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Boot camp aims to arm new entrepreneurs

SANDY — Launching a new business venture is among the most challenging feats an entrepreneur can undertake, and it typically requires an exceptionally disciplined approach to make genuine success become a reality.

Drew Eastman, an executive with Agile — a full-service logistics consulting and management company headquartered in Salt Lake City, acquired his new company just about a year ago. Despite some previous experience as an entrepreneur, he said studying new ways to grow a young venture could always be beneficial for the new business' prospective future.

"There is always something to learn," he said. "You can always improve on (company) culture, hiring process — always finding good people.”

For others, learning to improve abilities that may not be a natural forte is something critical to enhancing a company’s long-range success prospects.

“I’ve got this accounting background, but for me it is always about what nonanalytical skills can I bring to the table,” said Ryan Braski, a certified public accountant with Now CFO — a Salt Lake City-based accounting and financial consulting firm.

Eastman and Braski were among 200 participating at the MountainWest Capital Network’s Business Boot Camp Wednesday hosted in the Karen Gail Miller Conference Center at Salt Lake Community College's Miller Campus in Sandy.

At the conference, participants could choose from a roster of practical business seminars for entrepreneurs and emerging companies designed to help entrepreneurs overcome common business challenges. There event conducted three tracks of seminars covering a variety of subjects, including managing cash flow, bootstrapping, scaling your startup, how to pitch to investors, why risk management is important and crowdfunding basics, among other topics.

The main goal of the camp was to aid new startups that are trying to gain footing and offer the resources necessary to allow them to prosper, said Todd Reece, president of MountainWest Capital Network.

“Utah is currently one of the best places in the country to begin a new business or grow an established one. The business climate here is one of the strongest we have ever seen,” he said. “Boot camp is designed to provide many of the tools and insights entrepreneurs and business owners can use to be as successful as possible here in Utah.”

The half-day event was hosted in conjunction with the Salt Lake Small Business Development Center at SLCC. The center is a statewide network of free resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses, said executive director Beth Colosimo.

“Today is really about connecting entrepreneurs with one another and with resources to help them grow,” she said. “We have workshops and teaching sessions about all of the questions that come with any type of startup business. This is a repository for that kind of information.”

Most entrepreneurs are very skilled in their field of expertise, but often lack the knowledge necessary to run a successful business, she said, adding that events like boot camp give them exposure to people who are experts in running profitable enterprises.

“This is where you learn what not to do,” Colosimo said.


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