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Philadelphia Business Development

Creative Industry

Setting Your Business Apart: Secrets For Creative Entrepreneurs

Local entrepreneurs looking to build or grow a business in the technology-driven creative industries met on May 17 with four of the Philadelphia Region’s leading creative industry business experts.

Entrepreneurs learned about small business development, financing opportunities, marketing their businesses, and taking advantage of valuable resources to build and grow a successful creative business in the region. Participants heard first hand accounts from entrepreneurs who have experienced the challenges and successes of starting a creative and successful business.

“Setting Your Business Apart” panelists included: Michael Edmondson, PhD, president and co-founder, MEAPA and co-author of “10 1: The Creative Economy Marketing Equation;” Chris Starr, vice president of investments at the The Science Center, and manager of the Creative Economy Investment Fund; moderator Ian Cross, co-founder and CEO, I-SITE, Inc; Cherrill Wilson, MBA, Temple University Small Business Development Center; and Melinda F. Emerson, president and executive producer, Quintessence Multimedia and author of “Entrepreneurship is a Career Choice.”

Panelist Melinda Emerson stressed business owners’ need to purchase business plan software and create a detailed business plan. She advised the audience to know and understand what investors are looking for, to find a niche in a particular market, to read trade publications and stay current on industry trends. 

Michael Edmondson highlighted the need for entrepreneurs in the creative industries to sell themselves in unique ways. He discussed the importance of capitalizing on business relations entrepreneurs may have with previous colleagues, and to know how to answer the question, “What makes you different?” Edmondson also explained that business owners need to be able to communicate effectively with investors who don’t necessarily know the creative industry.

The entrepreneurial resource panel was sponsored by Innovation Philadelphia and the Philly Creative Guide, and was hosted by the University of the Arts.

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