Hewlett-Packard needed help with a feasibility study on proposed wireless tele-centers to be introduced to Costa Rica. First, Ms. Balsley compared the Dominican Republic to Costa Rica and presented findings to the Board, and then continued research on the sustainability of the project in Costa Rica. Based on extensive Internet and in-country research, interviews with country leaders, media reports, economic indicators and first-hand testimony, she was able to make recommendations on how their laboratories could benefit by a relationship with individual communities, areas of interest and specialization within the country, and steps needed to make the project work. This project required intensive research and cross-validation of data. She went to Costa Rica to substantiate her findings by traveling to different regions and meeting with government and educational institutions before submitting her final report, which included recommendations for a sustainable, replicable model. The project was introduced and is operating to this day.
HP Feasibility Study
Visit www.lincos.net/webpages/english for more info.
MaryLea was invited as a guest of the Argentinean government to train hundreds of members of the Asociación de Jóvenes Empresarios Nicoleños (Young Entrepreneurs Association) and also met with top Government Officials and Ministers to review their economic plans and discuss the viability of developing models that would have the most potential considering their existing infrastructure. She spent time interviewing business people, women's organizations, business school deans and decision-makers, and made recommendations on educating a disparate workforce, with programs capable of empowering entrepreneurs in order to solidify their eroding tax base.
As Acting COO/CMO for a Norwegian-based Internet start-up, MaryLea sold membership-based access to a proprietary information database, and handled every aspect of this international expansion. She set up U.S. operations in San Jose, CA., built and maintained an office as well as building and training the marketing and sales departments. She represented the company at trade shows, developed strategic alliances, and sales distribution channels giving the company access and visibility in the U.S., allowing them to rapidly expand while maintaining fundraising efforts abroad. She negotiated partnerships/sponsorships with key associations and members, handled all operations, marketing and management functions in coordination with the overseas office and local webmaster.
Norwegian-Based Internet Database Company
As Co-Partner, MaryLea revived and supervised village production, negotiated contracts and worked with industry and government agents. New products were introduced and wholesale distribution and retail sales channels were set up in the U.S.
Bon Ami Trading Company
MaryLea was asked to be the key support person to a Director in Economic Development (non-profit organization). He was overwhelmed with politics on a daily basis and wasn't able to meet his goals, didn't trust others in his environment and needed strict confidentiality. Ms. Balsley did all the planning and outreach, intercepted and screened calls at his request and came up with a plan to recruit and train core consultants (6-8) for the organization, and hire others as needed for specialized areas of consulting. She worked with the other key consultants to coordinate the client flow and files to better facilitate efficient case management. The support staff of 4 was coordinated into these efforts so that the best client service could be delivered. They also divided training responsibilities and shared community outreach and case management responsibilities. MaryLea hosted and trained international groups, sponsored events including all related service providers, and established relationships with community development groups that needed assistance. She coordinated efforts with the Mayor's Office and chambers of commerce and maintained high visibility with the media and the small business community, serving hundreds of small business clients each month.
Economic Development Organization
Ms. Balsley assisted the Director with center management responsibilities and program development, and handled all promotions and community outreach. She set up information management tools and case management systems to streamline paperwork and office efficiencies, and was responsible for recruiting and training consultants as well as consulting directly to the SBDC client base.
San Francisco Small Business Development Center
San Francisco, CA
As Senior Business Consultant, MaryLea provided quality one-on-one counseling for a variety of Santa Clara and San Mateo County business owners in all areas of business management and marketing. She coordinated services and strategies, developed the business resource library and marketing collaterals, and frequently represented the organization to affiliates and potential sponsors. She handled the promotions and packaging of the City of San Jose's Revolving Micro-Loan Fund and was founding member of "Hi-Tech Initiative Team" (eCommerce specialist). Continuing contract.
Silicon Valley Small Business Development Center
San Jose, CA
As Co-Developer, she developed complete curriculum and built a team to deliver a comprehensive 40-hour Entrepreneurship Program, plus additional tracks on Procurement and Exporting. She facilitated business community meetings to determine business needs and integrate the appropriate content. She recruited a training team and business owners to participate in a 13-week program with a 95% completion rate, and produced the full accounting, reports, and details that make it the premier training program used by the City.
City of San Jose, Office of Economic Development/ California Business Incubation Network
California Energy Commission (CEC)
State of California
Ms. Balsley consulted for the CEC as part of a team directed to work with individual companies funded in environmental technologies and to protect CEC’s multi-million dollar investments. R&D companies lacked strategic direction and needed to comply with contract obligations while preparing technology for transfer to the private sector. Repeat contract.
Ms. Balsley worked with a client of the California Energy Commission over a one-year period in an effort to transform an R&D COMPANY into one capable of transferring their sophisticated new technologies to those in a position to commercialize it. She met with the Officers and developed 4 full days of training in order to coordinate company efforts, qualify their mission and options, and define the priorities and expected contributions of each party. Following the identification of potential joint venture partners, licensees, and investors, they developed customized sales presentations for each target market within the energy and utility industries. This company secured a primary investor, completed testing, evaluation and studies needed to complete State requirements.
R&D Technical Company (name confidential)
Los Angeles, CA
Global with bases in Hawaii and CA
This on-going client is working with technology that has recently been de-classified has matured and is ready for the commercial market. Partners would eventually like to retire from the military to build this private enterprise. All 3 live in different states and have other obligations, so there has been a lot of emphasis in communications and strategy. As they get closer to getting some very important and large government and commercial contracts, there is anxiety and potential pitfalls. They are trained to anticipate some of these issues and prepare for them once they come up (securing the talent base, negotiating with vendors, hiring top security personnel, responding to RFP's, etc.). Ms. Balsley anticipates that they will all be able to create civilian jobs for themselves and grow a profitable business.
Ms. Balsley consulted, interviewed and trained scientific engineering division in order to successfully commercialize their consulting expertise, reducing their dependency on the host company and government contracts.
San Jose, CA
Ms. Balsley helped this U.S. company to dissolve a poorly conceived exclusive agreement with a Taiwanese distributor without legal repercussions. She recommended terms for successful venture partners in the future, and set up contacts in order to bundle or license technology to giant U.S. firms. An alternate target market, capable of defending the intellectual property and possibly bundling, licensing or buying the IP outright are being approached.
Knowledge-Based System for Wafer Manufacturers
Software-Based Mobile Communications
Ms. Balsley helped this long-term client fulfill legal responsibilities including partnership agreements, insurance requirements, and protections needed to reduce liabilities. They reviewed and revised detailed responses to RFQ's and she advised on procurement strategies, trade show exhibition and business planning. The security-based software/integrator is commanding lots of attention in the law enforcement sector and they are securing preliminary funding to get simultaneous pilots up and running.
San Jose, CA
Women's Technology Cluster
As full-time Executive Director for new non-profit incubator designed to support promising women-owned technology start-ups increase their access to venture capital, Ms. Balsley recruited, screened and trained top talent and brought ideas into a single synergistic and potentially sustainable environment. She provided consulting, training and resources to potentially high-growth companies, designed the facility, created the infrastructure, and identified necessary sponsors, advisors, and resources needed to add value. Responsible for the entire set-up, staff recruitment and training, MaryLea coordinated and worked with the media and vendors, producing the web page and putting the viral marketing into place that made recruitment a huge success. After reviewing 150 business plans in detail, Ms. Balsley recommended promising candidates to others on the selection committee, which chose the first 8 tenant companies; ones thought to have the highest potential for long-term success. She also recruited and facilitated relationships between accountancies, legal practices and funding agents and prepared incubatees for presentations and negotiations.
San Francisco, CA
Visit www.wtc-sf.org for more info.
As in-house Marketing Consultant and Business Advisor to first 20 Internet start-up companies in start-up incubation model, Ms. Balsley assisted early Internet entrepreneurs with every aspect of strategic planning, marketing, resource identification and growth-related issues. Still an active external consultant, she advises clients on strategic decisions and funding.
Software Business Cluster
San Jose, CA
Visit www.sjsbc.org for more info.
As Co-Producer/ Advertising and Promotions Director, MaryLea built the largest Haunted House in the world from ground-up in a short timeframe for a non-profit with no name recognition or budget. She oversaw all aspects of production requiring recruitment of 125 volunteers per night, major fundraising efforts, and sponsorship involvement. Events included T. V. star autograph session, press conferences and extensive media coverage. Project continues today.
Global Youth Resource Organization (G.Y.R.O)
Santa Clara, CA
As their Business Promotions Consultant, Ms. Balsley coordinated year-round calendar of events of every description and size, working with a limited budget and support. She developed many first-time events in a high-pressure environment with severe time restrictions, and also played a major role in high visibility events. She organized comprehensive promotions programs and planned strategies from conception to completion, working with a diverse population to build community participation and sponsor support. MaryLea was instrumental in marketing the largest Business Improvement District (B.I.D.) in California (1,700 members), and established and chaired the highly successful Business Promotions Committee. She implemented the first Event Hotline, Event Calendar, and association mixers.
San Jose Downtown Association
San Jose, CA