Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July Monthly Entrepreneurship Social

Please join the Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center, the University Technology Park at IIT, and Wexford Science + Technology for their monthly networking event on Thursday, July 31st!

The monthly social brings together the entrepreneurship community both within IIT and the greater Chicagoland area and provides them with the opportunity to network and share experiences with fellow entrepreneurs. Whether you are currently an entrepreneur or are considering starting a business, this event can help you make the connections you need to get your new venture started or grow your existing business. Come explore what the Knapp Center, University Tech Park, Wexford and IIT have to offer!Refreshments will be served.

There is absolutely no charge for this event, but RSVPs are requested and should be made to keplinger@iit.edu.
WHEN: 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. July 31, 2008T
WHERE: Technology Business Center AtriumUniversity Technology Park at IIT, 3440 South Dearborn, Chicago IL

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Internet networking

Everyone should be aware of the fact that networking not onloy happens face-to-face but on-line too. Even if you don't do any on-line networking, chances are your prospective employer does and you have to be ready to present you best "on-linw image". Here is an interesting article form ComputerWorld.com:

"Perform an Internet search for your name. You might be surprised by what you find - an offensive comment, a negative blog post about a previous employer, or even unflattering pictures taken at a party. If you find such material, contact the Web site's owner or webmaster and ask to have the content removed.

If you find that you can't have the negative content removed, make sure you're prepared to address the matter if an interviewer brings it up. In most cases, employers will understand as long as you're honest. The best way to limit the effect of any negative material about you is to make sure it's counterbalanced by a substantial amount of positive, professional information.

Consider launching a polished website or blog related to your career. Feature your accomplishments, skills and certifications, and link to any professional associations you belong to. Controlling your online image doesn't mean blotting out any evidence of individuality or creativity. Employers know that you have a life outside of work and that a lot of online information should be taken with a grain of salt. But as more and more companies turn to the Web to learn about their potential hires, it makes sense to control what information they may find. "

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Networking dinner

The event below will be of interest to the international crowd, especially if you are in business. Also it is a great opportunity to get to know these important Chicago organizations that hold a lot of interesting events: International Trade Association and Swiss-American Business Council.

with the Swiss – American Business Council
Invite you to a dinner program:

Presentations by:
Angie Kappel
Vice President, Foreign Exchange

Nicholas Savramis
Senior Vice President, Currency Risk Mgmt.
Charter One Bank

The U.S. dollar lost 15% of its value against major currencies over the course of last year.
Our experts will discuss the recent movements of the U.S. dollar and provide an outlook
for importers and exporters to plan for currency movements through the balance of 2008.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008
9421 West Higgins Road, Rosemont, IL
5:30 p.m. – Registration
6:00 p.m. – Program
7:00 p.m. – Dinner

ITA/GC and SABC members and their guests - $40; Non-members - $50

Please Make Your Reservations Early: Contact the ITA/GC by 4:00 p.m., Friday, July 18
Tel: 773/725-1106 rsvp@itagc.org Fax: 773/725-2294

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Search Engine Optimization

So there you are ready to implement "my own business" dream in the Land of Opportunity. Whatever that business might be you will get nowhere if you don't have Internet presence. Internet can give you limitless opportunities if you know where to find them. For that you need to address 2 issues:
1. Internet marketing strategy for your company
2. Your website SEO (search engine optimization)

Getting an MBA in Marketing, successfully running my own 2 businesses, thorough research and subsequent work with my clients and NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) members where I sit on the Advisory Board as a Marketing advisor made me an expert in Internet Marketing and if you ever need help on that side of the business my company will be very glad to assist you: http://www.emadvice.com/marketingtools.html

But the SEO dilemma was never really solved for me until yesterday. "SEO" is now a buzz word and plenty of companies claim to be the best in the field. Unfortunately many of them don't go beyond the claim. I read many articles about SEO scam where you pay a lot of money but don't get real results or the methods used by the SEO company are not always ethical.

However, yesterday I found a company that really stood out of the crowd. They are simply called The Search Engine Guys http://www.thesearchengineguys.com/ I don't normally write about for-profit companies but I believe this is the one useful resource all small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs should know about.

What did I like about them? First of all, their principles and exclusive partnership policy: they work only with one client per practice area, per geographic area, i.e. they won't work for your competitors. Second of all, they were the first company ever that didn't tell me: "We can do it, you just pay". They honestly said that the service I wanted would be too expensive and having analysed my business they saw it would be hard for me to bring enough income to make a profit. Instead of ripping me off they game me some great free advice on what I can do instead of investing money in the service I thought I should get. They could have landed a great project but they were concerned about my budget, not theirs. How often do you see that?

Starting a new business is a stressful matter. It requires substantial investment and along the way you will have to rely on certain partners who will work together with you: your suppliers, your legal advisors, your business consultant. You'll need to find the ones you trust and I am glad I could share with you the information about one of such trustworthy partners.

P.S. The Search Engine Guys is a Austin based company but they do have an office in Chicago. Here are the contact details:
Graham Smith
Partner, Web Strategist
The Search Engine Guys, LLC
312.480.5840 direct
800.267.1704 office
312.896.1443 fax

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Order "The Legal Alien's Guide" at wholesale prices on my website

Great news!!!

Now you can buy "The Legal Alien's Guide. Building a Career and Life in Chicago, Illinois" wholesale on my website: http://www.legalaliensguide.com/wholesale ! Before this day wholesale of the guide was only done through Ingram Booksellers, that is if you had an account with them. Now even if you don't have account with Ingram you can enjoy wholesale prices on my website if you need to buy 9 books or more for your organization or book store:

20% discount if you order 9 - 49 books
30% discount if you order 50 - 99 books
If you want to order 100 or more copies, please, contact me at info@emadvice.com for a VERY SPECIAL discount!

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Looking for partnership

It's been 8 months since "The Legal Alien's Guide" has been published and those people who had a chance to read the book find it extremely useful (you can read comments and reviews on my website http://www.legalaliensguide.com ) The book has won a number of awards and support of the local Chicago government however it has been an up-hill battle for me because I am a "one person show": I self-published the book, I do the marketing & PR and it's been very difficult to reach out to wider audience. It is a shame because this guide could really help so many people!

I am looking now to partner with organizations who work with immigrants and people relocating to Chicago. If you represent such an organization or know of one that might be interested, please, send me an e-mail at info@emadvice.com

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008


In summer in Chicago there are less business related activities but much more opportunities for social interaction. The best way to meet people if you are new in town is to attend numerous FREE outdoor events, like concerts and festivals. My personal favourite is Chicago SummerDance which is going on from June 12 to August 24 this year.

This summer the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park becomes a unique outdoor urban dance space – the largest of its kind in the United States. Locals and visitors dance to the sounds of 43 top notch bands playing everything from swing, salsa and afrobeat to reggae, funk and klezmer, all on one huge dance floor. This year’s festival will feature an even wider range of music and dance styles than ever before, including polka, country, Argentine tango and zydeco.

Chicago SummerDance is an eleven-week festival featuring one-hour dance lessons by professional instructors, followed by two hours of live music and dancing on a 4,600 square foot open-air dance floor in the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, 601 S. Michigan Ave. SummerDance events occur every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, 6 to 9:30 pm, and Sunday afternoon, 4 to 7 pm, weather-permitting. Chicago SummerDance is formatted into themes featuring world music ensembles on Thursdays; “popular nights” including jazz, Latin, country and funk on Fridays and Saturdays; and ballroom/big band on Sundays.

For more information, call the Chicago SummerDance Hotline at 312.742.4007 or visit http://www.chicagosummerdance.org/

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