Sharks kill off good ideas
By Deb Brown
One of the communities I was in for an Embedded Community Experience sent me some good news. City and community leaders want to take a “Shark Tank” approach in trying to fill vacant storefronts.
At first this looks like a great idea! They have a building owner willing to put one of his buildings in the project for one year. They are putting together 12 different investors to reimburse that building owner each month for the rent.
They will interview 40 applicants and narrow it down to 10 choices. Then the shark tank process will begin and finally one single new start up will be chosen.
So what’s the biggest problem with this idea?
You’re turning away possibly 40 people who want to start a business.
What if you organized another open building into a shared space?
They started with a few shops!
a small town that eventually filled 15,000 square feet.
Is there another business in town that could make a little room for one of those businesses?
Partner with the startup and give them a chance to be in business with less risk.
It also brings in a different buyer to the sponsoring business.
It adds new things to a store and draws a crowd.
You could start even smaller and have a pop up event for those 40 possible businesses to showcase their work.
Imagine all the folks in town finding out about these businesses and getting to try some of their products.
Great market research for the business.
A possible investment for a person or organization or business.
A fun event for the community!
We believe all the ideas are good, at least good enough to test and try it.
We believe small towns can be saved by their own people using their own resources.
We picked the name SaveYour.Town because that is what you are going to do, save your town. No one is coming to do it for you.
Deb Brown, cofounder of SaveYour.Town
Deb grew up on a farm outside of Geneva, Iowa, population 141. Her first entrepreneurial venture was raising a hog. You’d find her either with her nose in a history book or out exploring abandoned houses and buildings. Funny, things haven’t changed much, she’s still working on filling empty buildings in small towns.