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Business Black Box

Quarter 2 • 2015

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Business Black Box Q2 2015

D E PA R T M E N T S 10














































Business Black Box Q2 2015


Photo by Carter Tippins/FishEye Studios











OUR STORY... Whether planes crash or crews overcome obstacles to successfully complete flights, airlines go to the black box to discover secrets, answers, and missing information to explain what happened and learn for the future. That’s the mission of our magazine, our connect events, and our interactive platform. News of businesses succeeding, failing, merging, hiring, firing and more are reported everyday, all over the Upstate. But in business, the real power is not just hearing the news, but about going behind the scenes, discovering, connecting, and learning from those that made it happen. At the heart of every event, every blog, every magazine issue, and every documentary Business Black Box produces, you’ll find a relentless passion for connecting, advising and growing Upstate business.


Business Black Box is a registered trademark of ShowCase Publishing 2015. Content may not be reproduced without written permission of Business Black Box. Excerpts may be reprinted, provided that credit is given to the author and to Business Black Box magazine.


Julie Godshall Brown, President, Godshall Staffing Andy Coburn, Attorney, Wyche Law Firm John Deworken, Partner, Sunnie & Deworken Matt Dunbar, Managing Director, Upstate Carolina Angel Network Chip Felkel, CEO, The Felkel Group Greg Hillman, Executive Director, SCRA/SC Launch!

Dean Hybl, Executive Director, Ten at the Top Coleman Kirven, Commercial Banking Executive, The Palmetto Bank Todd Korahais, Operating Partner, Keller Williams Realty


Sam Patrick, CEO, Patrick Marketing & Communications


Nigel Robertson, Anchor, WYFF


Ravi Sastry, VP Of Sales & Marketing, Immedion Tony Snipes, Business Coach & Entrepreneur Terry Weaver, CEO, Chief Executive Boards International Amy Wood, Anchor, WSPA


Go to your app store and download the Layar app. (available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Google Glass) When you see this mark on any page, the page has something else to show you. Just scan that page, in full, with your Layar scanner, and it will pop onto your mobile device’s screen.

Business Black Box Q2 2015

Michael Bolick, CEO, Selah Genomics

Jil Littlejohn, President, Urban League of the Upstate



A team of experienced, connected business leaders from different regions and industries, who advise us regularly on trends, changes, growth, and progress in Upstate business.

Tiffany Hughes, Director Of Marketing, Meyco Products

JON WADSWORTH Business Black Box (Vol.7, Issue 2) is published four times per year by ShowCase Publishing, 1200 Woodruff Rd. Suite A8, Greenville, SC 29607; phone (864) 281-1323; fax (864) 281-1310.








TAKE THE LONG ROAD These days, we’re bombarded with talk of “efficiency” and “streamlining” and “keep it simple, stupid.” We’re so inundated with so much technology, so much information, so many tasks—that the gut reaction is to simplify. Edit. Cut back. Take the shortcut. Then, it becomes easier to see the shortest way through the next challenge. We become adept at shooting through tasks. It becomes more of “act first, think later.” But every once and a while, the long way is better. Taking time becomes necessary. Sometimes, the long way is not just more work, it’s also more than. A handwritten note becomes more than a quickly jotted email. That extra 15-minute brainstorm becomes more than just a rough concept. That cup of coffee turns a relationship into more than just an acquaintance. There’s a word in Hebrew, selah, that means (depending on who is translating) to “pause and reflect.” And for many of us, that’s a nice sentiment, but most of the time gets completely lost in translation. But think about it. Take a look at your to-do list. Find something you’ve been putting off for a while. Then, (contrary to what I think I wrote a few issues ago…) don’t just do it. Instead, pause. Breathe. Let it sink in and digest it. Figure out why it’s necessary (if it’s necessary), and then let that sit for a while. Often, you’re probably putting it off for a reason. Maybe it’s that you don’t believe it. Or maybe you don’t want to do it. In any case, what harm can come of looking at it a little deeper? Gain some clarity. Maybe this is one of those times that calls for taking the long way around it. This isn’t speaking ill of simplification—trust me, I’m a big fan. But the thing is: simple is easy, and there are times that benefit from the growth of doing something the hard way.

Publisher, Business Black Box | 864/281-1323 x.1010 | megonigal 10

Business Black Box Q2 2015

Photo by Carter Tippins/FishEye Studios


R A N D O M & R E L E VA N T

MOBILE TECHNOLOGY ON THE RISE It’s more and more clear that mobile technology is on the rise. As of January 2014, 90 percent of Americans own a cellular phone while 58 percent have chosen smart phones. E-readers and tablet ownership is also up, at 32 percent and 42 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the desktop computer has seen a small, steady decline since mobile devices have become more prominent, but are still in wide use. Interesting note: 29 percent of cell phone users say it is something that they would be unable to live without.

Info and Graph courtesy of Pew Research Center:


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Business Black Box Q2 2015

Meet a major force in the specialty coffee culture in Greenville (p.42)





Check out the makings of local manufacturer TTI (p.25)

Is your website ADA compliant? (p.65)

Check out how 3D printing is changing the copyright game. (p.66)

Defeat the big red monster (and feed a kid at the same time!) (p.76)

R A N D O M & R E L E VA N T






Annual employment growth in the aerospace cluster since coming out of the Great Recession


Number of employees employed in private businesses dedicated to the aerospace industry


The average job salary of a position in the aerospace cluster

$8 billion

Total of annual economic output from private aerospace industry


Number of military aviation installations that are also associated with the state’s aerospace cluster


Jobs that are created when combining the private and military sides of the aerospace cluster


Job multiplier as a direct effect of the private aerospace business’ impact statewide

*Information courtesy of the Division of Research, Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina. Documents/Research/DOR_Aerospace_Econ_Impact.pdf


Business Black Box Q2 2015

R A N D O M & R E L E VA N T



SC Business One Stop

What We Read: Capitalizing on Being Woman Owned: Expert Advice for Women Who Have or Are Starting Their Own Business, by Janet W. Christy The Gist: This month’s pick was written by Upstate business woman Christy, who shares her insights and experiences to help women-owned businesses capitalize on that fact that they are woman-owned. From helping businesses identify their advantages and prospects to sharing her expertise in marketing, her book is a resource for any women owned business. You won’t find tips and tricks to get free money, but you will find insight into helping your business grow in lasting and impactful ways. How it’s Written: This book is written in a very straightforward manner, starting with the basics of the advantages and marketing approaches you may need to take in being a woman-owned business. From there, you’ll learn to identify business prospects on various levels—from local to federal government, the education system and other sectors. In the last few sections, the author uses her expertise in marketing and public relations to give solid marketing tips—to not only get your name out there, but also form lasting relationships within the community. Great if: You own or are thinking of starting a women-owned business and need guidance—especially on the marketing side. Don’t Miss: Chapter 12’s “Marketing Strategy: Applying Research, Publicizing, and Building Selling Relationships,” which features great advice on utilizing the angle of being woman-owned in order to market your business and create lasting business relationships. Our Read: Definitely a must read for anyone who is a part of, is starting or does marketing for a woman-owned business. The tips and advice offer great ideas to bring new life into your business.


Business Black Box Q2 2015

Are you an established business (or a start up) and looking for a one stop shop in terms of what you need to fill out and pay? The South Carolina Business One Stop is your go to for licenses, registrations, filing permits and paying taxes. No more hunting around from department to department—SCBOS is your business solution.

“Happiness does not come from doing easy work,but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.”



R A N D O M & R E L E VA N T







What: Dig South Where: Charleston, SC When: April 28th through May 2nd An intersection of business, culture and quality of life, DIG SOUTH creates a place for businesses to connect and show off how innovative this region truly is. The theme for this year is #explore, and will look at digital innovation and disruption in entrepreneurship, marketing, media, gaming, culture and healthcare. For more information: Contact DIG SOUTH at (843) 693-4183 or Word on the street is that several in our local entrepreneurial community are pushing for the widely successful Founder Institute to make a home in Upstate S.C.


What: Business Black Box’s 2015 LEADER Series Where: McNair Law Firm, 140 S. Main St, Suite 700, Greenville, SC When: 2nd Tuesday of each month, 4 p.m.


Based out of Silicon Valley, the Founder Institute is the world’s largest startup accelerator with chapters across 92 cities in 50 countries. It has been instrumental in the launch of 1,563 new companies creating over 15,000 new jobs. To the entrepreneur community, a location here is a no brainer.

Now in its second year, the LEADER Series provides open discussion and connection between local business leaders in a monthly setting. Presented by McNair Law Firm and Sandlapper Securities, the event covers topics of interest to business leaders and businesses in growing markets.

“Greenville is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, and has an abundance of highly talented employees working in manufacturing, bio-technology, advanced materials, healthcare and more,” said Jason Premo, founder of Premo Ventures. Premo is also serving as Co-Director of the Greenville Founder Institute.

For more information: Contact Business Black Box at (864) 281-1323 ext. 1010, or by email at

The idea of the Founder Institute is to offer a part-time, four-month program that gives entrepreneurs the ability to start up a company without jumping into the deep end at the get-go. “It is a great opportunity for talented professionals to test the waters, build their ideas, and identify potential co-founders and funders,” Premo says.


What: Navigating Uncharted Waters in Healthcare Where: TD Center, 1 Exposition Dr., Greenville, SC When: May 19, 2015, 8 a.m

While the deal is still not a 100 percent finalized, as Founder Institute is “extremely selective due to reputation and rigor,” they will be hosting three free sessions at the NEXT Innovation Center in Greenville on April 6, 15 and 22.

Need help navigating the waters of healthcare? Join the South Carolina Business Coalition on Health as they help prepare businesses in S.C. for important trends in healthcare such as specialty pharmaceuticals, obesity, the Affordable Care Act, and population health.

Interest will be the key to bringing this program to Greenville; if brought to Greenville, the economic impact would be lasting.


For more information: Contact the SC Business Coalition on Health at (864) 467-3255 or email


Business Black Box Q2 2015

“If we don’t have enough interest from would-be startup founders and/or enough that can pass the rigorous entry exams, then we won’t move forward until we do,” Premo notes. “Job creating is the main measurement. And by that we mean the right kind of jobs in our knowledge economy areas that provide higher per-capita income and will move the needle on our state’s scorecard and how we compare with others in our region.”

dig south











DIG CONFERENCE (breakfast & lunch) DIG SHOW DIG MASHUP (bar & bites) DIG CONFERENCE (breakfast & lunch) DIG SHOW DIG MASHUP (bar & bites) STARTUP SHINDIG

Featuring music by HOLY GHOST TENT REVIVAL




Featuring music by LANGHORNE SLIM

R A N D O M & R E L E VA N T D I D


K N OW ?

There’s no doubt that Edward Snowden changed the way we relate to privacy matters, but in a recent study by the Pew Institute, they found that of adults that had heard of government surveillance programs, (87 percent), many had started to change their own use of various technology and applications. Here’s a breakdown of what they found.




In March, BMW celebrated its threemillionth vehicle made at the plant.







More info and the full study at: americans-privacy-strategies-post-snowden/pj_2015-03-05_privacystrategies_01/


Business Black Box Q2 2015

Do you constantly find yourself mixing up their, there and they’re? Or perhaps you don’t have a clue what exactly an Oxford comma is or what it does. The LearnEnglish Grammar app is the perfect companion to brush up on your grammar so you can avoid those embarrassing little errors. The app offers various questions on beginner and intermediate levels, with the option to download more advanced levels. Offering 12 grammar topics with 20 activities per topic, you will be a grammar expert in no time. Available for both Android and IOS in both American English and British English. en/apps/learnenglish-grammar-usedition

Our Connection Unlocks Potential. mcnair


At McNair, we’re not just your attorneys. We’re your neighbors. Our roots run deep, and we’re part of the local community that works to help your business grow and thrive. With over 100 attorneys across 9 offices, McNair brings urgency, skill, and big-picture thinking to the table, regardless of your size or industry. And with our experience and ability, you get the best of both worlds: the comfort that comes from staying local, and the depth of knowledge you expect from a world-class rm.

When you see big challenges, we see the bigger picture.


Intellectual Property Administrative & Regulatory

Public Finance Banking & Finance Bankruptcy Tax

Labor & Employment Corporate Health Care

Economic Development Estate Planning Real Estate

Environmental Local Government Immigration International

Litigation Class Action Governmental Affairs

104 South Main Street | Suite 700 | Greenville, SC 29601 Reginald M. Gay, Managing Shareholder of the Upstate Unit | Email: | Phone: 864-271-4940



Production Hours

Getting the perfect cover shot is never easy, and it gets a little trickier with 14 people involved. Still , we had a great time featuring the City of Greenville’s leadership team this issue...who were such good sports after we asked them to bake in the hot sun for 30 minutes while we worked to create the perfect shot.


Individual Photographs Used

106 Photoshop Layers

Image cleaned up. effects added

Sharpening, Background adjusted



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Catherine Crandall

Carter Tippins Fisheye Studios

John Castile








1 2 3 4 5 6



1 2 3 4 5 6





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The Meeting Agenda Sheet — Feel like you meet for no reason, or with no resolution? Put an end to bad, long or pointless meetings with a little bit of planning. This agenda worksheet should help.

D AT E 06/02/2015

TIME 1 pm


To begin putting the new strategic marketing plan in place for January 2016 unveiling RESOURC ES TO REV IEW PRIOR TO THE MEETING HOW CAN I SHOW UP PREPARED?

• Marketing Plan Overview • Schedule of important dates STAFF ATTENDING NAME 1 2 3 4


Connie Jacinto - overall strategy and input Travis Anglevine - overall strategy and input Donnovan Locke - examine media buys required Andy Bradley - event planning for launch event

5 6



Cynthia Carson - Epic Marketing firm - walk through strategy plan Bobby Brown - Epic Marketing firm - walk through website/social timelines

3 4 5 6






1 - 1:10 1:10 - 1:20 1:20 - 1:40 1:40 - 1:50 1:50 - 1:55 1:55 - 2 2

Connie Cynthia Andy Bobby/Donnovan/Andy All All ADJOURN

Lay out overall agenda and plan for this meeting Discuss marketing purpose behind strategy plan Discuss plans for event launch and timeline Determine marketing timeline around event Finalize action list and next steps Coordinate follow up meeting time for next week

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made by TTI North America in Anderson, S.C. for more info, visit 25

Photo by Carter Tippins/FishEye Photography

Business Black Box Q2 2015



THE ELEPHANTS ARE COMING, THE ELEPHANTS ARE COMING... I know many of you were distressed to learn that Barnum and Bailey Circus recently decided to phase out the use of elephants in their shows. But, never fear, here in South Carolina you are going to see a ton of elephants over the next 12 months. Lots and lots of elephants—in different shapes, sizes and species. There will be the Walker and Kasich elephants from the Mid-West, the Paul, Perry and Huckabee elephants that hail from the southern region of the continent, Rubio and Bush elephants from further south, the Christie and Carson elephants, which are rarer in the MidAtlantic, and even some Cruz elephants which are a species unto themselves. And while there may be more pachyderms, there will possibly be several kinds of what is known as a jackass or donkey. The point is, the elephants are coming. And you, Mr. or Ms. S.C. Voter, should try to see as many of them as you possibly can. Why, do you ask? Because my fellow citizens, your vote in the 2016 Primary gets a lot of attention. In fact, it gets a lot more attention outside the state than in it. And certainly more than many of you actually realize. Politicos, pundits and a myriad of interested observers are, at this moment, keenly interested in how you currently intend to vote, and how you ultimately will end up voting. South Carolina matters more because those voting in the primary are more diverse than New Hampshire or Iowa. South Carolina matters more because we are the First in the South Primary. South Carolina matters more because they know the history of the S.C. Primary, which, up until 2012, had accurately picked the eventual GOP nominee for president. And because South Carolina matters more, I


Business Black Box Q2 2015

would like to suggest that perhaps you should care more than many of you do. Because your vote is held in such high regard, you should not take it for granted. You should take it as seriously as your fellow citizens in Iowa and New Hampshire, and let me assure you, they take it very seriously. And like them, you should cast it after making an informed and educated decision.

is your moment in the spotlight. Seize it. Embrace it. Heck, you might even enjoy it, if you dare.

The opportunities to make such a decision will be numerous. The presidential primary is not the cottage industry in South Carolina that it is in Iowa or New Hampshire, and yet it still adds over $50 million to the economy every four years. No matter where you live, but especially in the vote-rich Upstate, there will be campaign events, town hall forums, or “meet and greets” held by each of the potential nominees, each vying for an opportunity to make their earn your vote. And they should. But the larger point is this: You need to pay attention, to participate, to attend. You need to listen, to assess and to determine which candidate best represents your personal political view based on our priorities as a voter. For me personally, I want a candidate who I can agree with on most issues (100% agreement not required) and who I think provides my party with the most opportunity to win back the White House. Some might feel more comfortable with a candidate with whom they find themselves totally in sync and care less about the general election. I would disagree with that approach, but it is your prerogative.


The bottom line is this: How South Carolinians vote matters a great deal in presidential primary politics and very little in the general election. So this, my friends,

Chip Felkel is a veteran public affairs strategist, media relations expert and advocacy innovator with over two decades of experience in the State and National arenas. Felkel’s extensive political resume includes roles with Campbell for Governor, the South Carolina Republican Party, the Republican National Committee, as well as the 1988 Bush-Quayle Campaign (Executive Director, Georgia), DeMint 2002 Congressional Re-elect (campaign manager) and in strategic and communications roles with Bush-Cheney 2000 and 2004. He also serves as a political analyst for WYFF (NBC).




CHA MPION SPONSORS Bon Secours St. Francis Health System


Denny’s Corporation Greenville Health System The Greenville News


The Herald-Journal Independent-Mail

DIVERSIT Y AWARD PARTNER Juan Johnson Consulting and Facilitation, LLC




TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2015 6:00 P.M. — RECEPTION



DIVERSIT Y FRIENDS AnMed Health BI-LO, LLC BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Clemson University Duke Energy emediagroup Furman University GE Power & Water



Greenville Technical College Milliken Pelham Medical Center Southern First Bank N.A. WYFF 4

Bill Barnet

Ca l de r D. E h r m a n n

CEO of Barnet Development Corporation and former Spartanburg Mayor

(194 0 – 2 0 1 5 )

Visit for Sponsorships, Award Nominations and Event Details.



GROWING MAIN STREET AND BEYOND By Ben Muldrow Events and downtowns go hand in hand. Many of the country’s greatest downtown revitalizations have been led by the Main Street movement, a program created in 1977 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The premise is simple, with a four-point approach: organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring. Those new economies are intended to help fuel and fund preservation of historic assets while returning vibrancy to the community. With more than 1,600 Main Street communities across the country, there are so many stories of how strategic events can be used to stimulate stagnant economies. Many times, events in a downtown are simply thrown to activate the space. Community members put together a festival, and the next thing you know, the businesses close for the event because “those people aren’t my customer.” Yet there is one southern community that has been redefining strategic events: Starkville, Mississippi. In March 2011, we helped develop a brand for Starkville. At the time, they felt a bit like the state’s red-headed stepchild. Although they were home of Mississippi State University, and one of the larger cities in the state, they constantly felt overshadowed by Oxford, home of Ole Miss. We decided that the time to be bold was now. They launched a new tagline that served as a true rallying cry across the state: We are Starkville, Mississippi’s College Town. Everything they did was to maximize the economic impact of the University. They engaged Head Football Coach Dan Mullen to help launch a new celebration focused on home games, and called it “New South Weekends.” But there was a challenge: hotels in the Starkville required a two-night stay on home weekends, but nothing was open on Sundays. This became our first target.

We introduced a newer event called Bulldog Brunch & Browse. The intent was simple: to get fans out of their hotel and leave an economic impact on the community. This would consist of a fourhour promotional period on Sunday when downtown would spring to life. The shops would be open and restaurants would offer special deals or signature dishes. Everyone thought this was a no-brainer, but then only eight businesses said they would participate. Stil, we put our heads down and pushed forward. After that first weekend, those eight participants had amazing days. They could not believe how well they had done. They started to tell others, and by the end of the first season, more people were participating than not. This might sound simple, but it is a profound example of the strategic intent of events. Everyone knows that most retailers could not make it if it weren’t for the Christmas holidays. Many say 30 percent to 40 percent of their entire business is done in those four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. With the introduction of this one event, these retailers earned another six or seven days where the volume was as good as their best holiday shopping days. One event. Increased profits. Increased sustainability. The numbers are even more compelling than the story. Stores sold an extra $70,000 in the first year alone. Starkville has seen a growth in sales tax collection every quarter since this promotion has begun. And the impact is not just during football season, but has been experienced year round. These increases in sales tax revenue have meant a 20 percent boost in the city’s budget, and tourism revenue has increased from $59.8 Million to $80.9 million a year. In the Upstate, events like this happen in communities all over, from Squealin’ on the Square in historic downtown Laurens to Fall for Greenville. Some events are simply community celebrations; some are simply intended to introduce people to the place you call home, but the ones that can engage the customer, invite them in, and make the cash register ring, those are Economic Development.

ABOUT BEN MULDROW: Ben Muldrow, a Partner at Arnett Muldrow & Associates, helps communities develop their brand identity through an open process including public design sessions and collaborative small groups. As the pioneer of their groundbreaking process, Ben has designed new branding and marketing elements for revitalization projects in over 300 communities in 29 states. In 2012, Ben also launched, an effort to foster innovation in downtowns across America.


Business Black Box Q2 2015

ON TH E TOWN STARKVILLE’S AWARDS Ranked 3rd of 17 in Southeast Region as “University Town That Has Its Act Together.” Top 10 location in the South for emerging growth companies A top 40 city recognized as a “Smart Growth” city by USEPA Voted as a Top 100 small community because of new business and growth of existing businesses Recognized in 2006 as one of the most affordable and best value college towns in America



Total Establishments in 2012


Strong Labor Force


Job Growth Rate


Startups and Entrepreneurs through the MSU Entrepreneurship Center


Jump in 2012 of volunteers as part of Volunteer Starkville


Take a Tour of Missippi State University Call MSU Welcome Center at 662-325-5203


Make a Candle at the Aspen Bay Candle Company


Concerts by the Starkville Symphony Orchestra & MSU


Stat at the Historic Hotel Chester


Visit the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge


Have the best brunch in Mississippi


Buy local produce, arts and crafts at the Starkville Community Market


Attend one of the many events and festivals that occur year round in Starkville


Photo by Ben Muldrow

Business Black Box Q2 2015



PLAN FOR TRAFFIC JAMS Entrepreneurs want to move in the fast lane, because there are always more things to do in a day than the available hours will allow. Before you start making profits, you have to move fast to get in the black before your cash runs out. After you start making profits, you still need to move fast to remain competitive in your industry and grow. There are key situations, however, where you get stuck in traffic, and there is no fast lane to get where you want to go. Failure to understand and anticipate those situations can be extremely painful. Three of the most common situations involve financing, regulatory approvals and large strategic partners. Financing. If you are a successful entrepreneur with three prior companies and a good reputation in Silicon Valley, then you may be able to obtain financing quickly and easily. But more often than not, finding investment is a long process. Actually documenting an investment generally can be done quickly, but finding potential investors and getting them to the point where they are ready to write a check is another matter. Failure to take this into account when deciding when to hire employees or make other financial commitments has doomed many a startup company. Regulatory approvals. Given the criticism directed at government regulators, you would think that no one would count on government agencies to meet deadlines. However, I see entrepreneurs make plans without a proper appreciation for the potential delay and uncertainty of the regulatory approval process, such as an FDA approval of a medical device. In some cases, the entrepreneur simply has not


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done enough homework on exactly what needs to happen (and when) in order to complete the process. In other cases, there is insufficient contingency planning to figure out a fallback plan if regulatory approval is abnormally delayed. Large strategic partners. One of the most depressing scenarios can be the strategic partnership. For example, a startup company is in talks with a Fortune 50 corporation, and that corporation finally tells the entrepreneur that it is ready to become an investor, joint venture partner or a customer. Time for celebration! Until you find out that the investment has just received preliminary approval that will now be followed by formal due diligence by the corporation’s lawyers and be subject to review and approval by an investment committee that does not meet for four months. Or, until you are notified that you still need to complete the corporation’s formal 90-day vendor validation process to be a supplier. Or, until you receive the first draft of the corporation’s 120 pages of joint venture documentation that will need to be negotiated before the joint venture can proceed. In the worst situations, the delay that you did not anticipate extends beyond when your current financing runs out. Traffic jams like these can be a necessary part of getting where you want to go, but you need to anticipate and plan for them so that they only result in slowing your pace and not a fatal accident.

ABOUT ANDY COBURN As an attorney with Wyche, Andy regularly represents clients in mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, structuring of joint ventures, securities offerings and other financing transactions. He has extensive experience with growing companies and private placements of securities. Andy also advises and assists public and private company clients in the design and implementation of executive compensation arrangements, equity compensation plans and broadbased employee benefits. Outside of his legal profession, Andy is on the board of the Greenville Little Theatre, a project leader for Habitat for Humanity, and serves as a Business Black Box advisor in law.




Business Black Box Q2 2015

John Castile talks Culture, Collaboration and the Team that Keeps Greenville Up & Running

---------------------------------Written By Jordana Megonigal ---------------------------------In the heart of a city with more awards and accolades than one can count, a team works—after all, those honors don’t come easily and they don’t come freely. Under the leadership of 13 people, the city of Greenville runs, with everything from parking to transportation, events and permits under their watch. And behind the team, quietly pressing them for their best work— both individually and as a unit—sits John Castile.

The Heart of a Team John Castile was—quite literally—born into a team. As the youngest of seven, he learned early on what it meant to be only one part of a larger whole. “You have to negotiate,” he says, remembering back to how his childhood shaped his thinking. “And, you’re typically negotiating with people who have more experience. Being number seven of seven means you’re accustomed to doing more with less… accustomed to other people going through [life] before you.” Those early experiences—and learning how to work within such a large family unit, had a strong influence on his work ethic from the beginning. Because his parents were older, Castile developed a value structure that “naturally” gravitated toward work. Even as a young child, he wasn’t afraid of putting in long hours to get a job done. Eventually, this began to show in his own life. In 1984, as a high school student in Columbia, he was named “Mr. Basketball” for the state of South Carolina—an honor that recognized students for not only their sports proficiency, but also their academic and personal development. Still, even while being decorated as one of the top athletes in the state, Castile was noted for his emphasis on being a team player. In an article published in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal on March 1, 1984, his coach from Eau Claire High School—George Glymph—was quoted as saying, “He honestly cares nothing about shooting. He’d rather dish off to another player who has the hot hand.” In turn, Castile notes Glymph was influential to him as a teenager, calling him a “pivotal personality in my development.” Under Glymph, Castile says, is where he learned the true value of being part of a team. “[It was] being a part of something that is larger than the individual; it’s kind of like a family,” Castile remembers of his high school team. “You have a role in that family. And just because you’re not the person that scores the most points or has the most rebounds or whatever, understanding the value of being a part of that I find to be so important, because the group is so much larger than just the individual.” Photo by Carter Tippins/FishEye Photography

Later that year, Castile found himself at Furman, once again playing basketball on a scholarship. Immediately, things were drastically different.


Business Black Box Q2 2015

Photo by Carter Tippins/FishEye Photography

“In the majority of my high school experience, people looked like me. At Furman, they looked different,” he says. Over the four years of college, however, he grew, and found that while everyone at the school came from different backgrounds, they still had a lot in common to build on. “You focused on what you had in common versus the things that made you different,” he says, “so it was perfect for me in the sense that as part of a team you highlight the good things and you minimize the weaknesses.” That was a lesson that would come in handy for him over his college career, as he went from one of the highest winning teams in the state (in high school), to one that lost…a lot. But realizing that same advice—highliting the good and minimizing the bad—Castile chose to realize that it was simply the situation that had changed— not an indictment of his own talent or character. “Nothing’s changed—it’s just that the perception has changed, and you can’t control perception because you can’t touch everybody,” he says. “So what do you do when that happens? It can break you.” But Castile didn’t let it break him. Instead, he chose that time to learn three lessons that he remembers to this day. “One, you need to be cognizant and humble, because you can’t believe everything that everyone says. Two, losing is not so bad. Three, the high of a win is never as low as the loss,” he says. Calling the lows “far more defining than the wins,” Castile notes, “When you win, people say ‘let’s go do it again.’ When you lose, people start to question your vision, your desire, and your skills. It can be a burden.” Aside from basketball, Castile also focused on a political science degree, and upon graduating, tried to figure out his next steps. Ready to conquer the world, he initially took a job with the local grocery chain, Bi-Lo. But when it looked like he’d have to move to Charlotte for the job, he took a step back to reflect on where he really wanted to be. After positions with the Greenville News and even with Sunbelt Human Advancement Resources (SHARE), he decided he didn’t just want a job; he wanted a career. “At some point, you have to decide who you are and where to set your roots up and what you’re gonna do,” he says. So, in 1995, he took a job with the City of Greenville, in the recreation department.

Making Connections Since 2010, with Castile steering the City’s day-to-day activities and dealings, Greenville has been awarded more titles than one can count. From Men’s Journal’s “Top 18 Coolest Towns in America” to Forbes’ #6 “City with the Greatest Capacity for Innovation”—and on and on—Greenville has been a shooting star, bringing attention from around the globe to the city with a population of only slightly more than 61,000 people. But try as you might to give Castile any credit for it, he’s not likely to take it for himself. Instead, he’ll do what he has done for years—pass it on to a team member. But to be fair, the leadership team of the city is impressive in its own right—13 people, each in their department, each leading their own teams of people to move the city forward. But as many true leaders are—they are strong, with their own ideas and methods in getting things done. It would be easy to view the oversight of such a group of individuals as a challenge, but Castile sees them in a very different way. “I work with the most amazing group of people and they are true public servants,” he says. “I have the fortune of seeing them work far more hours than what the time clock says. And I truly believe that they care more about the organization and the community than they do about personal gain.” This becomes even more evident when you look at some of the practices that have been implemented by the team as a whole. For example, it’s not unusual to find the entire leadership team outside City Hall on Tuesday afternoons—to both try and keep the meetings from becoming “stale,” as well as to connect each person to the community they serve, many weekly meetings turn into field trips. The team has ridden GreenLink, speaking with others riding the bus about their experiences. They’ve scooted along on Segways to view the city as a tourist might. They’ve visited the Governor’s School to see the campus and the students in their own environment. And every once and a while, you can catch them simply walking downtown, taking in their surroundings and making notes on possibilities or current challenges. For Castile, this process is simply about reconnecting with the community.

Rising through the ranks in city government, it was only about a decade later that Castile was offered the position of Assistant City Manager, under then-Manager Jim Bourey. In this position, he became the lead on such projects as the Kroc Center, Fluor Field, and even A.J. Whittenberg Elementary school.

“We’re all so accustomed to coming to work a certain way and going home a certain way. We eat; we do whatever; but there are segments of our community that some of us just don’t go in,” he says. Citing the bus trip as an example, he notes that it’s only after you see how someone else lives in the same space that you can really make solid decisions about it.

He thrived in these positions—as a “mission-based” person, he puts in long hours on the projects because he believed in them. Considering himself simply fortunate to be in the right project at the right time, Castile was instrumental in many large scale projects that helped define Greenville during that period of time, although he’s still quick to pass the credit on to someone else.

“It’s when you see a woman getting on with her grocery bags and you realize that she has to go a few times a week…when you see the weary person getting off of third shift knowing that they are just trying to get home,” he says. “So, when we are trying to fill the [bus driver] positions, it’s not just about processing the applications. It really is about providing a service that somebody needs.”

That’s likely part of the reason why, in 2010, he was named City Manager.

Those personalized experiences should be factors in each city job, he says, whether it’s cutting the grass at the park placing an


Interested in a segway tour? Visit: for more info.


Business Black Box Q2 2015

art installment downtown. And by allowing each member of the team to experience them individually, he adds, you create problem solvers—even outside of their own department.

In fact, he adds, “If you don’t constrict the information flow— information can be used as a tool or a weapon, but it can also be used as a tool to free people—if you allow them as much information as possible you don’t have to solve the problem. Good, talented people will understand where the friction occurs and resolve it.” After all, in the end, Castile’s job is to be so good at his job that he is, in essence, not needed. “At the end of the day, I do believe my job here is to prepare the organization to be in the best position so that when I’m no longer here it has multiple choices for who should lead,” he says. And as to the many awards that constantly grace magazines, websites and press releases, hailing the city that he calls home? They’re wonderful, he says, but you can’t live and work solely for the recognition. “We acknowledge that when you get an award, you started that job five or 10 years ago, so some of the people [working on it] have either retired or left the organization,” he says. “But the magic in working in a municipality is that it changes. What is today might not be here tomorrow, so we continue to focus on what’s next and how we want to grow.” That growth, he says, is the focus of the entire team within City Hall—including those elected—to make Greenville the best it can be. “We never sit around and say, ‘we just got an award,’” he says. “If you do you’ll find that the awards will quit coming. I think if you continue to do those things that have made you successful in the past…the awards take care of themselves.”

True Leadership Today, 20 years after first walking in to the City as an employee in the recreation department, Castile has made a name for himself among his peers, his staff, and beyond. Few may be able to truly note the essence of Castile as well as Greenville mayor Knox White who was quoted in The State in 2013 as saying, “I marvel at John Castile. He is amazing, and he can complete my sentences. He’s a modest individual. You don’t see him on TV a lot. He kind of leads from behind. A manager is different from being a leader.”



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“The organization becomes a problem solver now because they’re aware of it,” he says. “Not everything has to come to the city management for debate and resolution.”

Team Greenville Stephen Kovalcik Fire Chief

Dana Souza Director of Parks, Recreation & Sustainability

John Castile City Manager

Camilla Pitman City Clerk

Kai Nelson Director of Office of Management & Budget

Matthew Hawley Municipal Court Judge

Julie Horton Government Relations Manager

Nancy Whitworth Deputy City Manager

Mike Murphy Director of Public Works

Athena Miller Director of Human Resources

Mark Rickards Transit Director

Ken Miller Chief of Police

Angie Prosser Director of Public Information & Events

Michael Pitts City Attorney

Photo by Carter Tippins/FishEye Photography


Business Black Box Q2 2015

The City of Greenville is known for its awards of all kinds, but how many are we really talking about? Here’s a small compilation, from just the past few years.

MAIN STREET - “GREAT AMERICAN MAIN STREET” AWARD National Trust for Historic Preservation (2003)

MAIN STREET - “GREAT STREETS IN AMERICA” AWARD American Planning Association (2009)





METRO AREA Brookings (2012)





#3 AMERICA’S STRONGEST JOB MARKET Bloomberg Business Week (2013)

TOP 10 COMPETITIVE STATES Site Selection (2013)






Development Counsellors International (2014)


FALLS PARK TOP 10 AMONG US PARKS Trip Advisor (2014)




Outside Magazine (2013)



BEST BIKE DESTINATION Outside Magazine (2014)

#8 AMERICA’S BEST MAIN STREET Parade Magazine (2014)



Business Black Box Q2 2015



JOB DESCRIPTIONS ARE THE NEW BLACK! Even if you think HR is exciting, job descriptions have never been described as sexy or exotic. However, well-written, accurate job descriptions that are actively used are key to navigating upcoming regulatory changes—especially in 2015. Job descriptions are definitely the “new black”—essentials that every organization really needs to have. One key regulation with proposed new rules is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA is the regulation that determines which positions are entitled to overtime and the minimum amount a salaried person must make to be exempt from overtime. In March of 2014, President Obama requested that this regulation be updated to consider current wage levels and types of white collar positions— heralding the most dramatic changes to the law in 40 years. Regardless of your industry, it is likely that the results of these regulation changes will affect you and your business. Your best preparation? To ensure you are doing no more or no less than you need to, it is crucial to document both the essential functions and the key results expected of a particular job, along with the approximate percentage of time spent in these essential functions and the physical requirements necessary to perform them. What steps should you take? 1. Make sure you have a job description for each position and that it accurately reflects what someone performing that job does all day (or night).


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Clearly define what kinds of decisions the job incumbent is expected to make and what key results he or she must produce.


Revisit the number of hours it takes to perform the job correctly— especially if you currently do not pay overtime for this position. While the proposed new rules are not published at the time of this writing, it is likely that more positions will be eligible for overtime, not fewer. If you are expecting a position to work more than 40 hours per week on a routine basis, you may be looking at significant overtime pay if you do not restructure the position.


Include physical requirements of the job, including attendance. In an age where telecommuting and virtual work are common, if your position requires attendance during specific hours or at a specific place, be certain that those requirements are clearly defined and supported expected results.


Don’t procrastinate. Much like cleaning closets, fundamental HR tasks do not get easier when you put them off. Schedule time to dust off those job descriptions and get them into shape this spring. When the new proposed rulings come out, you’ll be able to relax and know that your HR style is completely compliant!

ABOUT LESLIE HAYES For Leslie Hayes business is people. She tested a Harvard education and graduate leadership degree with over two decades of practical experience and currently serves clients of The Hayes Approach in the Upstate and globally. Leslie’s expertise, humor, compassion and realism keep her in demand as an HR expert, coach, educator and author.

road warriors




Business Black Box Q2 2015

Photo by Carter Tippins/FishEye Studios



Since arriving in Greenville in 2001 from Brazil, Ricardo Pereira has become a driving force in an emerging specialty coffee movement within Greenville and the Upstate. From grower to barista, Pereira is on a journey to bring excellence to everyone who is impacted by coffee.

You picture two people at a small table and what is between them? A cup of coffee. How many friendships or businesses have been started because of a cup of coffee? “That is the beauty of coffee,” said Ricardo Pereira. “It is a connector.” Born in Brazil, in a region known for sugar cane and coffee, Pereira has always had a close connection with the coffee bean. He came to the U.S. in 2001 to attend Bob Jones University, graduating in 2006 with a degree in youth ministry and minor in Spanish—adding another language to his native Portuguese and English. With such unique background and language palate, Pereira soon after started his own importing business—BRASC Coffee Importers. He wanted to bring something to the area that wasn’t very common at the time—specialty coffee, especially coffee from Brazil. “I wanted to showcase some of the best coffees from my home country,” Pereira says. Fortunately, he had a close mentor to lean on. “My dad was an entrepreneur in Brazil and I learned a few things about business from him. ” For Pereira, quality was key. Coffee is rated on a number scale with the from 1 to 100, with higher numbers equating finer coffee. In his own business, Pereira refuses to deal in anything below an 80, and in fact, rarely goes below an 85.

But knowing the source of what you are providing is vital to maintaining that quality (“You want to know who grows your food,” he says), so Pereira’s plan was to work as close to growers as possible, giving them the benefits of their hard work instead of middle men.

Pereira is opening the first SCAA-certified teaching lab in the area—a first for South Carolina and this region. The lab features a fully functional coffee bar, work areas and classrooms to be used to train not only baristas, but anybody in the coffee industry wanting to go deeper.

“You want to know who grows your food,” he says.

“I really love the educational part of it,” says Pereira. “We are very happy to be one of the first offering educational training in coffee.”

Then, after four years of successfully running BRASC, he was approached by Ally Coffee, a larger importer, who offered to buy BRASC and turn it into their specialty coffee division—which Pereira would head up. Ally purchased most of his assets, but with what remained, he started Due South Coffee as a way to showcase his specialty coffee to a community that was ready for a finer brew. Located in the revitalized Taylors Mill, Due South offers specialty coffee that is roasted on site, among other types of drinks like hot chocolate made with homemade chocolate and in-house brewed ginger beer. It has become not only a popular hangout, but a destination bringing more and more to the Mill community. Receiving some of the highest certifications, and being a part of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, Pereira has also discovered a passion for teaching and equipping others in the coffee industry. He has traveled to China and Latin America, as well as teaching others right here in the Upstate. As part of that love for education and teaching,

At the “academy,” students to not only learn to make the best coffee, but to also know where that coffee came from, how it was grown and how to roast it to perfection. Growers will also join in the educational process—to not only teach, but learn to brew and prepare the coffees that they painstakingly grow. “The idea is to cover from seed to cup,” he says. “Those kinds of things make our culture more legit.” For Pereira, the budding coffee community in Greenville has the potential to make a deep and lasting impact on a local palate that already contains fine food and fine beer. “Our community should be just like the craft beer community,” says Pereira, “Greenville is just scratching the surface in terms of specialty coffee.”


Business Black Box Q2 2015



NO ONE HAS ANSWERED A COLD CALL SINCE 2009 Prospecting is a process, not an individual act of heroism. There’s no magic bullet that will produce new customers for you overnight. But if you persistently and consistently work at an integrated approach to prospecting, your work will pay off. Here’s your work flow: 1.




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Start with a good list. Make sure you identify your prospect. If you don’t know who your prospects are, define your current customers by their industrial codes (SIC or NAICS), their annual revenue, number of employees, location, and title of the person you do business with. That’s your prospect universe. Find their email address. No one has answered a cold call since 2009. The automated attendant, voicemail, caller ID and Google all eliminate the need to answer the phone from a number you don’t know. No one answers the phone unless they know who is calling, and they actually want to talk to them. You must email. Don’t sell to them…yet. Yes, I said do not sell to them. Be gentle! These prospects have never met you before. Nurture them with carefully worded emails that help establish you as a trusted authority and subject expert in your marketplace, gently shaking your prospect’s electronic hand before you both agree to have a conversation. Your prospect gets to know you with

kind regularity, and by the time he or she is in the right amount of pain to need you, your email is in his or her inbox with exactly the information he or she needs to know to get relief. 4.



Track electronic behavior. It sounds like you’re stalking them, but you’re not. Really. Monitoring electronic behavior—when they open an email, click on links you provide, visit your website—provides insight into your prospect’s interest level, and lets you know who you should reach out to individually. That way, it’s not a cold call anymore. It’s a warm touch. See? That’s not weird. Reply to reponses. Prospects will respond to your emails, and it’s important that you respond when they do. Seems logical, but a vague response can get overlooked in the scheme of your day. Take time to answer a question, make the introduction, or suggest a time to talk. Link in. LinkedIn is the business gold standard for social media networking. Look up a warm prospect—someone who’s opened your email, visited your website, but not yet responded to an email—and send him/her a Linked In invitation. Be sure to change default invitation wording; it lets your prospect know that you’re a real person, with a real work history and a real job who’s interested in having a conversation. It’s the pump in an electronic handshake.


Call them. Now you can pick up the phone! They’ve been to your website, read your emails, accepted your LinkedIn invitation, but they haven’t responded to your invitation to talk. Believe it or not, there are still people in this world who don’t want to communicate by email, but who will respond to a phone call! It also serves as another warm touch that lets your prospect know that you’re serious about talking with him or her.

Here’s the hard part. You have to do these steps, or at least a combination of them every day. Yes. Read that again. Don’t be the salesperson who “cold calls” while doing laundry. It doesn’t work if you don’t work it.

ABOUT ERIKA CANNON As Executive Vice President of Rally Prospecting, Erika is responsible for the company’s day to day operations. Erika has a background in journalism, marketing and business development, all of which she uses to keep clients and the Rally team on track. Erika reported for a daily newspaper in rural South Carolina, and worked in community relations at an urban hospital system. She directed programs that provided leadership training for women in business and politics and was also owner of two companies that provided public and media relations support and business development to non-profits and small businesses.

LOOKING TO ADVERTISE? If you’re on this list, we’re sold out.


As the region’s only medium offering category exclusivity, our loyal partners have locked out their competitors in the following categories • Technical Colleges • Residential Real Estate • Law • Accounting • Health Insurance • Art Galleries

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WE will never be more than 30% ads. EVER. (Other mags? around 50%. or more.)

HERE You can lock out your competitors for as long as you hold the partnership. (Them? Nope.)

We’ll take your ad outside of just print into digital, web, social media, and event marketing—all in one contract. (Over there? Sure but you’ll pay extra.)

Oh. And one more thing. We have the largest targeted business distribution. (No driveways; just inboxes and desks.)

To lock out a new category or get on a waiting list for an existing category, give us a call today. (864) 281-1323 X. 1010 | INFO@INSIDEBLACKBOX.COM


Business Black Box Q2 2015


GSP Airport is currently developing the land surrounding the airport—a project with some huge opportunity for the Upstate economy.

Greenville Spartanburg Airport

has gotten a lot of attention lately—mostly due to its $120 million renovation in the past few years. Although the Wingspan renovation project has received the lion’s share of the press, there’s a much larger project already in the works—one that could continue to grow the area surrounding the airport, as well as the local economies in both Greenville and Spartanburg counties.


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Business Black Box Q2 2015

AN AIRPORT ECONOMY New car rentals. Dueling breweries at either gate. Dunkin’ Donuts. Glass walls, new baggage areas, and an entirely new North Wing. All of it necessary, important, and expected to boost the economic impact of an airport that already claims to generate $1.9 billion for the local economy. With more than 1.8 million passengers each year, and six major airlines, GSP International Airport is a crucial part of the Upstate economy. But outside of the aviation facilities, and a FedEx distribution facility that rounds out at about 120,000 square feet, you had seen the best of what the airport had to offer once you left the campus—whether that be flying out to Atlanta or driving on to I-85. Until they began looking beyond the runway. When Dave Edwards first stepped up as President and CEO of the airport in 2009, he did what anyone coming into that position might do—he took a step back and evaluated the direction, mission, vision and goals of the airport. “In our case, there was historically very much a decision made that the airport was not going to move into major development of airport property unless it was very specifically tied to the development of aviation related facilities,” Edwards says. “That was just a mindset over the years.” But in evaluating that mindset, Edwards saw something was missing. The airport, while profitable—even without drawing taxes from the local base—needed to stay competitive with other airports and to other airlines. In order to keep people using the airport, rather than travelling to North Carolina’s Charlotte Douglas International Airport, or Georgia’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, the rates had to stay low, as well. While many airports can achieve this through tax dollars or higher traffic numbers, GSP faced a challenge. “I felt, at the time, that we needed to redo the plan and re-validate things that we thought were valid, and maybe move in some new directions that we identified throughout the process,” he says. “But, we truly needed to develop some of this property because it would help us deliver some of those core services and the mission that we’re responsible for. “ So, in 2009, Edwards ordered a master land development study that would examine the area surrounding the airport—lands owned by the airport but not utilized in general aviation uses like runways, taxiways, cargo or terminals. The initial thought: that more than 2,500 acres of land could be used for outside development like office buildings, distribution facilities, commercial uses, and more. The draw to develop this land was twofold. Not only could it provide another revenue source for the airport, which would help keep GSP cost-competitive in the market, but it could also be a boon to the local economy.

This—the economic impact to the area—was tempting. “If we had the availability to bring development projects on to the airport that generate good paying jobs and a high number of jobs, and we have the property that is attractive to a development project, then we have somewhat of an obligation to try to help bring those developments to our community and thereby further improve the quality of life in the Upstate and the opportunities,” Edwards says.

PLANNING, INTERRUPTED It was during this planning time—the planning study hadn’t even been fully adopted yet—that GSP was approached by the South Carolina Ports Authority about a project in Greer. The Inland Port Project—a direct link between manufacturers in the Upstate and the Port of Charleston—needed about 60 to 70 acres of the airport’s land to develop the project the way they envisioned it. The project would provide manufacturers and distributors access to the Port of Charleston via direct rail link—speeding up a process that in previous years would mean logistical connections between trucking, rail and the port. For Edwards, that was just the sign he needed. “That happened to coincide very nicely with the fact that we were in a land use development planning study at the time,” he says. “We knew that that particular property, of which we owned about 350 acres of land in that area…that we had a desire to develop that as a logistics-type facility.” It also expanded the realm of possibilities; what was once thought of as air-to-ground logistics took on a whole new life as a facility that could, potentially, mean that air, ground, rail and sea were all available to manufacturers in the Southeast, through a project on airport land. But what the port project also did was get the development project—now called GSP 360—into working order. “If the inland port project had not come along when it did, we would probably still be in the throes of going through some more planning and design—specifically about moving forward with certain tracts,” Edwards states. “I think that [the Inland Port] project was really an impetus for us to get a jumpstart on GSP 360.” But the impetus didn’t stop with the Inland Port. Not long after the Inland Port project began, GSP inked a deal with Illinoisbased Centerpoint for space for BMW’s new export warehouse, which would expand over two phases of development. Its location? Right beside the Inland Port.


The official groundbreaking of GSP International Airport was all the way back in 1961. It occurred at 11 a.m. on July 7th.


Business Black Box Q2 2015

INSIDE GSP 360 The space that comprises GSP 360 is varied. It consists of 2,578 acres, and most of the land is in Spartanburg, although there are two segments of land with space in Greenville County. The land, as a whole, is divided into nine separate tracts, each with a different size and usage recommendation. For example, Tract “G”— 250 acres that fronts I-85 and Brockman-McClimon Road—is prime location for retail, hospitality and commercial uses. Meanwhile, Tract “C” boasts 112 acres and was determined—no doubt based on its proximity to the airport campus itself—to be best used in aviation and aviation support. Each project on these tracts would be available only through long-term leases, which would protect the airport eventual control over the land, and therefore, of the airport’s own growth. “That’s pretty typical for airports,” Edwards notes. “They buy it so they can control it, and the best way to do that is to retain ownership of it.” In the book Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next, authors John Kasarda and Greg Lindsay examine the boom of airport-centric communities. Where the airport once sat outside major cities, they have continued to draw more and more aviation business to them. More and more, you’ll see commercial properties, hotels and restaurants and even residential communities sprouting up near these new urban centers. Although it seems a long way off for GSP to become its own aerotropolis—to rival those in South Korea (Songdo International) or Washington D.C. (Dulles) or Texas (Dallas-Fort Worth and surrounding Las Colinas)—the truth is that it may not be very far off, at all.

SITE WISE While it seems that the airport serves to gain much from the development of its surrounding lands, the reality is that the benefit spans far beyond the campus of GSP, and even beyond the companies who already call that area home. For one thing, economic recruitment efforts, and the recruitment of companies to the area, may see a boost with the addition of the new inventory.


entities who need vast amounts of space. Those parcels—called “megasites”—typically comprise areas of high development for the purpose of promoting business clusters in a region. “The megasite is important to have in the region,” he says. “It’s difficult in Greenville county, as urbanized as we are, to put together a 1,500-acre parcel property. Although it’s not impossible, it would require different land owners coming together to do that.” Although he adds that “Megasites are rare, and you really only have a couple of those kinds of projects a year that might be looking in South Carolina,” the reality is that the availability of this kind of property could be a big tilt in the scales, if it came down to the Upstate versus another region. The other selling point is, of course, the proximity to the Inland Port, which is a huge draw for manufacturing and distribution companies. “There are 95 Million people within an hour drive of inland port facility, so when you’re talking about trucking and bringing goods and services in from a large area of the southeast and that helps the companies utilizing the port,” says John Lummus, President and CEO of Upstate Alliance. While Upstate Alliance typically focuses in the five target markets of automotive, aerospace, advanced materials, bioscience, and energy, one area that they tend to deal with a lot is logistics—making the area surrounding GSP a huge asset. In fact, he says, in recruiting efforts, the port often comes up as part of the discussion…”a lot.” “From my perspective, yes, that is going to be a very valuable area for future economic development in the Upstate, because it’s near the inland port,” Lummus says. “The way we see it in the big picture is that the inland port is a great economic development asset for the Upstate—both for our existing companies that are utilizing that facility to get their goods in and out more quickly and easier, and also for the attraction that it gives other companies that want to locate here and have access to the port.”

A HUGE IMPACT In the end, the area is sure to grow—and grow quickly—but if there are any guesses as to its projected economic impact, each is as good as another.

“Our inventory of serviceable sites is limited in Greenville,” says Mark Farris, President and CEO of Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC). “We struggle to find larger parcels, especially that are in proximity to the interstate, have water and sewer, and have good transportation access. Anything that we can add to our inventory would be a real advantage for us moving forward.”

“What is the impact of a 150 room hotel? What is the impact of a large office building? What’s difficult is that those are much different and must be done on a case by case basis,” says Edwards of projecting the economic potential of the land in GSP 360. “What we like is that the Upstate is very business and manufacturing driven...we have a more holistic approach to how we approach aviation services and what we need to be paying attention to.”

What’s more, Farris says, is that the land that GSP 360 offers is available in large parcels, creating a larger opportunity for larger

And while GSP continues to look at each tract of land to be developed, the key is that there’s no rush…and no timeline.

Business Black Box Q2 2015

“We’re not rushing into anything,” says Edwards of the project. “That’s the key here. It’s not about developing all the property as quickly as you can. We can take our time; we’ve had this property for a long time and it’s not going anywhere. We can make sure it’s the right type of development, not only for us— because it’s important for the airport that it’s compatible—but also that it is compatible for the community.”


Business Black Box Q2 2015

What’s a passenger really worth?


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Planes and runways and terminals and air traffic—it’s easy to see that our local airport is growing, but what is it really doing? If you’ve ever wondered about the economic impact of Greenville Spartanburg International Airport (or even if you haven’t), scan this page to watch a quick video that will ease your curious mind.


Frontage on Hwy 101 and J. Verne Smtih Parkway • 746 acres • Best Use: Industrial


Frontage on J. Verne Smith Parkway and direct access to Inland Port • 315 acres • Best Use: Logistics and Distribution


Runway frontage along the northwestern side of the runway • 112 acres • Best Use: Aviation and Aviation Support


Adjacent to Hwy 14, J. Verne Smith Parkway, and the northwestern side of the runway • 229 acres • Best Use: Industrial or Service


A showcase tract, adjacent to I-85 from main airport entrance to GSP Drive • 156 acres • Flex/Research and Development


Excellent topography, frontage along the east side of the GSP Runway • 82 acres • Best Use: Aviation and Aviation Support


High visibility from I-85, this is the corner of I-85 and BrockmanMcClimon Rd • 250 acres • Best Use: Inudstrial, Retail or Hospitality Between Aviation Drive and Hwy 101, this tract is designated for future runway expansion • 619 acres • Best Use: Recreation/Public Frontage along GSP runway and proximity to existing aviation facilities • 69 acres • Best Use: Aviation and Aviation Support


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by Michael Bolick CEO SELAH GENOMICS

THE BUCK STOPS HERE “You know, it’s easy for the Monday morning quarterback to say what the coach should have done, after the game is over. But when the decision is up before you—and on my desk I have a motto which says ‘The Buck Stops Here’—the decision has to be made.” —President Harry S. Truman, in an address at the National War College on December 19, 1952

The buck always stops with the entrepreneur. Decisions have to be made right out of the block. And there is nowhere to hide when the earliest decisions of an entrepreneur can significantly impact the endgame value of a startup. Accordingly, a wise entrepreneur will seek the counsel of an abundance of advisors, including topnotch legal counsel. Fortunately, our community is now blessed with several legal firms that specialize in supporting the entrepreneurial journey. Warning: if in your first call with an attorney you hear the billing clock immediately start ticking, you are probably talking to the wrong firm. Having said this, even the best of these folks can seem expensive in the early days of a company when the entrepreneur is not even taking a paycheck. Engaging outstanding corporate counsel early in the process is one of the most important investments you can make in your business, equipping you to make better, more informed foundational decisions. Not convinced? Let’s imagine you must decide which business structure offers the best liability protection to you as an owner of the company. LLC, S-Corporation or C-Corporation—each has merit or can be inappropriate depending on the situation.


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You must run your corporation like the distinct entity that it is. An uninformed decision or a subsequent lack of discipline in following through with responsibilities related to a particular structure could result in a legal piercing of your corporate veil. When this happens, a court ignores the limited liability status of a corporation or LLC and can hold you personally liable for debts or other obligations of the company. Not a good day when that happens. Are you planning to start the business with another hardy soul? How will you divide ownership stake or voting rights? Imagine your business is humming along nicely when one of the co-founders wants to stop working so many hours, retire, sell shares to someone else, goes through a nasty divorce, or passes away. You could end up in business with the divorced spouse of a cofounder who has an agenda diametrically opposed to yours, or worse. This risk can be mitigated with a buy-sell agreement. A buysell acts as a sort of “premarital agreement” and will protect everyone’s interests, setting the price and terms for a buyout. Every day that value is added to a business without a plan for future transition, it increases the owners’ financial risk. Are you planning to start a growth mode business that you expect will need several tranches of capital? You don’t want to raise too much capital at too low a pre-money value or you will dilute the folks who are pulling hardest on the rope—the founding shareholders. If you convince folks to invest at too high a pre-money value, you run the risk of having to explain or endure a “haircut” on the next round for all of the

existing investors. While the landscape is shifting with the emergence of crowd funding and other non-traditional forms of funding or investment, many situations will call for a private placement memorandum in which you disclose risk and explain use of funds. Your legal advisor can help you better understand the pros and cons of all the decisions you must make along this path. Feel free to contact me, one of the other entrepreneurs (or staff members) at NEXT. We can help you engage the local legal counsel you need to be a good steward of your decisions as an entrepreneur.

ABOUT MICHAEL BOLICK Michael Bolick attended his first InnoVenture conference in March 2006, and was so inspired by a presentation on carbon-based quantum dots that a few months later he licensed the nanotechnology and founded Selah Technologies to develop a tool to help doctors see cancer during surgery. In 2009, Michael sold Selah Technologies to Lab21, and in 2012, led a management buyout of Lab21’s U.S. operations to form Selah Genomics. In 2014, EKF Diagnostics acquired Selah Genomics and retained Michael in his current role as CEO. Bolick remains involved with the community, co-Founding and serving as Chairman of SC BIO, serving as an chairman for the Greenville Chamber’s NEXT initiative, as well as for USC’s NanoCenter.




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Photo by Carter Tippins/FishEye Studios



A star athlete with every college at his fingertips, Dominick Ferraro’s life changed due to a devastating injury. Now, using his own experiences, he created College Select to help those with the increasingly difficult process of finding and applying to colleges and getting scholarships.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dominick Ferraro had a tumultuous childhood. By age six, Ferraro and his brother were put into the care of his grandmother and an aunt. At the age of 10, his grandmother tragically passed away, and Ferraro and his brother went to live with another aunt and uncle. In high school, he distinguished himself as not only a good student, but an incredibly gifted athlete—excelling at football, baseball, basketball and track. By his senior year, Ferraro had colleges begging him to enroll and play football—a boon to a kid who might not otherwise make it to college. However, an injury during a football game soon left him with a broken ankle. “I just remember trying to stand and falling back down,” Ferraro remembers. “At that moment I cried—not because of the pain, but because I knew it was all over when my quarterback said ‘Stay still, and do not look down.’” Even after surgery, Ferraro was unable to play at the level he used to, and after graduating high school, he began hopping from place to place, and attending technical school for computer science. In April 2001, with his own background as inspiration, Ferraro’s life turned around. He met his wife, reconnected with his father, graduated from college and eventually started working in IT. But he always remembered the struggles he went through simply to get into college and get an education.


According to, high school grads left over $2.9 billion in scholarships in free federal grant money just laying on the table.

“My biggest problem was not having that guidance at school or that supporting cast at home,” he says. Struggling through the college admissions process is difficult for any student, but without support it was even harder. But it was during this time that Ferraro developed an idea—an idea that could transform the process of finding financial aid and selecting a college, and make college enrollment an easier and more streamlined process. At the age of 25, Ferraro started College Select. The goal was to be an easy to use, comprehensive solution for every student and family in the college application process. From taking a student’s interests and matching them with the right schools to guiding parents through finding financial aid and FAFSA, College Select takes a frustrating and often expensive step and makes it easier. “I was giving parents advice on completing the FAFSA application for financial aid and this continued for the next couple of years,” he says. “Now we have provided mom and dad with that ownership and the system does a lot of the work.” According to Ferraro, a lot of parents tend to take the first option that comes through the door and end up going into a lot of needless debt in addition to limiting their searches to only local schools and missing out on potential scholarships.

says. In addition, most college students don’t get everything that is available to them, due to either not knowing the potential or frustration in dealing with a very confusing system. Yet with College Select, it’s as easy as a mouse click to send out an application to every college that fits selected preferences— in addition to locating every scholarship a student is qualified for. “Seventy-one percent of the country is in some sort of student loan debt,” Ferraro notes. However, College Select averages “over $20,000 a year in scholarships.” That financial benefit alone is enough to make investors take a second look. Unsurprisingly, that’s exactly what happened. College Select’s success caught the attention of Arizona State University and Global Silicon Valley Advisors. This April, Ferraro will be a presenting CEO at their sixth annual ASU-GSV Summit, which honors innovators across every sector including education. College Select itself is being touted as “driving scaled innovation in the Knowledge Economy landscape.” With the success that College Select has had thus far, Ferraro’s next steps are to start getting it incorporated into more and more schools in the state. “The end-all goal is to have every student in high school to be on the system,” said Dominick, “I would eventually like to see this as a mandated process around the country.”

“When you reach out to those seven or eight local schools you miss the other 7,489,” he


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BRANDING 101: YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR LOGO While there are a ton of great companies in the Upstate, there are far fewer recognizable brands. Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business—large or small, retail or B2B. But what exactly does “branding” mean, and how does it affect your business? Your brand tells your potential and current buyers what they can expect from you: Are you the leader in innovation of your industry, or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? And one quick note: your logo is the foundation of your brand, but it is not everything. Your website, packaging, brochures, sales presentation—all should be based on your logo and communicate your brand promise to the customer. Brand Strategy & Equity Your Brand Strategy is the How, What, Where, When and to Whom you plan on communicating and delivering your brand messages. Where you advertise is part of your brand strategy. How much, or how little, you advertise is part of your overall strategy. And what you communicate visually and verbally are part of your brand strategy, too. Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity, which means the added value brought to your company’s products or services that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded products can command. The most obvious example of this is Coke vs. a


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generic soda. Because Coca-Cola has built a powerful brand equity, it can charge more for its product—and customers will pay that higher price. Defining Your Brand Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming, uncomfortable, and it requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below: •

What is your company’s mission?

What are the benefits and features of your products or services?

What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?

What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?

Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers, and don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think. Once you’ve defined your brand, how do you get the word out? Here are a few simple, time-tested tips: Get a great logo.  Please, do not try this at home. Incorporate your brand into everything.  Yes, everything.  A great brand extends to every aspect of your business from how you answer the phone to what your salespeople wear on the job site. Inevitably, your culture will overtime reflect your brand.

Create a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and integrated into the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it highend? Be more formal. Develop a 15 to 30 second commercial (Elevator Pitch).  Write a repeatable and meaningful statement that articulates the essence of your brand. Create a brand standard for your marketing materials.  Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t have to be fancy, just consistent. Be true to your brand.  Customers won’t return to you—or refer you to someone else—if you don’t deliver the promise you made with your brand perception. Be consistent.  I placed this point last only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.

ABOUT DANIEL LOVELACE Former Pastor and part-time alligator farmer (ask him!), Daniel combines a passion for helping other with all the tenacity befitting an All-American Defensive End. A native of Chester, S.C., Daniel now helps companies and organizations develop marketing plans to grow and fulfill their dreams. Daniel currently serves as Agency Director at ShowCase Marketing, doing what he does best: helping a dynamic, diverse client base move the needle and increase sales.


924 South Main Street | Greenville, SC 29601 | 864.235.5770 |



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Website accessibility has long proven a beneficial business practice, but is now becoming a potential legal liability for non-compliant companies.

Over the last several decades, the word “accessible” has gradually taken on a new meaning. It used to refer to being in a convenient location, such as a business being located right off the interstate. But because of a legislative push tracing back to the 1960s, “accessibility” has become synonymous with giving people with disabilities equal access to public places. Even websites.


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Some History With the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, many in the disabled community saw an opportunity to unite with other minorities who were fighting for equal rights. By the 1970s, advocates for people with disabilities were lobbying and marching, demanding that civil rights language be included with the upcoming Rehabilitation Act. Finally, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was passed, and under Section 504, it was prohibited to discriminate against people with physical and mental disabilities, giving them equal opportunity in terms of employment, in addition to access to public services. From there, the fight for accessibility began spreading to every sector. As an example, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 was passed giving equal opportunity to students with disabilities in public education. Legislation prohibiting discrimination against those with disabilities was either tacked on as part of other broader legislation or was extremely focused, as was the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. This all changed on July 26, 1990, when the Americans with Disabilities Act—the ADA—was signed into law. According to, “The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.” With the ADA’s passing, places defined by the law began forming departments to oversee making their stores and restaurants easily accessible. These early departments were usually defined under maintenance since at the time, accessibility was more construction-based, like ramps and electronic doors. It wasn’t until 1998, when the Rehabilitation Act was amended with Section 508, that you saw accessibility legislation being applied to anything electronic. According to, “Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, open new opportunities for people with disabilities, and encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology.” Then, in the mid 2000s, lawsuits began appearing against companies whose websites weren’t setup to be easily accessible to those with disabilities. And the crux of these lawsuits was Title III of the ADA. According to, “The Title III regulation covers — Public accommodations (i.e., private entities that own,


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operate, lease, or lease to places of public accommodation), commercial facilities, and private entities that offer certain examinations and courses related to educational and occupational certification.” The most impactful of these suits was in 2006. National Federation of the Blind and Bruce Sexton v. Target was filed under Title III of the ADA claiming that Target’s website fell under a “place of public accommodation,” because of its connection with an actual “brick and mortar” location. The website was found to be inaccessible to blind users who wished to look up products, purchase, look for employment information and other services. Target settled in 2008, claiming no wrongdoing, yet they brought their website into compliance. In addition, they paid $90,000 for the first year of monitoring of the site, with $40,000 a year for two more years. Since then, more than 30 lawsuits have been filed against big companies, all under Title III: Bath & Body Works, Express, Office Depot, and American Eagle, among others, all were targeted at some point. As a result, companies found to be non-accessible have the potential to be hit with penalties reaching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. But even more recently, controversy is surrounding a decision by a judge in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, ruling that Netflix (an operation without brick-and-mortar locations) also falls under Title III of the ADA as a “place of public accommodation.” While currently still being disputed and discussed, this case has huge potential to make waves as more and more businesses are not necessarily “brick and mortars” with websites, but online only. While there currently are no hard and fast legal standards handed down by the Department of Justice itself, there are several organizations offering general guidelines to help companies begin looking at their websites and help determine if they are in compliance or are in violation.

Making the Web “Accessible” The Web Accessibility Initiative has put forth well-respected guidelines that even the DOJ refers to and when they do hand down official regulations, they will more than likely be built upon the Initiative’s work. According to, “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of proving a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.”

“I use internet everyday,” says Chris Jeter, former president of the National Federation of the Blind South Carolina, “There have been a few websites I have trouble with.” Jeter, who was born totally blind in right eye and has functional vision in his left, utilizes zooming software and screen readers to help him navigate sites. He says that one of the biggest issues he has are CAPTCHAs—the small verbal or numerical cues at the end of an online form, that help determine humans from robots. Unfortunately, it’s the people with disabilities, by and large, who assume a lot of the burden for being able to utilize websites, such as purchasing necessary hardware and expensive softwares. For this reason, many with disabilities are years behind in technology usage, due to a lack of accessibility. Using banking as an example, “If you stop today doing [everything online] and went to the bank and walk in personally like 10 years ago, that’s where they are,” says Luke Niemela, chief marketing officer at PromotionPod, a company that partners with AudioEye, which has created an innovative screen reading technology that automatically makes websites audible. Niemela adds, “That’s not equal access and it’s not treating folks equally at all.” While companies creating accessible websites can be considered ethically right, operating an accessible website also has huge business benefits. According to 2010 data from, 56.7 million people in the USA have a disability. That accounts for roughly 19 percent of the population—or, every one in five Americans. “Accessibility isn’t just for people with disabilities, it’s just good business,” says Sharon Bellwood, director of Student Disability Services at Greenville Tech. According to Bellwood, a spillover affect also occurs from making things more accessible. She uses Home Depot as an example. When they got rid of stairs at their stores, not only were people with mobility challenges able to get around better, but the company’s worker’s compensation claims decreased as a result of fewer accidents.

“ Accessibility isn’t just for people with disabilities. It’s just good business.

” — Sharon Bellwood

Likewise, individual states can benefit from being some of the first to step up to the plate and really innovate technology and website accessibility. “The leaders in thought, innovation and commerce are the ones who do it first,” says Niemela, “I think that South Carolina as a state has a tremendous opportunity—not only in tourism and notoriety—but that the end of the day you can put your head on your pillow and say you are proud to be a part of it.” But, as is the case with any transformative movement, some industries are becoming bigger thought leaders in this area than others.


Monetary benefits due to charges filed under the ADA equalled $95.6 million in 2014.


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In a sector highly dependent on internet access, Greenville Tech has been leading the charge in creating an accessible and welcoming environment for students—especially those with disabilities. In fact, the technical college formed an entire department for students with disabilities, and continues to look for ways in which they can assist in their learning—from tutoring and coaching to utilizing technology to help bridge gaps.

Eight years ago, I was filling 75 to 80 complaints a month. Last month I got three calls, and two were thank yous.

” — Sharon Bellwood

“Greenville Tech has been very forward-thinking in terms of its real estate,” says Bellwood. But don’t get it wrong—the decision is as much about the bottom line as it is the student’s education. “It’s about business, because even though we have regulations, if we don’t bring in students we don’t have a school.” At 13 percent, Greenville Tech is well above the average (which is around seven to nine percent) in terms of their students with disabilities population. Bellwood attributes that to the proactive attitude the school has taken in not only providing services for disabled students, but in being welcoming to all who have disabilities who may interact with Tech. Ever since adding a clause on their website that directs those with accessibility problems to Bellwood’s department, they have been busy making sure every inch of their website is easily accessible. The hard work has paid off. “Eight years ago, I was filling 75 to 80 complaints a month. Last month I got three calls, and two were thank yous,” she says. But Greenville Tech didn’t stop there. They also formed a website accessibility review team, headed up by Cindy Davies, the Dean of Academic Advancement & Support at Greenville Tech. Each year the team reviews the website, established policies and procedures, and also offers training. In addition to self-policing, they also research and talk to outside vendors making sure their products are accessible and that accessibility is on their radar. “We want to make sure that our stakeholders are aware of what web accessibility means,” says Davies. Still, she says,the initial challenge of the effort was finding just where to begin. “We started with an inventory of computer programs, just trying to get a handle on what people use everyday,” she says. From there, their IT department would run scans on each URL while Student Disability Services would go through and manually check high-traffic site areas. But while Greenville Tech is a model of web accessibility in the educational realm, they realize that there has to be consistent review, upkeep and improvement. For Davies, each year is an opportunity to be better than the year before. “We are hoping to show improvement every year with these internal reviews,” she says.


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Elsewhere in the state, Clemson and USC both have initiatives in place in terms of website accessibility and services for students with disabilities.

While legislation can be handed down, it says something more for a company to lead the charge and become accessible without being legislated to do so.

According to, “Creative Services, along with CCIT and the University legal counsel, will oversee Section 508 compliancy and offer assistance across campus as needed. The University’s Web content management system, Cascade, offers some built-in compliancy features.”

“We see today that companies that are honest get the most positive social feedback from consumers,” says Niemela.

At USC, they have an entire department similar to Greenville Tech’s, also called Student Disability Services; they provide similar assistive service.Their website also offers several helpful link and guides for those looking for “how to’s” in terms of making websites and other technologies accessible.

Big Benefits

And while the business side is a worthwhile investment, being able to get the public to see the challenges those with disabilities face can only help lead to widespread change, just like it did with electronic doors and handicapped parking. “What we are trying to do is get people to ask the question,” says Bellwood.“They ask the question and that is progress.” Davies agrees. “A lot of us now take it for granted that there is a handicapped space or ramp,” she says. “I’m hoping website accessibility will be like that—just expected.”

It is estimated that more than 50 million people can benefit from increased website accessibility and that number will continue to climb as aging Baby Boomers find themselves using more and more assistive technology. “The return on investment is there if companies are willing to do it,” says Niemela. But where should a company start? “The best thing you can do is put a ‘save-your-butt’ clause out there,” says Bellwood. Using that can connect you with disabled users of your site and they can help show where your weaknesses are and what can be done to remedy it. Once you’ve done that, start with including ALT Tags on all pictures to assist screen readers. ALT tags are invisible tags programmed into the digital images that give precise descriptions of the picture for visually-impaired users. While you don’t need to translate every piece and part of your website into ALT text, you will want to make sure you spell out any critical information or graphics for your disabled customers. Also, keep in mind that when it comes to websites, “disability” doesn’t equal “blindness,” although much of the conversation is focused there. Those who are hearing disabled, the blind, and even those on the autism spectrum may need the flexibility that a fully accessible site provides. For those with hearing disabilities, be sure to provide captions for all audio content. Also, shy away from bright and flashing colors as they can distract those with autism or cause seizures in those with Epilepsy. Extending from that, manual testing your own sites is a tried and true method.

Check your own site (or anyone else’s!) The Bureau of Internet Accessibility offers “website accessibility testing.” It’s as easy as plugging in your URL and you will be graded on how accessible your site is.

“What’s the best way to test? Using people who have to use screen readers and who have a disability,” says Niemela.


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To call 3D printing a disruptive technology is an understatement. Never before have we been able to produce individualized, customizable parts for such a low cost and on such a massive scale. Never before could we create precise geometries that are not possible with other manufacturing methods. Even more, the customization available in 3D printing leads to further successful consumer products. Take Invisalign, the invisible braces, as an example. Align Technology, the maker of Invisalign, has produced more than 2.7 million units—with each part unique to the user. Without 3D printing, this product would be cost prohibitive. By reducing the time between the design and the manufacturing, as well as having a low cost, 3D printing is the wave of the future. In 2013, Boeing reported that it had produced more than 20,000 parts used for various commercial and military aircraft, simply by using 3D printing. The Dreamliner, where South Carolina is one of two final assembly and delivery points, includes about 30 3D-printed parts. Simply put, 3D printing is not just for rapid prototyping, but also for serious design and manufacturing. However, with each disruptive technology comes friction with the law and legal rights—especially with intellectual property. Copyright protects movies, music, art, articles, photos and the like and protects the creator or author from someone “copying” their work. 3D printing allows for the “copying” or reproduction of a three-dimensional structure. Therefore, there has been a tendency to use copyrights to prevent or control the ability to copy and reproduce 3D shapes. But it is not that clear, especially when we include patent rights and trademark/service mark rights. For example, a new and originally created abstract sculpture would be protected by copyrights while a

new car part could be patent protected. Generally, an object includes functional and artistic elements; the copyright would only protect the artistic feature by “severing” them from the functional aspects. In the case of Carol Barnhart Inc. v. Econ. Cover Corp., a mannequin for displaying shirts was at issue. The creator sculpted the original design from clay, which was then use to make store display models. Because the principal function of the mannequins was to display shirts—a utilitarian function—the court did not find that the aesthetic features of the design should be afforded copyright protection. In this line, the wavy form of a bike rack was also found to be too utilitarian to be afforded copyright protection, even though it originated as a wire sculpture. Brandir Int’l, Inc. v. Cascade Pac. Lumber Co. Additionally, the ramifications of having copyright protection include the application of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which allows for a copyright owner to have material “taken down” from websites that the copyright owner believes are infringing. To further complicate matters, the 3D printing process itself creates friction between the law and technology. First, there is the original part. This has what intellectual property protection can be afforded it, based upon the type and use of the article. To reproduce the part, the next step would be to create a design file from the part. This design file, a computer file or model, can be created by using the dimensions of the original object and “reverse engineering” the design file (CAD file) or by directly scanning the object using what is effectively a 3D copying machine (3D scan). Copyright protection can be afforded to the creator of the design file that is separate from the IP protection in the original object. Then there is the reproduced object from the design file itself. In essence, multiple layers of possible protection create a world of possibility—but also potential confusion.

ABOUT DOUG KIM: Doug Kim, a physics major and former computer programmer, likes to maintain a close relationship with both up-and-coming technology, as well as the history of its predecessors. Kim is also the head of the Intellectual Property Group of McNair Law Firm and current Chairman of the InnoVision Awards.


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Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution—also known as the Copyright Clause—the Congress of the United States is empowered to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries (the Copyright Clause).


South Carolina passes the first state patent law: “An Act for the Encouragement of Arts and Sciences.” This law generally protected copyrights but did state, “The Inventors of useful machines shall have a like exclusive privilege of making or vending their machines for the like term of 14 years, under the same privileges and restrictions hereby granted to, and imposed on, the authors of books.”


The Copyright Act of 1790 is the first federal copyright act to be instituted in the United States; “offenders shall also forfeit and pay the sum of fifty cents for every sheet which shall be found in his or her possession…” Additionally, the Patent Act of 1790 becomes the first federal patent statute of the United States; it protected inventions that were inventions “not before known or used” and “sufficiently useful and important.” Both of these acts preempt state law.


John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford Berry invent the first electronic computer at Iowa State University and apply for a patent for it in 1939. The distraction of World War II causes the inventors to abandon the application.


Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly patent ENIAC, which they claim to be the first digital computer patent. This patent is held invalid by the U.S. Federal Court in 1973 on the grounds that ENIAC was derived from the design of Atanasoff and Berry.


1984 -1988

South Carolina native Dr. Charles Townes receives the Nobel Peace Prize for his development of the laser, a critical component to model 3D printing.

The US Federal Circuit decides in State Street Bank and Trust Co. v. Signature Financial Group, Inc., holding that software programs that transform data are patentable subject matter. This case is regarded as having opened the flood gates to computer patents—especially method patents.


A 3D-printed scaffolding is used as a substrate on which cells from a medical patient are grown. The resulting structure is implanted into a patient for urinary bladder augmentation.


Dr. Adrian Bowyer at University of Bath founds RepRap which builds a 3D printer using parts printed with the 3D printer.


A technology breakthrough with selective laser sintering (SLS) occurs, allowing for the mass customization and ondemand manufacturing of parts. This innovation changes the landscape of 3D printing and its application.



LayerWise prints a lower jaw bone that is implanted into a patient.

2013 -2014

HBO sends a cease and desist letter to stop CAD files of the “Iron Throne” from Game of Thrones from being downloaded to 3D printing hobbyists. Soon after, the U.S. State Department demands that Defense Distributed take down its 3D CAD design for the AR-15 component—the company’s first fully-3D printable rifle. Many key U.S. Patents owned by 3D Systems, Stratasys, Jerry Zucker, USC and DTM Corp expire. These expirations open the path to using CAD systems, dispensing material through a nozzle based upon the CAD design and filling the void with a second material—stereolithography.


The first stereolithographic (SLA) machine is manufactured by 3D Systems. An ultraviolet laser is used to solidify photopolymers into ridged 3D parts.


In In re Beauregard, the Federal Circuit provides that software is classified as patentable subject matter, as an article of manufacture.


Solid State Laser allows for the reformulation of 3D printing materials.


3D Systems, Inc. receives Patent No. 5,597,520—one of the principal patents that covers 3D printing.

In February, Ulrich Schwanitz sends a cease and desist to Shapeways to take down his 3D Penrose Triangle design. This is believed to be the first assertion of copyrights (DMCA) against a website that hosts 3D designs. Schwanitz ultimately succumbs to public pressure and makes his design public domain. The year would also see the world’s first 3D printed aircraft (model) and car, in addition to new materials hitting the scene, including 14 karat gold and sterling silver as 3D printing material. Jewelry design will never be the same.

Charles Hull, co-founder of 3D Systems, invents Stereolithography—the process of 3D printing that allows 3D objects to be created from digital files. 3D Systems, Inc. files a slew of patent applications directed to “enhanced data manipulation and lithographic techniques to production of three-dimensional objects, whereby such objects can be formed more rapidly, reliably, accurately and economically.”



Katy Perry’s lawyers demand takedown of 3D printable Super Bowl star “Left Shark.” The purportedly infringing 3D design, ironically, was created by Sosa, the same creator of the 3D printed Iron Throne iPhone holder. Meanwhile, two major U.S. Patents expire: No. 5,733,497 “Selective Laser Sintering with Composite Plastic Material” (which provides the method for producing a 3D object by fusing powder materials), and No. 5,762,856 “Method for Production of Three-Dimensional Objects by Stereolithography” (which provides a method of producing a 3D object from a material that is capable of solidifying upon exposure to radiation or synergistic stimulation).


As predicted by Luca Escoffier, every household in American will have a 3D printing machine.


Business Black Box Q2 2015



WHY TECH MATTERS TODAY A friend recently asked, “if you could choose to be born into any time period in history, what would it be?” The group of people within earshot chose the American Revolution, the California Gold Rush, the discovery of the new world and the fall of Rome—among other historical periods. My choice was simple: I’d choose today. As individuals living in the U.S. today, we have the most opportunities to make an impact of any point in history, and technology is the engine behind that opportunity. Some say technology has reached its peak and the bubble’s pop is coming soon. But they are missing the importance that technology has now, versus 2001. Let’s look at several examples of how technology is changing the world we live in for the better: Medical research: Breakthroughs in medical research are speeding up thanks to technologies like DNA sequencing, personalized medicine, electronic health records, and the newly released Apple Research Kit. Entertainment: Aside from softer seating and HD pictures, the movie theater experience has not changed. Yet ticket prices have increased dramatically. Enter Netflix, a technology company allowing you to watch on-demand HD movies and TV shows at home. You can now have a three-month subscription to unlimited content on Netflix for the price of one date night at the movies.


Business Black Box Q2 2015

Travel: Tech companies like Airbnb now book more rooms globally than Hilton Hotels. Google self-driving cars are already on the roads in several states, and Uber is making sure consumers are comfortable adopting the on-demand transportation that comes with autonomous vehicles. Maps: Printing out directions from MapQuest was cumbersome, yet better than a storing paper maps in our cars. Now Google Maps gives us a detailed map and the most efficient directions for any road trip across town or cross-country—in an app on our phones. Media Consumption: Like many of my peers, nearly 100 percent of my media consumption comes via online technology. Tools like iPads, iPhones, Apple TV, Amazon Kindles and laptops have become the new Swiss Army knife for life in 2015. Health and Wellness: FitBits help us track our personal physical activity data in real time, apps like Glow help mothers plan for a healthy maternity, and online programs like Sworkit give people a free personal trainer in their own house. The great thing about technology today is that value can be—and is being—built on top of other technologies. You need not create the next internet protocol, the next Facebook social network, a new Fitbit device, an Apple iPhone or Nintendo gaming system. You can build on top of already existing products, as many local startup companies are doing already.

A few to note: • Arkiver lets you upload pictures from your iPhone and have them shipped directly to a Walgreens printer. • Recovr offers stroke survivors virtual therapy at home— distributed via a Microsoft Kinect gaming console. • MoonClerk enables any business to accept recurring online payments in minutes using Stripe, an online payment service. • Chartspan gives families control of their medical records on an iPhone • The Graphic Cow Company designs and prints on apparel that is made by other brands When people say that the golden age of tech has passed, I do not envy their glassis-half-empty views. Think through the positive influence technology has had on modern life and imagine how much further we have to go in the development as well as distribution of technology. Thanks to technology we live in the age of opportunity, and many more opportunities exist—we just have to create them. There is no greater time than today.

ABOUT MARTY BAUER Marty is a two-time Greenville transplant. He is the co-founder of RidePost, a transportation software company, and the Managing Director of The Iron Yard Accelerator Programs. Connect with him on Twitter at @bauermarty.






Business Black Box Q2 2015



What was your first job? While in college during summer break, I worked as a liaison with a funded agency, working with low-income children and their families (similar to Head Start). What are some of the skills you developed early on that you’ve found to be beneficial or essential to your practices now? I’ve been fortunate as a military spouse to live in many different communities, to meet people of different cultures and backgrounds, and to hone my communication skills. I enjoy speaking with, listening to, and learning from all of the people I meet and have met. I also have a strong work ethic, a “can-do” attitude, patience and perseverance.


What are some strategies you use to keep yourself in check?


What vision do you promote for your community, and how do you get others to buy into or tap into that vision?


One of my favorite hobbies is cooking; it is a rewarding and fulfilling hobby, especially when I entertain friends and family. Their expressions of enjoyment from my cooking give me great satisfaction.


I have established a specific routine, I’m very disciplined when it comes to maintaining a regular exercise program and studying the Bible.

What’s your most difficult responsibility, and how do you deal with it? As a community activist, I am primarily concerned about maintaining my drive and abilities to keep community residents motivated and focused on pursuing excellence in our community. I deal with this by building relationships, sharing information, and partnering with City officials and community stakeholders.




What was your biggest failure as a professional and how did you recover? I do not recall any significant failures; however, one of my biggest challenges was learning new technologies. For instance, when my real estate broker established a paperless office, I had to learn how to use a computer. This was very difficult for me, but I applied myself and overcame the challenge by taking computer classes, and I continue to work on improving my computer skills.


So you want to be more politically active, but don’t know how? Check out for locally-tailored information, non-partisian information and more to get started.

You were elected by Nikki Haley to serve on the Voter Registration and Election Commission board in Spartanburg. What are your challenges or opportunities when it comes to this position? My challenge is to get a greater number of people out to vote, and I have the opportunity to do all I can do to make sure people get out to vote. The Board of Voter Registration and Election is there to ensure that the voting and election process is conducted properly. Being on the board also allows me to work with other board members to uphold the integrity of the voting process.

What do you struggle with? Often people will tell me what a wonderful job I am doing or how smart I am and give me a lot of credit for the work I have done, but this praise sometimes bothers me. I find it difficult to accept accolades because I view myself as a very humble and giving person.

What do you see as your biggest success so far? (in life? In career? In community?) My biggest success so far in life is celebrating 40 years of marriage to my husband and witnessing the successes of my family. In my career, I was a very successful realtor for more than twenty years, and after retirement I was able to turn my energies toward volunteering in my community and serving others. As for my community, the biggest success in my community was and is being able to rally residents in the community and establishing partnerships with the City of Spartanburg, which resulted in the community receiving more than $12,000 in grant funds to bring about beautification projects to the community. During my five-year tenure as president of the South Converse Neighborhood Association, the neighborhood earned Neighborhood of the Year, received a 501(c)3 status, received $122,000 grant from the Mary Black Foundation, $50,000 grant from South Carolina Parks and Recreation to successfully renovate the South Converse Street Park. The association formed a logo, established a bi-monthly community newsletter, partnered with the local churches, formed bi-monthly clean-ups for the community, installed speed humps, and erected community signs. These are just a few of the many improvements that have taken place in our community.

My vision for my community is one of continued improvement—a community that fosters a safe environment by improving and preserving the quality of life in the neighborhood. I get others to tap into that vision by sharing at monthly neighborhood meetings. Also, as editor of our community newsletter, I encourage others to share in this vision. I also lead by example by participating in community cleanups.


What is one of your favorite hobbies, and what is it that you find most fulfilling in it?


You were honored as “Mentor of the Year” for Spartanburg District 7. Tell us more about your work as a mentor. I was awarded Mentor of the Year for Spartanburg 7 in 2010. I work with children as a mentor to motivate them and to help them overcome some of the challenges they may be facing. Although many of the youth have family support, they often need an outside objective point of view to their issues or concerns.


Business Black Box Q2 2015



A GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE FROM CAMBODIA? I have just returned from my first trip to Cambodia. Unfortunately I didn’t have any time to explore further afield, having spent the whole time in Phnom Penh on business. The country offers a wealth of cultural and archeological treasures, such as the 12th century temple complex of Angkor Wat, the Royal Palace, and the Preah Vihear temple. The Cambodian people are warm and friendly, and it is a wonderful country to visit. I will go back. However, getting there is quite a journey, and in my case, a 32-hour set of four flights across a dozen time zones. I arrived at Phnom Penh airport in the morning and was met by the hotel chauffeur. Since I had refueled and caffeinated during the short layover in Bangkok, I was fairly awake and able to take in the sights on the way to the hotel. What I immediately noticed was how s-lo-w-l-y we were traveling. It wasn’t that my driver was overly cautious; it was that everyone was traveling at a snail’s pace. And it wasn’t just because of rush hour traffic. The posted speed limit was 40 km/h, about 25 mph! Why so slow? I asked myself. After all, I recall neighboring Thailand’s traffic being a comparative free-for-all of whizzing cars, tuk tuks, motorcycles and minivans. There, it was a grand prix sprint from stop light to stop light, but here, it felt like time had slowed down, puttering along with absolutely no sense of urgency. Over the next few days, as my colleagues and I caught tuk tuks from our hotel to the workshop venue, we marveled at the


Business Black Box Q2 2015

traffic. At first there was a sense of complete chaos. How in the world would we survive this melee of vehicles weaving in and out, driving on the wrong side of the road, not stopping, slowing down just enough to miss the oncoming car or scooter as we veer left onto a side street? Oh well, just hold on and chuckle and hope your number isn’t up. But, as we got used to the commute, we started noticing how efficient the system operated. Yes, there were almost no traffic lights, and stop signs seemed to be there mainly as a formality. And, yes, the lines on the street were more of a suggestion than a statutory limit. But…wait a minute. We barely stopped in the 5 kilometer trip, and, amazingly, neither did anyone else on the road! Yeah, we were traveling slowly, but in fact we got to our destination rather quickly. This informal system we were witnessing worked incredibly well, it had a sense of flow, a dynamically correcting nature that was both exhilarating and elegant. Could this be the future? Could we have been witnessing what it will be like to ride in autonomous vehicles? After all, those lines, those stop signs, they are there for us humans. When cars start to drive autonomously and humans are mere passengers, it may be much more efficient for our computer chauffeurs to just avoid each other. They might have to drive a bit slower at times, but we’ll get there just as fast. What might the designers of future traffic systems learn from observing the elegant flow of vehicles in Phnom Penh? I guess we will just have to wait and see.

ABOUT MARC BOLICK Marc Bolick replanted his native roots in Greenville after living in Europe for 13 years. He has worked in all aspects of product and service creation for companies ranging from Fortune 100 multi-nationals to mid-sized European firms to startups. Marc is managing partner in the US of DesignThinkers Group, an international design-driven innovation agency. He is passionate about using the power of service design thinking to help companies build their capacity to work collaboratively, to innovate and to solve vexing problems..




by Anna Locke OWNER A.T. LOCKE

SNAPSHOTS AND SEASONS A comprehensive list outlining different types of financial statements can make James Joyce’s Ulysses seem like an easy summer beach read, by comparison. Needless to say, the list can quickly become overwhelming for those without an accounting background. However, there are a few financial statements that every business professional needs to be familiar with, and more importantly, understand how to interpret and use. Two of the most important of these reports are the balance sheet and income statement. In basic terms, a balance sheet shows a company’s assets and liabilities at a specific point in time, such as the last day of the year or month. Non-profit organizations call this a statement of financial position. In essence, it is a financial snapshot—at a specific point in time. An income statement, on the other hand, presents the difference between a company’s revenues and expenses over a period of time. Often referred to as a P&L (short for profit and loss), the income statement, shows how you got there and gives you at least a sense of where you’re going. No matter what you call them, both are important for different reasons. The snapshot of trees and landscapes in January will not tell the same story as a snapshot taken during the summer time for those of us living in the Southeast. What are the seasons of your business and how are they reflected in your financial statements? Have you stored up enough


Business Black Box Q2 2015

during the winter for what will be needed in the spring? How does this month’s story compare to last month, last year, what you expected? What do you need to store up for next winter and what are you doing about it today? Think of financial statements in terms of your own personal finances. It’s the end of the month, and you see your bank balance is $1,000. Meanwhile, your remaining bills equal $100, leaving you with $900. This is your balance sheet. Suddenly, starting off the weekend with a nice steak dinner seems like a really good idea. However, while logged into your online bank account, you decide to take a look at your transaction history over the past three months. Much to your chagrin, you see that during this time period your total withdrawals (i.e. expenses) are greater than your total deposits (i.e. income). This is your income statement. Now that steak dinner doesn’t seem like a great idea after all. While both analogies are rather simplistic, they illustrate a key point—a balance sheet tells the current financial story of your company, while an income statement provides the context. Paying attention to both is crucial to the success of your business.

ABOUT ANNA LOCKE Anna T. Locke is an Upstate South Carolina business leader passionate about bringing relevance to financial data. She leads A.T. LOCKE, a company she founded in 2008, on a day to day basis while staying active in community conversations relevant to future business and educational needs. Locke currently serves as Treasurer of the Board for the NEXT High School, is a member of the Board of Directors for the Certified Development Corporation of SC, and serves on the Accounting Advisory Committee for Greenville Tech. Besides professional interests, Anna serves as a Board member for The Center for Developmental Services.

carolina gallery




THE PITCH: Hunger Crunch is a mobile video game (available on iOS and Android) that allows players to defeat hunger monsters and minions in the game and fight real world hunger at the same time. It’s a new fundraising initiative for Rice Bowls, the nonprofit I help run. Hunger Crunch is a free game, but 100 percent of the revenue we receive from in-app purchases goes to help feed orphaned kids in our 54 partner orphanages in eight different countries. We received some outside funding to help develop and launch Hunger Crunch. We know first and foremost for the game to be successful, it needs to be fun and have a great art style. We aren’t trying to be an educational game per-se, but we plan on adding more educational aspects on our website as time goes on so that kids can learn where their money is going and who they’re helping. We designed the game to be a one-finger sidescroller that’s easy to play yet hard to master. That way it can appeal to young children all the way up to adults. We went the freemium route because that’s how most profitable mobile games make their money. We also have a paid feature called Tournament Mode that allows groups to host a video game tournament. Organization leaders can create teams and pit them against each other (imagine middle schoolers vs. high schoolers at a church) and see who can take out the most hunger in the game and the real world too. We’d love for this game to be huge but we know for the game to be a home run, we need a big break and to be featured in the App Store. But, we’re also hoping we can hit a double or triple by using Tournament Mode to drive additional revenue within our existing donor base. We’ve always been very much a kids-helpingkids nonprofit where children in the United States help kids overseas through creative fundraising projects. We wanted to have a way that would allow us to have a presence where kids are already spending a lot of their time— in front of screens. We also want to empower kids (and adults) to make a difference, have fun, and raise money at the same time.


Business Black Box Q2 2015

Photo by Carter Tippins/FishEye Studios


THE FEEDBACK: First let me say how much I admire your noble cause. In critiquing this pitch I want to be clear to separate your mission from this app. I’m still going to approach this from the perspective of an investor/customer though. Even though you aren’t generating profit, you still have to produce a result which is impact in your mission that your donors (customers) are “buying”. The immediate question that comes to mind is “How good can a game from a non-profit be?” because no matter the source the game has to be fun if people are going to play it. They won’t engage with the game for the sake of the mission if it isn’t enjoyable, so the quality of the product here is critical. I also believe an ongoing donor (investor) in your mission would want to hear a very clearly articulated and demonstrable explanation as to how this game will advance the cause. Donors expect a level of stewardship over their donations so you need to make sure this is communicated effectively as to not cause your current base to doubt your resource allocation and decrease their giving. ‘Outside’ funding may be hard to sell because money is money. In other words, you’re not only risking the resources invested in the game, you’re risking your reputation as a steward for other people’s money. You mention this outside funding that is underwriting the development and launch cost of the game but you need to make sure you’ve considered ongoing support/maintenance costs. Development is not a one-time event. If you are committing that 100 percent of the money raised in the game is going to your orphanages and no other expenses, then you need to have a funding plan to handle updates, bug fixes, and new versions, especially if you plan on launching on multiple mobile platforms. You need to understand that you’re launching a software project that will require continual resources to maintain. What really excites me is your ‘kids-helping-kids’ focus. As a father of five I know how hard it can be in our culture to find opportunities to engage children in helping others. I would be very curious to see how you plan to implement functionality to help kids understand the greater implications of the game and possibly use the app as a social platform to help kids communicate with other donor communities using the game. You have some definite risks and some exciting opportunities here. DAVID SETZER Co-Founder, The Bootstrap Engine CEO, MailProtector

Firstly, this is an excellent informational pitch that clearly presents the mission, product, target market, and business model very quickly. Quite frankly, I was extremely impressed with the quality of the website and social media content, along with the application itself which I downloaded and played with my two daughters Anna (nine years), and Sophia (seven years) who thoroughly enjoyed it— and genuinely learned something about world hunger issues too. The Gamification strategy and system architecture appear well thought out, and is demonstrated by something else investors like to see—happy customers (traction).  Since release in January, there’s an overwhelming percentage of positive feedback on the Apple App Store, along with Facebook, Twitter, and other areas.   The Freemium model is an equally proven and appropriate strategy as well.  The in-store purchases are in-line with competitive offerings, most of whom are not geared toward non-profit, which should serve as an ongoing marketing advantage for your product. The problem is that  I had to research this myself, which a normal investor (who isn’t providing content for an article) would not do.   Just because this is a non-profit, does not mean you shouldn’t treat it every bit the same as a for-profit startup enterprise.   Apparently a combination of past boot-strapping and some early investor infusion provided the means to get the product to the current point, but the details are fuzzy.   Additionally the future “ask” is not clear, nor is the use of funds, timing, risks and any other help needed. Similar to a for-profit startup pitch, these details should be incorporated and clearly relayed with the purpose of qualifying truly interested parties and generating a call to action.   Investors would love to hear how much funding was raised in the past, what milestones were achieved with those resources, how long it took, and more specific results measured.   That background story provides a lot of credibility in the startup team’s ability to effectively use more funding, to accomplish even more results and potentially expand to other applicable market segments too. The statement, “We’d love this game to be huge” is passionate, but not specific enough for investors.   How big can you feasibly go (market size) if you had how much (investment)?  What would you specifically do (use of funds) to achieve what goals (milestones) and how long would it take (burn rate) based on certain assumptions (including risks)?   Most importantly providing details regarding the “we” mentioned (team, background, credentials, past successes) behind the proposed expansion deployment and are there any organizational gaps (additional roles needed) that investors could help, besides just money? This is a great product with a lot of potential.  Pitch it no different than if you were raising money to launch a for-profit company.  Refer to Guy Kawasaki’s blog on “How to Create an Enchanting Pitch” and also Peter Coughter’s book “The Art of the Pitch” for insight and best practices.  I think you’d be surprised how a clear message and request could garner allies and resources to accelerate your mission.

JASON PREMO Venture Manager, Swamp Rabbit Angels


See that menacing red monster behind Dodd? His name is Mostachio, and he’s one of the Hunger Crunch monsters. Visit your app store for a Hunger Crunch game download.


Business Black Box Q2 2015



ADMINISTRANDO NUESTRO NEGOCIO (PRIMERA PARTE) En nuestra columna anterior, contestamos la pregunta “¿Por qué quiero iniciar mi propio negocio?” Hemos cubierto algunos obstáculos que nosotros como hispanos encontramos, así como las oportunidades que tenemos para alcanzar el éxito en los negocios. Este mes queremos seguir esa conversación con el tema de la administración de un negocio. Los dueños de negocios toman decisiones diariamente, así que a continuación les detallo algunas ideas útiles que le pueden llevar por el camino correcto. Este mes, nos concentraremos en cómo usamos nuestro tiempo. En nuestra próxima edición, vamos a hablar de los retos en la administración de un equipo de trabajo. Una administración eficaz comienza con una buena administración personal Algunos de los gerentes, empresarios y líderes más exitosos de la historia también eran buenos en la administración o manejo de sus vidas personales. En general, los ejecutivos y líderes de más alto rendimiento son personas que planean su vida diaria alrededor del éxito. Pierden muy poco tiempo, pasan su tiempo de inactividad haciendo algo productivo para mejorar como persona, y ejercen un alto grado de autocontrol en todo; desde la dieta y el ejercicio hasta la cantidad de tiempo que dedican al entretenimiento y la meditación. A continuación les detallo algunas cosas que le pueden ayudar a mejorar sus habilidades al momento de administrar su vida personal: Tiempo: El tiempo es muy importante. Es uno de los bienes más preciados, sin embargo, no se puede mantener en una caja o guardar algo de él para su uso posterior. En la industria de servicios se valora el tiempo hasta el punto en


Business Black Box Q2 2015


que cobramos por nuestros servicios en base a la cantidad de horas que nos lleva hacer algo. Piénselo de esta manera: todos tenemos la misma cantidad de horas por día. Depende de usted decidir cómo va lo va a gastar. ¿Va a ir a la cama tarde? ¿Va a tomar un almuerzo más largo que de costumbre? ¿Cuándo va a llegar a la oficina en la mañana? ¿Va a tomar el viernes libre? Los empresarios más exitosos se dan cuenta que el tiempo es muy valioso. Ellos planean como hacer el mejor uso de su tiempo al hacerse la siguiente pregunta: “¿Es este un buen uso de mi tiempo?” Decida cuánto de su tiempo va a invertir en su negocio, la familia, las causas caritativas y entretenimiento. Siempre tenga en cuenta que el equilibrio es algo bueno, pero demasiado de una actividad puede tener efectos devastadores en otra área de su vida. En lugar de gastar una hora más viendo la televisión o en las redes sociales, tómese el tiempo para leer un libro acerca de un gran líder en la historia o sobre su industria. Considere la posibilidad de ir a la cama más temprano en vez de quedarse hasta tarde para ver un programa de televisión. Teniendo horas extra de sueño, se aumenta el tiempo que tiene para trabajar más temprano en las mañanas, que es cuando podemos organizar nuestro trabajo del día. Piense en su tiempo como una inversión. Trátelo de la misma forma en que trata su dinero, esto reducirá al mínimo el no sacarle el mayor provecho. Rutinas: Algunas de las personas más exitosas en el mundo tenían estrictas rutinas diarias. Benjamin Franklin hizo famosa las listas diarias que mantenía. Él comenzaba su día a las 5 AM con tiempo para planificar las tareas diarias y poner fin a su día a las 10 PM. Según Business Insider, Brett Yormark,

Want to know more about local Hispanic businesses? Check out the S.C. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at

CEO de los New Jersey se levanta a las 3:30 AM y Robert Iger, CEO de Disney, se levanta a las 4:30 de la mañana cada día. Hacer un hábito de levantarse temprano le permite prepararse mejor para el trabajo del día y obtener una ventaja sobre los asuntos más importantes. Para que quede claro, no estoy diciendo que usted tiene que levantarse temprano para ser exitoso. El punto es el siguiente: establezca una rutina que funcione para usted. Los estudios científicos y la evidencia apoyan la idea de que las mañanas son cuando hacemos mejor nuestro trabajo. Pero si las últimas horas de la noche funcionan mejor para usted, entonces incorpórelo a su rutina. Sólo incorpore a su diario vivir una rutina que funcione para usted. Utilizando los consejos que hemos listado aquí, estos pueden ayudarle a ser más eficiente en el manejo de su tiempo. Todos tenemos la misma cantidad de horas cada día. Lo que haces con esas horas, sin embargo, puede ser la diferencia entre el éxito y el fracaso en su negocio.

ABOUT EVELYN LUGO Evelyn Lugo is the founder and President of the South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SCHCC). With a background in business administration, Ms. Lugo obtained additional experience in working with corporations such as Eastman Kodak, Abbot Pharmaceutical and 3M. Her motivation is to help entrepreneurs, identify business growth opportunities, and help others to overcome challenges during their business development. The South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was incorporated in August 2007 and designated a 501(c)6 non-profi organization in June 2009 by the IRS.




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Business Black Box Q2 2015


GET MORE MEDIA ATTENTION While it may seem like it, the media isn’t omniscient. They rely on sources to get information and, while you may be doing something cool and new with your company or organization, if you don’t communicate it, it may not be on their radar. And it’s nothing personal, becuase most of us like hearing (and writing!) about cool stuff. The following tips can be some great ways to develop relationships with your local media and get your stuff out there.


1. Don’t Overlook Professional PR A great public relations expert will get you far. That means someone whose job it is to know what your company is doing and shout it from the rooftops, but also someone who can ensure they are getting that reporter what they need on a tight timeframe. 2. Do Stuff Seriously. Be a dynamic and active force in your local community. Host events, participate in campaigns, volunteer and give back to the place you call home, and chances are someone in the press will take notice of what you are doing and what your company is about. After all, it’s hard to get noticed for what you do if you aren’t really doing anything. 3. Reach Out Reporters and producers are always busy looking for good, juicy stories, but even they can’t find everything, so don’t take it personally. Find out who your local contacts are and build a few connections with them. Then, just keep them in the loop with what you are doing.


Business Black Box Q2 2015


Need a contact list for local newspapers? Get one from the S.C. Press Association at

4. Time It Find out when your local publications come out. Are they daily? Weekly? Quarterly? If you are wanting to send your media a story, make sure you don’t send it too late. For example, if they go to print Wednesday afternoon, don’t send it Wednesday morning. 5. Meet Up This is a lot like Tip #3, but we can’t stress it enough. When you find out who your local contacts are, meet them... face-to-face. Grab lunch, get coffee, or have a beer and interact. A good beer will go a lot further then just a dry email. And knowing what each medium’s focus is ensures you won’t send them something they can’t use—a surefire way to get them in the habit of ignoring your emails or releases.

Business Black Box - Q2 2015  

Upstate South Carolina's Business Magazine

Business Black Box - Q2 2015  

Upstate South Carolina's Business Magazine