Business Innovation Group (BIG)
College of Business

BIG Cafe April Update

BIG Café, the monthly networking event held by the Business Innovation Group was a great success. Local Entrepreneurs, students and faculty gathered together at City Campus in downtown Statesboro on Wednesday, April 13, enabling one another to help solve business problems by providing feedback while enjoying a delicious complimentary cup of coffee provided by Cool Beanz and doughnuts provided by the DSDA.

The two presenters for BIG Café were comprised of Jerry ­­­Blakely, owner of Roaster’s Caffé and Ethan Gillespie, owner of EagleiRepair. Each presented with hopes of receiving feedback from the attendees to help solve business problems. Jerry Blakely proposed the question, “How do I reach outside markets?”

Demetria Smith, owner of Simplified Flooring stated that Jerry could “create an incentive to start a membership by offering something free and allowing them to pay for shipping to let them see what it’s about.” Jeff Graham, owner of Wise Choice Realty said that Jerry should “go to a farmers market on Saturdays so people could try it and have information about site.” This would allow Jerry to interact with the consumer and get feedback from their perspective to better enhance the consumers experience. Other suggestions included utilizing search engine optimization, getting the product out to people who are already in that community so they can start talking about the beans, and market the fair trade.

After our brief coffee break, Ethan Gillespie presented and posed the question, “How do I build my advertising and marketing to reach college students?”

Fred David, owner of Minuteman Press suggested that Ethan should “partner with groups and clubs like Greek houses, offer a discount, and students are good with word of mouth.” Elena McLendon, with the DSDA stated, “Public Relations at Georgia Southern University will take on projects to increase likes on social media and will create a plan for you.” Other suggestions included putting booths at events such as the fair and the rodeo, partnering with Party Harbor to host an event, and give sorority groups a monthly contract.

BIG Café was a huge success thanks to everyone who attended and gave invaluable feedback. Also, special thanks to Jerry Blakely and Ethan Gillespie for presenting, and to our sponsors David Hoyle, Cool Beanz and Elena McLendon, DSDA. If you would like to present your business obstacle(s) at BIG Café, please contact Jill Johns at or 912-478-0872. Attend the next BIG Café if you would like to come together to network, drink free coffee, and help one another thrive. Also, attend five times and you can receive a free BIG Café coffee mug!

View April’s BIG Café at:

Posted in Events, In the News, Programs

Tags: , , , , , ,

Share this:

Business Innovation Group • PO Box 8153-01 Statesboro, GA 30460 • 912-478-0872 •