A start, an investment and a partner.
At TEDCO’s latest “Meet the Managers” event, everyone is looking for something a little different.
Michael Keller, an Annapolis native in his third year at the University of Dayton, isn’t ready for the funding opportunities that were discussed at Tuesday’s meetup. But he is hoping to a meet a company ready to hire.
“I’m back in Annapolis for the summer trying to get a full 360 view of entrepreneurship and meet entrepreneurs to see what opportunities there are in the Annapolis area,” Keller said.
While at school in Dayton, Keller started learning the ins and outs of startup life.
“This past school year, I actually ran my own business,” he said. “I was in a micro-business class where we got a grant from the university — a $5,000 loan — and we started a crew sock company.”
The socks emblazoned with the university logo were sold to alumni, parents, faculty and staff. And the profits were nothing to slouch at. Hey, as the NBA has proven, socks are a big business.
“We had $10,000 in revenue and about $4,500 in profit,” Keller said, adding that starting his first business has made him excited about future opportunities after he graduates.
Maybe one of those opportunities will be with Scott Beeker’s company, Wireless Enterprise Software Systems.
WESS, as he called it, specializes in mobile applications in the medical field. Beeker wants to make it easier for doctors and devices to get along.
“Like when a doctor asks you to go home with a heart monitor, we want to plug it into your phone and grab the data so your doctor doesn’t have to get a paper print out,” he said.
But to do that and more, investments are needed. Beeker is hoping to learn more about the programs that TEDCO offers, strategize and then come back seeking investment.
By the time Beeker comes back, perhaps Patrick Rockhill will have found what he’s looking for.
He doesn’t need a job or an investment; he needs someone to run a company.
“For the most part, I’ve been doing different kinds of applications in different verticals and different business situations and industries. I’ve been lucky along the way. Once in awhile, I’ll get a niche that takes off, and then I’ll be able to develop a company,” Rockhill said. “Then I can create a product for that niche and make the company successful.”
This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme for Rockhill. One of his ideas and subsequent company has been profitable for more than 20 years. But he can’t do it alone.
“I’ve been the CEO of a few of these ventures to get them started,” he said, “but I try to find a business development director to turn it over to them and keep the ball going.”
That’s what brings him to TEDCO events.
“In these groups, there is always a good candidate to take over one of my software developments and make a company out of it,” Rockhill said.
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