Made in America Again

    • wharton miaa

In mid-2013, a light bulb went off for Jim Stuber when he saw a GE commercial for lightbulbs made in China. After a successful career in government, law, and helping others to start and grow successful businesses, Jim saw a personal mission and a business opportunity to support the revival of American manufacturing. By early 2015, Jim had established a website to create awareness of Made in America issues, developed a vision and plan to increase awareness of the issues and a business to enable shoppers to easily buy Made in America merchandise, secured financing, and begun to implement a plan to have shoppers. 

Jim had a complex vision – all of which had to come together in order for his plan to secure collaborators and investors and ultimately succeed. To increase his odds of success, in January 2014 Jim enrolled in Wharton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Strategic Business Planning workshop with John Ondik. He received feedback, counseling, and support in developing an effective and persuasive business plan.

“Wharton SBDC’s Business Planning process was extremely helpful. It enabled me to clarify my organization’s mission and value proposition. It helped me be sure that I was not missing something important.” 

In May 2014, he began to implement his plan and sought out investors.

“[My case] was the only time in [my bankers’] experience that they were able to use the business plan that the entrepreneur submitted.”

Jim was the keynote speaker at the 20th Annual Word Trade Conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the California Inland Empire District Export Council. He began developing his website and writing a book to be published when the shopping website went live.

By December of 2014, Jim had secured investor commitments and received the first funds to enable him to start MIAA and commit to a two-year start-up process. The Drexel IT cybersecurity team was developing the shopping website. Jim realizes that the business planning process will be continuing. He continues to work with the Wharton SBDC consultants as he refines the details of shopping – shipping and delivery, confirming and describing products, and taking advantage of the opportunities that continue to arise.