Friday, May 30, 2008

Entrepreneurial Shorthand

There are a few key phrases that get tossed around among the Ithaca entrepreneurial crowd. These typically derive from some longer story, but they work as a quick reference. One of my favorites is "7-minute abs". That's short hand for a wacky idea, usually from a wacky person. It originates from this scene from Something About Mary:

Step into my office

Some other phrases suitable for print:

"You aren't here for the hunting"
Meaning: repeatedly doing something the same way, and getting the same negative result.
Origin: An incredibly crass joke.

"Well wake the gimp up"
Meaning: Stop giving me excuses and go do what I just asked
Origin: Pulp Fiction

"That's $20 Canadian"
Meaning: Not only is it inexpensive us, it's inexpensive to to our northern friends.
Origin: Unknown. Probably originated at the Toronto Ballet after a few Steam Whistles. It has now been gleefully reversed on us due to the weak dollar.

"Cheney '08"
Meaning: Doing something to intentionally annoy someone.
Origin: The easist way to piss off most of Ithaca? Walk around with a Cheney '08 shirt on.

"How about a monorail?"
Meaning: That sounds like an idiotic plan dreamed up by inept government.
Origin: The same Ithaca government that can't seem to fix a pothole is seriously considering installing a podcar monorail system.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Chris from Widetronix

The look of a winner

thanks to for the picture.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Widetronix Wins!

Widetronix, one of Cornell's representatives at the DFJ East Coast Venture Challenge, just won the whole thing! That means $250,000 from one of the best venture capital firms in the world. Well done guys!

I'll have more on this later, but here's a sample stream of emails initiated by our man in the crowd, Justin Smithline:

  • 1:40 pm Justin: Widetronix just made the finals! One of four finalists. Stay tuned...
  • 2:54 pm Tom: Cornell represent! Very nice...
  • 3:46 pm Justin: Guys just went. Guys did well, especially considering the limited prep time-nice job all you coaches! Def the most entertaining of all the groups too. Judges were excited about the idea of a "nuclear battery". All the finalists are rock solid, so it will be close.
  • 5:13 pm Justin: They won!!! No shit!!!
  • 5:33 pm Cliff: WOW!! FANTASTIC!!
  • 5:35 pm Charles: f'n great job! Justin, thanks for the play by play
  • 6:03 pm Me: WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

A exciting day for all of us in our little Cornell-Ithaca entrepreneurship club. Way to represent!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Rose By Another Name

When I graduated from business school my father came to Ithaca and stayed at the Rose Inn. We had the celebration dinner there, and he gave me the one item I consider my prized possession - a Seiko with a long back story. That's a tale for another time, today I want to talk about The Rose.

In March of 2004 the Rose Inn was gutted by a spectacular fire. It sat as a burned out hulk until 2006 when Ithaca natives John and Elizabeth Hamilton bought the property they had once been married on with the intent of retaining the nostalgia while taking the place to a higher standard for quality and hospitality.

They changed the name to The John Joseph Inn and Elizabeth Restaurant to emphasize a new management and a new commitment. Their rebranding included a new logo that combines themes from their animal family, as well as locally-located, internationally-reknowned artisans MacKenzie Childs whose furnishings permeate the facilities.

You can call me logo, but my friends call me Prep

Sitting on their porch enjoying a glass of wine and talking to John, you'll be visited by the hysterical duo of Hudson the Lab and Prep the Pig. Sure, there are various roosters and hens and chipmunks milling about, but this twosome steals the show.

Is it my turn for a belly rub?

As CIA graduates, Ithaca lovers, and experienced entrepreneurs, John and Elizabeth exemplify the route of entrepreneurship as a means to achieve a dream. In this case, a well executed, classically fashionable, deliciously garnished, and personally-driven dream.

How's it going so far? It's all peachy. Just ask Prep and Hudson!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Can't you feel it coming? EMPIRE ZÖNES!

Maria Maynard and Heather Filiberto are hosting a coffee and donut chat to explain and discuss Empire Zones. This a New York State economic development program designed to encourage companies to operate in specific geographic regions. By operating your business in an Empire Zone you could get income tax breaks, sales tax breaks and tax credits.

When: May 15, 2008 at 10am
Where: Courtyard by Marriott, 29 Thornwood Dr, Ithaca, NY 14850
Price: Free

Business the American way

Not appearing at this event will be Queensrÿche. Instead, Heäther Filibertö, from Tompkins County Area Development, will explain how businesses currently in an Empire Zone can take advantage of this program, and get access to grants, low-interest loans, and venture capital and other financing assistance. The session is also encouraged for those folks considering locations to grow their business and want to learn more about the benefits of being in an Empire Zone.

Please RSVP by May 13 to Maria Maynard at 257 1725 x 223 or

Note: I added the umlauts for heavy metal effect. Rock on Heather!