Ric Geyer is resurrecting Eleanor Roosevelt, or at least Eleanor Roosevelt’s brand. NEX Labs Burning Plan Midtown’s August session featured Geyer’s presentation on the re-launch of one of the early 20th Century’s first social enterprises—Val-Kill Industries. Nearly 90 years ago, Eleanor Roosevelt formed Val-Kill Industries to help the unemployed find jobs near their homes and to produce the very best in traditional furniture and was an inspiration for the FDR’s New Deal.
In Val-Kill’s modern incarnation, Geyer seeks to build furniture with a purpose, focusing on the meeting of good design, sustainable principles, and benefit to the community. During the event, a full room of entrepreneurial experts engaged in a discussion on the importance of “story” versus product, with a spirited debate on which comes first, the compelling Why of the company or testing the market with a unique, quality product.
The facilitator for the evening was Michelle Morgan, founder of NEX Atlanta and co-founder of NEX Labs. The panel for the evening included government contracting expert Stacy Vaughn, co-founder of D-Untity Group, and communications consultant Angela Stalcup,Market Owner Ladies Who Launch Atlanta.
Audience comments from August 26, 2014:
- On my first visit it was clear to me that Burning Plan brought out the best kind of feedback by offering a unique forum to tell stories, ask questions, and pitch ideas with the purpose of driving conversation. – Matthew Suber, Ampersand Group, Audience Member
- Burning Plan flips the traditional pitch model on its head and the participating entrepreneur poses key questions to the audience at the end of the presentation. This is very unique and leans heavily on audience participation which results in authentic feedback that ties directly back to the entrepreneur’s venture. – Jimmy Patel, Ampersand Group, Audience Member
- I could feel the love for Val-Kill. Great organizers, great audience, great discussion. Immensely helpful. –Ric Geyer, Val-Kill Industries, Presenter.
- I loved it! It’s the anti-Shark Tank, an untraditional approach with real value for the presenter and the audience. – Stacy Vaughn, D-Unity Group, Panelist
The next Burning Plan: Norcross on Thursday, September 18, 2014, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, in partnership with the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber at the Norcross Community Center, 10 College St., Norcross, GA, 30071, with Black Mermaid’s Handcrafted Soaps & Products presenting. Register
The next Burning Plan: Midtown will be held on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (location TBD), featuring the creators of Split, a behavior-focused customer relationship management (CRM) solution aimed at revolutionizing the dining industry.Register