The ISBDC EDGE Awards celebrate Economic Development & Growth through Entrepreneurship. EDGE Award recipients fall into one of two categories: Emerging or Established businesses. Eligibility is limited to clients of the ISBDC who in the past year have received one-on-one confidential counseling with a trained ISBDC Business Advisor, participated in ISBDC programs, or used ISBDC tools and business resources. EDGE Award recipients have been selected locally by the regional ISBDC staff who work directly with the business. Congratulations to the 2010 Class of Established Business EDGE Awards Winners.
Kristin Kohn first received assistance from the Central ISBDC in early 2000, writing her original business plan and launching her new business, Silver in the City – a sterling silver jewelry, home decor and gift store. In May 2009, she needed assistance to manage the business more effectively, especially financially. The ISBDC Business Advisor prepared financial reports using ISBDC resources comparing her business to other similar stores in the country, identifying her financial strengths and suggesting operational improvements. In addition, a demographic report was prepared to provide valuable data about the gift buying habits of consumers in the Indianapolis area. Inventory management assistance offered an improved method of forecasting her future store inventory balances in the short term. With these changes, Silver in the City obtained a $100,000 line of credit through the Bank of Indianapolis. The store has been voted “Best Local Gift Shop” for 6 out of the past 7 years by Nuvo Newsweekly. In November 2008, Kristin became a serial entrepreneur, opening a baby clothing boutique named “Nurture”.
In December 2009, Thomas came to the Southeast ISBDC for assistance in identifying sources of capital and inventory/products for his business idea, a general outdoor goods store. ISBDC Business Advisors provided Mr. Stricker with demographic information and statistical analysis that bolstered his view that the town of Greensburg could sustain a shop dedicated to archery. Through his work with the ISBDC and the Greensburg Chamber, Mr. Stricker was able to obtain $20,000 in funding that helped him launch Cutting Edge Sporting Goods with 3 employees. Mr. Stricker continues to work with the ISBDC to grow the business as he looks to expand Cutting Edge Sporting Goods from a 1400 square foot store to an 8400 square foot store. His goal is to be the premier location in Southeast Indiana for archery tournaments and outings, pulling customers from Indianapolis to Cincinnati.
Ron Larmor wished to purchase an existing printing supplies business where he worked as the sales manager. In 2008, he approached the North Central ISBDC for assistance in preparing for negotiations with the owner, developing a business plan, and seeking financing. Business Advisors worked with Ron to prepare for negotiations with the business owner and prospective lenders by providing assistance with business valuation and by helping develop a business plan using the ISBDC’s SmallBizNavigator solution.
The NC ISBDC continued to support Ron through the entire purchase negotiation process until the sale closed in September 2009 with 5 retained employees. Ron subsequently attended an ISBDC’s QuickBooks workshop and worked with his ISBDC Business Advisor to transition the business records to QuickBooks.
DaKan Graphix held sales at 2009 levels while relocating the business and expanding to the market for digital printing and finishing equipment service and parts.
Dr. Mark Grevious, a cosmetic surgeon, wanted to expand his operations by opening a plastic surgery medical office to assist patients requiring complex reconstructive surgery and complex hand surgery. He and his father, Herbert Grevious, visited the Northwest ISBDC in March of 2010 seeking assistance.
The ISBDC conducted extensive market research, providing demographics in core marketing areas. This helped the Grevious’ design and implement the right marketing efforts and strategies for Health & Renewal Plastic Surgery Associates. The Grand Opening of Health and Renewal took place in late April, with 5 employees. Estimated sales for Health & Renewal are approximately $545,000, representing a 21% increase over prior year sales in Dr. Grevious’ practice.
Fort Wayne, IN
Marsha Wulpi initially contacted the Northeast ISBDC in 2007 for assistance in becoming certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise with the State for JAM Impressions, Inc., her direct-to-garment printing, embroidery, and promotional products business. In January 2010, after attending a marketing roundtable facilitated by the Northeast ISBDC, the business began working with ISBDC Business Advisors to develop and implement a strategic plan, create projections to improve financial performance, increase utilization, develop an understanding of QuickBooks, and explore new market opportunities. With this assistance, JAM closed on a retail location, changed legal structure, and purchased new state of the art direct-to-garment printing equipment.
As a result of over 30 hours of ongoing counseling, the business completed a strategic plan, implemented a marketing plan – including an electronic newsletter, Facebook page, and a new website – identified new target markets for its direct-to-garment printed products, and has significantly improved its financial performance, experiencing a measurable improvement in its operating margins and cash flow, growing from a loss in 2009 to profitability in 2010. Ongoing ISBDC coaching will continue refinement and implementation of the strategic plan.
West Lafayette, IN
Matt Hedrick was first involved with the Hoosier Heartland ISBDC when he presented Nanovis to the Greater Lafayette Venture Club. After receiving a Phase I SBIR grant, Nanovis accessed market research reports through the ISBDC to assist him with applying for the SBIR Phase II and SBIR Phase I matching grants available through the Indiana 21st Century Reach and Technology Fund. Nanovis began initial testing of bone augmentation technology with the help of a $2 million 21st Century Research and Technology Fund grant. Nanovis projects to create up to 42 new research and development, manufacturing, and commercialization jobs as its spinal implant portfolio is launched over the coming years.
Nanovis is now preparing to launch a portfolio of advanced implants and expand accordingly. With a successful launch Nanovis plans to apply these same technologies to help patients across the portfolio of orthopedic and soft tissue implant markets including; dental, hip and knee, trauma, extremity and maxillofacial, and various soft tissue repairs. Nanovis is currently manufacturing its products at Micropulse, a well respected Indiana implant manufacturer and 2008 Indiana Companies to Watch winner.
Norm’s Paint Company, Inc.
Myron Echelbarger of Norm’s Paint Company came to the East Central ISBDC for help in applying for an SBA ARC loan. Cash flow was tight due to payments of loans, lines of credit, and credit cards. ISBDC Business Advisors helped Norm’s Paint Company produce the required financial history and projected cash flow for its loan application. The ARC loan of $35,000 was approved through Mutual Bank. Through this process, Myron and his ISBDC Business Advisors began to expand their relationship to discuss HR issues, staffing needs and strategic planning. As a result of these sessions, Myron decided to and was able to sell the automotive paint side of the business. That sale has placed Norm’s Paint Company, after 55 years, in a position where it will now have a better opportunity to grow.
Scott Noroozi came to the West Central ISBDC in February 2010 seeking to improve The Green Nursery and Barefoot Kids’ online business as well as capital to expand its online presence. In business for around three years, The Green Nursery and Barefoot Kids was not quite breaking even and had come to a crucial decision point.
Over the next month, ISBDC Business Advisors proceeded to help focus his strategic plan and utilized ISBDC resources to determine demographic target areas to create a profile for “green” baby product customers. Noroozi’s business plan was reviewed to create a more robust strategic plan to direct future growth and help find a path to profitability in both their brick-and-mortar and online channels. The ISBDC assisted with implementation of more effective promotional strategies, and sales increased 56% year to year from November 2009 to 2010 creating the opportunity for expansion via internet and physical store locations.
Alex came to the Southwest ISBDC right out of college in 2008 with the dream of opening the first of many college text book rental facilities. He had a business plan, but little funding. ISBDC Business Advisors connected him with Borrego Springs Bank, and with the receipt of a $25,000 SBA loan, the business opened in August 2008 with 3 employees.
In over 60 hours of counseling, ISBDC Business Advisors have helped with general management advice, assistance with recordkeeping, inventory systems, taxes, and contacts with angel investors. More recently, TXT Book Rental has obtained $100,000 from Integra Bank which enabled a significant increase to inventory.