Our community is comprised of some absolutely brilliant entrepreneurs and so we asked a few of them to tell us the story of how they came up with the ideas for their business.

Brian Hoang | CEO

Prior to SURVIVR, I co-founded a VR/AR consultancy called Immosis. We built projects in areas such as gaming, education, and healthcare. While we learned a ton and gained revenue from services, we preferred to focus on a product. After multiple failed experiments, we eventually met a retired police officer who was interested in trying our VR tech. Keep in mind, the vast majority of officers haven’t trained in VR. Even more so back then. So when we threw him into one of our VR games, he was blown away at the most immersive experience he ever had. So he asked, “Guys, have you ever considered using this technology to train the police?” He believed that VR would become the future of police training. We conducted feasibility research and found that not only is there a lucrative market opportunity, but also we fell in love with the humanitarian impact of this application. Read more>>

Valese Jones | Co-Founder & Publicist

The idea for The Queendom was birthed from pure frustration. My business partner and I, realized we spent a full work shift getting all our beauty needs tended to and that the process needed to be more convenient, thus the The Queendom Beauty Bus was born. Due to COVID19 our full service mobile beauty salon and spa, lost our investor but, instead of accepting this as defeat we came up with the Queendom Beauty Box. This Beauty Box solely features brands by companies that have at least one Black or minority female founder and for every box purchased, a sexual assault survivor receives our “Crowned Case”, for free. We did a soft launch in November 2020 with a goal to sell 100 boxes and achieved beyond that. Starting January 2021, The Beauty Box will offer a subscription option at $100 a year, to receive a new box with new products quarterly. If a consumer chooses to purchase the box up front, the cost will be $35. Read more>>

Jay Khosla | Record Label CEO

I thought of the concept for BlueJay Records in the summer of 2017 when I was 13 years old. Originally I had kept the name “BlueJay” as my solo artist name, as I also dabble in a few instruments. Additionally, my nickname is actually Jay so that was an added bonus. By that summer I was in a indie punk band called Helix Theory in San Antonio, TX and we were a brand new band on the scene. Sometimes it’s difficult being a brand new band just because it’s hard to get involved and connected with your music scene and really get of the ground so I decided I wanted to try and get ahead of the curve and plan my own shows, in part so my band could break into the scene. What I didn’t expect was how much I would love organizing and managing events. So the first show I ever put together was actually what became the first annual music festival in San Antonio, Z Fest. I went around open mic nights around the city along with trying to find acts on social media to secure my lineup. Read more>>

Stella Ramola | Singer, Songwriter & Blogger

After completing Journey and reviewing all the songs, I looked for the song that best described the theme of my debut album. Every song points to a different season in my life, of the different emotions I went through, conflicts I faced, low points I hit. My life’s journey has been a process of learning to live the life God intended for me. As I look back and think about these experiences, I could write pages and pages on where I was. The pain, hurt, confusions, period of waiting and questions that I had. But through every experience God was faithful and he kept reminding His plan for me through every step. The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5–6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.” He taught me to trust in Him and acknowledge His presence throughout my journey. Read more>>

Chanda Kea | Interior Designer

I have always been a go-getter and an entrepreneur at heart, so my thought process behind starting my own business was to be able to be a successful business owner. In addition, I was decorating for friends and family and realized over time that I needed to make this thing a career. Read more>>

Joel Zeff | National Speaker, Emcee, Author, Workplace Expert & Humorist

After I lost my job as a journalist at the Dallas Times Herald in 1991, I started performing first stand-up and then improvisational comedy on nights and weekends. After my severance dried up, I started working at a public relations firm, and later an advertising agency. During the day, I was a writer and an account executive, and in 1994 I started my own marketing communications business. One of my clients was Texas Instruments. They were having an executive retreat and asked if I could come up and perform some improvisation comedy after dinner. This was 1994 or 1995. The audience was small (maybe 15 or 20), executive level, all men, and from a technology company. I sensed doom. Another performer joined me for the event. We had no plan. We were just winging it, playing whatever improvisation game that came to our minds. Read more>>