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:

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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.”

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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.

‘Catalyst’ Business Accelerator Accepts 20 Entrepreneurs into Inaugural Class

CatalystThe EO Nashville chapter and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) announced yesterday the local business owners who will partake in the inaugural ‘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 yesterday.

The first Catalyst class consists of 20 members. Members are founders, co-founders, owners and controlling shareholders of local companies. Catalyst companies employ a total of 88 individuals, with average annual gross revenues of $386,000.

The class includes:

  • Evan Austill, Co-Founder and COO, PatientCredit, Inc.
  • Jeff Bradford, President and CEO, the Bradford Group
  • Blake Chaffin, Owner and General Manager/President, Nashville Event Lighting
  • Frank Drummond, Founder and CEO, mimijumi
  • Diane Durand, Managing Director, Alphachimp Studio, Inc.
  • Trevor Emerson, President, Local Search Masters
  • David Frederiksen, CEO, PatientCredit, Inc.
  • Brad Hill, Owner, Local Search Masters
  • Alicia Jones, President, West End Interiors, LLC
  • Boris Jordanov, Owner, Valuant Technologies
  • Jake Jorgovan, Co-Founder and President, Rabbit Hole Creative, LLC
  • Joe Kustelski, Co-Founder and CTO, Rockhouse Partners
  • Brian Law, President, Global Technology Advisory Group
  • Scott Mele, President, SolarTek Energy of Nashville, Inc.
  • Bethany Newman, Co-Owner and President, ST8MNT, Inc.
  • Kate O’Neill, Founder and CEO, [meta]marketer, Inc.
  • William Paddock, Founder and Managing Director, WAP Sustainability
  • Christopher Redhage, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, ProviderTrust
  • Amy Tanksley, Founder and Owner, Uncle Classic Barbershop
  • Lisa York, Founder and Chief Manager, puka, LLC

With industries ranging from energy and manufacturing, to marketing and design, this first Catalyst class will bring a wide range of experiences and interests to the table. At the same time it’s a distinctly Nashville group, with the health care, technology and entertainment industries well represented.

The program offers three distinct benefits: education, experience sharing and mentorship.

  • Education: The program will kickoff with 12 biweekly classes taught by EO Nashville member Michael Burcham, president and CEO of the EC.
  • Experience Sharing: 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.
  • Mentorship: Catalyst members will also engage in one-on-one mentorship with an EO Nashville member.

EO Nashville Member in the News: Jason Moore

Jason MooreThe Nashville Business Journal spotlighted EO Nashville member Jason Moore Friday in its regular feature on “Forty Under 40” winners.

You may already have known that Jason’s company, Stratasan, was the first company accepted into the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s incubator program. But did you know that his ‘good’ dress shoes are 12 years old? Read more fascinating facts about the remarkable Mr. Moore in the attached clipping. Or check out the article online.

EO Members in the News: Michael Burcham & Jackson Miller

Michael Burcham

Michael Burcham

Jackson Miller

Jackson Miller

EO Nashville members, Michael Burcham (Nashville Entrepreneur Center) and Jackson Miller (Bizen and Plato’s Closet), were interviewed and included in the August edition of Entrepreneur Magazine.

The article, “Finding Customers Ahead of a Startup Launch,” talks about ways entrepreneurs can fine-tune their business models prior to launch to garner customer interest. Jackson talks about his experience working with the Entrepreneur Center, and Michael repeats his mantra, “refine, refine, refine.”

Catalyst Program Will Help Businesses Reach $1 Million in Revenue

Catalyst

If there is a defining symbol of the first decade of the 21st Century, it is the entrepreneur. As the old business model moves to China, entrepreneurs are creating a new breed of capitalism in America with tech start-ups and reinventions of traditional business models. They are rapidly reshaping the way we live – and doing very well during one of the deepest and longest recessions in our nation’s history.

It seems everybody wants to be an entrepreneur these days. And in this town, the highest concentration of this rockstar archetype is found here, in the Nashville chapter of the Entrepreneur’s Organization. Problem is, your business must generate at least $1 million in annual sales to join EO. So how do budding entrepreneurs get invited to the party?

Now there’s a way.

To serve entrepreneurs whose companies have not yet reached $1 million in annual sales, EO Nashville has partnered with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to create a new program called “Catalyst.” The inaugural 18-month Catalyst program will begin Aug. 30.

This program, modeled on EO’s own brand of educational programs, experience sharing, and team problem solving, is designed to assist these small business owners grow their companies with the help of others in this community who’ve already done so. The best way to correct a mistake is to learn from someone else’s and avoid the problem altogether.

The first Catalyst class will consist of 20 members. 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 cost $2,500 and participation will offer three distinct benefits: education, experience sharing and mentorship.

Education

The program will kickoff with 12 biweekly classes taught by EO Nashville member Michael Burcham, president and CEO of the Entrepreneur Center. Other EO Nashville members will take part in each class to share experiences with participants.

The first six months of the program will allow small business owners to refine their business model, and establish a roadmap to get over that $1 million revenue mark.

Experience Sharing

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 participants will also be invited to EO members-only learning seminars and social outings.

Mentorship

Catalyst members will also engage in one-on-one mentorship with an EO Nashville member.

Interested business owners can attend one of two informational meetings hosted by the Entrepreneur Center on July 12 and August 9 at 5:30 p.m. RSVP instructions can be found on this blog under the “Catalyst Schedule” tab.