Archive for September, 2010

Chinaaaaa

Posted: September 29, 2010 in Uncategorized


This is our trip to China in a nutshell. It’s awesome, overwhelming, crowded, and confusing. There’s a lot to do, a lot to see, but in the end you’re on a random street, surrounded by information in a foreign language, and the only thing you under stand is the sign: “Output Centre”…which still doesn’t make any sense.

They say, “when things seem too good to be true, they probably are”. Well isn’t that a shitty way to look at things. When we won our free trip to China we had no idea if it would live up to the hype, but we were damn sure going to give it a shot.

While we were at the 2010 Kairos Summit in the NY Stock Exchange, we signed up for the Entrepreneurs Abroad program hosted by Alibaba.com. Each of us submitted the same short paragraph application (written by Mr. Daniel Certner himself), and later Trev and I walked up to the Alibaba booth and became friends with the people in charge of the contest (wait..networking has a purpose??)…hours later, we found out that we won an all expense paid trip to Hangzhou.

Now Trev wussed out of going (had to “hold down the fort”…what?? We were living in Aunt Patti’s basement..), but Dan and I soon boarded a plane for a 26 hour journey to China. We got to speak with the CEO of Alibaba.com (the Ebay of China…except bigger.), get inside access to the UPS Factory (to learn how international trade really works), learn finance at the top floor of the Citi Bank Tower in Shanghai, and finally, meet the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Now sometimes we get a little too wordy here on the Rollin With Sabi Blog, so I’ll just leave you with a few pics I took* from our time in China. In a couple days, I’ll writeup the crazy story that David Wei (CEO of Alibaba) told us about their start-up. Don’t miss it, the story is unbelievable.

*From someone else’s Facebook album. (thanks Jack, you’re my boy!)

The Big (Asian) Apple

The crazy HQ of Alibaba…They’ve got NASA beat here. These screens track every search and purchase from any part of the world and shows it in real-time on the map.  Big Brother is watching.

Dinner. Enjoying some Duck face and Feet

Arnold montage to pump up the crowd before he came to speak. Oh, and Arnold says that he used to lift 50 TONS a day when training to be the Body Building Champion of the World (he won it 13 times)

Arnold during his inspirational speech. He was even more orange in real life. He must be doing GTL.

till next time,

-Shaan

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We’re Back

Posted: September 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

Sorry it’s been so long, hope you didn’t forget about us!

Let’s recap this month to get you up to speed. For best results read in the voice of John Madden.

The month started out with a visit from the one and only Phillip Yi. We introduced him to the Colorado area and showed him some of our potential spots. For a few days he got to experience the fun and excitement of living at Aunt Patti’s.

It was great hanging out with Phillip after we all had the chance to live and train with him throughout the summer.

Board Meeting. Even the camera had blurry vision.

While he was here we actually got to meet Aaron Kennedy, the guy who founded Noodles and Company. Aaron actually started Noodles with no restaurant experience and helped grow his concept to a national brand. It was great hearing from him and was amazing how similar our stories were. He provided some great advice and insight about the industry. Here is a picture of the Sabi family before the big meeting:

The day after we dropped Phillip off at the airport I had to take Shaan and Dan right back so they could begin their journey to China…..Why China, you ask? Well, towards the end of last year we were selected to attend the Kairos Summit for student entrepreneurs hosted at the New York Stock Exchange. While we were there we actually won free trips to China to attend another global entrepreneurship conference. Anyways, while Shaan and Dan headed to China, I stayed home to guard the fort (aka, I was too chicken to go). At the conference they met with student entrepreneurs from all over the world.

Shaan reppin' the Sabi threads.

They even got to meet The Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

AAAAANNOOOLLDDD!

The day after Shaan and Dan returned from China we met in Atlanta for the annual Dine America Conference.

We got to meet and hang out with some of best and brightest in the industry. It was amazing hearing everyone’s stories and getting feedback on our concept. The coolest guy at the conference was John, the COO (chef operating officer) of Biscutville. John was actually a big Duke fan and was originally from the North Carolina area….what up John!

After the conference we headed back to our old stopping grounds, Duke University. While we were there we had the opportunity to meet with the dining directors about possibly bringing Sabi to campus. I don’t know if it will be next year, or a few years down the line, but we promise that we will do everything we can to get a Sabi at Duke.

We also had the opportunity speak at a couple of classes. It was crazy telling our story in front of the same class that we were sitting in just under a year ago when we first came up with the idea for Sabi.  Shout out to Lisa Keister and her class. Thanks for letting us come act like we’re important.

At the end of the week we got to experience one of the nastiest, dirtiest, most fun, beautiful things in the world, Tailgate at Duke. Nobody, and I mean nobody, does Tailgate like Duke.

After tailgate we actually got into watch the Duke vs. Alabama game. The Crimson Tide really showed up. They had to put more bleachers into the stadium just to fit them all.

After Duke we headed back to beautiful Colorado to get back on our grind. We found an awesome apartment. We furnished it up with some air mattresses…I’m actually living in the living room, but hey, its home. We’d like to thank Aunt Patti again for letting us stay in her basement for so long, it really saved us!

There are new and exciting things happening on the business front each day. We can’t really go into detail about these things, but take my word for it, we’re coming up with something special here.

So there you go. That’s the update. Tomorrow Shaan is going to write about some of the awesome ideas and thoughts he took back from the conference in China. The blog is back baby.

-Trev

BOOM, tough actin tenactin!