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Proman Consulting | Charlotte Cut

Charlotte Cut

Wheels up!

When we got to Charlotte, a Queen City, that stone in the shoe for luck immediately started working. The weather is desperate, rain and wind, but hot, so a little bit muggy. Approaching my suitcase, Togrul asks me what it smells like? He looks like he likes it. SH*T! A bottle of maybe 10-15-year-old “Yellow Wasp”,  broke and spilled all over the suitcase. The brandy smells great, and already several people are approaching and asking about the intoxicating smell wafting through the Charlotte airport. I went crazy of course, jackets, shirts, everything... I will survive somehow, and it is a good sign, before big things, we face big challenges. Move on. Right in front of the airport building, Alex from International House welcomes us warmly. She hugs us, and already we can feel how hospitable people in Charlotte are. Besides the following story. We arrived at the Bell Uptown Charlotte accommodation, and after a long discussion, not-so-kindness "weekend manager" Jordan told us "no, you don't have accommodation here". He is not interested in anything. He  threw out, in the rain, seven people who had traveled 5-6,000 km, signed a contract for that accommodation, and provided all the information and credit card, well approximately, one month in advance.


The first day at the host company. Lock and loaded. Enventys Partners. The award-winning agency for product development, crowdfunding, and e-commerce marketing. With about 60 employees, 5 offices in the USA, and one in Asia, Enventys Partners has raised more than $100 million for clients through crowdfunding and has been involved in the development, prototyping, launching and/or marketing of over 1,000 products. The office space is so great! Most of the products they produced last 20 years are all around us. Set up on two levels, there are electrical shops, 3D printers, CNC machines, a  studio for shooting and filming, large open offices as well as individual ones. I "shadow" the Business Development people, Ryan and Jeremy, but I also help out in the lab with the electrical and mechanical engineers.

The first week in the company was exciting, although there are not too many people. I attend sales meetings with potential clients. They are not satisfied with one idea, another one looks positive - one product from California. Enventys does not work on outbound, like me, more or less, only inbound leads come to them, through the form on the site. They can choose who they will work with if the proof of concept works. So, in essence, it's more the qualification of the product than a sales meeting.

Jason and Hunter - are brilliant guys, I feel like they can make anything the human brain can think of. I am trying to contribute with ideas for the game, more precisely, for the hardware of the game that has the software, too. Well, we can say it's a world-famous game, and one day I hope there will be an opportunity to show you which one. We are working on communication between the remote player or AI with the player sitting at the physical board. We have some solutions 😊 The guys will tear up, I'm sure! I also have a mini-schedule, so in the upcoming period, I will spend some time with people from the crowdfunding and e-commerce departments.


First-week events connected us with a lot of smart, successful, and influential people!

Pitch breakfast - a great event where startups, innovators, and entrepreneurs come to practice pitching in front of real investors and audiences. 5 minutes for the Pitch, and 10 minutes for feedback. After that - networking. In addition to learning how to pitch, I have the opportunity to talk with the organizers, with people who practiced their pitches, but also with investors, the audience... 15 or so, new contacts and a highlight of the event - again an investor, a similar story as in Chicago. I fixed his eyes at about 5-6 meters, he notices me, and we keep eye contact, and I approached: "May I have your attention for 30 seconds?". "Sure". I am pitching again solar and electric car. But I'm not looking for an investment but for feedback on my approach and pitch. "Perfect", I think, he is kind and encouraging. You fixed me with your eyes, good-looking guy, the first impression is great, you should go to New York. Again S**T. I thank him politely, he asks me where I'm from when he heard Serbia... "Seeeerbia! I was there more than 30 years ago. Asking me more about my business. "New York. Boston. Silicon Valley. You should go there "... I appreciate it, Sir.

Pitch preparation at the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in a building worth 3 million USD. The campus has maybe 20 buildings more, and the annual budget of the University is 811 million USD?! Devin and Laura, our hosts today, give us great guidance on how to Pitch an idea, solution, or startup. In fact, I pitch at least 7x a day every day, so our learnings are very helpful! 

An interesting visit to Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. Our host Jeremiah Anderson shared with us some interesting facts about the Charlotte region. By the CLT region intelligence report, the total GDP is 194$ billion, total employment 1.49 million, and total compensation 102$ billion. It's the second financial center after New York, with 26.5 $ million in venture capital funding raised by Charlotte-based health techs, for example. Besides finance and tech, e-commerce, logistics & transport, and health are the most important industries here in Charlotte.

Distilling Company event - business networking at a beverage distillery. Perfect. Owner - Irish. Roommate - Irish. Do you need the rest of the story? After about 15 minutes we were already behind the bar, in production, with a pint of beer, and listening to Oliver's story about how he raised the business to a couple of million a year and fell to a couple of tens of thousands. Bankrupt. He didn't give up, of course. He built a new distillery, and now, he's tearing it up again! True entrepreneurial story. His new distillery, Great Wagon Road, produces beer, whiskey, and vodka. After a fun and inspiring tour, we return to the bar and taste the whiskeys he produces. I met a few interesting people. Luckily, we exchanged business cards... 


Meanwhile, in parallel, I am working on the Action Plan, which I should implement in the coming period in order to gain my goals, both here and at home. Of course, I came a little more seriously prepared. I have categorized the goals into small, medium, and mega. I will give you some examples of small goals: minimum 15 events, 120 new contacts from the USA, face-to-face, minimum one partnership... 21 goals in total. The portfolio of services that I carry with me consists of business development and Lead generation, social media, tech staff leasing & outsourcing, several different tools, e-commerce, logistics, and an investment in a solar car. I researched a few tech companies, I have a list of 50 or so. As well as about 10 big marketing companies. It will be useful 😉 I definitely made a list of what to visit, especially in Charlotte, considering that in Chicago and Washington, everything is more or less practically programmed, including tours.


The team in Charlotte is David, Toghrul, Elena, Yvonne, Thanos, Kaissa, and me. I don't know who made up the men's team, but I think it's not an accident :D LOL. We can't seriously compose 2 minutes. It honestly means a lot to me. We are sharing positive energy. David and I live together, we are practically of the same mental level, which makes our life very easy. FC Dundalk fan, and FC Radnički 1923 fan. A great friendship was born! Not to mention the Orthodox Celts :)


From the sights of the first week, David and I went to baseball :D By the way, we live right downtown, between the baseball stadium and the NFL stadium. You cross the street and hop into the stadium. They play baseball for 5 days in a row, every single night, for three+ hours. A strange game. A bit boring. You watch the grass grow for three and a half hours. We came home and googled who won. That's all about it.

As true football fans, we can't wait for that football game. Americans have a strange name for this sport - Soccer... But they are aware that we are Europeans, so they try to call it football. Otherwise, all the time, the exceptional kindness and hospitality of the people in Charlotte. Exceptional! And unexpected. The Bank of America stadium, with a capacity of 75,000 seats and a value of 428 million USD, is the home of the Carolina Panthers NFL team, as well as the FC Charlotte soccer team, founded 4 years ago. Our FK Radnički Kragujevac celebrates 100 years of existence this year! I brought the flag to capture the moment, but also to show a piece of history that I proudly carry with me. I also bought an FC Charlotte shirt to support the local football club. They have a strange ticketing system, it arrives via sms, you must have an app, VPN, and 300 other things... and when you combine the Serbian-Irish tandem with the super-friendly people from Charlotte, you enter the stadium through official entrances. We appreciate it.

The game against Colorado... just let's say exciting. The turnovers and the conceded goal in the 90th minute, for 2-2, brought a lot of sighs from the stands, which about 32,000 attendees. I don't want to offend our hosts, but football is not so high-level pro. A couple of players worth watching, but in general poor running, poor technique, and amateur mistakes. But with great fun, cheering, and a solid number of fans behind the goal, they didn't stop with the song, Mexican waves, and even a torch. Far from a European or Serbian atmosphere, but a high attendance also brings a good atmosphere! As for other sports like the NBA, NFL, or hockey...we've had no luck. The Charlotte Hawks are literally the worst in the Eastern Conference-no playoffs, and the NFL and NHL seasons are over.


When I read these two texts now, and summarize the first ten days, when I see how many kilometers traveled, how many new things, businesses, ideas, and over 200 new contacts... everything happens at the speed of light.

Madness. But I understand why they are successful. They work a lot. I noticed that the events, apart from the usual ones, start even from 7 in the morning, half past 8, 8. Then the next round is from 6-8 pm. Volunteering, hanging out, messing with people from work... afternoons and Saturdays. Mindset. It's all in the head. When your mind is open, there are no limits.

P.S. I'm five days late with the blog, it's the end of the third week, and I'm still writing the second one. May the force be with me.


The first meeting with the International House
Charlotte Regional Business Alliance
Enventys Partners


FC Charlotte, Bank of America Stadium
Enventys Partners


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