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Conversations with Manny Larcher

Today we’d like to introduce you to Manny Larcher.

Hi Manny, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
In 2017, I managed a free coworking office, Wave Innovation Center, founded by Michael Redd and Danny Ortiz, also the founders of the nonprofit, The Wave.

The Wave Innovation Center, located within a mile of Downtown Columbus and the Ohio State University, was a free coworking office that welcomed entrepreneurs, community leaders, political figures, professional athletes, students, musicians, just an eclectic and upbeat assemblage. During this time, Collaborate and Elevate was created, an in-person event to connect others to the specific and unique challenges they happened to be facing. We held over 20 free events in the following months at numerous locations, with over 700 attendees, connecting others to jobs, advice, and investment at no charge. I co-founded Stopwatch Creative with Lenny Burkett in 2017, a firm that provides marketing and technology design and development support to brands, so it was never an intention to monetize until the unimaginable happened, COVID.

We halted all our events when the pandemic started. At the same time, we received a record amount of requests for support. We listened to the community, and around the end of March of 2020, we transitioned to virtual events and quietly launched an affordable plan to help those who wanted more hands-on support.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I believe that in life, you don’t fail; you learn. So I take on challenges as opportunities to grow and become better. For example, we’ve had to rebuild our entire tech stack as we grew past 50 paid members because the website would crash. We also had to listen deeply to our customers, 85% of whom are business owners, and 10% want to be someday, rolling out new plans to support increased demands while staying true to our focus.

These are some of the challenges we are encountering while staying true to the Collaborate and Elevate vision of delivering a seamless and efficient product.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I enjoy solving complex problems, working with teams, and helping them accomplish their goals. I’m a Business student with a Marketing focus, who grew up on the internet (I had a Xanga, AIM, and Myspace account), and always wanted to be an artist (or professional athlete, but that didn’t work out).

I genuinely want to create and improve the world. However, my experience running digital campaigns for brands for over a decade now has shown me that digital advertising is fractured, and there needs to be a tool to add value. This need became alarming when the pandemic started, which is why the collaborateandelevate.com plans were launched.

Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
I understand that entrepreneurship can be risky and, honestly, even scary at times. I try to focus on the things I can control and create from the feeling of joy. I’ve been blessed to have the support from family and friends who have been crucial in my journey. I’m more focused on the impact of how I use my time, paying it forward to others who support the ideas shared to help further the growth of the vision.

Pricing:

  • Collaborate and Elevate memberships start under $5 month!

Contact Info:

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