Bottlehood...Steve Z writes about Steve C

[This article--written by one of my students who is a blogger in his own right--serves as the first in a series authored by fellow entrepreneurship bloggers. If you are interested in being a guest author, please contact me. Enjoy your reading.]

Guest Author:
Steve Zigray of the CSU San Marcos Entrepreneur Society

The CSU San Marcos Entrepreneur Society has been building momentum on and off campus for the past few semesters and it has been exciting as a student to be a part of this new venture. Our own alum officer, Wesley Quach, was even inspired to share his own thoughts on “How Being In The Entrepreneur Society Is Almost Like Being In A Real Startup.” In parallel to the curriculum at CSUSM, the Entrepreneur Society has given all of our members a chance to ignite their own ideas through the knowledge that experienced entrepreneurs in action have shared. My hope is that the Entrepreneur Society continues to build upon these early successes to create a sustainable organization by encouraging others to THINK BIG!

Our most recent guest speaker of the Spring semester, Steve Cherry, founder of BottleHood, shared his thoughts with the CSUSM Entrepreneur Society on creativity and entrepreneurship. A broad topic, yes, but Steve was able to nail some specifics on how he has been able to grow with a few simple ideas. For those of you who were unable to attend, we encourage you to check out what BottleHood has been up to here. You will most likely be left thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Or maybe that's just me. But the truth is, BottleHood has been able to succeed through their unique products and the unique relationships they have established with suppliers and consumers.

Here are a few of my WATA’s ["walk away take aways"] from his presentation:
  • My girlfriend made me do it. When you surround yourself with the right people, the right idea can be quick to find you.

  • Create local benefits by doing what’s right, good products lead to support. BottleHood does this by keeping bottles out of the landfill, creating local jobs, sourcing from local vendors, and keeping money state side. All benefits that lead to strong customer loyalty, and in Steve’s case, rapid growth. 

  • Understand your market. Steve had a great understanding of the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) market and opportunities that exist globally within that market. BottleHood also benefits by selling directly to consumers and building brand awareness at farmer’s markets around the country.

  • Reporters can bring business and exposure, for free. Well, maybe not free, as Steve pointed out, it exposed his concept and production methods to the masses. In all, the exposure BottleHood has garnered from the press has helped the company grow and learn some valuable lessons along the way.

  • Look for the right investors. Steve has kept his investors close. By sticking with friends and family, BottleHood has been able to create sustainable growth. He also has investors take an active roll by working for BottleHood if they want to invest in the venture. To be clear, Steve is aware of the opportunities that come from outside investors, but remains committed to finding an investor who embodies BottleHood’s mission and overall vision.
Thanks again to Steve Cherry for taking the time to spark some creativity on campus. His ideas undoubtably inspired us all.

I hope to see some new faces in a few weeks (March 8 - uhour - Markstein Hall 101) when the Entrepreneur Society welcomes their next guest speaker, Eric Hanscom. Eric is an experienced patent attorney who will be covering how patents, trademarks, and copyrights can help you succeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Too bad both Steve's don't mention that it was Leslie Tiano, the eco-woman behind the green idea of repurposing glass bottles in San Diego!