Where Are They Now? Follow Up with InspireCorps
In June 2016, Innovation Destination Hartford spoke with InspireCorps Chief Innovation Officer Allison Holzer about launching a startup and the meaning of “sustainable inspiration” (read: Startup Focuses on Sustainable Inspiration and Leadership Agility).
In August 2017, IDH connected with InspireCorps Chief Inspiration Officer Jen Grace Baron, who was a featured speaker at a MetroHartford Alliance Rising Star Breakfast “Inspirational Leadership.”
IDH checked in with the InspireCorps entrepreneurial team to find out what’s new.
INNOVATION DESTINATION HARTFORD: Give us an update.
INSPIRECORPS: Several exciting things have happened at InspireCorps since our original feature in Innovation Destination Hartford.
First, we were certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as a women-owned business and are excited about working with companies in the future that value this recognition.
Second, we’ve expanded our company by hiring three employees and are moving into our first office space at the District New Haven in April 2018. We’re excited about this move because the space is specifically designed for startups to connect and collaborate with one another in their open community spaces. This move introduces great possibilities of working with more New Haven-based startups and companies we’ll meet in this space.
Third, we’re close to securing a publisher for our book: Inspire: Generate Extraordinary Results Through Sustainable Inspiration to be published in 2019. For this book, we interviewed nearly 100 leaders across industries and backgrounds about how they spark and sustain inspiration to be successful in their work.
IDH: Have you experienced any major pivots since we featured your story?
INSPIRECORPS: One major pivot we’ve experienced is a business strategy shift across our different offerings. For the last four years, we focused on pursuing leadership and team development projects with in-tact teams in mid- to large-size companies, hospitals, and higher education institutions. While we provided executive coaching for the last four years, coaching engagements have primarily emerged organically, from client requests.
Our strategy shift involves more directly developing our coaching part of our business. The executive coaching field has been expanding in recent years and companies today, more than ever, are seeking highly qualified, credentialed, and experienced coaches to work with their employees and leaders—from those newly promoted to leadership roles all the way to those at the highest levels.
We created a coaching service that includes evidence-based content and resources and tools curated by the coach to create a high-value learning and development experience for the client. We’re excited about offering leadership coaching as a more intentional pathway into the content, strategies, and tools we already bring to teams. We hope to see many of our clients benefiting from both team-level development and individual coaching. They are most impactful coupled together.
IDH: How are you building a customer base?
INSPIRECORPS: We’ve been fortunate to work with cutting-edge leaders and organizations since InspireCorps launched five years ago and to have long-term partnerships with our clients, year after year. As we look forward, we continue to deepen our work with our amazing clients and seek opportunities to meet and partner with new leaders and organizations that know a strong people strategy is an essential component of a strong business strategy.
IDH: Where do you see the entrepreneurial landscape heading?
INSPIRECORPS: In business over the last several decades, we have moved from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy to a purpose-based economy. More than ever, consumers today are driven to make economic decisions based on their personal values.
With purpose-driven and tech-savvy iGen and Millennials entering and maturing in the workforce, companies are learning they need to focus on their internal culture—the services and values they live by with their employees—just as much as they think about the services and values they provide to their clients.
We’re excited about these trends because we work with companies to align their internal culture with their systems and processes and help them grow through their people, thereby developing the agility necessary to manage today’s dynamic and disruptive environment.
IDH: Tell us about the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation throughout Connecticut.
INSPIRECORPS: As we are moving into our new space at the District in New Haven in April, we are committed more than ever to collaborating with and supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in Connecticut. It is through creative partnerships with local companies that businesses in Connecticut will thrive.
IDH: Aside from funding, what do you need most to move your company forward?
INSPIRECORPS: One of the things we need most right now is exposure to organizations and companies that understand the value of creating and igniting an innovative people strategy. We want to be in front of people who are ready to invest in larger-scale projects to transform the way people drive success in their organizations.
In addition, we’re also looking for opportunities, either with a partner client or a technology partner, to build out an innovative online/hybrid platform for our clients. We envision it being most useful at first for coaching.
InspireCorps provides high-level, high-touch customized coaching offerings, and haven’t found a learning management system or other system that meets our needs. As a result, we would love to create one on our own! We also want to collaborate with a technology partner to create virtual and 3D coaching tools for our clients.
IDH: What’s next?
INSPIRECORPS: We’re excited to grow with an emphasis on local clients over the next several years. With our book Inspire: Generate Extraordinary Results Through Sustainable Inspiration coming out in 2019, we plan to grow the keynotes/speaking arm of our company. We already have several innovative keynote offerings.
We’re planning to grow thoughtfully in the years ahead. While we aim high in our goals, we’re also paying attention to maintaining the unique culture we have created at InspireCorps.
Learn more about InspireCorps
READ: Startup Focuses on Sustainable Inspiration and Leadership Agility