FLINT, Michigan — Brandee Cooke of 100K Ideas is dedicated to cultivating a thriving space of innovation and has devoted much of her professional career to helping innovators rise.
As Executive Director of 100K, Cooke is the thought leader behind all things strategic planning, program development and shaping impact practices to serve each client individually and expand their entrepreneurial vision.
Through 100K’s goal of helping innovators transition from “napkin sketch to market,” the nonprofit organization provides mentoring and hands-on experience to aspiring entrepreneurs looking for guidance in product development, customer analysis, and market strategy.
100K’s resources support clients directly by providing a strong support network for business and people development as the engine of self-determination in Flint and for innovators everywhere. The impact of their support is the driving force behind 100K’s Client Storytelling series.
This series showcases the local impact of the 100K program by allowing past clients to showcase their success to the community. Flintside managed to speak to Brandee Cooke about launching the Client Storytelling series and the impact 100K hopes to achieve in the near future.
flint: What inspired 100K Ideas to start the new Client Storytelling series?
Brandee Cooke: “We’re fortunate to have worked with so many talented innovators in our community, and we’re constantly asked, ‘Who have you worked with? As a result, we created a platform for them to share who they are and how their journey has been. No two people travel exactly alike, but we know these stories have the potential to positively impact those who want to embark on entrepreneurial travel.”
flint: What Makes This Client Storytelling Component of 100K Ideas So Special?
B. Cook: “The fact that the innovator tells its own story. For many participants, this was the first time they had the opportunity to think about their path to starting their own business. It’s amazing to watch and we get to see them in action. “
flint: What impact does the 100K Ideas team want to have on entrepreneurs and emerging innovators?
B. Cook: “Our goal is to just encourage people to try. Try designing their products, try selling their services, try launching their business. We know that the first step is the most difficult, and so we hope that our work shows that others had the same concerns, but they got over the doubt. Entrepreneurship isn’t just for certain people, it’s possible for anyone who has the desire to start their own business.”
flint: How can interested Entrepreneurs participate in 100,000 ideas?
B. Cook: “We have a few options! We are always looking for people to join our circle of friends. If you are an expert in a field and have knowledge that can help support a new group of entrepreneurs, please let us know. We are also looking for volunteers to support our events throughout the year. Finally, we always welcome donations to support our work. Every dollar donated helps directly support our work with local innovators.”
flint: What would you like the community know about the program? Can the Flint community support this initiative, if so how?
B. Cook: “I want the community to know that these are the stories of their community members. These are people who have settled here in Flint and work every day to make their business successful. They are amazing stories that will hopefully encourage someone who may be hesitant to get started. The Flint community can assist [us] just by watching the videos! We love getting feedback and hearing what people like and maybe didn’t like. We are constantly evolving and using this feedback to improve the platform.”
To learn more about 100K Ideas visit: 100kideas.org and watch previous episodes of the Client Storytelling series on the 100K Ideas YouTube channel.