Coffee Hour with Beat

These days I hear from many people that we are living in the most difficult times ever. Both in the news and in conversations I am having from around the globe the COVID-19 Pandemic, social unrest and political divide are hot topics. When you are going through tough times such as these, it seems like it is the most challenging situation you have ever been through and wonder if you will make it through. Then once the challenge subsides and you have survived the crisis at hand, you can think, “We did it, we made it through.”

Personally, I think all of us born in the last 60 years in the USA or Western Europe, have had the best time ever in history. Compared to somebody born around 1880 in Germany, the last 60 years were awesome. If you were born in 1880 in Germany, during your life you had to go through 2 World Wars, and likely lost many of your family members and friends in those wars. Even if you were working hard, saving money, hyperinflation twicewiped out all your savings. Yes, this was the time where a loaf of bread would first cost 1 Reichsmark and during hyperinflation 1 Billion Reichsmark.Retirees who worked hard all their lives could buy nothing with their monthly pension if they were fortunate to have one.

In contrast, today all of us have little to fear that our life needs cannot be satisfied tomorrow. And truly like former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

As an entrepreneur for more than 30 years, I am by nature and “training” an optimist. Time and time again in my business career I have seen that the best times to start a new venture is the time when others feel the world is near the end.

For a real estate entrepreneur, the best of times was entering the industry when the savings and loan crises hit in the early 90’s, or even better after the great recession 10 years ago. The old saying “buying low and selling high” can be accomplished if one uses the opportunity crises, pandemic, recessions, and times when a lot of people are “paralyzed” and just wait for better times to come.

Those 153 entrepreneurs who submitted a business plan for the Avalon Park Innovation Award GOT IT. Despite COVID-19, lockdown, and many businesses reporting losses and layoffs, they saw the time to start a business is NOW. Over the last few weeks, an international jury spent countless hours on video conferences and face to face meetings with dozens of entrepreneurs. While the Avalon Innovation Center building in Avalon Park Orlando received its certificate of completion, and over the next few months we will finish the build-out of The Fifth Floor space. , those entrepreneurs are shaping, with the help of established businessmen and women, their business plans.

Around 20 years ago, when in Avalon Park Orlando, we were on the look-out for entrepreneurs to join our community, it was primarily money, cash, and almost nothing else what the typical start-up entrepreneur was requesting. The world has changed, seed money and start-up capital are definitely still a need, but for most it is not anymore, the most crucial need. Advice, local and global connections, and synergies are at the top of the requests. In other words, the resources we will be providing to entrepreneurs in our The Fifth Floor Pro-Working facilities around the globe, starting in Avalon Park Orlando and Basel-Muttenz, Switzerland.

I am pleased to have gone through this awards process with visionary entrepreneurs and I would venture to guess that in 10 years from now in 2030, I will be able to write to you about many success stories, which started while the world was going through a pandemic.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

Beat Kahli