• Want to fire your boss?

    Something about 2018 has stirred up much momentum for new an

    Want to fire your boss?

    Something about 2018 has stirred up much momentum for new and seasoned entrepreneurs, alike. Those that have been operating and growing a part-time business while working their full-time jobs are taking the leap. They have mustered up enormous amounts of courage and decided that this New Year is ripe enough to write corporate America that infamous “Dear John” letter.

    Imagine leaving a little note on your boss’s desk that reads, “YOU’RE FIRED!” Well, that seems to be the run-on theme as more and more entrepreneurs are discovering their purposes and paths to a more lucrative and fulfilling life. For many, the excitement of this transition is causing them to overlook three vital must-haves that need to be set in place before firing their bosses in 2018.

  • Passion provides marketing and technology solutionsa

    Back in college, Jared Kelly realized he had a knack for mar

    Passion provides marketing and technology solutionsa

    Back in college, Jared Kelly realized he had a knack for marketing. He was instrumental in bringing high-profile talent, including musicians and comedians, on to the campus. He loved it. Today, Kelly is the principal consultant of CEI Media Group, a Chicago-based digital intelligence firm and award-winning supplier of media, marketing and mobility solutions.

    Growing up, Kelly was always fascinated with film and photography. But it wasn’t until his time spent at Drake University that his entrepreneurial spirit began to unfold. A well-rounded and creative scholar, Kelly often embraced leadership roles for a variety of student activities. “All of those things shaped my perspective of being interested and getting involved with what I felt was the business side of entertainment and media,” said Kelly.

    Kelly’s talents on campus didn’t go unnoticed. The university recognized his technical skills and creativity and eventually asked him to develop their first website. But as a senior in business school who was holding down two jobs during his spare time, Kelly had to turn down the offer.


    It’s no secret that Olivia Pope, ABC’s “Scandal” fix


    It’s no secret that Olivia Pope, ABC’s “Scandal” fixer, is one of television’s most stylish women whose clothes have become so popular that in 2014, recently shuttered clothing retailer, The Limited launched an Olivia Pope-inspired fashion collection.

    Each week, the “Scandal” heroine’s wardrobe keeps social media abuzz with viewers wondering where and how to buy her Prada handbags, Burberry trench coats or Armani gloves. Well, purchasing items seen on “Scandal” or any other television isn’t as difficult as one can imagine thanks to entrepreneur Ana Bermudez, who wants to “handle” the way people shop in the same way Pope handles the hard charging political shenanigans in D.C.

    A little over three years ago, Bermudez founded TAGit™, a tech startup and mobile app that allows viewers to favorite, buy or gift items they see on their favorite TV shows. When users see a product they like in the app’s product streams, they TAGit™ to show they like it or BUYit™ for themselves or a friend.

    Bermudez says, the app “is for any television viewer that is watching their favorite show or perhaps, an award[s] show or a live television event and has ever seen a hat or a dress or a pair of shoes or a handbag or a jersey that they like. They see it, and they have to have it. TAGit™ was created for them to be able to shop for it.”

    Bermudez left a demanding career in finance as the co-founder of AWM Global Advisors in San Diego to launch TAGit™ because of her own love of shoes. She was working every day of the week for a minimum of 12 hours each day, with very little time to shop or do anything else. One night, while watching a television show, she fell in love with the shoes worn by an actress.

    “Every time I saw a pair of shoes on TV, I wanted to be able to buy them on the spot. There was no easy way to do that. The more I thought about it, the more I encountered the problem, the more I realized that TAGit was a viable business idea,” she says.

    Bermudez launched TAGit™ as an app, but as the company has grown, she’s looked for ways to scale and grow the business to make it more intuitive, dynamic and engaging for the television viewer to shop. To do so, she’s utilized the resources of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).
    “I started networking within NMSDC to meet professionals in retail and to meet executives in media so that I could learn more about how we could apply our business to help them generate more revenue. We started adjusting or rather building up a technology to be able to accommodate corporate businesses as partners,” she says.

    Bermudez also participated in the organization’s Emerging Young Entrepreneur year-long program created in partnership with McPherson|Berry and MetLife to advance business opportunities for millennial entrepreneurs and connect them to corporate members.

    She was one of 13 young entrepreneurs who participated in a five-day exercise during the NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange in Chicago that included access to industry experts as well as an elevator pitch competition. During the competition, each participant was given 90 seconds to explain their business and its capabilities to a panel of three judges. Remarkably, Bermudez won second place, but she came away with so much more than that.

    “Alex Alvarez at Apple who is a big advocate for minority business owners in tech and Angela Guzman at NBC and Comcast who is a huge advocate for women in business selected TAGit™ as one of the five companies to pitch in front of all of the attendees at the conference,” she explains

    She continues, “Then, other people like John Munson and, at the time, Maria Rios of Macy’s were huge in being able to learn what it is that the retail industry is really looking for in a company like TAGit™. Being able to gather all of that information and foster those relationships was [a big part] in being able to bridge that gap between retail media and technology.”

    Armed with the relationships that she has formed and the knowledge gleaned from her experience at the NMSDC conference, Bermudez is poised to have TAGit™ “revolutionize the media world, so that whenever you’re enjoying any type of media whether it is in real time as you’re watching cable or streaming your favorite TV shows or enjoying your favorite movie from 20 years ago [you’re] able to have your phone identify it, and pre-populate a list of products that are tailored to your preferences, so that you can shop anything and everything if you so desire.”

  • Profiting from Trump’s Promises

    Are these exciting times for serial entrepreneurs and invest

    Profiting from Trump’s Promises

    Are these exciting times for serial entrepreneurs and investors?

    In this new year, we saw a highly publicized billionaire businessman become the 45th president of the U.S. A head-spinning upset for some but a phenomenal victory for others who have gained a new faith in the vintage saying, “Team work makes a dream work.”

    President Donald Trump has captured the undivided attention of many entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and investors with the many promises he made to remove and dismantle the barriers that hinder U.S. businesses

    To start, Trump’s economic plan includes a decrease in the corporate tax rate. He has stated he intends to bring the corporate tax rate down to 15 percent. Currently, corporate tax rates are between 22 t and 35 percent, more in some cases.

    The current tax rates have been the culprit behind big companies leaving the U.S. This has truly lowered the morale of aspiring business people whose endeavors are to, and have been to, create jobs for their fellow Americans.  Just imagine what bringing the $2.1 to $3 trillion that is overseas to avoid this taxation would do for us, collectively.  In addition to this tax reduction, Trump also stated there would be a tax imposed on any company that takes their goods and services outside of the U.S. This is music to the ears of every individual who depends on the financial fabric of this country to provide the means for them to create the life they truly do desire to live.

    Another promise made by Trump that could really open the floodgates of entrepreneurial heaven is the cutting of 70 percent of federal agency regulations.  Trump has made it very clear and agreed with the majority of business owners that these regulations stifled businesses and stopped them from growing here.  Regulatory compliance runs about $10 ,585 for businesses with 19 or fewer employees in comparison to $7,755 for companies with 500 or more employees.  Once the burden of unnecessary red tape is lifted, the entrepreneur and investor who desire to form a small business, grow it and create jobs can take flight on new sustainable wings.  Perhaps the most interesting promise made by Trump is the move toward raising our gross domestic product (GDP).  When the GDP is rising, the economy is good, and our investments in tangible assets perform the best.  Trump said he would, like to see our GDP rise to about 3 to 4 percent annually while economists have fore casted a 2.2 percent growth rate in 2017 and a 2.3 percent growth rate in 2018.

    Are you still wondering how you will get your piece of this increase?  If you are looking to start a new business venture or expand your existing business, please take advantage of the private placement opportunities that are available.  You can raise up to $5 million for your business without having to do any type of regulation filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Give your business the fuel it needs to do its part in boosting America’s economy.  Participate and take action, using the existing tools and resources.