Brandee Cooke shares how 100K Ideas' video series helps entrepreneurs tell their story

FLINT, Michigan — Dedicated to cultivating a thriving space of innovation, Brandee Cooke of 100K Ideas has dedicated much of her professional career to helping innovators soar.

As 100K’s Executive Director, Cooke is the mastermind behind all things strategic planning, program development, and designing impact practices to individually service each client and expand their entrepreneurial vision.

Through 100K’s goal to help innovators shift from “napkin-sketch to market,” the nonprofit provides mentorship and real-world experience to aspiring entrepreneurs seeking guidance for product development, customer analysis, and market strategizing.

100K’s resources directly support clients by providing a strong network of support for economic and workforce development as a driver of empowerment in Flint and for innovators everywhere. The impact of their support is the driving force for 100K’s Client Storytelling series.

This series showcases the local impact of the 100K program by allowing previous clients to showcase their success to the community. Flintside managed to speak to Brandee Cooke about the launch of the Client Storytelling series and the impact 100K hopes to achieve in the near future.

Flintside: What inspired 100K Ideas to launch the new Client Storytelling series?

Brandee Cooke: "We are fortunate to have worked with so many talented innovators in our community and we are asked all the time, "who have you worked with?" After years of this, we realized the best people to tell these stories are the innovators themselves. As a result, we created a platform where they can share who they are and what their journey has been like. No two people's journeys are exactly alike, but we do know these stories have the potential to positively impact those looking to embark on their own entrepreneurial journeys."

Flintside: What makes this Client Storytelling component of 100K Ideas special?

B. Cooke: "The fact that the innovator is telling their own story. For many participants, this is the first time they have had the opportunity to reflect on their journey to starting their own business. It's amazing to watch and we get to show them in action."

Flintside: What impact does the 100K Ideas team seek to have on entrepreneurs and aspiring innovators?

B. Cooke: "Our goal is to just encourage people to try. Try to design their products, try to sell their services, try to launch their business. We know the first step is the most difficult to take, and so we hope that our work shows that others have had the same hesitations but they pushed past the doubt. Entrepreneurship is not just for certain people, it is possible for anyone who has the desire to start their own business."

Flintside: How can interested entrepreneurs get involved with 100K Ideas?

B. Cooke: "We have a few ways! We are always looking for people to join our Circle of Friends. If you are an expert in a field and have some knowledge that can help support a new set of entrepreneurs, please let us know. We also look for volunteers to support our events throughout the year. Lastly, we always welcome donations to support our work. Every dollar donated helps to directly support our work with local innovators."

Flintside: What would you like the community to know about the program? Is this initiative something the Flint community can help support, if so how?

B. Cooke: "I want the community to know that these are the stories of their community members. These are people who have set up right here in Flint and are working every day to make their business successful. They are amazing stories that hopefully encourage someone who may be on the fence about getting started. The Flint community can support [us] by simply watching the videos! We love receiving feedback and hearing what people enjoy or maybe didn't enjoy. We're constantly evolving and we use that feedback to make the platform better."

To learn more about 100K Ideas, visit: 100kideas.org and watch previous episodes of the Client Storytelling series on 100K Ideas' YouTube channel.

Read more articles by Brianna Nargiso.