Small Business Breakfast Panel

Alex Silverman/WCBS 880

WCBS Small Business Breakfast Showcases WeWork, AI Company & More

June 14, 2018 - 2:12 pm

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- Small business owners from the Tri-State area gathered at the Meadowlands Hilton in East Rutherford, New Jersey for a morning full of networking and business tips Thursday at the WCBS Delta Dental Of New Jersey Small Business Breakfast, hosted by WCBS 880’s business reporter Joe Connolly.

“I just love these days because we get so much energy and ideas from the people here, exchanging what’s working for them and whose business is up and why,” Connolly, host of WCBS 880’s Small Business Spotlight mini-series, said.

The theme of the breakfast was “How To Think About Your Business in New Ways.”

Special guests at the event included Rui Barros, Senior Vice President and Head of Operations US/Canada East/Tri-State of WeWork, as well as Tyler Mathisen, CNBC Business News Anchor. ­Before the breakfast kicked off, Mathisen spoke to WCBS 880’s Steve Scott on air with Wayne Cabot and Paul Murnane about the positive economic atmosphere the country has been experiencing recently.

“I am hearing optimism. I think when you hear the chairman of the Federal Reserve yesterday say that the American economy is great that is not usually what you hear from the very circumspect heads of the U.S. central banks. So when he says something like that that sets the tone and you can see it reflected here. More businesses are hiring than not hiring,” Mathisen said. “More businesses are expanding than not expanding. And so you see a lot of sort of optimism in the crowd today the turnout is good, the turnout is great.”

Among the many successful small businesses showcased at the event was Satisfi Labs, an artificial intelligence company that “made physical location a live search engine.” Founder and CEO Don White explained how he found his unique idea and turned it into a reality.

“We saw an opening, and we looked at physical locations like a Jet game, a Broadway show, musical concert, retail store. A comment was mentioned about personalization of trying to find a person. Well when you walk into a place like that how easy is it to try and find a person? So you use artificial intelligence to enable a mobile device to locate and find things, services or purchase decisions you want to make in large physical areas. So we leverage artificial intelligence to essentially make a physical location a live search engine,” White said.

Satisfi Labs, which has high-end clients including the New York Mets, has created software that allows users to find what they want when they want it directly from the source. Whether you’re a fan in a sporting arena looking for the closest peanut concession or a shopper looking for a certain shirt at the mall, users can log onto Satisfi Labs and search for their products. White explained this as training the “perfect employee,” then placing it into consumers’ phones, allowing them to find what they need immediately and without any issues.

“So it’s like training your perfect employee, putting it in your phone and then that property or asset owner is telling you what they want you to know, not a third-party search engine that scrapes websites,” White said.

To showcase his business model, White presented the “fan in a stadium” example, explaining that with Satisfi Labs spectators do not have to search all over the arena for a specific concession. Rather, they can search on Satisfi Labs’ venue information to find the exact location.

“Provide a way for you to get what you want on demand from your seat or when you’re going to the stadium so you don’t have to find a person, and you can get it all on your phone,” White said.

In addition, Gary Stout spoke about his company Buzzworthy Studio, which helps consumers expand and establish their digital brands.

This year marks the 23rd year that the WCBS 880's Small Business Breakfast has been connecting entrepreneurs in a professional setting. It now stands as the longest running small business event series in the New York area.

For more pictures and information from the event, visit #WCBSBizBreakfast on Twitter.