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What Flamin’ Hot Can Teach Us About Entrepreneurship

Very loosely based on actual events but Flamin’ Hot can teach us a few things about entrepreneurship.

Flamin’ Hot is a fictionalized dramatization of how the wildly popular Flamin’ Hot line of products was created. A more detailed account of the creation of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and related products can be found in this LA Times article. Although it is very loosely based on actual events, the film can teach us a few things about entrepreneurship.

Warning Spoilers Ahead

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Richard Montañez, the supposed creator was a natural entrepreneur since childhood. In the film, he was bullied by his classmates about his burrito lunch. He persuaded them to try it and got them to buy burritos from him. Richard then sold burritos to the entire school. Richard also showed interest in machinery early on which helped him understand the chip manufacturing process.

Not everyone is born with the traits and proclivities to create something new, but if you are, it’s a big advantage.

No Shame

Selling drugs got Richard in trouble with the law which limited his career options. So he pleaded his way into a janitorial job. Richard swallowed his pride and did the work.

Our perceptions about our self, how we think others perceive us, where we think we should be in life, pride, shame, etc. are all factors that can sometimes limit us. Overcoming this is probably more important than being a natural entrepreneur.

Industry and Market Research

Richard learned his job as a janitor but also learned how the chips were made. He also asked questions about chip manufacturing to people that were not in his department; thus crossing over departmental “cliques” — sanitation doesn’t mingle with engineers, etc. This allowed him to learn more about chip manufacturing than almost anyone. His willingness to overcome shame/embarrassment, in this case overcome corporate culture, also allowed him to access knowledge that others were unwilling/uninterested in learning.

Additionally, Richard’s Mexican-American background gave him exposure to spicy food and awareness about the large Latin-American population. In 1980, 6.5% of the US Population was Hispanic; by 1990, it grew to 8.8% as the total US population grew 22 million in that time. He saw how his friends and family would add spicy seasoning to their foods. Richard also saw, when he was on a delivery run with a coworker, that mainstream snacks were the only option in neighborhoods like his. A large and rapidly growing market did not have a spicy option.

This is all part of industry and market research.

In reality, Fred Lindsay, a Frito-Lay salesman that worked the Chicago and Great Lakes region noticed spicy products from regional competitors out-selling Frito-Lay.

Learn everything you can about your business, other people’s businesses, your customers, their customers. Knowledge is power.

New Product/Service Creation

It is important to note that Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (according to the movie) did not happen over the course of a couple of years. Richard was working at the plant for over 8 years when the idea came to him. Also, in the movie, Richard’s wife Judy, developed the recipe in what seems like less than a year.

In reality, Lynne Greenfeld and a team of product developers at Frito-Lay was assigned in 1989 to create a snack designed to compete with spicy snacks sold in the inner-city mini marts of the Midwest. Greenfeld would go on a field marketing tour throughout the Midwest and bring back 50 different bags of snacks that were all new to her. Eventually, she and her team honed in on a flavor combination and chubby devil branding that we know today. This process took around a year.

Bootstrapping

With the recipe in hand, Richard needed to acquire chips to coat the newly developed spicy slurry with. At the Frito-Lay factory, brown chips were thrown out because they only wanted the lighter colored chips. Richard took the discarded chips to create his first batch.

Finding inexpensive solutions is a crucial task in entrepreneurship.

Pitching

A pivotal moment in the movie happened when Richard looked up the contact info of Roger Enrico, CEO and Chairman of PepsiCo Inc., the corporate owner of Frito-Lay, to pitch the idea to him.

In the movie, Richard stumbles when asked about market share and product yield. This is where our services come in. Our industry leading pitch decks come with industry and market overviews, projected sales, and much more. Companies from a wide range of industries have used our pitch decks to raise funds from banks, SBA, and angel investors.

Guerrilla Marketing

Even after convincing Enrico to launch the Flamin’ Hot line, it was not all smooth sailing. In the movie, Frito-Lay did not launch an advertising campaign as most companies do for most products and services. As a result, the products were not selling.

To raise awareness for the product, Richard resorted to guerrilla marketing. He rallied his friends, family, and coworkers to start giving away unsold bags for free to anyone in the neighborhood. This strategy, more specifically, is called product sampling, and is commonly used by companies to raise awareness and increase the chances of initial purchases.

In reality, the Flamin’ Hot line of products had the full force of Frito-Lay’s marketing department. Unfortunately for most entrepreneurs, they do not have a large corporation driving awareness for their newly launched product.


Contact us today for help with your new product development.

Emerging Young Entrepreneurs

Your Startup Guru Managing Director, Joon Hong, recently had the opportunity to advise the 2022 cohort in the Emerging Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) program on their pitch decks.

The National Minority Supplier Development Council’s Emerging Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) program is a year-long program uniquely designed to provide the next generation of minority entrepreneur participants ages 19-35 with support to enhance their growing business. Business owners will receive guidance from corporate sponsors, MBEs, and additional stakeholders. EYE will utilize an interactive pre and post-conference curriculum along with five days of hands-on training and practical application. Participants are provided the skills, tools, and strategies to start or grow their innovative businesses.

About NMSDC’s Emerging Young Entrepreneurs Program

Founded in 1972, the National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc.® (NMSDC®) is the longest-operating business growth engine for the broadest group of systematically excluded communities of color (Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, and Native American)and our impact goes far beyond supply chain. It’s about upward mobility for the emerging majority of Americans, an equal shot at participating in the American experiment of free-market capitalism and entrepreneurship. Our work is about correcting the unequal access to wealth-building opportunities.

Launch and Grow Your Business

Pitch decks are a fantastic document to raise capital for your business. Contact us today to get started on your pitch deck.

Fundraising Pitch Deck for Medical Company Syncore

Syncore is a medical company that came to Your Startup Guru for a fundraising pitch deck. With over 75,000 medical-associated infection deaths a year and 57% of sterilization processing department workers are not fully qualified, the need for Syncore’s services were overwhelming. However, without a solid pitch deck to raise secure startup capital, it was difficult for them to fill that need.

About Syncore

Syncore was founded on the belief that education and training, along with utilizing today’s technology, can promote healthy change. Syncore offers a holistic approach to healthcare services covering all aspects of a facility:

  • Litigation Testimony
    • The scope of surgery can be very complex. We can create action plans for court testimony and Joint Commission responses. We also offer detailed reports and will speak on behalf of your company. We offer simple solutions as needed in your situation.
  • Staff and Management Training
    • Operating rooms today have service line coordinators and specialty techs for specialty cases but in sterile processing all techs are expected to know everything and it has never worked. Training SPD techs similar to the practices of the O.R. is key to bridging the communication gaps and preventing service delays within your department.
  • Resource Cost Utilization
    • We take a deep dive into your sterile processing department product utilization and your staffs understanding of such resources. We find that on average there is substantial waste that can be easily eliminated with better work practices that will easily satisfy any infection control regulatory agency.
  • Staff Education
    • So your staff knows how to load the autoclave and washer; but does your staff truly understand their job and the science behind it? We give complete competencies in decontamination, assembly, quality assurance, instrumentation, documentation, and will assist in creating an education curriculum or department orientation for your team. We not only will train but will teach your staff as well.
  • Business Strategy
    • Does the equipment in your sterile processing department serves your hospital as intended? We can assist in planning and execution of capital requests, department planning, blueprints, and design flow. Your department has to make sense for surgeon satisfaction and a highly productive team.
  • Policy Creation
    • Once you are satisfied with the implemented changes you must make sure to include the accountability factor. We can help create policies as needed to drive the change into the needed culture change of your facility. We will also come in after the fact and help sustain the change as needed. Your success is our success.

Launch and Grow Your Business

Learn more about pitch decks here and contact us today to have a professionally crafted, custom-made pitch deck for your business!

Real Estate Development Pitch Deck

Your Startup Guru created a real estate development pitch deck for The Avalon Regal Theater as part of a $110M revitalization project in Chicago’s South Side, including a $1M commitment from Kanye West to The Avalon Regal Theater’s renovation.

About Avalon Regal Theater

The historic theater opened on August 29, 1927, and has since had performances from Tupac, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Louis Armstrong, Josephine Baker, Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Pearl Jam, The Supremes, and many more. It even held an election-night party to celebrate Barack Obama’s victory in 2008.

The Avalon Regal Theater was designated as a Chicago Landmark in 1992.

Need

There are myriad social, economic and environmental factors present in predominantly African-American urban neighborhoods that can lead to dysfunction. These factors are well documented both nationally, and particularly among neighborhoods on Chicago’s South and West sides.

Chief among the factors causing dysfunction is a cycle of intergenerational poverty. A recent report by the Pew Research Center showed that 38.3 percent of black children in the United States now live in poverty, nearly four times the rate for white children.

Beyond the social impact of blighted neighborhoods, the economic opportunity cost is significant.  When most household in the area purchase goods and services outside of their neighborhood, it leads to a retail gap of over $400 million dollars.  This lost capital cannot be reinvested into a struggling community, which causes a pernicious downward spiral.

Opportunity

The Chicago Regal Foundation (“CRF” or the “Foundation”) and Community Capital Investment Partners (“CCIP” or “Community Capital”) are proposing a multi-phased, $110,000,000 investment in the historic South Shore and Avalon Park neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side. Through a combination of traditional philanthropic support and market-based initiatives, the project will be developed around the juncture of 79th Street, Stony Island Avenue, South Chicago Avenue, and the Chicago Skyway, incorporating the newly christened Regal Theater District as the cornerstone of a larger Arts & Innovation Corridor (the “District” or “Corridor”).

When combined with recently announced nearby projects such as the Barack Obama Presidential Library campus, the historic Pullman District National Monument, and the 600-acre Lakeside Development the opportunity exists for a large-scale transformation of Chicago’s South Side.

Launch and Grow Your Business

Contact us today to get started on a pitch deck for your real estate development business.

NFT and Virtual Reality Art Gallery Pitch Deck

Website of Your Startup Guru client Pizzly Project

The Pizzly Project needed an NFT and Virtual Reality Pitch Deck for their startup.

The Pizzly Project is a very exciting startup that merges non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with a virtual reality art gallery, which allows users to buy, sell, and display their NFT collections.

Contact us if you are ready to launch and grow your business.

Cash Inventory Management Pitch Deck

Cash Inventory Management Pitch Deck

Forelytex is an exciting startup that improves cash inventory management for ATMs by minimizing the costs of reloading using advanced AI forecasting.

Your Startup Guru created a pitch deck so that Forelytex can secure expansion capital for developers, marketing, and other expenditures to take their business to the next level.

Contact us if you are ready to launch and grow your business.

Doing the research for you

The business plans and pitch decks we create for our clients are meticulously researched so that the most crucial and actionable information applicable to their business is found.

Contact us to get started on your document today.

SXSW 2021 PanelPicker

SXSW 2021 PanelPicker - Your Startup Guru

Your Startup Guru client Corrio is applying to present by panel discussion at SXSW PanelPicker Online 2021. Your Startup Guru created a pitch deck for Corrio which allowed them to fundraise as well as enter into a private group of international members comprising an angel investor networks.

Corrio was accepted last year but with the pandemic, plans had to change.

SXSW 2021 PanelPicker Corrio page - Your Startup Guru

To vote for them to present in the 2021 event, please follow the link: https://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/110396

Health and Beauty Pitch Deck

Beauty and Personal Care Pitch Deck Zion Health

Zion Health is a health and beauty products manufacturer in need of a pitch deck. We created a tailor-made pitch deck in about two weeks that was used to raise capital for the next stage of their operations.

About Zion Health

Zion Health makes a wide variety of natural health and beauty products based on clay. Zion Health is an expanding natural health company specializing in the healing powers of Kanwa Clay Minerals. The company founder is an avid believer and user of natural healing remedies and discovered certain types of clay contain a powerful combination of minerals that can heal many different ailments of the body with few side effects.

Launch and Grow Your Business

Contact us today to get started on your health and beauty pitch deck.

Pitch Deck for Mobile App

Pitch deck for mobile app CorrioSPC

Corrio is a fantastic mobile app that provides messaging services to prison inmates.  Your Startup Guru created a mobile app pitch deck for Corrio, which they presented to a well-known global investment community of accredited private equity angel investors.  Furthermore, they were invited to the roadshow, which will allow them to raise a subsequent seed round.  Members of the investment community provide early-stage capital in the range of $250K-$2m.

About Corrio

A better way to connect with your loved ones

Corrio helps inmates connect with their loved ones by allowing an inmate to receive and leave messages at any time using standard prison phones.

Without Corrio, family and friends wait for a call and hope they can answer. With Corrio they can call or text at any time. Next time the inmate calls their Corrio number, they will hear your voice and text messages.

Available in almost all US prisons and jails*.

* Currently unavailable in Arizona and Texas State prisons

Launch and Grow Your Business

Contact us today to get started on your mobile app pitch deck.

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