Last week, “’Power to the Small’, a panel discussion sponsored by Windstream, brought insight and real-life lessons on the roles small businesses play in Lincoln.
The panel featured three Heartland business leaders, Shashank Gajjala, CTO of Liberty Mobility Now, Kelly Sturek, co-founder and CEO of Bugeater Foods and Vishal Singh, co-founder & CEO of Quantified Ag, and was moderated by Inc.’s senior contributing writer Burt Helm.
Windstream is a provider of advanced network communications and technology solutions for small and larger businesses. Brad Hedrick, President of Operations at Windstream, said that Windstream is deeply committed to being a local partner to small businesses and startups in Lincoln.
“Our Power to the Small Series serves as an expression of this partnership by establishing a forum for entrepreneurs and small business owners to share ideas, connect to resources, build relationships and reliable, scalable telecommunications and technology infrastructure that reinforces their enterprises,” said Hedrick.
Topics covered in the discussion ranged from how to market “a weird product,” applying an artistic sensibility to seemingly unrelated businesses, commercializing academic research and shaking up traditional markets.
The panelists also discussed how to navigate the perils of growing too fast, something small businesses might not immediately recognize as a potential problem.
“As our three panelists discussed during the panel, scaling in a manageable, impactful way as a company grows is a critical part of its ongoing success,” said Hedrick. “If a company takes on product orders without the personnel or technical infrastructure to serve the volume in question, or expands services to a market without being able to support it properly, customers are displeased and operations can run into major difficulty.”
Windstream and Inc. believe that supporting a diverse market through efforts like Power to the Small” will benefit Lincoln by revolutionizing their more traditional industries (like foods, agriculture and transportation).
“Entrepreneurs in different industries draw on a wealth of diverse backgrounds and interests, and all of that inspiration and creativity is necessary to shaking up industries that tend to stick to doing things a certain way,” said Hedrick. “By bringing all of these great minds together in a forum like Power to the Small, every industry that is crucial to Lincoln – traditional or otherwise – stands to benefit.”