Ayana Iman Hosting Women-In-Novation

Ayana Iman is a native of Trenton, NJ and proud New Jersey resident. In 2016, she launched her career as a Public Speaker and Certified Professional Life Coach, focusing on personal development, storytelling, and transformation, which allowed her to directly impact client’s lives as an accountability partner. Ayana received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Journalism at Kean University and her Masters in Strategic Organizational Communication at Rutgers University.

Ayana is also the Chief Communications Officer of #AuthenticConvos, an inclusive experience that fervently promotes face-to-face thought-provoking dialogue within diverse communities across the country and seeks to have a profound global impact on the way we engage with one another. She understands the importance of interpersonal communication, and the need for healthy dialogue that extends beyond the digital realm. This platform has allowed her to facilitate community engagement, offer a platform to other speakers and vendors, and give attendees the opportunity to gain professional insight from thought leaders.

To order your ticket for Women-In-Novation:

RSVP HERE

BIG: Digital Undivided’s Woman-Led Incubator Program

Are you a Black or Latinx woman entrepreneur who needs a little bit of a push and a competitive edge? Look no further!

About the BIG Incubator Program:

As an award-winning program (2x SBA Growth Accelerator Winner, INBIA Incubator of the Year, MIT Inclusive Innovation) that provides a direct pathway into the innovation economy for women of color, the BIG incubator is the only space solely dedicated to the development of high-growth tech businesses founded by Black and Latinx women.

BIG is a direct response to the findings in digitalundivided’s ProjectDiane 2018, a groundbreaking research report that demonstrates the current lack of funding available for Black and Latinx women founders.

The BIG incubator is housed at the BIG Innovation Center, a 3,000-square-foot hub in downtown Atlanta dedicated to fostering innovation in diverse communities. digitalundivided is expanding its BIG Incubator program and Innovation Center to Newark, NJ in 2019 and 3 additional locations by 2020. Applications for the 2019 cohorts in Atlanta and Newark are available here. More details and FAQ’s are available here.

 

About digitalundivided:

digitalundivided’s (DID) mission is for Black and Latinx women to own their economic security through entrepreneurship and technology. Founded in 2013, DID takes an innovative approach to community-level economic empowerment by creating pathways for Black and Latinx women (BLWE), and thus the larger Black and Latinx communities, into the innovation ecosystem. digitalundivided has demonstrated core competencies in building and scaling successful data-driven programs that remove barriers and create highways for women of color into innovation, entrepreneurship, and has thus served as a singular force in moving the needle on inclusion in the innovation economy as a whole. For more information, visit www.digitalundivided.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Don’t Deny The Importance of Graphic Design

https://equalspace.co

It’s the first thing a customer sees—your design.

Packaging is all a part of the customer experience. Without the right design, you lose the attention of your audience. Everyone likes nice things, even if they don’t admit it. In the age of social media and visual storytelling, your design speaks to a potential customer before the product or service. From logos to websites, brochures, signage, even your business cards, all are a reflection of good branding through design.

It’s how brands stay competitive.

Businesses need good design to create gag-worthy marketing materials, down to the memes on social media. It’s all inclusive. Good design is now an essential part of business development on and offline.

So what is graphic design?

According to Design Hill, graphic design is the visual communication of a company which includes the process of developing typography, layering image with text, or animation in a specific way to convey a company’s unique and distinctive message. As a startup, entrepreneurs often bootstrap design elements, which sometimes works; however, if you want your brand to stand out and bring visibility to your products and/or services, a sizeable part of your budget should be reserved for design. You can Canva your way through business so much before you have to breakdown and hire a professional.

Unless you’re a designer, then…

Here are eight ways, according to Design Hill, graphic design creates influence:

  1. Sales boost
  2. Establish your company name
  3. Build goodwill in your industry
  4. Express your brand message
  5. Brand unity among staff
  6. Professionalism
  7. Persuasive power
  8. Content readability

Does your brand make the list? Click here to read more.

#takeyourspace

Reminders: Social Media is ‘Social’

https://equalspace.co

Sure, we know social media is the wave, but there’s a responsibility that comes with it. Beyond bombarding your audience with information about your brand’s products and services, there is a duty to engage with your audience and know them intimately. In the early years of business, customers weren’t too concerned with mission and values, corporate and social accountability, or even the ingredients of products. If it tasted or worked good, it was good.

It’s a different time and day.

Consumers want to know as much as they can before they decide on where to spend their money and place their word. Brand loyalty is an investment for the consumer, as opposed to a necessity.

Though social media is a lucrative way to expand your target audience, the key is to stay engaged. It’s about building relationships. It’s hard to do so if all you do is drop a post and disappear. And yes, scheduling is necessary to ensure  continuity; however, lack of follow-up can cause a disconnect between the brand and the consumer.

Don’t forget to be social.

Have a social media manager crafting your content? Be sure they’re responding to comments and replying to DMs. Too much lag time in between responses makes your audience feel unheard and when people feel unheard, they rebel. Ever notice some pages have an influx of  “unhappy” comment? Lack of internal response is the culprit.

https://equalspace.co

Social media is social.

In the age of technology, we’ve learned to remain connected in every aspect except human. Preserve your human currency. Consumers want to know that your business is human. Customer service doesn’t begin with an email inquiry, it starts with the first note of engagement. Your social media platforms may be their first experience and if it’s a sour one, best believe their network will know. For many, despite a hefty social media arsenal, word of mouth still accounts for a vast majority of their sales. The last thing a business needs is an adverse review before a dollar is spent.

Do more than merely push content.

It’s best to aggregate about fifteen minutes per post of “social time” to engage with your audience. The number of followers and reach of the post will determine if it’s longer or shorter. Even if you’re not responding to comments immediately, like the ones posted and be sure to go back send a note of thanks or, at best, an emoji. Acknowledgement goes a long way.

Are you social on social?

Share with us some of your tips and join the conversation on Facebook or Instagram.

#takeyourspace

Exercise Your Visual Storytelling Super Power With Photo Essays

“Pose for the camera, now flick!”

We’re sure Chinese Philosopher, Mozi, couldn’t surmise the pinholes he created in a darkened room would evolve into the cameras we have today. From the The Daguerreotype Camera of the mid-1800s to the Reise of the early 1900s, down to shakin’ it like a Polaroid, the ability to capture moments in time has become the fabric of cultures around the world. But it was Nicéphore Niépce in 1816, who we can attribute to the first successful photograph.

Since then, photographs became interactive ways to tell a story. Each image sparked a memory that led to a narrative and a rabbit hole of backstories that kept you engaged in conversation for hours. Over the last few years, Marketing Strategists realize this same community sharing is ideal for small business marketing. Creating intimate communities around products and services is important for small businesses and startups to best engage their target audience. Although considered an “overused” term, narratives engage the audience with a storyline they can connect and follow.

It’s all about relatability.

Posts we like: The Best Photo Essays of 2017

equalspace.co

Visual storytelling brings life words on a page and allows the audience to create their own experience as if they were there and even imagine themselves in the still shots. Studies reveal web content with visual engage audiences up to 180% more than without. Although there are many visual storytelling elements to design, photographs are cost-effective and create immediate and long-lasting impact over time. Impact is a core outcome in all business. You want people to respond to your call to action. Click and learn more. Swipe through and comment.

Engagement is key.

Photo Essays help to propel a message forward and simple for even a non-tech savvy person to do. With Smartphones leading the way in technology, photo ops are easy and essentially seamless. Platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat provide the opportunity to master visual storytelling. Even the publishing platform, Medium, creates space for visual storytelling. Clear that image and text go together like PB&J.

So how can you get it done? What are the ways you can tap into your visual storytelling super power? We’ve compile four ways for you to begin using photo essays to craft your community conversation:

  • Royalty Free Images. Who doesn’t like royalty free images? Sites such as Unsplash and Pexels have become the saving grace for bloggers and web designers alike. If you have a graphic design hand, these images are perfect to “remix” with your own branding elements. Looking for create a color scheme? Type the color you want and watch the images flood. Mix the royalty free images with your own to create contrast but make sure the images aren’t too far off, then they’ll confuse your audience
  • Filters. Whether royalty free or in-house, impressing your brand aesthetic on your images creates visibility and a signature. Your audience immediately knows it’s you and engages. Don’t go overboard. For signature filters and design, VSCO is a great tool. Although considered an intermediate design app, it’s user-friendly with filters that can be adjusted to create the ideal look.
  • Elements. For the sake of this post, we’re going to call text, animation, and icons and such, elements. Sites such as Canva and Spark Adobe are perfect to add design elements to your image and create a strong brand image effect. Add shapes, animation, and text to further the narrative of your brand. Spark Adobe has image templates specific for IG Stories to add further customization.
  • Dollar stores and thrift shops. Designing on a budget? Dollar stores and thrift shops are great places to get set design elements. Doing a post on flat lays? Scoop up a few pens, notepads, glass jars, and faux flowers from the dollar store. Even places like Amazing Savings and Tuesday Morning have low cost items to add to your images. Feeling crafty, find a desk or patio set and make your designs there. But you gotta be quick! Snap real fast and make a dash.

There are many ways to create visual dialogue. Join the conversation on Instagram and share some of your favorite tips.

#takeyourspace

Ready To Start Your Podcast?

Are you ready to start a podcast? There a few things you need to think about before making any moves:

The potential of podcasting

More than 39 million or 15 percent of Americans had listened to a podcast in 2014, up from 12 percent in 2013, according to Edison Research.

The realities of podcast production

Podcasting on the surface seems pretty straightforward. Record audio, upload it to iTunes and you’re on your way. However, the reality of producing a podcast is that there are more steps than people realize.

As Chris Cerrone, co-host of The Cerrone Show, explains, “People totally underestimate the time it takes to do a consistent podcast. I didn’t have a detailed plan going into my launch for things like editing and promoting the episodes, and having that foresight would have made my life a whole lot easier.”

Bring something new to the market

The reason shows like Serial capture the imagination is that they are new and innovative. So when figuring out what your podcast could cover, you want to ensure that you’re not just knocking off what’s already out there.

If you would like to read more about the pros and cons of developing a podcast, read more of this article. If you believe you are ready to start your podcast, feel free to read this article to gather the tools you need to make it successful. If you are looking for a venue space for your podcast, =SPACE does host live podcasts.

=SPACE Announces Newark Tech Week 2017

=SPACE Announces Newark Tech Week 2017

Festivities will kick-off at The Second Annual Newark Tech Summit, in recognition of Newark’s emerging tech scene

Newark, NJ (September, 25 2017)– =SPACE, Newark’s premier co-working space and incubator, today announced official dates for Newark Tech Week, a weeklong city-wide celebration of technology and innovation, which will take place October 18 through October 22. The week will launch simultaneously with The Second Annual Newark Tech Summit at 2 Gateway Center, C&K Properties’ Class A office building, in the heart of downtown Newark.

Newark Tech Week is a true collaboration of The City of Newark, local startups, entrepreneurs, universities and incubators, meant to promote connectivity and showcase its evolution into a dynamic tech hub, as part of Newark’s greater technology renaissance.

“As home to several successful startups across varying industries and disciplines, Newark’s technology community has experienced a rapid surge of growth,” stated Medina, =SPACE CEO and Newark Tech Week co-founder. “Our overall mission is to unite those companies both during Newark Tech Week and on a long-term basis.”

“It’s no secret that Newark is quickly becoming one of the largest business destinations in the region,” added Kevin Collins, managing director at C&K Properties. “We are honored to contribute to the ongoing revitalization of Newark’s technology community by providing best-in-class working environments that are conducive to creating best-in-class technologies and innovations for generations to come.”

Newark Tech Week will feature a select number of events, comprised of engaging demonstrations and panels. Events at this year’s Newark Tech Week, include:

  •      10/18: 2nd Annual Tech Summit, 2 Gateway Center
  •      10/19: NJIT: AI Robotics Showcase, NJIT, Campus Center Atrium
  •      10/19: Ideation: The Fownders Experience, Fownders, 48 Norfolk Street
  •      10/19: Technic Basket: Technic Talk, =SPACE, 2 Gateway center
  •      10/20: Have You Met Newark, TBD
  •      10/20: Urban Cities Rise in Tech, =SPACE, 2 Gateway Center
  •      10/21: Claim It! Truck  Giveaway, 55 Park Pl
  •      10/21: Calixtech News 1st Annual Newark Gaming Expo, =SPACE, 2 Gateway Center
  •      TED & Talk at Burg, 55 Park Pl, Newark, NJ

 

For a full list of events and activities, please visit www.NewarkTechWeek.com. Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com. Vendors interested in participating in the Newark Tech Summit should email NewarkTechSummit@BeckermanPR.com.

About =SPACE

=SPACE is a premium co-working space for intellectuals, techies and entrepreneurs. =SPACE provide resources for startups, coaching for tech companies and a wealth of intellectuals to share strategies and bounce off ideas. The next wave in enterprises will be born within =SPACE’s walls. Everyone should have the opportunity to work in a dynamic space filled with entrepreneurs pushing the bar, feeding off each other and being vibrant innovators. For more information about =SPACE, visit equalspace.co.

About C&K Properties

Founded in 1989, C&K specializes in office and retail real estate investments in the New York metro area. C&K uses its local market knowledge; diverse functional expertise across construction, leasing, planning, valuation, acquisition, finance and research; an intensive, hands-on brand of asset management and the direct capital commitment of its principals to assure superior investment results. C&K also offers the same level of hands-on asset management as a third-party service provider for the benefit of non-operating, institutional owners of, or holders of security interests in, high-quality, mid-to-large scale, urban properties. For more information about C&K Properties, visit www.candkproperties.com.

HOW TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN CREDIT

Hi! Welcome back to the All About Credit Series. Previously,  we covered the basics of credit and today we are covering the next level, which is building and maintaining credit. This is the most crucial level because it is at this point where it will make or break you. If you build and maintain your credit consistently, you will not have to play the “Fix It” game. It takes less time to build your credit than it does to repair it. Lets discuss how!

For more information, click here

7 TIPS TO GET YOUR FINANCES ON TRACK

As someone who advocates for personal finance, it is still a struggle to maintain momentum. There have been times when I’ve been blindsided by bills and times when I’ve completely ignored my finances. If this has ever been you, you are not alone. The world revolves around money and it can be overwhelming to constantly think about who you owe, needing more income, whether you’ll make ends meet this month, etc. Although, we may have good intentions, our actions may not support those intentions. You may have to pause and press reset but that’s okay. Reset as many times as you need to but never stop progressing. Your finances will change as seasons in your life change, reset and adjust. To get started, here are a few tips to get your finances on track.

For more information, click here

So Smart We’re Dumb?

Man has come to a steady conclusion: we are all only as great as the sum of our parts. We understand the importance of developing ourselves and being self-sufficient, but we also aren’t too proud to lean on a friend, a partner or a piece of software. Man continues to push his or her calendar of ideas, but specifically in pairs rather than individuals; however, our dependency has transitioned to favoring artificial intelligence. In a world consumed with smart phones and complex software, the onus towards our own development seems stagnant while for technology it appears to be more dynamic than ever. With our thesis of progression dependent on technology we can only ponder the limitations of our intelligence and the limitless opportunities for artificial partners.

Recently, Ray Kurzweli–computer scientist and member of Google’s staff–sought out to synthesize language with artificial intelligence as an application to our everyday life. Within the past few months, those who use Gmail (which are many) should have already encountered Kurzweli’s brain child of “smart replies,” where human language and artificial diction meet a medium. While engaging in a chain of email replies between yourself and a companion, at the end of the email you should be met with very adequate responses. Though a simple application in our everyday life, Kuezweli succeeds in blurring the lines of language as a human concept where software can simply replicate our diction and syntax with its smart replies.

We still only seem to be tapping the surface of the software we meddle in, and with such a great focus on artificial intelligence it makes you wonder if we have come to a standstill on our own intelligence. An interdependent relationship is ideal for growth and we have affirmed our relationship with technology as the current and ultimate bond of that paradigm; however, there is a fine line between interdependency and dependency. We’ll always be smart but will technology appear to be so smart that we seem “dumb” by comparison?

For more information, click here