By: Sinclaire Johnson and Lexie Newhouse
Recently, Georgia State’s Creative Media Industries Institute and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute collaborated to provide students with the opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship and its impact on the creative media industry. The panel featured four professionals that are making great waves in the creative media industry including Annie Eaton, CEO and cofounder of Futurus, Pamela Barba, founder of the Nina Agency, Jessica Carruth, Director of Corporate Communications at Dragon Army, and Shachar Oren, President and CEO of Neurotic Media, with Elizabeth Strickler, the Director of Media Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as the moderator.
Annie utilized her degree from Georgia Tech to begin her company, Futurus, a future technologies company that focuses on VR and AR technologies. Pamela graduated from Georgia State University, where she received her bachelor of fine arts in graphic design. She now operates the Nina Agency, her own branding firm, ultimately allowing her to combine her passion for graphic design and business. Jessica, a corporate communications expert at Dragon Army, a mobile and innovation company who assists organizations with navigating today’s connected business landscape through the use of UX design and game theory. Shachar is the founder, CEO, and president of Neurotic Media, a music-focused marketing agency.
No matter the type of media, the panelists all shared similar entrepreneurial advice. First, be honest with your main values and strengths. Shachar referred to this idea of being aware of your “core hunger.” The panelists all agreed that having the passion, drive, and devotion are essential qualities in becoming a successful entrepreneur. Additionally, they solidified the importance of creativity, and it being an entrepreneurs’ competitive edge.
The second main point focused on clientele relationships. In transitioning from freelance work to an established company, they stressed the importance of maintaining those relationships with previous clients. As they described it, “freelance to company just means more responsibility, more structure, but the same hustle.” When it comes to pitching, Jessica especially highlighted the fact that you’re pitching to people. It’s all about reinforcing those connections and relationships by serving the clients’ needs and solving their problems.
Finally, the panelists emphasized the idea of improvement. They all expressed the importance of education in relation to growth, whether it be of an individual or of a company. With resources like Reddit, YouTube, and Khan Academy, education is more accessible than ever. They also encouraged earning new certifications and continuing to read regularly. The idea of improvement also means realizing that you cannot learn or master everything. For example, Annie explained that during her freelance days and the beginning stages of her company, she utilized those resources to learn how to handle the accounting. As her company grew though, Annie realized that she could no longer handle both the management side and the financial side of the business. Although she had already made those strives to increase her level of financial literacy, she began hiring contractors, which ultimately allowed the company to continue to grow. The panelists all agreed that “letting go” and outsourcing help is an important stage in scaling a company.
Missed this event? ENI hosts events intended to educate students, faculty, staff, and other university affiliates on topics relating to entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information about our upcoming events, head over to our events calendar!