Startup Grind is a modern and encouraging way for local entrepreneurs to connect with one another and pitch business ideas. Young and old mingled at a recent workshop hosted by its Bloemfontein chapter when entrepreneurs in the creative industry were educated about balancing their art form and business in order to become successful.
The local chapter is a part of twenty in the country and numerous others around the globe. “It is a global networking platform which is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs. It has been in existence for several years and originated from Silicon Valley,” said Startup Grind Bloemfontein’s Masha Gubkina.
Bloemfontein born and bred artist, David Griessel, spoke to a room full of businessmen and -women at Gallery on Leviseur about running his own illustration business. “I have been aware of Startup Grind for a while. I saw it on social media and I contacted them to find out if it would be interesting to have the business of art explained. It is not something that is explained a lot,” said Griessel.
Griessel gave tips on monetising art work, social media management as well as balancing being an artist and business person. “It is a tight rope to walk and it is just one that I had to learn from necessity because even as an artist you need to pay the rent,” stated Griessel. He also highlighted the importance for artists to separate their creative process and the business aspect of the work. “Keep the two apart. That is the best way I have learned to do it. Certain parts of my day I devote purely towards business, usually the mornings, and then my creative time is at night,” he explained.
The workshop was attended by established as well as budding entrepreneurs across different industries. Guesthouse owner, Svetlana Tarnanis, said that as a long-time lover of Griessel’s art, she enjoyed the workshop. “I was pleasantly surprised to meet this wonderful young man full of energy and inspiration. It was a good time, I really enjoyed it. I learned that you must not be scared when you want to start something. I am happy to see all these young people not being scared to ask questions and putting themselves out there,” she said. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele