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New Angel Investor Group to Start in Louisville

By Alex Day

The Sheltowee Business Network is partnering with the Angel Capital Group to start the Louisville Sheltowee Angels.  Louisville has had various angel investing groups over the years, but none have been active for a few years.  First of all, let’s discuss what an angel investor is.  An angel investor is someone who is interested in early stage entrepreneurial companies and invests in them.  Most of the time an angel investor is also an accredited investor.  This is a designation by the SEC that essentially makes sure that the investor is sophisticated enough that that they do not get taken advantage of. 

Sheltowee is working diligently to provide resources for entrepreneurs.  These resources include training, tools and introductions to capital providers.  Our effort to partner with angel investor groups is a part of our strategy to network with groups that have an interest in investing in early stage companies.  The Sheltowee Business Network is exploring relationships with numerous angel investor groups and since Louisville...     continue reading  

Aug. 22-23, Techfest Louisville a biennial event of the Technology Association of Louisville Kentucky. 8 AM start. Main Location: 900 E. Main St. with the tradeshow open to all at Akasha Brewery from 10 AM to 4 PM. This two-day event is designed for all business professionals, including mentors, experts, explorers, and entrepreneurs. Key tracks include: blockchain, cybersecurity, internet of things, healthcare IT, and artificial intelligence. Special youth STEAM events for middle school, high school, and college-age students in the after school hours. For a full agenda and to register to attend, go to: Use discount code--TECH2019--for a 35% discount. $99 per day before discount. Tickets include breakfast events, a cocktail hour on Day 1, and the Day 2 luncheon.
Aug. 27, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM (EDT) Lexington Sheltowee Business Network Event. BASE 110 | 110 West Vine Street, 4th Floor | Lexington, KY 40507.
Aug. 29, 2019 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (CDT) Evansville Sheltowee Business Network Node Meeting. 407 Main St | 407 Main Street | Evansville, IN 47708.
Aug. 30, Canopy Louisville’s General Meeting, 11:30 AM, Lunch Will Be Served. Guest Speaker: Sarah Day Evans, Accelerating Appalachia, 900 East Main St., Story Louisville. No Fee. Donations Accepted.
Sept, 3 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM (EDT) Cincinnati Sheltowee Business Network Node Meetup. Fueled Collective | 3825 Edwards Road | Cincinnati, OH 45244.
Sept. 14, Owning Your Own Business, 8 AM, Bellarmine University, by Louisville Small Business Development Center & Louisville SCORE.
Sept. 28-29, Maker Faire Louisville. Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these "makers" to show hobbies, experiments, projects. who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these "makers" to show hobbies, experiments, projects.
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Five Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make That Can Cost Them

By Alex Day


Starting and growing a business is very challenging.  I have watched many entrepreneurs do it very successfully and then watched some of those same entrepreneurs meet with failure in future endeavors.  I wanted to list five of the common mistakes that I have seen made and counsel you to avoid these.


1.  Building your operating expenses too fast. 

I can speak authoritatively on this, because I did it with one of my startups.  As entrepreneurs, we always BELIEVE we are going to succeed.  This inherent belief makes it easy to justify expenditures to handle future growth.  If that future growth does not come, then you have a problem.  I believe that it is very important that you strongly evaluate every penny you are going to spend.  Make sure that it truly is a need.  One of the best pieces of advice that I have received was from a successful entrepreneur in Tel Aviv.  My friend Avi told me that as an entrepreneurial company, I had to stay alive long enough to succeed.  Those words have resonated in my ears.  There is so much truth in those words. 

The guy that came out of the "big" company can do well in a small company.  I have seen this many times.  "Jack did great at 3M, so he can really kick butt in a startup!".  Sometimes this is true, but often times this is a mistake. It takes the rare individual who can make the transition from working at a large company to successfully growing a small company.  The dynamics are very different and the requirements are sometimes incompatible.  If a "corporate" person wants to make the transition to the small business world, they can certainly do it.  But like most entrepreneurs, they will probably fail their first time out. 


Assuming because a person was successful in a big company, they will excel in an entrepreneurial company.

The attitude of the individual can play a big role in their failure.  I have seen so many times people from the corporate world come into a small company with the attitude that they have played for the major league, so doing this job in the minor league is going to be a piece of cake.  The more accurate analogy is that she left a baseball team to go to a hockey team.  It is a completely different game altogether.  You don't get to contact the "legal department" or send that issue over to "HR".  Entrepreneurial businesses have to operate differently.  Making the assumption that a top performer in the corporate world will be a top performer in an entrepreneurial company can sometimes be fatal to a business.


3.  Assuming because you are a small company you don't need an IT infrastructure.

"I'm a small company.  Why do I need to worry about my IT infrastructure."  I was recently consulting with a small company and was encouraging them to do some work on their IT infrastructure.  As it happens the individual responsible for this came out of the corporate world and never worked for a small company.  His words were, "We are just a small company.  All we need are some shared drives".  This actually harkens back to my earlier point and the attitudes associated with moving from a bigger company to a small one.  The IT tools that are available now provide the entrepreneur with tools that are going to allow them to compete with the bigger companies.  This is NOT the area on which to skimp or take nonchalantly.  You do not need to make a big capital investment in IT, but you absolutely need to have this as a priority.  Make sure your team HAS the tools, and then make sure...     continue reading  

THE SHELTOWEE BUSINESS NETWORK in conjunction with the SHELTOWEE VENTURE FUND is a member driven-network that helps entrepreneurs start and build businesses.

Our Core Values are:
1. Help others
2. Always act in a kind, ethical and transparent fashion
3. Honor those who assume the risk
4. Expect a financial return from your interactions

Become a member of the network!  Go to:

The Case for Consulting a Lawyer

by Carlos Hernandez Ocampo, Esq.

In today’s Internet of Things and AI-powered world, many believe that lawyers will soon be obsolete. The question “Do I need a lawyer?” seems to be coming up more in entrepreneurship and small business circles.

Well, do you? The short answer is that you don’t. You can stop reading now...

For those of you who kept going, I think you know that the real answer is yes.

To illustrate my point, I’d like to start with a short story. A month back, I found myself at my office, explaining to a prior client and friend the details of one of my services and the price tag that came with it. He smiled at me and said he didn’t need it and that he had already done most of the work. In his own words, “Why should I hire you to do the rest? Can’t I just do it myself?” I smiled politely and said, “Sure, you can do anything you want.”


(1) While an LLC is an excellent business entity for many business types, it presents several issues for others.

(2) Maintain a separate bank account for your business. Do not co-mingle your funds, with your personal expenses.

(3) If more than one person is opening this business with you, you should have an operating agreement.

I then asked him a silly question, one I knew the answer to: “What do you do for a living again?”

“I lay roofing.” He answered. ...     continue reading  

Don’t Take Money From Me!


By Eric Dobson


(1) If you don’t need investment capital, don’t take it. Investors require a lot of work and come with a lot of strings!

(2) Once you sell shares in your company, it is no longer your company. You have signed an implied agreement that you work for your investors.

Every year 600,000 – 700,000 companies form.  An estimated 90% of them will seek some form of financing.  Only 10% of those get angel funding.  Only 20% of those funded will likely return capital and only 10% of them will get venture capital funding.  So, why are the successful ones so few?  The deck is already stacked against the startup company.  For a startup company to be successful, it must have timing and luck on its side AND the vast majority of decisions be sound.  That is a tall order.

There are numerous avenues of failure: team (leading vector for crashing and burning), IP (rarely the true cause of failure), market acceptance, business planning, etc.  Few people think of INVESTORS as a mode of failure.  I am here to tell you taking the wrong money is a fast path to...     continue reading  




Sheltowee Business Network



I am passionate about my faith, science and technology, entrepreneurism, and the outdoors.  I enjoy helping entrepreneurs build their businesses and helping them avoid many of the mistakes I have made.



Gallup Strength Finder strengths are: Ideation, Learner, Strategic, Input, Intellection

Other strengths: Fund raising for startups, strategy, technical due diligence, creative deal structure



I enjoy travelling with my wife and friends, fishing, and spending time in the mountains. 



Keiretsu Forum Midwest

The Unbridled Charitable Foundation



Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.



Founded Kentucky BioProcessing and recruited the scientific team that developed a vaccine for Ebola that is effective post exposure and is expressed in tobacco leaves.  This vaccine was used under an emergency allowance by the FDA to save the lives of American healthcare workers who were exposed to the virus.

Have grown to be comfortable with (and to like) who I am (both my strengths and weaknesses).

Have maintained and nurtured the most important relationships in my life.



Venture Capital, Fund Raising, Investing, Life Sciences, Biotech, Alternative Energy, Angel Investing



I studied Russian at the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute in 1989 and met the composer Leonard Bernstein while there.