Tag Archives: ARPC

Dispatches from Inside the Classroom: Day 8

Best Marketing’s Liz Sara, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Dingman Center of Entrepreneurship and former Dingman Board member, concluded the Business to Business Marketing course with a tall order for the part-time MBA students: create and present a marketing plan for a real startup. Four company CEOs participated in this project:  Sean Virgil, founder of last year’s Cupid’s Cup finalist company Diagnostic anSERS; Brian Johnson, founder of Divvy Cloud; Jack Reis, founder of ManageUrID; and Payam Fard, founder of Subject-7.  All four CEO’s attended class, listened, probed and commented on the marketing plan presentations.

This type of pitch was a first for many students including Antwan Jefferson. “This was the first time in my education I have had the opportunity to interact with an actual company. Being afforded the opportunity to provide solutions to a CEO is one of the more exciting experiences that I have had,” said Jefferson.

After the final class Sara felt the students took a sip from the fire hose of B2B Marketing. “From hearing more than a dozen CEOs who took the time to present a marketing challenge to class discussion to actually developing a plan for a real company – well it just doesn’t get more experiential than that,” Sara concluded.

Sara-05Aug13-97Liz Sara has 20 years of experience in the local high tech community as an entrepreneur, business leader, angel investor and philanthropist. In 2001, she founded Best Marketing, LLC to provide early stage software companies with strategic marketing, PR and business development services. Her company offers clients all the benefits of a full-scale, seasoned marketing department on a ‘virtual’ basis — eliminating overhead and headcount associated with full-time staff. Previously, she played a principal role as co-founder of SpaceWorks, an eCommerce software company, where she facilitated its startup and growth to nearly $25 million in revenue; at America Online, where she designed the PR program and investor road show for the IPO; at United Press International, where she facilitated a turn-around strategy; and for LEXIS/NEXIS, where she was instrumental in the creation and successful launch of a new division. Ms. Sara holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the Business & Professional Women’s Committee of the Corcoran; the Women’s Committee of National Museum of Women In the Arts; and the Board of the Capital City Ball. In addition, Ms. Sara is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.

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Dispatches from Inside the Classroom: Day 6 & 7

Best Marketing’s Liz Sara continued her Business to Business Marketing class on Monday with a discussion about how to best use events and trade shows in the marketing mix. From high tech to low tech, from small to large, the class got a dose of the best ways to use third-party events. Students also learned that whether on the Internet or on the ground, sometimes it’s best to create your own event. Ryan Healey, founder of Brazen Careerist (a Dingman Center Angels portfolio company) talked about how his company uses industry trade shows and virtual events to generate leads for their offering – a virtual event platform itself. Ran Farmer, a senior managing partner at  boutique econometric consulting firm ARPC, talked about how his company leveraged events in the legal industry to drive business last year.

Tuesday’s class began with a clip from an old “Saturday Night Live” episode that pokes fun at the rock band Bon Jovi for naming the band after its founder. Joking aside, the class was all about branding and what B2B companies should consider when they go through a re-branding. Alex Gordiyenko, co-founder of LightMix Design Studio, showed some examples of what happens when a global B2B company attempts to rebrand in a changing and dynamic marketplace.

“As consumers, we see the end result of a company re-brand, but we don’t know the hoops the marketing and management team jumped through to get there. Last night’s installment of the class focused on the hoops,” Sara explained. Stay tuned for our final dispatch tomorrow.

Sara-05Aug13-97Liz Sara has 20 years of experience in the local high tech community as an entrepreneur, business leader, angel investor and philanthropist. In 2001, she founded Best Marketing, LLC to provide early stage software companies with strategic marketing, PR and business development services. Her company offers clients all the benefits of a full-scale, seasoned marketing department on a ‘virtual’ basis — eliminating overhead and headcount associated with full-time staff. Previously, she played a principal role as co-founder of SpaceWorks, an eCommerce software company, where she facilitated its startup and growth to nearly $25 million in revenue; at America Online, where she designed the PR program and investor road show for the IPO; at United Press International, where she facilitated a turn-around strategy; and for LEXIS/NEXIS, where she was instrumental in the creation and successful launch of a new division. Ms. Sara holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the Business & Professional Women’s Committee of the Corcoran; the Women’s Committee of National Museum of Women In the Arts; and the Board of the Capital City Ball. In addition, Ms. Sara is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.

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