StartupLansing Offers Valuable Business AdviceBy Jane Whitttington on August 2nd, 2016 /
Jesse Flores knows what it means to be an entrepreneur. He understands the process, is aware of the pitfalls and knows the elements that contribute to success. When he moved to Lansing from Atlanta two years ago, he made the decision to share that knowledge with Lansing’s start up community. Now he manages StartupLansing and serves as Entrepreneur in Residence for the newly established Conquer Accelerator. And he does all this while also owning and operating his own business, SuperWebPros.
According to Flores, “StartupLansing is dedicated to educating, connecting and promoting startup activity in Mid-Michigan. When I lived in Atlanta, I was very active in the startup community there, and when I moved to Lansing I wanted to continue that involvement. Getting Startup Lansing underway was my way of doing that.”
He continues, “One of the ways in which we educate is to offer a series of blog posts, videos and sometimes even seminars or classes where I can teach various concepts in entrepreneurship based on my own experiences. And my own experience has sometimes led to less than positive results. I like to say, ‘I failed so you don’t have to.’”
StartupLansing, through their website, offers links and downloads to a number of resources of value to aspiring entrepreneurs. There’s also a startup guide to the various agencies and entities available in the region.
Flores says, “We also have a ‘slack’ channel, a digital community for entrepreneurs, an online forum which anyone can join to discuss their own business and ask questions of other business owners.”
He continues, “In terms of promotion, our website features new startups and tells their stories. We share their posts, press releases and latest news. This is all free of charge, of course.”
Flores has a calendar available where individuals can schedule time to talk to Flores on a one-to-one basis as they work towards starting and/or growing their own businesses.
As mentioned earlier, Flores is also the Entrepreneur in Residence for the newly established Conquer Accelerator, a collaborative effort at Michigan State University made possible through partnerships with the MSU Foundation, Spartan Innovations and MSU Federal Credit Union. The program is open to everyone regardless of their relationship to MSU. In May of 2016, the Conquer Accelerator chose six teams to mentor over a three-month period, helping each team to go from an idea, to a business plan and through the steps necessary to bring that business to market. Resources, capital ($20,000 in seed funding) and educational support is provided. Flores makes himself available to consult with these new businesses.
In October, the Conquer Accelerator will begin accepting applications for the second annual program which will begin in the summer of 2017. Their website is www.conqueraccelerator.com
Flores says, “My profession is as owner and operator of my own company SuperWebPros (www.superwebpros.com), which builds customized websites for businesses. Our clients include Common Wealth Enterprises (www.comwent.com ), EAM Staffing (www.eamstaffing.com), and The Trainers Studio (www.thetrainersstudio.com).”
Flores shares his successes (and failures) with those attempting to replicate his many achievements and paves the way for budding entrepreneurs to realize their business goals. With collaboration comes innovation which, as Flores says, “Can happen anywhere.”