Networking, Mentoring, and Education for Consultants and Solo Professionals
Extraordinary Entrepreneurs – What Makes Them Different?
This is the question we will try to answer at our October dinner meeting. We have invited four highly successful entrepreneurs for a panel discussion about their mindsets and perspectives. We will ask them about how they view opportunity and adversity. And we will try to understand the source of the business acumen that they clearly all have – acumen that has allowed them to soar.
Tom Biggins is the founder and president of Atlantis Technology. Atlantis provides Web and mobile software development and data services. His company motto is “We work with folks who have interesting and meaningful ideas to create products and services that put a dent in the universe.” And they do just that. To cite just two recent projects, Atlantis has helped combat cancer by developing tools to help pathologists and oncologists establish precision medicine as the new standard of care, and has helped make social crowdsourcing campaigns more successful through AI-based collaboration tools.
While still an undergraduate at Babson College, Enrico Palmerino started a business that his professors found so compelling that they encouraged their other students to go to work for him. By the time Enrico sold this business a few years later, he had grown it into an international company, with eight offices in the US, Europe, South America and China. He’s now managing director and partner at SmartBooks, an outsourced bookkeeping and accounting company serving small and mid-sized businesses. His team has increased nearly sixfold over the past three years, from seven to 40 employees. SmartBooks integrates clients’ accounting software with other systems and processes to automate data entry and provide more reporting – faster and more cost effectively.
Jennifer Bylo’s path to entrepreneurship led through the emergency room: Today she is president and owner of Bay State Re-Bath of Massachusetts, a specialty remodeling company. But she spent 19 years as a nurse, many of them as a critical care nurse at NYU Medical Center in New York. At that time, her husband was a salesman with Re-Bath in New York. When the opportunity arose, he cajoled her into buying the Re-Bath franchise in Massachusetts and moving to the Bay State. But seven months in, he decided he had enough. He wanted to abandon the business and move back to New York. She refused. As she took over the business during the great recession, her first move to save her company and survive was to raise prices. Both she and the business survived. Since then she has made Bay State one of the more successful Re-Bath franchises.
Eric Coolbaugh was the founder of Advantage Funding, a commercial transportation leasing company he started in 1997. In 2006, he sold the majority stake of his company to a multi-billion dollar overseas conglomerate and sold the remaining stake in Advantage Funding in 2015. Eric is considered an industry expert in commercial coach and transportation finance, lease, and valuation and has served on many panels and board discussions. Not wanting to retire at 45, he and two former partners have recently launched another venture, Access Commercial Capital, that will represent the best in class in financing geared toward the ground transportation industry.