Sheltowee Business Network Blog

Annual Update from the CEO, Alex Day

Annual Update from the CEO, Alex Day

Nov 29 2019

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 an outstanding team.  The very small team that I have had has done an incredible job.  We have accomplished more with $300,000 than other entities have been able to accomplish with millions of dollars.   I want to thank Dawn Yankeelov, Nan Dryden, John Rattliff, JR Rose, and Lena Babic for all their help and support over the past year.  Dawn Yankeelov, president of Aspectx, and our Chief Communications Officer, has done an incredible job with our communications and our partnership with Louisville Business First and event management.  I would also like to summarize a few lessons from the last year.

1.       We have to have more people on our team to help us accomplish what we need to accomplish. 

2.       We have to have more than a minimally viable product to grow our business.

3.       We are on the right track with our products and services.

4.       It is hard to build the systems and processes that are necessary to scale a business.



What Is Next

We look towards 2020 with great optimism and enthusiasm.  We will be building out our products and services to take them to the next level.  We will be making investments with the Sheltowee Venture Fund in 2020 and adding to our angel network.  We will be adding to our team some incredible team members to add to our existing team.  We will be moving the Konexons platform forward to allow our angel investors and our entrepreneurs to connect more effectively and we will continue to foster key strategic relationships that can help us grow our business. 

I want to thank everyone who has attended a Sheltowee Event and particularly to those who have provided feedback on our Konexons platform.  And a very special thanks to our Mentors, Explorers, Experts and Entrepreneurs who have hung in there with us during our infancy.  We will be bringing great things to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in 2020 and our early members will not be forgotten, and will get more perks and benefits in 2020 for hanging in there with us during our infancy. 

Thanks for all your support and God Bless!

 Alex Day