Tag Archives: Business Development

February G2M Phase 1 and 2 Winners

February G2M Phase I Winners

Congratulations to the G2M Phase I Award winners for February 2015: 1) Solar Ninja, 2) Inertial Sense, and 3) NOMO. Funds and training are provided by the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative, in partnership with the Utah Valley Business Resource Center (UVU BRC). USTAR assists companies and universities in developing commercial applications for their research. The UVU Business Resources Center has a number of tools, resources and organizations to assist local entrepreneurs and businesses.

Solar Ninja is “a mobile platform that helps streamline the solar sales cycle. At Solar Ninja, we have developed the first mobile sales tool for thesolar industry. What used to take hours of time can now be done in minutes with ease. What used to take a week can now be done on the very first visit.” Jeff Burns, Solar Ninja

At Inertial Sense LLC “we have created the μINS-2™, a miniature calibrated GPS aided Inertial Navigation System.  Sensor data from MEMs gyros, accelerometers, magnetometers, barometric pressure, and GPS/GNSS is fused to provide optimal estimation of orientation, velocity, and position.  The μINS-2™ can be attached to any object and provide analytic and tracking data for that object.  Some call our sensor a “GPS on steroids” because it can do things a normal GPS cannot do.  Applications include drones, camera and antenna pointers, personnel tracking, asset tracking, navigation, ground vehicles, robotics, and sports/fitness monitoring.  Our patent-pending design is the size of five stacked dimes making the μINS-2 the smallest, most cost-effective GPS INS on the market today.  Inertial Sense is a privately owned Utah company.  Our CEO graduated from Brigham Young University at Provo, UT.  Our company has a background in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), control theory, embedded systems, and electronic design. Inertial Sense was founded in July of 2013.  We believe that the success and strength of our technology, company, and community lies in faith in the abilities of people and the creation of opportunities for personal growth.” Walt Johnson | CEO / Founder | Inertial Sense, LLC

NOMO™ “is so revolutionary you won’t have to change the water in your fish aquarium for as much as two years with minimal maintenance. This patented technology creates a balanced environment by stimulating aerobic (good) bacteria while suppressing the anaerobic (bad) bacteria. We have made it solar powered by running off the light that already exists in the Aquarium. There are no replacement filters or extra expenses. Put NOMO™ in your tank and leave it.  NOMO™ saves water, energy, time and money. We’ve made having a fish tank simple and fun by removing the pain and hassle of aquarium keeping!” David Simeoli

Phase I pitches are conducted at noon on the 4th Thursday of each month at the UVU BRC. They are open to the public. In order to pitch and receive funding a company must go through our G2M Phase I Training, based on lean startup, proof of concept, and market validation principles. Once companies complete their customer validation and market testing, and turn in the results, they can pitch in front of the crowd of peers – other companies going through the program. They are judged on a scale of 1 to 10 whether they have 1) found a monetizeable pain or a customer or market problem that people are willing to pay for, 2) have a team that can execute in starting and scaling a company, and 3) whether they were intellectually honest in their research.

February G2M Phase II Winners

Congratulations to the G2M Phase II Award winners for February 2015: 1) WildHair Technologies and 2) SpeedStealth. Funds and training are provided by the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative, in partnership with the Utah Valley Business Resource Center (UVU BRC). USTAR assists companies and universities turn ideas into products. The UVU Business Resources Center has a number of tools, resources and organizations to assist local businesses.

WildHair “believes that technology should be seen differently.  Technology innovation is happening faster than most solutions can be implemented. We created a SaaS platform that makes repeatable data migration pathways designed around your business processes, we call it BridgeTheGap. Technology has become fast and more intuitive but the cost associated with embracing new technology has left many living with inadequate but affordable solutions. WildHair is determined to create the affordable big data solution for the rest of us. When you control your data, your bottom line improves, deprecating outdated software is viable and implementing the newest technology is a simple import process. Its time for technology that supports your business as a whole.” Shelly Warren, Founder

Inneuvate, LLC, SpeedStealth, DBA, is “a service delivery company which uses proprietary software to accelerate computers, tablets or smartphones’ Internet connections.  We use a combination of licensed software and our own developed Intellectual Property to get data delivered more efficiently, first time every time.  We don’t use tricks like compression, caching or processor management tools, but we add a little math to the data being transmitted to allow us to rebuild lost data on the receiving end.  Our initial target market is business travelers, but anyone with expensive data plans or a poor Internet connection would benefit from our service.  We expect to charge about $5 per month, and people should see anywhere from a 30% to 3,000% speed boost, depending upon the network they are using.  It also has the desirable side benefit of adding an additional layer of security to our client’s data transmissions.  The software is installed on the device, so the performance improvements occur wherever they go.”  Bob Vukich.

Phase I pitches are conducted at noon on the 4th Thursday of each month at the UVU BRC. They are open to the public. In order to pitch and receive funding a company must go through our G2M Phase I Training, based on lean startup, proof of concept, and market validation principles. Once companies complete their customer validation and market testing, and turn in the results, they can pitch in front of the crowd of peers – other companies going through the program. They are judged on a scale of 1 to 10 whether they have 1) found a monetizeable pain or a customer or market problem that people are willing to pay for, 2) have a team that can execute in starting and scaling a company, and 3) whether they were intellectually honest in their research.

To learn more or apply to the USTAR/UVU G2M Business Accelerator, please visit www.uvu.edu/brc/accelerator/ .

The Fastest Way to Grow Your Company

So much time is spent strategizing, planning and wringing our hands, hoping to impact our company’s growth.

We allow the daily whirlwind to distract us with its importance due to its urgency. Our siloed focus on the minutia of HR, IT, OPS, Finance… you name it, allows us to take our eyes, hands and heart off the ONE thing that makes ALL the difference, Time spent on sales.

One important measure of our ability to grow our enterprises is simply counting the hours we and our team are actively engaged in sales. Whether it is cold calling prospects, presenting products or bids, closing sales or seeking referrals, nothing much matters if sales don’t occur.

I know… I know… delivery on the promises made by the sales force, compliance with regulations, addressing pressing legal issues, seeking capital for growth are examples of those things that can, if unattended, sink any company ship. What I’m addressing is simply a measure of how much effort, as a percentage of total labor hours, are being applied to profitable topline revenue.

There are some good rules of thumb for start-ups as well as established businesses. For start-ups (Those of us that are 2 years or younger) we should be devoting at least 80% of our day to sales. For established enterprises (7 years or more) at least 30% of total labor resources should be devoted to sales. If you’re in-between these two definitions, graph the percentage and draw a line between 80% & 30%.

The rationale for this emphasis does not require an advanced degree to understand. If you do not have reliable, influenceable, predictable, profitable revenue flowing into your company, in very short order, all the other issues you’re dealing with simply won’t matter.

Revenue covers a multitude of management sins. When sales are occurring, good things happen. Vendors get paid, doors stay open, and checks get written.

Sales are the core of a competitive advantage. There are many companies with great products that fail. What differentiates the leaders in any market from the rest of the pack is the strength of their marketing and sales.

Using the percentages provided above is a simple way to measure the strength of your company in the market you’re competing in. It is so easy to excuse ourselves from the immediacy of sales to attend to the immediacy of just about anything else. Don’t fall into that trap. Again, nothing else will matter if revenue is not flowing through the door.

Tom Watson, the founder of IBM, correctly stated “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.” Sales must be the monolithic focus of your company EVERY SINGLE DAY. Ignore that wisdom at your own peril and the peril of those that have tied their futures to your ship.

Want to grow your company? Focus on sales. Want to expand your product line? Focus on sales. Want to dominate your market and not be dominated by your competition? Focus on sales.

These is NO other obsession in your company that will have a more direct impact on the immediate and the sustained future success of your company than sales.

If you need help developing an actionable sales strategy, that’s what the UVU Business Resource Center is all about… plus free services to address the other stuff. We can be reached for an appointment at 801-863-2720. We’re happy to schedule the appointment around your busy sales schedule.

Written by Winthrop Jeanfreau, UVU Director of Economic Development, SBDC Director, and Business Resource Center Director.