Yesterday, I attended the New York Times Small Business Summit. It was great! the theme of the summit was "Gather, Network, Grow". I met a lot of wonderful entrepreneurs, and got useful information. Ladies Who Launch had a table in the Local Resource Cafe, and Beth Schoenfeldt hosted a session on marketing. Other LWL members who attended were Sharon Gill, Margaret Prusan and Karla Lightfoot.
The morning session was moderated by Jane Applegate, author and founder of The Applegate Group. The panelists were a diverse quartet on entrepreneurs who generously shared their stories. Wally Ganzi of the Palm Restaurants, Jason Ackerman of Fresh Direct, Suhwei Lin of Manthattan Portage, and Jason Goldberg of Jobster. Then I attended the speed networking session which was a frenetic exercise in making contacts. It helps to have a one-minute pitch down, since there was only five minutes to introduce yourself to three people. I ran out of business cards, but meet loads of interesting people. Tom Scott presented the lunch keynote speech. He talked about how he started Nantucket Nectars and PlumTV. He was great as talked about luck, fear and failure was essential for his success. [Crazy!]
The afternoon session that I attended, "Getting a Grip on Rapid Expansion" was abundant with practical information. The panel was moderated by Author Paula McCoy-Pinderhughes who wrote the book, How To Be An Entrepreneur And Keep Your Sanity. The panelists were Cliff Ennico (attorney), Marc Shuman (CEO of Garage Tek) and John D'Aquila (CPA). John D'Aquila confirmed what I have told many clients-- setting up a LLC is the best, easiest corporate structure. The afternoon keynote was presented by Danny Meyer, owner of top rated restaurants Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe. His new book, Setting The Table, talks about the difference between service and hospitality. I had a great time and the summit was well worth the $99 registration. My brain is overloaded with new information and I plan to update the blog more regularly to share what I find.