“Refire, Not Retire” says Jeanne Sullivan at the Entrepreneurs Roundtable



This month, Jeanne M. Sullivan, cofounder of StarVest Partners and chief inspiration officer of Sullivan Adventures, spoke at the Entrepreneur Roundtable 97 event. Sullivan’s presentation included the “experienced economy,” women in the entrepreneur world, and the legalization of cannabis for adult use.

Millennials will soon take over the business world, and they need all the funding they can find to achieve economic prosperity. Sullivan made the point that the experienced economy only wants to guide and fund millennials, not completely take the reigns.

While millennials are familiar with social media, have tech knowledge, a creative drive and are entrepreneurial, they definitely need to be more open to the voices of the baby boomer generation in order to gain proper experience and ultimately achieve success.

Sullivan also delved into the older generations with regard to employment.
“Say: Refire, Do not say: Retire,” Sullivan said.
The goal is to change the stigma by updating your thinking. You are not too old to find a connection leading to employment. Find your “Ikigai,” or “reason for being.”
Sullivan claims that the number one problem with women entrepreneurs is finding access to capital. According to Sullivan, most woman entrepreneurs do not ask for enough funding, and “gender bias is very much alive and well.” However, with knowledge, good role models, advisory and intergenerational connections, success is within reach.

Moving forward, Sullivan provided the audience with 3 reasons to believe in the legalization of cannabis:

  1. Human Rights. According to Sullivan, cannabis laws are a cheap excuse to arrest minorties.
  2. Civil Rights. Additionally, she stated that out of the approximate 23 million people imprisoned in the United States, most are imprisoned for drug offenses — mainly cannabis usage.
  3. Economic Opportunities. Cannabis laws are regulated state-by-state. According to ArcView Research Group, 86 percent of Americans lives in a state that allows some degree of cannabis usage, and the compound annual growth rate is 30 percent. The legal cannabis market is projected to reach $6.7 billion by the end of 2016, and by 2020, $21.8 billion. Thinking of investing?

Sullivan finished her presentation with an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Five startups pitched their companies to Sullivan and the rest of the audience with great confidence:
ReadRunner ReadRunner is an app that aids those who struggle with reading. The app creates a personalized and comfortable reading environment for the user, and uses speech recognition to provide good reading habits. Users follow the text on their mobile or tablet screen with their finger while reading aloud. Redeem the pleasure of reading now!

IMPARTnyc IMPARTnyc is a flexible service that allows users to rent and rotate artwork from a gallery to place in their home. All artwork is already framed and ready to be shipped. The cost of the service is $50 a month, and users can switch artwork every 90 days for free. Users can also purchase artwork anywhere from $500-to-$1000.

Humphry Davy Humphry Davy has invented a LED agricultural lighting fixture to help farmers control the growth of crops. Light controls the growth, nutritional content and essentially all aspects of plants. Users hang the product over the crops, and the lighting is monitored via an online dashboard. The fixture is scalable, automated and customized for every crop. Farms of any size can use this product.

Welnys The goal of Welnys is to provide wellness programs to companies in order to improve the well-being of employees. Welnys also provides users with the option of private or in-home appointments. While there are many wellness programs out there, Welnys differs in the sense that they have a corporate portion and provide the necessary technology. The results thus far, according to welnys.com, are as follows: “46 percent reduction in costs due to employee turnover, 19 percent reduction in sick leave and 12 percent increase in performance and productivity.”

TagParent TagParent is a mobile platform that establishes communication between parents and teachers. If you are a parent that works long days and feel disconnected with your child’s schooling, TagParent can help you stay on top of things. Some key features of TagParent include: instant messaging, the ability to create custom groups for organizing an event, and sharing class notes.



Image Credit: CC by Elizabeth Hahn

About the author: Paul Palumbo

Paul Palumbo is a copyediting intern at AlleyWatch and a Binghamton University alumnus with B.A.’s in Physics and English. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. His interests include poetry, music, exploring, and technology.

You are seconds away from signing up for the hottest list in New York Tech!

Join the millions and keep up with the stories shaping entrepreneurship. Sign up today.