“How to Use Technology to Market Your Business” Panel Highlights

“How to Use Technology to Market Your Business” Panel Highlights

On April 20, we were proud to welcome over 120 attendees to our 2012 Outstanding Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards. This year’s awardees were Guadalupe Galicia, winner of the Boot Strap Entrepreneur Award; Hui Ping Liu, winner of the New York Job Creator Award;  and Dr. Leonid Isakov, winner of the New Beginning Award.

I was particularly honored that Fatima Shama, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s office of Immigrant Affairs joined us to present the awards.

BCNA Panel

Rounding out the event was a panel discussion on “How to Use Technology to Market Your Business,” expertly led by Chuck Roberts of Durobi LLC and Foulis Peacock of Immpreneur.com.

Here are some of the highlights from that conversation:

Adam Sobel — chef/owner of The Cinnamon Snail, the country’s first organic vegan food truck – described how using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can help niche businesses find their specific market. “Because we’re vegan, people follow us on social media because they have an ethical interest in what we do,” he explained.  “We can measure the success of our social media efforts directly by how many customers we have each day.”

Deepti Sharma Kapur, founder of foodtoeat.com, agreed, adding, “Technology helps you influence and communicate. You can use social media platforms, for instance, to connect with people that you normally would never think of being connected to. Social media helps you spread the news about your company and open your door to the public.”

Foulis Peacock

Foulis Peacock stressed that social media is a tool that must support an overall marketing strategy. He cited the example of Belgian entrepreneur Thomas DeGeest, creator of the new York food truck Wafels & Dinges, created a following and excitement about his business in advance by starting a blog and writing an imaginary tale about being the “Special Envoy of Waffles” from the Belgian Ministry of Culinary Affairs.

And finally Sean Basinski, Executive Director of the Street Vendor Project, addressed the technology gap that affects many street vendors in particular noting, “Many street vendors don’t use Facebook, Twitter, or email. Some vendors don’t even know how to turn on a computer.”


Based on the exciting discussion and feedback we got, we are planning to meet with some of our panelists to continue working with them to create a program that addresses that gap because technology has helped to level the playing field for small businesses trying to build an audience without a big marketing budget. In fact, if a smart phone is used effectively, it is sometimes all the technology a small business needs to get started.

And we are very pleased to announce that BCNA will use a grant from Citibank to fund our “Technology to Boost your Bottom Line” Program, which will include hands-on workshops and training for our clients and interested small business owners.

As Karen Seiger, owner of Sirene Media and author of “Markets of New York” said, it’s important to just “jump in and learn.” She also contributed a very practical tip for small business owners who want to get started using web and social media tools, saying, “Practice by using social media platforms on a personal basis first, before starting to use them professionally.”

At BCNA we have a strong commitment to sharing expertise with our clients and we hope to see everyone again next year for the 2013 Outstanding Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards, to share their new and ongoing successes!

To see more photos from the event, please click here.