The start of the new year often represents new beginnings and new opportunities. It’s the perfect time for businesses and entrepreneurs to reassess accomplishments or challenges, make course corrections, or even completely rethink their plans.
While the calendar provides a dependable trigger for contemplation, The Spur witnesses new beginnings and growth opportunities year-round at its location in Southampton.
Like many co-working spaces, The Spur provides a comfortable, stylish workspace with internet access — but that’s only part of the reason businesses and workers thrive there. At its core, The Spur is an innovation engine, a catalyst for success. Its business community, mentoring sessions, educational programming, and social events create a stimulating and nurturing environment that inspire entrepreneurs, business leaders, artists, techies, and others to set their sights on ambitious goals — then strive to reach them. This unique support system provides an excellent framework for launching new businesses, or jump-starting existing ones.
For example, The Spur, along with iHamptons, created the “RipTide: $ink Or $wim” contest to help start-ups fund their new business ideas. Participants compete against each other at a “Shark Tank”-like event that is judged by a panel of notable business leaders. Entrepreneurs create video presentations, demo their products, and respond to judges’ questions before the audience and the judges vote for the best idea. This year two local companies — Wick & Wine Candle Co. and Pedal Share — won close to $50,000 in combined funding and prizes.
Companies typically use the funds to buy new equipment, invest in marketing, hire staff, or add to inventory. Along with ongoing mentorship and networking opportunities, these companies are primed for success. In fact, last year’s winner, Tote Taxi went on to buy new equipment and expand its business. It’s well on its way to another banner year.
Not every company can win a RipTide event, but that doesn’t mean they don’t find a lot of love at The Spur. One upcoming opportunity is “Mentorship Monday.” Held the second Monday of every month, the next session is January 14, from 6 to 8 PM. At this event, entrepreneurship guru Barbara Roberts will present the Business Model Canvass tool, which is used at institutions from MIT to Columbia to teach business owners how to map out their business plan on one simple sheet of paper. Enrollment is limited to permit in-depth, one-on-one conversations about real world business issues.
Other opportunities to learn, network, or just have fun are scheduled several times a week at The Spur. Programs include “Understanding Block Chain,” “Exploring The Future of Media” (hosted by WNBC anchor and Southampton resident, Chuck Scarborough), and “Rethinking Health Insurance.” There’s also a weekly “Friday Night Happy Hour” that gives members a chance to unwind and exchange ideas, complete with ping pong table and dart board. Is it really work if you’re having fun?
The business climate, the economy, careers, and our personal lives are always changing. What worked well in the past may not apply in the future. It makes senses to take stock at the end of the year, or anytime it feels right, and decide if there’s a better way, or better place to grow a business, reboot a career, or just keep up with the pace of change. The Spur could very well be the place for that to happen on the East End.
Ashley John Heather is the founder of The Spur in Southampton. The Spur is built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Its mission is to bring together the creatives, innovators, and entrepreneurs across the Hamptons. By providing a central hub to work (and play), The Spur will provide all the essential resources to help you grow your ideas and businesses. Learn more at www.thespur.com.