Getting Creative: Improv4 Entrepreneurs with Mary Lemmer

Recently, the AlphaLab and AlphaLab Gear teams gathered in our East Liberty space to discover their thespian side. What do entrepreneurs and entertainers have in common you ask? According to Mary Lemmer, “successful entrepreneurs embody similar skills, including: effective communication, focus, teamwork, listening, confidence, creativity, and discipline.”

As an entrepreneur herself, working for several years at an early stage venture capital firm, and having trained intensively at famed improvisational program, The Second City, Mary brings a unique expertise that draws on the intersection of these fields.

Mary Lemmer:  Improv4 Entrepreneurs workshop included improv exercises and techniques to help entrepreneurs build skills while having a blast! Some of the improv exercises included improv classics “Zip Zap Zop,” “I am a Tree,” “One Word Story,” and “3 Things” in addition to exercises developed specifically for entrepreneurs, like “One Word Pitch,” “My Company, Your Company,” and “Pitch Mirroring.”

Overall the workshop emphasized the key lessons:
Think Steve (Steve Jobs and Steve Carell).
How can you learn from improv to be a better entrepreneur?
   Be Memorable.
How do you simplify your message so it’s clear & compelling enough to garner interest quickly?
   Tell Stories. Tell the Same Simple Stories.
How to ditch the pitch & tell an investable story?
   Be Present. Putting yourself in the present improves your personal story & investor presentation.

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The result: Our teams of engineers, computer scientists, and business developers were engaged, had fun, and walked away with actionable advice. Despite the high-tech world we operate in, it is supremely difficult to run a company from behind a screen!

Many thanks to Mary for joining us, and to our founders who were quick to take on the challenge (who may or may not know we posted this silly video)!

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