100 entrepreneurs filled the room at HSN’s third American Dreams Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio last week. Our founder Justin Lemus was one of the lucky attendees representing PhotoBloom AR. For three days, we had the chance to learn from expert speakers, ask questions, and gain further insights on how to grow our business. Topics ranged from manufacturing a product, to pitching a product, and everything in between. It was all capped with the opportunity to pitch to HSN executives for the chance to launch a product in front of their 91 million views world-wide. Here are some of the highlights:
Day 1 (Key Speakers)
Suzanne Quigley @ Qurate Retail Group: Parent company of HSN, QVC, Zulily, and other online retail website. She discussed their different approach to retail (heavy on ‘demonstration selling’). With a product like ours, her talk made us take a step back and rethink our approach.
Lou Lentine @ Viatek Consumer Products – Perfecting Your Product & Manufacturing: Viatek is a world leader in developing and marketing great products for both TV and retail. Lou's talk gave us insights on how to perfect a product and get it ready for mass distribution.
Bob Circosta @ HSN, TV's "Billion Dollar Man" – The Perfect Pitch: Bob was the first ever pitch man on HSN, launched over 75K products, totaling in over $5 billion in world-wide sales. He taught us some "tricks of the trade" which he has perfected over the years, including how to apply WSGAT (look it up) to your pitch.
Day 2 (Key Speakers)
Rodger Allen @ LSQ Funding Group – All About Factoring: LSQ believes that businesses should be certain about their future, without the burden of cashflow obstacles. Rodger introduced us to 'factoring' which basically a cash advance on a PO. LSQ specializes in factoring. It's a great alternative to traditional leading.
Sandy Cleary @ SLC Holdings Group – Angel Investing: Founder & CEO, Sandy has committed to investing “a few million” a year of her own money into unique startups and product ideas “Shark Tank Style”: entrepreneurs with a great product, great story, great passion - but might not have the background, connections, and/or money to break into the market. She started CruCon Cruise Outlet from in her mothers basement (with very little capital) and turned it into one of the largest sellers of cruises with more than $135 million in annual cruise volume. She started SLC Holdings Group as a way to pay-it-forward. Companies submit applications and they choose who they invite to pitch. PhotoBloom AR is perfect candidate and we plan to apply.
Day 3 (Pitch Day)
Since this was HSN, we decided to pitch a PhotoBloom AR branded product called "Cubee AR"; new version of Justin's first project. The room was filled with about 8 executives from HSN, QVC, Viatek, Qurate Retail Group, and SLC Holdings. Long story short... we nailed it! Their reaction to Cubee AR + the potential PhotoBloom AR has for future products was pure excitement. We were told that they would get back to us in about a week or two to talk about how we move forward. Although nothing is officially signed, we left with a really good feeling. Fingers crossed!