Friday, August 28, 2015

The Honor of the Invitation

If we are friends on Facebook, you may have had your fill of seeing photos of our time in New York City cheering as Maggie and her Inscope Medical team rang the bell to close the trading day of the NASDAQ stock exchange on August 17. That evening we hopped on a plane to the Czech Republic (more on that later) and just got home late Thursday night, so I haven't had a chance to post about the NASDAQ event. One of the things I enjoy most about blogging is creating a record of family milestones -- and this one just seemed too important to skip. So bear with me (or quit reading) while I recall the magic of this moment.

A bit of background: Two years ago Maggie decided to pursue her MBA at the University of Louisville Business School through its entrepreneurial program. As part of the program she joined up with three other students to create a potential business -- one that they could use to learn how to create business plans. Not only did her team create a plan, they created a strong and viable one. One of her team members, Mary Nan Mallory, is an ER doctor who had a vision for inventing a much-improved laryngoscope (medical device used for intubations). That vision has evolved into the OneScope, a wireless-enabled, multi-purpose, disposable laryngoscope. The idea, combined with the plan, and a spot-on presentation won the team a number of national and international business plan competitions, including the 2015 University of Texas Global Venture Labs Investment Competition. One of their prizes was the opportunity to ring the NASDAQ closing bell.

Maggie and her team: Will Coburn, Mary Nan Mallory, Adam Casson © 2015, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.
And that's how we ended up at the NASDAQ headquarters cheering our hearts out for Maggie and her team. As directed, we showed up 43rd and Broadway at 3:15 p.m., were ushered through security, and taken up to the broadcast studio. Just prior to the closing ceremony, a professional photographer captured the whole group and then smaller combinations.

The team and its fans. © 2015, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.
Our friend Karen flew up for support, as did Nate. Four U of L professors made the trip as did Maggie's teammates and a contingent of their supporters. Some interested investors took the time to join in the celebration and our daughter, Mary, took off work to be there. (She created the brand for Inscope, so it was exciting to see her logo design featured prominently on the studio backdrop.)

Proud Mama, Papa and Sister. © 2015, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.
Maggie with Karen, one of Maggie's best supporters. © 2015, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.
Maggie and Nate. © 2015, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.
At 3:45, the video cameras rolled. It was LIVE from Marketsite! The Executive Vice President of NASDAQ made a few remarks, followed by comments and an introduction from two representatives of Texas Venture Labs, and then Maggie, as Inscope Medical, LLC's CEO, delivered a short speech (aka Oscar acceptance remarks), and rang the closing bell. The whole entourage erupted into a long and enthusiastic cheer.

After the official ceremony was over, we congregated outside on Times Square to view images on the NASDAQ Marketsite multi-story screen. And from there we went around the block to the Muse Hotel for a celebratory reception, hosted by the Texas Venture Labs.

That's my girl up there on Times Square!  © 2015, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.
I don't know what it was like for Maggie or her teammates; but for me, it felt surreal. The excitement. The professionalism. The spotlight.  The honor of the invitation to be part of it. It was all incredible.

When I think of the lives that each of our children are living -- Maggie and her start-up venture, Jack as a history and literature teacher in Shenzhen, China, and Mary as a graphic designer in NYC -- my heart swells. Seems like Maggie, Jack and Mary have each crammed more into their 20-something years than I have in my almost-60. Their confidence, their breadth and depth of knowledge, their desire to venture into unknown territories and engage with newly made friends and contacts, their independence and worldliness -- all astound me. It is satisfying on so many levels for me to watch them make their ways in life. I'm so proud of them and wish them each continued success and happiness.

And keep those invitations coming...

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