Q & A with Medici MediaSpace
Less than three years ago, Josh Levey was the CEO of an investment portfolio company, a technology fulfillment company and an operational marketing company which together had combined revenues of close to $70 million. Computime Equity Ventures invested in high-growth companies that all had the common need of capital primarily used for sales and marketing services. However due to a strained partnership with a manufacturer, CEV suffered the consequences and Levey was forced to downsize. But he kept his investments in an online media hub and a small media production company__ the tools every business, small and large, needs in today’s world. Together with Brian Lunt, he launched Medici MediaSpace, a coworking space in Overland that provides collaborative business opportunities for members to learn, share resources and make money. With Lunt’s background in banking, the two were a perfect business match.
What is the purpose of Medici MediaSpace?
Levey: Medici MediSpace was created to serve three main goals: 1) Provide a collaborative work environment, not just suited for startups, filled with conference rooms, office suites, cubicles, and more. 2) To provide a diverse membership community committed to strategize, solve business problems and grow businesses with an abundance mindset. 3) To be a place for media projects and personnel to get their video, audio, and general projects accomplished in a broadcast ready media equipped studio facility.
Aside from capital, what do you see small businesses needing the most help with and what advice would you have for investors?
Levey: The world of start-ups and other investment opportunities is filled with strong personalities and egos on both sides of the table. Coupled with the fact that there are more failures than successes, most business owners need to find balance between patience and excessive pivoting, being strong willed and stubborn, and being resilient versus stoic__all while maintaining a laser focus on what they do the best. It is very difficult for an entrepreneur to separate from the entity itself, often times feeling indispensable. The investor has the challenge of recognizing the difference between investing in an entity as well as a team.
You created your own challenge to showcase the top 50 positive weekly stories about St. Louis alongside ideas for new businesses and economic development for the city: TOP50STL.com. With all the social media options of networking, what are some of the most successful ways to make connections that lead to actual partnerships and business transactions?
Lunt: The digital online experience can be virtual, but a good recommendation is to try and integrate with a live phone conversation or a face-to-face meeting. Networking groups and chambers of commerce meetings help bring out our extraverted side, and community involvement like coaching youth sports, PTO / School Boards, and volunteering for nonprofits helps to provide an alternative playing field for making connections and developing partnerships.
How important is it for businesses to “be live” 24/7 with the ever-present demand to always exist online?
Levey: Whether it is B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business to consumer), customer service is becoming a lost art in today’s business. Even with an entire practice dedicated to “customer success” (Thanks Jim Eberlin), businesses continue to fail because they lack a customer centric business approach. The 24/7 online presence is one piece to the customer experience, but what is even more important is for a thorough follow up throughout the relationship with the customer.