It takes courage to step across the threshold and start a new business. Over 600,000 leaders make this big step in the United States each year. How many people dream of launching, but are unsure of the right next steps or lack the connections necessary to thrive? Making those essential connections to get started and identifying your strengths are keys to a successful business launch. This learning community provides insight into how to launch, feedback on your idea, practical lessons from entrepreneurs who have left their day job to pursue their dream job, and how to find your purpose through it all.
Small business is the lifeblood of the American economy…” that’s what they say, right? If that’s true, then it’s critical to care for and build into these business leaders. The small business learning community is your opportunity to connect with a community of like-minded peers, find inspiration, and gain the tools needed to build your company & culture with purpose. Experts will provide tangible resources and practical ideas to take your business to the next level while still thriving outside of the daily grind.
Rev. Mark DeYmaz
It’s almost 2020, and we’re officially living and leading in the future. We’re on the threshold of a new moment in the American church. The old is gone, and the new must come in order for the local church to continue thriving and impacting culture with a redemptive and sustainable vision. The entrepreneurial church leader is not a “nice to have,” it is a “must have.” This learning community is designed to equip and challenge pastors and staff to think like an entrepreneur when it comes to critical mandates of church leadership for our cultural moment.
The phrase “Creative Entrepreneur” is not always easily embraced. Many creatives feel left out of entrepreneurial conversations, often times rightfully so because the content doesn’t speak to the unique demands of being a practitioner of creative work passionately pursuing a career rooted in the arts and creativity. This learning community welcomes musicians, artists, photographers, designers, authors, or anyone who wants to learn about embracing creativity daily while simultaneously building a sustainable business model.
This learning community tackles the challenges surrounding the integration of faith and work for everyday marketplace leaders. God designed us to work and this track is designed to help bridge the gap between church on Sunday and work on Monday. If you’re looking for a space to learn and grow as both a follower of Christ and a marketplace professional, this is for you.
Building Your Life of Purpose and Impact
Liz Is the founder of Sseko Designs. Sseko is an ethical fashion brand that works to educate and empower women. By providing employment and educational opportunities, Sseko enables women to continue their education and become leaders in their country. In four years, Sseko has grown from three women making sandals together under a mango tree, to an international fashion brand that provides employment, educational opportunities and entrepreneurial training to over 50 women in East Africa.
Using her unlikely story of a journalist-gone-shoe-maker, Liz shares her passion for social enterprise, conscious consumerism, social justice, creative leadership, gender equity, risk-taking, and empowering women. She believes deeply that business is a powerful platform for social change and that girls are our future.
She now splits her time between Uganda and Portland, Oregon, where she and her husband Ben run Sseko Designs.
Creation and Destruction
Scott Beck has spent 40 years learning about scaling businesses and supporting Champions that are helping people grow in relationship, spirit and wellness. As the CEO of Gloo he is putting that experience to work by serving Champions, helping them scale and supporting their core processes with exponential technology. Some of his experience is as follows
Tension at the Creative Threshold
With LA flowing through his veins & armed with a bold message, Propaganda has assembled a body of work that challenges and guides. Propaganda’s ideas stem from where he sits at the intersection. He sees how cultures cross and inspire one another, and can see the oneness of us all. Propaganda will cause you to nod your head, but more importantly he will stretch your mind & heart.
The Threshold of Your Brilliant Work
Todd Henry teaches leaders and organizations how to establish practices that lead to everyday brilliance. He is the author of four books (The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words, and Herding Tigers) which have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and he speaks and consults across dozens of industries on creativity, leadership, and passion for work.
His book Die Empty was named by Amazon.com as one of the best books of 2013.
His latest book, Herding Tigers, is about what creative people need from their leader, and how to give it to them.
Rhythms of Renewal
Rebekah Lyons is a national speaker and bestselling author of You Are Free: Be Who You Already Are and Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning. An old soul with a contemporary, honest voice, Rebekah reveals her own battles to overcome anxiety and depression—and invites others to discover and boldly pursue their God-given purpose from a place of freedom. Finding joy in raising a special needs child—Rebekah wears her heart on her sleeve, a benefit to friends and readers alike. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN, Huffington Post, The Tennessean, Publisher’s Weekly, and more. Alongside her husband, Gabe, she serves as co-founder of Q Ideas, a nonprofit organization that helps Christian leaders winsomely engage culture. Gabe and Rebekah are raising their four children and two toy poodles in Franklin, Tennessee.
Counter Cultural To The Industry
A native of Indiana, singer/songwriter Josh Garrels has built his career on deeply personal, introspective lyrics and exploratory sounds that range from pastoral indie folk to hip-hop.
Why I Sold My Startup to Mailchimp
Francis Tao is a Senior Product Manager at Mailchimp, a leading marketing platform for small businesses where he leads the effort to make graphic design instant, beautiful, and on-brand for Mailchimp's users. Francis is the former Founder and CEO of the startup Sawa, an automated graphic design platform. Sawa graduated from the OCEAN Accelerator and Techstars programs, and was acquired by Mailchimp in February of 2019. Francis currently lives in Atlanta with his wonderfully supportive wife Joanna, and their 3-year-old daughter, Lydia.
The Aggressive Life for Entrepreneurs
Brian Tome is the founding and senior pastor of Crossroads Church, 2017's fastest-growing church in America. Brian has authored three books including his latest best-seller, The Five Marks of a Man. He also hosts The Aggressive Life podcast. As an entrepreneur, Brian helped start other non-profits including CityLink Center which focuses on generational poverty, OCEAN the first faith-based business accelerator, and the largest AIDS hospice in South Africa. An avid adventure motorcyclist, Brian rides tens of thousands of miles and camps more than 30 nights a year. He is married with three children and lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Thresholds of Our Faith
Sanjay Macwan currently serves as the Vice President of Partnerships for International Justice Mission (IJM) in South Asia. Over the past 8 years, Sanjay has served as the Field Office Director in Mumbai and most recently as a Regional Director, leading IJM’s anti-sex trafficking work in Mumbai and Kolkata. Both entrepreneurial and visionary, under Sanjay’s leadership nearly 20,000 police officers and judiciaries have been trained to identify, fight and respond to the crime of sex trafficking. He and his team have mobilized government partners, aftercare partners and churches across India, to ensure that young girls who were once openly sold for sex, were rescued and protected.
Growing up as an “Untouchable,” a member of the lowest caste in India, Sanjay has dealt with oppression, prejudice and injustice first-hand. Through his passionate pursuit of purpose, faith, and perseverance, Sanjay rose above his circumstances. Sanjay pursues Bachelor and Masters degrees in Management from Adam Smith University and Masters in Divinity from Asia Theological Association.
His career has spanned from entrepreneurial ventures in the music industry to the leadership roles in the non-profit sector and in the corporate world. Prior to IJM he served as the International Head of Human Resources at Sparrow International, the Operations Manager at Orion Computech and Genovate Solutions, the Corporate Human Resources Head at Nesco Limited and later as the CEO.
Sanjay uses his breadth of experience to serve the poor and make freedom and justice a reality. Sanjay’s peers and colleagues all agree that he is a visionary who will stop at nothing to change his country for the better.
Outside of work, Sanjay is a husband, father of two, voracious reader and a poet.
Finding God's Life for My Will
Mike Donehey is an author and the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the award-winning contemporary Christian band Tenth Avenue North, whose new album No Shame released August 2nd. Since 2000, he has been sharing the truth of the gospel in front of millions of people through song and speaking. His transparent writing has attracted a diverse audience to his blog posts, social media commentary, and teaching based on Tenth Avenue North songs.
In his first-ever book, Finding God’s Life for My Will: His Presence Is the Plan (WaterBrook, August 6, 2019), Mike Donehey creates a double take on the age-old question, “How do I find God’s will for my life?” by rearranging the words into a bold, fresh concept of Finding God’s Life for My Will—seeing God as the plan, not simply the formula to the plan. He uses his signature humor, captivating storytelling, and relentless hunger for God to challenge readers to surrender their own obsessions with knowing their future and instead trust-fall into wherever God leads.
Mike, his wife, Kelly, and their four daughters live in Nashville, Tennessee.
Living an Untapped Life
Chuck Mingo is Campus Pastor for the Oakley location of Crossroads Church where 12,000 people worship together every weekend. A native of Philadelphia, he now calls Cincinnati home and even roots for the Bengals on occasion. Prior to working at Crossroads he spent 9 years in Sales at Procter & Gamble. He has been married to his wife Maria for 17 years, and they have two boys, Nathan and Samuel, and one daughter Isabel. Chuck is passionate about his relationship with Jesus, his family, running, and most importantly about being part of what God is doing to transform Cincinnati through the "big C" church.
A few years ago during a spike of the racial tension in America, Chuck heard a calling to unite Cincinnati and beyond. The UNDIVIDED experience was born, and has since been reapplied across the nation, internationally e.g. South Africa, and in prison ministries. The principles of UNDIVIDED also hold true corporately, driving organization capability and speed of development.
Low on Cash. Full on Faith. My Startup Story.
Natasia Malaihollo is the co-founder of Wyzerr, an artificial intelligence company that gammifies customer feedback collection and analytics. At Wyzerr, Natasia grew its’ customer base to over 1,800 small and large businesses in 42 countries in less than 2 years, and counts Google, Facebook, P&G, Unilever, Walmart, and Kroger as clients. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Natasia was a patent specialist in Washington, D.C. and Silicon Valley, where she prosecuted patent applications on behalf of large tech companies like IBM and Samsung. Natasia received her BA degree from UC Berkeley, where she studied Computer Science and Legal Studies.
Emcee of OCEAN Conference
Beth Troy is a writer and entrepreneurship instructor at Miami University. In 2017, she published her first novel, Lu, an unflinching and authentic story of a modern woman's journey to finding God, and will publish the sequel Summer 2020. She also teaches courses in creativity and women and entrepreneurship for Miami's Farmer School of Business. Beth lives in Oxford, Ohio with her husband, Matt, and their three sons: Jesse, Ezra, and Tommy. You can read more about writing, creativity, and faith at Beth's site www.bethtroy.com.
OCEAN Conference is hosted by OCEAN Programs, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization based in Cincinnati, Ohio that serves entrepreneurs by providing access to training, community, and a foundation of faith on which to launch new ideas and organizations.
Title Partner: Untapped
Impact Partner: IJM
OCEAN is grateful for a generous community of supporters who believe in equipping entrepreneurs.
Interested in becoming one of our Sponsors?
Become a featured maker!
Contact us below to learn more.
Our Makers Market showcases local entrepreneurs and their unique goods and services, available for purchase onsite.
Interested in being one of our Makers?