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- 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

 

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

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

Starting a Business in a Co-Working Space: How Centers Such as Elevate are Making Dreams a Reality

Elevate CCIC. Inc., Co-Working Innovation Center

1.2 million small businesses exist in the state of Illinois, according to a 2018 SBA Profile. Unfortunately for many, this dream has traditionally required more funds than are available to the typical individual. Thankfully, the Mattoon In Motion Robust Economy Committee has created a business incubation center, empowering those in the Coles County Region in their goals to open or develop their small business. Elevate CCIC, Inc. makes entrepreneurship a reality for anyone with a dream and determination.

Traditionally, operating a business requires thousands of dollars a year. Between renting office space, paying for internet, utilities and other amenities; most people are unable to provide the resources needed for their ideas to blossom into a fruitful venture.

Fortunately, Elevate enables everyone in the Coles County Area to startup their own business in a less costly manner. In our co-working space, one can access the resources necessary for their start-up at a manageable cost (see membership fees below), rent an office if applicable to their venture as well as several additional amenities.

MembershipFullTechMailboxStudentNonmember
Cost/ Month$95$50$40$35$10/Day
AmenitiesFullTechMailboxStudentNon-Member
Call Booths
Members-Only
event
$15 per event$15 per event
Gear Locker$30 per locker/mo$30 per locker/mo$30 per locker/mo$30 per locker/mo
Mailbox (1)
24/7 Accessworking hours only8am-11:30pm
M-F
working hours only
Monthly Print-BW
copies
250pay extrapay extrapay extrapay extra
Conference Rooms(2)(2*)see belowsee belowsee belowsee belowsee below
Drop in table space
Office Space Rental (*3)

Small Office rate $150 a month
Large Office rate $250 a month
Prices Subject to Change

Conference rooms are available for Full Membership members twice (2) a month for free. After which Full members receive half off rental rate. Large Conference Room Rental based on availability and is $250/full day (8hr) or $150/half day (4hr).

Additionally, our co-working center goes above and beyond providing physical space, internet and utilities. While working at Elevate, entrepreneurs are given access to members only events in coordination with programs created with our partners. These programs are formulated in a fashion which increases knowledge of various opportunities to grow a startup or develop a small business through exposure to like minded individuals looking to start their own venture.

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

Code Platoon Partnership Enables Veterans and Their Spouses

As a community organization, our goal is to provide resources to as many people as possible. The programming available at Elevate plays a huge role in how we continue to provide for our clients and additionally spurs growth to new entrepreneurs who have not yet benefited from the resources Elevate has to offer.

We at Elevate are proud to call ourselves a home for our partner, Code Platoon. As a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, Code Platoon strives to “transform veterans and military spouses into professional software developers through an immersive, hands-on, educational process and paid internship program.” In short, Code Platoon creates employment opportunities for veterans of our country and their spouses through a 14-week coding bootcamp.

Code Platoon is able to accomplish this goal by making their program affordable and connecting graduates from their program with companies who see the value that veterans and their families bring to the table. Additionally, Code Platoon encourages every veteran or military spouse to participate in their program. While a coding career is lucrative ( two years after completion of the program, graduates reported a median income of $88,000) Code Platoon emphasizes, “A veteran or military spouse has what it takes to become a developer, even if they don’t identify as a techie. We encourage all veterans and military spouses to apply.”

Many veterans face unemployment due to challenges translating their demonstrated dedication, teamwork and problem-solving into civilian work experience. According to a Call of Duty Endowment and ZipRecruiter study, 33 percent of Veterans are underemployed. For many veterans, completing a four-year degree after serving is not a viable option due to family, financial and social constraints. While many ‘developer boot camps’ have educated talented groups of developers, Code Platoon works to combat the challenges often presented specifically to veterans.

Our role as a partner of Code Platoon highlights one of the most important attributes of their program. Their coding camp provides students with the encouragement of working in a collaborative environment with their peers for the duration of their course. Doing so simulates the civilian work environment and places participants in an environment where they are encouraged to work with others completing the same courses they are working on themselves.

Naturally, as a cross collaborative business incubation center and work space, Elevate and Code Platoon are a perfect fit as partners. We welcome veterans and military families into our center and hope to provide resources in any way we can. Veterans and their spouses can apply for the program at https://www.codeplatoon.org/ under ‘Apply Now‘ Please share this article in order to support those who have served our country in building a better life in the civilian world.

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

Connect with Code Platoon online at https://www.codeplatoon.org and follow their social media: Twitter– @codeplatoon_org LinkedIn– Code Platoon Facebook– Code Platoon Instagram-CodePlatoon Youtube– Code Platoon and Vimeo– Code Platoon

Happy New Year 2020

Elevate is busy getting ready for the New Year. As we look forward, we want to thank all our supporters who have made Elevate CCIC, Inc. a reality. 

We are gearing up to be a hub of rural innovation for East Central Illinois. Our projected opening date will be early February 2020. With the development of Elevate, we aim to add to the positive growth already happening in our area.

Elevate is adding to this by continuing to develop relationships with existing entities from around the U.S. 

Our newest network partner is Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation, also known as Rural LISC. Rural LISC is one of the country’s largest organizations supporting projects to revitalize communities and bring greater economic opportunity to residents. They invest in affordable housing, better schools, safer streets, growing businesses and programs that connect people with financial opportunities. 

They provide the capital, strategy, and know-how to local partners to get this done.

Elevate CCIC, Inc. is proud to call Rural LISC our network partner. 

As Elevate CCIC, Inc., we will work with our area residents to create jobs and prepare residents to succeed in those jobs through our partners, supporters, and established institutions in the area. 

Through organizations such as Code Platoon, we aim to bring needed coding classes that work with regional veterans who desire to learn how to code. 

Through Lake Land College, full members of Elevate who are qualified may receive a tuition waiver for a 27-credit hour business development certificate. Also, through Lake Land, Elevate will provide access to Esri data and maps to support members with the tools they need to make data-driven decisions.  

We are proud to call Lake Land College, our partner. 

We are working to advance the entrepreneurial spirit in Coles County by supporting the development of the citizens and area together with our sponsors, collaborators, and partners.

We are grateful for all who have supported the idea and development of Elevate. Elevate is possible because of the continued support of individuals, the community, and innovative organizations.

Thank you all, and Happy New Year.