Insights

Quantum Networks:  Mastering the Science of Selling

Quantum Networks: Mastering the Science of Selling

Quantum Networks (quantum-co.com) is a truly remarkable success story for the amazing growth that a young entrepreneurial team was able to harness in the highly competitive e-commerce space. In just 3 years, Quantum Networks went from selling 20 routers to conducting $ 25 M in annual online sales. Behind this meteoric rise is an extremely simple and effective concept for expert assisted sales of selective electronic products online. Add to the picture that 21-year-old Jonathan Goldman leads Quantum Networks with the business savvy of a seasoned executive. Ascent Advisor: Jonathan, at an age when most young people are still trying to decide what to do for a job, what led you to become an entrepreneur of a business with record fast growth? Jonathan Goldman: I have always had an eye for detail and a passion for making a deal. During the summer of 11th grade, I was connected with a friend who was working on deploying and installing long-range Wifi and 4G towers in third world countries. “In the meantime,” he said, “I have these twenty off-brand routers.  Let’s sell them.” He pulled random routers that had been lying around and put them on top of the cubicle. That summer, I opened an Ebay account, and as our router sales grew, so did our presence in the eCommerce arena. In the process, we learned the science of selling. Ascent Advisor: As you are vertically integrating and horizontally expanding across markets, how do you retain your core expertise? Jonathan Goldman: We see exceptional opportunities and we are eager to explore them, but most importantly, we never lose sight of what... read more
Avalaunch Media:  Why Great Content Rules the Internet

Avalaunch Media: Why Great Content Rules the Internet

Avalaunch Media (www.AvalaunchMedia.com), based in Lehi, UT, offers content marketing, which is supported by several services: consulting, infographic design, linkbait articles, pay-per-click management, reputation management, search engine optimization, and social media promotion. COO Jason Coulam (@Jason_Coulam) took some time to chat with Ascent Advisor (@AscentAdvisor). Ascent Advisor – Preston Pond:  You joined Avalaunch Media in fall of 2012 as a partner and COO.  What attracted you to this company? Jason Coulam: The people and the mission.  I’ve known the founders, Andy Melchior, Dave Mink and Matt Siltala for a long time. We worked together at a previous company (Prosper) and I watched them transition out to go build Avalaunch Media (formerly known as Dream Systems Media).  I remained close friends with them over the years and would meet together, go to lunch and see their families and talk about how the business was going.  They were really excited about everything they had going on. In early 2012, they strategically pivoted the business and decided to grow the company into more than just a high-end boutique SEO agency; they wanted to become a larger all-encompassing digital marketing agency – specializing in viral content.  It was about that time that we met for breakfast and they approached me about working together.  Knowing my previous experience, they asked if I would come help the company grow and I felt like the timing was right.  Also, I love this mission of Avalaunch.  Online marketing has changed dramatically over the last several years and they (the founders) are on the forefront of where it’s headed. The search engines are getting more and more sophisticated... read more
REES Capital:  What Angel Investors are REALLY Looking For

REES Capital: What Angel Investors are REALLY Looking For

REES Capital (www.REESCapital.com), based in South Jordan, UT, is an angel investment and mentor capital firm that works in close collaboration with entrepreneurs and their investors and board members to drive company growth and maximize equity value through strategic direction and influence.  Managing Partner Amy Rees Anderson (@AmyReesAnderson) took some time to chat with Ascent Advisor (@AscentAdvisor). Ascent Advisor – Paul Savage: REES Capital officially opened its doors on January 4th at your new headquarters.  What is your vision for what REES can become? Amy Rees Anderson:  We started REES Capital after we sold MediConnect Global. We — myself and several of the executives who joined me — really felt we wanted to take everything we had learned and help other people do what we did. Our vision is to mentor entrepreneurs and find some key companies that we want to invest in as angel investors and that we can help guide to a successful outcome. Ascent Advisor:  You sold your last company, MediConnect Global, for $377 million one year ago.  What did you learn from selling a company you built? Amy Rees Anderson:  It’s a lot of work to sell a company.  The process is probably more difficult than you expect because it is so intense going through due diligence, documentation, negotiating the deal, and all of that.  It gets bad before it gets good.  We were very thoughtful about the choice we made – it was a tough one. The company was doing incredibly well, so there was always that battle of, “Do I sell?  Do I hang on to it and keep growing it?”  It was a... read more
Growing Social5: “Unfair Share” of Industry Shift

Growing Social5: “Unfair Share” of Industry Shift

Social5 (www.SocialFive.com) helps companies get social, stay social and get noticed.  CEO Rob Wellman took some time to chat with Ascent Advisor (@AscentAdvisor). Ascent Advisor – Paul Savage:  When you founded Social5 in 2012, what was your vision for the company? Rob Wellman:  When starting a business you look for industries that have a tailwind–unlike crowded, bloody markets, it’s just easier that way.  Social media is clearly transforming our world: it’s a tsunami changing virtually every industry. We believe social media is a powerful, disruptive movement, shifting the way businesses market and interact with customers. Our vision really was very simple:  Let’s get our unfair share of this phenomenal industry shift. We believe small- to medium-sized business have a unique opportunity with social media. However, they need help to do it in a responsible way. Our vision was to enable these businesses to compete with larger brands by harnessing the power of social media.  Unfortunately, self-help tools simply aren’t enough for small businesses.  Delivering a turnkey service, at a price point that they can consume, is a sustainable winning model.  This model is very scalable and the addressable market is massive. Ascent Advisor:  You made an allusion to Blue Ocean Strategy.  How is what you are doing different from the others so that you are making the competition irrelevant? Rob Wellman:  A lot of people are poking at social media because it is new and open; it’s a blue ocean.  There are two camps attacking it: one camp is going after big business with enough dollars to cover operational inefficiencies. They charge an excessive amount, without having to show... read more

Ascent Advisor named as one of UVEF’s Top 25 Under 5 in 2013

The Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum (UVEF) today announced winners of its 2013 “Top 25 Under Five” Award, spotlighting outstanding Utah entrepreneurs and start-up companies. This year is UVEF’s fourteenth Top 25 Under Five competition. UVEF has highlighted more than 300 companies through the history of this competition, including Orange Soda, Omniture, Skullcandy and Xango, among many others. Ascent Advisor, a management consulting company focused on the fastest growing companies in the country,  was named the #21 company on the list.  Read the full press release here. Congratulations to the Ascent Advisor team!... read more
Mity-Lite CEO John Dudash:  Are you Patton or Braveheart?

Mity-Lite CEO John Dudash: Are you Patton or Braveheart?

Mity-Lite (www.MityLite.com), based in Orem, UT, is is a global manufacturer of market-leading furniture systems.  CEO John Dudash  took some time to chat with Ascent Advisor (@AscentAdvisor). Ascent Advisor – Paul Savage:  When you took over as CEO of Mity-Lite in 2011, what was your vision for the company? John Dudash:  Sustainable but aggressive growth.  Mity-Lite (@MityLiteInc) was a very successful company and relatively profitable, but it has experienced some challenges with the economic downturn as everybody did.  It was well positioned to take advantage of a rebound situation – we just had to create a strategy and execute it.  When I came in, my principal responsibility was to effectively achieve that. Ascent Advisor: What did you do in terms of creating a strategy and then getting employees to buy into it? John Dudash:  First and foremost was creating trust.  Being a new CEO, especially in a new cultural environment, if you are not trusted on some superficial level at the very beginning, the employees are not going to accept the opportunity to trust you on a deeper level. Secondly, I had to demonstrate that the ideas I have, the direction I thought we could go, and the mechanics surrounding that were actually achievable.  When you do that, you are going to get the benefit of the doubt.  And if you get the benefit of the doubt and you have confidence that you are right, generally you can demonstrate success that will allow you to build upon. Ascent Advisor:  You mentioned trust.  What is an example of how you have built trust? John Dudash:  Accessibility.  There are generally two... read more