Events

20160209_InnovationTuesdayMeetup_182942_Website

Join us for June’s Innovation Tuesday Meetup

Social Media and SEO Strategies

Join us to glean a plethora of information on social media, marketing and search engine optimization from speakers Ron Giordan, Director of Social Media/Public Relations Strategy, and Tom Galante, Business Development Director with Mid-West Family Marketing. They will discuss how digital marketing components need to work together to ensure businesses are found online, products are sold online, and branding is seen online.

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or Pinterest, they have experience and up-to-the-minute knowledge of each of these platforms. Both Ron and Tom believe that social media marketing is just one component of an overall marketing and advertising strategy. Please sign up today–this talk was well-attended at previous Rockford Chamber events.

When: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | 5:30-7:30 PM

Where: NIU EIGERlab, NIU-Rockford, 8500 E. State St., Rockford

Questions: phone 815.753.2192 or spritz@nulleigerlab.org

Register: online via our Meetup.com link

Cost: $10.00; food and drink will be provided

 

Future Innovation Tuesday Events:

The Amazon Effect: how to market like the world’s biggest online retailer

When: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 | 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Where: NIU-Rockford, 8500 E. State St., Rockford, IL

Questions: phone 815.753.2192 or spritz@nulleigerlab.org

Register: online via our Meetup.com link

Cost: $10.00; food and drink will be provided

Millions of companies use digital marketing to reach their potential, current and past clients. Few ever crack the code to making their online efforts work as an effective lead generation and referral source. But Amazon has.

During this short presentation you will discover:

  • What marketing strategy Amazon uses to drive their incredible sales machine.
  • One simple shift in thinking that can transform your approach to marketing.
  • Affordable tools to increase your marketing reach.

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Past Innovation Tuesday Meetups

 

 

 

Entrepreneurial Pitfalls: What to avoid! | November 2016

Our panel of speakers include three of our former FastPitch Competition presenters:

Stacy McCaskill, Fish With Me.net

Brad Marshall, AdsOrTails

Adrian Vasquez, Inventor of the NZ3 Smart Nozzle

 

When: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 | 5:30-7:30 PM

Where: NIU EIGERlab, NIU-Rockford, 8500 E. State St., Rockford

Questions: phone 815.753.2192 or spritz@nulleigerlab.org

Register: online via our Meetup.com link

Cost: $10.00; food and drink will be provided

 

 03-SmallBusiness-ModelGeneration_ProSeed

PRO-seed Model Design Workshop

Create new business models that drive growth!

‘Companies that aren’t able to systematically rejuvenate their business model will struggle to survive & thrive.’ -Alex Osterwalder

Built on the successful Business Model Generation approach by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, you will begin by using the Business Model Canvas to design a business model that works. Then you’ll map your current business model against the backdrop of your business’ operating environment and generate a S.W.O.T. Analysis.

Armed with this information you will be able to create a new business model that drives growth and sustainability in your business.

proseed_lgo

Learn About: 

  • Empowering your product/service/technology with business model innovation
  • Inventing a new business model
  • Taking some risk and experimenting
  • Prototyping, testing and experimenting with the new business model you invent
  • Describing, analyzing and designing a new business model
  • Eliminating “blah-blah-blah” and move your business forward

Testimonials
Mobile Health Team focuses on customer service

Ann’s goal was to develop a business model that focused on clients by using current technology to add convenience and flexibility to healthcare.

Ann shared, “The business model generation course got me to step back and look at it as a big picture that has a lot of different points of interaction that all matter. It helps to prioritize and realize what key components you need to do well and those that are of lesser importance.”

Giving clients what they want and understand has been a crucial part of the business models. Ann strives to look at her practice in terms of what clients want, not what she thinks would be a benefit.

“I think there was an opportunity using the business model generation to sort out where I should spend my money to give added value to my patients. I look for the things that they will find useful and ask, ‘Would this help them,’ she shared.

-Dr. Ann Liebeskind | Mobile Health Team
Click here to view the complete testimonials.

Visual model benefits office business
“As I went through the process, I started seeing how the various segments contribute to the bottom line. At the end of two days, I understood the process, but the model I came away with was too cluttered and confusing,” Bill said.

He also shared, “I focused on each customer segment and realized that some customers were not critical to the success of the business. The business model is now posted in the break room where employees and vendors can see it. It is also shared with customers when they take a tour because it’s important for them to see that Office Outfitters knows who they are where they are going.”

-Bill Zimmerman | Office Outfitters
Click here to view the complete testimonials.

Large company helped by business model course
Business owners and managers might attend the PRO-seed Business Model Design course to develop a first model or enhance a model that is decades old. For Miller Electric Manufacturing Co., it was the latter.

“For me, I would say that the class gave me better clarity of how to look at the outside world in terms of market segments and to really line up products and introduce activities to maximize those things. It made me think about how to leverage all of those things to key growth opportunities.

Planning is a strategic weapon. It takes teamwork and good management. At some level, when you work with people, even if it’s a small team, you want their buy-in. I’ve been using the business model as a work product,” said Bruce.

-Bruce Albrecht | Miller Electric Manufacturing Co.
Click here to view the complete testimonials.

Who: Small and mid-sized businesses looking to innovate and grow through an in-depth internal and external look at their business model and strategies.

When: Wednesday, November 30-Thursday, December 1 | 8:30 AM-4:30 PM

Where: NIU EIGERlab | NIU-Rockford, 8500 E. State St., Rockford, IL | 815.753.2192

Cost: $199 ($699 value)
This training program is made possible through a Chase Bank grant that allows NIU EIGERlab to provide a $500 discount for the initial team member sign up and offer up to three additional team members (employees, vendors, customers) at $100 each.

Upcoming Meetup Topics:

 

Please check back for our list of 2017 Meetups

Past Innovation Tuesday Meetups

October 2016 | Creating YOUR Business Plan

Presented by Brian McIntyre with Thames Management Resources. A business plan is a written description of your business’s future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you’ve written a plan or at least the germ of a plan.

Join us to create a concise plan which includes your value proposition, marketing assumptions, operations plan, financial plan and staffing plan.

 

September 2016 | Social Media & SEO Strategies

Join us to glean a plethora of information on social media, marketing and search engine optimization from speakers Ron Giordan, Director of Social Media/Public Relations Strategy, and Tom Galante, Operations Manager of Mid-West Digital Marketing in Madison. They will discuss how digital marketing components need to work together to ensure businesses are found online, products are sold online and branding is seen online.

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or Pint

July 2016 | Commercializing Your Product: Where do You Start?

Do you have a great idea for a new or improved product but are unsure where to start? Then join us to discuss moving it forward. We have over a decade of experience assisting both inventors and entrepreneurs with all aspects of Product Development.

June 2016 | QuickBooks Basics to Manage Your Business
Sandy Trotter, Accurate Accounting & Payroll Services

Use QuickBooks software as your accounting solution—secure, scalable and easy to share with your accountant. Sandy Trotter with Accurate Accounting and Payroll will share the essential steps and features for getting started with QuickBooks accounting software.

May 2016 | Show Me the Money: Traditional and Alternative Funding Panel

Would you like to learn about funding your venture or business through traditional bank funding, Crowdfunding such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo or perhaps an Angel investment group? Join us and let our panel of experts share insights into each.

Click on the individual links | Panelist’s bios (coming soon)

*Dan Cataldi, Representing the StateLine Angels

*Mark Horita, The Peakstone Group, Managing Director

*Emily Hurd, successful crowdfunding campaign orchestrator

*Andrew Jury, Rockford Local Development Corporation, loan officer

*Kristin King, Rockford Bank & Trust, VP & Government Guaranteed Lending Specialist

April 2016 | Creating a Website with WordPress | Speaker, Chris Kelley, V2 Marketing Communications

The key is to find the right website building platform for you. In the digital age, having a personal website is the final step in establishing a solid web presence, but there are dozens of sites begging users to pick them. WordPress is something of a heavyweight. The blogging platform has been around since 2003 and has become a go-to for site-building. There are dozens of ways to use it, along with dozens of different clients, from small businesses to web agencies.

Click here for Chris’ slide deck presentation.

Click here to download the free eBook, “WordPress Editor’s Guide: A complete guide to Editors functions in WordPress.”

March 2016 | Circuit Building 101 | Intro to Electronics

One of the key concepts in electronics is the printed circuit board (PCB). At this month’s Meetup, our speaker will discuss the fundamentals of a PCB including: composition; terminology; methods of assembly; and the design process.

Suggested attendees would include: engineers, makers, and individuals interested in both product development and DIY.

Speaker: Jason Duerr, Vice President | Aimtron Design Studio

February 2016 | What is Intellectual Property? When to patent, trademark or copyright.

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce. IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright, and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. Please learn from our panel of patent attorneys and engineer about the differences and best uses of patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

Our distinguished panelists included:

  • Jeff Dixon, Patent Attorney, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP | Chicago | Bio
  • Yolanda King, professor, NIU’s College of Law | Bio
  • Matt Mondek, Professional Engineer-holds an MBA, BSME, CPM and five U.S. patents | Wonder Lake | Bio
  • Eric Waltmire, Patent Attorney, Erickson Law Group, PC | Wheaton | Bio

Video – Legal panel (55:48 in length)

Handouts:

A User’s Guide to Patent Services

Patents

Patent Services Summary

January 2016 | Marketing 101: Effective Advertising

In order to successfully grow your business, you’ll need to attract and the work to retain a large base of satisfied customers. Jake Bradt, owner of Rockford Buzz and 2015 FastPitch Competition finalist, will share his expertise on inbound marketing, outbound marketing, and permission-based marketing.

Click on the link below for Jake’s “Marketing 101: Effective Advertising” PowerPoint presentation (PDF).

2016_January_Meetup_Marketing 101 Workshop