Coal Creative’s new project aims to introduce area students to entrepreneurs
WILKES-BARRE — There’s a new space downtown and its first project aims to give local college students an edge through hands-on experience and direct access to area entrepreneurs.
Wilkes-Barre’s creative marketing company, Coal Creative, is launching The DIY Studio Entrepreneurship Series LIVE, and founder Gerard Durling has invited budding business owners to three events that will stream live on Facebook for three consecutive Thursdays, starting 7 p.m. Nov. 3.
“I’m going to invite any area college students I can to come to the room and be a part of it, so they have the opportunity to talk to local entrepreneurs,” Durling said. “Part of what I wanted to do was introduce them to younger entrepreneurs that are just out of school or in their mid-20s or 30s and see people that are in their age demographic doing stuff and being active.”
Durling said audiences can expect to hear stories behind guests’ entrepreneurial projects, take part in a Q&A session and compete in themed games. Owners of Plains Township board game cafe The Game Chateau will appear on the program, as well as the inventors of the Kraken One winch, which allows users to snowboard or wakeboard in a variety of environments. The show’s first guests, Tunefly creators Samuel O’Connell, Elizabeth Klein, and Matthew Simoncavage, will appear Nov. 3.
Klein thinks the production is important for young entrepreneurs and that it’s worthwhile to showcase the area’s success stories.
“You hear kids say that they think they need to get out of the area to get a job or create a business,” Klein said. “We’re an app, we could have founded this in the middle of Nebraska. If you’re starting something that’s remote, like an online business, it’s really irrelevant where you’re starting. There’s as much opportunity here as there is in Silicon Valley. There’s improvements to make to the area, which is an opportunity in and of itself.”
Coal Creative’s live broadcasts aim to give local students an opportunity to improve themselves. Durling plans to use his company’s interns to run the show behind the scenes, but said he will make an effort to include any local college student who is interested in live broadcasting, production, marketing and other specialties that work together to make a new media project successful.
Misericordia University communications student Ron Williams currently serves as an intern with Coal Creative. The weekly live broadcasts will be the latest in his list of projects undertaken with Durling.
“He runs a small shop, so you kind of get to be involved in all the different things,” Williams said. “One week we’re live streaming a wrestling event in Philadelphia, the next week we’re interviewing people covering the BlogCon, another week we’re doing an event at the chamber. It’s kind of like bouncing around. You get to do a bunch of different elements of things.”
After the event’s initial three-week run, Durling plans to take a hiatus over the Thanksgiving holiday and evaluate the project. He hopes to get back on a regular event schedule after college’s return from winter break.
“We’re going to try to do as many types of events like this because it’s about getting more people and more eyes on what we’re doing in this space,” Durling said. “We want people to take advantage of what we have out here and start helping the area learn more about all these different businesses that are here — and the opportunities that are here to grow with them.”
For more information or to get involved, contact Durling at [email protected].
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts
IF YOU GO
What: The DIY Studio Entrepreneurship Series LIVE
Where: Coal Creative at the Luzerne Bank Building
When: 7 p.m., Thursdays in November
More info: Email [email protected]