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- Don’t re-invent the wheel! What successful entrepreneurs know can help make you a success—and avoid the mistakes they made.
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Alex Bates has spent the last decade bringing artificial intelligence and machine learning to the forefront of the industrial market. In 2016, Alex sold his company, Mtell to AspenTech for $38 million. Unlike most tech startups, Alex and his co-founder raised only $1m in funding and maintained ownership of the majority of the company. As part of the acquisition, Alex had to stay with AspenTech for two years. Now, he’s dedicating his life to driving AI tech forward. Alex wrote his book, “Augmented Mind: Al, Superhumans and the Next Economic Revolution”, he is an active angel investor, and he is a partner in AI incubator The Sandbox.
Cory Warfield is the co-founder of ShedWool. ShedWool is an employee scheduling and workforce management software company. What that means is they help staff at companies fill a shift or take on an additional shift. So if someone works at a restaurant they don’t have to call all their buddies to see who can cover for them. They can put it in the ShedWool schedule and someone can pick up the shift easily. Early on they were able to work with companies like IBM, American Airlines, BP, Four Seasons and several other high-profile companies. Cory worked in the hospitality industry for years where he saw the need for a scheduling app. He is also the co-founder of Mentor You Global which is a pro bono consulting platform.
Tim Sinclair is the founder of Ringr.com. Ringr allows you to record a conversation with anyone, anywhere in the world and have it sound like you are in the same room. Users of Ringr have interviewed Emmy award winners, New York Time best sellers, CEOS, athletes and many more. You may have heard him describing the taste of a Sausage McMuffin, interviewing guests on radio, television, and podcasts, or introducing the world’s most popular athlete to a stadium filled with 60,000 screaming fans. By now Tim’s voice has been heard by millions around the world and he has worked with companies like Audi, McDonald’s, the Indiana Pacers, the University of IL and many more.
Chad Collins is the co-founder of Open World Events. They have one of the clearest and best tag lines, “We produce massive family events.” In 2014, they launched, Brick Fest Live which is the #1 touring Lego event in the world and brings hands-on Lego attractions and exhibits. They often have more than 20,000 people show up to each of the shows. They launched Minefaire which is an official Minecraft community event that brings Minecraft players together for an immersive experience. They also have the Young Innovators Fair which is a K-12 STEM Event where attendees explore the latest in science and tech.
Tom Ross is the founder and CEO of Design Cuts. He has built an audience of 400,000 designers and grew the business to multiple 7 figures with more than 16 full-time staff. He is also one of the hosts of The Honest Designers Show which is one of the most popular shows in the design community and host of The Honest Entrepreneur Show where he gives a candid look at the life of an entrepreneur.
How Direct to Consumer Platforms are Grabbing the Spotlight with Stephan Aarstol Founder of Tower Paddle Boards
Stephan Aarstol is the founder of Tower Paddle Boards and the No Middle Man Project. Founded in 2010 and funded by billionaire Mark Cuban, Tower Paddle Boards is one of the biggest success stories in Shark Tank history. With only $100K in lifetime sales at the time of the pitch, Mark Cuban invested just $150K, and since then Tower has done over $30M in sales. Tower was the #1 brand out of over 2 million 3rd party sellers signed up for the pilot Amazon Exclusives program. They also have branched into Tower Electric Bikes and Tower Beach Club.
Jason Miles is the founder of Pixie Faire. He started a family business with his wife at the time called Liberty Jane at their kitchen table in 2008. In 2013 they launched Pixie Faire, which has become the world’s largest online marketplace in their niche. The site averages 50-60 thousand transactions a month and they have had over 2million of their patterns downloaded. People describe Jason’s wife, Cinnamon Miles as “the Vera Wang of the 18-inch crowd.” In 2014 Jason retired from a 20-year career in non-profit management to work on the business full-time. They also started Sew Powerful a non-profit organization focused on creating purposeful products at a sewing cooperative in Zambia. Jason has several bestselling books published by McGraw-Hill on social media, “Instagram Power”, “Youtube Marketing Power”, “Pinterest Power.” He is also one of the most popular ecommerce instructors on Udemy.
Developing Products that Improve Your Quality of Life with Dr. Steve Sudell Creator of The Neck Hammock
Dr. Steve Sudell is the creator of the Neck Hammock. The Neck Hammock is a simple, portable, FDA-approved medical device that attaches to any door, rail, or pole and helps with neck pain relief in ten minutes or less. Dr. Sudell and his team have achieved significant success on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo raising over $1.6 million and selling over 30,000 units in a short period of time. In fact, The Neck Hammock was ranked in the top 1% of all crowdfunding campaigns worldwide.
Travis Rosser is the co-founder of Kajabi and has sold his stake in the company. Travis worked in the software space in corporate America for over ten years. After he realized he wasn’t cut out for the cubical world, he looked for another opportunity and discovered the education tech space. He started developing at night (while working a full-time job). They launched the beta in early 2010. To date over 10,000 customers have used the Kajabi software. They went from bootstrapped to making multiple millions each year. Travis is also the author of the book, “You INC. : The step by step guide for finding a business within you.”
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Nate Lind is the founder of Adsum, the Legends mastermind group, and a multi-million dollar ecommerce company selling hair care products for women and men. He has had a fascinating journey going from canning pack house to his education at the art institute to a junior programmer to selling and buying 50 million dollars of real estate to consultant for fortune 500 banks to multimillion dollar ecommerce company to Adsum.