The Entrepreneurial Mind : Bailey Spaulding
The Entrepreneurial Mind : Phil Gibbs
ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE: John Burke: Louisiana Caviar Company
The Louisiana Caviar Company, founded by John Burke, sells its product to customers in an unlikely foreign market: Russia. Louisiana Caviar Company harvest its caviar from bowfin fish in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Swamp, which is the largest wetland in the U.S. The company sells caviar with a Cajun twist, flavoring the delicacy with various Cajun spices. The Russian market opened up due to efforts to ban caviar from the Caspian Sea in Russia. Overfishing and pollution have endangered sturgeon fish, which are the traditional source of Russian caviar. Louisiana Caviar Company exports 80 percent of its product, with half of its exports going to Russia.[i]
[i] “The Louisiana Caviar Company,” Faces of Trade, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, n.d. www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/legacy/international/europe/files/1207_FacesofTradeRussia_final.pdf.
ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE: Aloompa
Aloompa is an app development business located in Nashville, Tennessee that specializes primarily in apps for music festivals.
Their first customer was the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. The app includes a map the festival grounds, including the location of food vendors, bathrooms, retail spaces, and stage locations. It also includes bios of performers, audio samples of performers music, and reviews that can be pushed out to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
After growing to more than two-dozen music festivals in the U.S., Aloompa expanded to international festivals. The first was the Playa del Carmen in Mexico. The app for this festival is available in both English and Spanish. Aloompa is quickly adding new festivals as customers in Asia, Europe and South America.
“As Aloompa expanded into the international market it has had to learn how to communicate across culture barriers and familiarize itself with a variety of business practices across the globe,” says Caleb Jones in Business Development for Aloompa. “For example, as we expanded we found it necessary to start our deals in the South American market a full month prior due to slower timelines. As we move further into the international market it has given us an appreciation for the vast array of cultures that make up international commerce, and a great desire to continue business ventures abroad.”[i]
[i] Tyler Seymour and Caleb Jones, personal communication, May 23, 2014; Jamie McGee, “Pivot Point: Entrepreneurs find greater success with the unexpected,” Nashville Business Journal, March 1, 2013, www.bizjournals.com/nashville/print-edition/2013/03/01/pivot-point-entrepreneurs-find.html?page=all.
ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE: Tony Chew: KFC Vietnam
One of the more active regions for international franchising is Southeast Asia. Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia and Laos are all seeing rapid growth in American franchise restaurants. One of the most popular franchises is KFC. Kentucky Fried Chicken first came to Vietnam in 1997 through the vision of Singapore entrepreneur and franchisee Tony Chew. When Chew opened the first KFC there was limited power supply, poor roads, an untrained workforce, and a weak business climate. KFC Vietnam (KFCV) currently operates 140 restaurants and employees 4,000 workers.[i]
[i] Lan Anh Nguyen, “At the Front of Vietnam’s Food Queue,” Forbes, April 30, 2014, www.forbes.com/sites/lananhnguyen/2014/04/30/at-the-front-of-vietnams-food-queue/; John Vomhof Jr., “Franchise success stories in ASEAN countries,” HSBC Global Connections, January 2, 2014, https://globalconnections.hsbc.com/us/en/articles/franchise-success-stories-asean-countries</.
ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE: Jim Greene: Richland, LLC
Richland, LLC , located in Pulaski, Tennessee, is an industrial service company that supplies, assembles, fabricates, installs, paints, sandblasts and tests equipment that involves mechanical or electrical components.
Richland has contracts with TSKE Tsukishima Kankyo Engineering Ltd., a Japanese company, and Moritani, a German company. Tsukishima Kankyo and Moritani engage in many joint projects around the globe. Richland partnered with the two companies in a wastewater project for a client in Dubai that was developing a recreation area and golf course for a multinational community in Dubai. Richland provided manufacturing and test assembly for the water and wastewater treatment equipment that was shipped to Dubai.
Jim Greene, a partner and president of Richland, LLC, admits that the language barrier can be difficult when dealing with partners from two different countries working for a client in another part of the world. “Foreign nationals appreciate it when you attempt to learn their language,” says Green, “Even if it is only ‘My name is Jim and welcome to Richland, LLC.’”[i]
[i] Jim Greene, personal communication, May 22, 2014.
ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE: Wood Stone Ovens
Wood Stone Ovens, based in Bellingham, Washington, sells its restaurant cooking equipment to customers in more than 75 countries.
The company realized an unexpected benefit from its international sales activities. As its sales team traveled to meet with customers around the globe, they came back with many new product ideas.
Exports account for 25 percent of Wood Stone Ovens annual revenues.[i]
[i] “Our Company,” Wood Stone Ovens, n.d., http://woodstone-corp.com/about/our-company; “Wood Stone Ovens,” Export Washingon, 2012, www.exportwashington.com/why-export/success-stories/Wood-Stone-Ovens/Pages/default.aspx.
ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE: Nuvar
Nuvar Incorporated, located in Holland, Michigan, develops and designs office furniture and healthcare products. Nuvar’s in-house engineering assists its customers with product development and design.
Through a global network of manufacturing suppliers, Nuvar sources component part manufacturing. Nuvar sources from Europe (France, Germany, and Italy), Asia (China, Taiwan, and Malaysia) and North America (Mexico and Canada). Parts are then shipped to their facilities in Michigan, where they are assembled, packaged and shipped to the final customer.
(Nuvar Assembly Plant)
Although Nuvar does not ship to international cutomers, its customers ship around the globe. “We still deal with the repercussions of dealing internationally,” says Scott Kuyper, International Supply Chain Lead at Nuvar. “Different markets may have different requirements for testing, standards, etc. Since we’re involved with product development, we really see this first hand.”
With the breadth of international relationships, Nuvar has learned the importance of being open minded and flexible when it comes to differences in culture strategy and economies of their various global partners.[i]
[i] Scott Kuyper, personal communication, May 21, 2014.
Breaking Business : Chris Sloan and I chat about Equity Compensation