Friday, December 12, 2014

#ThankYouMiami for Our Growing Start-Up Scene - Part 4: Ethan and Jonathan Denney

Welcome to Part 4 of our 4-part series, "#ThankYouMiami for our Growing Start-Up Scene", where we recount our conversations with Miami entrepreneurs about what Miami is doing right for its entrepreneurial movement, where there is room for improvement, and why they each say #ThankYouMiami. Today we share with you a summary of our interview with Ethan and Jonathan Denney of Webpresario. Access the rest of the series here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

The Start-Up
Ethan and Jonathan Denney are the co-founders of Webpresario, a boutique digital marketing agency that specializes in generating more leads for small and medium businesses using conversion-focused web design and other data-driven marketing tools. Running a business is second nature to these brothers who grew up involved in a company started by their family. When the company scaled up, Ethan and Jonathan moved to New York and were exposed to the local entrepreneurial movement. The New York start-up scene opened their eyes to a world of possibilities, but a more laidback culture and an existing network of family and friends drew them back to our beautiful city where, in June 2012, they launched Webpresario.

The Miami Benefits and Challenges
The Denney brothers praise Miami for celebrating entrepreneurship. The Miami start-up scene is young so everything seems new and exciting, unlike New York where novel ideas no longer seem as novel. Despite offering a more experienced crowd than Miami, New York can be a discouraging place for new entrepreneurs because, in Ethan and Jonathan's opinion, the scene tends to be more dismissive. As the Miami scene grows, they encourage it to continue being receptive to new ideas and encouraging innovation because "entrepreneurship is about the journey, the team, the talent rather than a particular idea."

Ethan and Jonathan are Miami people that love the adventurous and exciting lifestyle the city offers. Like us, they are particularly fans of the fact that life does not slow down at 9 p.m. like in other cities. They also like that the start-up scene is still growing so it is easier for entrepreneurs to meet key people (i.e., investors, mentors) and to receive community support. However, they acknowledge that meeting talent here is difficult because they have not found an avenue that connects them all. Their secret is to work at places where the coffee and internet are great, such as Pasion Del Cielo, because they become meeting points for entrepreneurs. Pasion Del Cielo is actually where they connected with Zach Grossman from EnerBee, the subject of yesterday's interview.

Ethan and Jonathan would like to see more and varied entrepreneurial events so they can connect with new talent. Past events have drawn many of the same players, which has allowed them to form long-standing relationships but has limited their ability to make new ones. They would like the scene to focus on drawing talent not attracted by those events. Additionally, they recommend attracting individuals that are looking to enter the scene or the workforce to offer growing businesses an opportunity to meet new talent they can employ.

The #ThankYouMiami Statement
Ethan and Jonathan Denney have moved many times, but they always return to the city they call home base: Miami. So, for what are these charismatic and hard-working locals grateful? Jonathan says, "#ThankYouMiami for the awesome weather because it has a positive impact on community morale and ultimately on businesses." Ethan says, "#ThankYouMiami for providing a great city to live in and work in, to play hard and work hard."

Are you a part of the Miami entrepreneurial movement? What do you think Miami is doing right to support its future growth? Where do you see room for improvement? Which local entrepreneurs would you like to see give their opinion on this subject? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

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