Being customer-focused is key to success in your startup or business. Creating and maintaining a connection to your current customers by building a community can benefit your business and deepen your relationship with your customer. Communities provide opportunities for customers to interact with your brand or business as well as provide real-time feedback on how to improve your services or products. Leverage one-on-one network connections to generate more ways that you can you serve the needs of your customer instead of just creating new leads and sales. This month, we talk to four community builders who all build and maintain communities in different ways!
Holly Firestone, Head of Community (Venafi)
Holly Firestone has dedicated her career to building thriving professional communities. She is currently the head of community at Venafi, a Machine Identity Protection (security) startup. Before Venafi, she spent five years at Salesforce running the multi-million member customer community along with their industry-leading Salesforce MVP Program and Salesforce User Group Program
Maghan Morin & Jeanine Suah, Founders (Thynk Global)
Located in Miami’s burgeoning Little River district, Thynk Global is a welcoming space where makers, creators and founders can “thynk” beyond limits and produce their best work. The Miami coworking space invites people of color and their allies, male and female entrepreneurs of all ethnicities, to network, get organized, collaborate, and build a sustainable business, all for a fraction of the cost of most coworking spaces.
Danny Thompson, Founder (GDG Memphis Chapter)
From frying chicken to software engineer, Danny Thompson learned to code and it changed his life. With his mission to help change the community for the better, he started his meetup group GDG Memphis which helps individuals that want to learn about tech, provides mentorship and learning resources.
Learn how to build more authentic relationships with your internal and external audience by providing a space where people can connect with others and have a shared sense of belonging.
When: July 31, 2020
Time: 6:30 PM (CST)
Where: Zoom online meeting
Cost: $5 for Zoom Meeting (Interact with speakers, network with other attendees and participate in Q&A).
Give First (before you ask)
Make Friends (not just contacts)
Help Others (before you help yourself)
To Educate, Inspire, and Connect Entrepreneurs
Our global community of 600+ chapters in 110 countries worldwide is here for you. Let us know... How may we best assist you? (I.e. - Can we help facilitate warm introductions to businesses, mentors, and/or investors to grow your startup here or elsewhere?)
Ways You Can Participate this Month:
Become an Event Ambassador- Do you like to meet new people? Are you outgoing? Do you like to meet founders and engage with startups? Apply to be an event ambassador at our events. As an ambassador you can get a complimentary ticket to the event and a discount code to share with your network. Interested? Submit your application here.
Knock Knock! Who's there?! - Every month we invite startups within our local ecosystem to kick off the event. Use this opportunity to get that answer specific to your idea or product as an entrepreneur partner. Our community also enjoys hearing about your accomplishments, values or needs. Quickfire pitches allow you to get real feedback from our chat guests as well as increase the visibility of your startup. This opportunity is available for a limited number of businesses, Contact us to learn how to sign up (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Listen & Learn - Are you a member of our local entrepreneurial ecosystem? Are you looking for inspiration on how to start your startup? Are you wondering how to combine your passion with giving back to the community? We encourage you to come meet (virtually), learn from and have the chance to ask questions of our featured speakers and guests.
Spread the Word - Startup Grind Memphis' monthly events are an effective and valuable opportunity to share your brand and message with our local entrepreneurial community. Startup Grind’s events regularly attract many influential Founders, Professionals, and Investors. We have several options available, starting at only $55. Contact us about sharing your brand with our entrepreneurs!
Head of Community
Google Developers Group (Memphis Chapter)
Holly Firestone has dedicated her career to building thriving professional communities. She is currently the head of community at Venafi, a Machine Identity Protection (security) startup. Before Venafi, she spent five years at Salesforce running the multi-million member customer community along with their industry-leading Salesforce MVP Program and Salesforce User Group Program. Prior to that, Holly was at software company Atlassian building their customer community and programs. She's also worked as a Community Manager for a non-profit organization in San Francisco. Holly actively participates with the Austin Federation Women's Philanthropy Group and has recently enjoyed participating as a volunteer for Reclaim Our Vote and the NAACP. She lives in Austin, TX, with her husband Eric, a software developer at Square, and their two weenie mutts, Zeus and Chester.
Maghan Morin is a principle-driven hustler who strongly believes that dressing the part has the power to transform your mindset from what is, to what will be. Born to Haitian parents who emigrated to the United States, Maghan credits her entrepreneurial spirit to her father who, as a single parent and business owner, showed her the ins and outs of running a successful business.
Through years of playing competitive soccer, Maghan learned the true definition of teamwork and community and uses her infectious energy and strategic thinking to connect entrepreneurs to resources and opportunities that will take them to the next level.
As the co-founder of Thynk Global, a coworking space where people of color and allies can create, collaborate and build for the future, Maghan is living out her life’s purpose by helping black and brown entrepreneurs build generational wealth through sustainable businesses.
While receiving her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Missouri, Maghan both fed her serious shoe obsession and honed in on her entrepreneurial bug by selling women’s heels out of her dorm room. Maghan’s passion and drive took her to London upon graduating, where she designed shoes for a high-end fashion company.
Having strong ties to her St. Petersburg roots, Maghan returned to the States in 2016 to work at a coworking space where she managed the Membership program and met her now business partner Jeanine Suah. Deciding to venture out on her own. Maghan started a company called MRKT Reach, which provided social media marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses.
Jeanine Suah is a go-giving entrepreneur who uses the world as an inspiration for community innovation. Born to Jamaican parents who emigrated to the United States, Jeanine prides herself on being a global citizen who speaks three languages, dances salsa, bachata, and samba, and has shared meals with strangers in nearly 20 countries.
As an avid believer in the Experience Economy, Jeanine lives by the credo, “Always give more in value than you receive in payment,” and trusts that genuine relationship-building and persistence are the keys to success.
With her life’s mission being to help black and brown communities attain generational wealth, Jeanine co-founded Thynk Global, a coworking and event space designed for and by people of color to encourage minorities to take risks, while connecting them to resources and opportunities that help them build sustainable businesses.
Obsessed with college football, Jeanine graduated from Florida State University with a B.A. in Spanish and Portuguese in 2012 and moved to Brazil to teach English and immerse herself in the culture. Upon returning to the states in 2013, Jeanine started graduate school where she received her M.A. in Applied Linguistics and TESOL from the University of South Florida in 2015, during which she conducted Sociolinguistics and Afro-Brazilian research in Salvador da Bahia.
From frying chicken to software engineer, Danny Thompson learned to code and changed his life. With his mission, to help change the community for the better, he started his meetup group GDG Memphis which helps individuals that want to learn about tech, provides mentorship and learning resources. He has helped almost 70 people land jobs in tech. Now as a speaker, speaking at events all over the country, he still remains in Memphis to provide a positive impact and the shift towards helping people change their lives.
Memphis Chapter DirectorView Profile