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Hargray Fiber Partners with Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners to Provide Critical Fiber Connectivity and Infrastructure

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Hargray Fiber

Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners announced its strategic partnership with Hargray to provide critical infrastructure for its Lab and the innovators that use it each and every day. Curiosity Lab is a 5G-enabled autonomous vehicle and smart city living laboratory located in Peachtree Corners, Ga., a northern suburb of Atlanta.

Since its inception 70 years ago, Hargray has grown from a local telephone company to an industry telecommunications leader, offering a wide variety of internet, TV and phone services throughout the southeast. Hargray Fiber, based in Savannah, GA, operates more than 2,000 route-mile fiber network in cities throughout the southeastern United States. Recognizing Curiosity Lab’s commitment to the advancement of smart city technology, Hargray partnered with the Lab to supply it with fiber connectivity. Throughout Curiosity Lab, Hargray’s fiber optic cable will serve as the key infrastructure backbone, with all services using or connected to the Lab’s network benefiting from Hargray’s efficient, seamless transfer of data.

Hargray Fiber will continue its expansion in the Peachtree Corners market by bringing its full suite of communication products including enhanced data, voice and video services including Hosted Unified Communications, Metro-Ethernet, multi-gigabit symmetrical circuits and video services all delivered exclusively over Hargray’s 100% fiber-optic network.

“Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners is a one-of-a-kind location for innovative smart city, wireless and autonomous vehicle companies to test and demo their technology,” said Chris McCorkendale, Senior Vice President, for Hargray Fiber. “Our partnership with Curiosity Lab will help these companies advance their technology and bring to market a broader and more robust suite of communication services to market.”

“As Hargray Fiber continues to expand its southeastern presence, we’re excited to offer leading fiber services to Lab users,” said Betsy Plattenburg, executive director of Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners. “With Hargray’s Fiber support, companies moving to Peachtree Corners and operating in the Lab will benefit from quick, easy connectivity.”

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Capitalist Sage: Beth B. Moore, Bridging the Artist and Business [Podcast]

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Beth B. Moore

When it comes to the entertainment industry, there’s still a lot of trade secrets. Beth B. Moore is here to explain some of the trickiest and most useful laws within the entertainment industry. In this episode of the Capitalist Sage, we join Rico, Karl, and Beth as they discuss entertainment law, emerging trends, the film and music industry, Georgia legislation and more.

Resources:
https://www.vividip.com Facebook: Beth B. Moore, Entertainment Lawyer

Social Media: @bethbmoore
https://www.instagram.com/bethbmoore/
https://twitter.com/bethbmoore/

“I really find interesting the intersection of business, art, and law. And so where I am in my career allows me to explore that unique intersection. You know at some point in my adult life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I realized that you know aside from friends and family some of the most important things to me in my life was music and art.”

Beth b. moore

Podcast Transcript

Karl: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Capitalist Sage podcast. We’re here to bring you advice and tips from seasoned pros and experts to help you improve your business. I’m Karl Barham with TransWorld Business Advisors. And my co-host is Rico Figliolini with Mighty Rockets Digital Marketing and the publisher of the Peachtree Corners Magazine Hey, Rico, how are you doing today?

Rico: [00:00:54] Hey Karl, I’m good, thanks.

Karl: [00:00:56] Ah today is Halloween. So we have a lot of trick-or-treaters going out tonight. Hopefully if the rain cooperates, why don’t we introduce some of our sponsors today?

Rico: [00:01:07] Sure, a scary Halloween day we’re going to be, there’s actually. The scary thing going on for some startups because they’re going to have an opportunity to do a three-minute pitch. Five startups on November 14th its going to be part of the North Atlanta Tech showcase.

Karl: [00:01:23] That’s right.

Rico: [00:01:24] And that’s here at Atlanta Tech Park. That’s sponsoring us. This is the podcast room from that location. A partnership Gwinnett is putting this on and there’s going to be five, actually, nine startups doing a three-minute pitch to others, to investors and other people within the industry. And that’s going to be scary for them because they got three minutes. It’s worse than the Shark Tank at least, at least in Shark Tank you had like, I don’t know 15-20 minutes. Here it’s only three minutes to make that pitch. So, but Atlanta Tech Park is the place they’re doing it. This is a phenomenal here in Peachtree  Corners. It’s a great place along the track of the autonomous vehicle.

Karl: [00:02:01] Right here in curiosity lab right here in Peachtree Corners Atlanta tech park being a home for entrepreneurs. Tech, tech startup companies so it’ll be great to see those come in. And if you’re interested check out the website you could, you could register come visit that day and see some of the future entrepreneurs of right here in Gwinnett County. At the Showcase.

Rico: [00:02:24] PartnershipGwinnett.com or AtlantaTechPark.com will take you there. 

Karl: [00:02:28] So we’re glad to have Atlanta Tech Park as our home for for the podcast and we’re especially glad today to have a fabulous guest. Bethany Moore. She’s in a an attorney that specializes in entertainment law and intellectual properties. And today we wanted to talk to those folks out there that have lots of creative talents and their endeavors takes them into both entertainment and artistry and look at the business side of those types of careers and businesses. I know we speak a lot about the the talent that people have. But they may not realize that they are also a business and we figured, let’s chat about that some and Beth was more than gracious to come and spend some time and talk to us about that. Hi Beth how’re you doing today? 

Beth: [00:03:15] Hi. I’m doing great. Thank you for having me out on this fun and festive Halloween Day. 

Karl: [00:03:20] Absolutely fabulous that. To get to explore a, you know on Halloween. There’s a lot of artistry that goes around this holiday season typically, but I’d like to start off by, you know, I’m curious how you got into this particular area and field of law when you got started.

Beth: [00:03:40] Sure. Well, you know, I consider myself an entertainment attorney and that does include, you know clients who work in the music industry, film, television, book publishing, theater. Really anything and everything involving the creative arts. I like to tell people I get to have the most fun a lawyer is allowed to have. You know, and it is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work and there are serious legal considerations when it comes to working in the entertainment industry. I really find interesting the intersection of business, art, and law. And so where I, where I am in my career allows me to explore that unique intersection. You know at some point in my adult life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I realized that you know aside from friends and family some of the most important things to me in my life was music and art. You know, there’s, there’s really a historical reason for the significance of music and art if you look back on the development of humankind, you know these things, you know, we developed along with music and art. You take a trip to Europe. What do you do? You go to the art museums you take in the local culture, the music, the architecture. So, you know, this has been a common thread throughout the entire life cycle of humankind and it’s something that I take very seriously and it just means a whole lot to me as a person.

Karl: [00:05:05] I always wonder when we think about that some people may not realize. That they’re in this creative art. I mean, I think it’s obvious musicians and it’s obvious maybe people that are in theater or actors and so on. When you talk to clients and folks that are in it, what are some of the other fields that people may not realize falls into these creative arts that where the electrical property and so on becomes really important?

Beth: [00:05:34] The beautiful thing is that art is everywhere. It’s everywhere. You can take any business that may be operating, you know with a logo and a trademark, you know, that’s you know, a common thread among all businesses regardless of what type of Industry you’re in starts with the copyright involved in the you know, any kind of unique image being used as a logo. And then there’s always you know the application to obtain a federally recognized trademark. That’s also part of what I do. And I can really do that for any business. But I specifically focus on those services for clients in the entertainment industry. You know art is you know is a consideration in an industry as large as advertising. You know, I’ve had to work with a lot of advertising companies to make sure that the artwork they want to use or the music that they may, you know that they may use in their television commercials that all of those are cleared and legally cleared to use. So considerations of intellectual property are everywhere and it’s certainly especially in the entertainment industry. 

Karl: [00:06:40] If you think of it from the side of the artist that’s producing that. What are things where you’ve seen people they may call you after the fact where they make mistakes or things they didn’t know as they’re producing and creating art and starting to share? What are some of the things that you the mistakes people make along the way?

Beth: [00:06:57] How much time you got? So, you know the music industry it, which is really my true specialty even within the umbrella of the entertainment industry. You know music is one of those things where it’s it feels good, you know, I mean, it’s a creative outlet for a lot of people. You know, they may not be thinking about making a career out of it. You know, everybody has to start somewhere and usually means starting out. As a hobby. You know, you pick up a guitar or you find a keyboard at the Goodwill and you know, you start making music that’s a beautiful thing. You know, I hope that all children and even adults get a chance to explore, you know, their inner musician. I think what naturally happens is for a certain group of people that that hobby progresses into a profession. They’re like hey, I’m actually pretty good at this and people like what I’m making, you know, maybe I can spend all of my waking hours making music and you know earn some money from it and make a living doing it. So I find that that transition can be really challenging for a lot of Music Makers. You know, primarily because if you’re, if all you’re doing is making music then chances are you may not have a big enough budget to hire an attorney, but by entering into this space without proper understanding of legal underpinnings of it and without having a legal advocates tell you what your rights are people end up, you know giving away their music for free. You know in a way that does not advance their career. They end up getting taken advantage of you know, by people who know just enough to be dangerous and to cut you out of the equation. 

Rico: [00:08:35] Let me ask you, what are two or three things that the musician should know right off the bat that they should do to help protect themselves? If they wrote a piece and they’re playing it but they’re not disseminating a jet. Short of YouTube Instagram putting out the music, what two or three things should they be doing to make sure it’s protected and someone else can’t use it?

Beth: [00:09:00] So there’s a couple of things that come to mind, you know first is having a firm understanding of the legal term copyright, you know, this is a term that a lot of people throw around thinking they know what it means and most people don’t. You know, one of the most important things to understand about copyright is that you know, if you are creating an original work of art and it’s tangible, in other words it exists in some way shape or form on this Earth other than just in your human mind, then you own a copyright to that work the moment it’s created. You do not have to file a federal copyright, certainly a good idea to, but you have rights in and to your work the moment you birth it into the world.

Rico: [00:09:40] So if I wrote a song and I put it out there on Instagram or Facebook, that’s tangible, right?

Beth: [00:09:46] Yeah. 

Rico: [00:09:46] I mean, that’s a recording. That’s right out there. 

Beth: [00:09:48] That digital file on your computer or more perhaps on your phone is a tangible embodiment of your work, right? And you have rights to that just as you know, everybody else has rights to their work. So be careful whose work you try to pass off as your own because those whoever created that work has rights to it. So that’s maybe the second mistake that people make is they see rampant copyright infringement happening out there in the world which gives a lot of people the false impression that it’s okay when it is not. You can get yourself into a lot of hot water, you know, if you try to sample somebody else’s work and if you misappropriate somebody’s work, you know, if you think I’ll just slide in this sample real quick and nobody will notice because it’s under five seconds. That’s not how the law works. 

Rico: [00:10:34] Because cover bands work. Those cover bands are out there playing other people’s music, I mean.

Beth: [00:10:40] There is a precise answer to that which is that the people who wrote the songs that the cover band, you know is covering have granted a license to what are called The Performing rights organizations, which then turn around and Grant a license to the restaurants and venues. Of course, the restaurants and venues have to pay for that license but once they have it they’re allowed to play any song that they want. 

Karl: [00:11:03] Let me if I can just understand and clear, a business owner and they are playing music in the background of whatever that store is. Do they have to either they have to pay for the right to play the song in their place of Commerce no matter what type? If it’s a doctor’s office playing the elevator music is that all covered? 

Beth: [00:11:27] Yes, absolutely. Now, I have counseled business owners including restaurant owners about this where you know, they just want to play the radio in the background or they’ve you know, they have a Spotify account and they wonder why can’t I just play this? Well, it’s because the people who wrote those songs own the copyright of those songs and what those business owners are effectively doing is using somebody elses copyright to sell coffee or to sell golf club, right? And if you’re going to do that, you should you know, you should have to pay the person that’s helping you create this commercial atmosphere that draws in customers and they do. 

Rico: [00:12:01] That’s funny because I’m, as she’s saying that I’m thinking starbucks and I’m thinking of those little  music cards they used to have at one point with musicians on there of that they would be playing. And I think they, that was sort of a give and take a little bit on their part to be able to play music in the background of some of the bands that they were promoting and Starbucks music in house. Then I thought about the Jukebox. Real time, you know, slide the quarter in this. After that went away, I think that’s when royalty would really like going.

Karl: [00:12:29] So in Rico’s initial example, he creates a piece of music and he puts it on YouTube and if I were to find it in a business and start playing the music on YouTube is the, should he do something to make sure that his rights are protected. 1 and 2, he may be able to be compensated. What should he do? 

Beth: [00:12:53] Yes. So as a songwriter Rico, what I would advise you to do is to join one of the

Performing rights organizations and in the United States, we have three. ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. When you do that as a songwriter, you know in some ways, you know that helps to, you know, memorialize or put the public on notice that you are the author of that song. You are the creator, the owner. You know and so you can look up right now anybody out there listening can go to one of those three websites and look up their favorite song and find out who the actual writers are. You might be surprised, right? Because the person that you think wrote the song might not be the person who actually did.  And so, that’s what you would do as a songwriter you would affiliate with one of those three organizations and in turn those organizations will represent you. When a restaurant owner comes to them wanting to play music. So the organization let’s say you joined ASCAP. ASCAP will issue a license, right? A license is just a fancy word for granting someone permission. ASCAP will license the right to the restaurant owner to be able to play any song in the ASCAP catalog that they want and your song will be listed in the ASCAP catalog.

Rico: [00:14:10] So you’d just pay one royalty or monthly fee or whatever it is. You can play any song within that set up. 

Beth: [00:14:16] Exactly. Yes. It’s usually an annual fee. Yes, and the restaurant owner would do well to seek out licenses from all three organizations because chances are any song you want to play is going to be represented by one of those three. 

Rico: [00:14:28] I guess muzak came out at some point to avoid all that right? Because it’s regular, it’s like a synthesized music has nothing to do with any copyright at all. 

Beth: [00:14:40] It actually ties in perfectly with what I’m talking about because what Muzak did if I understand correctly is they had their licensing fees built in with the PRO fees right, so it was kind of a digital service that delivered the recordings but also included the permissions for the underlying compositions. 

Rico: [00:15:01] Okay, so it’s all in one place and that’s why you could use Muzak anywhere. 

Beth: [00:15:05] Yeah, and you know, it’s Spotify and Pandora,I believe, have commercial subscriptions now for places of business. So you can get licenses for everything all in one place.

Rico: [00:15:16] So when you play Apple music, you pay an apple fee every month for my Apple music. I can play any song, download any song within the Apple Library. That’s, which seems to be almost every song in the world. But so I’m not paying anything more than that monthly fee, right? 

Beth: [00:15:33] Well you’re talking about personal consumption.

Rico: [00:15:35] Yes. 

Beth: [00:15:36] So that’s different. Very, very different from commercial consumption. 

Karl: [00:15:40] So if you’re a business owner, you may have a personal Spotify, Apple music, Amazon account that allows you to play all the music. But when you bring that into your business, and you’re using it within your business, you’d have to get this additional license to do that. 

Beth: [00:15:59] Correct. It’s called a public performance license not to be confused with live performance. It has nothing to do with live performance. Public performance means that somebody’s music, specifically somebody’s composition, is being performed in a public space. A place of public accommodation. Which commercial places are, right? You know Starbucks is open to the public. Target is open to the public. Airports are open to the public. All of those places that want to play music in a public space, has to obtain a public performance license. 

Rico: [00:16:32] Content sent to the plant.

Karl: [00:16:34] So with all that would Rico get paid then, from that the group that he’s a member of, that he’s paying some fees to.

Rico: [00:16:42] The bottom line.

Karl: [00:16:43] The bottom, he would then get paid for some percentage. How’s that done? 

Beth: [00:16:49] Yes. So there’s two royalties, you know, depending on the situation. One royalty may be available for the recording artist. So that might be the person, you know, whose voice you actually hear, you know whose guitar riffs you were actually hearing. But there’s a

separate designation for who the songwriter is, right? So in this case Rico being the songwriter, yes, he would be in a position to earn royalties. From you know for every time you know Starbucks or Target or the airport you know played his  music. The algorithm by which an organization like ASCAP uses to determine how much you get paid is a trade secret. We don’t actually know but we can surmise that it at least has something to do with how much of the real estate of the airwaves, you know, you occupy. The more your song gets played the more royalties you’ll receive. 

Karl: [00:17:43] That’s very very interesting. Does it expand out beyond music? So if let’s take writings, and now we get digital media. People are putting out cat stuff on YouTube and creating funny videos, cartoon videos, explainer videos. Are all of those…

Rico: [00:18:01] Or even doing a public service where the news media recording a crime just happening and then they sell it to CNN. I mean, do they have copy right on those things?

Beth: [00:18:11] Yes, yes. And if any kind of original creative content you that you birth into the world belongs to you. And that would include, you know, silly cat videos. You know, it may just be something that you created at home. You probably have hours and hours worth of cat videos, but you have that one little clip where they did something funny. That piece of video, that audio-visual work contains a copyright. And the owner of that copyright is the person who created it.

Karl: [00:18:37] And there’s, there isn’t a similar organization for video, for writers, for all these different creative types of art. There’s a similar organization that manages that for them as well?

Beth: [00:18:52] No, but that would, that sounds like a wonderful idea. Right now, it’s really, you know, if I have a silly cat video and you want to use it, you know, for the Peachtree Corners podcast, then we would do an arm’s length transaction. You know, for what that licensing deal would be. Whether you pay me or I simply agree to grant you, you know royalty free license. Right now that’s something where you would have to approach the copyright holder directly to get that, get that permission. 

Rico: [00:19:19] There are protections in place. And although there was, I was involved in a website that was done once and we used stock photo as position only. Because eventually we’re going to remove the stock photo, put real photos on there. Two years later a lawyer reaches out and said that there’s a stock photo on that site you never purchased. How did they know it was never purchased, I don’t know. But they wanted their fee and they wanted it removed. But they wanted their fee at least to be paid. So there are protections, at least the free market allows protection in place for some things, right? 

Beth: [00:19:53] Well, you just perfectly identified one of the issues that modern-day content creators are facing. Is that, and it kind of goes back to the question you asked earlier, what’s one of the mistakes that people make in this industry? And its really disseminating, you know, their content without thought as to how to control it. You know, it’s like once something is out there it’s darn near impossible to retract it, right? So we have had to as an industry get really creative in how we monitor, you know, the use of our content. You know, make sure that anybody who is the recipient of a license that they stay within the confines of that license, right? So there are guard rails you can do this, but it doesn’t mean you can do that. And so there are little bots that you can put out into the internet to find out, you know, where did this Photograph go, right? And there are, certainly there are ways to get around that you know, but there are really sophisticated ways in which attorneys, you know and firms that represent content creators can track the usage of that content around the internet. I’d really like to see a more uniformed system to make that happen. I think that maybe blockchain might reveal some of the ways in which we can do that, but that’s maybe a future development. 

Karl: [00:21:11] I mean you’re trying to tap into something that it seems an interesting area of policy, government policy. So you’re also part of the Georgia sledded legislature representing, the district is 1995 here. Are there legislations that’s happening locally or federally to help corral what’s happening in this area. Especially with the internet because I see so much content being generated and I haven’t, I can’t imagine how someone could begin to manage and regulate all of that. 

Beth: [00:21:56] I think when it comes to managing your content and policing it, you know, I think one of the most important things anybody can do is just first to understand what your rights are. Hopefully they’re listening to your podcast today and they’re starting to pick up on the importance of this. As far as legislation goes, you know, we’re very fortunate in Georgia that about 10-12 years ago. We passed the, what is shorthand called the Georgia film tax credit, you know, which has been a great development for our state to attract the film business here. You know that is an engine of content creation, which has really been great. And so, you know down at the Capitol we’re certainly always, you know, in defense mode of that tax credit. You know, I think that it has so many benefits that we can’t even really measure. That really, that played a

very important role in my decision to get involved in public policy and to run for office. You know, I did not get into politics through politics. I got into it through the Arts and entertainment industry because I see firsthand  how smart state policy can really shape an entire industry and change lives. You know, bringing thousands of new job opportunities to Georgians and helping to develop a generation that has grown up with film and creativity and appreciation for the Arts right here in our own backyard. Georgia has a good history of you know of legendary music and I’m glad to see that happening now in the film industry. I bring up the film tax credit because there is a bill that has been proposed to create, well I should say a couple of years ago, they did pass what is shorthand known as the music tax credit. To essentially grant the music industry some of the same benefits that we granted to the film industry and to try to make sure we have more film business here. We certainly have a lot of talent in Atlanta, but anybody who’s been around the music industry in Atlanta will tell you that we lack some of the upper echelons of the business here. Which you know that like a lot of the record labels that used to be here have left or folded or just gone under. And so, you know, there’s lots that can be done to incentivize, you know music touring. That touring should originate in Georgia because that generates lots and lots of jobs. So they did pass a version of that bill before I arrived in the legislature. There are some issues with that bill. For example, it does provide some tax credits just like the film tax credit. The difference is in under that music legislation, those tax credits are not transferable. The transferability of those tax credits is key. 

Rico: [00:24:47] Transferable between businesses if they were purchased? 

Beth: [00:24:49] Correct. Because the concept of a tax credit is that it gets applied to your next project, right? So, you know, so some film companies may come here, make a film, they get the tax credit. Well, that has value. They can actually sell those tax credits to another company so that they can actually receive text benefit if that Film Production Company doesn’t otherwise have another project going on, right? And so the same could be true of the music tax credit. We created this incentive for production companies and for touring companies to bring their business to Georgia, but we did not make them transferable. And that makes… 

Rico: [00:25:29] Why did they? I mean, is there an another rationale that if it’s transferable maybe that business doesn’t come to Georgia? I mean is there a reason why? 

Beth: [00:25:38] You’ll have to ask the legislators who were there before me. But my understanding is that there was some hesitation about the bill to begin with so they thought well, let’s just get something on the books and we’ll fix it later. But we’re now in the Fix-It phase. But we have encountered some pushback there even though I do think that these are, these are common-sense changes that have bipartisan support. And I really want to encourage the the Arts entertainment working group who currently is vetting that bill to favorably pass it out of their committee. So it can go to ways and means. 

Rico: [00:26:14] Can I ask you about the trends as far as the movie industry goes? Because there’s always that talk that those credits will go away.  And people are fearful of that because then if that goes away, where’s all the production go? You know, that’s what happened to I think it was South Carolina?

Beth: [00:26:28] North Carolina.

Rico: [00:26:30] Where they nixed it. And then a lot of their industry just went away. 

Karl: [00:26:33] They came to Georgia.

Rico: [00:26:35] Yeah, which was good for us now. But there’s still talk, I  think when Kim came in there was some talk at some point. About his campaign about him wanting to do that, about removing that text printed. Do you see any trends there heading that way?

Beth: [00:26:48] You know every public statement that I’ve heard Kim say suggest that he is in support of continuing that tax credit. You know, some of his administration’s actions this year would suggest that maybe they don’t covet the film industry as much as I wish he did. You know because everything kind of works in an ecosystem, you change one thing about Georgia law that has an impact on other areas. And I have serious concerns about things like HP 481, the anti-abortion bill, you know. Which you know, a lot of people don’t want that here in Georgia. They think it is anti-business. And the film industry for the most part agrees with that but I don’t want to make a blanket statement about the film industry there’s certainly, you know, a multitude of political beliefs and affiliation within the film industry itself.  You know, so one of the challenges that we have with the film tax credit, the reason we always have to play defense on it, is because if you look at pure numbers, you see how much the tax credit quote-unquote costs in terms of lost revenue and you might see well that certainly is a lot of revenue that we’re losing. You know, you might question are we even breaking even on that? Is there a return on that investment? And I think it’s really hard to measure that because if you do away with the film tax credit all of that production business goes away, right? There’s, I mean and to me that would be a much larger hit to our state’s economy than if you just looked at how much the tax credit costs in terms of real dollars.

Karl: [00:28:15] I could echo that and I see it. All of the film business that moved into, Georgia generates additional dollars in support. If you look at from a real estate standpoint, AirBnB, since the film industry come and has taken off people that are investors in that part of the economy. All these folks need to be fed. So restaurants catering food, they need signage, they need support. But what I think is really, really understated is the longer the film industry exists here in Georgia. We’re building another generation of folks that are supportive of the Arts, skilled in the arts, able to create films which are jobs. Businesses tied around this other industry. If you look at what it did for California, how many people that live in California are artists are coming in there because the option is there. In New York City to film all where theater is really big and film, there’s a lot of artists that live and support and businesses that go there. It could be short-sighted to look at that how it impacts the other parts of the economy when you look at that. But I see small business owners that generate a lot of business from supporting the film studios here in Gwinnett County. There’s at least three of them that I know of that are driving economic activity. But I see young people choosing career paths that weren’t available 25 years ago before that was here. 

Rico: [00:29:49] That’s right.

Beth: [00:29:50] Yeah, I think you nailed it. You know, I’ll add a couple of more long-term views to this. You know, one of the things I love about the film industry is that it has relatively low environmental impact, right? You know people come in, they make a production, they don’t leave a permanent footprint with one exception. That you know, it can sometimes create a lasting legacy for some of these locations. For example, Rabun County, you know 30-40 years later is still known as the birthplace of Deliverance. And it’s kind of a local draw, right? Yeah and Senoia Georgia, home of the Walking Dead. I mean, you know, this generates you know additional ongoing opportunities in terms of film tourism. You know, I can draw some of those hardcore fans to locations like that. So I think there’s all kinds of benefits, you know. And another one is a lot of people don’t realize that Atlanta is a hotbed of advertising as well. The advertising community in Georgia is incredibly robust. Well, if you think about you know, the life cycle of a film or television show it’s short-term. You have people with these amazing talents in terms of on-screen Talent or behind the screen. You know in front of the camera, you know Gaffers, lighting, sound, all of that. Well when they’re not working on a film and television production a lot of those guys work in advertising, right? So, you know to have those two industries able to kind of coexist side-by-side strengthens both of them. 

Karl: [00:31:25] Have a friend that’s a camera, Steadicam operator and he does films and so on. But in between jobs, he does a lot for commercials, advertising. But that would be harder to find folks like him if the industry didn’t start generating the skill set in this capability within the market here.

Rico: [00:31:46] It took it took a decade, right?

Karl: [00:31:47] Yeah.

Rico: [00:31:48] I mean there was hardly any, just creating props for film sites, or electricians, or woodworkers, or HV AC, or you know, I mean those. As much as we have that industry room to build that infrastructure for the film industry is taking a decade to get there.

Karl: [00:32:06] So I’m curious. I know these arts start when you’re young. Entertainment, whether it can be Sports, it could be music and art. And there’s parents out there that have no real knowledge of how to guide and advise there. What would be some places where parents and people starting out in the business can start to educate themselves? One, about the rights that you mentioned about that they have but really, you know, understanding what are some of the things they need to start putting in place as they’re starting to develop these talents and start putting it out there. Where can they learn more about that? 

Beth: [00:32:40] Well, they can certainly come see me. It actually is quite common that when I am representing somebody who’s maybe a legal minor or you know is still very young, you know, the 18 to 21 range. That their parents will take, you know, almost an ownership stake in their career. It’s kind of, entertainment is kind of unique in that way. You know, if you go off and become a scientist or a lawyer your parents don’t usually get involved. But when it comes to entertainment, it’s arguably a good idea. Because so many people do get taken advantage of and if you know if your child is getting involved in film and television or music, you know, they really need somebody that they can trust to look out for their best interests until the day when they can fully you know, understand and appreciate the legal complexities of what they’re doing. You know, certainly a minor child cannot enter into a contract without their parents consent. There are all kinds of labor laws, you know for minor children on film sets. So I think there’s a lot that parents can do to. First encourage their children to explore the Arts. You know, it’s okay to you know, just you know to make mistakes. It’s okay to just experiment, you know, whether it’s with some kind of visual media or with film and television. I remember my parents have always had a video camera around and so, you know, that’s where I kind of got started in high school was we’d have a class project and I would make it a film. I still have those, by the way. And you know, it’s little things like that that just kind of build up over time and it ultimately impacts the career decisions that your child makes. So, you know I’ll throw out a pitch for myself if you want legal advise parents, you are welcome to come in to be an advocate for your child. You know, you can always in place of your minor child join some of the professional organizations that exist in Atlanta and around the country for various professions. So for example, the music industry,

we have the recording Academy, otherwise known as the Grammys, right? That’s a great networking opportunity, great networking organization. But they also do a lot of educational panels. There are equivalents in the the film industry. Its Georgia Production Partners is one that comes to mind. The Atlanta Film Society puts on the Atlanta film festival and they do a lot of Education Workshops. Yeah, you know if your child is into gaming there’s a Georgia game developers Association there. There’s a lot of parent can do you know to encourage their child and to protect them. And even one of the best things that a parent can do is just to you know, while their child is having fun creating, you know art. You know, if it seems like they’re moving in a direction of that becoming their profession, you know, it’s never too early to start talking with your child about what it means to have a business. You know, what it means to turn their art, you know into money. What it means to make a living in the entertainment industry because there’s not a lot of people that are in a position to have that conversation with artists and I really wish artists had the opportunity to have that conversation more often.

Karl: [00:35:59] I’m curious. Did you play many instruments or do music or what was your art of passion growing up? 

Beth: [00:36:06] I played clarinet in sixth grade band. And I play just enough piano to get by but I actually don’t have very, you know, a whole lot of musical talent myself. Which is partly why I do what I do because I very much wanted to be involved in the Arts and entertainment industry but I had basically no artistic talent myself. So I thought well, what’s the next hardest thing I can do. And I thought well, I’ve always you know, I’ve always been good at school. I will go to law school and become an advocate for people in the Arts and entertainment industry. 

Karl: [00:36:42] Oh, that’s fabulous. I know I was talking to someone a couple weeks ago and they create music on their laptops like so many people do. He does it for fun. And he spends hours and I could think of how many kids do that today.

Rico: [00:37:00] The software on there you can do your own beats, doing all sorts of stuff.

Karl: [00:37:04] They’re doing their own videos and so on but that conversation are early on, you know with their parents on starting to think about the business side of what they’re producing is an opportunity that could guide them. Because when they’re making choices under it’s fun and it’s a game for them when you’re younger, but some of them have some talent and starting to think about putting those things in whether it’s joining the organization, you mentioned. Having a conversation with an attorney that specializes in this so they can make the right choices early on. I always feel once their talent explodes all of a sudden everyone’s grabbing for pieces of it and they’re not prepared in those first few deals or the first few meetings they have. They’re not equipped to understand their rights and how to do that, so.

Rico: [00:37:55] You know, it’s funny because it’s some Industries like acting right to you do have an agent. You have to have an agent to be able to close a deal on an acting gig with the company, right? So some Industries you have some protection you still need a lawyer though everything right?  

Karl: [00:38:09] Absolutely. Well, I really want to thank you. You’ve given us a lot to share with folks that are starting to look at these creative arts and understand the business side. But just curious, you know, do you have anything coming up or things that are coming up as we’re getting late into the running out the final part of the year. Anything that you’ve got going on? 

Beth: [00:38:34] So a couple of things. You know between now and the end of the year and before the next legislative session starts is I’ve been doing a lot of outreach with some of the larger film studios in town. We just toured Eagle Rock studios in Norcross the other week. I actually have a friend who works there and he was excited about me running for office and he knew what I did for a living and said hey why don’t you come down to the studio. So we finally made that happen. It’s an amazing operation that they have going on and you wouldn’t even know it. It just sits in the, in a quiet industrial park in Norcross. So we’re, going to be touring Black Hole in a couple of weeks. We’re waiting to hear back from a couple of Studios. I mostly want some of these studios around town to know that they have an advocate at the state house, right? You know, I am the only legislator in Georgia, the only elected official who actually works in the entertainment industry. It’s a topic that a lot of people down at the Capitol like to talk about but I actually bring that professional experience to the table. Beyond that we have the Esports Summit coming up, you know, this is kind of a new tangential area of the entertainment industry that has really excited me and fascinated me and I’m looking to get more involved in the game industry here. So I will be at the Esports Summit. It’s kind of adjacent to Dreamhack which is coming up and…

Rico: [00:40:02] It’s running at about the same time. 

Beth: [00:40:04] Yeah, it’s a first it’s the Esports Summit and then kind of leads directly into Dreamhack. So it’s that weekend of November 14th through the 17th.

Rico: [00:40:11] The public’s allowed into dreamhack. So, I mean that’s a great place to go if you’re into gaming I mean it’s phenomenal. Thousands of gamers go in there. 

Beth: [00:40:20] It is. It has become the largest Sports industry, you know, eclipsing all of the others. It’s remarkable and I just, I know there’s a lot of young people there and I want to make sure that when they enter into contracts with some of these teams or they enter into some of these contests that they have protection. So I’ll be at that event and I look forward to hopefully meeting some people there. You know, my office is here at Atlanta Tech Park, so I’m not here every day, but if anybody’s up here at the park, feel free to seek me out. I’d love to chat with you.

Rico: [00:40:53] They can find you on Facebook at Beth Moore Entertainment Lawyer.

Beth: [00:40:57] Beth B. Moore simple. Yeah, I do include my middle name. There is another famous Beth Moore out there. So I have to distinguish myself. But yes, I do have a Facebook page where I post a lot of helpful articles kind of introducing folks to some you know, some basic legal concepts to help them along the way. I have a Instagram account and Twitter account. So you can find me there at BethBMoore. 

Karl: [00:41:23] I’d love to share some of that stuff as we talked to business owners and a lot of folks that are thinking about their kids especially, you mentioned Esports. I could imagine how many, kids are trying to convince their parents that there’s a, my career and future in that. But they’re actually not lying. It is actually true to do that. But I think getting education and knowledge out there for folk, getting them in touch with folks like yourself to begin to protect them early on and even incorporating building a business around what they do is really important for them to think about that from the beginning. But we want to thank our guest Beth Moore attorney specializing in entertainment law and intellectual property and she’s also our local Georgia State Representative. You can reach her on various methods both online and here at Atlanta Tech Park. And really thank you for sharing some of these tips and highlighting an industry that’s so large globally, but when it comes from the business side, no one really is talking, exposing and starting to get educated on this. And this is a great first step. So we’d love having you back in and continue the conversation as time goes on. We also want to thank Atlanta Tech Park for hosting the Capitalist Sage podcast. If you’re starting a business and looking for a great place, environment to work, where you can get to meet people from diverse backgrounds, technology, entertainment, law, government. It’s a great place to build community. And so you can start by attending an event at Atlanta Tech Park and Peachtree Corners. If you like what you see schedule yourself a tour and find yourself a home to build your business. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld business advisors in Atlanta Peachtree. Our business advisors are able to help consult whether it’s you’re starting a business or thinking about starting a business. You’re in business and trying to grow it or you’re trying to exit the business and find a buyer. Our team of consultants help people through each phase of that process and Rico.

Rico: [00:43:28] Yes?

Karl: [00:43:29] What’ve you got going on?

Rico: [00:43:30] I have a lot of things going on with many different hats all just pouring down. I’m a publisher of Peachtree Corners magazine. And if you haven’t seen it already. This is the last latest issue that’s come out.

Karl: [00:43:42] Great episode. Another another great issue.

Rico: [00:43:45] Thank you. Thank you. The next one is 20 under 20. Some of the best kids in Peachtree Corners are going to be highlighted that have either impacted the city or their family. Or have done something great in sports, entertainment, science. So we’re going to be doing that a major a cover story for the next issue that’s coming out. Just the end, just before

Thanksgiving. So we’re going to be doing that. As far as Mighty Rockets what I do, my day job, when I’m not doing the publishing part is that I do all sorts of content Marketing Online for companies. Lately I’ve been doing, done a few stop motion animation videos for product videos that I’ve been involved in and we’ve been doing a bit of personal branding for a couple of clients that just want to build their personal brand online. Because of the services that they sell is consultant and such. So busy, I don’t mind. I don’t have a, I can’t do that nine to five thing that we keep talking about. And I’ve heard that book about working seven hours a week. And the rest of it you don’t have to. Or seven days a week whatever it’s something I can’t do that and think my clock doesn’t stop until midnight.

Karl: [00:44:55] I understand. Where can folks find and follow what we do online?

Rico: [00:45:01] Sure. They can find Capital, well, if you search Google Capitalist Sage podcast, you will find us. We’re on iTunes, Iheart, Spotify, SoundCloud  YouTube. ITunes, obviously, leave a review there if you do listen to it there. You can go to LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com and you’ll see playlists on the homepage of the latest episodes that we’ve done.

Karl: [00:45:23] Absolutely. And also on Facebook, Peachtree Corners Life. You can go follow us on there. Everytime we post a  new episode it will come up in your feed so you can check in there. And you can follow us on any of those others so you’ll be alerted when there’s a new episode and makes it really easy to share with friends and other folks.

Rico: [00:45:43] You can watch the video on Facebook or on YouTube or listen to the podcast. 

Karl: [00:45:48] Absolutely. Well, thank you everybody. Really it’s been a pleasure to continue to share these episodes with folks. So stay tuned for our next episode. Alright, have a great day.

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Business

MY SALON Suite Celebrates Official Grand Opening of at Town Center

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My Salon Suite

MY SALON Suite in Peachtree Corners celebrated its grand opening on Oct. 21 at its new location at Town Center. Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason was on hand to perform the ribbon cutting, and residents were invited to tour the salon and enjoy refreshments.

A wide range of beauty and personal care services are available at MY SALON Suite, including hair, make-up, skin care, microblading, eyelash extensions and massage therapy. MY SALON Suite provides expansive private salon suites, luxurious décor, elite furnishings and custom amenities to member professionals, who operate their salon businesses independently.

To learn more, visit mysalonsuite.com/peachtree-corners.

Below are grand opening pictures including individual grand openings within MY SALON Suite.

Photography by Remi DeLong

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Business

Capitalist Sage: How Business Mentorship Empowers Entrepreneurs, with Erin Igleheart [Podcast]

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StartMeATL

Have you ever had a business idea, wondered what tools you needed, or wanted to know how to just start? Join Rico Figliolini and Karl Barham as they interview Erin Igleheart, program manager with the Start Me accelerator program. Erin has experience and answers to all of the questions you may have about starting a business.

Resources: StartMeATL.org
Social Media: @StartMe

Podcast transcript – generated from voice recognition software.

Karl: [1:11] Welcome to the Capitalist Sage Podcast. We’re here to bring you advice and tips from seasoned pros and experts to help you improve your business. I’m Karl Barham with TransWorld business advisors. My co-host is Rico Figliolini with Mighty Rockets Digital Marketing and the publisher of the Peachtree Corner Magazine. Hey Rico, how’re you doing?

Rico: [1:27] Good. Good, Karl.

Karl: [1:28] Excellent. Why don’t we talk about our sponsors for today.

Rico: [1:32] Sure. Let’s give a shout out first to Atlanta Tech Park located here in Tech Park Atlanta, like the name switch, in the city of Peachtree Corners. Robin Bienfait and her innovative team is curating this place. Allowing accelerator startups and small companies to be able to grow in it. Phenomenal organized environment here that allows for workshops, seminars, all sorts of supportive groups that can take a small company to its success. So one of the podcasts from here is located in that place, and it’s a good place to be.

Karl: [2:11] Absolutely you could always stop by, check out its website; AtlantaTechPark.com check out upcoming events. You know in November, I think November 14th, is a tech showcase going on here from North Atlanta. Lots of events and you happen to be on the path of the shuttle, the driverless shuttle.

Rico: [2:28] Curiosity Lab of Peachtree Corners and Ollie the Driverless Vehicle. We just saw that before driving up and down as we were coming in.

Karl: [2:36] Absolutely. It’s a free shuttle, you have to get a ticket, a virtual ticket online and you’re able to ride that. So just a lot of really cool things happening in Peachtree Corners in the Atlanta Tech Park Village area. Well today, I’d like to welcome our today’s guest; Erin Ingleheart, program manager with the Start Me accelerator program and affiliated with the Emory University business school. Which is an outstanding program that helps local entrepreneurs help grow their business, learn some critical business skills, and help skills that help them to grow their business. How’re you doing today Erin?

Erin: [3:18] I’m great. Thank you so much for having me.

Karl: [3:21] Well, we’re here to talk today about business mentorship and how it could impact the community and in entrepreneurs that are starting businesses. One of the things that is amazing when you get into small communities, especially communities that may have more economic disadvantage, entrepreneurs are thriving in those areas. But the success rate could be a challenge there because they don’t have access to some of the critical things that companies, if you’re in Silicon Valley, there’s plenty of capital. There’s plenty of expertise, there’s network, there’s mentors. But in other communities they may not have those same resources as readily available. And so creating an ecosystem where that can thrive is really one of the missions of the Start Me accelerator program. I’d love to talk about that some more. So why don’t we tell,
start off by telling us a little bit about yourself and how did you get started in this passion of yours?

Erin: [4:20] That’s a great question. So Prior to joining Emory, my background was really all in private sectors. So I started out in banking at Morgan Stanley. I did a grad-degree in Silicon Valley and sort of saw some of that, a little bit of that divide if you will, in the support for entrepreneurs operating in the tech space particularly in that area. And perhaps some of the other small businesses that were struggling a little bit more to get started. I worked actually right around here and kind of proximate to Peachtree Corners for a start-up consulting firm for a few years and then switched over to the Social Enterprise Center at Emory just over three years ago where I was really looking to, kind of marry those business skills with more of a community focus and community impact component.

Karl: [5:07] So tell us a little bit about this social enterprise at Emory. What is that for folks that may not be familiar with that?

Erin: [5:13] That’s a great question. So it’s a research center within Emory Business School and the overarching focus is on making markets work for more people in more places in more ways. And we do that through research that several of our faculty members are doing. We do that through student coursework so several classes around social Enterprise and nonprofit management. And then we do that through fieldwork. And so we run a couple of different field work programs. Start Me in particular is focused on the Atlanta Community and several sort of historically under-resourced to communities in Metro Atlanta. But we also run the entrepreneurship database program, which is a large research study of accelerators and incubators around the world really looking at what works and what doesn’t in acceleration and incubation. So it’s the largest longitudinal study of those types of programs globally and then we also run a program that’s called Grounds for Empowerment that supports female coffee growers in Central America.

Rico: [6:16] So can I ask you, since you were out in the west coast like that, how’d you find that? I mean being a woman in the midst of, I guess stereotypical of what the research shows right now, it’s mostly men being there. How’d you find that working in a field like that in that environment? Erin: [6:33] That’s a good question. So I was in grad school while I was out there, so you’re in a little bit of a bubble as it is. And I really loved living out there but I didn’t necessarily get the bug, if you will, to stick around. I felt like I answered, a lot of times, the question of like why I didn’t have an app or why I didn’t have my own Tech startup. Which I respect as a path for entrepreneurs, absolutely, it just wasn’t a path that I was on. A conversation I felt like I sort of had over and over again. But I think what you see is so much passion in and around tech that it creates the, almost this bubble of enthusiasm and excitement that I really respect and enjoy and I think that it’s nice to be able to replicate that in other places that frankly are maybe more accessible to local populations if you will. So, you know, I think one challenge that we’re faced
with in Atlanta or any major city that has wonderful young people and wonderful entrepreneurs with tech ideas, that we don’t want to lose everybody to Silicon Valley. We want to create that same vibrancy and keep people in communities and the same is true for other types of businesses. You want to see that enthusiasm for all of your makers and bakers and fixers and doers. We’re operating in community.

Rico: [7:48] Which from what I understand isn’t really the type of company Silicon Valley wants to fund. They do want to fund the apps and the tech. And they don’t understand maybe the baker’s the makers and all the…

Karl: [7:59] You can’t eat an app.

Rico: [8:01] No you can’t. And it’s not sexy and it doesn’t provide the return in the short term that they want. It’s a lot different, you know. So coming into an area like Metro Atlanta where most of the startups are not necessarily tech startups. They’re mainly business things that we would normally eat drink and be merry with. But real different than in Silicon Valley.

Karl: [8:24] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’ve looked at data and studies shows. It’s probably somewhere north of 95 percent of businesses are not tech businesses. Your Main Street businesses, your neighborhood pizza shop, the person that fixes your car. These are the businesses that drive our economy and they’re found in every neighborhood. And these business leaders also are really important in the community that they’re in, they’re typically community leaders. They’re making sure that resources are being applied to problems. Their sense on the pulse of that area in there. It’s a great foundation for leaders and community, which is interesting. When you think of the program Start Me probably, describe what it is and in particular, I’m going to put you on the spot because you know part of the Emory School You got to tell me; what is the problem that Start Me is trying to solve?

Erin: [9:19] Yeah, absolutely. So it actually ties back to your question about the work that we do at Social Enterprises, so the program kind of originally grew out of research and so a lot of our fieldwork programs are kind of tied to research in that way. But one of my colleagues, Professor Peter Roberts, was really looking at what some of the differences are between communities with higher concentrations of poverty and lower concentrations of poverty across the United States. So kind of zip code by zip code. And one of the things that he found was that there really isn’t a market difference in the number of big businesses per capita, but there’s on average about a 26 percent gap in the number of micro businesses per capita. And so those are your local Moms and Pops. It’s your auto body shops, it’s your catering companies, it’s your local hair salons and natural hair care providers. And if you’re not finding those in and around your community, you’re finding them elsewhere. They’re not necessarily creating jobs. They’re not necessarily offering a gathering space for people who live there and they’re not attracting outside resources into the community. And so, you know, twenty-six percent gap for kind of an average population neighborhood would translate to 125 to 150 local small businesses. And so the program really originally grew out of that as we were looking at other cities or other neighborhoods around
Metro Atlanta that maybe aren’t necessarily served by the wonderful services you can get at Atlanta Tech Village or ATDC because they’re not necessarily as tech focused.

Rico: [10:50] So did you find the economic issue as part of that? I mean was there a correlation there as far as poor neighborhoods had a bigger gap?

Erin: [10:59] Poorer neighborhoods have that gap and so that’s where if you’re looking at high poverty residential neighborhoods, residential urban neighborhoods versus low poverty residential urban neighborhoods. What you’ll see is about a 26 percent gap and so, you know, you’re not seeing that gap in Midtown or Buckhead but you’re seeing that and in some of the neighborhoods that we operate in and then and also in many other neighborhoods in and around Metro Atlanta, and frankly cities across the United States. So this is not an Atlanta specific thing, but we particularly operate in those communities that are historically under-served, really trying to foster and build the businesses that are growing there that have a tide of those communities and that feed into that local economic and social vitality.

Rico: [11:45] So what can you do? What does the organization do that’s actionable that’s ground, that’s on the ground that you know… I mean, yeah, that’s on the ground accessory that you can say you can do this and within weeks or months, you’ll be at a better place.

Erin: [11:59] Yeah, and we try to do everything physically on the ground in the communities that we operate in. So we, Start Me as a 14 Session placed base accelerator program for small businesses. So we’re really focused on those micro businesses. Typically that’s one to five employees, including the founders, less than fifty thousand dollars in start-up capital. Oftentimes far less than fifty thousand dollars in start-up capital and you know, we’ve worked with everything from farmers to freight truckers to beer brewers to natural hair care providers. So it really runs the gambit of what you find in and around your neighborhood or what you might be looking for. If you’re a resident or an employee of a particular neighborhood. We run in three Metro Atlanta communities. We originally started in the Clarkston Community serving entrepreneurs and that economic corridor that also is kind of inclusive of Tucker and Stone Mountain. We also operate in the Economic Corridor of Edgewood Kirkwood and Eastlake and then the southside of Atlanta, which is a really large geography, south of I-20 ITP. But really try to support the entrepreneurs who live there, who work there, who provide valuable products and services to those communities. We deliver sessions in community. So we’re meeting at local schools from meeting at local community centers, and we’re really trying to bring an injection of business know-how, what do you need in order to effectively operate an early stage small business. Networks are really frankly that probably the most important piece of that and that’s peer entrepreneurs who are operating different businesses. But also going through a very similar entrepreneurial journey, all the ups and downs and kind of empowerment and challenges that that entails and having a network to draw upon there. And then we bring in with each cohort of 15 to 18 businesses, we bring in 20 to 25 volunteer business mentors from all walks of life, but with a lot of collective expertise and collective passion for small business who really work hand in hand with those entrepreneurs to build and grow businesses. And then each
Community has a peer selected capital component as well. So we have ten thousand dollars in grant funds for each community and the entrepreneurs and mentors peer select and allocate that capital over the course of the program.

Karl: [14:16] So one thing that you mentioned in each one, what is a typical session feel like? Give us a sense of.. what if I’m an entrepreneur and I show up in one of these what can I expect?

Erin: [14:27] That’s a good question. So, I mean it is an accelerator. It’s not a class and so we don’t want it ever to feel like, I read at people for three hours from a book or any of my colleagues do either. We open every session with dinner. It’s a great way to break bread with your neighbors, build connections with entrepreneurs and with mentors. We like to share some accelerated moments if you will and so that’s both the things that have gone really well in your business. That’s towards achieving major goals or milestones and then also the struggles. Things don’t always go well and sometimes it’s really hard to find a safe space to share that and we try to foster that safe space. We have a short curriculum component to every session and each one is a little different but you know, whether we’re introducing the key components of a business plan or walking through business financials, whatever that piece is, we try to keep that really short and then you spend the rest of the time applying it to the actual small businesses in the room. So entrepreneurs and mentors are working hand-in-hand to take those concepts and start to put that into place. So we want every business over the course of 14 sessions to exit of course with strong relationships and good networks, but also a short concise actionable business plan that they use and continue to build upon. We want them to have a good understanding of their financials. We want them to have really good comfort telling their business story to a wide variety of different stakeholders and to feel like coming out of an intensive and yet also very short 14 session roughly three month period of time that they kind of have that acceleration to their business and are kind of moving towards their strategic goals for where they want to take that business.

Rico: [16:09] This way they don’t feel alone out there on the prairie doing the work. And sometimes you feel alone. But yeah, just doing the work in a small business and sometimes you just gravitate to what you do best. I think you mentioned that. And you know to rejoin, you get stuck doing things maybe you shouldn’t be doing and other people should be doing and you have to grow that business.

Karl: [16:31] There’s a simple example of that that plays out. You take the financials and if you were to ask most small business owners, what’s your goal on profitability? And they’ll answer the question probably saying; make profit. But if they had to break that down and say well, where is that going to come from? How much? How much revenue do you need? What are the costs are going to have to do? They often don’t sit down and kind of put that on paper. But in a session where they’re putting that down on paper with peers, with other entrepreneurs as well as mentors, they start realizing; maybe I’m not charging enough to cover my costs. Now imagine not doing that math on paper before you actually go out there and start implementing it. By the
time you find out that you’re not, that the math isn’t working. You’re already in debt. You’re already struggling, you’re already frustrated. So you could avoid a lot of those things just by getting some of those ideas and said well, you know, maybe I can increase the price but can I lower the cost? Or my portion is this. If a simple caterer may do a delicious meal but you look at the portion that it can serve four people and most people aren’t going to eat four people’s worth of food. And so there’s a cost savings of maybe they only serve for two people. So that’s some of the exciting things that in the session you see people actually the light bulb going off and clicking and it’s just wonderful to see that.

Erin: [17:58] I think it also helps, again, to realize that you’re not alone. I would say the biggest fear that folks, and this is broad strokes, but that we see kind of coming into it as most folks are either afraid of standing up and talking about their business or they’re afraid of that financial session. You start to see people even been with well, I might be sick that week. You’re probably not sick that week, that’s in two months. And you know part of that is saying, is making it clear to them that they’re not by themselves. They’re not the only person who’s been kicking that can down the road and you do definitely get people who are like; so I’ve finally crunched the numbers and I’ve realized I’m losing X number of dollars on every single thing I sell, what do I do? And then you at least have something to act on and you can start to think about what the right lever is that you can tweak. But otherwise you’re just doing what you love and you don’t realize that it’s not necessarily working for you.

Rico: [18:54] Right, until it’s too late. The mentors that you bring out do they stay consistent with it? Do they sort of hook up with the individual entrepreneurs or startups? You know, are they in relation with them for a period of time? Or does it vary?

Erin: [19:09] So it’s a bit of both. So we work with the cohorts of about 15 to 18 businesses. 22-25 mentors and we have people rotate around for the first several weeks. And that’s so that everybody kind of gets a feel for the different businesses in the room, the different skill sets in the room, and trying to find a little bit of that art, if you will, of who clicks. And around week 4 we assign dedicated teams, and typically that’s about two businesses and about three mentors. And we try to really match people with those that they’ve clicked with. So you know, kind of expressed a particular interest in continuing to work with. But then also mentors that have a variety of different skill sets and so perhaps they have particular industry expertise that’s related to the businesses at their table. But otherwise trying to make sure that you know, we’re putting together folks who have experience with operations and marketing and communications and finance at the same table so that collectively they have that expertise that really serves the needs of the small businesses.

Karl: [20:08] And I would say it also extends beyond the room. It’s been about a couple of hours, 2 to 3 hours working on it, but then the phone calls after, midweek where, here’s my second iteration on my plan. Can you take a look at it? Or it could be an introduction to someone. Here is a retailer that might carry the product that I’m doing. They mentored me, have networks or people that they make those introduction they may bring them to events. So the role of the
mentor plays, is expands beyond just a session and years later, you will see the mentors. And even if you don’t directly work with them during the session, through the social events that happened you might connect with someone else that’s in another business and you might help them along a path as well.

Rico: [21:00] It’s all about networking.

Karl: [21:02] Yeah, it’s a critical component. I see it in a lot of successful businesses. You would think, you know, you have a better product and you execute, but the relationships you build, the people that could open doors. I heard the term the other day; the rich uncle. And most successful businesses, I thought it was a beautiful way of describing it, you might have someone that, I know a guy. You need printing material done in particular way, I know a guy. and when you’re a struggling entrepreneur and some of these communities you may not know that person that knows how to do that thing. And if you can get connected that can help you, you know, get over a hurdle that like.

Rico: [21:42] That’s funny, in New York we used to call it, it would be the rabbi. I had the rabbi. My rabbi tells me this, even though I’m a Catholic, doesn’t matter. Everyone has a rabbi.

Karl: [21:51] Everyone has someone that’s able to do that. So if someone was starting a business, you know early on, so your experience of working with all these entrepreneurs. Any tips and advice you’d give to someone that’s either thinking about starting a business or in that early stage of starting it? Any advice you’d give to those folks?

Erin: [22:12] That’s a great question, you know, we’re actually in the midst of the application cycle now, and so I’m meeting with lots of entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting businesses. Are currently operating businesses and looking for additional support that have been operating for a long time. So I’ve been having similar discussions and you know, I tailor it a little bit around what they want to do and where they are, but with a lot of folks it’s encouraging people to just start. Sometimes they’re waiting for the perfect moment, that exact perfect confluence of events. If you will, they want the perfect program the perfect partner, the perfect market conditions. And if you wait it might never happen. And if you know that you’re passionate about it, you just start and that way you at least can start doing it on your own time on your own terms and you can figure out what you’re looking for. Sometimes what you figure out is; you didn’t really need any of those things that you were waiting for in the first place. You know, there are tons of different resources out there both online and then in person. Lots of workshops to get people started, regardless of where they are, if they’re a serial entrepreneur and they’ve done this a bunch of times or this is the first time and they’re thinking about starting out on their own. There are so many different support programs out there and kind of resources that they can access.

Rico: [23:28] So you don’t have to feel alone.

Erin: [23:30] Exactly. You’re not alone.

Rico: [23:32] Right. You always ask about the bookkeeping or the money. I have this idea for an app or I have this idea for a clothing company. How do I get that process going? That could be scary. I mean, I love talking shop, but that could be scary to a young person not knowing what they’re doing.

Erin: [23:49] Yeah, and actually what’s interesting, you know, we run a program with High school students in the summertime and the younger people are less fearful in some ways. Like they come up with an idea and they’re like, I love it, I’m doing it, and I’m going to make this work. And I think sometimes there’s a little bit of that fear as you maybe get a little further on in your career. Or maybe even a little more afraid to put that idea out there with the risk that someone will say they don’t get it or they don’t like it. And maybe that person’s probably not your target audience.

Rico: [24:17] And that person could also be paying the bills and because they’re too far along in life, maybe. Where they’re thinking, I’ve just got to pay the bills.

Karl: [24:27] You even find very often, a lot of people that work for large corporations get trained on having all of the data. And having you know, a business plan that’s 40 pages with with all of that. And I’ve seen people that will write all of that stuff for years and they never start doing anything. So this concept of agile, being quick, fast fail. A business plan could be drafted on a piece of paper. There’s a couple of key questions you’ve got to answer. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it’s enough for you to examine the business model on what you’re trying to do and who your customers are and how you’re going to make money and how you’re going to find your customers to get you started and guess what’s going to happen. Even if you did a 40 page business plan, three months in guess what? The world changes, you’ve got to pivot, got to change. So it’s more dynamic.

Rico: [25:19] But doesn’t that, isn’t that a little different from how, I mean the world is funny. That’s my rent yet the bank wants to see a business plan. But then venture capitalists really want to see the passion, they don’t are about the business plan. They just want to see what you’re doing and they want to see proof of concept maybe. Or if it’s way before that, they just want to know that you’re really so into it that you can bleed it before you leave. Yeah, I mean so different ways.

Karl: [25:46] It is. But I’ll also say the the 40 page business plan can be a way to hide that you don’t know what’s important. If someone’s asking to invest money, whether it’s a bank lending you money. The people that do better can explain what their business is. They could explain who their customers are, they could explain how they’re going to make money out of it and what’s critical to success. And whether they do it on one page or a five minute pitch or they do it on a half hour or an hour long presentation and 40 pages. The essence of that, you gotta still answer those questions in there. And so for small businesses, if we’re talking micro-businesses,
you don’t need a 40 page business plan. You know to get started you need to, you need to think through some things, but it’s about taking action and being prepared to put yourself out there. There’s no illusion, every entrepreneur I think would tell you it’s a lot of hard work at the beginning but the passion carries them through a support network around them. A little bit of knowledge will carry them a pretty long way.

Erin: [26:55] And I think it’s okay to be comfortable with the fact that it’s not going to be perfect the first time. The first time you outline or draft your business plan. You’re going to get a bunch of things wrong, but you’ve got to make smart assumptions and figure out what you don’t yet know and then revisit it. And it’s a living document that will grow and change over time or you hope it grows and changes over time. But I think taking that first leap and putting some words down on paper goes a long way and then doubling back a little bit to what we were talking about before. You know, find a network, find people who have gone through a similar experience, who are micro business owners and in different industries or the same industry. And find mentors who can coach you and support you and are really just excited to see you thrive. And there are different ways that you can do that, whether you’re an extroverted person and you love to go to networking oriented events, or there are a lot of ways that you can do that work for more introverted individuals as well. But I think finding those people who are good sounding boards who don’t have as much of the emotional investment that you have and maybe can see past some of the flaws can be invaluable in helping you cultivate that early stage business idea.

Karl: [28:08] So I’m curious. This sounds, this is a great program and it’s out there for folks. But what if you’re in the business community and you know, you want to get involved. What are the ways that they can help their communities and/or get involved with this program?

Erin: [28:25] That’s a good question and there’s a couple of different ways that we sort of broadly engage different people. So one is in investing in local community programs. So that’s you know in supporting programs like ours that are free and support local small businesses in Metro Atlanta. But there are also other organizations and programs out there that are doing really important work. And in order to do that, you need financial resources in order to make that continue to work. You can also invest your time. I mean a big part of the value of what we bring together is bringing together networks of excited and engaged passionate people who are really passionate about supporting the entrepreneurs in the room. And so, so much of what we need is really good business skills, really good passion and you know, kind of that passion for helping others and asking the right questions. And you know, kind of supporting the growth and interests of others who are starting small businesses. And then the last thing is, you know, being a good community member yourself. You know, some of that is captured in small business Saturday, you know one day a year. But that is supporting your local businesses. That’s sourcing locally. That’s you know, finding local providers if you’re looking for a website or you’re looking for a wine shop or whatever it might be. And that doesn’t mean that everything you buy needs to be local, but you can find a lot of wonderful local businesses through business owners associations, by looking at the shops around you, by figuring out what the kinds of businesses that your neighbors are operating formally or informally out of their homes and supporting that.

Karl: [30:04] And you think about the holiday season is coming up and I know lots of people are going to be doing gifts for various reasons. Not only is it around Thanksgiving, the season for giving, there’s a lot of gifts that are being given. Supporting your local small business in these communities is a great way. If they wanted to learn, where they can find some of these businesses out there where they can purchase things and support in that way how do they find that?

Erin: [30:31] So we, on our own website keep a kind of a Shopping Guide if you will of our local small businesses. So we worked with about 200 businesses across Metro Atlanta and you know, they do everything. If you think about it, so, you know, some are offering the kinds of products and services that you might typically see around the holidays, so lots of different caterers. You know for after the holidays, we’ve got lots of folks that are focused on health and wellness and physical fitness. You know, we have folks who are doing lawn care and repair and help people get their homes ready with spring cleaning, you know for small business owners. We have those who work in, you know, digital media and build beautiful websites. So they kind of run the gambit. But you know, those are two hundred businesses that collectively are doing wonderful things in Atlanta, but you can also find lots of great businesses right around you, wherever you are. I mean looking around Peachtree Corner, there are corners, excuse me. There are so many right here that you’d be able to draw upon and that’s you know, walking into a local shop and asking. That’s you know, when something pops up in a social media news feed that’s a local business that’s checking it out. There are great festivals and events and Becraft experience is always a really fun one if you’re interested in makers and you know, kind of handmade and vintage products.

Rico: [31:54] And Johns Creek Festival just had, I think it was this past week. Lots of local makers there.

Erin: [32:01] Yeah Refuge Market over at Refuge coffee. And in Clarkston is a wonderful one and that’s a lot of new Americans and refugees that are building and selling beautiful products and a lot of times those are really fun things to pick out for others. I’m not necessarily much of a shopper myself, but I love shopping for other people and I think it’s really fun to find something that looks like it would be really special to a parent or significant other or a child. And feel like I put a lot of thought and energy into selecting something for them.

Rico: [32:32] It’s always nice to find something different rather than going for the same product at the same three stores that’s mass produced.

Karl: [32:38] And there’s often a story behind it. When you see a lot of these products, where it was made, how it was made, the traditions or culture that’s built into it is also a great way to get. And what if somebody wanted to be a mentor, how do they get involved in that process?

Erin: [32:53] That’s a great question. So we do engage a lot of mentors. We have about 80 volunteer mentors across our three programs. Our programs largely run from January through the very beginning of April. And so what we really have mentors do is they’re there week in and week out meeting and working with entrepreneurs. So it’s a very much a Hands-On role. And then throughout the rest of the year we do other programming. You had mentioned some of the social activities. We do also mentor office hours for mentors continue to kind of plug-in. So we do try to continue to foster that network. Folks can really find a lot of that information on our website. So we’re at StartMeATL.org there is a mentor tab for under a kind of get involved and you know who we’re working with but you know, we work with business professionals from across Metro Atlanta with a wide variety of different skill sets. Entrepreneurs often times make fantastic mentors, they get what it’s like to work on a business and in a business and balancing wearing all of the hats with also everything else going on in and around their lives.

Rico: [33:54] And if people aren’t ready yet they can go to Facebook or Instagram for Start Me ATL.

Erin: [33:59] Exactly, yeah. We’re all over our social media as well. That’s where you can certainly also find out about local small businesses to shop. But we can all, you can also find out about ways to continue to engage and I think it’s a fun way to put your business skills to work in supporting other individuals. And you know, I find it to be really rewarding to be there week in and week out. But it’s really fascinating to see how much ground you can cover in a small business and how much excitement people have coming out of a 14 session accelerator for you know what the months and years after that hold.

Karl: [34:37] So the website is StartMeATL.org. If you want to find out more information about the Start Me program fine, and I know there’s a deadline coming up soon for entrepreneurs people that are looking. When are applications due Erin?

Erin: [34:54] They’re due this weekend. So it’s an exciting stretch for us. Yeah, we’re approaching the very end of our application cycle for entrepreneurs interested in going through the program come January. So we’re open through October 20th, and then all applications go through a detailed paper review. We do a selection night and from all the applications were selecting 15 to 18 businesses per cohort and then we’re running also all those cohorts in parallel. So we’ve got, we’re in Eastlake on Tuesdays, Clarkston on Wednesdays and the Southside on Thursdays working with entrepreneurs, you know, kind of night after night after night to build those businesses.

Rico: [35:30] If they miss the 20th and the sessions start in January is there another set of sessions later in the year next year?

Erin: [35:38] That’s our next set of sessions for kind of accelerator for this particular program. We do also keep a really detailed resources page. So we think, not only is it important to support entrepreneurs through our program but really important to connect people to other
resources in and around Metro Atlanta and then also online. So we keep a running calendar of upcoming events that we think are really helpful to small businesses. And then we have links to the different organizations that are doing really important work in these different communities. Whether it’s for those who are just trying to decide if entrepreneurship is a good fit, to those who are operating really established businesses and just looking for that support system as they’re kind of taking the next step in scaling or expanding or even thinking about selling.

Karl: [36:25] Well, I want to thank you so much Erin for joining us today. Erin Is programmatically with Start Me and works at Emory University business school. You shared a lot of information, a lot of insight for people. And I don’t know if people realize how much is going out there in the community. And just being aware that there’s resources available for people to be entrepreneurs. And it’s not always have to be a big tech idea. It could be as simple as a micro business that is being grown and there’s support there for that. We’d also like to thank Atlanta Tech Park for hosting The Capitalist Sage podcast. We’re here every month and get to talk with folks and have a great conversation about business. Great place to work, great environment to follow your entrepreneurial pursuits as they come through. Rico, what do we have coming up?

Rico: [37:28] There’s so much going on. I just don’t know where to start sometimes. But so let me hold this up. The Peachtree Corners magazine, yes, this is one of the jobs that I do, I own this magazine. It’s a great magazine I think, I’m hoping everyone enjoys it. It comes out six times a year. The next issue is December/January. If you have someone under 20 that you want to nominate to our first 20 under 20 issue list, that would be great. It has to live in Peachtree Corners Middle School to High School, college. Someone that has had either an impact on the community or success with their own within their own lives. Whether it’s sports or writing, performing, sciences. That’s who we’re looking for. Someone, an individual young person that would inspire others is essentially what we want. So that’ll be the next issue. Deadline for that is October 31st. Visit our Facebook page, Instagram, or come to LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com and you’ll find the page with information there. Aside from that I also do social media marketing, I do other things I’m in the middle of a product video I’m doing for a client. And the first time I’m ever doing stop-motion animation in my garage. I’ve set up the studio and it’s a learning experience, but it’s cool because you get, even at my age, you get to learn a lot of stuff that you haven’t done before.

Karl: [38:52] Oh, fabulous. Well, I’m Karl Barham with TransWorld business advisors of Atlanta Peachtree. We help entrepreneurs at any stage, whether they’re looking to find a business, to acquisition, where they’re looking to exit their business and sell their business. We help them with that but where our passion is around, is really supporting the entrepreneurial, the small business community here in the Metro Atlanta area. You could find out more about our process and what we do at www.TWorld.com/Atlantapeachtree and just reach out if you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, I’d love to have a conversation with you and help you start planning for it. And if you’re been in business for a while and you’re looking for your next adventure, there’s plenty, it’s a good time to find the next leader of your business and we can help you with
that as well. Again, thank you Erin for joining us today. And we want to thank everybody out there for listening to this podcast and following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.

Rico: [40:01] You can listen to the YouTube Video from this which is well, when I post it. Or you can get the podcast on iHeart, Spotify, Boxcasts, SoundCloud, anywhere, iTunes. Anyway, you can find it.

Karl: [40:14] And LivingInPeachtreeCorners as well.

Rico: [40:16] LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com.

Karl: [40:18] .com. Absolutely. Well, thank you everybody. Have a great day.

Rico: [40:21] Thank you.

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