Tonight was another fabulous Thursday here at historic venue NOVA 535 Unique Event Space in gorgeous downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. See every Thursday we meet, most always at NOVA, sometimes offsite due to NOVA being booked for a private event. Meetings are a fun and productive blend of networking, pitching, reviewing, laughing, drinking and smoking (outside), connecting, spit-balling, brainstorming, teaching, learning and realizing that we Entrepreneurs are part of one big family. The ESC is our family, here to help, support, love, criticise and make the world a much better place.
The quick boil down title of tonight’s weekly Entrepreneur Social Club meeting is “Chinese Imports Venue Viking and Veal Parmigiana”. Huh? Yup read on…
DINNER at Gratzzi Italian Restaurant is my choice for the best Italian Restaurant in St. Pete. We always do dinner, drinks and more “en-lightened” conversation after the ESC meeting, so plan on staying a while. This is were true genius / madness is revealed and celebrated. Then we most always head to one or more local hot spots for some music, laughter and well, we don’t kiss and tell.
We had several new members tonight, two of them Chinese businessmen, Charles and Alex, brought in by long time friend Jason Connor. It was great to spend quality face-to-face time with them, discussing exporting some, but more of how the world needs to evolve past politics. See religion and politics are banned from the ESC, as they cause the majority of our world’s ills. I’d love to see a day when humanity has evolved and we can live and work in peace. Not tearing each other to pieces. It all boils down to education. Anyhoo, Charles is the already successful importer / exporter living here in Tampa Bay, and Alex midstream in his MBA at University of Tampa. We reviewed one of Charles’ websites http://oigproducts.com and gave him many suggestions, as we always do. Again the club is a big family and we’re here to help. Family will tell you exactly what you NEED to hear, not pull punches and worry about hurting your feelings. As you might guess, our resident web and tech guru Chris “I’m Their Web Guy” Jenkins isn’t too bashful. Luckily for everyone his delightful, superstar wife Kym (of V-Spicery – spice up your life check her out) is always nearby to give him a nudge when needed. Chris and Kym are cornerstone members and we LOVE seeing them as much as possible.
Here at the ESC we speak the language of reality, called TRUTH, by the way of our adults only Free Speech Zone. We LOVE getting any feedback (that is based in reality) so we can improve and grow and evolve. That’s exactly what we call “The NOVA Way”, a continuous improvement system that took NOVA 535 from zero in 2008 to the #1 rated venue in the Tampa Bay area. Yes you get knocked down along the way, scraped up and bruised, but you get back up, learn and listen and learn and implement all of the positive changes as quickly and effectively as you can, and over time those improvementS stick and your organization begins to form the bubble of excellence. (Just made that term up, sounds cool!)
The group suggested http://bmobilized.com to possibly help Charles’s site which isn’t mobilly responsive – a big no no from Google these days. Unsure if bmobilized is good, check for yourself. Also you can report back here on the Entrepreneur Social Club Facebook Page.
Venue Viking founder Michael McAkeenan returned after being absent a few weeks, getting married to his lovely Swedish sweetheart, their honeymoon in Iceland. Congrats!! Michael took Jenkin’s and the club’s advice on his startup website Venue Viking, making many great improvements. The name Michael means “One who is willing to learn, grow and evolve.” Really, look it up! =D
We discussed the 6 Components to a great Pitch:
1 – Elevator Pitch – what’s your name, what’s your claim to fame back to your name. 15 seconds of pure, clear gold.
2 – Credibility – how many years in business, your awards, etc
3 – What is the Problem you can solve that your prospects can relate to?
4 – Your Solution must be full and remarkable
5 – Your unique why: Why are YOU doing this? What’s your unique advantage / offering?
6 – What’s your reputation?
Becoming a Key Person on Influence does an excellent job describing and teaching how to have a great pitch. READ IT!!
Architect John Barie (raising his hand) has really improved and evolved his pitch over the years, nice work John!
Chef Ray Milton loves to hide his face, it’s now become a game to see if we can catch him. He trains boxers for a living, along aside his passion for tasty vegan food, via his delicious and healthy Ray’s Vegan Soul, so it’s nearly impossible to get a clean shot. (Boxing pun). I’ve tasted Ray’s vegan cooking and it REALLY IS DELICIOUS.
The Historian – Chris is reading and enjoying
Zero to One – reading now, good stuff
Elon Musk – have not read
Florida Breweries by Gerard Whalen – suggested by new member Rob Chalmers, is Chalmers Brewing Company.
Bob Linde’s longtime website http://SmallShipCruises.com was bought out, also a patient of his with 3rd degree burns was helped via fundraising plus some extra dollars are raised for St. Pete Healthy.
Random Notes and Topics:
Internet of Things – networked printers easy to hack, was 0-256 Octets system x 4 = IPV.4 now going to IPV.6 moves to Hexadecimal so 13 values
Drones are legal up 2000 feet, below FAA airspace, same as flying a kite, so key your shades closed.
Interesting Local Goods and Services
St. Petersburg Distillery is now offering the highest quality spirits right here at home.
Mother Kombucha fermented drink has good bacteria, tasty, https://www.facebook.com/motherkombucha
Kratom was discussed, it’s a painkiller, mild euphoric, red, green and white, replaces opiates and is from SE Asia. Dr. Bob Linde can help you get healthy naturally.
St Pete Brewing Company’s Orange Wheat Beer
The Hole Doughnuts are delicious (I’ve tested, yup!) all natural doughnuts, what else do I need to say?
The Salt and Pepper Bistro, a French Bistro, I haven’t tasted yet but according to Chris and Kym, it’s AMAZING!!
The Craft Kafe is a new tasty gluten free cafe (haven’t tried yet but multiple confirms on this that it’s great)
iClinic Photographer Sheri Kendrick, of Little Light of Mine Charity, had great things to say about iClinic after her Mac was damaged.
Big “I’m you when you can’t be” Nick Mazeika was there along with QBO Pro Krystle Pinzker, two amazing humans.
Incubator / CoWorking Space in St. Pete, below Iron Yard
Chris Jenkins has made himself available as mentor for some lucky select web startup.
After dinner at Gratzzi, we wandered downtown to Ruby’s for drinks, cigars and excellent live music. We were discussing strip clubs for some crazy reason, when this happened. Yes it’s a guy with a entry door sized lighted “(strip) Club Lust” sign attached to his back. Hahahahha! PS All of these photos are taken with my Samsung Note 4 except these two below which I believe are from Sheri’s iPhone.
Ruby’s Elixir is the best place downtown St. Pete for live music, period. The excellent choise of scotches, bourbons, etc, the lovely waitresses and the tasty offerings from attached Central Cigars makes for a one-stop-shop night out of fun!
So join us any Thursday to really learn, laugh and connect with business owners and Entrepreneurs like you check the ESC agenda here.
All of my photos are below plus everyone’s photos (whomever has uploaded their own photos) are here LINK TO GOOGLE + Event for May 21, 2015.
So who am I?
I’m Michael Novilla and I love throwing great parties and weddings. So as I traveled the world, I explored and brought amazing ideas home to St. Petersburg, Florida and built us a world-class venue, NOVA 535 Unique Event Space. I wanted to give back to my community so I founded the Entrepreneur Social Club,and host it every Thursday 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, most always right here at NOVA 535 in gorgeous downtown St. Pete. If you’re looking for a FUN and PRODUCTIVE time with fellow Entrepreneurs, Business Owners, College Students and Start-ups, JOIN US!!