Author Archives: C. DAY

The Florida High Tech Corridor 2022-2023 Annual Report

It’s a special day for our innovation community. 

We are proud to share the Florida High Tech Corridor 2022-2023 Annual Report, highlighting the impact our team’s efforts have had on Central Florida’s tech ecosystem over the past year!

From supporting 180+ student researchers with our Matching Grants Research Program to helping identify over $8 million in tailored business opportunities for our Cenfluence cluster members, this year was full of amazing opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs that rely on our programs.

If you’d like to learn more about our initiatives and how we’re helping Central Florida’s economy thrive, check out our annual report below.

The Scaleup Report

How can founders maximize their chances of scaling their startup to a $50 million valuation and beyond? How can policymakers better bolster the startups in their ecosystem to increase the likelihood that they reach unicorn status? Since 2011 Startup Genome has dedicated its efforts to developing data-driven evidence about what factors contribute to individual startup and overall ecosystem success. Our research is based on interviews with thousands of startup founders and leaders around the world and is the most comprehensive primary global research available today. In 2011, we surveyed 50,000 founders and leaders in more than 40 countries. Since then, we have built on this foundation with deeper, more focused surveys and continue to conduct thousands of new interviews and surveys each year to ensure our data remains up to date.

We thank the global startup community for its support in making our research possible — the more than 100,000 global startup founders and leaders we have surveyed to date, as well as the governments, innovation agencies, startup support agencies, and ecosystem builders who have helped us understand the realities of building and scaling a startup and enabled us to create an unmatched wealth of data. We have combined the insights gained from our surveys with additional data, and our research confirms a causal relationship between startup and ecosystem behavior, characteristics, and resources and the performance metrics of the ecosystem. As a result of this research, we have developed the Science of Ecosystem Assessment. We have created numerous research reports and articles based on this approach, including early research on startup Success Factors (“Why Startups Succeed 2011, and Why Startups Fail).

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Our new website launch has been delayed, but is close at hand. Continue to use for the Current in Entrepreneurship news, but keep an eye out for a launch notice during the first half of October. Apologies for the delay, but we feel you will agree its resources were worth the wait. Clint Day, Current in Entrepreneurship Editor.

Pathways to Becoming an Entrepreneur

How do I become an entrepreneur?  Entrepreneurship education is seeing a significant spike in demand, but opinions are divided as to the best route to purse. Some believe in the power of formal education, some believe it’s a process of trial and error, and others believe entrepreneurship is in your blood.  Karen Beattie, The Growth Faculty believes learning needs to take place at all stages of the entrepreneurial journey.

Boom in Entrepreneurship

Americans are starting and running their own businesses at record rates, part of a post-pandemic shift toward entrepreneurship led by women and people of color, according to a new report.  Nearly 1 in 5 adults — 19 percent — are in the process of founding a business or have done so in the past 3½ years, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, an annual report by Babson College released Thursday. That is the highest level since the survey began in 1999.


Finding Freedom as an Entrepreneur

During the month of July, I found myself taking some extra time to appreciate and reflect on freedom.  The freedom we share as fellow Americans, and even exploring how entrepreneurship can contribute to the sustainability of this freedom in our own lives.

Every year, Guidant surveys small business owners to learn more about those chasing the American dream, the dream to own their own business.   The report has found that the top three motivations in 2023 for starting a business include “Ready to Be Your Own Boss, Dissatisfaction with Corporate America, and Wanted to Pursue Your Passion”.  Furthermore, 75% OF American Business Owners have a positive outlook on their growth and ability to thrive despite economic downturns.

The harsh reality is, that while starting a business can originate as an exercise of freedom, this dream is met with staggered odds of survival.  Only ~ 50% of small businesses will survive 5 years, and only ~ 30% will make it 10 years or longer.  Perhaps then, the freedom is found in the opportunity to exercise entrepreneurship.

Whatever your reason, it is with much hope and relentless support in chasing dreams that I share some tips for finding freedom as an entrepreneur.  Let’s start by remembering you already have freedom, it is not something you buy or acquire, it is something you realize.

  1. Define freedom for yourself and stop reading books about how to find it… it’s not in there. Finding freedom begins with knowing yourself, who you are, and defining your passions, strengths, and weaknesses.   Businesses ebb and flow, and it’s a heck of a lot more fun when you are griding long hours for a purpose, passion, or because that drives you.    It is important to recognize and remember to set boundaries around work and leave time for personal activities, hobbies, family, and self-care.  Your business’s well-being is a direct reflection of your well-being!
  1. Choose the right business model. Explore different models and identify the one that aligns with your version of freedom.  For example, you may be a chef, but you might opt for a catering business or meal delivery, instead of a food truck or a brick-and-mortar restaurant.  Find the model that fits your lifestyle but always carefully consider the scalability, profitability, and the sustainability of chosen model.
  1. Business is fundamental, practice the basics and have patience. Everything about business takes time.  Business is a formula, not a mystery.  The areas of business expertise include management, business planning, marketing, sales, financial, funding, legal, IP, regulatory, operations, product development, supply chain, and innovation.  With an Asterix at INNOVATION, because if you make it 5 years, innovation and change are the only way to make it to 10 years and beyond.  As a CEO, you have one or possibly two of those areas of expertise.  If you know what those are, you can build your freedom by spending 90% of your time there and 10% training, hiring, and developing others to do the rest.
  1. Have an entrepreneurial vision, again, what the heck do you want this business to be? Many businesses jump right to a product or service, but that’s like trying to make a newborn walk….. businesses are alive, treat them like so, and give them a HEART!!  Teach other people your business, every waking opportunity. Your business will grow only through love and respect and figuring out how to give it its lifetime (variable) to mature.   If you have a vision, you can develop 5-year, 3-year, 1-year, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals that will give you peace of mind and freedom over feeling overwhelmed like you are trying to start a business every single day you wake up.  OH and celebrate the crap out of every milestone along the way because the joy is in the journey!!!
  1. Always be selling!! Doors will open when you no longer feel like you are knocking on them.  The number one reason businesses fail is because they run out of money, so whether you are selling to investors or selling goods, or services, get comfortable selling ALL THE TIME!!
  1. Never do business alone.  Going back to ‘business is fundamental’ don’t allow yourself to get derailed with your thought, ideas, or distractions.  A solid team of entrepreneurial peers, coaches, strategic partners, industry mentors, and an ecosystem that wants you to succeed is the BEST way to achieve freedom in your business.

If you didn’t learn anything here you didn’t already know, that would lead me back to one final word and that is DISCIPLINE.  Discipline is what sets apart the 30% (of successful businesses) from the 70% (of business failures).

In conclusion, as the most recent hire to the UCF Business Incubation Program, it is with sincere enthusiasm that I welcome anyone reading this article that wants to get involved with entrepreneurship or the greater plan of economic growth and development in central Florida to reach out, learn, grow, prosper, and enjoy the journey with us!  There are individuals, programs, investments, and learning opportunities beyond my wildest expectations in this city, county, state, and country that want YOU to succeed!

Courtesy of Kelly Daubach, ACC, RD writing for the University of Central Florida Incubator

“Water Boys” of Atlanta Turn to Entrepreneurship

Public and private efforts are helping address the root causes of teens selling water


Teen boys are trickling into Glaciers Italian Ice in southwest Atlanta, but they’re not coming to buy the cold, sweet treat — they’re helping sell it.  B.J. Sexton, Kingston Montague and Christopher Brown, rising freshmen and sophomores in high school, are learning the ropes of retailing — from counting inventory to planning for upcoming outdoor events. Sexton, 15, used to be a “water boy,” hawking drinks on the street when he was around 12 years old because “it was a quick, easy way to get money.”

But it was dangerous, too. And the perils of selling drinks on the high-traffic streets of Atlanta — both for the kids and the public — came to a head in the summer of 2020, when disputes got more violent, a driver was shot and 18-year-old Jalanni Pless was killed over $10.

“These young men are going out here, trying to bring in some money,” Fulton County Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman, whose district includes Glaciers Italian Ice, said during a visit to the space. “Can you imagine working an intersection, and what you make may keep the lights on, what you make may allow us to have dinner for three or four days.”

Now, three years after the initial furor over the water sellers spurred public and private efforts to help the kids thrust into this position, initiatives are in place to help them make money in a safe, more productive way.

 From water to ice

Ian Elmore-Moore is the owner and executive director of Glaciers. Originally from New Jersey, he said kids he grew up with sold the frozen treat from pushcarts in parks. “When I saw what was happening with the Atlanta water boys, I said, ‘Man, this could be a model that could be successful out here,’” Elmore-Moore said. “If I can employ young people that work these pushcarts … we not only can keep them safe, but we can provide mentoring, tutoring, skills, as well as employment.”

In 2021, he got a cart with three fellow Morehouse College* alumni and set up at the intersection of Alison Court and Delowe Drive in southwest Atlanta. Kids started gravitating toward him and he began mentoring them.  He eventually set up a shop near the Dixie Hills neighborhood on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and developed a two-year entrepreneurship program for the kids. During the first eight weeks of their first year, from February to April, teens work on character and leadership development. Then around spring break, they begin selling for the first time and throughout the summer have a full-time paid internship where they make $10 to $12.50 an hour.

During the second year of the program, the kids learn management and become an owner-operator of the cart. Elmore-Moore takes them to wholesalers and teaches them how to maintain inventory, develop work schedules and how to manage expenses. In total, there are about 20 kids in the program now.  Brown, 14, hopes that being part of the program will let him “get enough money to just buy my stuff and my momma don’t have to buy it for me.”

Glaciers serves up more than a dozen flavors, all named after Atlanta neighborhoods, including Adamsville Apple, Bankhead Blueberry, Poncey Pineapple and West End Watermelon.  Elmore-Moore’s first cohort of four teens started in 2022 and sold the Italian ice at events hosted by Mayor Andre Dickens’ office and Georgia Tech. They soon branched out to the Beltline, Ponce City Market and local golf courses. For many of the kids, it was their first time in these spaces.

“That’s when it dawned on me about exposure. I knew I was going to mentor them in order for them to to work for us and I knew they were going to get paid, but what I didn’t know is that the cart was going to provide a level of exposure for them,” Elmore-Moore said. “It opens doors that otherwise kind of felt closed.”  The Glaciers program also revealed other social issues. Elmore-Moore said he soon realized some of the kids couldn’t read the menu. He had to color code it.

But it also led Elmore-Moore to launch a school tutoring program. Now, students from the Atlanta University Center come to Glaciers after school to tutor the kids, teach them how to play chess and bring after-school speakers.  “[Peachtree] Peach is the best flavor,” Sexton said. Montague and Brown disagreed. They are partial to Lenox Lemon and Midtown Mango.

From corners to kiosks

KaCey Venning, co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit Helping Empower Youth (HEY!), has been working for years to help Atlanta kids caught in poverty. A Morris Brown College alum, Venning and her HEY! co-founder, Marc “KD” Boyd, first started working with children whose families struggled with housing in 2009 as AmeriCorps members. In 2015, they formalized the work they’d been doing into a nonprofit and began programming with Atlanta Public Schools.

When the “water boys” issue came to a head in 2020, Venning and Boyd set out to help the teens. They wanted the boys to receive help and resources, but they also understood that the boys needed to trust them to accept their help.

“What that looked like was us not going to these young men immediately with a structured program,” Venning said. “It was ‘What’s your name? What school do you go to? You’re not in school, okay, well, what school are you supposed to be at?’ Really building some trust with them.”

She understood that the kids were on the corners because they needed to make money and nonprofit programming might stand in their way. Instead, she started paying about 20 of the boys $100 a day each to spend time at her house, just eating and hanging out, all so they would be in place where they could start listening to the HEY! leaders. The programming that the nonprofit built for the boys was based off conversations of what they needed.

One of the programs born from those talks was HEY! Hydrate, a brand of water bottles created by the former water sellers to teach them business principles like supply chain management, marketing, communications, research and development. The brand is sold online, but also at a city-owned kiosk in downtown near the Georgia-Pacific building. Net profits all go back to the young men.

HEY! has received a zero-interest loan from Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm, and the nonprofit’s work is often touted by city officials, including Mayor Dickens.

In an interview, the mayor highlighted HEY! Hydrate.  “This challenge of young people selling water on the corners can also be looked at as an opportunity,” Dickens said. “We’ve been able to guide them into safer ways of being entrepreneurs.”

The city’s Summer Youth Employment Program has been another pathway to employment for young people, who have been set up with jobs at major organizations, like the Georgia Aquarium, the airport and Atlanta Public Schools.

*Morehouse has a state-of-the-art, Chase funded entrepreneurship program with an active incubator under a special leader, Dr. Tiffany Bussey, Director of Morehouse Innovation & Entrepreneurship. 
Article Courtesy of the Atlanta Journal Constitution by

Steve Blanks Talks Startup, Success & Seed Funds

“The skill I had was the ability operate in chaos. That set my trajectory.”Widely regarded as ‘the founding father of modern entrepreneurship’, Steve Blank was part of numerous startups and retired the day before the IPO of the last company he co-founded in his living room, E.piphany.

He is a critically acclaimed author, listed as one Harvard Business Review’s Masters of Innovation in 2012, ranked as one Forbes’ 30 most influential people in tech in 2013, consulted to some of the industry’s biggest organizations, and his Lean Launchpad class has become the standard for commercialization for all federal research, training 1,900 teams and launching over 1,000 startups.

Blank has set the agenda for startups over the last few decades. And yet, according to the professor of entrepreneurship at Stanford, he only possesses two skills. “Starting out, I lacked a lot of skills – and I still do – but I had two important ones: being able to operate in massive chaos; and then, among that chaos, being able to see patterns in lots of data,” he says.

Tracing his ability to perform in spite of a frenzied backdrop to his childhood, noting that he had grown up a ‘dysfunctional family’, Blank has certainly come a long way from high school in New York, where he says he might have been chosen “least likely to succeed.”

Speaking to me off the back of a visit to the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, which is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Oxford Seed Fund – a student-led fund that provides capital to the university’s most promising startups – Blank is understandably keen to reflect on the role of educational providers in supporting entrepreneurship:

“They’re not only useful for early-stage ventures, but they’re now essential for corporations to stay in business.” It shouldn’t come as a surprise to many that Blank thinks so highly of educators. Post-business, he’s had an illustrious career in academia that has seen him teach at an array of world-renowned institutions, from UC Berkeley and Columbia to Imperial College, in the UK, and lunching a flurry of courses at Stanford, from Hacking for Defense and Hacking for Diplomacy to Hacking for Recovery and Hacking for Climate and Sustainability.

A staunch advocate for the importance of schools like Oxford Saïd, Blank’s attendance at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Oxford Seed Fund was an apt reflection of his commitment to education as well as a nod to a pioneering initiative from a leading institution.

“Steve’s presence and invaluable insights left a great mark on our students and community, sparking new perspectives on the future of startups and inspiring us all,” Maria Zubeldia, Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, commented.

“He explored the dynamic intersection of technology and entrepreneurship and shared his views on how technology is poised to revolutionise the startup landscape and reshape the relationship between entrepreneurs and investors,” she added. “It was an immense honour.”

Article Courtesy of Forbes July 16, 2023 by Matt Symonds, Fortuna Admissions & CentreCourt MBA 

Ireland’s Universities Promote Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Ireland’s high-performing universities (above pictured University of Galway) promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

As a result of Ireland’s long-held belief in the need to provide its population with top-quality tertiary education, the country has fostered a network of 13 universities that are crucial elements in the  development of Ireland’s talented workforce.

“There is a genuine love for education here and the idea that education plays central role in upward mobility and in expanding the mind has always been central in the Irish psyche.  Our university system is very strong, and we are good at collaboration.  If a particular expertise isn’t present in an institution, then it’s possible to work with another,” reveal Linda Doyle, provost and president Trinity College Dublin.

The higher ranked globally of Ireland’s universities, Trinity boasts a more than 400-year history of teaching.  A research-intense university with an outstanding reputation, it promotes a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.  “The key thing for us is that entrepreneurial opportunities are present at all stages in a student’s experience at Trinity.  We have spun out over 30 companies in the last five years, raising over $217 million in funding and creating more than 400 jobs,” say Doyle.  “The U. S. is an important market for Irish startups.  Trinity medical device spinouts, for example, build their regulatory approach around the needs of that market, and intellectual-property strategies are also developed in the knowledge that the U. S. is a significant audience.”

Ireland is also home to five new technology universities, where teaching and learning is informed by research.  One of the strengths of these institutions I the real link between industry, education and entrepreneurship.  “We have well-established links with a whole range of companies of all different scales, from big multinationals coming to Ireland to smaller local indigenous companies,” say Maggie Cusack, president of Munster Technological University.  “Entrepreneurship is often something that is separated out by the universities in the UK.  I’m really proud of the fact hat it’s genuinely integrated into what we do here.”

The University of Galway is another prominent institution when it comes to Irish innovation.  “For example, we have a Science Foundation Ireland-funded research center here called Curam.  It’s focused on medical devices and its work is 30% funded by industry, which we work very closely with in order to translate that research into broader economic impact,” explains Ciaran Ohogartaaigh, president of the University of Galway.  “We also have a program called BioInnovate that puts research students into the hospital setting for them to find and resolve problems, with has made a huge difference.

With Ireland pushing toward a more sustainable and greener future, University College Cork (UCC) is just one of the country’s education institutions that puts major emphasis on creating a more sustainable world.  To date UCC researchers have provided energy modeling to support Ireland’s landmark climate policy, including its first low-carbon roadmap in 2013, first climate action plan in 2019, and first carbon budgets in 2022.  That’s real impact.  We have over 220 researchers working on global challenges, such as energy transition climate action and the blue economy.”

Courtesy of Business Focus Supplement USA Today 6/28/2023


How Entrepreneurs Can Make Best Use of ChatGPT

A study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group reveals that AI has huge benefits for both our work and personal lives.

CEOs must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies to remain competitive in today’s business world. Artificial intelligence (AI), specifically chatbots powered by AI, is rapidly transforming the way CEOs work, as you may have heard. And, if there was one tool that reins supreme, it would be ChatGPT.

Since its release in November 2022, ChatGPT has taken the business world by storm. Despite the fearmongering and the fact that it must be verified for accuracy, it is very useful. In fact, two Economics Ph.D. students at MIT published an analysis of ChatGPT’s effect on white-collar productivity. And, the results, were impressive, to say the least.

Two groups of 444 white-collar workers were studied. The first used ChatGPT, while the second did not. In these functional areas, a group of evaluators assigned each participant 20-30 minute assignments that they considered representative of the functional areas.

The team looked at the speed of results, the quality of results, and the actual role ChatGPT played in replacing, augmenting, or confusing work.

While the ChatGPT-using group completed tasks 37% faster (17 minutes compared to 27 minutes) with somewhat similar grades, the quality of the ChatGPT group improved significantly as they repeated their tasks. As a result, ChatGPT improved work speed without sacrificing quality, and made it easier to “improve work quickly.”

With that in mind, here’s how successful people turn to ChatGPT for a productivity boost.

1. General assistance.

“I’ve shaved off an hour of my day thanks to ChatGPT,” Vishen Lakhiani, author, CEO, and founder of the e-learning provider Mindvalley, told Fortune. The A.I. tool impacted every aspect of his business within two weeks, he says.

Like Iron Man’s virtual butler J.A.R.V.I.S, most CEOs Fortune spoke with encourage their workers to use ChatGPT as a daily assistant.

As a matter of fact, it has made such a difference to productivity at Lakhiani’s firm that prompt engineering has become the “number one thing” he looks for in job applicants.

“Although ChatGPT and its rivals are far from perfect, their ability to enhance productivity in knowledge work is plainly evident,” adds Nigel Vaz, CEO of Publicis Sapient.

But, that’s just scratching the surface. Using ChatGPT as a virtual assistant can help you do the following:

  • Scheduling appointments or meetings. Calendar, for example, has been using machine learning to suggest times for appointments. But Chat GPT also helps you find open slots in your calendar for a dental appointment or a team meeting.
  • Organizing travel. Using relevant information, such as budget and length of stay, ChatGPT could create text to organize travel plans based on this information. Expedia even believes that people will find it useful for planning their trips.
  • Researching information. If you are looking for resources to research an article, a YouTube video, or just for personal inquiries, Chat GPT can assist.
  • Creating content. Chat GPT can create an outline for a research paper or suggest blog post topics related to healthy eating habits.
  • Providing recommendations. Using ChatGPT, you can make fewer decisions each day. You can, for instance, request books regarding productivity or recipes that meet your needs.

2. Write speeches and emails.

Every email should take between 30 and 40 seconds to write. So, if you write 100 emails daily, that’s eating up an hour. As such, it’s no surprise that CEOs are using it as a writing assistance.

During the 2023 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of online learning provider Coursera, told CNN that ChatGPT is his “writing assistant and thought partner.” It assists him in crafting emails and speeches “in a friendly, upbeat, authoritative tone with mixed cadence.”

“Anybody who doesn’t use this will shortly be at a severe disadvantage. Like, shortly. Like, very soon,” Maggioncalda adds. “I’m just thinking about my cognitive ability with this tool. Versus before, it’s a lot higher, and my efficiency and productivity is way higher.”

3. Create a personalized workout plan.

Regular exercise clears your head and boosts your motivation, studies show.

That may explain why wealthy people tend to work out. According to Tom Corley, author of Change Your Habits, Change Your Life, 76 percent of the rich exercise daily for at least 30 minutes. Each day, take part in aerobic exercises, such as walking, biking, or jogging.

But did you know that ChatGPT can be used to create a personalized workout plan for you? It’s true. You can create a safe and effective workout plan using the tool based on a variety of prompts, from running plans to strength training plans.

4. Make marketing more efficient.

Regardless of whether your company has a marketing department, CEOs understand that balancing operational efficiency with customer experience is a must. In fact, Whit Bouck, board member, Managing Director at Insight Partners, and former CMO, states, “Efficient growth is the name of the game in the year ahead.”

According to Bouck, marketing leaders must be able to find ways to drive continued growth with smaller budgets and possibly fewer employees as a result of ongoing economic and geopolitical uncertainty.

Fortunately, implementing intelligent technologies can improve operational efficiency and customer experience. Here are the top 11 uses.

5. Improve customer service and engagement.

With ChatGPT, CEOs can provide customers with personalized recommendations, address their concerns, and answer their questions. Ultimately, this can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

With AI-powered tools like ChatGPT, customer service can be handled without devoting resources to monitoring customer messages.

  • Analyze customer messages automatically. Using advanced technologies, AI tools interpret incoming messages from customers based on their tone and purpose. In addition to detecting keywords such as ‘complaint,’ AI will assess the message’s entire context.
  • Actions can be triggered based on urgency tags. In order to sort through tons of customers and lead conversations, you can use artificial intelligence. Words indicating urgency can be recognized by AI models.

6. Create pitch decks.           

In general, a pitch deck gives a brief overview of the business plan, products, and services offered by your company. While vital, pitch decks can be time-consuming.

A basic, borderline acceptable deck can probably be completed in 8-12 hours. However, you’re probably going to spend weeks, if not months, to create. With the help of AI, anyone outside the company can put them together much easier.

An example is Larry Lundstrom, who earns some extra money using OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Depending on their length and complexity, he can create two to three pitch decks each week.

7. Handle accounting.

Automating tedious tasks, improving accuracy and efficiency, and uncovering hidden trends are all possible with artificial intelligence. Here are some ways that AI can help you reduce time and resources for your accounting tasks that many startup or small business CEOs may have to handle:

  • Tasks that are repetitive. There are several repetitive tasks that accountants have to perform, such as recording data, categorizing transactions, reconciling accounts, entering and correlating data from receipts, invoices, and transactions, analyzing employee expense reports, and tracking price changes. These tasks can be completed by AI much more accurately than by humans.
  • Automating some complex processes, such as payroll. In the future, AI will likely have a significant impact on payroll. Artificial intelligence can analyze data, learn from failures, and solve problems strategically, unlike automation, which is based on cause and effect.
  • Generating summaries. ChatGPT can create summaries of financial reports. A company’s performance can be summarized in a flash with financial metrics highlighted.
  • Analyzing a company’s financial performance. ChatGPT simplifies and makes access to key financial information easier by using specific financial questions.

8. Manage inventory and supply chains more efficiently.

Thanks to AIOps, or Artificial Intelligence in Operations, businesses are already undergoing a successful digital transformation.

An example of this is inventory management, which utilizes machine learning to improve efficiency and productivity. Using an AI tool, you can upload images and it will detect defects or categorize and label them. You can even connect this tool to your existing tool stack or online shop to automatically assign labels.

9. Boost employee engagement.

When an employee leaves, the average loss can be thousands of dollars. Studies have shown that replacing a salaried employee costs an average of six to nine months’ salary. If an employee makes $60,000 per year, recruiting and training expenses are between $30,000 and $45,000.

To avoid these financial and time costs, you can use ChatGPT to retain your team by keeping them engaged.

  • Improving communication. By answering employees’ questions, providing feedback, and sharing important updates, ChatGPT can help improve communication within your organization.
  • Providing a platform for knowledge sharing. ChatGPT makes it easier for employees to access company knowledge and resources, allowing them to make informed choices.
  • Providing customized training. ChatGPT can customize training programs for employees so they’re properly trained.
  • Project management can be streamlined. Using ChatGPT, you can track project progress, assign tasks, and identify potential hurdles.
  • Work-life balance should be promoted. With ChatGPT, employees can take breaks, practice mindfulness, and even engage in fun team-building activities to promote work-life balance.

Courtesy of by Network Contributor John Rampton

Resources for Veterans from the SBA – VBOC


The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) program is an initiative of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that provides entrepreneurial development services to veterans and the military. SBA’s VBOCs offer workshops, training, counseling, and mentorship opportunities in your area. VBOCs can also help you navigate SBA’s extensive resource partner network and refer you to a community partner, lender, or SBA program.  The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) program is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling, and resource partner referrals to service members, veterans, National Guard & Reserve members, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business. SBA has 28 organizations participating in this cooperative agreement and serving as VBOCs.

VBOCs work closely with SBA district offices and Transition Service Managers at military installations to conduct Boots to Business classes for transitioning service members and military spouses. VBOCs also help conduct B2B Reboot classes off installations for veterans of all eras, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses.  Boots to Business (B2B) is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The course provides an overview of entrepreneurship and applicable business ownership fundamentals. Active Duty Service members (including National Guard and Reserve), Veterans of all eras, and spouses are eligible to participate.

The “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” course is the foundational piece of Boots to Business (B2B). Participants are introduced to the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to launch a business, including steps for developing business concepts, how to develop a business plan, and information on SBA resources available to help. This two-day in-person program is facilitated by subject matter experts from the SBA and their extensive network of skilled business advisors 

After completing the “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” course, participants can elect to further their study through the B2B Revenue Readiness online course, delivered through a partnership with Mississippi State University (MSU). This course is offered at no cost to Service members, Veterans and military spouses. We also recommend the STRIVE program offered by the NACCA, National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship and administered for the 5-Star veterans program IVMF located at Syracuse University.,communities%20to%20support%20and%20advance%20veteran%20owned%20businesses.

Your editor had the privilege serving as an instructor and mentor in the founding STRIVE course at Hillsborough Community College along with Dr. Andy Gold, Beth Kerly, MBA and Greta Kisbaugh, MBA and can attest as to it value.  The STRIVE program, Startup Training Resources to Inspire Veteran Entrepreneurship built in partnership with the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University leverages networks and education resources in local communities to support and advance veteran owned businesses.  It has a hybrid format that have proven to successfully start small businesses through funding, mentorship, and focused online and in-residence instruction over an eight week period.  It is designed for the person that is willing to put the time and effort into developing an idea or early stage business.  In residence is generally on Saturdays with occasional Monday night session, always meeting to complement online studies.

It has been my experience that veterans make very good entrepreneurs.  They have all been trained in leadership, learned to work well in team, and surprisingly for entrepreneurship, have had to overcome obstacles to fulfill assigned missions.  I personally used my military training and experience in Vietnam to start, build and successfully sell three small insurance agencies and speak from first-hand knowledge.