All posts in June 2011

  • Day 4 in Egypt – Done in 60 Seconds

    I now know what it feels like to run on two hours of sleep because that’s exactly what I’ve gotten for the past two nights. And, oddly enough, it seems like there is enough energy and excitement in the air to keep me going. We heard that there were riots in Cairo, but were safe in our hotel from the hubbub of the rest of the city. At breakfast Wednesday, I posed a question to all the U.S. and Danish delegates. If you weren’t an entrepreneur, what would you be? This lead to a discussion about what entrepreneurship really means. Is it about making a profit or doing good? Did the intention behind starting the business matter? As a Millennial/Gen Y, I feel strongly that our generation has a much stronger sense of social entrepreneurship. Ryan Allis, C.E.O. of iContact, summed it up best when he said (and I paraphrase) that our generation believes social good and social responsibility is an inherent and understood part of entrepreneurship. The word “social entrepreneurship” becomes redundant. Read more

  • Day 3 in Egypt – The Gloves Come Off

    For two days, the young Egyptian entrepreneurs we’ve been mentoring have been focusing on business challenges my fellow U.S. and Danish delegates and I have given them. On the third day, we told them it was their turn to challenge us. We picked four of their suggestions, which we felt would apply to the majority of their fledgling companies. But they still had work to do—they had to come up with solutions. The first group I met with had an excellent start-up idea revolving around group-buying websites. They didn’t have any business plan, nor a PowerPoint. They just had a really good idea with some sense of the direction forward. I decided that I wasn’t doing them any favors if my feedback wasn’t honest. I was straightforward. I told them that they must have their plans written down, that they had to answer some basic questions. When would they launch the website? When would they start to approach other businesses? To their credit, they took these tough questions in great stride. I introduced these eager entrepreneurs to a group I had worked with on Monday, the second day of this week-long experience. Monday’s group shared their plan with Tuesday’s, and…

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  • Day 2 in Egypt – An Entrepreneurs Pursuit, Passion and Perils

    It’s day two of the NextGen boot camp for young Egyptian entrepreneurs in Cairo, and the day starts off on a disappointing note—four teams dropped out of this week’s event, forfeiting the business competition. I couldn’t believe anyone would give up such an amazing opportunity, and was told the reasons were rooted in the realities of life here. Some of the entrepreneurs couldn’t make it because of the disastrous transportation system in Cairo, while others had been called into work. I felt deeply for them, because I realized that it couldn’t have been an easy choice to make. It boiled down to a matter of their current jobs versus their future entrepreneurial dreams. Their dilemma weighed on me as I looked over the keynote I’d be delivering in a few moments. My talk was to be about how to make a business viable—the theme of the day. My gut reaction was to say “A great idea and apparently solid transportation!” But, as I looked around the room at the now familiar faces eager to hear my story, I decided to get personal and shared my own journey in a presentation called “Pursuit, Passion, and Perils: The Story of One Young…

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  • Day 1 in Egypt – Let the Entrepreneurship Begin

    Recent images of protests in the streets, the Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian,” and Rick Riordan’s fictional Kane Chronicles (about ancient Egyptian magic) were the first things to cross my mind when I was planning this trip to Egypt. Not exactly helpful, but it was all I had before I arrived here Sunday for my first day as an American delegate at the Egyptian Competitiveness Project’s latest initiative—a boot camp for aspiring Egyptian entrepreneurs. The genesis for this trip took place in 2009, when President Barack Obama and Denmark’s prime minister decided to do something to help Egypt’s economy, and they felt entrepreneurship was the answer to reviving it. Obama gave a speech at Cairo University, where he stressed the importance of individuals stepping up and creating their own economic opportunities. Many of the people I’ve spoken to here felt that the sentiment resonated deeply. They felt like someone believed in them. Read more

  • Part 2: Tips for Overcoming Social Media Fears in the Medical World

    [Note: This is the second part in a four-part series about the potential that social media holds for physicians and health care professionals.] Only 16% of hospitals in the United States are currently engaging in social media. Yeah… 83% of those hospitals don’t solicit feedback from people who follow their Facebook feeds, and less than 40% even post daily content to their pages. So why is it taking so long for the medical world to catch the social media wave? Photo courtesy of Obviously there are a lot of initial concerns with implementing and monitoring social media in the medical world. While these fears (which we will touch on in a moment) are legitimate, the biggest fear for medical professionals should be the repercussions of the lack of social media engagement (both internally and externally). You might think I’m just saying all of this because I’m a social media fanatic, BUT as you’ll see below, the facts are there to prove that the need to engage in social media far outweighs the fears. Top 5 concerns for hospitals engaging in social media We’re too busy saving lives to tweet about it With everything out on the open, how can…

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  • New to Twitter: How-to Find Influencers to Maximize Efforts

    Setting Up a Company Twitter Profile The day you decide to get your company/brand/self on twitter is the same day you should commit to reaching out to ten people/companies/organizations multiple times in the coming weeks. Twitter itself is overwhelming to someone new on the site. There are many key steps you must take to really prepare yourself to use Twitter both efficiently and effectively. Because of this, I would like to take today to help you out with a very, very important (and often confusing) step. Getting Acquainted with Twitter as a Business Tool: Steps 1-3 The first step being, read as many articles as you can about appropriate and valuable content to post on your twitter account and the Twitter managment how-tos you can (and strategize a plan that integrates your other marketing efforts). The second step is to fully complete your Twitter profile and determine a custom look and voice. The third step is all about posting quality content on your page so it isn’t empty (and awkward to visitors discovering your new profile). The fourth step: Find a few people to follow that are relevant to your business/brand and start following them (RT if you see something…

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