Brand Infinite CEO Elaina Watley to Give Keynote During Start Something Challenge Kick-Off in Orange, NJ

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Brand Infinite CEO Elaina Watley will give back to other NJ entrepreneurs from urban communities as the keynote speaker for The Start Something Challenge kick-off on October 15, 2012.

Elaina Watley is the founder of Brand Infinite which provides personal brand management for professional athletes including New York Giants wide reciever Victor Cruz

"Now that I've achieved some level of success for my business, I hope I can motivate and influence other New Jersey entrepreneurs to also believe in themselves"- Elaina Watley

Elaina Watley, Passaic County native and CEO of Brand Infinite, will be the keynote speaker at the Start Something Challenge kick-off at the Orange Scholars Academy in Orange, New Jersey on Monday, October 15, 2012. Born into a family of athletes, Watley fell in love with sports at an early age and by high school, decided to become a sports agent.

“When I told people about my dream, they would just laugh at me. There have been bumps along the road, but I persisted and stuck to my plan,” said Watley, who successfully launched her sports marketing and PR company in 2009. Her company represents a dozen athletes including New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.

“To this day, I can’t believe I did this,” said Watley who worked in corporate America prior to starting her business. “When I was younger, I always had this image that you needed to be a millionaire to start your own business and call yourself an entrepreneur. If I had just met someone I could relate to and show me that it’s possible to be an entrepreneur at any stage of your life, I probably would've started my business much sooner.”

During the Start Something Challenge kick-off event, Watley hopes to inspire other New Jersey entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams.

“I’ve made a commitment to practice what I preach. I can’t tell my clients to give back to their communities if I’m not willing to do it myself,” said Watley. “Now that I’ve achieved some level of success for my business, I hope I can motivate and influence other New Jersey entrepreneurs to also believe in themselves.”

“We’re very excited to have Elaina as our guest speaker. As a woman of color, mother, and passionate, New Jersey entrepreneur, I know that her story will speak to the participants of the Start Something Challenge,” said Alfa Demmellash, the CEO of Rising Tide Capital- a New Jersey nonprofit which is leading the Start Something Challenge.

The Start Something Challenge is a statewide small business pitch competition that gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to gain visibility for their business ideas, valuable feedback and $25,000 in cash prizes. The entrepreneurs who receive the most views for their online video submissions will compete in a series of live-pitching events which will take place in October and November to determine the top winners. The initiative is supported by a number of community partners including Jeff Hoffman, a founding member and former CEO of Priceline.com and JPMorgan Chase. Learn more at http://www.thestartsomethingchallenge.org.

The Challenge is just one initiative of Rising Tide Capital, a Jersey City-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower marginalized entrepreneurs with the resources to start and grow small business in underserved communities. Learn more at http://www.RisingTideCapital.org.

In order to hear Elaina speak and meet the participants of The Start Something Challenge, RSVP online by clicking here. The event is free, but seating is limited.

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Esther Fraser

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