Bootstrap Marketing: Naming a Company

This is the first post in CBIC’s series, "Bootstrap Marketing for Startups", featuring Birch Studio’s David Robinson

So... you have a new business. Statistically speaking, you also have a lack of funds to spend on marketing. But fear not—good ideas come in many shapes and sizes. Here’s a quick guide to set you on your way to looking like a real company in 2015. The essentials are a name, logo, website and business card. I'll cover each in a series of posts.

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Pear: The Anti-Tinder

This is the second post in CBIC’s series, “Grounds for Innovation: Student Entrepreneurship at UVa”

Pear, an app that inspires matchmaking between friends, just made its debut on the App stores for both Android and iOS. Joshua Choi, the frontman and the originator of the idea, explains the unmet need that Pear addresses. “Other matchmaking apps, like Tinder, may work for a lot of people, but I knew that there was an audience for something like Pear, an audience whose needs weren't currently being met by existing products.” 

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Caribé Juice: Pressing Passion(fruit)

This is the first post in CBIC’s series, “Grounds for Innovation: Student Entrepreneurship at UVa”

You may have seen these bright bottles of delicious exotic fruit juice at some well-known retail locations around Charlottesville, such as Little John’s, Whole Foods and Greenberry’s Coffee. But what is Caribé? As its co-founders describe it, “Caribé is juice done right. Nutritious, really fresh, and helping fruit growers: the three things every juice should have.”

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Branding on a Budget

You know what your startup does but how do you now tell that story to the world? And how do you do it on a budget?

The answer: PRIORITIZE

As a startup, you will need to get to the public quickly, and likely, cheaply. By prioritizing your needs to get out the door, you can save money up front. Logo? Yes. Branded mugs? Maybe not totally necessary out of the gate. Necessity is king, so do what you can on your own and then start appropriating your budget to the priorities as needed. Most branding firms will work with you a step at a time, as you are able. Over time, you can build the brand of your dreams without having blown it all in the first 5 minutes of your business when you need funding the most.

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Collaborating to Compete

Throughout my career I’ve had the tremendous opportunity to promote all things Virginia. The many times I have visited Charlottesville – there’s always a feeling about the community, you’ve really got it going on. Through increased collaboration, the environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in Charlottesville will only intensify the ability to compete.

In the recent book “The Metropolitan Revolution,” and the conversation many enjoyed with Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institute during his visit to Richmond last year, it is said there are three things to help ignite a metropolitan revolution: create a network where everyone moves in the same lanes together; celebrate and champion the distinctive feature for the region; and figure out the game changer.

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Cville Tech, Innovation, Startup, and Entrepreneur Resources

As the executive director of CBIC and founding executive director of the Charlottesville Angel Network (CAN), I'm often asked:

"Where do the local tech and entrepreneurial people meet up (and where can I find a job, employee, mentor, investor, co-founder, consultant)?"

"How can I stay informed about local tech and startup happenings?"

"What resources are in the region for an entrepreneur starting up a tech or innovation-based venture?"

CBIC publishes a weekly opt-in e-newsletter, which provides answers and insights into these very questions. 

In addition, CBIC maintains the below inventory of active groups, meet-ups, funding sources, online forums, jobs boards, makerspaces, accelerators, and more that collectively stitch together and inform our tech, entrepreneurial and innovation-based start-up ecosystem. 


Startup Funding Sources

Incubators, Accelerators, Co-working and Entrepreneurial Startup Spaces

Cville Weekly: Can growing numbers of local open work areas fuel tech innovation? (Feb 2018)

CVille Tomorrow: Local Startups Need More Common Space Connection

Entrepreneurial Training | Workshops | Bootcamps

News Sources, Online Forums, Slack Channels, Google Groups, Etc

Events Calendars 

Jobs & Internships


Company and Startup Lists in Charlottesville

Why Charlottesville? #CvilleTech Acquisitions, Exits, Wins, Funding, Accolades 


Do you know of other local resources, groups, meetups, training, calendars jobs boards, we should add to this list? Comment below!

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Taking the Plunge

There I was suspended with my body standing perpendicular against the wall of a 50-foot rappel tower.  Above a Marine drill instructor was barking at me.  I could see his veins popping out of his forehead.  “Lean back, look over your right shoulder, and double-time backwards!  Do it, now!”  

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The Question is in the Answer

Question: How many Art Directors does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Answer: Does it have to be a lightbulb?

It’s a joke of course, but it's worth asking the question for the simple fact that you might come up with a different answer had you never asked. One of my favorite things I learned in architecture school is that once you ask the right question, you're well on your way to finding the answer.

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