Given the opportunity to ask a question on a visit to the
"What I'm struggling with as a new business owner is the ins and outs and the daily operations to run that business," he told Trump's daughter, a key adviser to the president, and McMahon. "What advice do you have for someone like myself to get over that hurdle and increase my business knowledge?"
With the help of grants to get his business, Northern Star Fire, started, Dykes was able to create a prototype compass that firefighters can secure to the inside of their helmets. The device notifies firefighters of their direction, something that can be difficult to negotiate in dark and smoke-filled conditions.
Fall production is scheduled for the device, which has already received more than 100 orders from the
The success of the device led to the invitation for Dykes to come to the
McMahon recommended those looking to become more business savvy can turn to counseling and mentoring services available in local SBA branches. She also suggested prospective business owners visit sba.gov, which offers different modules for self-study.
Ivanka Trump, herself an entrepreneur, said as she tours the country, she hears from other entrepreneurs who say one of their biggest barriers to getting their product idea launched is a lack of mentorship.
"My advice to you would be to look at the whole ecosystem of mentorship opportunities as you think about how to start this business for the first time," she said. "Thinking through and bringing on partners and people and employees that can complement your skill set and help you to think about the execution of your business plan is critical as you think about scale in a meaningful way."
Along with meeting with other small business owners, shaking hands with former White House press secretary
"Entrepreneurs need to be tenacious," he said by phone from
Dykes said the meeting allowed for new exposure of his product, including being asked to appear on the
"My plan is to talk about the product and not politics," Dykes said.
To watch a video stream of Tuesday's
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