Many thanks to Wests Ashfield Leagues Club for hosting the event and to our sponsors for the evening, Marrickville Council, Ashfield Council, and Leichhardt Council, for their continual support for small business communities. And special thanks to our guest speakers, Christopher Thé, the Black Star Pastry founder and chef and Jill Storey, the Director of Ready Fund Go, a successful crowd funding website.
NetStripes’ 7th Bizruption event to date was packed with innovative business owners taking to the stage in sharing their secrets to success, and business entrepreneurs mingling and networking towards stronger connections and business opportunities.
Serial Entrepreneur Gordon Bourke, and the event’s MC began the evening by extending a warm welcome to the attendees, encouraging people to high five and hug 5 other members to break the ice and feel at home.
After a brief welcome from Duncan Gilchrist, Economic Development Manager for Marrickville Council, to the attendees on behalf of the Marrickville, Ashfield and Leichhardt Councils, Angelo Grasso introduced an interesting game to get people collaborating, the marshmallow game in which groups of 5-6 people had to team up on how to build a tower made up of only wooden skewers and marshmallows. Whoever built the highest and most stable tower and posted the most interesting photo of their masterpiece on social media won 2 bottles of the finest wine, courtesy of the Italian Chamber of Commerce.
The first guest speaker, Christopher Thé, chef and owner of Black Star Pastry talked about his experience of launching his business from zero to managing over a hundred people in a short time. He pointed out that the turning point was when his Watermelon Cake became a social media sensation, which since then has become his leading product (up to 3600 slices in a single Friday night). This experience alerted him to the importance of digital engagement to successfully express his passion and helped him understand his target market more.
Gordon Burke then spoke about his experience with how digital engagement not only helped his business grow, but had helped change his perspective on the critical role that strategy plays in the equation to business success. In his experience of building 10 businesses in the last 30 or so years, and helping startups break through barriers to achieve exponential growth, he shared that business growth is an extension of self-growth. In that respect, he added that NetStripes had been the best of the best in delivering digital engagement and sound strategic digital marketing to clients from his own experience as their client.
Dinesh De Silva, the Founder and CEO of NetStripes gave a talk on the importance of building a customer persona and understanding the customer funnel for each persona. He emphasized that business owners must take the time to understand who their ideal customer is to help attract the right target market and maximize customer conversion potential for their business. He then went on to demonstrate through a simple example how this important step is essential in determining the ideal sales process for each business, and finally when done properly, it would ensure that each prospect turns to lead, and each lead to customer, and each customer to repeat buyer.
Finally, the next guest speaker, Jill Storey, Partner at Deloitte and Director of ReadyFundGo. She highlighted the power of the “crowd” which helps people raise interest-free funds for their business through the collection of small contributions from the general public. She shared real examples of success stories from people who’ve benefitted from crowd-funding. She also stressed the importance of community and how ReadyFundGo helps people connect on a human level to advance humanitarian issues and ideas.
At this point, it was time for the pitching game in which everyone had an opportunity to pitch their business to 5-6 other participants within 30 seconds, and the person with the best pitch was then selected as the winner by the rest of the group. All the winners then gathered on stage to get an opportunity to pitch their business to the whole audience.
Finally, the evening came to a close giving participants the opportunity to mingle and network among themselves. In fact, come 8pm and people were still huddled together and enjoying great, stimulating talks that no doubt will disrupt and transform businesses for a long time to come.
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