Ignite Phoenix
This post is obviously a little late but here nonetheless. I am amped to be presenting tonight at Ignite Phoenix ASU at the ASU Education Lecture Hall. I’m surrounded by phenomenal presenters and honored to be among them. I will be presenting on creating a collaborative incubation culture in Phoenix. Don’t know what that is? Then you need to RSVP (or just show up) for the event tonight at the ASU Main Campus.

Here’s the title and description of my 5-minute Ignite talk:

Archipelago: we are islands, together.

Biography: Brandon is an ASU alum, father, musician, and entrepreneur. He has a passion for connecting people and making Phoenix awesome.

Description: The very gifts and strengths that make for a good entrepreneur, can make us lone wolves. While you need to be confident and self-reliant, you cannot make it on your own. Let’s talk about bringing entrepreneurs together, young, old, new, experienced, successful, and struggling. We can make each other better, and by extension, make Phoenix better.

And here’s the full lineup:

  • Live together, die alone: Island survival for non-profits – John Mather
  • The burgeoning Phoenix Design scene, and how you can be involved – Mark Dudlik & Andrew Coppola
  • Archipelago: we are islands, together – Brandon Willey
  • How TED Built Their Community of TED Addicts – Tomas Carrillo
  • Prison 101: Interns Behind the Wire – Sue Ellen Allen
  • Design Bridges the Gap Between Universities and Communities – John Takamura
  • Trust NASA To Get Us Out Of Here? Or The Cultural Impetus For Sustainability – Andrew Latimer
  • Guerrilla Marketing: Reaching Out to Homeless Youth – Tim Huffman
  • Improvisation as a collaborative tool – Nina Miller
  • Poverty. What it looks like and what I can do? – Brian McCollow

I’m excited about sitting on the Judging Panel for the World Entrepreneurship Day Elevator Pitch Competition. Later that afternoon, as a part of the event, I will be speaking at a session on “Leveraging Your Network and Your Current Resources to Make Your Passion Happen.”

With experience in several start-ups, Brandon has been able to transform his ideas into reality – without waiting for a golden ticket. In this session, he’ll talk about what it takes to make ideas happen sooner rather than later, using what you already have. Learn from his expertise to accelerate the impact of your idea!

So it also looks like I will be sitting on a panel of startup entrepreneurs that evening during the culminating event for World Entrepreneurship Day at Tempe Center for the Arts. Here’s a link (http://wedasu.eventbrite.com/) to more information and registration. There is no cost to attend and would be a great event for anyone interested in entrepreneurship in Phoenix.

Another Update:
Here are a few links about the event:
ASU’s World Entrepreneurship Day Site
ASU News Article
GetOut article

I’m excited to be speaking at one session and two panels at LaidOffCamp Phoenix this Saturday. Get the full agenda here (pdf).

  • Getting a Job with a Small Business (panel) 9:30am
  • Starting Your Own Biz (panel) 10:20 & 11:10am
  • Leveraging LinkedIn 12:50pm

Laid Off Camp Phoenix is an extension of a national effort to help people find work — full-time work, freelance work, volunteer work, or whatever’s next for them.  Like other Laid Off Camp events, is a locally-based, community-supported effort to offer resources and reassurance to job seekers.

On Saturday I had the privilege to present on Mobile Apps that your business shouldn’t be without. All in all I think that, while much of it was review for many in attendance, as to the dissemination of ideas it was a success in that each person left with at least one new tidbit of information.

As for how I felt after presenting? Well, besides it being an unrehearsed and fairly disjointed presentation, I felt dirty. Despite my intentions, I felt like the entire presentation had the external appearance of leading the attendees down a path that ended with hiring redPear to build them a micro mobile app. I regrettably felt like I had done the redPear brand a disservice by delivering a message that, in my opinion, felt so self-serving. Even though I bundled redPear in the same sentence and “pitch” with great companies like Magical Panda and Held, I felt like some of the attendees were thinking, “Oh, I get it now, the whole reason he’s teaching us this is so that we’ll do work with his company.”

F*$% that. That’s the last reason I would spend a Saturday away from my family teaching about such a dry topic as Mobile Apps. My reason for sharing the information that I did was that I have a small passion (not my largest by any means) for helping to move small businesses to the cloud. And one of the main tools for accessing that cloud-placed data is via a mobile phone. You really can’t talk about the Cloud without talking about the Mobile tools used to access the data you place there.

So, where does this line of thought lead me? I’m pretty sure that we’re going to review the presentations and speaking opportunities that redPear chooses to engage in to make sure that we don’t come out looking self-serving. We aren’t and for us everything we do “publicly” is always with the intention of supporting the greater Phoenix community with no hope for a direct reward. As for me? I’m going to stay away from teaching/speaking about topics that result in a “pitch” at the end and just focus on teaching about the things that I am both passionate about and that have no direct correlation to a service that redPear provides. A talk about “The Benefits of the Cloud?” Sure. “How you can hire a development firm to build your business a mobile Cloud app?” Hell no.

Here’s the slide deck. There are some good nuggets in there if you dig deep.

Update: And here’s the actual video of the presentation posted at CenPhoCamp.com.