Davinci Virtual Blog



Entrepreneur Launches a New Model for Angel Investment

Looking to win $50,000? You’ve got a shot at the prize if you are technically inclined.

Starlight Technology Transfer just announced a contest for the most promising new high-tech business idea. So fire up your word processing software and start writing your proposal if you’ve got one. Or get together with your three most tech-savvy friends and start brainstorming.

Maybe you have a new idea in the realm of robotics, artificial intelligence, green technology, web technology, mission-critical smart energy grid technology, mobile applications, cloud computing, business analytics, aerospace, or something else. You’ve got between now and July 29 to come up with a bright idea and submit a proposal.

"We know what it's like to have a great idea, but lack the resources to get it off the ground. With this prize as a beginning, our company intends to become an incubator for new American businesses,” says Starlight founder and successful entrepreneur, Jack Beavers.

“Over time we hope to gather many good ideas from creative young minds and translate them into jobs for our community. We believe the 2011 Starlight Tech Prize is only a beginning—a first step toward creating a number of new businesses. As a long-term objective, we'd be delighted if we can find ways to create high tech jobs and bring manufacturing jobs back to America."

The Starlight Tech Prize comes on the heels of President Obama’s call to out-innovate, out-educate, out-build the rest of the world. Starlight’s response is a new form of angel investing. The Starlight approach is to team with young entrepreneurs. The company's experienced entrepreneurs will facilitate development of new and competitive products, while simultaneously mentoring new and competitive generations of American innovators. Prospective winners of the Tech Prize will be offered not only the $50,000 cash award, but will also be given opportunity to propose the terms of a teaming agreement as well as employment with the company.

A board of advisors recruited from industry, including CEO's, marketing specialists, and engineers, will review the proposals. Among other selection criteria, contest judges will be looking for an idea that can be grown into a $50 million dollar business within five years. Additional criteria will include the potential for social benefit, and job creation, and environmental responsibility.

Check out this video to learn more about the contest:


Is Your Small Business Prepared for Hurricane Season?

Small Business Crisis Communications, Part 1

There are two types of companies in the world – those that have had a crisis and those that will. No industry is immune.

Crises come in all shapes and sizes, from natural disasters that could bring your operation to a screeching halt to criminal acts to workplace violence to data breaches. Bankruptcies, major lawsuits and other incidents may also potentially destroy your reputation or cripple your small business.

“A crisis is not just bad news. Every brand will face bad news. A crisis is when something occurs that keeps you from handling your regular business in a normal fashion,” says Vince McMorrow, vice president of public relations for RMD Advertising in New Albany, Ohio. “A crisis is an event that has the potential to cause great harm to your organization.”

Of course, PR pros say you can’t wait until there is a fire to get your fire hose ready. Just as you plan for future growth, you should also plan for a crisis. That’s because making decisions in chaos could lead to rushed judgments, a public perception that your company is hiding from the truth, or executives who appear inept at handling corporate affairs.

“In the midst of a crisis, a crisis communications plan is invaluable,” says Denyse Dabrowski, vice president of The Marcus Group, Inc. a Secaucus, N.J.-based public relations firm. “When I say ‘plan’ I do not mean a 30-page book your company puts together about its crisis response, because, quite frankly, that’s out of date before it hits the shelf. I’m talking about the plan as far as who is part of the crisis team and what everyone’s duties are.”

PR pros agree that while not every crisis can be avoided, increased knowledge, preparation and proper training can help a company put the events that do occur under immediate control, and keep them under control as the issue is addressed.

Stay tuned for practical tips in part two in this series.

Verizon Wireless Launches Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Grants

Verizon Wireless just launched a program we should all applaud. It’s called the Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Program. Verizon Wireless is offering grants from $1,000 to $5,000 per applicant, and awarding $45,000 in all.

The goal is to provide funding to entrepreneurs who have escaped the cycle of domestic violence and are ready to put their skills to work to get a home or small business sup and running.

As Verizon sees it, there is a strong likelihood that many domestic survivors are especially well-positioned to benefit from self-sufficiency programs that focus on entrepreneurship models over traditional job-training options. That’s because domestic violence survivors have developed strong coping and problem-solving skills. What’s more, many were employed before the violence and they all have a strong incentive to be self-sufficient and violence-free.

Verizon is betting that the successful development of a home or small business can offer these women more control over their working lives, create important financial and social opportunities for them, and help ensure their long-term safety and stability.

How can domestic violence survivors use the funds? Some examples include making a down payment on a work space, purchasing a computer or other office equipment, purchasing initial product inventory, as collateral to support the receipt of a small business loan, or to help pay the costs of attending an entrepreneurship program or business course.

Want more information? Call 585-321-7264.

Why Your Small Business Should Tap Facebook Page Designs

Earlier this week, we looked at how small businesses are using social media marketing to raise awareness of their products and services. Now, let’s take a look at one strategic method of driving more fans to your Facebook page: Facebook page design.

By creating landing pages—pages that new fans land on when they first call up your Facebook fan page—you have the opportunity to encourage visitors to sign up for your newsletters, buy your books, or take some other call to action.

“Internet users spend hours on Facebook to view their friends’ news feeds. By having Entrepreneur Package, business entrepreneurs can give an attractive look to their Facebook pages created for business purposes. A custom Facebook page design will allow them to get engaged with the visitors for long time thereby receiving higher traffic for their business,” says the owner of My Facebook Page Design.

My Facebook Page Design is one of a growing number of companies out there that offer packages for your small business. Those packages may include designing a welcome page with customized layout, designing options to upload video or flash movie, customizing a profile image or banner to put on your Facebook wall or other interactive tweeks to make the Facebook user experience more productive and covert more visitors to fans.

Also, check out this video on Facebook Page design tips: