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, www.westsidecreamery.com, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Construction Industry Strives to Adapt, Adopt, Reshape

Repost of article by Vicki Speed, original article can be found here https://insideunmannedsystems.com/technology-catch-up-construction-industry-strives-to-adapt-adopt-reshape/.

Drones that tie rebar. Robots that make roadway repairs. Machines that perform earthwork with little or no human intervention. These are just a sampling of the robotic solutions many believe can influence and improve construction performance and safety, as a key part of transforming how the industry works.

In its “Worldwide Robotics and Drones Spending Guide,” International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts a worldwide $128.7 billion in global spending for robotics systems and drones in 2020, with construction taking a good share of the investment lead. Construction robotics spending has a predicted 25.2 percent compound annual growth rate between 2019-2023.

Experts emphasize the need to blend transformation and technology. “We need a modern renaissance that re-defines how we think about the build process,” said John Voeller, an ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) White House Fellow who provided technical advice to Congressional policy makers and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Integration is key to this shift. “Technology is just an enabler,” said Scott Crozier, general manager of Trimble’s Civil Engineering and Construction Division. “In this time of transformation, industry professionals must understand how their business, operations and tools need to connect if we are to reverse decades-long practices and ingrained inefficiencies.”

Again, there’s reason for optimism. According to that McKinsey report, “A combination of sustainability requirements, cost pressure, skills scarcity, new materials, industrial approaches, digitalization and a new breed of player looks set to transform the value chain. Consolidation and internationalization will create the scale needed to allow higher levels of investment in digitalization, R&D and equipment, and sustainability as well as human capital.”

PAYLOADS AND POSSIBILITIES

Drone spending is anticipated to reach $1.4 billion in construction this year alone. While predominantly used to survey sites and perform volume calculations, these flying robots are capable of much more.

On the topic of UAS, White House Fellow Voeller pointed to the need for more advancements, such as 25-pound payload units that can stay aloft for 30-45 minutes, or a drone that can be partnered with a battery rack system that allows the drone to return home, swap batteries without human intervention and then return to its work.

Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology are seeking to establish the framework for developing such next-generation, technology-enhanced solutions. The lab has already used small-scale aerial drones as tools for exploring potential benefits to safety managers within construction jobsites. The CONECTechLab at the School of Building Construction is collaborating with Rotor X and OptimAero on a research program to develop a drone capable of flying five miles carrying a 100-pound load. A version of the drone was tested at Fort Benning, Georgia, earlier this year.

“We see particular value in last-mile logistics on a jobsite,” associate professor Javier Irizarry said. “Instead of forklifts or heavy equipment being used to move tools, materials and supplies, these systems equipped with autonomous navigation could provide near-real-time services.”

Repost of article by Vicki Speed, original article can be found here https://insideunmannedsystems.com/technology-catch-up-construction-industry-strives-to-adapt-adopt-reshape/. Edited to fit this space.

Don’t miss the USPTO’s Hispanic Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program

The USPTO is offering a high-level, free-to-attend, online Hispanic Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program on October 7. This is a chance for independent inventors, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and intellectual property (IP) professionals to learn about resources available to the Hispanic innovation community.  Take this opportunity to: Learn from accomplished innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and business owners about best practices. Discover helpful resources available to innovators. Get practical tips on obtaining and protecting your IP. Visit the event page on the USPTO website to view the agenda and register for the event.

Don’t miss the USPTO’s free, online Hispanic Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, a chance for independent inventors, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and intellectual property (IP) professionals to learn about resources available to the Hispanic innovation community. Register early for this special event.

Take this opportunity to:

  • Learn from accomplished innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and business owners about best practices
  • Discover helpful resources available to innovators
  • Get practical tips on obtaining and protecting your IP

Agenda (subject to changes) 

1 – 1:05 p.m. ET: Welcome

1:05 – 2 p.m. ET: Keynote Speaker Roselin Rosario-Meléndez, Ph.D, Polymer and Cosmetics Chemist Associate Principal Chemist, L’Oréal

2 – 3:15 p.m. ET: Networks and Resources Panel This panel will showcase service and support organizations for Hispanic inventors and entrepreneurs and the resources available for anyone getting started or in business.

Moderator: Eliseo Ramos-Feliciano, Supervisory Patent Examiner, USPTO

Panelists:
-Lu Cordova, Governor’s Advisor on Efficiencies and Digital Transformation at State of Colorado
-James Foy, Founder of Hispanics and Technology
-Oscar Garcia, Managing Director of Training, Manos Accelerator
-Sandi Mays, CIO, CXO and Co-Founder at Zayo Group
-Nicole Quiroga, President and CEO, Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

3:15 – 4 p.m. ET: USPTO Resource Overview This presentation will focus on free USPTO services and support for inventors, entrepreneurs, and small business owners

Presenters:
-Sean Wilkerson, Innovation Development Program Manager, Office of Innovation Outreach, USPTO
-Matthew Martin, Pro Bono Assistant Coordinator, USPTO

For more information, or to ask questions about the program, email InnovationOutreach@USPTO.gov