A lot of factors have contributed to the Nashville chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) becoming the third-largest chapter in the world, but one of the most important is EO Nashville’s groundbreaking program to help small companies become large ones.
The 18-month program, called Catalyst, combines classroom instruction, mentorships and peer-to-peer CEO forums to help local companies that now generate $250,000 to $999,999 get to $1 million gross annual revenue or more. The program includes 12 fortnightly classes and up to one year of mentorship and participation in a CEO forum, for a total of 18 months.
Now in its sixth year, Catalyst today is arguably the most effective thing a Nashville entrepreneur can do to boost the growth of her business – a reputation that has led this year to a record-breaking enrollment of 40 companies in the 2016 class.
“This year’s Catalyst enrollment is higher than ever before, and we know it’s a result of the success experienced by former participants of the class,” said John Kepley, EO Nashville chapter president and CEO of Teknetex. “The members of last year’s Catalyst program experienced an average growth of 194 percent and hired more than 107 new employees upon completion.”
Participants represent a wide range of businesses in industries such as food services, fashion design, digital strategy, real estate and more.
This year’s Catalyst participants include:
Lauren Atkinson, Lauren Marie Atkinson Designs
Ellen Bloomfield, Bloomfield Originals, LLC
Rick Bloomfield, Bloomfield Originals, LLC
Eric Conn, Independent Mastering, LLC
Jennifer Connors, One10 Beauty
Laura Deleot, Circa Design
Jennifer Derryberry Mann, Blooma Nashville
Richard Doughty, Cypress Concierge Medicine
Rick Dunlap, Moonshine Mountain Cookie Company
Grant Ellis, Nut Butter Nation
Ivy Elrod, Wilder Inc.
Derek Evans, Project 615
Mylikia Franklin, Divine Medical Billing, Inc.
Rusty Hagenbuch, CHARGER IT
Benjamin Hammond, Magnolia Property Consultants, LLC
Drew Hart, Inflammo
Alphonso Harvey, Music City Med, LLC
Alicia Helm, Spruce, LLC
Andy Holeman, Novigo Designs, LLC
Brian Hoppes, Elevation Search Solutions, LLC
James Kennon, Kennon Calhoun Workshop
Crystal Kensinger, re:MOVE//Training
Quincy McKnight, Instant Merchant Group
Claire Meneely, Dozen Bakery
Chris Nardone, Venture Music
Barry Owen, Pareto Realty, LLC
Chad Pankake, Affinity Search Partners
John Penland, InfoTech
Ginny Pope, OAK Nashville
Mclaine Richardson, Margaret Ellis Jewelry
Julie Robinson, Cypress Concierge Medicine
Aimee Romero, Love and Science
Eva Romero, SOLACE Oral Surgery
Sooner Routhier, SRae Productions
Tori Thomas, Circa Design
Erin Tolbert, MidlevelU, LLC
Kristin Walker, Walker Feed Co.
Spencer Wang, Peabody Corner Marketplace
Debra Wendorf, On Demand Solutions
Ike Wingate, Wingate Media Group
The classroom sessions will be taught by EO Nashville member Michael Burcham, founding president of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, current CEO of his newest venture, Narus Health and faculty member of the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Other EO Nashville members will attend Catalyst classes to share their experiences, in addition to serving as mentors. At the conclusion of the classes, Catalyst participants will be broken into smaller peer-to-peer forum groups, which will meet monthly for one year and are led by two EO Nashville members.
Many Catalyst graduates like Leslie Embry, owner of The Blowout Co., find that this combination of tactical classroom learning with one-on-one mentorship and peer forums is the powerful collection of business wisdom they’ve needed to move their businesses to the next level.
“There was no way I could have survived long-term in the state my company was in,” Embry, who is a graduate of the third Catalyst class, said. “The Catalyst program was a game-changer.”
About EO Nashville:
With 182 members, the EO Nashville chapter is the third-largest chapter within the global EO network, which has 157 chapters and more than 11,000 members in 48 countries. EO enables small and large business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. EO Nashville members own or operate companies from $1 million to over $100 million in revenue. Collectively the chapter employs more than 9,800 people and represents over $3 billion in revenue. If combined, the member companies of EO Nashville would be one of the largest employers in the region and one of the highest privately held companies. For more information, contact Sameera Lowe, executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.EONashville.com.