EO in the News: Entrepreneurs help one another climb to the top

Tennessean Business Editor Randy McClain’s Sunday business column last week profiled EO Nashville’s new Catalyst program and three Catalyst members: Blake Chaffin, Nashville Event Lighting; Alicia Jones, West End Interiors; and Diane Durand, Alphachimp Studio. The article (which you can read here) chronicles how Blake, Alicia and Diane came to open businesses in Nashville and how they became involved in Catalyst. Check out a clip from the article below:

Lend a helping hand

Despite their varied fields of interest, Jones, Chaffin and Durand are among a group of young business owners who have begun to talk to one another, share common problems and brainstorm about how to solve marketing dilemmas, financial problems and personnel issues.

They learn from one another’s mistakes and act as seat-of-the-pants mentors for one another.

It’s all part of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization/Entrepreneur Center “Catalyst” project, which kicked off a month ago. The program will run for a year and a half with its current class of owners.

The 20-member group, representing industries ranging from energy to marketing to manufacturing, meets in class every other Tuesday to share experiences. Other, more-established business owners make presentations and offer advice as well.

Michael Burcham, president and CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center on Lower Broadway, serves as one of the mentors.

It’s a very noncapitalistic twist in what can be a dog-eat-dog business world.

“Everyone just seems to want to help each other,” Chaffin says. “It’s more like man sharpens man.”


EO Nashville Members in the News: James Fields

James Fields

Friday’s edition of the Nashville Business Journal included a list of the “Top-17 Technology Service Firms” as ranked by local area tech employees. EO Nashville member James Fields’ company Concept Technology Inc. ranked third on the list.

Congratulations James!

Results from EO Nashville’s Semi-Annual Economic Survey

A couple weeks ago, we shared with you a link to the Nashville Business Journal‘s coverage of EO Nashville’s Q2&3 Economic Survey.

This week, we wanted to share with you the raw data that makes up the survey. We have also included the EO global results to the same survey that was conducted at the same time. This way you can compare Nashville’s sentiments to the business sentiments globally.

Question 1

Question 1 Graphs

  • 71% of EO Nashville respondents expect to increase their full-time staffs in the second half of 2011, that’s 10% more then the first half of 2011 and 3% more then EO global respondents.
  • None of the EO Nashville respondents expect to decrease their full-time staffs in the second half of 2011.

Question 2

Question 2 Charts

  • None of the EO Nashville respondents expect to decrease their part-time staffs in the second half of 2011, that’s compared to 9% of EO Nashville respondents who decreased them in the first half of 2011, and 10% of EO global respondents who plan to decrease them in the second half of 2011.

Question 3

Question 3 Graphs

  • 97% of EO Nashville respondents expect their net profits to increase or remain constant in the last six of 2011. That’s 15% more then the first half of 2011 and 6% more then EO global respondents.

Question 4

Question 4 Charts

  • Over the past six months, and during the next 6 months; EO Nashville respondents are decreasing their debt loads at a faster rate than EO global respondents.

Question 5

Question 5 Charts

  • A greater percentage of EO Nashville respondents (28%) find it easier to access credit now then EO global respondents.
  • EO Nashville respondents are significantly more wary about credit being accessible in the last six months of 2011, with only 33% predicting that access will increase.

Question 6

Question 6 Chart

  • Roughly three-fourths of EO Nashville respondents predict the economy will either improve or remain the same.

Question 7

Question 7 Chart

  • Roughly three-fourths of EO Nashville respondents indicate that they are likely to start a new venture in the future.


EO Nashville and EO Catalyst members honored as NEXT Award finalists

The Nashville Chamber has announced the finalists for its inaugural NEXT Awards that replaced its Future 50. Of course the finalists include EO and EO Catalyst members, who we’ve listed below. Congratulations to all finalists!

2011 Nashville Chamber NEXT Award finalists
(Award finalists include both companies and individual entrepreneurs)

EO Member Companies Honored
Bernard Health (Alex Tolbert)
Burger Up (Miranda Pontes)
Conexess Group, LLC (Jerry Baker)
Crosslin & Associates, PC (Justin Crosslin)

EO Members Honored
Clint Smith, Emma, Inc.

EO Catalyst Member Companies Honored
Rabbit Hole Creative, LLC (Jake Jorgovan)
Rockhouse Partners (Joe Kustelski)
WAP Sustainability Consulting, LLC (William Paddock)

EO Catalyst Members Honored
Jake Jorgovan, Rabbit Hole Creative, LLC

The NEXT awards dinner will be held Tuesday, October 18 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. To see the complete list of finalists visit the Chamber website.

EO Nashville in the News

Locally and nationally, EO Nashville was all over the news last week.

Friday’s Nashville Business Journal has three stories about and one mention of EO Nashville companies:

  1. A full-page story on page 2 covers the EO Nashville Fall Economic Survey, highlighted by comments from EO members Andy Bailey of Rock Habits and Chris Glaser of Focus Technology Group.
  2. EO member Kevin Ross of Metova is featured in today’s NBJ Case Study, where he talks about how employee empowerment has been key to his firm’s success.
  3. EO member Jerry Bostelman of Vaco was profiled for having one of Nashville’s 25 fastest growing companies. Like Kevin Ross, Jerry attributes a large portion of his company’s success to engaging and listening to his employees.
  4. EO member Darren Metz’s company, Novacopy was listed as a member of the NBJ 100, which are the 100 largest privately held companies in Nashville by revenue. This is Novacopy’s first year on the list and it came on at the 93 spot. (Vaco, mentioned above, moved up from 54 to 40 on the list this year.)

And, on the national front, EO member Miranda Pontes’ restaurant, Burger Up, had its now-famous Jack Daniels Maple Ketchup featured in the most recent issue of People magazine in an article about the new food trend of fancy ketchup.

Burger Up clip

EO Nashville Member in the News: Tom Turner

Last week’s print edition of the Nashville Business Journal included a guest column by EO Nashville member Tom Turner (DSi). The column, “Getting a handle on your data,” talks about the benefits of having a company information management policy. It was included as part of NBJ’s “Spotlight on Tech Innovators.”

Click on the clip below to learn more.

Getting a handle on your data

New EO Nashville Catalyst member Kate O’Neill was also included within the Tech Innovators section of the paper. She was interviewed as part of an article on Web analytics. Her company, [Meta]Marketer, specializes in helping companies use data to drive business decisions. Read the full article online, or check out the clip below. (Kate’s interview begins on the second page.)

The data wranglersThe data wranglers

Congratulations to both Tom and Kate!


EO Member in the News: Gabriel Smith

On Sunday, EO Nashville member and Legacy Learning Systems CEO Gabriel Smith was interviewed for a spot on WKRN (Channel 2) about the launch of Legacy Learning Systems’ new guitar instruction technology, GuitarApprentice.com. The new video game technology teaches guitar to musicians of all skill levels. Ch. 2 deemed the technology “Positively Tennessee.”

To learn more, watch the video clip here.

Congratulations Gabriel.