Archives For Entrepreneurs

Steve Ely and Ev Williams are big thinkers and have some things in common.

Brian Patrick Cork:

Check out this article about Steve Ely and eCredable. While you are at it, pay heed.

I coached the eCredable management team for a few months and I have always been deeply impressed by their poise, passion and commitment to being change-agents that provide a vital service to a growing community.

Steve and his team are subject matter experts driving Thought Leadership and appear to be on-track with an innovative approach to credit, financial literacy and fiscal responsibility. They are genuinely going to be part of the solution.

eCredable to Attract ‘Thin-File’ Borrowers Via Prepaid Cards -… -

… “The #1 feature that a prepaid debit card user wants is the ability to build credit,” said Steve Ely, CEO of eCredable, in an interview. “We’ll be able to share their payment activity with…

Here is some perspective for you, offered by Ev Williams over the course of a recent (albeit unrelated) interview about his views on the internet, technology and two of his successful startups, Blogger and Twitter:

“Here’s the formula if you want to build a billion-dollar internet company,” he said. “Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps.”

Let’s be part of the Solution.

brian patrick cork

Darrah Brustein’s Mom and Dad are evidently awesome

Take a look at this link, and focus on the book Finance whizKids.

It’s probably great for Emma Jo, my eleven year old emerging media mogul. And, not too late for Haley Anne my sixteen year old “old soul”. I’ve met some adults in business that are raving about this book as parents.

I’ve only met Darrah twice. And, both times I was left thinking I want her to mentor my own daughters in some fashion. Darrah is a genuine entrepreneur with a proven track record. That would certainly catch my attention. However, Darrah is also humble and possessed of a servants heart. Her flair for relevant networking is better described as “connecting” and I believe founded on a keen desire to genuinely help people. So, I’ll add though leader to the attributes I admire about the future Majority Speaker (that was my idea after meeting with her Wednesday).

About the author:

Darrah Brustein was born and raised on an historic horsefarm outside of Philadelphia.

Darrah_SmallwIn her youth, she was given many chores and an allowance. But it wasn’t until her family moved south to Baltimore when she was eleven that her financial education truly began. There, she was taught the indelible lessons of saving, earning, investing, and giving back.

Upon high school graduation, Darrah was ready for her independence; she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend Emory University. She studied Religion and Italian and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2006. After college, Darrah wanted to pursue a passion, so she took a job as a sales rep for a high-end fashion line. Excited to combine her love of clothing and sales, she successfully hit her three-year sales goal in ten months.

During this time, Darrah bought a car and a home, all because she was able to institute the lessons she’d been taught as a child about financial responsibility. When she realized she was the exception, not the norm, Darrah decided to do something about it.

When Darrah’s not working to spread financial education, she and her twin brother, Garrett, own a merchant services business, Equitable Payments, helping businesses find the best provider for their credit card processing needs.

Darrah also owns and runs Atlanta Under 40, a social and professional networking organization.

When not working, Darrah is the President of the Emory Young Alumni association, hoping to give back to the school that gave her her start! She is also amongst the founding class of the Atlanta chapter of the Forum of Global Shapers, a hub of the World Economic Forum.  Subsequently, she’s been invited to attend the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland to represent the topic of financial literacy for children.”

Let’s join Darrah and be part of the Solution.

brian patrick cork

Southeastern Emerging Companies Capital Conference

A Continuation of the Southeastern Emerging Companies Series

Brian Patrick Cork will participate in a key panel discussing:

  • Making a company capital-friendly
  • Handling success and failure during the start-up phase
  • Presenting to angel investors

Program details:

May 22, 2013
8:30 AM
Baker Donelson
Monarch Plaza, Suite 1600
3414 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, Georgia

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast and Registration
9:00 a.m. Presentation begins

Baker Donelson invites you attend our Emerging Companies Capital Conference, the next in our series of regional emerging companies. This event brings together successful entrepreneurs, capital investors and strategic advisors for the benefit of the emerging company community.

Focus on Capital Connections

Emerging companies will be selected to attend this event by a review of their executive summaries. See format here. The selection will be done by a panel that includes angel investors. Of the emerging companies selected to attend this event, ten companies will be chosen to pitch their company to a panel of angel investors who will provide anonymous feedback. The best pitch will win 15 hours of legal services from Baker Donelson, valued at $5,000, and the opportunity to meet again with the angel investor panel.

In addition, attendees will be able to network with entrepreneurs, angel investors and others involved in the funding and capitalization of emerging companies.

See the complete event agenda here.

There is no cost to attend. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

To Register

  • Emerging Companies/Startups: Apply here for registration and the opportunity to pitch. Application deadline is May 8, 2013.
  • Investors: If you are an investor and have an interest please contact

Lets be part of the Solution.

brian patrick cork

Most people that consult in some fashion in business describe, “the puzzle”.

But, what if we should switch the word puzzle with, mosaic?

Chuck Papageorgiou is one of those fellows that reaches hard to make a difference. There is an inner-fire that fuels the passion that is evidenced in the following video:

I asked Chuck the following question with a qualifier:

“That said, do you think its possible that you dilute your brand by referring to yourself as some form of “engineer”? That question coming from someone often called an “architect”.”

I’m reasonably certain that many folks look askance at people like Chuck (and me, to be sure). He does not fit into the typical scheme of things. However, if Chuck is like myself he understands you don’t need to appeal to, please everyone. You only need to find the best, and certainly the people or organizations that need us. Connecting with people in a meaningful way creates the mosaic with ripple effects that reduce the mystery of any puzzle.

Its rather like an elegant tapestry as well. We refine certain threads that create a vibrant and rich result that select few can value.

It’s all related in my head… I found myself recently engaged in some email correspondence with Kevin Abel:

“I’m not certain I’m proud of my birthright. So, its up to me to work on that.

Mine is the perspective of a soldier. I’ve seen how bad it really is outside of our borders. And, I see how many of my countrymen squander opportunities and largesse, mostly out of ignorance – which is crazy ironic. Thats balanced and validated by my business that has given me more and more insight into global efforts from startups to enterprise.

That’s the core of my own mission, helping people make better decisions. So, your cause today is relevant to my cause for yesterday and tomorrow.

Thanks for being part of the solution, and letting me help.”

Let’s be part of the Solution.

brian patrick cork

Brian Patrick CorkI love Marissa Mayer‘s thinking and strategy around recruiting. I’m becoming a big fan of Mayer. She is clearly establishing herself as a thought leader  and is apparently all about finding great people and empowering their abilities regardless of age or gender. Read more below:

Has Marissa Mayer’s acquire-to-hire strategy for Yahoo paid off? |… -

“Since becoming Yahoo CEO last summer, Marissa Mayer has embarked on a takeover strategy: Buy companies to get their talent. As Yahoo reports earnings, we find out if it worked.”

This article caught my attention because it follows my own philosophy around people, and my views in terms of our collective ability to contribute by season-of-life. There is a satisfying push/pull and ebb-and-flow aspect to it all.

Mayer is also looking for entrepreneurs with raw abilities that can be groomed and honed into terrific assets that will then follow great traditions such as Google and create yet other generations of innovative leadership.

This is better than any university.

I’ll be fascinated to find out if there is a profile or process to all of this that is helping Mayer and her team identify traits and qualities that are valued above others.

nii codjoeAnd, it so happens that the above article finds itself karmically on the heels of an exchange I’ve recently had with the keen to contribute Nii Codjoe:

On Apr 19, 2013, at 7:26 AM, Nii Codjoe <> wrote:

Hi Brian,

Just wanted to thank you again for meeting with me yesterday, and for lunch. I learned tons from you and Victor.

Here’s one takeaway: SME + ROI Argument = RelevanceAnd when you’re relevant, age is irrelevant.

Anyhow, would you be open to reconnecting again next Thursday or Friday?

My response:


I do agree with you. Relevance trumps age. I can offer many examples from both extremes of the spectrum. We can toss in gender, as well. I feel that would even make for a fascinating exchange.

More later. It’s all really great.

Let’s be part of the Solution.

brian patrick cork