Business Recovery: Rebuilding Your Business Post COVID-19

by Georgia Tech EDA University Center

Tuesday, April 27, 2021     9:30 AM – 11:25 AM EDT

Business Recovery: Rebuilding Your Business Post COVID-19

About this Event

Wondering what comes next for your business? Let’s figure it out together.

Many Georgia companies have shifted, pivoted, or adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic. And many business leaders and entrepreneurs are wondering: what comes next?

If you are interested in learning about strategies for quick adaptation to changed market conditions, reopening businesses and/or establishing new businesses or lines of business, this Lean Recovery™ training workshop is for you. Join us for a 2-hour session where a Georgia Tech team of instructors will help you explore and evaluate possible paths forward utilizing various tools and techniques including the Business Model Canvas and Customer Discovery.

During this workshop you will learn how to identify:

  • new customer segments
  • new distribution channel
  • new revenue models
  • potential new partners to expand capacity

All business are welcome!

This project is funded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant.

Many thanks to Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership for their collaboration.

I’m teaching an online class with a couple of co-workers.

If you are an entrepreneur or a business owner – please register for this free workshop.

Business Recovery: Rebuilding Your Business Post COVID-19

by Georgia Tech EDA University Center

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 9:30 AM – 11:25 AM EDT

Atlanta Invests in Ice Cream

Westside Creamery is a mobile dessert food truck that has been in business since 2013. When Debra and Llew Eastern first purchased their food truck, they were originally looking to open a gourmet popcorn and homemade bakery business. After evaluating the potential to become Atlanta’s first full-service, mobile dessert vendor, Debra and Llew purchased Westside Creamery, re-branded the business with their personal touch, and began operations under the existing Westside Creamery logo. Today, Westside Creamery bolsters an intricate menu with their variety of unique homemade pound cakes, root beer and coke floats, and additional options such as a self-serve ice cream sundae bar for wedding services.

Retired from their full-time corporate roles, and in addition to scooping up ice cream, Debra and Llew both serve as educators. Llew is an adjunct instructor for Atlanta Technical College while Debra is an Adjunct Professor at Union Institute and University (UIU) in Ohio; both teach virtually online. Priding themselves on their amazing customer service, their unique element of mobility, and their artisanal hand-dipped ice cream, Westside Creamery is constantly being catered for corporate and private events, TV/movie productions, teacher appreciations, and of course, festivals. Most notably, Westside Creamery has served at Tyler Perry Studios as well as Pinewood Studio, home to 12 of the 22 Marvel movies.

After becoming a local community favorite, Westside Creamery began looking for business consultants and guidance that could help them further solidify their brand. It was at this time that Westside Creamery partnered with the Atlanta MBDA Business Center in order to participate in Invest Atlanta. The Eastern’s quickly realized the benefits that Invest Atlanta offered to small and growing business. After attending  Invest Atlanta’s seminar, Westside Creamery quickly enhanced their business plan and learned about various opportunities for community funding.

Westside Creamery was also recently accepted as one of six out of sixty companies to participate in the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) program. They participated in their first ICIC seminar in December of 2020 where they attended lectures on building capital, effective branding, and strategic positioning. They participated in breakout sessions and received follow-up consultation for specific areas related to the food service industry. Llew and Debra also noted that they have participated in smaller workshops offered by ICIC on handling the coronavirus pandemic for small businesses in food servicing.

“The [ICIC] seminar in December was actually mind-blowing. To be chosen to participate in this resource information forum facilitated by professionals representing financial, academic, and business arenas across the nation was invaluable. I’m extremely happy to be a member of the Atlanta MBDA Centers and see all that they are doing to ensure the success of businesses such as ours.” – Debra Eastern

Growth remains on the agenda for Westside Creamery. In the near future, they plan to expand into a brick-and-mortar while continuing their mobile food presence, and Westside Creamery has partnered with Atlanta MBDA Business Center client T. Dallas Smith & Company to work with them through this process. During the summer 2020, Atlanta Eats Magazine nominated Westside Creamery amongst Atlanta’s MOST outstanding Black-owned restaurants in the mobile dessert category. They are honored to have received this prestigious recognition. As a seasonal company (March thru November), Westside Creamery’s event calendar is already filling up through midsummer. To learn more about Westside Creamery Desserts, make sure to visit their website,, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Lunch and Learn Series Spring 2021

“Manufacturing in Unstructured Environments” – the first in a series of free webinars hosted by the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI).

Gary McMurray, Ph.D.
Director and Principal Research Engineer, Georgia Tech Research Institute, and Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines

Monday, Feb. 8   -Online Seminar-
Noon – 1:00 pm Eastern Time, U.S. 

Abstract: Robotic systems have traditional been very successful in performing tasks where the inputs are well defined and known in advance. Automotive and electronic manufacturing are the classic success stories where robotic systems have demonstrated incredible value for the industry. The tasks performed by the robots almost exclusively involve the manipulation or interacting with objects whose physical properties are known a priori and the objects are rigid and dry. In the many manufacturing sectors, robotic systems must be able to work in an unstructured environment where every product is unique, deformable and even wet. This presentation will discuss various approaches to enable autonomous solutions to these problems. This will include software to minimize manual programming of robots as well systems that integrate advanced perception and control technologies to perform complex tasks like cutting, grasping, and manipulation. 

Bio: Gary McMurray is a Principal Research Engineer and Division Chief for the Intelligent Sustainable Technologies Division at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. He is also an Associate Director for the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) at Georgia Tech. IRIM serves as an umbrella under which robotics researchers, educators, and students from across campus can come together to advance the many high-powered and diverse robotics activities at Georgia Tech. The Intelligent Sustainable Technologies Division conducts innovative research to improve the human condition through transforming the agricultural and food systems, sustainable use and access to energy and water, and safety of people at work and from pandemics. Mr. McMurray’s research has focused on the development of robotic technologies and solutions for the manufacturing and agribusiness communities, including the protein and the fruit and vegetable industries. He is an expert in visual servoing – the use of vision for the real-time control of robotics, and the author of over 50-refereed technical papers and journal publications in robotics.  

Mr. McMurray serves on the advisory board for Advanced Animal Systems for the Foundation of Food and Agricultural Research. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Robotics Industry Association.

The Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI) hosts a Lunch and Learn Series each semester. This spring, sessions will be held every Monday at noon (12:00 pm EST) as live, online events. These sessions are excellent opportunities for Georgia Tech faculty, undergraduate and graduate level students and researchers, as well as a global manufacturing community to learn and share advanced manufacturing knowledge. Upcoming topics and speakers are shown below. 

Mark your calendar. All are encouraged and welcome to attend. Registration is not required.

February 15:
“Approaches for In-depth Studies of Workpiece Surface Integrity in Machining”
Dragos Axinte, Ph.D.
Professor, University of Nottingham, UK
Meeting link:

February 22:
“Resilient Manufacturing: The Georgia Manufacturing Survey 2020”
Jan Youtie, Ph.D.
Director of STIP (Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy),
Georgia Tech, EI2
Meeting Link:

March 1:
“Ultra-precision Machining of Optical Surfaces”
Senthil Kumar, Ph.D.
Professor and Co-Director of the SimTech-NUS Center for Large Format Machining, National University of Singapore
Meeting Link:

March 8:
“TBA, Additive Manufacturing (AM)”
Aaron Stebner, Ph.D.
Professor, Georgia Tech, School of Mechanical Engineering
Meeting Link:

March 15:
“TBA, Synthetic Biology and BioMade”
Douglas Friedman, Ph.D.
Executive Director of the (EBRC) Engineering Biology Research Consortium, BioMade – EBRC, University of California, Berkeley
Meeting Link:

March 22:
“Digitalization for AM — How to Leverage Digitalization in AM Operations”
Tim Bell, AM Business Manager – Head of the Center of Competency for AM, Siemens Digital Industries
Meeting Link:

March 29:
“TBA, Additive Manufacturing”
Marco Zani, Founder and CEO
Mark One
Meeting Link:

April 5:
“Monoclonal Antibody Manufacturing: Transforming Our Most Important Biologics Manufacturing Process from an Artform to a Science”
Olav Lyngberg, PhD.
Senior Scientific Fellow,
Janssen Pharmaceutical, a Johnson & Johnson Company
Meeting Link:

April 12:
“Model-Based Manufacturing and Smart Manufacturing Systems Test Bed at NIST”
Moneer Helu, Ph.D.
Group Leader, Program Manager, and Project Leader,
NIST Model-Based Enterprise, Smart Manufacturing Systems Test Bed
Meeting Link:

Weekly Lunch and Learn topics include (but are not limited to) critical challenges addressed by advanced manufacturing research; innovative manufacturing equipment, facilities, processes, or technologies; the capabilities and needs of industrial manufacturers; tech transfer and rapid prototyping for startups;  employment/workforce training opportunities for students considering a manufacturing career; and more!