Mod IV Lunches 2015
Lunch with an Entrepreneur, Mod IV, 2015
Monday, March 16, 1:00 to 2:00, Dean’s Conference
Robert Henry. Robert graduated from the Owen Executive MBA program in 1995. Upon graduation he founded American endoscopy Services, Inc., a firm that specialized providing services to surgery suites. Basically, the company placed a team in the facility performing surgeries, and that team maintained a management system that guaranteed that all surgical tools were properly prepared for surgery. Their approach stressed the choice and expert maintenance of reusable equipment - based exclusively on the preferences of the surgeons and hospital staff - as the smart alternative to costly disposable instruments.
“Our Team Supports Your Team. At each partner hospital, AES provides a team of on-site surgical specialists who assist with equipment operation, cleaning, and maintenance of reusable equipment. OR's and Endoscopy Departments who partner with AES gain the benefits of improved service support, quality and efficiency. This translates into better patient outcomes while reducing hospital costs.”
His most recent venture, DiaTech Oncology is the developer of CorrectChemo®, a powerful new tool and the only diagnostic test available that identifies, within 72 hours, how effective a variety of chemotherapy drugs may be in killing the specific cancer cells in your tumor sample. This provides your oncologist lab data on which chemotherapy drugs may work best and which may not work well. It allows your oncologist to tailor the right treatment for you.
Check out the website to learn more about this amazing cancer-fighting technology.
This technology is a disruptive product that will change how oncologists treat cancer, and anything disruptive tends to generate resistance to its use. So come hear Robert explain how he is handling the disruptive challenge as he introduces his technology.
Tuesday, March 24, 1:00 to 2:00, Dean’s Conference Room
Matt Gelfand—After graduation, Matt (Owen 1992) went to work on Wall Street, and he lived on Long Island where he worked as a volunteer fireman in his spare time. One night he got an emergency call; a train had hit a car at a crossing and killed several people. So, being more creative than your average investment banker, Matt began exploring ways to build a system that would prevent a car from driving on a track when a train is bearing down on the crossing. He eventually designed a steel net that would lie on the road and then pop up when a train approached; the net would prevent a vehicle from driving on the track. In fact, it would stop a speeding vehicle that was approaching the crossing.
Unfortunately, he never was able to sell install any of his systems for installation at a railroad crossing because just as he perfected his system, terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001. Every embassy, military base, large industrial complex, or major governmental facility wanted a system that could stop a terrorist from driving a truck loaded with bio-hazards or explosives into their facility. Matt’s system could stop a truck loaded with bad stuff that was moving at 50 mph within 20 feet with minimal damage to the vehicle.
He sold this company to Smith & Wesson for about $50 million in cash and stock in 2009. Matt then worked as a policeman for the Williamson County Police Department for several years before resigning to start a security company that he started with a former Navy Seal. He drives a custom built pickup (very cool vehicle), and spends his spare time inventing stuff with relatively low price points, e.g. he sells a toothbrush holder to hotels, a kit that make crutches more comfortable for people using them, and he has patents on numerous other items. You may want to see if Matt will let you build a company around one of his patents.
Friday, April 3, 1:00 to 2:00, Dean’s Conference Room
Becky Sharpe. Becky graduated from Owen in 1987 and worked in a variety of positions after her graduation. Her entrepreneurial career began in 2002, when she joined Scholarship Program Administrators, Inc. as President and immediately infused her passion for customer service, teamwork and the environment. Sharpe invested in industry-leading technology and infrastructure while driving the company’s substantial growth.
By 2008, Sharpe acquired the company (making it 100% a women-owned business) and rebranded the company as International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS) to reflect the company’s growth in both size and scope of services. Her fresh approach to program management quickly made ISTS a leader in earth-friendly practices and cutting-edge technology.
Today, Sharpe leads a talented team of management professionals dedicated to the highest levels of service and attention to detail. In the spirit of founder Nyles Ayers, ISTS is committed to making education a reality for all.
“ISTS specializes in providing scholarship, grant and tuition program management services. We tailor our services and online application to meet our clients’ specific needs and develop a customized plan to achieve their program objectives.
Our clients include corporations, foundations, associations and other philanthropic and gift-giving organizations. ISTS implements full-service program management solutions for many Fortune 1000 companies, national associations and multinational non-profit organizations. We also administer programs for scholarship-granting entities like community foundations, charitable campaigns and large membership-based organizations. We manage programs ranging in size from a few targeted candidates to more than 100,000 applicants.”
Since taking over the company, Becky has won awards for excellence in how she operates. Some awards are:
2008 Named to Business TN’s Hot 100
2013 Finalist for NEXT Awards celebrate excellence in business and entrepreneurship
2013 Winner of the Alfred PP. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility
2014 finalist for Inc’s list of fastest growing private companies
2014 Named to “Top 50 Women Owned Businesses in Tennessee”
2014 Named to 2014 “top 50 Women Owned Businesses in Tennessee list
And the list goes on
Becky is a lively lady who will keep things moving at the lunch.
Monday, April 6, 1:00 to 2:00, Dean’s Conference Room
Gary Haberland. Gary is the President of Genicon, LLC, a company designing and producing surgical instruments focused on laparoscopic surgery, a surgical procedure that uses small incisions to insert a surgical instrument into the patient to repair organs or remove diseased tissue.
He founded the company in 1998 using an innovative financing mechanism—his suppliers. He identified 50 potential suppliers, sent them copies of his business plan by FedEx, and 14 responded to his suggestion that they become part owners of his company. He met with them and narrowed the group down to 5 who invested in his startup company. Eventually he issued 15% of the company stock to the suppliers who invested $1 million in his startup. He also negotiated discounts and extended payment terms in exchange for exclusive manufacturing rights for 18 months. By 2005 company sales had already hit $10 million per year.
To help sell his surgical tools, Gary persuaded 35 surgeons to invest in the company, and now 25 M.D.s own 35% of Genicom.
To hold down costs, Gary found a design student that he paid $150 to do the design of a Laparoscopic tool. Upon graduation Gary hired the kid and soon promoted him to the position of R&D executive at the company.
Selling surgical tools means compliance with Food and Drug Administration rules. So Gary plowed through thousands of pages of FDA rules to become familiar with the intricacies of compliance required for his products. He lowered legal costs by researching patent law to hold down the legal costs of getting a patent approved.
The company sells its products in over 48 countries and has country managers in four countries. A country manager is based in his or her country, speaks the local language and provides extra support to the marketing, sales and distribution efforts.
To learn more about the company, visit their website: http://geniconendo.com/
Thursday, April 16, 1:00 to 2:00, Dean’s Conference Room
David Hornsby (Owen 1986) David Hornsby went to work for CRC Equities upon graduating from Owen in 1986. After tiring of working for a big company, he moved to Christie Cookies, where he used what he had learned about linear programming in his Operations class at Owen to calculate the optimal location of chocolate chips in the company’s cookies (just kidding). Starting in 1994 he bummed around for a couple of years and then hit on the brilliant idea of parking cars for a living.
David owns and operates Executive Travel and Parking at 616 Royal Parkway near the Nashville Airport. His integrated operation can book your trip for you and park your car while you are away. There are interesting challenges a parking company faces, so be sure to ask David what he has learned about politics and how it can affect your business.
It won’t be a dull session.
Full disclosure: I have been a committed customer of Executive Travel and Parking for over 15 years.