Third Catalyst Class Launches

The Nashville Entrepreneurs’ Organization announces membership for its business growth program

Logo - Catalyst newNashville EO and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) announced today the local business owners who will partake in the third Catalyst class, a program designed to help entrepreneurs grow their companies past the key benchmark of $1 million in annual sales.

The third Catalyst class consists of 30 members, which is nearly double last year’s class of 16. The inaugural Catalyst class graduated 20 members.

Members are founders, co-founders, owners or controlling shareholders of local companies. Catalyst companies employ a total of 161 individuals, with average annual gross revenues of $526,222.

“The business owners who joined this year’s Catalyst class are a diverse group. We have members as young as 25-years-old, to members who’ve been in business for 20 or more years,” said Joe Freedman, president of EO Nashville and co-owner of Music City Tents & Events. “Each member needs to better understand how to control and drive the growth of his or her company, and how to avoid the many pitfalls of rapid growth. Catalyst can teach these skills.”

The EO/EC-organized 18-month Catalyst program began last month.

The third class of the EO Nashville Catalyst program includes:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

EC President and CEO Michael Burcham will again lead the 12 biweekly classes that kick off the program. At the conclusion of the classes, Catalyst participants will be broken into smaller peer-to-peer forum groups. The groups will meet monthly for 12 months and be led by EO Nashville members. Catalyst members will also engage in one-on-one mentorship with an EO Nashville member.

“Catalyst participants start by taking classes. Then they break into discussion groups, which are led by Nashville business leaders. The following week, participants meet with topical experts in a mentorship capacity and work through how to best apply the previous week’s lesson to their specific businesses,” explained Bryan Ansley, president and CEO of FNB Merchants. Ansley and Alex Tolbert, owner of Bernard Health, are the EO Nashville board members responsible for the Catalyst program.

The Nashville business community has also rallied behind the Catalyst program, providing in-kind gifts and sponsorships. For example, sponsors and benefits include:

  • NovaCopy: Free lease of copier equipment
  • Bradley Arant Boult Cummings: Free legal work
  • Century II: Free human resources consulting

“Like EO, Catalyst provides a sounding board and a place to connect with and learn from business leaders right here in Nashville,” said Ansley. “We all can use some business coaching, mentoring and advice to grow smart, stable organizations.”

Peer to peer: Catalyst program helps area entrepreneurs thrive

This article originally appeared in the Nashville Ledger on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012.

When building a business from scratch, no one will ever love and care for that business that way you do.

But while you are nurturing growth, you can also become an island, working as CEO, head of sales and director of marketing — all at the same time. And growth can stall if you don’t have the right people helping you.

“I am so busy planning events for other people I can’t finish anything for myself,” says Angela Proffitt, a local wedding and event planner in her 10th year of business. She has a few unfinished projects she would like to complete, and there have even been opportunities she has had to pass on due to her current workload.

Other business owners are going through the same thing as Proffitt, and a local program she recently joined aims to bring her together with other business owners for support and guidance.

Last year the Nashville chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center announced the launch of Catalyst, a mentorship program geared toward helping local entrepreneurs grow their companies past $1 million in annual sales.

Continue reading

Nashville Entrepreneurs’ Organization Announces Second Catalyst Class Membership

Nashville EO and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) announced today the local business owners who will partake in the second Catalyst class, a program designed to help entrepreneurs grow their companies past the key benchmark of $1 million in annual sales.

The EO/EC-organized 18-month Catalyst program began last month.

The second Catalyst class consists of 16 members. Members are founders, co-founders, owners and controlling shareholders of local companies. Catalyst companies employ a total of 72 individuals, with average annual gross revenues of $560,793.

“The new participants represent a great cross section of Nashville entrepreneurs,” said Andy Bailey, president of EO Nashville and founder of Petra. “We have businesses operating in industries like manufacturing and health care to event planners and a boutique law firm. Some of the companies are over 20 years old and some are still in their first year. Each Catalyst member brings a unique perspective, which is truly valuable for our program.

The second class of the EO Nashville Catalyst program includes:

EC President and CEO Michael Burcham will again lead the 12 biweekly classes that kick off the program. At the conclusion of the classes, Catalyst participants will be broken into smaller peer-to-peer forum groups. The groups will meet monthly for 12 months with the first six meetings led by two EO Nashville members. Catalyst members will also engage in one-on-one mentorship with an EO Nashville member.

Catalyst participants can also take advantage of in-kind gifts totaling up to $37,000 from new program sponsors. Sponsors and benefits include:

  • NovaCopy: Free lease of copier equipment for the length of the program, $5,000 value
  • teknetex: Free technology and strategic planning, $20,000 value
  • First Payment Services: Ten-percent off current credit card processing expenses for 18 months, up to $10,000 value.
  • Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP: Five free hours of consult or legal work during the first 90 days of the program, $2,000 value.

Catalyst Program Presented By EO Nashville and the Entrepreneur Center Embarks on Second Class

Majority of first year Catalyst participants see increased revenue, business growth

Building off a highly successful inaugural year, the Nashville EO and the Nashville EC announced today the kickoff of their second Catalyst program, geared towards helping local entrepreneurs grow their companies past the key benchmark of $1 million in annual sales.

To qualify you must be the founder, co-founder, owner or controlling shareholder of a local company grossing between $250,000 and $999,999 in annual revenue. The program will again cost $2,500, which includes participation in the 12 biweekly classes and up to one year of experience sharing and mentorship for a total of 18 months.

This year’s class will include 25 members, up from 20 last year.

“We’re increasing the class size this year to meet growing interest in the program. Our initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we wanted to give more businesses the opportunity to be involved,” said Andy Bailey, EO Nashville chapter president and entrepreneur coach at Petra. “We recently surveyed our current Catalyst members and asked them if their participation in Catalyst was worth the investment, and if they would recommend the program to others. One hundred percent of the survey takers, which represented 80 percent of the class, said that the program was worth their investment and they’d recommend it. More importantly, a majority of Catalyst participants have seen increased revenues since starting Catalyst.”

One such success story is Bethany Newman, co-owner and president of ST8MNT, Inc., a brand design studio offering print, Web and interactive services. Since starting Catalyst, Newman’s monthly average revenue has increased 54 percent. She has also hired two new full-time employees.

“Catalyst has helped me clarify my business model, streamline my operations and hire great team members,” Newman said. “It offers such a learning and sharing environment. You gain so much knowledge from the leaders, teachers and your peers.

EC President and CEO Michael Burcham will again lead the 12 biweekly classes that kick off the program. EO members will also be invited to attend and participate.

Continue reading

EO Nashville Members in the News: InQuicker; Top Influential Nashville Entrepreneurs; Nicholas Holland; Best Places to Work

We’ve seen a great number of EO Nashville members and member companies in the news recently, and wanted to share these sightings.

First off, the Nashville Post covered InQuicker.com [Michael Brody-Waite] and its recent announcement of a new partnership with Team Health.

Nashpreneur.com also recently listed its Top 30 Influential Nashville Entrepreneurs, a collection of local business owners who Nashpreneur believes “are influencing the local community and in some cases, other parts of the world.” The list includes the following EO Nashville members,

Nicholas Holland was also recently profiled in the Nashville Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 series.

And lastly, the Nashville Business Journal hosted its annual Best Places to Work competition, highlighting the honored companies in its May 25 print edition. Click the links below to download the story clips.

EO Nashville Members in the News: Jason Moore & Darek Bell

A couple EO Nashville members have been receiving media mentions left and right over the past few weeks.

Jason Moore

Jason Moore

Jason Moore, CEO of the health care data company Stratasan, was profiled as Startup America’s featured member of the day. Jason was also recently interviewed by the Nashville Business Journal to be included in an article about building Nashville’s tech community.

Jason’s business partner, Tod Fetherling, chairman of Stratasan, was asked by the Business Journal to weigh-in on the likelihood of a Google expansion in Nashville. EO Nashville member and President and CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Michael Burcham, was also interviewed for the article.

The Evansville Courier & Press featured Stratasan’s startup story in an article titled, “Entrepreneurial spirit: Henderson native says business incubator could benefit this area.” Stratasan also provided “a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of community statistics, demographics and consumer behavior, assessment of community health data and evaluation of community surveys” to the Cumberland Medical Center, a fact recently covered by the Crossville Chronicle.

Darek Bell

Darek Bell, owner/distiller of Corsair Artisan Distillery, had his Triple Smoke Whiskey featured in the latest Wine Spectator. Download the article (“Whiskeys_on_the_Wild_Side“) here.

Darek was also included in a Tennessean story on the burgeoning local whiskey and bourbon market. SouthComm Publications showed some more Corsair love: the Nashville Post wrote about Darek winning best whiskey at the American Distilling Institute, beating 240 other competitors, and the Nashville Scene Bites Blog profiled all of Corsair’s recent accolades.

Congratulations to both Jason and Darek.

Startup Buspreneurs Crash Entrepreneur Center On Way to SXSW

Entrepreneur Center logoNinety developers, three buses, 72 hours building businesses on the road to Austin. That’s “Startup Bus”.

Last night, three buses with entrepreneurs from New York, Washington DC and Ohio arrived in Nashville to get a crash course in mentoring from the Entrepreneur Center. After upwards of 18 hours on the road, coding, developing and building technology-based businesses, the buses will arrived at the Nashville Hard Rock Café where some of the city’s top entrepreneurs will greet the “Buspreneurs,” share some technology and decompress from their trip.

The event was co-sponsored by Griffin Technologies and the Technology Council.

Populr.me, an EC Incubating company launched a private pilot to the Startup Bus development teams with the challenge to build websites for each team in 10 minutes or less.

This morning, “Buspreneurs” met with EC mentors to review their progress and obtain feedback on their business models. Nashville is the first of three stops on the bus tour, culminating in Austin and the South By South West (SXSW) music and technology festival. As a massive technology and entrepreneurial event, the SXSW Startup Village is globally known for bringing together startups, entrepreneurs, investors and “cutting edge digital tastemakers.” Businesses built on the startup bus trip will have an opportunity to be pitched in front of investors and get funded in Austin.

“The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nashville is bringing in entrepreneurs by the busload!” said Michael Burcham, Entrepreneur Center president and CEO. “We hope the “buspreneurs” spread the word to everyone in Austin about the activity and energy in Nashville’s startup community.”