Summer Entrepreneurial Experiences

Author Archive

RLM Associates Week 8

Thursday, August 24, 2017 12:09 am

This was my final week at RLM for the summer. Leaving the company was bittersweet as everyone I worked with was not only talented but supportive in all ways when it came to my learning and growth. The experience was better than what I could have imagined and I learned more than I had ever expected. Right from the beginning I was given more responsibility than I was expecting, and I was expected to dive right in. This made me nervous the first few days but it forced me to adjust quickly and efficiently, this alone was something I’m grateful for getting experience with. Every new project was addressed in this same fashion and being thrown into the middle of each company’s strategy over and over again allowed me to gain confidence each time. This unexpected additional responsibility also helped me to learn a number of skills in different areas. It also helped teach me how to balance more than one project at a time while still giving each the needed amount of attention.

In addition to all of this, working with so many companies that specialized in different areas allowed me to experience the ways in which each chose to start and build their new companies. More importantly, I was able to see first hand how a software company’s path differs from an author’s path and so on. This differentiation was across the board, from marketing to funding. I was also able to compare how the strategies of these start-up companies compare in a more general sense to long-established companies.

This internship allowed me to expand my knowledge in a number of areas while doing real world work. Working directly with both clients and the CEO of a company was something I wasn’t expecting. It did however, teach me a great deal more than I was expecting as well. I am incredibly thankful for everyone who assisted in making this internship not only an option but an incredible experience.

RLM Associates Week 7

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 9:29 am

This was my second-to-last week working for RLM and a ton of final projects have to be finished up before I can leave. A lot of the time this week went to starting up and creating accounts for all the future projects we know are coming up. Having used a lot of the software and programs the entire summer, it saves a lot of time to have me set up a project. I already know all the account information and the beginning steps are a but more unclear, we can then have the new intern just go in and follow the remaining steps that are laid out. This will also give her a good idea of where each company is going without her having to sit down and try to under stand their multiple-year plans in her first week!

For the Forks In The Road book series, getting everything ready meant setting up the next 3 books with the publishing company. Once this is done, the new intern will be able to simply log on to our account and see what all the steps are as I have laid them out. I followed our format for the first book, which is more time conscious than having her figure it all out. It also meant updating the marketing plan for the series. I planned out in detail the next 2 months hoping that after those 8 weeks she will have adjusted and will feel confident working out the next plan for herself.

With one of our newer projects, we’re conducting some research with students in the fall semester. We are working with a local college and are collecting the data in a couple of ways. We spent a decent amount of time this week working with Qualtrics and with one of the professors to create an initial survey. We want to have enough data gathered this first semester so that we can take advantage of a second semester consulting class the professor teaches. If we have enough data for them to work with they will be a big help in the research project.

The final project we focused on this week was the software development. This was almost entirely going back and forth with the company just answering simple questions.

Next week is my last week so there will be a lot or organizing and information sorting, but I’m hoping to get this all squared aware so that things can keep moving forward smoothly!

RLM Associates Week 6

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 11:55 am

This week at RLM we have moved to focus almost entirely on the software development. I do a few daily things like check book sales and run reports on marketing campaigns. So far the marketing is going as planned. We haven’t had to do much revising but we do have to keep up with all of the updates. We just came to another point where we could change campaigns if need-be but after reviewing everything we decided to continue with the current process.

For the software, we met with the company producing it a few times to see what they would need to get started and to see what format they would prefer the information to come in. The first thing we did was define the minimum viable product (MVP). The MVP will later fit into the completed software, but the MVP can be fully developed more quickly and will allow us to start working with the product in its early stages much sooner. Defining the MVP took a lot of going back and forth and editing, first for content, and then for clarity. Once this was completed we sent it over to the company we’re working with. We than defined the entire software but more generally. The company won’t dive right into developing this fully, as they are with the MVP. Instead they will begin by building and creating wire frames, which are visual representations of what the software will look like. This ensures that we are on the same page before they begin to put too many hours into the product. They will then add a voice over to the wire frames and the video will serve as a demo and a way of explaining to product to investors and users. Doing it this way then also gives us more time to perfect the final product. Defining the wire frame once again took a lot of going back and forth but we sent that over to them by the end of the week.

Thursday and Friday of this week I was tasked with bringing a new intern up-to-date. She won’t start working for a few weeks, but we wanted to have her ready to go for when I return to school. I organized all the information for her so it was self-explanatory and then also created a little cheat sheet of what each company was, what they sold, what we are working on for them, and what step in the process we are at for each. She won’t be back for a week and a half, at which point I’ll update her. She’ll have a week to transition before I leave, so we’ll be moving quickly but I think it will be enough time!

RLM Associates Week 5

Sunday, July 30, 2017 12:28 pm

This week was my first week back after being gone for two months! We planned beforehand for everything to be launched before I left so that the campaigns could accumulate funds and we would have enough data to re-evaluate marketing choices once I got back. Upon my return I ran the requested reports and everything is doing well. We’re making small adjustments here and there or updating campaigns so that sponsors and donors are aware of the companies’ progress. For the Forks In The Road book series we were working with we were finally able to publish the first book. It was available on Amazon on Monday and has since sold 32 copies before we even began the promotion campaign. I also began working with a new section of the Forks in the Road company, that revolves around market research. A lot of time this week was spent making calls and organizing a panel of professors to assist with the research. We also began initial contact with experts in the area of study to help with the formatting and creating of the research method.

The next big project is the development of a software. We are finally at the stage where this can begin. The first step in this process was for me to organize and read through the 4 years of data collection that is the basis for the software. I also went through and modified and combines past wireframes so that we are ready to move forward with developing and finalizing the visual aspects of the software. The first meeting for this process will be the Tuesday of this upcoming week. We also went over past marketing strategies as well as past strategic launch plans. This coming week we will refine the data that we have and move forward with the reduced information!

RLM Associates Week 4

Monday, June 5, 2017 1:48 pm

This week at RLM my main goal was to finish up all loose ends so that when I leave for a few weeks all of the projects can be up and running. The most important thing was to transfer all information on my laptop to the RLM company server. I also had to make sure all of the companies I’m doing consulting for have all information/updates. Additionally, I had to organize and store all usernames and passwords that I had created so that in my absence it would be easy to log in as needed. Until I sat down to do this I didn’t realize how many accounts I had created. This also made me realize how many things go into even small tasks in a business, especially a start-up!

For the Forks in the Road book series/company I am working with I had to finish all categories that were needed in order to publish and be ready to print. This way, while I’m gone all I have to do is give the company an order of how many to print and we can begin the selling process. This included going over distribution and sales avenues as well as marketing to the degree that it is customized.

For Krumor, setting everything up for when I was gone primarily meant updating all job postings and going through applications that we have already received. We’re planing to wait the final due date to begin making decisions so review of applications was mostly organization.

Finally, for all of the crowdfunding projects I had to create all of the updates and adjustments that would be needed for the next two months so that while I’m gone it is an easy process. Additionally, in doing it like this the intern that will be uploading said updates won’t have to be briefed on the entire marketing plan.

While I’m gone I’ll have to keep monitoring all of the projects and make sure the crowdfunding goes as planned. Also, if something doesn’t move at the pace we’re wanting it to I’ll have to be able to revise form where I am. Additionally, while I’m abroad I’ll be trained for the software that is being used to create the companies websites so I can easily do updates from wherever I am.

RLM Associates Week 3

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 9:52 am

This week at RLM I started by finishing up all the loose ends that were needed to launch two of the crowdfunding projects. The first thing this involved was the creation of accounts on the appropriate websites and then submission of the needed information such as an allocation plan for funds. We also finalized the plans for the websites that will be set up to accompany these projects. The website creation in particular was a great experience because Bob brought me with him to the meeting with the website creation company. They discussed things like which wireframes to use and which installation software was best. After making decisions on such things they mentioned that it would be much more expensive to send them any adjustments that would be needed on the website once it is live. They suggested that instead they train me to use the software and then I would be able to go in and make adjustments. My training will happen sometime in the next two weeks or so and I’m excited about this because I think knowing how to use this technology is a valuable skill.

After this meeting I launched the crowd funding campaign. Once a day I look at all the analytics that are involved with views, donations, as well as if the people doing these things match our target audience. So far things are going well and are matching up with our wanted demographic as well as our general timeline as to when we want the money raised by.

In terms of the work I’m doing for Krumor (the thermocouples creator) all of the needed positions are posted and accounts are created with all the appropriates colleges and websites to be able to continue updating and adjusting the posts.

Finally, we mapped out a calendar for the rest of the summer. At the end of next week I will be moving form full time to part time for two months allowing all of the projects to have some time to run their course. I will then return to full time for an additional 4 weeks and we will do and in-depth evaluation of their performance and make adjustment from there. All seven of the companies/projects I’m working with are accounted for in this proposed timeline and each are set to be up and running before I leave for the summer except for a few minor decisions here and there.

Next week I’ll have to prepare everything that will be needed while I am gone so that all that needs to be done (essentially) is have the information uploaded and thus launched at the appropriate time.

RLM Associates Week 2

Monday, May 22, 2017 12:10 pm

RLM Associates and the related companies and start-ups are all very friendly and very family-oriented places. They allow for a lot of flexibility and everyone is casual and welcoming. Within this group, I work with CEO Bob Mikals to help link and coordinate between the many sections of the companies to ensure that movement forward is quick and simple.

This week at RLM-Associates we focused primarily and moving forward with the tasks we started last week. We started by setting up a study that is volunteer-based to begin data collection for the third book in the “Forks in the Road” book series. This included buying a domain and setting up the necessary components for the website, including emails and content. Additionally, it included the communications needed to set the site up originally as well as any adjustments that were needed. In terms of content, the study guidelines, rules, directions, and information formats all had to be drafted and then edited. We’re hoping to have the website up and running by next week with all of the wanted corrections and additions. I also created a simulation for the estimated cost of this study based on the number of participants and their level of involvement.

Additionally, for one of the books in the series we were hoping to have some research done. For this we created a profile of what areas of research were needed and which format would be most helpful to have the information turned in in. This was all written up and will be given to the necessary individuals by early next week.

Finally, the final touches were added to the first and second book in the series. First, we added to the website an introduction that was created and focused on the target audience for the books. We also created a description for the books for both the website as well as to accompany the online sales format. Additionally, I went through and registered the ISBN numbers so that they were linked to these titles and series specifically on a universal level. The final revisions were made to the novels themselves. First, I went through and changed all of the noted edits from the last editor. To finish things up I went through and formatted everything. Each book was formatted and edited to match a format that was given by the publishing company. This included changes to the margins, font size, headers, page numbers, as so on. I then went through and counted the spaces between each chapter and each paragraph and so on to make sure they were 100% uniform.

Next week were hoping to add the cover to this final format and launch the necessary marketing campaigns that go with these novels. We will also launch the related crowd funding projects. I’m excited to see this first project come together and am hoping to have it nearly finished by the end of next week.

Week 1 at RLM Associates

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 5:45 pm

This summer I will be interning with RLM Associates. RLM Associates is a consulting firm based near Cleveland, Ohio. It specializes in the business consulting of start-up companies. I will be working most closely with a software company who is in the development and funding stage. I will also be working with Krumor, a company which produces and sells thermocouples at an industrial level, MySmartPath, another software package company, and Forks In The Road, a book series. My tasks this summer will involve all of these companies and will include objectives such as editing and publishing the first book in the “Forks In The Road” series and crowdfunding for various innovation projects. I will be working directly under CEO Robert Mikals. Each morning I report to him and fill him in on any progress that was made and then work through anything else that has come up. Around 12:00 Mr. Mikals leaves the office and I continue with the tasks I am given.

Until June I am the only intern that is working with all of these companies, so it was a busy first week. Mr. Mikals started Monday off by introducing me to all of the companies and where they were in terms of patents, marketing, development, and funding. From there he had my create a timeline for each company of all the things that were needed in order to get them from the stage they were at to being launched and actively selling products. After this I began working through each of these tasks in order to have them completed by the end of May.

For Krumor this week I went through and determined which permanent positions were needed and which internship positions were needed. From there I created a profile for each position and formalized this. The final step was to put all of the information into the formats that each advertising company preferred and then send them out. So far responses are at a satisfactory number but we’re wanting to give it another 15-20 days before we make final decisions.

For Forks In The Road book series, I went through and bought the domain that was wanted to create a website. From there I contacted a web-designer who was able to create the site and get it up and running by Thursday. Additionally, I researched and picked the self-publishing avenue that we will use for each book in the series and then bought the needed universal ISBN numbers.

Finally, I set up a marketing plan that included crowdfunding for each company in which it was needed. This also included the making of multimedia for a couple of the campaigns. I outsourced the artistic work and am excited to see what the first versions look like this coming week.

Next week I’ll have to combine all the media outlets we set up with the artistic work and a few other elements to finalize crowd sourcing campaigns, websites, and media coverage.

Serving Humanity Through the Pursuit of Knowledge

Copyright © 2010 Wake Forest University ~ 1834 Wake Forest Road, Winston-Salem, NC ~ 336.758.5000