During these times of social distancing, RevRoad and Orem City partnered to host an event to safely bring the community together. The RevRoad Rally took place on August 12th as part of the Orem Summerfest celebration. The event featured an impressive display of over 100 exotic cars, free dinner, and giveaways.Continue reading
Written By: A.J. Rounds
Grit. Growth. Gratitude.
These words make up the simple values at RevRoad’s core.
In 2020 we modified our values to replace the third value, previously known as +1 (going above and beyond what is expected for our portfolio companies), with Gratitude.
Does that mean that + 1s have disappeared? No—quite the contrary. The +1 mentality will still be a part of RevRoad’s culture. We will always go above and beyond for the success of our portfolio companies, but we feel it is important to publicly acknowledge, by way of gratitude, the opportunity we have to work with passionate entrepreneurs striving to scale their businesses.
Every day we are grateful for the insights and energy our portfolio companies bring to RevRoad. Since the switch in our values, not only does our team vocalize and demonstrate more gratitude, but our portfolio company founders have responded similarly.
What we’ve found is that implementing gratitude into everyday company values and practices has improved the team synergy, overall productivity, and appreciation for all the incredible people that make up the RevRoad family.
Share this with someone below who you think exemplifies one of RevRoad’s core values: Grit, Growth, and Gratitude!
Learn more about RevRoad here
COVID-19 has already caused different levels of panic worldwide, and it seems things are just ramping up. There are plenty of recommendations about how to stay safe and healthy floating around the web. We agree, washing our hands, applying sanitizer, covering our mouths when coughing and sneezing, and other basic hygiene and health practices should be carried out. However, what precautions are we taking when it comes to one of the dirtiest, most touched items in almost every household? The cell phone.Continue reading
Local outdoor retail shops everywhere are struggling to compete with giant online retail behemoths like Amazon and Backcountry.com. It’s bad for the shops, it’s bad for the industry and it’s particularly bad for the millions of outdoor enthusiasts who rely on their local retailers.
XION.store solves the problem for badass outdoor retailers (and adventurers) everywhere. The comprehensive service helps local outdoor retailers connect with their customers wherever they are, whether that’s online or in-store.
At its heart, XION.store is an invite-only collective of small outdoor retailers. Small shops can get set up with fully integrated e-commerce and online marketing in minutes. It’s less expensive, easier and more effective than older digital solutions.
Bike, ski, and water sports shops around the country have joined the online retailer collective and are seeing significant increases in both online and in-store sales. Starting this month, XION.store is available for local outdoor retailers nationwide.
“I used to own a running store, and I know the challenges small retailers have in competing online,” said Founder and CEO Dan Fairbanks. “But we need these local shops. We need their expertise and their advocacy. If the little guys band together, we can take on the big players and keep shops open for outdoor enthusiasts everywhere.”
How it Works
With XION.store, local stores get their own web store and URL. Shops can upgrade to data-driven email marketing and a sleek point of sale (POS) system that automatically updates inventory and increases revenues by suggesting upsells during checkout.
Because XION.store is an online marketplace, these local shops and brands also get a national reach. If a cyclist needs a particular part or accessory, for example, and only one shop in the country has it, XION.store helps connect them using both internal search capabilities and pay-per-click ads with Google and Facebook.
Badass shop owners attending Outdoor Retailer 2018 will find the XION booth by looking for the badass XION BMW i8, and can ask for an invitation to the online collective on the spot.
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact XION.store PR specialist Rebecca Palmer at email@example.com or by texting or calling 801-668-7073.
We are passionate about providing small retailers with the tools they need to successfully compete with big retailers, in-store and online. Our invite-only online collective is an omni-channel software solution that manages all aspects of a shop’s online presence, from A to X. We also provide email marketing to in-store customers with data-driven product suggestions, synced through an intuitive point of sale (POS) app that increases sales and decreases costs.
Entrepreneurs everywhere are catalysts for creation, and at RevRoad we have helped create consumer products, social platforms, artificial intelligence software and more.
This quarter, we have embraced the opportunity to help create something even more important — real, positive change.
We would like to introduce you to ACCI, the American Community Corrections Institute. The company is just a short walk from RevRoad HQ, and has been going strong for more than 40 years.
It all started when Founder Larry Lloyd had an innovative idea: If we never change negative thinking, we will never change negative behavior. Over the years, this idea was built into course materials and lesson plans. Today, the curriculum is used widely by correctional institutions and justice-involved individuals.
“ACCI has years of experience in improving the lives of people with big challenges, including those who have been or are incarcerated, or who have run afoul of the law,” RevRoad CEO Derrin Hill explained. “Their programs and materials have helped thousands of these individuals turn their lives around.”
Each of ACCI’s cognitive restructuring courses uses stories to encourage new ways of thinking. Paired with one-on-one coaching, self-directed learning and repetition, the results have been extraordinary.
In Utah’s Box Elder County, for example, there was a 57 percent reduction in substance abuse cases within 3 years of local courts’ implementing ACCI methodology. In Bastrop County, Texas, recidivism rates dropped from an expected 52 percent to about 3 percent following implementation.
New Direction for ACCI: Prevention
Larry’s son, organizational psychologist Trevor Lloyd, recently took the helm of ACCI. He first visited RevRoad for our 2018 Entrepreneur Competition in March. His company was one of the only post-revenue ventures to participate in the competition, and the judges were immediately impressed by ACCI’s traction, Trevor’s understanding of the market and his vision for the future of ACCI.
Within weeks, ACCI had signed on as part of our Q2 Roadie cohort. The company continues to do great work in corrections, and has created excellent new curriculum for schools.
ACCI is taking on major issues of our day such as bullying, social media addiction, violence and drug use in schools. The curriculum will impact thousands of lives, and the effects will reverberate through families and communities worldwide. It’s available both in print and on tablets, thanks to a partnership with edtech company ONEder.
If cognitive restructuring can reduce recidivism, think about how much it could do before any laws were broken or lives shattered!
Team RevRoad is Hard at Work, Helping ACCI Succeed
In just a few months, the RevRoad team has made great strides toward helping ACCI achieve its goals. We are energized each time Trevor visits the office, and continually impressed by his go-getter attitude, his uncommon intelligence and his infectious sense of humor.
The Marketing Hub been helping him prepare for an affiliate summit he has planned for this Fall, which will have attendees from as far away as Namibia. The team has also focused on brochures, a complete website redesign, social media, blogging and more.
Meanwhile, the Sales Hub has helped Trevor grow his network with new contacts, affiliates and customers. Recently, we introduced him to Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi. She was so impressed that she offered to arrange a meeting between Trevor and the president of the local school board.
“We’re very excited to partner with ACCI, and even more excited about helping them grow their business in education, where these materials and courses can play a preventive role,” Derrin said. “If we can help the next generation change the way they think, we can change the world for the better.”
For more information about ACCI and to see our website redesign, visit ACCIlifeskills.com.
Not only did Prolink win $10,000 at the Utah Entrepreneurship Challenge for its social network for gamers, it did so at one of the only universities in the US that offers a
competitive gaming scholarship.
“We were honored to get so much support from the judges, and we’re incredibly thankful for the opportunity to compete at such an impressive event,” said Prolink Cofounder Derek Omori. “We’re the first true social network for video games, and the UofU is one of the only universities in the country to offer gaming scholarships.”
The second-place win on April 7 followed a first-place win at Utah Valley University earlier this year. The competition required several rounds of pitches, videos and trade show booth appearances, and it pitted Prolink against top entrepreneurs from around the state.
“The Top 8 especially were super competitive,” Omori said. “We got to meet a lot of interesting entrepreneurs, and it was fun to see quite of a few of them that also played video games and we were able to connect on Prolink.”
Prolink, which revealed a beta version of its site last month, has big plans for the prize money and even bigger plans for its main launch on May 8. Its social network offers a one-stop shop for gamers, pros and teams. You can browse stats, watch and post clips, and more. Soon, you’ll also be able to post your own gamertags as well.
To join the beta group, sign up today at https://prolink.gg.
Last week, one of our Roadies unveiled a line of portable power devices that incorporate global GPS tracking capability at the Travel Goods International in Las Vegas.
The show was a great success for GoPlug, and garnered press coverage from major publications such as the LA Times. As a bonus, GoPlug Founder Josh Cross walked away with the Best Booth Award in his category.
“I actually built the booth myself,” Cross said. “I was surprised that I won, especially considering all the other great booths at the show, but I’m excited to get the word out about all the exciting innovations we have this year.”
Watch the awards video.
Win After Win
GoPlug made its return to Vegas after being recognized as a 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree at the Consumer Electronics Show.
That year, GoPlug launched its SMART Power Bank, which includes AC power, GPS, Phone Alerts, and a Movement Alarm. Anything you can plug into a wall can be plugged into the GoPlug SMART Power Bank.
Now, that asset trackability and portable power has been extended to a range of Internet of Things (IoT) products and devices. In addition, the new line includes optional SOS panic buttons for personal security. Every device will work in more than 145 countries, and it’s all connected with a simple, easy-to-use smartphone app. The products will be available later this year.
“GoPlug beats the competition on power and trackability, and we added the panic alarm to make it useful for people on-the-go, wherever or whoever they are,” Cross said. “Life shouldn’t be controlled by your batteries, and we solved that. But it shouldn’t be restricted by the reach of your Bluetooth either.”
The lineup includes micro trackers with SOS panic buttons, which were designed for everyday use and are ideal for children, the elderly and anyone in need of a discreet safety solution. They easily attach to keychains, luggage and other devices.
The line’s slightly larger power banks are ideal for handbags and carry-ons, while the solar tracker power banks were created for adventurers and travelers anywhere in the world. Similarly, the Wifi Hotspot AC Power Banks are perfect for connecting and charging all your devices, no matter where life takes you.
While most other trackers rely on Bluetooth and battery-draining GPS, GoPlug integrates WiFi/GSM and low-power GPS chips. Now, rather than just tracking your items 100 feet or simply telling you the last time your device was connected via Bluetooth, you can track almost anything, anywhere in the world. GSM, which stands for Global System for Mobile Communication, is the technology mobile phones use.
Features available with GoPlug’s new offering also include power management, timer controls, movement alarms, geofencing, and alert notifications. Users will also benefit from real-time location tracking, a “find device” alarm, history tracking, alert notifications and additional smartphone-controlled security theft prevention features. To learn more, visit www.goplugbags.com.
On Wednesday, one of our newest Roadies went head-to-head against dozens of other student entrepreneurs at the Utah Valley University Opportunity Quest Competition.
By night’s end, they walked away with first place recognition, $4,000 in prize money for their business and a chance to compete on the state level.
They also got the chance to spread the message about their plan for a new social platform for gamers, and were thrilled by the response from the crowd.
“We were most excited that a lot of people came up to us afterward and said they were really excited for the platform,” said Cameron Adamson, Prolink Cofounder. “Not even the judges — a lot of people from the audience were asking about the product and when it would launch. It was great product validation for us.”
Prolink is in the early stages of building a social network focused on eSports and connecting gamers. Now, people can find information about the players they care about, but they have to go to multiple sites to do so. The problem is complicated by the fact that most competing social sites rely on anonymity.
Prolink intends to change that by providing a one-stop-shop for all things gaming. It also plans to connect people’s handles with their real names, making it easy to find friends, family and coworkers who play games you care about.
“With Prolink, people will be able to share the content they want to share about the games they love,” Cameron explained.
As part of Wednesday’s win, Prolink was automatically entered as a finalist in the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, to be held April 7 at the Lassonde Institute at the University of Utah. The winner will take home $40,000 for their business, and additional prizes will be granted for best business model, presentation and technology.
We believe in Derek and Cameron, and we agree with last night’s audience — we can’t wait for the launch!
Nov. 10, 2017
Josh Cross started his career in post-production for stop motion films, working on projects in Hollywood with superstars such as producer Ron Howard, video producers Will Vinton and Brian Grazer, and actor/comedian Eddie Murphy, Richard Dreyfuss.
He enjoyed the work, he said, but wasn’t finding a lot of meaning or purpose in it. That’s when he moved to Utah to join the edtech company Imagine Learning. There, he started a video department that focused on telling stories about inequality in education. He and his team created over 8,000 videos for the product and in locations across the globe.
Josh didn’t know it at the time, but his career trajectory was far from over.
The Entrepreneurial Problem
As he traveled for Imagine Learning, Josh noticed that he kept running into the same problem: no way to plug in all his devices, including cameras, chargers, laptops, phones, and lighting equipment.
He lived with the problem for years, finding workarounds such as hooking into outlets behind couches in hotel lobbies. However, these ad-hoc solutions brought their own set of problems: namely, devices plugged into hidden outlets often got forgotten.
It didn’t take long for Josh to notice that many other people had the same problem. It was common to see people huddled around outlets in places like airports, and equally common for people to run out of juice and lose access to their technology in the field. The problem was painful, widespread and costly.
Josh started dreaming up solutions. Fairly quickly, he realized that all videographers — and travelers in general — had to carry bags. What if there were one piece of luggage that could power any device, anywhere?
The Solution: Built-In Power
Josh didn’t have any entrepreneurial experience, but he knew someone who might be able to help: his friend and mentor Derrin Hill. Despite feeling a bit apprehensive, Josh pulled Derrin aside one evening after work. He showed off his early design, built from a standard suitcase with a hole cut in the side.
“It was probably more of an embarrassing conversation than a strategic one,” Josh admitted.
Derrin was thrilled with the idea, and Josh grew more and more confident.
In 2014, the GoPlug project was featured on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. It was the first powered bag on the site, Josh said. Hundreds of people signed up to receive the powered bag when it was ready. For Josh, that was a sure sign that he was solving a real problem, and that there was a huge market willing to pay for his solution.
Soon, Josh was approached by the entrepreneurial pitch show Shark Tank. Because the product was not ready for market, he decided to decline the show’s offer, and got busy putting his idea into production.
Heavy, Competitive Obstacles
During the early stages of production, Josh noticed that many other companies had jumped on the powered bag bandwagon. Before he knew it, some of them made it to market.
Storms were also brewing on the homefront in innovation and design. Every prototype bag the team tried came out of production very heavy. For travelers, that was going to be unacceptable.
“We had to make a decision about whether to ship or refund,” Josh said. “We did the right thing. We refunded their money, with interest. We wanted to show that we were honest and a company that wasn’t out to steal their business.”
While the competition was pushing their own versions of heavy, powered bags on the market, Josh kept an eye on their success (or lack thereof).
“It turned out the other bags with built-in power didn’t do so well,” he said.
That’s when GoPlug decided to pivot. Josh and his team spent almost a year designing, creating and manufacturing the world’s first smart power bank, which could be easily moved from bag to bag.
“Anything you can plug into a wall can be plugged into the GoPlug SMART Power Bank,” according to the Goplugbags.com website. “Power or charge laptops, video projectors, tablets, phones, camera batteries, and much more– all at the same time. Not only is it powerful, it’s small and lightweight.”
GoPlug took off, and developed a line of portable power products — including solar-powered options. In 2017, it was recognized by CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) with an innovation award.
Another pivot led to an increased emphasis on technology to track and monitor powered bags through GPS technology. Now, GoPlug travelers can monitor where their bags are at any given time through an app on their phone.
By years’ end, traditional luggage companies were taking notice. Currently, GoPlug is in beginning stages of sale or licensing negotiations with several large-scale bag companies that are interested in purchasing GoPlug’s technology.
The Soul of a Startup
Josh is modest about his ideas, and unassuming in his demeanor. He doesn’t want to take too much credit, and is quick to point to one group of people he relied on every step of the way:
“My family is totally supportive,” he said. “There’s no way you can do this without them.”
Josh has since left the world of videography to work as an entrepreneur full time.
“How I feel about being an entrepreneur depends on the day,” he said. “Everybody dreams of having wild success from the start, but realistically, it’s a journey.”
He chuckled, adding that leading a startup is more work than he could have imagined.
“You quit a 40-hour job to take on a 120-hour-a-week business,” he said. “You have to decide what you want to compromise. I’m glad I’ve done this.”
Stay tuned to find out what’s next for GoPlug.