UVU Students Pitch Their Passions at RevRoad HQ

UVU Pitch

The leadership at the UVU Woodbury School of Business is constantly on the lookout for ways to help their students succeed in the classroom. But even more importantly, they are committed to helping its students succeed in the real world.
When Dean Norm Wright realized that many students had great business ideas but no time to bring them to life, he had a great idea: a summer program that would teach business fundamentals and culminate in helping driven students make strong business connections.
Within a few months, the Launch & Accelerate program was born. The 11-week program included 10 weeks of classes and 1 week of building. Local business mentor and serial entrepreneur Ralph Little led the effort.

Enrollment Doubles Expectations

The program was a roaring success from the start, explained UVU Entrepreneurship Director Mark Seastrand.
He had expected 12 or 13 students to apply, and got twice that. The success continued as the students kept attending the weekly classes and growing in confidence.
This week, the 18 students made it to the finish line and participated in a final pitch event at RevRoad HQ.
Many of the students started out with little confidence in their ability.
“I’m pretty excited about them,” Seastrand said. What was really interesting is a lot of these are non-business students who just have a passion for their ideas. To see them get up and pitch their businesses was really rewarding.”
Each of the students who pitched at RevRoad had an ask for the investors and mentors in attendance, even though some had only decided on a business idea a few weeks ago. The needed connections, formal mentorship, money for marketing and sales leads, and help with finding talent, explained RevRoad Executive Director Amy Caldwell.
“It was fun,” she added. “You could tell they were nervous but they were super excited. They had a whole new level of confidence compared to when we saw their videos at the beginning of the 12 weeks.
Seastrand was very pleased with the success of Launch & Accelerate, and hopes to continue it next year. The university will conduct follow-up surveys of the students and investors who participated as part of the Wolverine Fund.

Growing Partnership Between RevRoad and UVU

“Mark has done a great job in bringing the different departments together at the university, and the pitch event was proof of his success,” Caldwell said, beaming. “We are so grateful to him for helping build the relationship between RevRoad and UVU, and we’re excited to grow the partnership in the future.”

The Next Step for Entrepreneurs? RevUp!

Anyone interested in entrepreneurship, who has an idea, wants an idea, or better yet, knows of a problem that could be turned into successful startup, is  welcome to attend RevRoad’s free classes, RevUp! RevRoad team members lead a weekly workshop, and class members get help and education during every step of their journey toward startup traction. Contact RevRoad Analyst Seth Robinson for details.

Talent & Mentorship Expert Marc Liebman, PhD, Announces Retirement

Dr. Marc Liebman retires as RevRoad Director of MentorsDr. Marc Liebman, an integral team member at the RevRoad team announced his retirement earlier this month. Although we are excited for this next phase of his life, it is with heavy hearts we make preparations for his departure. He will be missed.
Marc is a mentor to many and finds the best in everyone and is generous with praise and forges friendships easily.
“Besides a confidant and friend, Marc has been one of the greatest mentors of my life,” said Derrin Hill, CEO of RevRoad. “I appreciate him revealing my blind spots on important issues. I will sorely miss his wisdom and partnership and wish him well in his retirement.”
You can always count on Marc to use good humor to lighten the mood when things get heavy. His insights into strategy are without compare.
During his time at RevRoad, Marc has facilitated key relationships, helping Roadies (portfolio companies) find the right mentors to help their companies grow. As the director over talent, he has also been integral in recruiting highly qualified team members for our Roadie companies.
“I’m so grateful for the mentor relationship Marc helped to build for Momni,” explained Karmel Larson, CEO of the innovative caresharing platform Momni. “Glen Mella is a perfect fit, and we are already instituting some of his ideas. The mentorship program is one of my favorite things about RevRoad. It is going to provide dividends over and over again for years to come.”
As Marc leaves RevRoad, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention his incredible skill in putting together processes, systems, applications, and contracts. His attention to detail is astounding. In fact, in many instances he has personally forged connections to RevRoad, with important clients and national organizations such as DECA and many other educational institutions.
Marc has also brought tremendous amounts of experience to our organization throughout his tenure. Having been in the education industry for over 45 years, many of those years as a superintendent in California, he brings a wealth of knowledge in instruction, training, and maneuvering through bureaucracies to reach the goals necessary.
He has helped us learn how teams work, how to make a difference in the education space and how to forge public/private partnership for the benefit of students, a legacy that will remain for decades to come.
Since April of 2016, Marc has been heavily involved in the Responsibility Foundation, RevRoad’s charity of choice. He first served as a Senior VP and then as a board member, and he plans to continue in these roles into the future. He also looks forward to advising RevRoad and Roadies as Director Emeritus.
Marc has tried to retire twice before, but promises it will stick this time. He plans to focus on his wife, his faith and hobbies such as woodworking, photography, and building his wine collection.

Dave Myers Joins RevRoad as Chief Sales & Talent Officer

Dave Myers joins RevRoad to lead sales efforts.
Many startups fail in their first few years in business. Often, it’s simply because they are unable to find the right audience and make sales to real customers early on.
From its inception, RevRoad was built to solve problems just like this.
In coming months, seasoned sales expert Dave Myers will join RevRoad to lead national and global sales efforts for RevRoad portfolio companies. His efforts will include sales coaching and mentoring, sales team recruiting, developing sales channels and building strategic business bridges to drive growth.
Myers will also lead the mentoring and talent departments. He takes the place of outgoing director Marc Liebman, who announced his retirement in early July.
“One of the biggest challenges for new entrepreneurs is to build a highly effective sales team so they can get to revenue faster and better,” explained Derrin Hill, RevRoad CEO. “Dave has decades of tremendous experience doing that very thing in a variety of companies. We’re thrilled to have him join our organization.”
Myers comes to RevRoad with over 22 years of sales management and leadership experience. He started his career as a public school teacher and went on to serve in several capacities at education publishing company Pearson. Most recently, Myers was area vice president at the edtech company Imagine Learning, where he and his team regularly exceeded sales quotas by millions of dollars.
Myers describes himself as the grateful husband of one and the proud father of four. Myers earned a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from BYU.
“RevRoad has a great start in helping startups succeed,” Myers said. “It has created so much visibility and value in a short time, and it has an outstanding lineup of portfolio companies.”

JourneyFront, Neighbor win RevRoad Entrepreneur Competition

Portal entryway provider Piero nabs Fan Favorite prize
PROVO, Utah — Crowds of entrepreneurs eager to grow their businesses converged on RevRoad HQ Saturday for the $10,000 Give Your Business a Shot Competition.
The pitch competition brought in many more entries than anticipated, with representation from healthcare to fitness, charitable donations to language learning, cutting-edge SaaS to earth-friendly fertilizer and even beehives.
After a complicated application process, 2 required videos and 2 rounds of live pitches, the panel of 18 judges voted. They used criteria including target market, problem/solution fit, team and advisors, leadership, traction, competitive advantage, financials and more.
The competition was fierce, but two winners came out on top:

  • $10,000 Champion: JourneyFront, a Utah-based predictive hiring platform that helps companies improve the accuracy of their hiring using predictive analytics, machine learning and psychometric assessments.
  • $2,500 Runner-up: Neighbor, a technology platform that connects people with extra space to individuals looking for affordable storage.

The audience also got a voice, and they put their support behind a company with a laser focus on doing good:

  • $1,000 Fan Favorite: Piero, which helps people with disabilities make their way through public doors by way of a smartphone app and a small device that institutions can attach to any automatic door motor.

The contest was co-sponsored by Startup Utah and other community partners.
You probably saw our photographers out and about on Saturday, and we are excited to offer free downloads of their photos! Check out the Facebook album here to browse the entire collection.
 


About RevRoad

Did you know that 9 in 10 innovations fail in the marketplace? At RevRoad, we believe we can make a difference. We accept 3–4 Roadie companies every quarter, and we work side-by-side with them for up to two years. Along the way, we provide them with everything they need: a mentor who has been in their shoes, key service deliverables, and sweet office space. Because we accept equity instead of cash, we are fully invested in helping our Roadies succeed.

RevRoad Adds $1,000 Fan Favorite Award to 2018 Entrepreneur Competition

PROVO, Utah — RevRoad received far more entries than anticipated for its 2018 Give Your Business a Shot Entrepreneur Competition and is pleased to announce that it will now offer a $1,000 Fan Favorite prize in addition to its $10,000 prize for Champion and $2,500 Runner-up prize.
The pitch event will be March 10, from 9 a.m.–1:30 p.m. at RevRoad HQ, 1555 Freedom Boulevard, in Provo, Utah. Semifinalists will have the chance to pitch to panels of judges starting at 9. At 10:30, finalists will pitch to a live audience on the RevRoad stage.
Fan Favorite voting will begin at 12:30, along with a performance by BYU’s Cosmo and dunk team. Lunch may be purchased from an onsite food truck. The awards ceremony will be held at 1:30, and contestants must be present to win.
The winning individuals, teams or small organizations will be chosen based on criteria including business model, problem validation, sales pitch and pitch deck. Investors, entrepreneurs, students and fans are enthusiastically encouraged to attend.
The contest is co-sponsored by Startup Utah and other community partners. For more information and answers to all your questions, email info@www.revroad.com.
 


 

About RevRoad

Did you know that 9 in 10 innovations fail in the marketplace? At RevRoad, we believe we can make a difference. We accept 3–4 Roadie companies every quarter, and we work side-by-side with them for up to two years. Along the way, we provide them with everything they need: a mentor who has been in their shoes, key service deliverables, and sweet office space. Because we accept equity instead of cash, we are fully invested in helping our Roadies succeed.

RevRoad Relocation Open House a Roaring Success

Nov. 27, 2017

More than 400 entrepreneurs, friends, and family members joined Utah’s newest accelerator on Thursday, Nov. 16, for the RevRoad Relocation Open House.
In his welcome remarks, Provo Deputy Mayor Dixon Holmes highlighted the problem that RevRoad aims to solve: too many good businesses fail before they get a real chance at success.
“We have a lot of people coming to us and telling us about what they want to do and we’re always gracious and excited about it, but sometimes we never hear from them again,” Holmes said. “And so we’re so pleased today to have Derrin and his team here to open this facility and to provide a facility where businesses, whether large or small, can make it to the next level.”
Just before the whole RevRoad team jumped up on the custom-built maple stage inside the new industrial-chic HQ, RevRoad CEO Derrin Hill took a moment to thank employees, investors, and Roadies.
“We’re so excited to have each of our portfolio companies here, our Roadies, so grateful for each one of them and the wonderful things they’re doing to change the world,” he said. Then, he highlighted each company from the Q4 Roadie Crew:

  • AromaRest, a scientific sleep systems that combines sight, scent, and sound
  • PhoneSoap, which offers a line of devices that sanitize phones using UV light
  • GoPlug Bags, which offers portable power solutions for any device, anywhere
  • useAIble, an artificial intelligence company with a groundbreaking machine learning system
  • Alegra Learning, which offers anyone the opportunity to create digital books that help kids around the world learn to read.

Many companies have already applied to be part of the Q1 Roadie Crew for 2018. A few potential Roadies, including MedForums and CourseNova, were also on hand for the festivities.
“Every quarter we’ll do the same thing,” Hill told the crowd. “We help Roadies realize their dreams and create more jobs here in Provo and hopefully make it so Provo is not only the place of starts, but also the place where you stay.”
After Hill and his wife Nicole snipped the bright blue ribbon, the crowd shouted in unison.
“1, 2, 3, Rev!”

RevRoad guests are delighted at the Relocation Open House. Click for a complete slideshow.

 

Provo welcomes first-ever 24-month business accelerator

Meet the RevRod, the vehicle of choice on our road to revenue! This 1949 Chevrolet Half Ton was rebuilt in St. George, Utah, and will be shipped to Provo just in time for the grand opening celebration on Nov. 16, 2017.
Photo Credit: McKay Kriser, RevRoad Audio / Video Engineer


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 1, 2017

Utah’s newest business accelerator has relocated to new headquarters in Provo. Anyone interested in entrepreneurship is welcome to come see what it’s all about at an open house celebration, to be held Nov. 16 from 3–7 p.m.
RevRoad was founded because 9 in 10 innovations fail in the marketplace. But with RevRoad’s experienced team on their side, entrepreneurs are far more likely to succeed.
Each quarter, RevRoad accepts a crew of Roadies (portfolio companies) and keeps them on board for 24 months. Roadies get to focus on their big idea while RevRoad helps take care of everything they need: a mentor who’s been in their shoes, key service deliverables, and sweet open office space (we also offer shoulders to cry on, as needed, and a break room full of frosted animal crackers and breakfast cereal).
RevRoad offers services hubs in what is called the RevRoad Exchange; it includes strategy, marketing, video production, tech development, sales, systems, legal help and more. Get the details at https://www.revroad.com/exchange-system.
In its first quarter, RevRoad is helping Roadies develop leading-edge products such as devices that sanitize phones using UV light, on-the-go power, and scientific sleep systems, plus groundbreaking artificial intelligence technology, and easy-to-use language learning software for educators.
RevRoad accepts a small equity share from Roadies rather than accepting cash for services or providing capital directly. This aligns RevRoad’s goals with the goals of the entrepreneur or business owner.
“If you look at startups, one of the biggest problems they have at the beginning is cash,” said cofounder and CEO Derrin Hill. “We don’t want to provide all these great services and then take more cash out of the business.”
In comparison, most other incubators and accelerators put their portfolio companies through short programs, graduate them and have them seek funding by pitching to multiple investors as a group.
The team of cofounders and the dynamic RevRoad staff are guided by a shared passion: to help innovation-driven entrepreneurs succeed.

New Location Grand Opening

RevRoad is planning an open house celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony in its new headquarters and welcomes anyone interested in entrepreneurship, innovation, and growing Utah companies to stop by.

  • When: Thursday Nov. 16, 3-7 p.m. (Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to begin at 4 p.m.)
  • Where: RevRoad HQ, 1555 N. Freedom Boulevard, Provo UT
  • Why: Inspiration, networking, swag, and a chance to learn more about RevRoad
  • RSVP: Please click here to let us know you’re coming

 


 

For media inquiries, interviews or additional information, please contact RevRoad CMO A.J. Rounds at aj.rounds@www.revroad.com or (801) 368-1823.