The OWN Bahamas Foundation is preparing to host its third free speaker seminar to give Bahamian entrepreneurs insights into how to grow their own businesses.
The OWN Talks event, set for the Baha Mar Convention Centre on Thursday, May 23rd, is one component of the support provided by the Foundation to entrepreneurs and start-ups beyond the $1m in grants and other financial support already offered.
Besides providing Bahamians with ideas on starting, growing and creating wealth from their business endeavours, this year’s speakers will address the three different stages of the business cycle– uncovering and building on an idea that is unique; growing the business once you have started it; and leveraging business success for even greater success.
“This year we wanted to find speakers that would not only inspire our entrepreneurs but give them information that can transform the way they approach their business. This is mentorship on a large scale,” said OWN Foundation founder, Sebas Bastian, pictured.
“Many entrepreneurs have difficulty figuring out how to take an idea and make it distinctive. Others get their business up and running but can’t figure out how to grow it. And, for those who are successful in starting and growing their business, the question becomes: ‘What next?’ Each of the speakers we invited this year will give entrepreneurs vital information to take on each of these challenges because they’ve succeeded at it.”
In addition to the event’s speakers, Mr Bastian said he will announce a new investment opportunity from the OWN Talks stage.
“We are very excited to launch this new investment opportunity. We believe it will put investment within reach of many Bahamians who may have otherwise felt excluded in the past. Equally as important, it will open a sector of the Bahamian economy which has, up to now, been closed to outside investment,” he said.
The speaker roster for this year’s OWN Talks event includes Cindy Eckert, Tom Bilyeu and Dan Fleyshman.
Ms Eckert founded two pharmaceutical companies, Slate Pharmaceuticals and Sprout Pharmaceuticals, and is an experienced “angel investor” with total exits worth more than $1.5bn.
She sold Sprout Pharmaceuticals in 2015 for $1bn after the company won US federal approval for the drug Addyi, the first drug designed to enhance female libido. Previously, other pharmaceutical companies found no value in addressing the needs of women in this way.
After the sale of Sprout, she launched The Pink Ceiling for women-led or women-focused businesses that are primarily in the health technology space. The Pink Ceiling has invested in 11 start-ups with products such as Undercover Colors (a company that is developing wearable nail tech to detect the presence of a date rape drug in drinks), and Lia Diagnostics (which produces a flushable pregnancy test).
Tom Bilyeu co-founded Quest Nutrition in 2010. The company grew by 57,000 percent in its first three years, and was ranked second on the Inc 500 fastest-growing companies in the US. In 2014, he and his wife, Lisa, started Impact Theory, a media company designed to “leverage the self-sustaining power of commerce to radically influence global culture”.
Finally, Dan Fleyshman is the youngest founder of a publicly traded company in history. At the age of 23, after selling $15m worth of clothing in six department store chains and surpassing expectations with his $9.5m licensing deal with STARTER apparel, he launched the “Who’s Your Daddy” energy drink into 55,000 retail stores. He later went on to launch Victory Poker, which became one of the top five online poker brands internationally.
The doors at OWN Talks will open at 5pm and audience members can register for a free ticket at http://owntalks2019.mysuncash.com. OWN Bahamas, launched in 2015, is an initiative focused on offering support to Bahamian entrepreneurs who have new and exciting ideas within existing or emerging industries.