If you frequent the tech scene in Newark, you know him. He’s the sleek, polished, gentleman at a corner table in the Converge co-work space or =SPACE incubator, perhaps wearing a lapel pin and carrying the classic 80’s laptop bag sold by his company, Geek Supply, which could pass for cool streetwear or, better, geek-wear! In fact, he can’t walk down the street without feeling he’s been transposed to a Bugle Boy jeans commercial; only the question is where did you get that bag? It’s been such a hurdle getting to his destination that he’s even resorted to turning the bag’s eye-popping details inward, to hide them from view and facilitate his commute. It’s a great problem to have when your products are sought after, when you’ve merged, quite well in my opinion, the iconic elements of street, geek and gentleman. Jimi Olaghere, co-founder of Geek Supply Co. powered by Geek Cook, is doing just that with his new line A Geek & A Gentleman. The line is described as a fusion of two unique lifestyles creating accessories to enhance your suit and products to make you stand out. Yup! If the creator is any indication, this line is definitely his offspring.
But it’s Olaghere’s cause-related consciousness that sparked me to reach out and talk business. You see, he and I share a common thread—Sickle Cell Anemia. My mother passed on due to complications related to the genetic disease. Olaghere is bravely battling and living with Sickle Cell Anemia daily and brings awareness to our nation’s need for more education and bone marrow donors. He and I will be partnering in these efforts.
It’s cool to be fashionable, tech savvy, cause-conscious and innovative all at once. Olaghere has founded companies such as BagAWriter.com and GeekCookUSA. He’s an alumnus of Lean Startup Machine Newark and has taken his businesses and ideas through the validation process, made pivots, and seen resulting growth. So this year, Jimi Olaghere signed on to not only mentor, but his company, Geek Supply, is a Sponsor of this year’s Lean Newark weekend in November.
Come meet Olaghere and his product lines, Geek Supply and A Geek & A Gentleman, at the Lean Indiegrove Social (#LeanIndiegroveSocial) in Jersey City, Wednesday, October 8, 2014 6:30p-8:30p. Browse items to increase your cool at our Geek Swag Boutique.
There will be other presentations during the night, including Bad Ass Startup Hacks, Lean Startup How To, and Google+ Enlightenment, to help you achieve stress-less existence and higher efficiency through tools to make your life and business better. Attend the last Lean social mixer of the season before we kick off our Lean Newark workshop next month! Check out the full agenda.
Grab your tickets, bring friends! Join the convo on Twitter #LeanIndiegroveSocial.
The fusion of two unique lifestyles creating accessories to enhance your suit and products to make you stand out.
April Peters, Founding Organizer | Lean Newark
Guest post by April Peters, Recording Artist, Singer-Songwriter, and Founding Organizer for Lean Newark
Before you find yourself in the pitfalls of false starts and failed attempts month after grueling month, perhaps even years, launching an idea or product, I’ve got something great for you! Last week, I spent quality time at Brick City Tech’s Meetup and fireside chat on Crowd-funding and Intellectual Property, featuring panelists David Postolski, a registered patent and intellectual property attorney at Day Pitney, and Kim Wales of Wales Capital, a thought leader in the crowd-funding industry. Conversation surrounded tech startup, protecting yourself and your ideas, and beating a lack of capital through alternative investment paths like crowd-funding.
The room was electric with riveting personal stories of stolen ideas, inventions on the market, copyright infringements, successful fundraising efforts and failed crowd-funding campaigns (this one hit close to home). David and Kim adeptly shared what differentiated the failures from the successes—such as lack of market research, unprotected inventions, sharing new ideas too soon, the need to sufficiently build networks (professional and social media) before launching a fundraising campaign, and ignoring the tried-and-true value of face-to-face personal interaction.
Now for that great thing…. Lean Startup Machine Weekends in Newark teach the above-mentioned key principles in only three days, treating startup like an experiment and helping you ask, “Should this product be built?” and “Can we build a sustainable business around this set of products and services?” During a Lean Newark weekend you’ll be able to: 1. Figure out the problem you want to solve; 2. Learn before you launch; and 3. Get out of the building to test the product’s/service’s viability with ACTUAL customers.
I’m excited to reconnect with our partners, Judith Sheft, NJIT, Anthony Frasier, The Phat Startup and Brick City Tech to co-host additional tech meet-ups and social events leading up to the Lean Newark 2014 workshop. We still need about 100 more signups to bring the workshop to Newark, so please add your email at https://www.leanstartupmachine.com/cities/newark to help us UNLOCK Newark!
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In 2013, Lean Startup Machine Newark trained 75+ aspiring entrepreneurs on how to build disruptive products using lean methodology. Lean Newark emerged as a linchpin for NJ’s tech startup community, connecting organizations like the NJEDA, BCDC, GNEC, Audible, TechLaunch, JuiceTank, BCT Partners, NJIT, K&L Gates, PNC, Brick City Tech Meetup, Build In Brick City, ff Ventures, Startup Valley, NJ Tech Meetup and Scarlet Startups. We represented Newark’s startup community on the national stage at the 2013 Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco and served as a catalyst for new workshops coming up in New Brunswick and Madison.
When I brought LSM to Newark in 2013, one of my goals was to find smart entrepreneurs committed to expanding Newark’s startup community. I certainly found that person in April Peters. April has been a core Lean Newark member from the start, leading our partnerships with Dr. Randal Pinkett (our March 2013 Keynote) and his Campus CEO Challenge, NJIT, PNC Bank and local vendors. I’m happy to pass the torch to April to lead the 2014 workshops. I will continue to be an evangelist for Lean Newark by volunteering as a mentor, blogging at LeanNewark.com and being a channel for resources through my role at the NJEDA.
Now - April and I need your help. To launch the next Newark workshop we need 200 email signups on Lean Startup Machine’s new 2.0 global platform. Please show your support by visiting this link - https://www.leanstartupmachine.com/cities/newark - providing your email address in the signup box and clicking UNLOCK!
Thanks in advance for your support. See you soon.
Guest post by John Incantalupo, Co-founder CollegeRise, 2-time Lean Newark attendee.
“In the end, it’s about getting to the truth about ideas.”
That’s what Steven Royster said to me after this past LeanNewark weekend…and he couldn’t be more right!
I came to the weekend to join a team this time around.
Last March I had pitched a concept called CollegeRise, and formed a team around the idea. But THIS time I thought it would be more important to learn from a different perspective. Here’s what I learned…
Joining a team with a fully developed product/idea was a mistake in judgement on my part. I should have known better. Why? Because coming to a learning weekend with a developed mindset is exactly what I did last March at the first LeanNewark event held at NJIT. So this was almost like an instant replay, only 6 months later…
Everyone has ideas, concepts, prototypes, wireframes, a website, facebook fans, twitter followers, and the rest (maybe even a deal waiting in the wings). We’re all entrepreneurially active - that’s what attracts us to a weekend event like the Lean Startup Machine weekend.
In order to be successful (and by that, I do NOT mean win!) I have learned you really must leave all that “stuff” behind - just for the weekend. It is truly stifling, and will impede your progress toward the truth.
So that’s the second time I’ve mentioned “the truth” isn’t it?
The “truth” - as I refer to it here - is what you’re left with when you’ve discovered your customers pain.
The truth about your idea may be that your product/idea/concept/prototype NEVER addressed your customers pain - and therefore you’ll need to pivot. Or maybe you don’t even know who your customer is? Again, pivot. Or maybe the pain you’ve discovered isn’t painful enough for the customer to take action - PIVOT!
A pivot - or change of concept/idea - doesn’t mean you were ever wrong. It simply means you didn’t have the ability to get at the truth.
THAT is what I’ve learned this past weekend, and that is what you’ll learn when you participate in a LeanNewark weekend - the ability to get at the truth…and that will bring you, as it did me, one step closer to launching your own startup.
LeanNewark, the Lean Startup Machine and lean methodology in general will get you there - and in the end, you’ll be happy with the truth.