On February 27, 2014, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce brought upwards of 200 entrepreneurs and business service providers together at it’s annual JumpStart conference. The idea of the conference is to connect Flint and Genesee County entrepreneurs with the education, advice, and resources they need to be successful.
I was honored to serve as keynote speaker for the conference. I opened my remarks by noting that several of the service providers had been helpful to me at some point during my entrepreneurship journey. These included the Mott Foundation, University of Michigan, the Small Business Administration (SBA), Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and more. I am grateful for the services of all those organizations, and was glad to give them a “shout out” at the beginning of my presentation.
The focus of my remarks that morning was on the notion of jump-starting ones life and career, particularly in the context of entrepreneurship. I walked the audience through the several jump-starts I executed in my own career, including: my early career preparation; the founding of my company, Telecom Analysis Systems; the sale of my company to Spirent plc and subsequent “jump-starting” of that company’s communications business; my founding of a not-for-profit education initiative in Red Bank, New Jersey. I ended my remarks by talking about the “jump-start” that Flint and Genesee County need, and about how an Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative I am currently formulating can contribute to that.
My remarks were warmly received, and I spent an hour or so afterward meeting and talking with many of the conference attendees. The desire for positive change in Flint is strong, and the energy level is high. I plan to continue to work with the folks in my hometown, particularly as we roll out the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative.
Thanks to everyone at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce for inviting me to speak, and congratulations on another successful JumpStart conference.