Entrepreneurs share their stories in elevators in new MEDC show – a true elevator pitch

Entrepreneurs share their stories in elevators in new MEDC show – a true elevator pitch

If you’ve watched Jerry Seinfeld’s web series, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” you’ve listened to some pretty interesting, and sometimes quirky, stories as Seinfeld and his guest take a ride in a cool car and have hilarious, and sometimes insightful conversations – all while going to get coffee.

Ever open to new ideas, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation is taking a page from Seinfeld’s “script” and is launching “Entrepreneurs in Elevators.” It will give viewers a quick peek into the lives of local innovators, their trials and triumphs, reasons for becoming entrepreneurs and how they brought their ideas to life.

The goal is to help Michigan’s entrepreneurs learn from one another.

“There are thousands of entrepreneurs in Michigan with incredible stories,” says Fred Molnar, vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation at MEDC. “’Entrepreneurs in Elevators’ is a novel way to hear about challenges, successes, failures and support that these innovative minds have encountered throughout their journey.”

David Ollila, president and chief innovation officer at Skypoint Ventures in Flint, hosts “Entrepreneurs in Elevators.” Photo courtesy of Skypoint Ventures

Serial entrepreneur and innovator, David Ollila,president and chief innovation officer at Skypoint Ventures in Flint,  hosts the show, which will connect with some of the most passionate entrepreneurs and innovative companies across the state.

Yup, the show starts out with Ollila and the entrepreneur taking a ride in an elevator.

The ride gives the entrepreneur just enough time to tell him what his or her product does. It’s the ultimate test of the elevator speech – that 30-second clear, concise message or “commercial” about the product. 30 seconds is just about the time it takes people to ride from the top to the bottom of a building in an elevator.

“’Entrepreneurs in Elevators’ is an engaging platform to share those stories and, hopefully, inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs in the state,”Ollila says. “Plus, is there any better place to hear a businesses’ elevator pitch? We think not.

The following video with Karen Smoots, founder of The Green Glove Dryer, in Kalamazoo, gives you a good idea of what each show is about.

The series launches with four initial videos, including the one with Smoots. The other entrepreneurs are:

  • Fares Ksebati, co-founder of MySwimPro, in Ann Arbor
  • JT Weis, CEO of Abcor Industries, in Holland
  • Danny Ellis, founder of SkySpecs, in Ann Arbor.

To watch Entrepreneurs in Elevators, visit www.michiganbusiness.org/start-up/entrepreneurs-in-elevators.

New episodes, set in Detroit, Flint, Bay City and Lansing, will launch in December.

For more on MEDC Entrepreneurship & Innovation, visit www.michiganbusiness.org.





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