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The Hurt Hub Presses On: Marketing Guru Meg Seitz and her Virtual Office Hours

To protect against the spread of COVID-19, Davidson College has closed its doors for the semester. Classes have moved online, typically meeting via Zoom; spring sports have been canceled; the campus is mostly empty. But as Wildcats always do, we persist. Our community remains resilient, even in these adverse times. Despite our dispersion across the globe, we remain connected; our unity and dedication to our community provide a glimmer of hope in these historical times.   

In true Wildcat spirit, The Hurt Hub remains committed to providing entrepreneurial assistance to the community.  Although they are not hosting entrepreneurial programming in person (to comply with the NC Stay at Home order in April), The Hurt Hub is offering virtual office hours. Members of The Hurt Hub community—experts in various disciplines—have opened their (virtual) offices to discuss everything from business model pivots to legal questions about the CARES Act.

One of these experts is Meg Seitz, a marketing//brand/storytelling expert and marketing class instructor at The Hurt Hub. In her virtual office, Seitz offers help in branding and communications: “A lot of times it’s listening to where someone is right now and where they’re struggling and helping them think through that next step.” She further offers, “A series of next steps will get you where you need to be, and I’m happy to listen and offer ideas that get you moving again.”

Seitz also says that her office hours are “casual” and do not require an extensive agenda: “Come as you are, let’s talk and riff on where you are, and what’s a struggle for you right now when it comes to branding and marketing…you’ll leave with a next action step to keep moving.” Seitz also invites people to chat about post-COVID strategies: “There will be a time when all this is over – let’s plan for and talk about that time; what’s next for THAT stage in life.”

Like the other Hurt Hub experts, Seitz’s schedule is flexible; people can schedule 15- or 30-minutes session anywhere between 8am and 7pm: “I know a lot of people and businesses have a lot on their minds, so I’m happy to serve others at a time that works for you…just practicing real flexibility and agility right now to serve others.” Signing up for virtual office hours is easy, too: Seitz says you can simply go the Hurt Hub website, find her page, and click on her Calendly—an online appointment scheduling service. From there, select the time that “works best for you…and I’ll be happy to chat!”

Seitz provided a sample of her advice. When asked about her current working conditions, she acknowledged difficulty with staying motivated:  “I’m not going to lie–staying motivated right now has been a struggle… I’ve been frustrated that I can’t access my creativity as easily right now because my brain feels like it’s thinking about everything and nothing all at the same time.” Her solution?  “I’ve found that I can get through days in snackable chunks of time…so I’ve found I need to break up time more…I will also add that Summit’s drive-thru and milk bread donuts have been a real bright spot in my life…”

From quarantine motivational tips to starting your startups, five other experts are available for virtual office hours: Chris Langford on venture capital; Lyle Garret on legal affairs; David Nason on HR questions; Jon Boggiano on startup practices; and consultant Cynthia Beiler on creative sales strategies.

Office hours are free of charge and open to anyone. Sign-ups for these experts are part of the Hurt Hub’s Virtual Resources page, which is regularly being updated, so keep checking back for new ideas!

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Article Startup

Start(up) Your Engines: Inaugural Techstars Startup Weekend at the Hurt Hub@Davidson

On the first weekend of February, The Hurt Hub hosted their inaugural “Techstars Startup Weekend”—a hands-on 54-hour workshop which brought together active and aspiring entrepreneurs to workshop ideas for a startup. Participants—which included Davidson students, high schoolers, and community members— arrived on Friday and formed teams. By the end of the weekend they had brainstormed and developed a business plan, consulted with mentors, and delivered an investor pitch (with a working prototype) to a panel of judges.

Emma Balin, the Program Catalyst for the Hurt Hub@Davidson, writes that the workshop aspired “to introduce our participants to esteemed entrepreneurs…as they refine their ideas and craft their pitches…[We aim] to simulate the startup process, in a fast-paced weekend intensive.”

Following an ice-breaker and networking session over dinner, participants listened to a brief lecture on basic startup methodologies. Each participant, then, prepared and presented a sixty-second startup pitch to their peers. Attendees voted on their favorite ideas and the top 9 ideas became the projects for the weekend. 

 One of those ideas came from Lorena James, a junior Environmental Social Science major: “I worked with a team of three to develop WeTat, a brand that replaces boring event nametags with scannable temporary tattoos,” James writes. “Our product would personalize the networking experience by allowing conferences to provide WeTats to their attendees.”

The next day, groups worked on their projects with occasional breaks to listen to brief lectures from industry leaders in the Charlotte area. Furthermore, volunteer mentors consulted with each of the groups, asking questions and helping refine their pitches. According to James, “all of our mentors were of great help, but some of their advice was contradictory. It was up to us…[to] decide on which advice to accept and which to ignore.” James, however, further acknowledges how this contradictory information allows her to understand how entrepreneurs approach advice: “ask a lot of questions and don’t be afraid to pivot more if necessary.”

On the last day, each group presented their business model—including, for some groups, a working prototype—to the judges. “In the end, we decided to go with temporary tattoos in order to reach a wider market. Using QR code technology, we were able to develop a prototype using printers at The Hurt Hub,” James notes.

James writes “[The workshop] effectively simulated…the startup process,” emphasizing that the fast-paced, community-based environment mimics her own startup experiences. James further writes she “recommend[s] the experience to anyone looking to start their own business venture.”

Student work from Startup Weekend, such as “WeTat,” exemplifies the Hurt Hub@Davidson’s commitment to providing accessible resources for students interested in entrepreneurship. The former cotton mill on Delberg Street provides exceptional opportunities, such as the Techstars Startup Weekend, which connects inspired Davidson students with the greater Charlotte business community, providing avenues for post-collegiate success and building stronger bonds between college and community.