BiS: - Business news for the creative coast.

Bea Wray

WRAY: Time to start up and not sit back

Recently, the Creators’ Foundry in Savannah had the pleasure of welcoming Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke to speak at the Kauffman Foundation 1 Million Cups program.

WRAY: Grades, confidence, and power of belief

Entrepreneurs know that finding open doors and walking through them is a critical life skill. I have enjoyed witnessing Andy “walk through” the doors of events at The Creative Coast and, as a result, find his co-founders, identify business models and further develop the Watson communication and collaboration tools.

WRAY: This year perfect for new businesses

As we ring in the New Year, we realize Savannah has plenty new in store for 2016.

The city of Savannah will see new faces as we inaugurate a new mayor, Eddie DeLoach, and several new aldermen on Jan. 5.

We need everyone, citizens as well as elected officials, to work together to make a better Savannah.

WRAY: Snap beans, perceptions and high-paying jobs

We all make mistakes in perception. Perhaps you have thought The Creative Coast is not for you. You may think it is for “those” techies or just young people. Maybe you thought The Creative Coast doesn’t need your time, energy, wisdom, money or talent.

If so, your perception about The Creative Coast is as off base as those neighbors were about my mom. The Creative Coast is about much more than you realize.

WRAY: Optimism is first step to assure success

This Thanksgiving, Facebook taught me a great deal about the role optimism plays in life success as well as entrepreneurial success. HubSpot recently made a similar observation, reporting that gratitude is the key to success in sales.

I submit that gratitude is the key ingredient to successful entrepreneurship.

WRAY: Changing Savannah's fashion industry

ELVAINE, LLC is one of the BizLab companies being incubated at the Creators’ Foundry. ELVAINE’s founder, Elva Jiang, saw the difficulty faced by many female designers who create amazing work in their in-home studios but lack the resources and time to run a sustainable business featuring their own designs.

Photo via

WRAY: Track coaches and mentors avoid running in circles

That is the trick in mentoring startups. Begin with something the entrepreneur can do now: “Call a prospective customer.” I try to fend off the distracting questions at this stage: “Which is the right prospective customer to call first?” “Shouldn’t I wait until my product is perfect before I get their feedback?” “Will I have enough customers to call?”

WRAY: Students, bananas, coding combine at Geekend

I am happy to report the actual event this past weekend exceeded all expectations. The ties between the professional Geekend Conference and Savannah’s youth far outstretched the youth-targeted Geekend Arcade portion.

Photo by

WRAY: Our small businesses on display at forum

I am so looking forward to another great experience at this year’s ninth annual Mayor’s Small Business Conference on Wednesday, Sept. 30, in the Savannah Civic Center ballroom.

This year’s theme is Small Business, the Backbone of Our Economy, and organizers are expecting more than 250 members of the business community to attend.

WRAY: Geekend: Innovation is for everyone

As I look forward to Geekend from Oct. 15-17, I am bubbling over with excitement to learn how corporate communications will shape up beyond email; what’s new in healthcare technology; how virtual reality will affect our future; and the roles gaming and mobile app development will play in social, political and economic realities.

WRAY: Supporting Savannah's creative economy

George Bailey, in the iconic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” taught us that the small differences we make in people’s lives can make huge impacts. Life at The Creative Coast recently has been George Bailey-esque and definitely wonderful.

WRAY: Wooing investors with big local ideas

As children gear up for school this fall, The Creative Coast is bustling with activity, too. This is the season for attracting investors to local entrepreneurs and startups.

Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News Bea Wray, Executive Director, works in the Creative Coast office on York Street.

WRAY: Taking a project from passion to life

I recently wrote about passion and its important role in affecting practice and discipline.

Since then, a speaker at 1 Million Cups, a weekly presentation and discussion forum we host at the Creators’ Foundry at 415 W. Boundary St., gave an excellent example about how passion changed the direction of his life.

Photo by Adam Messer

WRAY: From placekickers to politicians, every role is important

As we build Savannah’s innovative economy and develop companies in software, wearable technology, patented products, virtual reality, medical devices, etc., everyone has an important skill to offer, be it a spotlight role as the primary code developer, or in support roles such as management, investment, product testing, scaling, distribution, financing and more.

WRAY: Play at work; work at play

I made a delightful observation recently, and I believe the conclusion is a powerful lesson on happiness and success.

Bea Wray

WRAY: Herty fever leads to collaboration

Geekend, which runs from Oct. 15-17, is a place where innovation and creativity merge, a place where people with different backgrounds and interests get together to share ideas, challenge one another and look at things from new perspectives — kind of like Herty and all his activities.

WRAY: Herty fever leads to collaboration

WRAY: A litmus test for entrepreneurs

Most people don’t realize that for every “yes” there was a long line of “no’s” paving the way. Just as every successful entrepreneur must embrace a barrage of “no’s,” I too embrace “no’s” daily in my work at The Creative Coast.

WRAY: A litmus test for entrepreneurs

WRAY: Entrepreneurship, apple pie and Savannah

As summer approaches, I get excited thinking about flags waving and patriotic bunting decorating Savannah’s porches. However, I don’t have to wait for summer to get that patriotic feeling because I have daily reminders that our work at The Creative Coast of building entrepreneurship is an important all-American tradition. Earlier this month I had met AOL founder Steve Case in Atlanta during his “Rise of the Rest” road trip.

WRAY: For entrepreneurs, every day can be a lucky day

At The Creative Coast we have the opportunity to mentor numerous entrepreneurs every month, and to do so we rely on the wisdom gleaned from the writings, blogs and talks of successful experts such as Steve Blank and Eric Reis.

WRAY: For entrepreneurs, every day can be a lucky day

WRAY: Investing in startups and grandkids

The combination of last week’s tax day and today’s Earth Day make this a great time to introduce you to Savannah’s GreenBadger.

WRAY: Investing in startups and grandkids