Tuesday night, some 100 members of the Crown Heights community gathered in Nosson’s Shul for the second meeting of the Crown Heights Young Entrepreneurs (CHYE) program. The evening’s theme, ‘Start It Up,’ focused on encouraging a startup ethic in Crown Heights Youth. Attendees were able to network with experienced businessmen and share ideas while enjoying catered food.
The highlight of the evening was an address by Zalmi Duchman, CEO and founder of The Fresh Diet, recently named by Forbes as the 14th most promising company in the country. Duchman spoke to the crowd about his own personal foray into the world of startups at a young age. By stressing that would-be entrepreneurs transform their “ideas & passions” into a plan, Duchman hopes to see a fruitful future for the many young entrepreneurs who attended.
Yossi Apflebaum, CEO & Co-Founder of Ajax Union, an online marketing company, was impressed by the event. “Who you know and the relationships you establish can be essential to progressing in the business world,” Apflebaum said. “This initiative presents an amazing opportunity for members of our community to network with each other taking their projects and visions to the next level.”
After a Q & A session with Duchman, attendees networked with a group of 14 businessmen from the community who shared their own unique experiences and advice.
Nancy Carin, Executive Director of BOC Network, a microenterprise and small business development organization, was equally impressed with the evening, especially the “focused energy” in the room. “You can see how much work people in this community are putting into their businesses,” notes Carin.
As the evening drew to a close, participants left with the contacts and inspiration needed to pursue their goals. According to J.J. Hellinger, one of the CHYE attendees, the idea of starting his own business “has taken its first steps from a dream to a reality.”
CHYE is a project of Rabbi Yehoshua Werde and was launched with the goal of empowering the young professionals of Crown Heights with entrepreneurial excellence as they take their visions to the next level.