The Leap to Leadership: Dr. Michael McIntyre with the University of Tennessee has a deep personal interest in leadership. This session challenges entrepreneurs to consider building their leadership skills along with all the other business skills they must develop “on the fly.”
Getting Your First 1000 Customers: Getting your first customer is a significant challenge but growing your business from there makes the difference between a successful start-up and a nice hobby. Brandon Bruce, an entrepreneur with a new start-up called Cirruspath, discusses this vital transition for every start-up: scaling your business.
Outsourcing Your CFO: As the CEO of a start-up, you can’t know it all. Even less can you do it all. Outsourcing certain skills sets initially can give the expertise you need at a fraction of the cost of bringing on full time employees. Adam Slack and Chad Ridner with Two Roads will discuss how outsourcing your accounting and CFO tasks lets you keep focus on building out your business model without ignoring the important financial aspects of your business.
Intrapreneurship: How to promote innovation inside the organization – as any company grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to foster a culture of creativity and innovation. Chris Mainini of Pet Safe shares his tips for generating great ideas for new products from the people who work for you.
Social Media for the Founder: When it comes to leveraging social media for your start-up, where do you start? What important and what can you ignore? How do you feed the monster once you’ve created it. Gavin Baker, with Baker Labs is an expert in social media marketing, particularly when it comes to helping start-ups get the most out of their social media efforts.
How To Sell To Women: Whether your market has a world-wide reach or just a local play, half of that market is made up of women, who end up making most of the buying decisions in typical family. Rachel Young of the Women’s Entrepreneur Group of Knoxville will discuss the subtleties of marketing your product to women.
What’s After Globalization? The Virtual World – Like it or not, it’s now a mobile world. Our evolving communication devices obliterate geographical and cultural boundaries. Dr. Lee Martin, a venerable entrepreneurial success story and dedicated educator, will discuss the impact of globalization on the future of start-ups and business.
Capital Funding Sources: This is a stellar panel was put together to highlight several potential funding sources for growing your start-up. Eric Dobson of the Angel Capital Group will discuss the role of angel investors; Hank Helton of Pathway Lending represents debt funding; Cameron Newton of Nest-TN represents venture capital and Dick Nixdorf will discuss raising growth capital from partnerships. These gentlemen cover the spectrum of capital funding for start-ups.
Company Culture as a Company Asset: The culture of start-ups usually forms around the personalities of the founders. But as your venture grows, you need to consider the type of culture you want to have as it will impact the kind of people you attract to come work for you. Rather than leaving that to accident, Dee Markelonis of Visionary Solutions will share how you can be very deliberate in deciding what your company culture should be.
Mentoring: The Cornerstone of Entrepreneurship: No entrepreneur makes purely on their own. Most can track much of their success back to one or two influential mentors who helped them along the way. Doug Minter of the Knoxville Chamber has put together an award winning mentoring Program called Propel. He will share how you can seek out and engage mentors with the skills and networks you need to make it.
Company Dashboards: Your Strategic Pathway: Are you spending your time on the most important things that will ensure success or are you merely reacting to the emergency of the day? Management Solutions helps organizations zero in on performance-based metrics to help keep CEO’s focused on their strategic priorities. Founder and CEO, Misty Mayes will show entrepreneurs a framework to create dashboards that will give you a real-time view of how well you are executing your strategy.
Getting in the Door: Every entrepreneurial conference has a panel of investors who talk about what they look for in a deal. The truth is, they all have really smart people who review applications and business plans and perform the due diligence that will convince the Fund Partners to invest in the deal or not. We decided to put together of panel of these smart people and get the real scoop. The panel includes Chris Miller of Meritus Ventures, Chris Poole of Solidus Capital, Charlie Crawford of Chrysalis Ventures and Landon Gibbs of Clayton Associates.