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Phoenix Business Journal: Entrepreneur brings Master Class to Phoenix

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Speaker, author and serial entrepreneur Peter Shankman is teaching a business master class in Phoenix to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

His ShankMinds classes have been taught across the country for a year now, including in New York, Chicago and Miami.

“I was just amazed how many people I found who were similar to me and working on their own,” said Shankman, who calls himself an “agnostic” entrepreneur.

Shankman decided to bring his daylong class to Phoenix for the first time Oct. 28 after enough people told him he needed to offer it in the “Silicon Desert.” (He is a proponent of the state, visiting often to skydive in Eloy.)

“There are lots of tech opportunities here, and I have a lot of friends who have left New York City to move here (to Phoenix),” Shankman told me by phone. “It’s a beautiful place and it seems to foster business growth very well in terms of small business.”

The class will be limited to 30 people and include breakout sessions where entrepreneurs can talk about and get feedback and analysis about their company, unique selling proposition and goals.

The event also is meant to be a networking event with local entrepreneurs, as well as an offer to join the ShankMinds Alumni Group, a trusted network of people to use as a resource after the event. Shankman said each person will make up to 50 new connections.

“It’s for entrepreneurs who have a budding idea or they’ve just started,” said Shankman, adding he likes to work with businesses who have made no more than $500,000 in revenue.

All attendees will receive a document with all the notes of all the participating companies’ ideas.

“You can read notes from others and get ideas as well,” Shankman said. “The goal is to break through with new ideas, learn best practices and learn how to grow your revenue.”

Shankman founded the popular tool for journalists, HARO (Help a Reporter Out), in 2007, and then sold it to Vocus in 2010. He also started Geek Factory, a public relations firms that caters to startups and dot-com companies, and then sold the clients and staff to a larger agency.

He has written three books, and has a fourth book coming out in January, “Zombie Loyalists.” The new book is about customer service, marketing and how amazing customer service will drive the economy of tomorrow, Shankman said.

Although Shankman is based in New York, he spends most of his time on the road traveling the world to speak and host events about entrepreneurship. He has been giving keynote speeches for about 10 years now.

“I love working with startups and people who support startups,” said Shankman, who was introduced to Phoenix-based Seed Spot for the event. “ShankMinds is really built for small businesses. If nothing else it’s my time to share with them they are not alone. It can be scary as heck.”

Event details:

When: 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 28

Where: Seed Spot, 2828 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

What: A business master class led by serial entrepreneur Peter Shankman, focused on growing business and increasing revenue

Cost:$499, includes breakfast and lunch and a document with notes from the day


Lauren McDanell

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