DECEMber 6, 2019

For past editions, visit the SHELTOWEE NEWS ARCHIVES

ANNUAL UPDATE from the CEO, Alex Day

Dear Sheltowee Supporters and Members: 

It is hard to believe that we are sitting here at the end of 2019.  In December of 2018 we held our first meeting at Blue Licks, KY with 20 people to contemplate how to develop a network of entrepreneurs that help each other grow their businesses.  We started out with a minimally viable product and a concept.  Since that time we have invested nearly $300,000 and learned A LOT. 

What Have We Done

1.       We opened 4 nodes of our network in Louisville, KY; Evansville, IN; Cincinnati, OH and Lexington, KY and held regular meetings. 

2.       We have developed new products to make our network more robust. 

a.       The Sheltowee Advisory Program.

b.       The Idea Proxy.

c.       The Konexons mobile platform.

d.       Additional work on the Business in a Box curriculum. 

3.       We have developed an e-mail list of over 650 e-mails (from 10 initial interested parties)

4.       We have had over 200 people register with our Konexons platform. The platform is designed for presenting areas of interest to SBN members and guests, including an upcoming Goals Center and Membership directory, as well as allows surveying at all our meetups.

5.       We have had over 60 members join as paying members.

6.       Our members have presented 42 presentations in front of over 580 people at over 25 different events over the last year.

7.       We have worked with Techstars to bring angel capital to Louisville.

8.       We have entered into an MOU with the Angel Capital Group to merge our companies to provide  a direct route to capital for our members.

9.       We established a partnership with Louisville Business First and established the Sheltowee News page with Business First’s Entrepreneurs and Innovators page.

10.   We have completed our disclosure documents for the Sheltowee Venture Capital Fund and secured our first investment in that fund.

11.   We have identified multiple investment opportunities for which we are doing due diligence for when the fund is ready to deploy capital.

12.   We used the Konexons mobile platform for Startup Week to secure feedback on the multiple events.

13.   We used the Konexons platform to secure feedback for the area’s Founders Hunt event.

14.   We are in an active dialog with how we can collaborate with Story Louisville.

15.   And we have DONE A LOT!

What We Have Learned

I have learned that to accomplish great things you need...   continue reading    

Dec. 3rd, Leveraging Linked In for Your Startup or Small Business, 5:30 to 8 PM. Ihub Co-Working Space, 204 South Floyd Street. Led by Dawn Yankeelov, President of Aspectx and SBN's Chief Communication Officer. Pizza/soda will be served. Limited Seating up to 25. Bring your laptops, iPads, or similar. Free for Members and Prospective Members. $55 for Remote Access for Non-Members and Other Business Professionals.
Dec. 3rd, A SCORE Workshop on Your Online Presence. 6 PM to 7:30 PM. Kerry DeMuth, Digital Marketing Consultant of RevLocal will present. Southwest Regional Library.
Dec. 4th, Venture Connectors: Tour the Backside — A Program on Churchill Downs. Noon to 1 PM. Muhammed Ali Center. 144 N. Sixth St. Hear from some Churchill Downs execs, who will offer an insider's perspective on the business of horse racing at one of the most iconic racetracks in the world! Free to members; Guest Registration: $40. To Join:
Dec. 5th, Strothco University for CFOs & CEOs by Strothman & Co., 8 AM to Noon. University of Louisville, Shelby Campus. This four-hour conference will include a keynote address by Dr. Susan M. Donovan, President of Bellarmine University and nine breakout sessions on a variety of timely topics. This program is designed to qualify for four (4) hours of continuing professional education (CPE) for CPAs.
Dec. 10th, Exploring Entrepreneurship, 6 PM. Nia Center, Ground Floor, Computer Lab, 2900 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40211, Free, But Registration Required.
Jan. 16th, Sheltowee Business Network Louisville Node Meetup. 3 PM to 5 PM. Ihub Co-Working Space, 204 South Floyd Street. Free. Membership encouraged.


Even in A “Pre-Revenue” Status as a Founder, You Can Do Email Marketing

By Dawn Marie Yankeelov

Many startups face the brunt of lack of funds as the year comes to a close, but short of giving up, you must do something to continue your outreach to prospective angels, prospective clients, possible partners, and others interested in advancing your mission.

Basic marketing calls for time and talent, but not necessarily great dollars, even if you contract this type of work out.  Try email marketing for 60 days as you bridge the gap on the next round of funding.  There are tools like Mailchimp and Constant Contact -- allowing for short-term free trials--that can assist you with low-cost or no-cost options to begin using all those business cards you’ve collected on your counter from interested parties. Ask for permission to add them to your newsletter list, and get a result by doing eblasts ( aka email campaigns) in these types of systems.  With the use of generic templates and clip art available, you do not have to be a graphic artist or even a writer. 

Be pro-active.  You may find that buying a mailing list from a trade association in your industry can be effective.  If you have been a speaker, been in tradeshow booth, or assisted in co-operative marketing in a recent industry event, you may be entitled to the attendee list. It never hurts to check. This could be useful for lead generation in several ways.

Email continues to be one of the dominant channels in marketing, found in many 2019 studies.  According to a recent report from Marketing Profs, email remains the most effective in driving ROI, delivering $42 for every $1 spent on it—up from the previous year.  According to Campaign Monitor, your average email open rate in 2019 should be between 15-25%. Your average click-through rate should be about 2.5%. Your average click-to-open rate should be between 20-30%.  If not, add to your lists through purchasing lists or acquiring names through your team’s existing outreach channels.  Get the business cards from your leads at networking functions, and ask them to allow you to add them to your newsletter—in person, on your website, and via social media.  This is considered a “call to action.”

The best send outs are varied in their content—especially if you plan on doing more than one sendout a month.  If you are tying your content into your website, and you should be in most cases, then the use of dynamic content is possible there.  It refers to web content that changes based on the behavior, preferences, and interests of the user.  Dynamic content can refer to websites as well as e-mail content and is...   continue reading    

As a Business Owner, An Operating Agreement Can Be A Wise Step for an LLC

When you start a business, keeping your legal house in order remains a first step priority to begin operations. 

As a founder, you will need to determine the type of entity you would like to set up, and who is actually involved in the company’s management and ownership, including initial investors—of which you may be all three.  You can set up a number of different types of entities—often a B corp., a sub-S corp., an LLC, a C corporation, or a sole proprietorship.

The Sheltowee Business Network will be rolling out a new legal documents package for all entrepreneurs and mentors to use under its membership by Jan. 1, 2020.  This single use of your Sheltowee membership could save you thousands of dollars in organizational time and disputes.  Go to to join today for under $25 a month.

Remember to review state law for the state in which you are registering.  Have you heard about the Kentucky Business One Stop Portal?  The Kentucky Business One Stop Portal makes your business experience faster and more efficient by allowing your business to file annual reports and statements of change with the Secretary of State, renew certain professional licenses, and register or update certain account information with the Department of Revenue.  Visit

Often an operating agreement is a wise step for founders in an LLC to protect your personal assets.  An operating agreement used by LLCs generally outlines the business' financial and functional decisions such as rules, regulations and provisions. Governing internal operations of the business that suits the specific needs of the business owners is an important founder’s goal.

Many states don't require LLCs to have an operating agreement, but check with your secretary of state to see what the rules are. The state of Kentucky does not require the document for a business to operate. It is, however, highly recommended that the owners/members implement the document to provide the protections and incentives available provisions of a standard form. 

The State of Kentucky requires all LLCs to...   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: