Goal Setting Success

In collaboration with Forefront // O’Shea Builders // Corporate KIN LLC

A two-fold presentation and panel-style discussion, this session will expose participants to the high-level components of goal setting theory, outlining short and long-term aspirations, and actionable tips to elevate 2020 plans. Attendees will also hear authentic stories from an intimate panel of local leaders who will share their goal-setting insights and experiences.

The presentation portion of this session facilitated by Tess Fyalka, Director of Employee Development and Engagement with O’Shea Builders, Tess is an Organization Development Certified Professional, a Leadership Circle Certified Practitioner, and a Leadership Development Coach. Before working at O’Shea Builders, Tess owned and operated a public relations and marketing consulting company for more than 14 years.

The panel-style discussion following the presentation will include presentation leader Tess Fyalka, and 40 under 40 recipients Sarah Tapscott, Director of Statewide Partnerships with Forefront; and Raychel Yokem, Diversity Inclusion and Affirmative Action Manager with GROWMARK and Founder of Corporate KIN LLC.

Attendees are welcome to bring snacks with them to the session. #BrainFood

Cost: Event attendance is FREE to Innovate Springfield members and $10/event to non-members.

On the Road with the Starters

Innovate Springfield is taking their popular Straight from the Starter Series on the ROAD! Say “Howdy!” to On the Road with the Starters.

The first stop on their tour de startups is REVERIE Apparel located at 407 E Adams Street. We’ll talk to REVERIE founders about their origin story, milestones, pain points, Q & A, and get a sneak peek at Springfield’s latest and GREATEST t-shirt shop.

Pro-tip // nothing says Valentine’s Day like a locally designed tee. #FollowTheREVERIE #iSPILyfe

iSpi Meetup Women in Technology

Free event. Meet with other women interested in technology in the Springfield area. Gather to promote women’s community and involvement in the technology industries. Share your goals, your challenges, and build community. The group will meet on the second Tuesday of each month, so plan on it.

Creative Planning Seminar

Time: 11:30 AM-12:45 PM OR 5:30 PM-6:45 PM

Pam Schallhorn, Extension Specialist in Community & Economic Development with the University of Illinois, has shared her expertise with entrepreneurs across the state of Illinois for over ten years. In this session, Pam will demonstrate Creative Planning techniques to help you tackle every single aspect of your 2020 plan.

You’ll have the opportunity to get creative with color-coding, receive pro-tips for pulling together a SMART plan and step into 2020 with goal-focused intention.

Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops, calendars, schedules, scratch pads, and favorite pens with them to the session to maximize productivity. Attendees are also welcome to bring lunch // dinner // or snacks with them to the session. #BrainFood

Cost: Event attendance is FREE to Innovate Springfield members and $10/event to non-members.

Next Steps: Momentum on Main Street

The kick-off was great — but the more important question is, what happens next?

If you attended…

the Momentum on Main Street Meet-up and Presentation, don’t forget to apply for one of the US Bank scholarships before April 1. Check your email for details!

Free How-To Sessions for Anyone

Wednesday, April 24
4:00pm – 5:30pm, Buzz Bomb Brewery
Turning Your Home Kitchen into a Business and Getting Started at the Farmers Market
Molly Gleason of Illinois Stewardship Alliance and Mollie Ringer, the Manager of the Old Capitol Farmers Market, will lead this session.

Wednesday, May 29
12:00pm – 1:00pm, Lincoln Library
Permits and City Hall- Who You Need to Know and Where You Need to Go
Abby Powell, TIF Manager at the City of Springfield, will demystify the process for you.

Wednesday, June 26
4:00pm – 5:30pm, The Incubator
Vacant Building Walk-Through: What To Consider Before You Buy
Architect Jeff Sommers will show you what to look for when you’re seeking downtown space.

Follow DSI to find out when we schedule the next three sessions on various topics or suggest a topic to the committee via email

Ready to Accelerate Your Idea Using the Co.Starters 9-week series at Innovate Springfield?

The best candidate for the CO.STARTERS program is either someone with a new idea for a business, or an existing business looking to become more sustainable, launch a new product or service, or scale.

Participants will receive guidance for a process to figure out whether or not an idea is good and how to change it to make it work; the ability to better articulate how their businesses work; defined next steps needed to move forward; and a community of peers and support.

Sessions run on Monday evenings from 5:30 PM-8:30 PM. The first cohort begins April 25th. Learn more.

Potential Investors

We’ll be rolling out our next steps to match-make potential investors with good projects in the downtown neighborhood in the coming weeks, based on the Meet-up Survey. Let us know if you’re interested in hearing about potential good investments, we’ll add you to the list.


Thank you to the City of Springfield for your investments in DSI’s work which makes the Momentum on Main Street series possible.

iSpi Deep Dive: Cultural Competencies

The progression toward cultural competence and understanding is vital to effective entrepreneurship, and to maximizing one’s business reach and network. This presentation will broaden your understanding of cultural competence and the nuances therein, addressing individual and systems level prejudices, use of language, and self-evaluation. You will walk away from this course with a better understanding of your global audience, and the awareness to communicate effectively with diverse populations.

Learning Objectives
Participants will gain an understanding of workplace diversity and inclusion.
Course will cover system level privilege and oppression.
participants will gain cultural competencies to help them reach a broader audience with their business.

Facilitated by Susan Faupel, MSW, Training Institute Director, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault

DSI Members get a discount to only $15 for these classes. If you don’t know your Member Code, email Lisa in the DSI Office.

iSpi Deep Dive: Public Speaking & Making the sale through effective communication

You’ll leave this interactive session ready to take center stage. In this training you will learn the important ways that public speaking and writing differ, and will be challenged to find your authentic voice and posture to succeed at public speaking. Participants will practice and prepare elevator speeches and receive immediate feedback from one another.

Learning objectives
Participants will be challenged to concisely tell their story.
Develop an elevator pitch.
Learn the tips and tricks of talking in front of an audience.
Participants will gain feedback through peer critique.

DSI Member receive a discount and only pay $15 for this class. If you don’t have your Member Code, email Lisa in the DSI office.

iSpi Deep Dive: Leveraging Social Media

Lead by: Larry Johnson, Sikich

97% of businesses are active on social media, but only 20% are seeing actual results. Your social media expertise can help produce the results that every business dreams about. In this presentation you’ll learn how to: leverage internet marketing and social media to get massive results; create social media marketing strategies that blow away the competition; and impress clients with your social media expertise and high-level knowledge.

Learning Objectives:
Learn the basics of utilizing each platform, creating content appropriate for each and developing a calendar for posting.

DSI Members enjoy a discount to iSpi classes. If you don’t have your Member Code to only pay $15, email Lisa in the DSI office.

Restaurant Installs Technology to Help Visually Impaired

Maldaner’s Restaurant is the first downtown business — but likely not the last — to install technology to help visually impaired individuals access the business, thanks to a partnership with Sensible Innovations, also a DSI member and an Innovate Springfield member. Sensible Innovations is a Springfield-based technology company whose Aware audible way-finding app for visually impaired people was recently named Consumer Electronics Show 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree.

Aware works with iBeacons, to provide indoors and outdoors turn-by-turn navigational directions, and location descriptions, designed with a focus on visually impaired people, and plays in real time where and when it matters.

“Our visually impaired customers can now order from the menu, without asking a sighted person for help, because it is listed in the app. They can also easily navigate the restaurant without assistance allowing them the independence they deserve,’ said Chef Higgins. “For us, installing the iBeacons was a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you want to make your business accessible for all?”

To download the app, search “Aware Wayfinding Sensible Innovations” in your app store.

As Chef Higgins is the first proprietor in downtown Springfield to install the technology required for Aware, Sensible Innovations founder and CEO Rasha Said is championing Chef Higgins’ commitment to his patrons.

“Michael and I collaborated on this project to encourage other local businesses, especially those downtown, to install the iBeacon technology to allow people who are visually impaired the same opportunities, when dining, as those who are sighted,” said Rasha.

Sensible Innovations is a member of Innovate Springfield, a social innovation and business incubator situated in downtown Springfield. Katie Davison, the organization’s executive director said, “We think this is only the beginning for the Aware app to penetrate the Springfield market. The opportunities for the app to provide way-finding assistance to the Springfield community are endless.”

Aware is making a positive impact on the lives of visually impaired people across the city and further afield.

Downtown Springfield, Inc. executive director Lisa Clemmons Stott said she was extremely excited about the launch of Aware at Maldaner’s, which is a member of DSI, “As the ‘front door’ of Springfield, downtown businesses welcome people from around the world. Chef Higgins is leading the way to even more inclusivity by utilizing this technology. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if downtown Springfield was the first neighborhood in the nation to support visually-impaired individuals in this way?”

Rasha and her team have placed iBeacons at Glenwood High School in Chatham and Mary Bryant Home for the Blind in Springfield, the Rosa Parks Hempstead Transit Center in New York and at The Chicago Lighthouse.

Aware has a US utility patent and was coded by Springfield-based Levi, Ray & Shoup Web Solutions.

For more information visit sensible-innovations.com.

iSpi Deep Dive: Strategic Planning

Lead by: Nikki Baker, Founder, Recycled Cottage

Aimed at helping you plan for the future and to expect the unexpected, you’ll leave this presentation with practical strategies you can implement right now to make a noticeable difference in the performance of your start-up. You will dive into the 3 pillars of the Rockefeller Habits including priorities, data and rhythm.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will learn basic strategic planning concepts and exercises like mission, vision, SWOT, Power and Interest, Ho-Shin Affinity.
Participants will leave having identifying their organization’s strategic direction.
Participants will have a sample plan.

DSI Members get a discount and only pay $15 for these sessions. If you don’t have your Member Code, email Lisa in the DSI office.

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