We are extremely thrilled to announce the winner of the third voting round. And it is Erica Anthony, owner of Escalada Education Co. Congratulations on her well deserved win. She received 12% of your votes and naturally emerged as the third monthly winner. Escalada Education Co. was able to pull ahead and eventually made it to the top in the last few days of the round. She will have the chance to continue to the final stage where our panel of judges will elect the ultimate grant winner.
Escalada Education Co.
What does your business do?Escalada Education Co. provides quality, efficient, and individualized in-home and neutrally-located tutoring services for students of all ages in mathematics, science, and other subjects.
What would the grant enable you to do that you can't now?With the Idea Cafe grant, I would be able to run a more “green” and time-friendly business. I could lose the hassle of cleaning dirty whiteboard erasers, messy whiteboard marker peels and smells, and buying and recycling those markers when they dry out. In addition, having a better way of displaying long calculations would make a world of difference for me and my students. At times, I either have to use two whiteboards or, if I only have one available, cram my writing or have the student write down part of the calculation before erasing and then continuing with the next part.
Finding a visible yet non-intrusive mounting area on a small or even large desk for one or more whiteboards and having a place to set rolling markers is daunting at times. A self-standing computer like the hp TouchSmart makes these hassles obsolete. It or any similar device can also be used as a learning tool itself; apps for scientific calculators, math and science games, and even stain- and mess-less whiteboards are available for iPads and Eee Pads. If I need to search for example problems or come up with problems or equations for practice, I would save time by using a computer to find them instead of “reinventing the wheel” in the middle of a tutoring session.
Being able to have tools that are in line with today's technology would further assist students by providing them with better visual references than I can draw. When I try to draw pictures more complicated than circles, it can get pretty abstract looking; I also lose time there when I have to either fix or re-explain what exactly my drawing is supposed to represent. Receiving the Idea Cafe grant would keep my plans to concurrently hug trees and help educate the students in my community on the table for many years to come.
If Idea Cafe's Grant helps your biz reach greater success, how will you "pay it forward" to help others in some way?The first thing that I would do even after receiving the Idea Cafe grant is to start recommending any one with small business plans and questions to look into free help, grants, and small business loans. I have gladly given advice on such things in the past, but it is a much stronger testimony to hear suggestions from someone who has struggled through the hard way and later found out a much better way to approach a plan. I have quite a few references like Idea Cafe that have helped me on my quest to getting my business to where I want it, and since I have a fairly unique set-up and a small worry concerning the threat of competition, I wouldn't mind sharing all the tools that I have found. I also would like to give workshops on tutoring methods and strategies that can help anyone else looking to pursue the same type of business that I have or offer a type of “shadowing” or internship opportunity to anyone looking to gain experience in running a small business.
After my business reaches a certain level of efficiency, I would love to be able to offer low-cost tutoring workshops to members of the community who may not be able to afford the usual product that my business offers. There are many ways that I could help, but regardless of if I receive the Idea Cafe grant, I plan to be an asset to my current and future clients and to fellow business people.
We are extremely thrilled to announce the winner of the second voting round. And it is Yetta Pratt, owner of Anytyme Baskets. Congratulations on her well deserved win. She received 24% of your votes and naturally emerged as the second monthly winner. AnytimeBasket was able to pull ahead and eventually made it to the top in the last few days of the round. She will have the chance to continue to the final stage where our panel of judges will elect the ultimate grant winner.
What does your business do?We specialize in making people happy...for any occasion!=)
What would the grant enable you to do that you can't now?Create more advertising and marketing.
If Idea Cafe's Grant helps your biz reach greater success, how will you "pay it forward" to help others in some way?We will donate care packages to our local charities. I am looking also towards becoming a business mentor in the community, for young teens, who would like to get into business.
We are extremely thrilled to announce the winner of the first voting round. And it is Amanda Bloom, owner of The Mercurial. Congratulations on her well deserved win. She received 17% of your votes and naturally emerged as the first monthly winner. She will have the chance to continue to the final stage where our panel of judges will elect the ultimate grant winner.
What does your business do?The Mercurial is a wonderful, worldly (web) magazine rooted in Greater Danbury, Connecticut (TheMercurial.com) and an art gallery located at 11 Library Place in Danbury, Connecticut. The magazine covers news and culture in and around New England, investigates the bad stuff and celebrates the good stuff. The gallery showcases local emerging artists and musicians.
The Mercurial is devoted to the cultural (and economic) revitalization of the Greater Danbury area and is doing its part by informing the public via the magazine and by creating a cultural hub at the gallery.
What would the grant enable you to do that you can't now?This grant would incentivize the ad manager position I'm offering at The Mercurial. Right now I have no revenue to offer an ad manager aside from commission on sales. Offering a small base pay would make a huge difference in attracting someone towards the position.
If Idea Cafe's Grant helps your biz reach greater success, how will you "pay it forward" to help others in some way?Great question. The Mercurial's greatest resource for businesses is our advertising opportunities. We reached 21,000 readers in 2011 and are aiming for over 30,000 this year, and though we are an Connecticut-based publication, our unique content has earned us readers throughout the entire planet. If we are able to move forward in our business goals with the Idea Cafe grant, The Mercurial could easily hold a similar application process for new businesses and award the winners free advertising along with some fantastic media coverage. The Mercurial is all about the little guys doing great things, so this would be a perfect package to offer other businesses.
If we really strike it big, it would be cool to do a "Make a Wish" type grant for new businesses. Start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs would write to us about their business and ask for one big thing that they would want for their offices, staff, etc. Then, we would all go on a shopping spree with the grant winner and make the wish happen. We could buy signage, finance renovations, buy a banging espresso machine, pay for weekly yoga sessions at the office...whatever the entrepreneur dreamed (within our means) we would do.