Being a founder is pretty special. And being among other founders and entrepreneurs is extra special, because we experience wins and losses and ups and downs differently than just a business person. It’s a unique club of people in every community.
I founded my first company in 2013, a full-service marketing and advertising agency. It has grown into a multi-million-dollar company and continues to grow and thrive. From the start, I’ve been actively involved in the entrepreneur and innovation community, both locally as well as participating in national programs.
Like most entrepreneurs and founders, I was thirsty for information and knowledge about starting and growing my business. But the landscape was confusing. Every organization provided disconnected or disparate information. Or organizations that could have helped were invisible to me when I first started out. And being a female founder presented its own unique set of obstacles, too.
Eventually, though, by participating in entrepreneurial and founder programs, I began to build a network of people like me. They had similar questions, frustrations, or challenges and I started to feel not so alone and isolated.
In 2021, our agency was tapped to help develop a campaign and positioning strategy for the recruitment of entrepreneurs and founders for our hometown, Greenville S.C. We uncovered a lot of insights into the entrepreneur and founder mindset, what makes them tick, what they want and need from the community. From that insight, the “From Here You Can Change the World” campaign was born.
As we listened to our own entrepreneurial community, there still seemed to be something missing. As both an entrepreneur and a founder, it is hard not to want to solve the problem when a void in the market appears. And that void was an independent business media source dedicated to the broad spectrum of entrepreneurs and founders.
After talking with founders, innovators, and economic development organizations across the country, that void seemed to be in almost every city. Entrepreneurs and founders are finding it difficult to navigate resources in their local area, or find safe spaces to connect, ideate, and share.
In this disconnect, I saw something powerful: a chance to build the connective tissue within entrepreneurial ecosystems by launching a business media company serving entrepreneurs, founders, and innovators at the hyper-local level.
Right now, too many communities are trying to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem without a unifying tool to educate, inform and incite entrepreneurs with information that inspires action.We intend to solve that problem for those communities.
We conducted focus groups across the country to glean what media format founders preferred. We discovered that founders wanted something uncluttered, easy to consume and accessible (no paywall). A navigator, not just an aggregator. Independent and unfiltered storytelling about the organizations and offerings available in their local communities. And something that innovators, founders, investors, and economic developers could call their own.
So, here in 2022, OrangeWip™ was born.
OrangeWip™ is a business media company on a mission: to illuminate what’s new, what’s next, and what’s possible in any city by intentionally uniting founders, innovators and future-makers. We aim to design platforms that:
Orange is a nod to the sister company, BRIGHT+CO Marketing (our corporate color). And Wip, meaning “work in progress”, speaks to my mindset. I am a work in progress and a lifelong learner—and so is this company. It’s in our ethos to serve founders and entrepreneurs with our media products to help cut through the biz shit that’s out there.
You’re looking at one element of that hyper-local media platform™, our innovates digital digests. These will deliver unvarnished viewpoints of founders and innovators and are designed to strengthen and nurture the local innovation economy.
Distributed weekly in the zines and across all podcast apps, the Hello Chaos™ Podcast, exists to celebrate the messiness and chaotic world of founders and innovators and be a megaphone telling the naked truth of entrepreneurship. It was created specifically to welcome bright, tenacious, visionary minds to a conversation they’ve been craving.
So, subscribe, share, enjoy and tell us what you think.