WOW! We made it!

I wake up the morning of the 13th on pins and needles knowing that the FedEx Small Business Grant announcement for the top 100 finalists is about to be announced!  Coffee, nail biting, more coffee – do we stand a chance with over 3100 other companies competing against us?!

Second cup of coffee and “ding” – you have mail!  The ominous title – Your Status in the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest flashes – but upon opening it’s a big CONGRATULATIONS and the Top 100 Finalist Badge is on the screen!!!  Wow, what a journey so far and we’re honored to have made it into the top 100 companies this year.  Now comes the final push.  With the announcement comes the final assignment, create a video, 4-5 minutes long, that answers the question:

“What is your passion as an individual and as a business owner, and how is that passion reflected in your business?”

Lights, camera, action on a Budget!

So begins another sprint to create a video that can convey what we are working to accomplish at BluSol.  It’s not a simple story, involving two countries, a solar panel factory, foreign trade, climate change, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and more.  But it is an exciting story and one I’m looking forward to telling. Fortunately, I’ve had some experience with video from a former employer and we’re able to deliver some fairly good productions with only a few hundred dollars worth of gear. A big shout out to Apple for the iPhone 7, an incredible tool for video, and also to the DIY wizards out there willing to share their knowledge. I found the greatest lighting kit help on Wistia – the Down and Dirty Lighting Kit video. Startups, don’t despair – you CAN produce good videos on your own, but it takes some practice. Finally, thanks to Trailhead Boise, an awesome place for startups, entrepreneurs and big thinkers. Your brick wall was a perfect backdrop!

I’m leaving for Cairo in a few more days to meet with partners, customers and commerce experts at the US Embassy to continue our mission, but need to finish this video first.   Look for it online soon and wish us all luck.  I’ll be in Egypt when they announce the winner and I hope it is good news!