And the Winner Is... Percy Marchand of Marchand Ink, New Orleans, Louisiana!
Percy said he'd use Idea Cafe's Grant to promote his business, and man, he has! Since receiving the Grant, Percy's been featured in The London Times. And in "People to Watch 2006" Percy looks super-suave in his Idea Cafe t-shirt in New Orleans Magazine
AND THAT'S NOT ALL! Boosted by confidence from winning Idea Cafe's Pilot Grant, a few months later Percy applied for Miller's award... and guess what?... now he'll receive another $20,000 for his business. You can view his pic (in a suit and tie!) via the Miller Brewing Company site IF you're old enough to get through their access door.
Plus, there's even more great news! Percy has continued to send us updates on his success - even a year after he won Idea Cafe's grant. Just read his report page for the latest chapters in his success!
So, congrats to Idea Cafe's Pilot Grant winner, Percy Marchand! Idea Cafe is proud to have helped you create your success!
Although all the terrific applications we received made it very, very, very difficult to pick just one, Percy Marchand won us over.
Percy was scheduled to open his business in New Orleans two weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit. Since he didn't have flood insurance, his $50,000 investment was destroyed, so he started again from scratch and finally opened in May, 2006. Now that Marchand Ink is open for business, Percy needs to get the word out. He plans to use the grant money from Idea Cafe to promote his business through radio, email and direct marketing.
We were particularly impressed by Percy's ideas to "pay the grant forward"...
Although Percy's just in his mid-20's, he's already established himself as a mover-&-shaker who's a great role model for all of us entrepreneurs, whatever our age! For starters, he's already launched a program he calls "Rebuilding New Orleans - One Copy at a Time!" where Marchand Ink will contribute 10% of a customer's pre-tax total to their designated neighborhood or homeowners association, school or church.
Plus, Percy's launched "YouthStartUp", a 6-week business internship to help at-risk youth gain work experience. As Percy said when I phoned him to tell him he'd won Idea Cafe's Pilot Grant, "Your investment will be used well!" Yes, we know it will!
Percy was recently Profiled at Idea Cafe, take a browse, and enjoy his profile. Also read about the technology that enabled him to cope with disaster when his phone lines were destroyed.
Read Percy's Reports:
Since receiving Idea Cafe's Small Business Grant, Percy sends a monthly update on what he and his business have been and will be doing, so you can learn from his challenges and biz lessons learned.
Follow his progress, trials and tribulations here: Percy's reports!
And what about you?
If you're one of the extremely talented applicants who didn't win this grant, we're sorry, but you'll have another chance. Here at Idea Cafe, we aim to make more grants available as often as we can, so keep tabs on Idea Cafe or watch our newsletter for current information on the next Idea Cafe Small Business Grant!
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For grant options check Grants du Jour and other offerings in Idea Cafe's Biz Grant Center.