Celebration of Innovation & Growth Event-How is Elevate Benefitting Community Members?

Mattoon, IL- Five recent members of Elevate, were recognized Thursday, January 28, 2021, for their achievements in entrepreneurship. Amy Patrick, Evie Rudibaugh, Katie Haifley, Keegan O’Connell, and Latonya Davies were recognized at the first-ever ‘Elevate Celebration of Innovation & Growth.’

Those in attendance at this event included new entrepreneurs and their families, local business professionals, and others in the Elevate community. As a not-for-profit organization, Elevate most values its members’ success and those who ultimately go into business for themselves.

New Business Owners Celebrating with Family & Community

With assistance from the center, Keegan O’Connell (pictured left) has utilized the KIVA Crowdsourcing Loan Program via the centers’ partnership with LISC Rural. This loan will enable his business, Buzzed & Board Media LLC., to expand further.

Latonya Davies (pictured left) has reached new clients for her LLC. All For Them – Latonya’s Pet Care Services since becoming an Elevate member.

Evie Rudibaugh registered her business, Peace of Mind Home Services LLC, with the team’s help at Elevate. Evie initially found inspiration for her home care services business during her Class E participation, a high school entrepreneurship class that teaches students about starting a business. Elevate has recently become the home of Classe-E, the course which inspired Evie to become a business owner.

Not pictured members Amy Patrick and Katie Haifley have also graduated from various Elevate programs and look to succeed in their ventures. Amy was the first graduate of Elevates’ 6 Step Program and is now operating her own life & wellness education organization online. Katie Haifley was the first Elevate member to graduate from ‘The Elevate-Lake Land College Initiative’ program, a partnership between Elevate and Lake Land College. Lake Land College has graciously provided 15 tuition waivers to full members of Elevate. This partnership between Lake Land College and Elevate allows aspiring entrepreneurs to receive the knowledge necessary to start their venture without accruing a significant financial burden.

Elevate looks to the future and is excited for the chance to provide equitable opportunities and success for all. Our center hopes to encourage, connect and grow small and startup businesses in the region by creating a mixed-use, co-working space that provides resources and opportunities to empower success.

Thinking of become an entrepreneur yourself? Start by sending us a message and scheduling a tour!

Member Spotlight – Elevate Member Katie Haifley Graduates Lake Land College Business Development Program

Sixty-two percent of Americans dream of being their own boss, according to a 2018 Vistaprint Study. Despite such high interest in being self-employed, few people make good on these dreams. A handful of perceived obstacles often stand in the way of new entrepreneurs; many are unsure how to manage a new venture’s finances, while others are not as willing to put in the time required to get a new business off the ground. However, lack of know-how is perhaps the most significant barrier of entry between any American and the dream of owning a business.

 

Here at Elevate, our mission is to encourage new businesses’ innovation while connecting existing organizations with resources to grow. Entrepreneur Katie Haifley is the first Elevate member to utilize ‘The Elevate Lake Land College Initiative’, a key element to the programs offered here at Elevate. The Lake Land College initiative is “designed to provide students with the background to launch and then effectively manage a growing business enterprise successfully.”

 

Katie says she developed a solid base of business know-how from  Lake Land College courses in marketing, accounting, legal, and others relating to entrepreneurship. Her interest in business started when she was young. She enjoys the opportunity to be her own boss, accesses her creativity, and get paid to do something she loves.

 

When asked how she would encourage potential members of the program to join, Katie remarked, “Go for it, use Elevate because they can help you answer questions you didn’t even know you had!” Utilizing ‘The Lake Land College Initiative’ allows Katie to overcome the ‘know-how’ obstacle present in entrepreneurship while also bypassing any financial concern associated with gaining the knowledge to become self-employed.

 

Through the ‘Lake Land College Initiative’, Full Members of Elevate are eligible for a 27-credit hour business development certificate tuition waiver through Lake Land College. 15 tuition waivers are made available to Elevate on an annual bases, 5 of which are reserved for graduates of the Class-E Program.

 

Contact Elevate today or schedule a tour and see if you could be the next member of Elevate to receive a tuition-free business development certificate through Lake Land College.

 

Contact Us for More Information

 

Class-E is, “an entrepreneurial development class that aims to educate Coles County high school juniors and seniors.” Click Here to Find Out More!

Member Spotlight- Keegan O’Connell Experiences Growth At Elevate

Anyone who keeps up to date with Elevate on Facebook or has joined our newsletter knows who Keegan O’Connell is. 

 

A few months back, we posted a story about our new broadcasting room and highlighted the services Keegan is bringing to our center. On our Facebook feed, we have often shared Keegan’s progress while he was raising funding to grow his business. What most of our readers may not know is the success Keegan has had in his own business venture.

 

Buzzed & Board Media LLC. is the first business to graduate the Elevate 6-Step Accelerator Program. Additionally, Buzzed & Board is receiving a $5,000 KIVA loan in order to expand its business venture. Since beginning services at Elevate, Keegan O’Connell (Owner of Buzzed & Board), has gained a greater understanding of how to establish

Buzzed & Board Owner Keegan O’Connell and Elevate Director Carlos Ortegabusiness venture. Buzzed & Board Media LLC. is the first business to graduate the Elevate 6 -Step Accelerator Program. 

his business in the Mattoon area. Keegan says the most valuable aspect of joining Elevate is, “the feeling that regardless of what happens, I am surrounded by like-minded people who can shape my next step towards success.” This sense of community is the focal point of what we do here at Elevate.

 

Keegan first heard of our center through a discussion with a peer. He was intrigued by our services provided by LISC Rural and the Accenture Learning Program. After utilizing these services, Keegan was able to work with business mentors and coaches who are giving him the inspiration and confidence needed to continue growing. Be on the lookout for a webinar hosted by Keegan which will soon be available on our website and social media! 

 

The team at Elevate looks forward to the growth of Buzzed & Board Media LLC. and helping other entrepreneurs. Hundreds of individuals in the Coles County Area have the potential to become a successful business owner such as Keegan. 

 

Schedule a tour today and see what Elevate has to offer!

Team Spotlight – Evelynna Rudibaugh, Business Owner

Evelynna Rudibraugh
Peace of Mind Home Services
Owner
Elevate CCIC, Inc.
Team Member

 

Evelynna is a 2020 graduate of ClassE, a Coles County Highschool Entrepreneurship Class which has found a new home at Elevate. As a focus of the course, students develop a business idea and apply it to the real world. This is where Evelynna found her inspiration for Peace of Mind Home Services.

 

After joining the Elevate team, Evelynna began to use our resources for her own business. In November of 2020, Peace of Mind Home Services registered with the state of Illinois to form an official LLC. Peace of Mind Home Services primarily functions to watch homes, pets and plants while their owners are out of town.

 

 Evelynna, a senior at Charleston High School, says she plans to maintain the business through her college experience at Lake Land College in Mattoon.

 

Going out of town this holiday season?
Book Peace of Mind Home Services.

4 Reasons to Become Self Employed

 

Starting your own business is an exciting and fulfilling experience. At our center, we often meet with individuals who have experienced a career working for someone else and want something new. 

 

Owning a business requires a dedicated willingness to work hard, a sense of adventure and time. Our center specializes in assisting customers who have the will to start their own organization, all of the way from start to finish. Those who have benefited from the resources we provide have shared a portion of the greatest reasons they enjoy being their own boss.

4. Fulfillment- 

Perhaps the most common reason community members go into business for themselves relates to the sense of purpose associated with creating a new organization. Creating a company is a blank canvas where innovators sculpt something brand new that reflects their interest or hobbies. 

 

Keegan O’Connell, owner of ‘Buzzed & Board LLC.’ expresses his passion for podcasting

Buzzed & Board Media LLC Owner Keegan O’Connell

and all things streaming through his own media production company. His mission is to “help small podcasters and video streamers promote their content and achieve a sustainable living while doing so.” 

 

As a business owner, Keegan has the opportunity to assist creators like himself express themselves in an artistic way via podcasting and streaming. His talents are so valuable that he was offered a position at Elevate in which he guides individuals through the process of creating their own podcast using our in house broadcasting room.

3. Flexibility- 

For parents and anyone else with a hectic schedule, one of the best attributes present in entrepreneurship is the opportunity to mold a work schedule and environment which better suits your needs. 

Russ Forstall began his software development company, ‘Slash Pine Tech’, with the intentions of spending more time with his family. “My kids are still young and I want to be able to spend more time with them”, Russ said when speaking about the jump from working for an agency to working for himself.

Russ Forstall, owner of Slash Pine Tech

Russ’s sentiment is one shared by every parent. Most fathers and mothers wish to have the ability to spend more time with their kids. Russ has been able to travel the country with his family as a result of taking the leap into entrepreneurship. 

2. Improve Your Community- 

Small businesses are the backbone of rural communities such as Coles County. Each business is an unique opportunity to provide a service, product or resource that is missing. 

Amy Patrick, owner of ‘Amy Patrick Life and Wellness, LLC.’ provides courses meant to focus clients on leading a more balanced life using values suggested by the National Wellness Institute. Amy Patrick Life and Wellness, LLC. looks to guide students to focus on positive qualities and strengths, leading to whole-life balance.

Amy Patrick, Owner of Amy Patrick Life and Wellness LLC.

Amy Patrick is the first graduate of Elevate’s ‘Six Step Program’, a resource available for any business minded individual to learn all the skills necessary to begin operation.

1. Make Money for Yourself-

Any article about starting a business would be incomplete without touching on the subject of profits. Ultimately, starting a business grants entrepreneurs the opportunity to collect the resources made available by their skills and knowledge.

One member of Elevate has done particularly well during the last year. Ryan Hayden, Director of ‘Row and Table’ (a software development firm) has seen significant growth over the last year. He says the company he founded went from making $50,000 in profits in 2019 to $50,000 a month in 2020.  

Ryan Hayden, Founder of Row & Table

While not every new business owner can expect to see profits in the same amounts as Ryan sees, they can expect to see the fruits of their labor contribute to their own paycheck, opposed to that of their boss.

Find which membership plan is right for you here, reach us via phone at 217-238-8519 or email the center: admin@elevate217.org

 

Coles County Software Development Agency Interested In Local Clients

‘Row & Table’ Director Ryan Hayden; Row & Table Website buildonline.co coming soon

‘Row & Table’ Software Development Agency has grown leaps and bounds over the past year. Director Ryan Hayden says the company has went from generating $50,000 in profits in 2019 to $50,000 a month in 2020.

Mr. Hayden sees himself as the only person doing his type of work in the area. He has assisted in creating apps for The YMCA plus websites for Sound Source Music and Burger King. While most of Row & Table’s work comes from California and St. Louis, Ryan says he would love to find a large local company to work with on a sizable project. Row & Table specializes in web-based applications as well as those native to Mac, Windows, IOS and Android.

When asked about working at Elevate, Ryan says, “Having a place other than my house lends legitimacy to my business.” The space allows him a place to bring in clients and a conference room to hold day long meetings.

The process of developing a major application is typically kept under four months. In this time, Ryan and his team meet with a client and collaborate to organize their ideas. After this, Row & Table work to best implement the goals set by their client.

While going to college to become a Pastor, Ryan became interested in website development. At first a hobby, developing software grew into something more serious four years ago when he met his business partner.  Exponentially growing, he moved to overseeing employees and landed a few big projects for Row & Table. Due to his interest in both fields, Mr. Hayden’s favorite project was creating sermon.ly, a ‘Google Drive’ type of software designed to write sermons.

Outside of his professional life, Ryan enjoys spending time with his three (soon to be four) kids coaching their YMCA swim team or being involved in their Tae Kwan-Do.

Ryan can be reached Here on LinkedIn

Keegan O’Connell Brings the Capability to Communicate with a Global Audience to Elevate CCIC Inc.

Keegan O’Connell, owner of Buzzed & Board Media LLC

“What’s the first thing you do after you get in your car and buckle your seatbelt?” This was the question posed by Keegan O’Connell, owner of Buzzed & Board LLC, when speaking of the next generation of media. The daily routine for millions of people is the key in ignition, seat belt clicked and finally before shifting out of park many connect to Bluetooth and pick the perfect podcast or tunes before even leaving their driveway.

With platforms like Spotify paying more than $100 million dollars, according to Forbes, purely for the licensing rights to the ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ and a billion dollars in advertisement revenue set to be pumped into podcast yearly, it is clear that media titans see the value of this modern sort of long form communication.

Elevate would like to thank the Mattoon Public Library for providing us with the equipment needed for our podcast room. This would not have been possible with out Director of the Library’s commitment to the progress of the community. Elevate is grateful for the partnerships that we have forged for our community, for the economic development in our area and region.

Mr. O’Connell sees the potential podcast hold not only for purely entertainment purposes, but for business owners who are looking to get the word out about their venture. He says we have the ability to reach, “pretty much anyone and everyone”, through using podcast.

Elevate is excited for the possibilities now made possible through Keegan and his media experience. He will be available in our center to put together a podcasting element, “that allows future business owners and entrepreneurs another vehicle of communication, that reaches out to a national and global level.”

In conversation with Keegan, his passion for what he does is very easy to find. He looks to be an innovator in creating new avenues for content creators such as himself to capitalize on their success and is determined to use his skills in order to give a voice to many others with varying expertise that wish to share their dreams with listeners particular to their unique niche.

Find Out What Keegan Can Do For Your Business by Becoming a Member or Scheduling a Tour Here

As always, keep up to date with Elevate on social media, connect with us on LinkedIn @ Elevate CCIC, INC., Facebook @ElevateCCIC,  Twitter and Instagram @elevate217

Software Developer Russ Forstall Utilizes Co-Working Spaces To Gain New Perspectives on Business and Family

Take the first step towards owning a business and schedule a tour or become a member today!

Russ Utilizing High-top Table Space for Stand-Up Desk

Russ Forstall, owner of software development business ‘Slash Pine Tech LLC‘ has control of his professional life in a way many of us strive to accomplish.

After spending five years at a large programming agency, Russ realized he was at a crossroads in his life. Either he could commit long term to working at an agency or he could start his own business with his knowledge of programming and enter an entirely new world of possibilities.

Since starting ‘Slash Pine Tech‘ Mr. Forstall has been able to shift his perspective to one that allows him to put family first. When speaking of his motivation for being self-employeed, Russ said, “my kids are still young and I want to be able to spend more time with them.”

While many of us long to better balance our personal and professional lives, Mr. Forstall has a solid understanding of both. He says through having a better perspective of family relationships, he has gained a better understanding of relationships with coworkers, colleagues, customers and clients.

We at Elevate are ecstatic to see the co-working model play a part in allowing entrepreneurs the ability to start their own business in which Russ says there has been, “a lot more to conquer and a lot more to learn.” Our function serves to provide perspective business owners with the confidence to take the next step in following their dreams in developing their own business.

Become a member or schedule a tour today https://elevate217.spaces.nexudus.com/en

As always, keep up to date with Elevate on social media, connect with us on LinkedIn @ Elevate CCIC, INC., Facebook @ElevateCCIC, Twitter and Instagram @elevate217

Elevate’s Role as a Business Incubation Center in Coles County: Enabling Business Ownership for People of All Backgrounds

As a community organization, Elevate is always thinking about what role we play in Mattoon and the greater Coles County Area. We hope to be thought of as a place of unity and equity; welcoming to people of every race, gender, religion, sexuality and background.

We have always felt our best assets to our community are the resources we are able to provide to anyone with the dream to be their own boss. Small business owners are perhaps one of the greatest metrics to measure the diversity of an area and the opportunities provided to citizens of said region.

We hope to cultivate an ever growing pool of diverse business owners in our area through programs such as Grow With Google, The Lakeland Initiative, The Kiva Loan program and The Simple Accelerator Program. These programs provide the building blocks for business development and success with the purpose of creating an opportunity for any entrepreneur to start or build their own business.

It is the belief of the team at Elevate that business ownership represents financial equality, representation and happiness. Through creating a more diverse environment for business ownership we look to create a more inclusive world and community.

Become a member or schedule a tour today https://elevate217.spaces.nexudus.com/en

As always, keep up to date with Elevate on social media, connect with us on LinkedIn @ Elevate CCIC, INC., Facebook @ElevateCCIC, Tik Tok– @elevateccic Twitter and Instagram @elevate217

Elevate CCIC. Offers Physical Space For Your Business

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog post, you have probably noticed the variety of membership options available at our center. One of these is our ‘mailbox’ monthly membership.

For only $40 a month, we offer a variety of resources to entrepreneurs interested in starting a business or growing their existing organization. Most important to the mailbox membership is the opportunity to attach a physical address to your business.

For only $40 monthly, we provide a professional image, greatly improve your chances of being found online, a meeting place for the clients you will be attracting and added security. Additionally, signing various legal documents such as forming an LLC or opening a bank account may require a physical address.

Yes, theoretically one could operate a business without an address attached to their company. It is possible to do, but it isn’t your best option.

Firstly, the professionalism associated with having a street address attached to your business is unmatched by a P.O. box or using a home address. Customers will surely appreciate knowing where your business exist and are much more likely to take your organizations seriously.

Our mailboxes also greatly increase your chances of being found online. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the ability potential clients have to find your business online. For example, if someone in Mattoon wanted to start a business, they may search, ‘startup business Mattoon Illinois’ they will quickly find Elevate in the search results. One factor attributed to this is we have verified an address on Google My Business. On this page, Google recommends verifying an address to improve your local ranking saying, “Verify your business locations to give them the best opportunity to appear for users across Google products, like Maps and Search.”

The physical workspace included in this membership also creates an environment greatly associated with the growth of your business. When working in our drop in table space, you will be allowed a professional environment to meet with potential clients interested in your business.

The security associated with your business existing physically at Elevate holds much value to any business owner. If working from a rental apartment or house, it is likely contradictory to a landlords lease agreement to conduct a business from this residence. Those found doing so may be subject to fines of even eviction. Even when owing a home residence, our ‘mailbox’ membership allows for a separation of work and personal space.

Become a member or schedule a tour today https://elevate217.spaces.nexudus.com/en

As always, keep up to date with Elevate on social media, connect with us on LinkedIn @ Elevate CCIC, INC., Facebook @ElevateCCIC, Tik Tok– @elevateccic Twitter and Instagram @elevate217