Spotlight Interview: Dave Mattson

Dave Mattson - Sandler Systems, Inc

Dave talks about innovation, learning from customers, and success in sales.

See The Full Interview

Spotlight Interview: David Allen

David Allen - Getting Things Done

David talks about GTD and how it can help you, your business, and your success.

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Spotlight Interview: Gordon Logan

Gordon Logan - Sport Clips

Gordon talks about Sport Clips and the success of the franchise model he built.

See The Full Interview

Jul11

jeff kohr
Jeff Kohr
Boosted Vapor
Founder

Boosted Vapor is a provider of e-cigarettes and e-liquids. The company was created by a group of smokers looking to quit tobacco without giving up the joys of smoking. Other electronic cigarette companies dilute the nicotine and flavor in their products. Boosted Vapor’s products boost the nicotine and boost the flavor – thus, Boosted Vapor.

MO: How did you come up with the idea behind Boosted Vapor?

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Jul2

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Daniel Rensing
The Smart Baker
Founder

The Smart Baker was officially founded in 2009 by Daniel and Stephanie Rensing, but it was years in the making. The young couple has been spending time in the kitchen together and baking up goodies for their families since they started dating as high school sweethearts. Every time they entered the kitchen, they would search for an easier, smarter and more efficient way of doing things.

One challenge they always had was finding a recipe that yielded just the right amount. When they baked for themselves, they’d scale recipes down considerably. When they were making treats for their large families, they’d have to scale the recipes up. In the process, Daniel and Stephanie would always need to convert measurements for an easier and faster way to measure out their ingredients. One day, Daniel made Stephanie an apron with the measurement conversions printed upside down for easy reading. And thus, The Smart Baker was born.

MO: Can you talk about the development process behind taking a simple idea and turning it into a manufacturing and e-commerce business servicing all different type of industries?

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Jul1

BBQ Restaurant in Columbia and Jefferson City, MO
Burl Lutz
Lutz's BBQ
Owner & Operator

Burl Lutz is the founder and owner of Jefferson City’s one and only Lutz’s BBQ, smokin’ delicious, home-style barbecue. After constantly traveling with his construction job, Burl decided to start his own barbecue restaurant. You might find his recipes similar to his personality; tasteful, but straight to the point. Today, 13 years later, Lutz’ BBQ is located in two different cities, including Columbia, MO, and business is booming.

MO: What got you started in the food business?

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May23

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Sarah Haselkorn

Green Bean is a fast-casual, sustainable, salad and wrap restaurant located in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, MO. Our mission at Green Bean is to provide tasty, convenient, and nutritious salad fare to our Midwestern community in an eco-friendly manner.

Sarah Haselkorn is an undergraduate senior studying systems engineering and entrepreneurship at Washington University in St. Louis. During her junior year, she opened Green Bean, a fast-casual, sustainable salad and wrap restaurant located a few miles from campus. Haselkorn competed in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards and was a finalist in 2012. She is currently working on expanding Green Bean, and starting an e-commerce business sock company.

MO: You impressively launched a restaurant at just 19 years old. The restaurant business is notoriously hard, what made you think that you could beat the odds?

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May17

SamLundin
Sam Lundin

Sam Lundin was an investor in technology companies at an $8 billion hedge fund, with a focus on the Internet space. In 2011, he switched from investing to operating when he launched Vimbly.to fix a personal pet peeve — the amount of time he would lose when researching & booking recreational activities.

Vimbly shows open time slots for activities, classes, & date ideas by different businesses on a single page and lets users book directly. These activities include dance, cooking, glassblowing, pizza making, wine tasting, intro to cigars, learning to DJ, improv, scotch pairing, samurai sword fighting, persuasion class, and hundreds more.

MO: How did you come up with the concept for Vimbly?

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May9

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Anne Churchill
AnnaBelle Events & Rentals
Owner & Event Planner

Anne Churchill is known locally in Columbia, Missouri as the go-to event and wedding planner and expert. She has a passion for planning flawless events and creating one of a kind event designs. Anne started her business in 2010 and now holds eight years of event planning experience and a Bachelors Degree from Columbia College. As the Owner & Event Planner of AnnaBelle Events & Rentals, she leads a team of professional and experienced Event Assistants.

AnnaBelle Events & Rentals is located in the North Village Art District of downtown Columbia, in Studio 107. The company focuses on planning corporate events, social occasions and weddings throughout Missouri. The company’s work continues to be recognized, most recently AnnaBelle Events & Rentals received the 2013 Bride’s Choice Award placing the company among the top 5% of wedding professionals nationally. In 2012 AnnaBelle Events & Rentals was named the Best Event Designer in Missouri by the Wedding Industry Experts annual awards. In addition to coordination and design services the company offers their clients an inventory of rentals, providing endless options and the ability to achieve the latest trends and styles.

Gus: What local resources were of most useful when launching your company?

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May8

Anne.Shaeffer
Anne Shaeffer
Sulpice Chocolat
Founder

Founded by Chef Anne Shaeffer, Sulpice Chocolat is a Chicago-based artisan chocolate house specializing in the world’s FIRST designer, painted chocolate bars.

From their use of the finest truffle-quality chocolate to the unique flavor profiles created by their classically trained master chocolatier, Anne Shaeffer, Sulpice Chocolat does not compromise on quality. Each one of their chocolate creations is not only kosher, but is inspired by Anne’s days as a pastry chef where she would create unforgettable plated desserts. Ultimately, her passion for chocolate guided her decision to create astoundingly delicious chocolate bars accessible to everyone. Finally, no experience is complete without a striking visual component. By being the world’s first team to individually hand-paint each of our chocolate bars, Sulpice Chocolat elevates its sumptuous creations to an art form.

MO: Where does your passion for creating unique and elegant treats come from?

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Apr24

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Dan Dillon
CleanItSupply.com
President

CleanItSupply.com is a wholesale janitorial supply company which is a fast growing business with headquarters located in Jeffersonville, PA. They remain as committed as ever to providing their customers with top quality service and discounted janitorial supplies, restaurant supplies and office supplies.

MO: How did you get your start in the janitorial supply industry?

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Apr18

Shari-Headshot-low-res
Shari Wynne
Incubation Station
Founder & CEO

Shari Wynne is the Founder and CEO of Incubation Station (IS), an accelerator created to help build diversified industries in Austin and to support the success of entrepreneurs and their companies. Ms. Wynne is also a Founder and CEO of MWR Legal, a law firm representing and connecting entrepreneurs, investors, start-ups and emerging companies. Shari focuses her practice on legal-related business growth and development matters, and connection to critical resources. She also founded 6Degrees Connect a referral match company. She is an active member of the entrepreneurial eco-system, has served on numerous boards and committees helping companies achieve success and is the former President of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Austin chapter.

Incubation Station is an accelerator that brings together a group of Austin notable entrepreneurs, investors and advisors for the purpose of mentoring high-potential, market-validated consumer product companies to more effectively manufacture, distribute, market and grow their products and services.

MO: What inspired you to launch the Incubation Station and how has your background and experience prepared you for such an endeavor?

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Apr9

Barrie Lynn
Barrie Lynn
The Cheese Impresario
Founder

Barrie Lynn is a nationally known cheese expert, cheese writer, cheese educator, cheese + beverage pairing expert and cheese entertainer. She travels the country for trade shows, conferences, private and corporate events and sales trainings. Barrie was even brought to Kraft to present her take on artisanal cheeses for their (300+) cheese team.

MO: Where does your love and passion and cheese come from?

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Mar8

Tom Walter
Thomas Walter
Tasty Catering
CEO

Tasty Catering, a suburban-Chicago based corporate catering and event planning services company, has been exceeding the catering needs of Chicago area corporations and organizations for more than 20 years. Known for its commitment to excellence and attention to detail, Tasty Catering is built upon the single premise of providing its customers with exceptional service and quality. Tasty Catering customers include Abbott, American Airlines, CDW, Harris Bank, Mortenson Construction, Navistar, RSM McGladrey, Sherman Hospital and University of Chicago.

MO: How did you initially get into the catering business? What are some of the key changes that you’ve witnessed in the industry over the past 20 years?

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