Here you’ll find a sample of the companies that FVEC has or is working with. Each entrepreneur has their own special story – read on to learn more about these great local businesses.
Kimmer’s Ice Cream
Kimmer’s Ice Cream is the brainchild of Kimmer Elam, who fell in love with ice cream as a little girl, and never looked back. Now she is sharing her love with you, inventing new gourmet flavors and making classic favorites fresh and homemade daily. Kim has worked closely with Andy Parker to streamline her operations and financials. Because of the support and guidance she received from the Fox Valley Entrepreneurship Center, in May 2015, she opened her second store on Front Street in Wheaton.
Empower Training Systems
Tim Rochford, owner of Empower Training Systems, in Yorkville, IL, has been teaching martial arts, self defense, kickboxing and MMA Fitness since 1982. He has created numerous accredited fitness training programs that are used to train fitness professionals world-wide.
Rochford recently invented p2force™, a resistance training device, to help karate students (kids and adults) improve and enjoy their fitness experience in his classroom. Rochford quickly found that P2Force’s multidirectional resistance technology, coupled with its mobile design, offered a unique solution to many markets where fitness is a key component. He has been working with FVEC consultants to help launch P2Force in the fitness, martial arts and physical therapy/chiropractic markets.
Steve Gaspardo is founder of Gaspardo & Associates, a full-service 3D metrology laboratory, Batavia, IL. In 2011, Gaspardo launched his patented product, ComScan (www.comscan.biz), a Robotic Component Scanning System, to solve problems inherent in the metrology scanning process. FVEC consultants assisted Gaspardo in preparing financial statements and projections that helped him procure debt and equity financing to take ComScan to market and exhibit at the Quality Show in Chicago. Gaspardo recently announced a partnership with a major scanner manufacturer, FARO, to OEM the ComScan product.
Global Women’s Leadership Forum®
Maureen O’Brien launched Global Women’s Leadership Forum®, Batavia, IL in 2011 to inspire and share best practices with women’s business resource groups in Fortune 100 and 500 companies. Her first forum, hosted by McDonald’s in Oakbrook, IL was an incredible success. O’Brien reached out to FVEC for assistance in creating a scalable and growing business. With their help, the Global Women’s Leadership Forum® is now happening in Chicago, Nebraska, Dallas, Michigan and California. Global’s 2012 first quarter revenue exceeded 2011 total revenue by almost 200%. FVEC consultants are working with O’Brien to develop best practices that will allow her company to obtain exponential growth.
The Herrington Inn & Spa
The Herrington Inn & Spa, Geneva, IL was investigating expanding their facility to vacant property along the Fox River. They were considering several concepts, including corporate housing, and hotel plus retail space. The Herrington’s General Manager, Paul Ruby, and Director of Sales, Jennifer Piazza, approached the FVEC to help them with market research on the corporate housing market.
FVEC brought in a consultant with significant expertise in this area, and also worked with Ruby and Piazza to develop a financial model for several development options. With research in hand, the decision was made not to pursue the corporate housing option. Instead, The Herrington is preparing to break ground on their hotel expansion, which will include additional hotel accommodations and first floor retail space.
Benefit Performance Associates, LLC
Maria E. J. Kuhn and Dr. Christina Krause, owners of Benefit Performance Associates, LLC, Batavia, IL launched their award winning Integrated Health Advocacy Program® (IHAP®) over a decade ago to address the healthcare needs of individuals with multiple chronic illnesses, while significantly reducing the healthcare costs of employers who spend 60% of their healthcare dollars on this population. Recently BPA turned to FVEC to help them improve their sales pitch and go-to-market strategy. FVEC consultants and partners helped them with their pitch, provided a venue to practice and obtain feedback, and guided them through some of the intricacies of the benefits industry.
Northern Illinois Food Bank
Northern Illinois Food Bank’s West Suburban Center recently moved to a newly constructed facility in Geneva, IL that, in addition to food storage and distribution space, also includes commercial and demonstration kitchens. The food bank’s VP of Nutrition and Network Programs Kelly Brasseur, MS, RD, LDN, was charged with putting the new kitchens to good use.
Brasseur turned to FVEC for help evaluating various strategies for developing programs and services around the two kitchens. Since the previous facility did not have kitchen space, all food preparation activities had been outsourced. The food bank saw the addition of the kitchen space in their new facility as a way increase the number of hungry neighbors they could serve, expand their food programs to include more nutrition education, and reduce costs associated with outsourcing food prep. FVEC consultants helped Brasseur lay out several strategies and analyze the financial viability of each.
This team of former NIU students and athletes developed a patented, customizable football cleat system that has been clinically proven to increase traction by 20%. After procuring friends and family financing, they hit the road and were immediately a big hit on numerous NCAA and Pro football teams. Buffalo Bills, defensive end, Chris Kelsey had the best two games of his career wearing Position-Tech’s Pro Cleat System.
After a successful online trial, Dick’s Sporting Goods placed Position-Tech cleats in 216 retail stores. Position-Tech teamed up with FVEC to tighten up their marketing strategy and prepare for a round of investment financing. Working with FVEC consultants and partners, they produced an investor pitch, launched an online cleat configurator web site, and created a marketing strategy to penetrate the high school football market. They are poised to expand to the Lacrosse and Rugby markets in 2014.
Ken Blazer has been slowly nurturing and developing his dream of bringing Artisan Wisconsin cheeses to the rest of the world. Leveraging a long career in international logistics, Blazer worked with the IL Small Business Development Center and International Trade Center to develop his business plan and launch his venture.
As Blazer met with success after success, the SBDC brought in FVEC consultants to help him strategize on how to grow the business and make the transition from the corporate to the entrepreneurial world. Rogue Partners recently closed a sale to Singapore, and exhibited at the Food and Hotel Asia show in Singapore.