“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage” – Jack Welch

November 17, 2014

“An organization, no matter how well designed, is only as good as the people who live and work in it” – Dee Hock


October 29th, 2014


November 5th, 2014


Well, it’s been a busy two weeks here in the Startup Quest world; business plans are due November 12th at 5 p.m. and all teams are hustling to put together the final touches. During the break-out work sessions teams have been pushing themselves nonstop and prior to starting the training people are doing less networking and getting straight to work. The general consensus these last two weeks: it’s now or never.

Even through teams were working more, it didn’t mean they were learning any less. Aside from the weekly curriculum, we had two very talented, successful guest speakers over the past two weeks. At session 7 we heard from Elizabeth Markie, CEO and Founder of Welmagine, Inc., a company focused on authentic communication, conscious living, professional coaching, team building, etc. Following Elizabeth at session 8, participants worked with Frank Wells, CEO of World Power & Water, fresh water and sustainable resource projects for utility companies, government entities, international development agencies, and others.

Elizabeth came prepared to share her skills as a Brain-based coach; she explained some connections between neuroscience, communication, and leadership.  A professional speaker and master of engagement she reviewed some of the things our participants can do to prepare for the Pitch Contest. She went over power poses, how standing a certain way can boost your confidence.  She reviewed proper breathing techniques which will prevent people from speaking too fast or pausing too often. She also gave other little tips and tricks to help enhance their pitch performance.

Frank was a perfect follow up speaker to Elizabeth’s lecture. After quickly highlighting his entrepreneur experience, he dedicated his time to listening to the teams practice their pitching. 3 teams volunteered to pitch their ideas in front of Frank and the group. After each pitch Frank would automatically identify any underdeveloped areas and reword them to be more persuasive.  He was great at identifying what needed to be communicated most and making it easy to say. Now that the teams have heard practice pitches and feedback they’re better prepared to present at the Pitch Contest

Speaking of the Pitch Contest, let me introduce you to our judges’ panel. Business plans and pitches will be judged by Steve Tingiris, founding board member of Tampa Bay WaVE and current co-chairman of TechNova; David Buckel, current partner with TechCXO; Matt Mullarkey, managing partner for Patina Solutions; Susan Kelly, EVP/Chief Marketing Officer for Apollidon Learning; Kirk Burton, founder of Innovation & Technology Solutions LLC; Nancy Bostock, former County Commissioner and CEO of Chemical Standards Laboratory Inc.; Alfred Goldberg, founder and President of the Americas Absolute Mobile Design.

See you at Session 9!