Meet Connor Smith: Artist, Audio Engineer & Entrepreneur

Connor Smith - Studio 18

By Anna Lipsey

For entrepreneur and engineer Connor Smith, “Community is King”. That is the motto he has based his business around. Smith founded Studio 18, a local recording studio here in Orlando that houses some of the most talented musicians, artists and producers in the area. A Full Sail graduate with a strong passion for music, Smith has made himself known not only in the music world, but also throughout his community.

“Community is KING!”

What drew you to the vision team for the BIG Exchange?

Orlando has a growing entrepreneurial community and the more it is nurtured, the more it prospers. I want to be a part of anything that educates and enables the great business and artistic minds of today, and the BIG Exchange is set out to do exactly that (along with a few other commendable agendas too). 

What element about the event really resonates with your values or current work?

Anytime you put creative minds and business minds in the same room it can be very exciting, and sometimes, often times, even scary. I love how the BIG Exchange is creating a platform where what I just described is the complete opposite of scary, in fact the BE’s version of this incubator for the cross pollination of minds is quite inviting. Intertwining the left and right brain is what I set out to do every day, so this exchange resonates very heavily with me, and I think it’s very commendable.

What do you hope is one outcome of the BIG Exchange?

There will be so many great outcomes from this event, such as solutions, connections, awareness, but the biggest challenge is always implementation. I hope a great idea from the BIG Exchange manifests AND is a success. That will be a true testament to the journey of not just a problem solver, but also, especially, that of an entrepreneur. 

How do you see the BIG Exchange meeting the community’s needs this year?

AWARENESS. The community needs to learn who’s out there, what’s out there, and what “there” even is (if that even makes any sense. Trust me though, it does).

What are your primary areas of responsibility with the BIG Exchange?

I’m here to add insight on some of the art community’s aspirations, struggles, and also too some entrepreneurial tendencies of the right brain thinkers in this world. Being the “art guy” I was also put in charge of the after bash, and good thing, because it’s going to ROCK!!!

Do you identify yourself as a Thinker, Educator, Artist or Maker?

Half the people I know know me as an artist/art advocate, the other half know me as a thinker, somehow I’ve always viewed myself as a teacher, yet my biggest accomplishments are those of things I’ve made. So…all 4!? I’m no renaissance man (yet) so for that reason I’m going to “try” and discipline myself to represent the artist community at the BE. I think the people attending these workshops will likely view me in that category, and I do love my art peeps, so I have no qualms about it 🙂

Smith has been looking forward to the Big Exchange for a while now and is eager to meet fellow entrepreneurs who share a passion for growth and community.  People who know me will know about this event,” said Smith. “Because when there’s something cool, I just can’t shut up about it. This DEFINITELY falls into the ‘something cool I can’t shut up about’ category!”

Author Info: Anna Lipsey will receive a graduate degree from Full Sail University’s entertainment business program in November 2014 and offers clients a full-range of public relations, social media, marketing and event planning services.

Meet Shea Glenny: Thinker, Director & Host

Shea Glenny, Host

by Anna Lipsey

Shea Glenny has more than a few things on her plate these days. She’s an organizer for 1 Million Cups – a program where entrepreneurs help entrepreneurs on their journey to success. Glenny is also the Director of Strategy for Root Radius (a cause marketing agency) and is a host for Orlando’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. But with the life motto of “upward- and onward!” there is no stopping her anytime soon. Her experience leading the Vision Team for the BIG Exchange gives a little insight on just how passionate she is about her city, but more importantly, the people within it.

“You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to use entrepreneurial principles,” Glenny said. “Everyone can learn from these workshops to then go and innovate in their home, community, work or cause.”

What drew you to the vision team for the BIG Exchange?

When I originally talked about this idea with colleagues I respect, their excitement and expansion on the original vision inspired me beyond where I started. From that, I committed to making the BIG Exchange a reality as a gift to our local entrepreneurs and as an investment in social entrepreneurship growth in Orlando.

What element about the event really resonates with your values or current work?

The idea that you can build a space for dreams to flourish and thrive intrigues me. It’s like setting a garden plot with great fertilizer and light and irrigation but sowing unknown seeds into the soil, then waiting to see what wonders emerge! My work with 1 Million Cups and Root Radius is all about moving people intentionally and strategically into the next part of their cause or startup journey, so this is a perfect fit for me.

What do you hope is one outcome of the BIG Exchange?

Often I think about one person this week might help. My hope is for that one person’s life to be radically changed from this event going forward; that a new horizon of opportunity and hope will fill them up to overflowing and they will unapologetically pursue their dreams with courage.

How do you see the BIG Exchange meeting the community’s needs this year?

In chatting with locals, we got a lot of people asking for less talking and more doing for the next community event. They wanted to be a part of something bigger than themselves and wanted to make Orlando a place they would never have to leave. Giving these people a place to meet and create viable solutions together through the BIG Exchange is helping meet that need.

What are your primary areas of responsibility with the BIG Exchange?

I’m lead on the team. I try to keep everyone coordinated, on-task and on mission. I get the honor of coordinating our community leaders and sponsors, and will help host the various events happening throughout the week.

Glenny reached out to nearly 100 leaders and influencers in the area to share the vision of the BIG Exchange, gaining many partnerships and financial support. She said, “This is a community effort and it depends on the community to make it a success.” While Glenny considers herself to be a “thinker” and “lifelong learner,” those who know her may find the words motivator and go-getter to be more appropriate. 

Author Info: Anna Lipsey will receive a graduate degree from Full Sail University’s entertainment business program in November 2014 and offers clients a full-range of public relations, social media, marketing and event planning services.

Meet Carl Dungca: Thinker, Gamer & Innovator

Carl Dungca

by Anna Lipsey

Big studio, small studio, virtual studio. Big project, small project. Triple-A blockbuster, indie game, mobile game. Any task no one else can or will do, I’ll figure it out and make it happen.”

No task is too small for Carl Dungca, a professional video game designer and producer in Orlando, Florida. Dungca, interviewed recently by our team about his participation during the BIG Exchange, describes his experience and the mentality he had going into the organization.

What drew you to the vision team for the BIG Exchange?

During OrlandoiX’s first big pitch meeting to the community, they asked what sorts of things the audience would like to result from the event. I had mentioned that I idolize Disney’s Imagineering Department for addressing their various infrastructural needs from not just a civil engineering or technological lens but also factoring in design, art, music, scent, user experience, etc. The results are always something greater than if the planning teams had only addressed the core of the issue, and I wanted to see that sort of broad, open-minded, actively-influence-inclusive approach applied elsewhere.

What element about the event really resonates with your values or current work?

Speaking to the above, it’s our wide outreach to people of all sorts of backgrounds and ages, all bringing their best to share with each other.

What do you hope is one outcome of the BIG Exchange?

Even if nothing solid results from just our one week together, I hope that lifelong connections are forged. Even if we can’t solve the problem “now”, our eyes will be opened to the resources within our own community to keeping working together in the future.

How do you see the BIG Exchange meeting the community’s needs this year?

It’s about helping each other be less ignorant to the other resources and communities with whom we share our city.

What are your primary areas of responsibility with the BIG Exchange?

As part of the vision team, my platform was as described as above–the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. More pragmatically, I was also often the cynic, speaking on behalf of the people who might be turned off by the usual set of buzzwords surrounding an “entrepreneurship conference,” many of whom are the exact valuable people we want to attract, who otherwise we might never hear from.

Do you identify yourself as a Thinker, Educator, Artist or Maker?

My day job is as a Maker, but I spend way too much time pondering random thought-exercises, so I’m probably more like a Thinker.

While he is not designing video games, Dungca is an avid social media user and volunteers his skills with IndieNomicon, a Meetup group that gathers monthly to celebrate the creativity of independent video games in Central Florida. Dungca hopes to get his friends, colleagues and other organizations within the community involved in the BIG Exchange by using popular social media platforms to get their attention. “A sort of guiding statement I made early on was “I don’t know how to do this, but YOU might. I don’t know who YOU are yet, but WE can fix that.”

Author Info: Anna Lipsey will receive a graduate degree from Full Sail University’s entertainment business program in November 2014 and offers clients a full-range of public relations, social media, marketing and event planning services.

Did someone say $30k in prizes?

YES! One team from the BIG Exchange will earn over a $30,000-valued prize pack to sustain their solution for one year!

Team solutions will be previewed Friday 11/21 prior to the 2p Friday Showcase Session. The top teams will present their solutions at the showcase and one team will be granted the over $30,000-valued prize pack on stage!

“This prize pack is a collection of services and products to support and sustain viable solutions to our most pressing problems. These prize donors are some of the most knowledgeable and committed startup providers in our city” says Shea Glenny.

By using the workshops offered all week (on-site, live streamed & recorded) ANY team can meet the following criteria:

  • Has the team validated their problem?
  • Has the team validated their solution?
  • Is the team a diverse mix of thinkers, educators, artists and makers?
  • Does the solution have a simple but plausible marketing plan?
  • Has the team considered the best business model, sales model or attempted any financial projections?
  • Is the team willing to commit to working on implementing and sustaining the solution for at least one year, through to GEW 2015?

Prize Pack is valued at over $30,000 and includes:

Logo Design & Development from Christa Rensel

Web Site Design & Development from Christa Rensel

1 Year of Co-Working Office Space:

3 months at Orlando’s first co-working space in the historic Angebilt Building from CoLab

3 months at Orlando’s tech co-working space in downtown at the Exchange from Canvs

3 months at Orlando’s newest co-working space and Coworking Passport member from Catalyst

3 months at Orlando’s first maker’s space & memebr-driven fabrication lab from Factur

Storytelling Strategy Session from Root Radius

Market Research Analysis Study from 3P Business Consulting

Strategic Marketing & Sales Design Services from 3P Business Consulting

Quarterly Human Capital Services from 3P Business Consulting

Quarterly Volunteer, Board & Fundraising Package from 3P Business Consulting

Coffee for 1 Year from Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen

1 Year Blogging Community Membership from GottaGetBlogging.com

This is just TOO GOOD of a prize pack to pass up! Register today and launch your startup or cause dream in 2015!

Meet Christa Rensel: Maker, Host & Designer

Christa Rensel

by Anna Lipsey

Get to know the people making this special community event happen! Meet Christa Rensel, host and graphic designer for the BIG Exchange and Founder of Kaleidoscope Media. Rensel is an Internet marketer and branding advocate whose passion is to see others excel in their craft.

“I love bringing communities together. It’s amazing what can happen when we share our knowledge and resources freely with each other!”

What drew you to the vision team for the BIG Exchange?

Orlando is on the cusp of making good things happen in our city, great things! I think that this type of event brings together all facets of industry, craft, and trade creating collaboration that doesn’t always happen organically. And it’s when this type of collaboration across industries happens that great solutions are created. And I can’t even begin to express how jazzed that makes me.

What element about the event really resonates with your values or current work?

My personal ambition is to help and educate people, giving them the confidence to make the leap from existing to thriving in their passions. This event is the perfect opportunity to help people do that. 

What do you hope is one outcome of the BIG Exchange?

My hope for the BIG Exchange 2014 is that attendees will leave knowing that they can – in whatever way “can” means to them. 

How do you see the BIG Exchange meeting the community’s needs this year?

There are so many things going on in individual groups around Orlando that giving a forum for our community to come together, connect, and share what’s going on will raise awareness as a whole. 

What are your primary areas of responsibility with the BIG Exchange?

My primary responsibility for BIG this year is visual media – print, web, branding. 

Do you identify yourself as a Thinker, Educator, Artist or Maker?

Maker

How will you help to reach others like you so they can participate in the BIG Exchange?

By reaching out to the individual communities I’m involved with (Indienomicon, previous companies I’ve worked with, etc.) and reaching out to friends to spread the love.

Rensel is highly involved in the community as she holds many positions in local organizations. A Community Organizer for Indienomicon, a group of independent gamers and developers who meet to commemorate the creativity of games in Central Florida, and years of experience working with marketing, Rensel enjoys watching the people and community around her grow.

Rensel thinks of herself as a Maker in this world and hopes others will join her and get involved in the BIG Exchange. “I love bringing communities together. It’s amazing what can happen when we share our knowledge and resources freely with each other!”

Author Info: Anna Lipsey will receive a graduate degree from Full Sail University’s entertainment business program in November 2014 and offers clients a full-range of public relations, social media, marketing and event planning services.

Announcing the BIG Exchange for Global Entrepreneurship Week 11/17-11/21

The BIG Exchange, Orlando’s first ever week-long participation in Global Entrepreneurship Week, kicks off on Nov. 17th at a Vegas-style tech venue and culminates the 21st with a solutions showcase at Rollins College and an after bash nearby. The event, part of more than 35,000 events happening simultaneously in 77 countries during Global Entrepreneurship Week, is an opportunity to “test drive” being an entrepreneur for a week and solve pressing issues affecting our city and community. 

Event host Shea Glenny, who also brought 1 Million Cups to Orlando, worked with a peer team who co-created the BIG Exchange as an opportunity to share the entrepreneurial experience in a live-action, hands-on format versus conference-like, sit-and-listen talks. The peer vision team is made up of Millennial leaders in the technology, arts, education, maker and startup communities in town.

BIG Exchange for GEW2014

“Orlando has world class talent, and it’s so diverse, so we wanted the BIG Exchange to be about that collaboration, bringing together neighbors with different skill sets to create solutions and share the entrepreneurial journey,” said Glenny. “Then taking those lessons back to your work or home or community and making them part of your own innovation tool box. We heard people asking for events where they could get stuff done and be a part of something meaningful, and that’s what the BIG Exchange is all about.”

Individuals, groups, companies or organizations can visit the BIG Exchange site (www.BIG-Exchange.com) to submit a problem affecting our community, which can be presented to attendees at the BIG Exchange kickoff event on Monday the 17th. Participants then form cross-synergy groups based on their self-identification as Thinkers, Makers, Artists or Educators to begin a week long journey of creating a viable solution to the issue, which they’ll present at a solutions showcase on Friday the 21st for an opportunity to win up to a $20,000-valued prize pack to implement and sustain the solution.

During the week, participants can attend several entrepreneurial workshops on business models, branding, design thinking, financial models and more throughout the city and meet with community leaders for one-on-one mentoring sessions. For those who can’t attend in person, the events will be livestreamed online.  The prize pack includes all the necessary consulting services, co-working memberships, Barnie’s Coffee for a year and more. All ticket sale profits become a cash prize to the winning solution.

“Orlando is already known as a center for innovation and collaboration that empowers entrepreneurs to pursue big ideas,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “It’s exciting, and I want to thank and congratulate all those who participate in the BIG Exchange, Orlando’s first citywide celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week.” 

The deadline to submit a community problem is November 15th, and the kickoff event is on November 17th at Dewey’s Indoor Golf at 9am. For a full event schedule go to the BIG Schedule page . Tickets are $89 for the entire week of sessions, workshops, mentoring and the after party, though flash discounts are available leading up to the week on the event’s Facebook Page, Twitter and through event partners.

REGISTER TODAY at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/orlandos-big-exchange-2014-tickets-13402660719