One Minute – The Accelerated Entrepreneur

“Anybody can talk about his or her business for twenty minutes,” Jim Flowers said.  “People will only listen for one minute.”

Breaking news for Concept Camp attendees:  We have to give elevator pitches to each other.  And we only get one minute.

On September 5, 2008, my new VT KnowledgeWorks member company will have been incorporated one month.  A dozen days later, starting on September 17, 2008, I will attend Concept Camp with other aspiring entrepreneurs and VT KnowledgeWorks Director Jim Flowers.

“I try to scare the bejeezus out of them,” Jim said. 


Jim, my spouse, and I were having a chipper conversation at the festive Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center picnic about the failure rate of entrepreneurial enterprises. 

“Jim,” I wanted to say.  “Not in front of the guy with whom I had The EBIT Talk!”

I know what Jim Flowers was saying was for my own good.  Jim wrote in this post, “We’re trying to help people reduce risk; the first step in risk reduction is acknowledgment that it does indeed exist.”

Genteel girls from Virginia were taught not to acknowledge the existence of much of anything except the slope of their shoulders while attempting to stand in a gracious posture at a cocktail party.

Acknowledgment of risk?  That’s akin to acknowledgment of money!  I needed my smelling salts.

Then I saw intellectual property attorney Michelle Mayberry of Latimer, Mayberry and Matthews.

That would be my intellectual property attorney.

Then I saw Peer Segelke, my incorporator from LeClairRyan.

Then I saw Cory Donovan, Executive Director of the NCTC, so personable and full of good ideas that he feels like my high-tech business adviser.

The Great Acknowledgers.  They’re brave.  They readily share their expertise.  As an Accelerated Entrepreneur, I keep running into terms and concepts and ideas and practices about which I know little or nothing.  The Great Acknowledgers ask the hard questions to strengthen me, not weaken me.

Am I bejeezus-scared of what I’ll be asked to examine and acknowledge about my business at Concept Camp


(Honestly?  Happily ever after would work just fine for me.)

Will my elevator pitch bring all present at Concept Camp to stunned silence and transform them from entrepreneurs to Anne’s venture capitalists?

Not too likely.

Probably as likely as an entrepreneurial enterprise is to fail.

But I’ve reduced my risk.  I listened to Jim’s advice to seek “timely professional assistance."  I’ve run my ideas by The Great Acknowledgers!

Where’s my one-minute timer?  I’ve got to practice!  I’ve only got 3 1/2 weeks until Concept Camp!

The writer of this blog, Anne Giles Clelland, is a new member company of VT KnowledgeWorks.  She will be attending Concept Camp September 17-19, 2008.  Will you come with her?

Concept Camp is sponsored by Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., a financial and accounting services firm.  For more information on Concept Camp, contact VT KnowledgeWorks Member Services Manager Lindsey Eversole, [email protected].


  1. In a previous post, you asked why people are hesitant to start new enterprises.

    Above we find,"“I try to scare the bejeezus out of them,” Jim said."

    They are hesitant because that have little bejessus left.

    Maybe one task is focusing the remainder.

  2. I have worked with some tough crowds in my day, all full of bejeezus. I wonder if those who work with entrepreneurs, like public servants, get weary of the constant bejeezus. Maybe, after awhile, it seems in over supply.

    I wonder if synonyms for bejeezus might be bravado, entitlement, arrogance. Once those are tamed, orginality and creativity can thrive, and learning the "how-to" of business, rather than waxing eloquent on the "how-I" of the idea, may increase the likelihood of the development of financial success.

    I don't know, though. I've only been an entrepreneur. I haven't been in charge of them. 🙂

  3. You give a whole minute!?!

  4. I'm open to hearing your under-one-minute version! Show me how it's done! I wanna learn!

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