To Register Your Trademark or Not to Register Your Trademark, That is the Question!
Mar 23 2017

To Register Your Trademark or Not to Register Your Trademark, That is the Question!

I spoke to an intellectual property lawyer this morning who offered to answer my gigantic amount of questions.  Her name is Kristen and she is in Michigan. If you are looking for someone who is knowledgeable and trustworthy, she is your lawyer.  Send me a note and I’ll send you her information.

I had many questions, however, my first was regarding trademarks.  So confusing!  Do I trademark our logos?  Do I not trademark our logos? (A registered trademark gives it the little R in the circle by the name and registers with the government). 

Here is what Kristen told me.

Read More By Amanda Herr, Marketing & Communications Director, FiveTwo Network in Startups
Where FiveTwo Network's Going in 2017
Mar 16 2017

Where FiveTwo Network's Going in 2017

2017 Vision

A vision is a destination.  It answers the “Where?” question, painting a picture of where you see the journey taking you.  The clarity should be compelling enough that someone is able to see where your organization is going and decide to hop on the plane with you.

Thus our FiveTwo Network’s 2017 Vision.  As we seek to equip men and women Christian entrepreneurs who launch a variety of start-ups, here are this year’s stops along the journey.  Each of these stops will impact every element of FiveTwo, from our Digital presence to our annual O2 Conference to our monthly Local gatherings to our 2-year StartNew incubator.

We hope you will join us on the journey!

Read More By Bill Woolsey, Executive Director, FiveTwo Network in Startups, Christian Entrepreneurs
3 Steps to Make Jesus Go Viral
Mar 8 2017

3 Steps to Make Jesus Go Viral

What makes a video go viral? In a TED Talk from a few years ago, Kevin Allocca from YouTube argues that there are three key factors: Tastemakers, communities of participation and unexpectedness. With this roadmap...how can we make Jesus go viral?

Read More By Bill Woolsey, Executive Director, FiveTwo Network in Startups, Christian Entrepreneurs
What Would You Start if You Had No Fear?
Mar 2 2017

What Would You Start if You Had No Fear?

The phone call caught me somewhat by surprise.  Her assessment was one of the strongest we had seen in our profile.  Her concept was cause-driven and a sure-fire hit.  And she was an expert in her field, having worked with abused children as a police officer.

But her confidence in her abilities, coupled with her fear for what would happen if she failed, led her to tell me, “I can’t do this.  It’s not going to work.”

Thankfully we talked her off the ledge, and she and her team are nearing launch of a house for runaway girls on the eastside of Detroit.

Read More By Bill Woolsey, Executive Director, FiveTwo Network in Entrepreneurial Leadership, Startups, Christian Entrepreneurs
Creating Small, Impactful Groups for Your Community
Feb 22 2017

Creating Small, Impactful Groups for Your Community

It happened week 4 of our small group meeting together at a next door pancake house. Near the close of our meeting we asked our waitress, who had been serving us the past few weeks, if there was anything we could pray about for her. It was a simple question, but it made an impact.

She first stepped back, cast a surprised look, and then quickly replied, “Yes. I have a couple things you can pray about.” Later she enthusiastically asked if she could share a third request. Of course we said, “Yes!” After the first exchange she left our table with a tear in her eye. She also expressed, “You’ve made my day!”

I’ll never forget the look on our faces. We were all somewhat stunned at our waitress’ response. We then talked about how amazing it would be if we could have more groups from our church meeting in restaurants/public spaces throughout our community, building relationships with guests/patrons/staff, all-the-while sharing the love of Jesus.

Read More By Craig Mattes, FiveTwo Network Catalyst Coordinator in Community Development
Keep the Faith...In Your Business
Feb 16 2017

Keep the Faith...In Your Business

So when you unlock the door to your restaurant tomorrow or lead your video staff meeting next week, how will your Christian faith influence your leadership and ultimately your business?  As an entrepreneur – church-based, non-profit or for-profit – how do you allow your faith to impact your company without overwhelming your company and potentially alienating your employees and customers?

In our gray world, whether or not a business is Christian becomes more and more complicated depending on the latest Christian soapbox.  Can a business that sells pants made from cotton treated with pesticides and farmed by individuals living below the Western poverty line be Christian?  Is a business that sells Christian books and music and every cross-oriented kitsch known to man, at a ridiculous mark-up, really Christian?  Can a Christian own a bullet-making company and if so, does that make the company Christian or not?

Read More By Bill Woolsey, Executive Director, FiveTwo Network in Entrepreneurial Leadership
Let's Get Social (Media)!  Using Social Media to Reach Your Audience
Feb 8 2017

Let's Get Social (Media)! Using Social Media to Reach Your Audience

Social media presents an amazing opportunity to create strong, lasting relationships with an audience that is interested in what you have to offer.  There is no other medium that allows for the insights and two-way conversation that social does.  So, you love it all the time, right?  Not so fast.

When social media is used the correct way it becomes your best tool in the marketing toolbox to get your information to the right audience.  When done incorrectly, it can do the exact opposite.  With the click of a button your audience can tell all of their friends and family if they love you…or if they don’t.  The power lies with them.  So, since you can’t ignore social media, how do you successfully navigate social media?

Read More By Amanda Herr, Marketing & Communications Director, FiveTwo Network in Startups, Christian Entrepreneurs
4 Practices I Do To Deepen The Presence of Christ in Me
Feb 2 2017

4 Practices I Do To Deepen The Presence of Christ in Me

It’s one of the most difficult Christian tenets for the non-Christian to believe: Jesus is really present in you and me. Yet Paul says clearly: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) This verse depicts the depth of sacramental faith. Jesus is really present in the life of the believer.

It shouldn’t be that difficult to grasp, I guess. You’ve heard the truism – “You become who you hang with.” When I spend time with you, you rub off on me. Or as Carl Jung said, “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”

Read More By Bill Woolsey, Executive Director, FiveTwo Network in Community Development
Reaching the Atheist in an Urban Setting
Jan 26 2017

Reaching the Atheist in an Urban Setting

Is there a reason to stay in relationship with people if they don’t, or won’t, think like you? Is it a waste of time? Are we “casting the pearl before the swine?” 

We don’t continue to serve people through relationship to convert them; we continue to serve people through relationship with them because we are converted. The average city dweller is likely to believe something about spirituality, politics, sexuality, and any other controversial topic. If you are a Christ follower, it gets even more complicated. Now, where there are differences in beliefs, there is a never ending, relentless ulterior motive- save the lost! Unfortunately, this has been translated into “get them to think like me.” And as long as believing what we believe means a person is saved, then we will never see a lasting bridge built from the heart of the Christian to the atheist.  Reaching the atheist in the urban setting does not mean the radical left become more conservative, the gay become straight, or the doubts and questions go away. The atheist and the Christian will continue to live separate lives as long as we think in these terms. The key, I believe, is understanding what the ultimate goal is, and never making the ultimate goal our ulterior motive. 

Read More By Preston Ulmer, Lead Pastor/Founder of The Doubters Church in Community Development
 Going Up!  6 Steps to a Powerful “Elevator” Pitch
Jan 18 2017

Going Up! 6 Steps to a Powerful “Elevator” Pitch

I was asked a simple question by the man who held my career in his hands (the CEO)... ”What’s new Amanda?”  I was a deer in the proverbial headlights.  I was prepared to talk about the weather, even the latest football game (to which I had no interest but had studied “just in case”).  However, I didn’t have a quick response to “What’s new Amanda?”  I knew he wasn’t asking about what was new with me, but with my team.  This was my chance to get our name out there.  This was my chance to sing the praises of my team.  This was my chance to get him interested in our goals for the year.  What did I say? “We are having a great year.  What’s new with you?”

What a missed opportunity! 

You may not find yourself in the elevator with the CEO of a top news network.  You may however be given the opportunity in an elevator, in a chance meeting, or over coffee to get someone excited about your vision…your start-up.  Are you ready?

Read More By Amanda Herr, Marketing & Communications Director, FiveTwo