She’s smart, humorous and in with business.
And she gave some hope to entrepreneurs in the Illinois Valley while speaking at a luncheon event at Deer Park Country Club in Oglesby Thursday.
Who is she? Her name is Jill Salzman.
She came from the suburbs of Chicago and has spent a lot of time on both coasts.
She graduated from Brown University and law school from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles.
She calls herself a mom, serial entrepreneur, a sassy speaker and a chocolate lover — amongst other notable titles.
Why was she in the IIllinois Valley? The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Illinois Valley Community College hosted an event at the Deer Park Country Club to increase awareness of the entrepreneurial spirit that exists within the Illinois Valley.
An exciting announcement was made at the luncheon by the director of SBDC, Bev Malooley. The beginning stages are in the works to bring an entrepreneurial-friendly space to the Illinois Valley.
The space, in business language, is called a “business incubator.” Business incubators focus primarily on entrepreneurs’ spirit and getting start-up businesses to hit the ground running.
“Let’s bring them out there and let people know they are there,” said Malooley about local entrepreneurs.
SBDC and the up-and-coming Starved Rock Startups group hope the idea of such a space may become reality.
She also added the existence of a space, such as a business incubator in the Illinois Valley, could bring a lot of opportunity to business-oriented people.
“It’s all about opportunity when you’re talking entrepreneurial,” Malooley said.
Salzman said incubators allow entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and interests to come together to mingle and “co-work”.
She credits 1871, Chicago’s incubator hub for digital start-ups, for her ongoing creative entrepreneurial side.
“Co-working is really beneficial for everyone,” Salzman said.
Why should you believe her? She’s living proof.
Proof for what? She’s not only a mom of two young kids, she’s a successful business entrepreneur who started up and manages three entrepreneurial ventures.
Her first venture was Paperwork Media, LLC., a music management firm. Then, she went on to create The Bumble Brand, LLC, selling audible ankle-wear (anklets with bells on them) for babies and eventually adults.
In 2011 she sold The Bumble Brand and launched The Founding Moms, connecting mom entrepreneurs around the globe to one community.
After using www.meetups.com to bring interest to the group, Salzman went further to create The Founding Moms.
Salzman wrote the following in the “About Us” section of The Founding Mom’s website, “Unlike many formal, stiff and expensive women’s-or-business-and-or-entrepreneurial groups that I’ve attended, we’re real women making a difference and having fun doing it. We dress casually. We bring our noisemakers (babies, toddlers, kids) and discuss the ultimate balancing act.”
Currently the group has members all over the globe.
For several years Salzman worked from home juggling her two kids and two companies (when she still ran The Bumble Brand) before she applied and was accepted to be a tenant at 1871. 1871 is a 50,000-square- foot incubator located on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.
“As you can see, I’ve been wildly productive in this space,” Salzman said.
It’s a tech-savvy, business-friendly, co-working environment.
“It feels like college to be honest,” joked Salzman. “For me, co-working is all about community.”
Lauren Blough can be reached at (815)220-6931 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @NT_SpringValley.