Posts tagged ‘connecthelp’

It’s Going to Be Legen-(wait for it)-dary

The iconic State Theatre in downtown South Bend is being rejuvenated. And the entire community will benefit. Why? Because the owner wants this to be a space for the community. Andrew Elegante, the theatre manager, has stated that every event “will have a community organization partner that receives a portion of the proceeds.” The State is also doing something quite different by forming a B Corp–which has been explained to be a new type of for-profit/non-profit corporation–which will lease space in the building as the concessionaire. As a B Corp, it will “meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.”  With the formation of this new B Corp comes an interesting crowdfunding opportunity: Fund the State (you can link to this and check it out, perhaps even support the cause, by clicking here).

Why support The State? What’s in it for you? Besides the opportunity to rebuild a city icon and help rejuvenate the downtown area, you could get your name in lights. Well, more specifically, you could boast to your friends how you helped light up The State or you could get your name placed on a chair or a couch. But most importantly, you will know that you were a part of the catalyst to provide a great new venue for our community. Be the change? Yes!

If you are still hesitant to contribute a buck or twenty, let me reassure you that Andrew is a force for good in South Bend. I have the privilege of working with him often as a co-founder on 3° of Separation, a networking group whose goal is to accelerate Michiana’s emerging startup ecosystem by connecting entrepreneurs and collaborators. Andrew has also been a trusted advisor for me regarding my ConnectHelp idea.

Andrew received his MBA from Notre Dame and chose to stay in South Bend to participate in the revitalization of our fine city. Since I am such a proponent of revitalization (thus the name of my blog), I applaud his efforts. I hope I am encouraging you to get connected to this cause. If you click the link above, you can give (if the site is not ready yet, it will be soon; add your email address so that you will be alerted when it is ready and know that Andrew assures me that your email is safe with him). If you would like to read more about The State, and hear about this in Andrew’s words, check out his blog here.

Let’s help bring The Pride of South Bend back to its former glory. Like I said, we all benefit!


March 12, 2013 at 10:47 pm Leave a comment

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

Have you heard of the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” parlor game? The premise is that you can connect Kevin Bacon to any other Hollywood actor within six steps. While in South Bend, we do not have that Kevin Bacon connection (dang, who doesn’t love some bacon?), but we do have a close-knit community. One thing that closeness affords us is the opportunity to find connections, resources and success within three degrees. Thus, the name of our new meetup group in South Bend: Three Degrees of Separation

The goal of Three Degrees of Separation is to inspire and connect local entrepreneurs to the local startup ecosystem, the community, and to the world of startups. Three Degrees will be successful by connecting entrepreneurs and collaborators  and by cultivating collaborative ideas, opportunities and partnerships that will help emerging startups move forward. You are a key to that success. Your knowledge, expertise, and connections are needed at these meetups.

Still wondering what you could possibly offer to the group or why you should attend? Come out on Thursday and find out how your connections can help another. From just our first meetup, I was able to meet a key person that has helped me with my idea. This first connection led to several pivotal meetings that will help ConnectHelp immensely. All because one person decided to attend this meeting. One person.

If you have any interest in building a better community, in being inspired or inspiring others, or need motivation, then please join us on Thursday (1/3) at 6pm at Main Street Coffee House / The Music Village. More info at the Three Degrees Meetup page and Facebook page.  I will be there because I love being in a room of people who are serious about starting ventures that serve the community.

Make a resolution to improve our community and start by attending the Three Degrees of Separation Meetup. Hope to see you there!

3 d logo

January 1, 2013 at 5:37 pm Leave a comment


I can’t say thanks enough to everyone that voted for ConnectHelp in the Global Startup Battle. I just finished a meeting with my ConnectHelp team. We are all thrilled after hearing from so many of you. Your positive comments validated our idea and have encouraged us more than you can know.

We will be diligently working on the website and look forward to sharing it with you next year. In the meantime, consider reaching out to friends and relatives around the country for us. We need to connect with helpers that will assist us in this process of building community. Might your cousin in Salt Lake City or your buddy in Montana be willing to help? If so, please connect us.

Thanks again for your votes and kind words. We’re moving forward to build a better community (and a better nation). Peace!

November 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm Leave a comment

Voting Closes Soon

I was blessed with an awesome team at Startup Weekend South Bend. We worked for 54 hours to make ConnectHelp a reality. Now we need YOU to vote for this idea on Facebook in the Global Startup Battle:

  1. Go to (you will need to like this page if you haven’t already)
  2. Vote (be sure to do this everyday until the 27th)
  3. Share with your friends (on Facebook, through tweets, etc.) and ask them to vote the one-stop resource connecting local human needs with local resources anywhere in the world. Let’s show the greatness that is MICHIANA – go and vote, then please ask your friends to vote. Keep voting every 24 hours until midnight (PST) on the 27th.

November 26, 2012 at 10:43 am Leave a comment

Michiana Pride

We all know how amazing our community is – full of innovative, generous, compassionate people. And, most importantly, how we have come together to build a better community. We love our stories and the part that we’ve have played here. Now, your help is needed to show the world our greatness. Here’s what you can do (it’s pretty simple, but would mean a lot):

  1. Go to (you will need to like this page to continue)
  2. Vote (be sure to do this everyday until the 27th)
  3. Share with your friends (on Facebook, through tweets, etc.) and ask them to vote the one-stop resource connecting local human needs with local resources anywhere in the world. It’s time for MICHIANA PRIDE – go and vote, then please ask your friends to vote.

November 23, 2012 at 8:45 am Leave a comment

Vote for South Bend Idea in Global Battle

Your help is needed today and, really, all week. You’re thinking, “Seriously? It’s a holiday week.” I know. I know. But if you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know that I attended Startup Weekend South Bend and that my idea has made it all the way to this Global Startup Battle (GSB). You’re thinking, “What is GSB? And why do I care?” Well, GSB ( is a competition “in an entrepreneurial battle of epic proportions.” Each city that hosted a startup weekend (approx. 120 all over the world) is battling for bragging rights (and other prizes). We, as in my amazing ConnectHelp team, just want our idea to gain validation by receiving thousands and thousands of votes. We are also excited by the opportunity to raise awareness of our website and idea. We want ConnectHelp to reach people all over the globe. But we will need your support to get there. In the meantime, could you please help us by:

  1. Taking time to vote today and everyday (or as many days as you can remember)
  2. Share the link with your friends on Facebook and ask them to vote as well
  3. Ask your friends to share it with at least 10 of their friends

Here’s how you vote:

  1. Go to: (you might be able to get directly to my video here:
  2. Click on “view entries” (you might need to LIKE this page before you can continue)
  3. Search for ConnectHelp (one word)
  4. Click the vote button the one-stop resource connecting local human needs with local resources anywhere in the world. If you think this is a good idea, please vote. If you think it’s a great idea, please ask your friends to vote.

November 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm Leave a comment

The Final Pitch

Day 3 of Startup Weekend begins with our awesome facilitator, David, reminding us of the day’s agenda and checking in to see if the teams have any last minute needs. We have six hours until our tech check. Doesn’t that seem like a long time? It’s not. It feels more like 38 minutes.

I’m not even sure what happened in those six hours. Last minute details. Phone calls. Pitch writing and re-writing and re-writing and re-writing. Lunch. Slides. Frenzied activities. Website polished (you know this isn’t me). Snacks. Tech check. Lipstick application. And, of course, final pitch. Who’s ready? It’s game time.

Guests are able to attend these pitches. My family arrives and I’m excited to have my own personal cheering section. Once you get a chance to meet my family, you’ll understand why.

After introductions and instructions, the pitching begins. You get 5 minutes and not a second more (so don’t even try). Team City Action goes first, followed by Keep It in the Bowl, then Switch Blade, and finally ConnectHelp (you got it, saving the best for last. ha!). Everyone rocked their presentations. Who won? We all gained exactly what Startup Weekend promised: education, empowerment and inspiration. We all made new friends. In our case, already has an online presence and is a viable website that will soon be helping people in our county (and hopefully not too far behind – helping people all over the world).

You’ll hear more about ConnectHelp soon (if you’d like to join our email list, click the logo below). In fact, in a week, I will ask you to vote for us in the Global Startup Battle. Not only will I ask you to vote, but I will beg you to reach out to your friends to vote as well. I was blessed with a brilliant team and they deserve to see this idea win. I couldn’t be more proud of the work they did.

I have a few random thoughts about Startup Weekend to share (should you ever dare to go and have your life changed):
1. Wear a great color (say, an orange sweater) and you’ll be picked to lead during Friday’s ice breaker.
2. Don’t be afraid to pitch your idea. It’s 60-seconds of your life. You may regret not doing it, but you won’t regret doing it.
3. Realize that you may not want to pitch your idea, but your name may get on the pitch list regardless.
4. You may miss out on some sleep over the weekend, but you won’t miss a meal (or snacks).
5. You will gain an even greater love for the talented, smart and generous people in your community.
6. While it was a competition, there was never a moment that another team wasn’t willing to answer questions or offer encouragement.
7. While you are gone all weekend, the laundry will not do itself.

If you ever have the opportunity to experience Startup Weekend South Bend, please do. You won’t regret it. You might be mad that you didn’t make a weekend sooner. Thanks for listening to me the last three days (if you missed Days 1 & 2, be sure to catch up on those).

Thanks to Grant, Laura, Phil and Jim for organizing this event. It was truly top-notch. Thanks to David for traveling from Seattle to facilitate our weekend together. Thanks to my brilliant team of Rowland, Chris and Laura for making my idea come to life in 54 hours. And thanks to every attendee, coach and judge for your enthusiasm and expertise.

I can’t wait to make a global reality. Give me a shout if you can help us in your state. Be a part of something amazing!

November 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm Leave a comment

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