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Champions Of Growth Podcast
27 minutes | Oct 20, 2016
#8: Hyper Connecting People - the Key to St Louis' Entrepreneurial Boom
Over the last 15 years, St Louis has evolved into a one of the top centers of entrepreneurship in the US - in Life Sciences, IT and a range of industries. St Louis was ranked as one of the 10 best cities in 2015 for starting a startup, outside of Silicon Valley and New York City, based on the integrated support entrepreneurs receive - from mentors, investors, local universities, physical facilities, grants and a highly collaborative culture. Ken Harrington is the founding director of the Skandalaris Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Washington University in St Louis. Ken was one of the key players behind developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports entrepreneurs. In our interview, Ken discusses a paper he has just written for Innovations, an MIT Press Journal, on the evolution of St Louis' entrepreneurial ecosystem and how connectivity - connecting entrepreneurs, investors and their partners through events, mentors, universities and organizations - was the key to driving entrepreneurial growth.
16 minutes | Aug 15, 2016
#7: How a Change in Communication Quadrupled Revenues
Mary McNamara of Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal shares how she bought the business, changed the culture, survived the great recession and two failed bank lenders, and along the way had some fun while quadrupling revenues. Key Takeaways from Mary’s interview It’s important to have a ‘nice place to go to work’ –this fundamental value sets the tone for everything the company does with employees and customers. Working with customers and general contractors that share her values is critical to maintaining the company's culture and success. Mary follows 3 principles in running her business: Network relentlessly Maintain a close working relationship with critical external business partners Rely on, and trust, your key managers
27 minutes | Jun 29, 2016
#6: From Crisis to Turnaround to Thinking Big
Mark Smolenski is a Chicago based investor and operating executive with a breadth of experience in growing privately held companies. He is currently the CFO of the Rabine Group, a $200 million real estate services and technology company. In this episode Mark shares: How the management team overcame a crisis which triggered a cash crunch and loan defaults How the management team learned to Think Big Three areas every ownership group should focus on to grow business value
24 minutes | Jun 27, 2016
#5: Creating a SaaS Company from a Services Company in 18 Short Months
Chris Deck, founder and president of Deck Commerce, an e-commerce software company, discusses how he shut down his profitable IT services business to go all-in on building a successful SaaS product company. Key Takeaways Listen hard to the market to determine where your company is most valuable Market feedback said that Deck’s developed software could be sold as a product Deck saw the opportunity to scale revenues much faster as a SaaS company than as a service company. Bold initiatives require a full organizational commitment Like Cortes landing in the New World, Deck ‘burned the ships behind him’ when he shut down his successful IT service business to build the SaaS business The pivot required everyone in the 15 year-old company to adopt a bootstrap startup mentality, with intense focus on watching expenses, operational efficiency and quickly developing all aspects of the SaaS product. Keep a pulse on the trends in the competitive marketplace and use them to shape your long term plan Chris understands that the current mergers and acquisitions in his segment, where large companies acquire smaller niche players, creates an opportunity for him with middle market customers ($3mm to $200mm of online revenues) which he has to exploit now, because the opportunity won’t last forever His long term (5 year plan) is based on how he can leverage the trends in the marketplace as well as his core competencies to maximize the company’s value.
27 minutes | Jun 22, 2016
#4: Keeping Customers Happy! 1.5 million of them in 16 states...
Erick Guzman is VP - Operations for Suddenlink Communications, a $2 billion broadband provider serving 1.5 million customers in 16 states. Erick discusses how Suddenlink delivers its broadband products in a highly competitive, investment intensive, technology environment while maintaining priority focus on what matters the most - the customer experience.
28 minutes | May 25, 2016
#3: How investing in culture drives this firm's growth
Nate Overboe is Managing Partner of Forsyth Advisors, a strategic sourcing firm that helps clients find and develop suppliers for their materials, products and services. He shares with us how he and his partners learned to sell their value proposition to a client audience that didn't know they needed Forsyth's services and how they are thoughtfully building and scaling an organization that executes to their high standards.
28 minutes | May 20, 2016
#2: How to Become Indispensable: Make Connections, Create Solutions
Jim Canada is the Managing Partner of Alliance Technologies, a network infrastructure, consulting and IT staffing company. Jim shares his journey to entrepreneurial business success from his experience as a process improvement executive at American Airlines, John Deere, Reuters and as a Malcolm Baldrige award national examiner.
1 minutes | May 19, 2016
# 1: Introducing the Champions of Growth Podcast - the Business Podcast for Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs, investors and business builders share inside stories about growing their businesses. We'll learn about what they've done to become indispensable to their clients, what challenges they've faced and what lessons they've learned along the way. The Champions of Growth podcast explores topics such as building great corporate cultures, developing sales and marketing teams, using technology to scale a business, business strategy, creating a strong supply chain, raising capital and the role of private equity for business growth. In short, the Champions of Growth Podcast is a business podcast for entrepreneurs and business leaders who want to grow a small business into to a middle market company and beyond. The show is hosted by Greg Porto, an investment banker, entrepreneur and partner of Energy Boss , a wellness and performance company that helps executives, entrepreneurs, business professionals and their families take back control of their energy. Greg directs Energy Boss' WIN Regardless program, helping business owners maintain focus and stamina in the unpredictable new economy while developing resilient business systems.
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