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Orate, founded by Sara Capra and Veronica Eklund, was recently featured on The Washington Post. Orate is an online marketplace that connects event organizers with over 2,000 different public speakers from all over the country. One of Orate’s overall goals is to fully automate their process. They currently make the process look automated to the end user, while they are actually behind the curtain pulling the levers. They call this their “Wizard of Oz” approach.
 
Eklund pitched Orate to The Washington Post to receive advice on growing their business. Liz Sara, board chair of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, told Orate to take a vertical rather than horizontal approach. Instead of targeting all event organizers, focus on specific subject areas or industry sectors. Starting small is the fastest way to gain traction and bring attention to your product. Liz Sara told them about the importance of building their speaker database and then encouraging event planners to use it. Read more here.

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