Aaron Robles of Reactiv Social – Entrepreneurship Spotlight
Oct17

Aaron Robles of Reactiv Social – Entrepreneurship Spotlight

This week Living Fort Wayne spotlights Aaron Robles, Creative Director for Reactiv Social. Robles and Al Linsenmayer started Reactiv Social, a social strategy agency that specializes in digital marketing, social media marketing and management. What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana? We’ve called Fort Wayne home for a long time and have seen the incredible growth that’s been happening in our city for the last few years. We’re excited to be a part of that growth. Our focus is to help businesses grow to the next level and for us to bring that to a reality here in the place we know best is a no brainer. Throughout the years we’ve met incredible people who are making a difference in our community every day and we wanted to be a part of that change. Together we can continue to develop our city into the thriving community we know it can be. What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community? There is a special camaraderie in Fort Wayne that inspires people to get involved and create positive change. The connectedness of the entrepreneurial community in the city has helped us bring our aspirations into fruition. Resources such as our local 1 Million Cups meetings and co-working spaces such as Atrium have fostered a sense of belonging and have given us the support to thrive. The more people we meet and get to talk to the better sense we get of what we’re doing and how we can do it better, it’s something key to our success. What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business? By far our biggest challenge has been to really refine in a clear manner what it is that we do for our clients. As a company that focuses on social media and digital strategy a lot of the benefits can be easily misunderstood. So it was crucial for us to be able to explain the benefits of these services to our clients in a clear and concise way that resonates to our clients. Ultimately, we focus on providing results that matter, that’s to say helping our clients become more profitable, not just growing their social media presence. Business owners are result driven, so it was important for us to focus on the results we were going to provide for our clients, rather on spending too much time on the strategy of how we would achieve it. What person has helped you the most in your journey? That’s a really difficult question to answer because we’ve gotten so much critical insight from...

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Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Danielle Stoller
May30

Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Danielle Stoller

For this week’s entrepreneurship spotlight, we caught up with recent 1 Million Cups’ presenter Danielle Stoller, the owner of Emerald Crane, to chat about her new business. After graduating from college in 2014, Stoller moved to Chicago and started sending out hundreds of copies of her resume. After testing out dozens of versions, she was left with no call backs for even the most basic of jobs. This moment led Stoller to a career in the world of recruiting and hiring. After moving to Fort Wayne to be closer to family, Stoller launched her online-based resume and career consulting company, Emerald Crane, earlier this year. The online business allows her to connect with clients of every stature across the nation as they begin their steps towards their career goals. What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana? I decided to open a business in Fort Wayne because, essentially, it’s home. Stepping into entrepreneurship is in some ways bold and scary, and doing it where I have a lot of social support has been instrumental to staying positive as well as foundational to achieving visibility. You may have a great idea or great product. You may be a great person with a lot to offer. But I’ve found that in so many ways, people are the gatekeepers of where and how far you’ll go. For me, Fort Wayne has proven to be a place where people are more willing to lend an ear and give a supporting hand up where they can. What resource in the community has helped you thrive in it? I honestly feel that the interconnectedness and small-city feel has been so key in Fort Wayne. Yet at the same time, it seems the time is ripe for building and investing in entrepreneurs. Something is happening here. Between the development of the downtown area over the last few years, newer real estate development, implementation of things like co-working spaces, and an intentional push for entrepreneurial growth coming from multiple sources, Fort Wayne is embracing a larger city mindset. What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business? I think my biggest challenge so far has been to get out of ‘fear’ or security mindset–and stay out. It’s so easy to give up on myself before I ever even really attempt anything in the morning. I’m continually plagued by the fear that it would be better for me to go back to work full-time. The belief part people talk about is no easy thing for me. What person has helped you the most in your journey? It’s so impossible to...

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Wunderkammer Company Hosts Panel Discussion on Millennial Entrepreneurship
Jun10

Wunderkammer Company Hosts Panel Discussion on Millennial Entrepreneurship

The following was provided by Dan Swartz, Wunderkammer Company Wunderkammer Company will be hosting a screening party of “Teen Technorati”, a web series exploring the Thiel Fellowship, produced by Wired Magazine, followed by a panel discussion on millennial entrepreneurship in Northeast Indiana on Friday, June 13th, from 6-8pm. The screening party and panel discussion will take place at 3402 Fairfield Ave, 46807 (corner of Kinsmoor/Fairfield). “Teen Technorati” is a web documentary which follows 40 students, all under the age of 20, competing for the Thiel Fellowship. This screening will be preempted by an introduction by Nick Arnett, a Fort Wayne native who is currently the Thiel Foundation’s Summit Community Development Manager. The panel discussion will include millennial entrepreneurs as well as mentors who understand the importance of instilling this important practice in young people.  The panel will include Jamal Robinson, CEO of Desiar Eyewear, Graham Bredemeyer, GigTank Specialist with The Company Lab in Chattanooga, TN, and Kathy Carrier, President and CEO of Briljent. The panel discussion will begin at 6:45, and will be moderated by Daniel Swartz, Founder of Wunderkammer Company. Founded in 2010 by Silicon Valley investor and philanthropist Peter Thiel, the Thiel Fellowship brings together some of the world’s most creative and motivated young people, and helps them bring their most ambitious ideas and projects to life. Thiel Fellows are given a no-strings-attached grant of $100,000 to skip college and focus on their work, their research, and their self-education. They are mentored by a network of visionary thinkers, investors, scientists, and entrepreneurs, who provide guidance and business connections that can’t be replicated in any classroom. About Wunderkammer Company:  Wunderkammer Company is an independent, 501(c)3 non-profit contemporary art center based in Fort Wayne, Indiana pursuing the mission of revitalizing communities through contemporary art. Freedom, constant self-education, and entrepreneurial responsibility are intrinsic to the culture which Wunderkammer Company promotes. Through its programming, Wunderkammer Company has, in one year, worked with hundreds of artists, produced means for these artists to economically benefit from their work, and attracted an audience of more than 15,000 community members within Northeast Indiana and...

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