as they relate to social determinants of health (i.e SES, poverty, access to care, transportation, safety, etc.)?

AS: 1 in 9 residents have diabetes in NYC. Communities have little access to healthy foods blocks from affluent neighborhoods with endless healthy food choices. Soda ads saturate low-income areas and schools are without outside playgrounds. All determinants of health are so greatly intertwined that it can be overwhelming, especially for public health officials trying to make a difference. We talk a lot about that at school. How do we design interventions that encompass all contextual factors? First, by working with community stakeholders.

Public Health in Action – Mind the Gap

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The riots in Baltimore are weeks behind us now, but the aftermath continues to send ripples in the city.  Preliminary estimates from city officials report that the unrest and rioting cost the city $20 million in expenses.  As passionate as I am about social justice and health equity, I can only imagine how the residents of Baltimore, the proud residents of Baltimore, are feeling.  The proud residents who rallied together to clean up the mess that so many others made; the residents whom most media channels forgot to feature on the news.  The civic-minded Baltimore resident is in my thoughts today.  Last month’s riots reminded the nation once again that inequality does exist.  There is still a gap between the “haves” and “have-nots.”  Civic-minded Baltimore residents understand that the gap exists.  There are some who are aware and strive to reduce that gap.  And for that reason, we should all be optimistic.

I recently interviewed a good friend of mine, Mike Allen.  Mike grew up in New York and will always be a New Yorker, but he’s a proud Baltimore resident.  His drive and motivation in achieving goals is unmatched and he’s one of the many reasons I’m optimistic that Baltimore will bounce back even stronger.

As I mentioned, Mike grew up in New York in the 1980’s.  Despite many risk factors, he has and continues to add positivity to our society.

Let’s hear what he has to say.

Me: How did you end up doing the work that you’re currently doing?  Describe your journey into Social Work and now consulting.

Mike Allen: I started a training/consulting company after I was introduced to it while I was an Account Manager in 2006.  Initially, I was apprehensive to conduct trainings.  I was always fearful that an audience participant would throw me a curve-ball question at me that I couldn’t answer.  After having my first taste, I was immediately addicted!  When I hit a crossroad in my career I launched MAZCAN Enterprises, LLC a workplace training and consulting company.

My journey into Social Work started immediately after receiving my Bachelor’s Degree.  I worked at a summer camp for emotionally disturbed youth who had a history of abuse.   I connected with the children and for the very first time in my life I put my needs second to other human beings.  When they left camp I was concerned that they would be returning back to the same abusive households and communities.  I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to do more and that is when I decided to move to Maryland and become a Social Worker.

Me: What inspires you on a daily basis, especially when things get hard?

MA: My daughter is the foundation of all things; she reminds me that anything is possible.

Me: What do you think it will take for our healthcare systems improve?

In order for our healthcare system to improve it must first be available and affordable to everyone.  Additionally, education is a huge component that is often side-stepped. Patients need to be educated about their diagnosis and provided alternative and preventative ways to handle their physical and and mental health.

Me: You recently wrote a book on your life story.  What impact do you envision from sharing your book?

MA: The Strength From Within: Windows to My Soul is an inspirational book.  It details how I was able to overcome many disparities and environmental risk factors growing up in Brooklyn New York: the widespread drug epidemic of the 1980’s, underlying poverty, socioeconomic despair, being raised by a single parent and interpersonal violence.  I envision the book having a positive impact on youth and adults to deal with some of their own unresolved issues, but also to have hope for a better tomorrow. The importance of education is weaved throughout the book.  Education was, and still is, the key to my success and I am hopeful that it will inspire readers to continue to seek education by any means.

Me: What are the current needs in Baltimore, as they relate to social determinants of health (i.e SES, poverty, access to care, transportation, safety, etc.)

MA: The needs in Baltimore city specifically are vast as it relates to social determinants.  School curricula should include courses on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, home ownership, and preventative substance abuse education and general health care visits including: regular doctor visits and check ups.

Public Health in Action – Health Doesn’t Have to Cost an Arm and a Leg

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Braden Rawls
CEO, Vital Plan

I met Braden at a startup event coordinated by the Triangle Startup Weekend crew.  I was there as a volunteer, but I met some interesting people and they insisted that I talk with Braden.  The “theme” or scope of that weekend was to drive more women into entrepreneurship since other events consisted of a majority male audience.  From what I heard, the turnout was 70/30 in favor of women and they had some great ideas.  Braden embodies the mentality and determination it takes to succeed and I hope she inspires more women to jump into the entrepreneurship world.

Now let’s get to the interview!

Me: Tell us about Vital Plan and how you got involved.  Start from high school or college and describe your evolution into your current role.

Braden: My major at UNC-Chapel Hill was Public Relations in the Journalism school; I really enjoyed the classes, but wasn’t sure where I wanted to take the degree. Most PR graduates work for an advertising firm after college, but I didn’t feel called to go that route. Towards the end of my sophomore year, I heard about a new “entrepreneurship” minor in the works. I thought that sounded like a good complement to my major and a chance to learn something new.

One class in and I was hooked. We went through case studies of great entrepreneurs over the past century and it was fascinating to me how they were able to turn “problems” into opportunities. I felt a connection immediately to the students and professors in this entrepreneurship community who were also energized by “problem solving.” I decided that I wanted to be an entrepreneur; I just needed an idea! This was before the startup boom in Raleigh/Durham, so there were not a lot of resources for someone who wanted to start a company or work for a startup.

After I graduated, I took a job in Raleigh with a successful entrepreneur as his “right hand” assistant. I learned a ton, but really wanted to pursue my own startup company. Knowing this, my dad presented me with the idea of helping him to turn his passions and expertise around herbal therapy into a scalable business model.  I started working on this nights and weekends, and it quickly became a passion. It took several years of nights and weekends to develop a profitable business where I could go full time and hire staff, but it was worth it. I love what I do, and Vital Plan is well positioned for growth. It’s an exciting time!

Me: What inspires you on a daily basis, especially when things get hard?

Braden: My team at Vital Plan. Everyone has put so much hard work into building this company and it saddens me when I realize there is a possibility that it could all cave in. My father is so passionate and sincere about helping people to improve their health and I think it would be a shame if we cannot succeed in connecting him with the right audience to hear this message. Also our angel investors took a leap to invest in a “non-tech” company and have extended much more of their time than the average investor. I am motivated to make this a success for them in appreciation for their tremendous support and encouragement.

Also, the realization that I need to pay my bills and won’t have a graduate degree or savings to fall back on if Vital Plan doesn’t grow. Ha! That is of course a huge motivating factor once you choose the startup route over grad school or a corporate job.

Me: What do you think it will take for our society to view health more seriously?  As in, why is health lower in priority to careers and education and relationships?

Braden: I think the realization that 95% of health symptoms are being fueled by our own actions is the key. When it sets in for people that their diet or stressful lifestyle makes them feel sick and uncomfortable, they are much likely to step up and take accountability for their actions. It is easy to avoid accountability when you have a mindset that your digestive issues, pain, and fatigue fell out of the sky and made you a victim. When you finally accept that those symptoms are a direct result of your daily actions, such as overindulging in sugar, drinking, or adrenaline, there is no one else to blame and it becomes easier to halt destructive behaviors.

Me: What are some things/concepts/ideas you’ve seen either here in the U.S. or abroad that, if disseminated in an effective way, would change how people think about their own health?

Braden: Stress is a big contributing factor to illness. The good news is, the most effective stress management techniques are free! Learning simple breathing exercises and short meditations to incorporate into your day can make a huge difference. Meditations can be effective before stress hits, because they prepare you to handle difficult situations when they come your way.

And of course I have to plug herbal therapy. America left herbal therapy in the dust years ago for the promise that pharmaceutical treatments offered. While drug therapy can be very powerful in acute situations, there is a lot of power in herbal medicine for managing stress and encouraging wellness. I am so happy to see a movement building in America to embrace natural therapies.

Me: What are the current needs in your city as they relate to social determinants of health (ie SES, poverty, access to care, transportation, safety, etc.)?  Social determinants of health are any factors that directly or indirectly affect health.  For example, being homeless could cause stress and malnutrition which could drastically affect one’s health.

Braden: The 9 to 5 sedentary workday is a huge health threat that is flying under the radar. Sitting at a computer screen all day is terrible for your digestion, cardiovascular health, blood flow, etc. and a contributing factor to obesity. Not to mention that these environments encourage consumption of sugar and processed foods. I think that companies who encourage their employees to take short breaks throughout the day and give them space to accommodate this will go a long way. Offering healthful snacks and limiting sugary temptations like doughnuts and cupcakes is also a huge step in the right direction.

54 Hours to Innovate

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Thursday, August 7: I had a lot on my mind for the night going into the TSWHealth weekend.  This was my first official (cliff) dive into a formal entrepreneurship setting and I was excited for it.  But I’d be lying if I didn’t at least acknowledge that a part of me was scared at the thought of being out of my element – not only was this my first “entrepreneurship” event, but I’m not even from the area.  Both elements gave me a tinge of anxiety, but if you heard about the previous 12 months, you would realize this event was not going to faze me…you would realize that I’m at a point in my life where I not only tolerate change and uncertainty, but actually embrace and savor each and every delicious uneasy second of it.  Can I get a second helping, please?  So the fact that I had a lot on my mind didn’t have anything to do with worries going into the weekend.  The fact that I couldn’t sleep was due to my level of excitement.  Think kid in a candy store, but since I’m a little off and love savory foods, think of me in a buffet without sweet stuff.  Yeah, so giddy doesn’t capture how excited I was to attend this event.  I technically didn’t have a place to stay until Thursday morning.  I was determined and even had the backup plan of sleeping in the bathroom (Sorry American Underground and TSWHealth staff) – I was not going to let a minor thing like sleeping stop me from savoring the experience.

Friday, August 8: My bus was scheduled to leave at 11:00 am and arrive in Durham at 4:30 pm.  Awesome as long as there’s no traffic.  Scratch that, this is the 95 on a Friday, of course there’s going to be traffic.  As long as there’s minimal traffic, I’ll make it in time to pitch one of the three ideas I had going into it.  Winning!  And there’s internet and Wifi on board, so I can be super productive for this 5 hour journey.  Yes, great plan.  Fast forward a few hours and I’m boarding the bus and getting comfortable in my window seat.  First setback of the trip – after several attempts, no Wifi connection.  Buzzkill…there goes my plan to be productive.  At least I brought a few back issues of the New Yorker to read.  I’ll have to force myself to relax…

It’s 4:35 pm and I have no idea where I am in Durham.  I know that the event is within walking distance to the bus station, but no more than that.  Technology saves the day yet again and I’m within 4 blocks.

I officially check-in and head into the American Underground co-working space to mix and mingle it up with local entrepreneurs and “wannabes” like me.  With my Google swag in hand, I drop off my backpack and luggage and jump in head first.  Familiar theme?  That’s my M.O.  Sorry I’m not sorry.

The program starts at 6 pm.  Initial pitches start at 7 pm.  Is this real life??

Internal monologue: Breathe.  Relax.  You wanted this, so don’t let fear get the best of you.  Be you.  Have some confidence in yourself for goodness sake.  Now distract yourself by eating food and drinking water.  Go on, stay distracted.

Speeches and official business flies by and we’re grouped into teams for an icebreaker.  The idea – pick two random words and pitch a product idea for those two words.  5 minutes to get a plan together and break it down.  Hilarity ensues.

The time has come.  Our facilitator, serial entrepreneur Shashi Jain, asks the crowd “so, who’s pitching tonight?”  Hands are raised.  Somehow beyond fear, I’m one of the first five to pitch – third in line as a matter of fact.

I’m pretty sure I blacked out because all I really remember is uttering words and seeing hands come up after I asked the audience a few questions then hearing a few laughs before seeing the clock with 10 seconds left.  I passed the mic over to the next in line and tried to process what just happened.

Many more pitches came and went – a total of 28 to be exact – and it was now time to vote.  Each attendee had 3 votes for their favorite pitches and these were used to narrow the number of ideas down to the final 10.  From here, attendees chose the idea and teammates they wanted to work with.

Unfortunately my idea didn’t make the final 10, but that will not stop me from pushing forward with it.  If you’re really curious to know what it is, let’s talk.  If you’re really curious and are a smartphone app developer, call me in 5 minutes.

Teams are formed and our initial idea: a way to improve care coordination in the healthcare system through a compatible card that connects all EHR/EMR systems.  Similar to the model already used successfully in Taiwan, among other countries.

My (super talented) Teammates

0810141450aMichael McNeil – MS4 student at Duke Medical School

Jared Pelo – ER Physician and Founder of EyeScribes

Thomas Hubschman – Guru of Software

Brandon Hill – Design Strategist

Akhil Karibandi – Engineer wunderkind from a little known soft drink company

Emily Mangone – PhD student at UNC Chapel Hill

Matthew Brown – MBA student at Clemson University

David Melgar – Owner of an IOS development company

GrassRoutes Networking – Honorary teammates, advisors, counselors, cheerleaders, purveyor of laughs

Saturday, August 9:  The purpose of today is to gain advice from the experts and do some market research about our idea/product.  9 am, our team reconvenes over breakfast and bonds over lack of sleep and dire need for caffeine.  The “getting to know you” phase of team dynamics.  I felt like I was at a speed dating event, but less pressure and more fun.  Maybe that’s another idea entirely…

We prep all the way until our mentors arrive to hear our idea/product.  The reason I still call it an idea, was because after a long night deliberating, we still have yet to reach a minimal viable product or MVP.  We are optimistic that conversations with our mentors will provide us with some valuable insight.

11 am – 5 minutes post conversation with our mentors.  The main takeaway: a legislation is in place to do the exact thing that we were planning to do.  Time to panic?  Yes, now would be a good time to start.

11 am – 1 pm – Panic.  Discuss.  Problem solve.  Discuss.  Brainstorm.  Panic.

1 pm – The team regroups and decides on the MVP.  Next step – mobilize into teams to tackle the following: 1) website and working demo, 2) consumer research and 3) presentation.

1 pm – 5 pm – Tons of progress at this point.  We have a working demo, tons of great feedback from the people and a barebones PowerPoint presentation.

The rest of the night is a blur.  All I want to do is eat or sleep.  My brain doesn’t work any more.  It is a mushy bowl of oatmeal.

Sunday, August 10:

5:30 am – Why my body automatically wakes me up at 5:30, I don’t know.  But it has been happening like this since July.  I suspect it has to do with efficiency and the fact that I really am most productive between the hours of 7 and lunch.  I choose not to fight being uber tired and actually am excited to finish strong a la Lance.  This is our Tour de France.

7 am – I’m the first one in the building again.  House cleaning staff knows my face and they think I’m part of the organizing team.  I politely smile and get started on my routine: open and respond to emails while listening to my playlist on Soundcloud.

9 am – Our team is in full strength and ready to slay dragons.  Mr. McNeil is our fearless leader is wearing Batman socks and is confident about the pitch.  Chances of pulling this one off for the gipper (and I’m somewhat of a betting man): 31%.

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12 pm – Mandatory check-in with the group.  We are not only hungry, but now stressed about finishing the presentation and practicing the pitch.  Low blood sugar and stress turns me into Betty White like the Snickers commercials.  Not a happy camper because I just want to eat and finish this thing.

2 pm – Mandatory “cease fire.”  No more major changes to the pitches and PowerPoints.  Kegs arrive…my mood instantly picks up.

3 pm – The show starts and the rest is history.

Curious about what happened?

All you need to know is that each attendee walked in a “want-trepreneur” and walked out an entrepreneur.

“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that.” — Norton Juster

Why did I write this?

3 reasons:

1) I want to brag about my amazing teammates.  They energized me to look beyond the status quo and reinforced my main motivation to join this event – create a movement to improve health at the individual, community, state, national and international level through innovation.  I’m confident they will always be around to bounce ideas off of and keep me addicted to entrepreneur-ing.

2) I want to express my utmost appreciation to the TSWHealth organizing staff, volunteers, mentors and all the rest who were in one form or another involved in bringing this event together.  It was a huge success and I thank you for letting me be a part of it.

3) I want to inspire anyone who reads this to dream.  And dream big.  Dream your wildest dreams and then dream even wilder dreams.  The catch about entrepreneur-ing is this: there is no glass ceiling.