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Dreams to reality: the art of start-ups and entrepreneurship

By Poncho Wilson
May 2019
Dreams to reality: the art of start-ups and entrepreneurship

(Left) The lively moderator, Dr. Nazeera Dawood, interacting with attendees. (All Photos: Bytegraph)

Twenty years ago on March 31, 1999 in movie theaters, audiences were introduced to a young and intuitive office worker with a penchant for ‘advanced computing’ by the name of Neo.

Neo knew that the life of a daily cubicle slave, clocking in and out for mortal sustenance, wasn't his––he sensed something extraordinarily more elemental to his consciousness: a constant yearning just beyond the tactile reality that most surrender to.

“Wake up, Neo. The Matrix has you...” typed a shadowy legend in Dark Web circles known as Morpheus, to jolt Neo from his sleep beside his computer monitor one night.

Neo stayed awake and eventually became ‘The One’ to save the world.

The rest is the story of The Matrix, a blockbuster sci-fi trilogy and a tale of a dystopian future where humankind hangs in the balance against a machine-ruled class’s dreamworld system of controls and physics-bending dichotomy battles in subjective and objective realities.

Anyone who has analyzed and deciphered The Matrix trilogy for their own personal reflection has undoubtedly found haunting inspiration in its deeply layered Jungian archetypes and more. This is true most especially for entrepreneurs, who possess an inner drive and mindset uncommon in today’s standard of safe spaces, validations, and a million gut punch what-ifs and can’t dos before inspirational activation even begins.

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Dr. Nazeera Dawood, making the audience comfortable before the program. 

On March 28, 2019, however, it was Dr. Nazeera Dawood who provided her audience an opportunity of their own to follow the White Rabbit à la Matrix and gather insights from fellow ‘Red Pill’ takers in the technology sector, when her Chai & Just Chat series was presented at a new venue, Atlanta Tech Village.

“The Art of StARTups–Do You Have What It Takes?” featured 11 expert panelists who’ve taken their napkin-sketch dreams from the lonely corners of coffee shops and whiteboard diagrams to the envies of their industries and peers today. They’ve persevered against defeatist mindsets, mantras, and constantly evolving and competitive landscapes in their respective fields.

Panelists from varied backgrounds were Sam Agarwal, CEO of AppZoro Technologies, an Atlanta-based UI/UX mobile web technology development firm that calls Atlanta Tech Village home; Dr. Paul Lopez, venture capitalist and president of entrepreneurship development consortium TiE Atlanta; Georgia State Rep. Roger Bruce, who serves on the state’s Small Business Development Committee; podcaster, entrepreneurship coach, and Inc. magazine contributor Eric Holtzclaw; Dr. Lucienne Ide, founder of healthcare company Rimidi; Shawntel R. Hebert, intellectual rights attorney; Antonio Barrios of ACE Loans; Sathya Darapu, Edible Arrangements franchisee; and Dr. Narasimhulu Neelagaru, chairman of Quantum National Bank.

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Georgia State Rep. Roger Bruce. Magazine contributor Eric Holtzclaw and Sathya Darapu, Edible Arrangements franchisee.

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Sathya Darapu, Edible Arrangements franchisee; Paul Lopez, president of TiE Atlanta; and Sam Agarwal, CEO of AppZoro Technologies.

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Dr. Nazeera Dawood and Dr. Lucienne Ide, founder of healthcare company Rimidi. Dr. Narasimhulu Neelagaru, chairman of Quantum National Bank; Shawntel R. Hebert, intellectual rights attorney; and Antonio Barrios of ACE Loans.

“Becoming a successful entrepreneur can seem so daunting. But our panelists encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams,” host and moderator Dr. Nazeera Dawood said. “Entrepreneurs see opportunity where others see risks. They generate lots of ideas as they pursue these opportunities undaunted. With a little insight, diligent preparation, and proper planning, people who yearn for their own business and success can feel confident in it. And we assembled a support network to show them just that.”

Or as Morpheus offered Neo in that seminal pill-taking freedom-of-choice scene: The truth.

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Appreciative audience. Networking, of course. 

Some nuggets from the discussion: Survivors of childhood chaos can use their resiliency towards success. Action-oriented learning from a young age can help. There is still a bias against female founders. Planning is key. Decision about the appropriate legal entity comes before the business plan and funding. Types of business investors were described. Leaders manage through direction, discussion, suggestion. Entrepreneurs should care about policy dialogues with government. And last but not least, take care of your mental health.

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A lively question and answer period followed.

A typical response from the audience came from Monosij Chatterjee: “Thank you for arranging all the great speakers and your very interesting questions. Made me realize a few things I was not thinking about.”

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Sathya Darapu and Shawntel R. Hebert at the Edible Arrangements display. (Photo: Bytegraph)

For replays of Dr. Dawood’s Chai & Just Chat sessions, information on attending the free public forums, or how to become a panelist or sponsor, visit www.Nazeera.net and opt in for monthly email updates.

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The panel of entrepreneurs. (Photo: Bytegraph)


 

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