Small Business

Take a step toward living your business dream.

Enter to win No, I have too much money already.

July, 2009

Finalist Q&A: Spirit Work knitting & designs, Inc.

Spirit Works is a Retail yarn and lesson company, with a 300 sq ft storefront and an online business.

How did you come up with the idea for your business, and what, or who, is your main source of motivation?

Finalist Q&A: Energy Cafe

The Energy Cafe is an internet cafe next to a high school. The entire concept developed with the collaboration of the high school students who would become the customers. The high school kids helped in every aspect of building and opening this cafe, giving them a real world application for some of the stuff they are learning in school.

Finalist Q&A: Otter Bay Wetsuits

Otter Bay Wetsuits manufactures custom wetsuits for cold water diving. They also do repairs and alterations on existing suits.

How did you come up with the idea for your business, and what, or who, is your main source of motivation?

Finalist Q&A: Jasco New York LLC

Started over 60 years ago, Jasco’s beginning coincided with the beginning of American fashion. Over five years ago, they launched a luxury organic and sustainable line of fabrics called Jasco Eco, and their sales and the collection have been growing steadily. Jasco donate their organic fabrics to fashion departments across the county to inspire design students and raise awareness.

How did you come up with the idea for your business, and what, or who, is your main source of motivation?

Finalist Q&A: Superbus

Superbus is a full size school bus that has all the seats removed, and retro fitted into a gym for ages 2-7. Superbus "delivers" fun to area child care centers and schools in the Louisville KY area. Their obstacle course changes every week, with equipment such as cargo net, climbing board, monkey bars, mountain wall, zip line balance beam high/low bar, tumbling equipment, and more. The program teaches a non-competitive love for sports and fitness and helps children with their self confidence.

Voting deadline for grant winner extended by one week

The voting deadline for the Seventh Idea Cafe Grant was extended by one week, from July 7 to July 13th 2009. The deadline extension will give everyone one last opportunity to vote for their favorite business idea. The winner will be announced shortly after voting closes on midnight, July 13th.

Finalist Q&A: Fanta-Sea Divers

Fanta-Sea Divers teach people how to blow bubbles! They are scuba diving instructors, introducing folks to an exciting new underwater world. Here is what they say: "It is so amazing to see the look on our students faces when they realize how much FUN scuba diving is and how truly magical the underwater world is."

Finalist Q&A: Environmentally Conscious Organization (e.c.o.), Incorporated

Environmentally Conscious Organization (e.c.o.), Inc. is a design and licensing firm, dedicated to improving outmoded, outdated and wasteful food packaging. e.c.o. is marketing its first product, the ‘Green Box’ (US Patent 7,051,919), a pizza box manufactured from 100% recycled material. The top of the ‘Green Box’ breaks down into convenient serving plates, eliminating the need for disposable plates. The remainder of the box converts easily into a handy storage container, eliminating the need for plastic wrap, tin foil or plastic bags. The perforations and scores that create this functionality allow for easy disposal into a standard-sized recycling bin. Made from a standard pizza blank, the ‘Green Box’ requires no additional material or major redesign and can therefore be produced at no additional manufacturing cost. e.c.o. owns the utility patent on the ‘Green Box.’

Stop Playing the Waiting Game

Many business owners anxiously wait by their mailbox each day to find out how they can conduct that day’s business. If much-anticipated checks arrive, that’s great—they can pay suppliers, meet payroll and tax obligations and perhaps take advantage of growth opportunities. If they don’t arrive, it may mean another sleepless night, wondering when all those checks that are “in the mail” will actually materialize.

What Worked, What Didn't, What's Next?

One of the common denominators of successful people is their ability to persevere when things don't go as planned. Effective people don't allow themselves to get bogged down in feelings that don't serve their purpose.