Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Guy Kawasaki is coming to town

Yahoo. Guy Kawasaki, venture capitalist and author of the BEST book on start-ups I have ever read, The Art of the Start, is the scheduled keynote speaker at The Emerging Technologies Conference in April in Ames, Iowa. Yeah, there is a lot more than corn and ethanol going on around here. Thanks go to Mike Sansone, capo di tutti capi of the local Blogga Nostra, for the heads-up.

Entrepreneurs live in Iowa

Me and about 120 other folks, literally young and old, black and white, male and female, i.e., a diverse crowd, attended the second SEMEE forum and resource exchange last night. Hosted by Transition Capital Management, it was an eclectic gathering of entrepreneurially-minded people who listened to presentations from a handful of local businesses and an economic development director from Warren County (our neighbor). The two companies with the most buzz after the presentations were Guidry Sausage and Make Mine Wine. U.S Rodeo Supply, Taoton Homes and MYA Group also did a nice job presenting but sausage and wine were the talk of the meeting afterward in large part becasue of the energy of their founders, Charlie Anderson (sausage) and Barb Rasko (wine). Charlie is thinking of taking his speaking act on the road and he could probably make a go of it. Barb is one of those sneaky dynamos; she just kept stacking the cards of her business in front of us; an experienced marketeer, she is building a wine media empire. She understands that it is not all about the web or print or bricks and mortar, but about using all media to promote your business and serve your customers. She doesn't make wine (yet), but she gins up interest in midwest wine and winemaking. Brava.

Adam, Hannah and Tom Steen (alphabetical order, oldest last) , principals of TCM, get it also. They are networking wonders and the driving force behind this new gathering of entrepreneurs and people with a crush on entrepreneurs. Keep an eye on them.