“By all standards [Business Boot Camp] was a tremendous success. Every attendee I spoke with was completely blown away by the quality.” – Travis Marc Wilson, Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonough
MountainWest Capital Network held its second annual Business Boot Camp on Wednesday, June 3rd at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City. To say that the event was a tremendous success is an understatement. The event drew scores of early- to late-stage entrepreneurs and young to seasoned professionals from all over the state for a day of networking, inspiration, and instruction.
Over the course of the eight-hour event, attendees had the option of choosing among courses from three unique tracks, each of which was tailored to give an overview of and address issues that even the most experienced entrepreneurs may not be thinking about when in pre- to post-startup mode. Topics ranged from how to pitch to investors, how to finance a startup, the legal side of equity financing, how to market your business, building a winning management team, and much more.
Warde Allan, an attorney for Durham Jones & Pinegar and co-chair of the event, said that “it was inspiring to see such a large group of entrepreneurs turn out and to hear their excitement about the content being shared. They all seemed to be taking notes and asking thoughtful questions. As I talked to people throughout the day, it was obvious that everyone felt they were getting real value from attending the event.”
Attorney Ron Poelman, senior partner and shareholder from Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonough addressed the importance of board members to a company’s success. He noted how a study done in 1985 over a 25-year period showed that the single most important factor in successful business is experienced management. Poelman noted, “You need people with their heads in the clouds and people with their feet on the ground. If you’re young, you can only be successful if you have the ability to see yourself as you truly are; the biggest mistake is presuming you know more than you do.”
Speaking to the importance of harnessing emerging technologies, Dan Milne, a partner at Eide Bailly, outlined several warning signs that a business might have the wrong fit. In the event that a software publisher discontinues updates on a product or eliminates the product all together, that business will always be one step behind its competition. Businesses must assess their needs from the outset, realizing their culture and technology curve and determining the right technologies for the business size. Functionality is key: The right team and the right outside consultants will help you to match the technology with your business.
Perhaps the highlight of the event was the lunchtime keynote that was delivered by Ken Krogue, Utah native and founder and Chief Strategy Officer of InsideSales.com. During his presentation, he described how his company’s success is based on watching Google trends and riding trends that are going up, not down. Harnessing new technologies and hiring the right sales people creates an unstoppable man-plus-machine hybrid that will make the conveyer belt run faster and more efficiently.
Exciting things are happening in Utah and Boot Camp embodies the spirit of the Silicon Slopes. Cheri Farnsworth Waldron, Executive Director of MWCN agrees. “The event was a smash success in providing entrepreneurs with the opportunity to connect and learn from the very best in their industries,” she added. “The energy in both the breakout sessions and the networking in-between was inspiring.” And that’s exactly what boot camps are designed to accomplish.
Boots to the ground, soldiers. We’ve got your six.