Scrappy Startup Strategies with Chari Pack of Persnickety Prints

Meet Chari Pack, the entrepreneur behind Persnickety Prints, who took center stage as our Featured Founder at April’s RevRoad University

In this interview, Chari divulges her scrappy strategies for scaling her business – and we’re not just referring to her love for scrapbooking! 

Join us as we uncover five lessons from Chari’s entrepreneurial journey.

1. Scrappy methods lead to big successes. 

Chari bootstrapped Persnickety Prints from $0 to $1 million in only three years, never spending a dime on advertising. 

The infancy of her business coincided with the rise of the Internet. Chari got creative and found free marketing channels through online forums and blinkies on blogging sites.  

She printed coupons and handed them out anywhere she could find a crowd—parades, rodeos, etc. Chari purchased second-hand equipment for her print shop and used furniture for the lobby. 

“Sometimes we think we need to have a glass house up on the high corridor with our big name out front in order to be a legit business—or think we need to have all this money and funding. But I didn’t believe that. I didn’t want it. For me, it wasn’t really about the name or the status.”

For Chari, true success meant sticking with lean strategies and staying debt-free while growing her business.

2. Patience + passion = perseverance

Chari started her business when she was 35, after years of changing diapers and scrapbooking from her kitchen table.

When she found something she was passionate about—telling stories through printed photos—working through problems was fun and she enjoyed the journey. 

“I think a lot of us see the end result of a business and we don’t realize how hard it is to get to that point. A lot of people start businesses and quit, saying, ‘This is too hard.’ But it’s been hard for everyone.”

Very few businesses go from zero to hero in under five years. There is no get-rich-quick scheme and there is no predictable path to scaling.

In the era of instant gratification with everything at our fingertips, Chari emphasizes that building a business takes time. There will be ups and downs and in-betweens. But those who are willing to hustle and pivot along the way will rise to the top.

Chari Pack, founder of Persnickety Prints, chats with Brittany Ouimette, RevRoad PR specialist, during RevRoad University

3. Experience the world to find problems to solve. 

Everybody has some entrepreneurialism inside them. And people rarely set out to start a business just for the sake of starting a business. 

Most businesses are born from someone who discovered a problem that needed solving.

“I had no business plan, zero education, and had no clue what I was doing. I just tried everything,” Chari recounted.

She taught her children to get out and experience life because that’s how problems are discovered.

“I think one disservice we offer to our kids sometimes is giving them everything.”

Chari believes that great things need to be worked for.  From wishing your ski boot clipped differently to wondering why some photo shops print richer colors than others, thinking outside the box to find solutions will lead you down the path to solving real-world problems. 

4. Success looks different to everyone

It’s easy to compare your business and your success to others. You may read a headline that so-and-so company raised $20 million, or so-and-so landed a deal with Elon Musk. But that doesn’t mean those things are right for your business. 

“Every person, every entrepreneur is different—they have different strengths and weaknesses. And every business model is different,” Chari said.

Chari advocates that success is not one-size-fits-all and counsels that comparison is destructive to growth. 

For some, success is defined by money and raising funds to scale quickly. But for Chari, success meant balance in life and financial freedom.

5. Letting go to grow

For the last decade, Chari aimed for consistent 10% year-over-year growth.

Business was thriving and her team was shipping out thousands of orders per day, but Chari knew there were additional growth opportunities. Expanding into different markets, buying new equipment, building out larger teams—there were so many avenues, but Chari didn’t feel she was capable of doing it herself. 

“You start a business and it becomes your baby. It’s my fourth child. I’m so emotionally invested in it, but I also want it to succeed,” Chari shared.

Despite this deep connection, Chari recognized the need to step aside to facilitate the business’s expansion.

“I felt like I was the one stalling it a little bit because there’s so many opportunities with it,” Chari reflected.

“I have to put it in someone else’s hands—someone that has more people and resources.” 

Last year she found the right buyer and sold her company to enable its continual growth. 

RevRoad University is a monthly lunch & learn event for entrepreneurs. Enjoy a short training on the best practices for your business. Then, hear from a Featured Founder on the ups, downs, & lessons they have learned throughout their entrepreneurial journey. Join us online at youtube.com/revroad or in person at 412 W River’s Edge Dr., Provo, UT 84604 (RevRoad HQ).

RevRoad Entrepreneur Competition Spring 2024 Winners Announced

RevRoad Spring 2024 entrepreneur competition

Securing funding is the lifeblood of startup ventures, propelling companies forward from mere concepts to tangible realities. Beyond the glitz and glamour of winning a giant check, this pitch competition offers invaluable exposure and access to vital startup resources by making connections with fellow founders, mentors, and successful business leaders.

The Spring 2024 competition broke the standing record of applicants, bringing in over 250 startups nationwide. From this pool, the top 36 companies were invited to attend the in-person pitch competition on March 2, 2024 at the Experience Event Center in Provo, Utah for a chance to win awards totaling over $30,000 of value.

Without further ado, we are honored to introduce the winners of the Spring 2024 semi-annual Entrepreneur Competition, sponsored by Squire

$15,000 Squire Grand Prize winner – Success Fund

Mark Walker (SuccessFund), Jesse Myrick (SuccessFund), Joe Hillstead (Squire and Company, PC), Jonyce Bullock (Squire and Company, PC), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

School districts use SuccessFund to prevent mishandling of funds (fraud) in schools. SuccessFund’s fundraiser approval management tools give districts oversight and unprecedented visibility into every initiative that solicits money from the community. School faculty use SuccessFund as a payment solution that manages fundraisers, events, school stores, and more. SuccessFund is expanding quickly and currently operates in nearly every district in Utah, with additional districts in Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and others.

$5,000 Runner up – Proactive Health

Alec Gustafson (Proactive Health), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

Proactive Health keep seniors from going back to the hospital by monitoring their biometric data as they sleep, identifying their unique baseline, and leveraging multidimensional scaling analytics to identify concerning deviations. When concerns arise, the company reaches out to the senior, sees how they’re feeling, and coordinates with their care providers when necessary.

$2,500 3rd place – HoneyGrid

James Delorey (HoneyGrid), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

HoneyGrid provides data-driven location targeting for local advertisers to boost ad performance, resulting in lower cost and better results.

$1,000 Fan Favorite – Interval

Brandon Davis (Interval), Connor Ashton (Interval), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

Interval is a virtual AI receptionist for the automotive industry. Its AI receives all inbound calls to answer customer questions, schedule test drives or oil changes, track valuable insights, automatically send reminders, and connect directly to business CRM / DMS. Interval handles all things front office for auto dealerships or repair shops. The company mission mission is to help automotive businesses drive customer experience while still increasing sales.

WTCUtah Trailblazer Award (Value) – Whelm

Chipper Whatcott (Whelm), Ben Ruckman (Whelm), Matt Wunderli (WTC Utah), CEO Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

Whelm is an all-in-one business administration platform, built specifically for freelancers. Invoicing, digital payments, legal contract templates, eSignatures, project management, asynchronous client feedback, and more. All in one simple app. With Whelm, freelancers no longer need 5 different apps and subscriptions to run their freelance business.

Kiln Membership Award (Value) – Levo Therapy

Amber Linebaugh (Kiln), Thomas Lund (Levo Therapy) , Keanna Nabrotzky (Levo Therapy), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

The Levo App provides personalized tools to amplify the benefits of each therapy session. Designed to complement your therapist’s guidance, it offers a suite of intuitive features like mood tracking, journaling, and custom reminders. This ensures that the insights and progress made during therapy are integrated into your daily life, fostering continuous growth and self-awareness.

Thread Consumer Product Award (Cash) – Breath of Life

James Drake (Breath of Life), McKenzie Bauer (Thread), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

Breath of Life is an industry disruptor designed to actually solve the trauma of a terrifying choking incident. We are determined to see this brilliant choking rescue device save lives and give peace of mind to establishments all around the world.

Soul Seed Academy Growth Training or Services Award (Value)- Best Foot Forward Consulting

Sarah Asay (Soul Seed Academy), Reneé Rodriguez (Best Foot Forward Consulting), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

Best Foot Forward Consulting helps protective parents who are in a custody dispute with an abusive co-parent to get the custody arrangement that is safe and best for their children.

We congratulate the incredible entrepreneurs who made it to the semifinals and especially those who won. This event is only made possible through the contributions of our fantastic judges, sponsors Central Bank of Utah, Squire & Company, PC and RevRoad Capital, and all the competitors, team members, and community who support entrepreneurship.

For information about future RevRoad Entrepreneur Competitions, please visit ecomp.revroad.com.

EVject Attends History-Making Cybertruck Launch

PROVO, UT December 21, 2023, After a prolonged wait, Tesla enthusiasts attended the much-anticipated launch of the Cybertruck in Austin, Texas, on November 30. The event was nothing short of spectacular, leaving the electric vehicle community buzzing with excitement. Despite the worldwide impact of the Cybertruck launch, we can’t forget another  product making history in the EV world today—EVject.

The launch of the Cybertruck marked a turning point in the electric vehicle industry. Tesla has once again redefined automotive design with its bold and futuristic take on the conventional truck, capturing the imagination of car enthusiasts worldwide.

Kreg Peeler, one of the founders of EVject, and team were able to go to Austin and attend the launch of the Cybertruck. At the event they were able to gift EVjects to various EV influencers, like Sandy Munro, Zac Cataldo, and Kim Java.

Kreg shared with us, “I am super excited to be delivering EVjects and be a part of Tesla’s innovation. This is just the beginning of an EV revolution.”

For years, EV owners—and now Cybertruck owners—have witnessed and driven the next generation of vehicles. However, in one regard, EVs fall far behind their combustion counterparts: and that is charging safety. Until this year, EV owners have had no means of escaping dangerous situations while charging, as EV software prevents them from shifting into Drive as they charge—a vulnerability not present in gas vehicles. EVject has changed this dynamic entirely. Using the EVject, owners can safely shift into Drive while they charge, separating the charging connection and making room for a quick escape.

In the aftermath of the Cybertruck launch, it’s clear that Tesla has once again set a new standard for electric vehicles. As orders continue to flood in, it’s evident that Tesla’s groundbreaking innovation is poised to dominate the electric vehicle landscape for years to come. While its design and bulletproof features have stolen the spotlight, it’s important not to overlook the fact that the Cybertruck still has a critical safety vulnerability—to which the EVject is the only solution on the market today.

RevRoad Named One of the Best Companies to Work for in Utah

Company Acknowledged with Distinguished Recognition for its Dedication to Creating an Outstanding Workplace 

PROVO, UT December 13, 2023, RevRoad started its journey in 2017 as a sweat-equity partner company dedicated to fueling the growth of startups. The company is thrilled to share a significant milestone, being recognized, by Utah Business Magazine, as one of 2023’s “Best Companies to Work for in Utah“. This award is a testament to RevRoad’s unwavering devotion to cultivating an empowering workplace that connects with its team members.

As a true sweat-equity partner, RevRoad supports its portfolio companies through different services to achieve maximum profitability, support market entry, and establish a foundation for their ventures. RevRoad’s unique approach involves collaborative efforts, with team members working side-by-side with portfolio companies, ensuring a seamless scaling process while keeping founders firmly in the driver’s seat.

“At RevRoad, we often use the phrase, ‘your vibe attracts your tribe.’ We believe that fostering a positive and collaborative environment not only enhances the overall workplace experience but also draws in individuals who resonate with and contribute to the collective spirit and goals of the organization,” said Derrin Hill, founder and CEO of RevRoad. “Being recognized as one of the Best Companies to Work for in Utah is a tremendous honor and a reflection of an environment where every team member’s contribution is valued and makes a difference.”

The RevRoad team accepted the award during the Utah Business Award Ceremony, on Wednesday , December 13, 2023.  RevRoad looks forward to continuing to foster an uplifting work environment and support to its portfolio companies. Nominees for the award were considered based on the survey responses, anonymously submitted by each company’s employees. The survey covered various aspects of work life, including perks, organizational culture, leadership, and beyond. 

To learn more about RevRoad and explore opportunities to become the next portfolio company, visit https://www.revroad.com

About RevRoad:
RevRoad is a sweat-equity partner for scaling companies, dedicated to achieving the full value of startups. The company empowers portfolio companies to maximize profitability, get to market faster, and create a solid foundation for their venture. RevRoad team members work shoulder-to-shoulder with portfolio companies, enabling businesses to scale efficiently while keeping founders in the driver’s seat. Visit revroad.com to learn more and apply to become the next portfolio company.

Media Contact:
Madeline Eames

madeline.eames@revroad.com

(208) 670-0326

Empowering Dreams: ETS and RevRoad’s People-First Partnership

In an exciting collaboration, Engineered Tax Services (ETS) and RevRoad are embarking on a journey that goes beyond a typical business partnership – their mission is to grow small businesses and leave a lasting impact on people’s lives. ETS is one of the biggest licensed engineering firms providing specialty tax services to CPA firms and its clients.

Julio Gonzalez, Founder and CEO of Engineered Advisory (EA), the parent company of ETS, believes the real spirit of this partnership is how, together, they can level the playing field by allowing small businesses access to tax benefits and grants. For Julio, this goes beyond financial numbers; it’s about empowering founders and businesses to thrive.

“We’re here to give small businesses access to benefits and grants, creating tax equality for all.” 

The collaborative spirit between these two companies shines in their shared vision for a brighter future for every small business. RevRoad, as a sweat equity partner, will provide critical support to ETS in marketing, strategy, development, and more. They will aid ETS in streamlining internal processes, building efficiencies, and scaling its operations.

Derrin Hill, Founder and CEO at RevRoad, shares his excitement for this partnership.

“We’re creating opportunities for people, businesses, and dreams. Together, we’re driving growth with heart. This partnership isn’t just about business; it’s about shared values propelling growth.”

RevRoad takes great pleasure in extending a warm welcome to Engineered Tax Services (ETS) as a company in the RevRoad portfolio. For more information about ETS go to link.

Ready. Set. Rev!

Holiday Gift Guide 2023 – Supporting Entrepreneurs on Small Business Saturday

This Small Business Saturday, join us in supporting rising entrepreneurs while finding the perfect presents for those who matter most. From tech gadgets and educational courses, to delectable meals and stylish clothing, the 2023 RevRoad holiday gift guide features an array of select consumer products from our portfolio companies. This guide spans a diverse range of options to accommodate preferences of each family member.

Happy holiday shopping!

For the EV enthusiast

EVject breakaway adapter

EVject: $199 breakaway charging adapter

EVject is the ultimate gift to keep the EV drivers in your life safe. Offering a unique charging adapter that ensures a secure breakaway while plugged in, this innovative device is the first of its kind. With its convenient design, EVject not only prioritizes safety but also provides unmatched peace of mind, making it the ideal present for tech-savvy individuals or electric vehicle enthusiasts. See the EVject in action on the company website here

For the master of organization

Salt By Sabrina expandable drawer organizer

Salt by Sabrina: $68 Expandable Drawer Organizer

Give the gift of organization and elegance this holiday season with premium acrylic drawer organizers and dividers. Crafted with precision to seamlessly fit any drawer, these exceptional organizers not only elevate the aesthetic of any space but make for a perfect holiday gift. Founder Sabrina Gardner believes that organization can enable us to conquer whatever life brings our way. Each product is designed to simplify your life, beautify your spaces, and you with confidence. See all the organizational solutions for your home by visiting their website here.

For the healthy home chef

Citrus Pear freezer meal delivery

Citrus Pear: $179 set of 10 freezer meals 

This holiday season, give the gift of  convenience and health with freezer meal kits. Ensure that loved ones can enjoy warmth in every bite of the delicious and nutritious meals effortlessly, making every dinner a stress-free and wholesome experience. Citrus Pear believes that healthy eating should be easy no matter what stage of life you’re in. Their team of registered dietitians provides pre-assembled meals and hosts freezer meal prep classes. Look for gift card options as well by visiting their website here.

For the dragon rider 

dragon federation egg

Dragon Federation: $149-500 dragon egg

Turn this holiday season into an enchanting journey by gifting the wonder of a dragon egg. This egg is waiting to be nurtured and brought to life. With a mystical AR portal on your mobile device, you can monitor your dragon egg’s vital signs, creating a unique and enchanting experience for anyone who loves fantasy and interactive storytelling. To learn more about raising a pet dragon, or seeing other breed options, check out the Dragon Federation website here

For the firearm fanatic

bone dri gun case

Bone Dri: $99 Rust Prevention Shotgun & Rifle Case

Still searching for the perfect gift for the gun fanatic of the family? Help them keep their collection in pristine condition by giving the gift of protection. Bone Dri’s gun cases are designed to remove any and all moisture on or inside the weapon, while also preventing any more from creeping in. Simply place the compromised gun inside the case before bed, then unwrap a perfectly dry weapon the next morning—just like Christmas! Even the deepest, most seeped-in moisture doesn’t stand a chance. Keeping firearms in good condition is not only essential to the gun’s functionality, but it also increases safety for the user. Check out the various cases and styles on their website here.

For the carbonation addict

Bobelo self-carbonating drink mix

Bobelo: $35.99 self-carbonating drinks 32 count box

This gift is for the soda lover, energy chugger, and sports drink enthusiast. Bobelo’s delicious drink mix gives you all the flavor and bubbles you want from a soda, but with better hydration, better nutrition, and none of the guilt. Each Bobelo pouch is sweetened with stevia leaf instead of sugar, and packed full of vitamins and electrolytes—keeping families hydrated and energized all year long. Plus, their small and portable drink packs make for perfect stocking stuffers! View flavors and recipes on their website here

For the outdoor adrenaline junkie

CRUX Academy outdoor courses

CRUX Academy: $612 per month course subscriptions 

This gift is for anyone looking to experience the outdoors with confidence. It’s hard to go wrong when you grant the gift of knowledge. CRUX offers many courses on outdoor activities for the season, such as backcountry skiing and avalanche preparedness, as well as fly fishing, living the van life, climbing, mountain biking, and more. Crux Academy delivers an excellent learning experience from the world’s most accomplished outdoor athletes and thought leaders to empower anybody’s outdoor experience. View courses and get more information at their website here.

For the healthcare hero

ALTA Scrubs: $56 scrub joggers

These scrubs provide comfort and style to the medical worker in your life. ALTA Brand has innovated on the classic look and designed something with performance and comfort in mind, down to the very last stitch. With 4-way comfort flex, antimicrobial Silvadur™ lining, strategic pocket placement, and a modern, trendy design, this scrub uniform is flexible, comfortable, and practical for both men and women. Give a gift they’ll love wearing every day! Shop all ALTA Brand products on their website here.

For the creative visionary

Sentient Academy online art courses

Sentient Academy: art courses and subscriptions starting at $20

Be the spark that ignites creativity in someone you love. With a Sentient membership, anyone can unlock their creative potential by experiencing a master firsthand. Dive into the mindset, techniques, and inspiration behind dozens of award-winning artists as they journey from canvas to masterpiece. While other courses circle around subjects with no real substance, Sentient has cut out the fluff to make better artists faster. Whether that special someone is a doodler, sketcher, painter, or designer, Sentient will help them reach higher and find their fire. Bring the joy with a single course pack or a subscription to their vast catalog of lessons and demos. See their full course list and plans here.

For the traveler 

Elios portable battery pack to charge all electronic devices

Elios: $299 GoPlug 100 SMART Power Bank

Have you ever been navigating through an unknown city when your cellphone dies? Nobody carries around paper maps these days, so how can you be expected to find where you’re going without your travel companion apps? Give the gift of portable power so that the traveler in your life will never be stranded with their battery on 1%. Let the most compact, long-lasting portable battery on the market jump-start their phone, laptop, camera, or other technology, in preparation for the next leg of the adventure! View battery packs, portable solar panels, and carriers on the Elios website here.

For the family cook

 

PrePear app for recipes and meal planning

Prepear: $9.99 per month meal planning subscription

Putting a healthy dinner on the table every night continues to be one of the biggest stresses for busy parents. Give the gift of stress-free cooking with a subscription to Prepear! The receiver of your gift will enjoy step-by-step cooking with a thoughtfully-designed recipe interface to help them save time, eat healthier, and cook creatively. They get access to unlimited meal plans and grocery lists that take the stress and planning out of meal preparation. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! Learn more at Prepear’s website here.

For the musical maestro

Duet: Monthly Subscription for $20

We all have that one music teacher in our community who has taught our kids the joys of music for years. Now give them something in return this holiday by saving them hours each week on managing their students using Duet! With Duet’s simple and intuitive software, any music teacher can keep track of their students, perfectly plan out their week, and even build their entire season schedule in just a few clicks. No more endless back and forth with parents. Now you have the perfect gift for some of the most dedicated, yet kindest members of your neighborhood. Get the full scoop at Duet’s site here.

For the scrapbook queen

Persnickety Box eco-friendly photo keepsake box

Persnickety Box: $197 (sale price) for the ultimate photo bundle

There’s always at least one person in the family who wants to take photos of everything—every outing, every meal, every road-side flower. It’s time they experience Persnickety Box. Each month, Persnickety will print 30 of their favorite photos, which they deliver in a beautiful, eco-friendly keepsake box. What could be more memorable than a gift that helps preserve cherished memories! Plus, it’s so easy to get started! View all printed products on Persnickety Box’s website here.

For the children who dream

Cedar Fort personalized children's books

Cedar Fort: $29.99 (sale price) personalized children’s book 

Customizable books are just what they sound like: books that are customizable! Have you ever read a children’s book and thought, “This sounds like my child!” Cedar Fort made it possible for parents to bring that dream to life by transporting children into their very own book! A perfect and exciting gift for children to receive on Christmas day, a personalized book is the kind of gift a child would keep for the rest of their life. View all published products on Cedar Fort’s website here

For the super sanitizer 

PhoneSoap UV light sanitizer

PhoneSoap: $39.95 (sale price) UV-C sanitizer for smartphone

Did you know that studies have shown your phone’s surface contains 10 or more times the bacteria as your average toilet seat? Thankfully, PhoneSoap’s UV-C technology will sanitize your phone after you’re done scrolling TikTok from the porcelain throne. Compatible with all smartphones, these sanitizing pods kill 99.9% of germs on hand-held devices. Maybe you’re the biggest germ spreader of the home, or maybe it’s your partner, but no matter who’s been skipping their handwash singalongs, having a PhoneSoap around can help make everyone healthier and safer this holiday season and beyond! Shop all UV-C sanitation products on PhoneSoap’s website here.

And there you have it—many amazing gift options sourced from local entrepreneurs and small businesses. We hope you found an item for your spouse, friends, children, neighbors, and more! We’ve used these items ourselves, and we absolutely love them! By adding unique and memorable gifts like these under the tree this year, you’re not only guaranteed to stand out, but you’ll also be supporting Utah entrepreneurs.

LLC for Business – What You Need to Know

women discussing LLC for Business

In the vast landscape of business structures, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) stand out as a versatile and popular choice for entrepreneurs. Offering a unique blend of flexibility and protection, LLCs have become the go-to option for many aspiring business owners. Not to mention, they are extremely simple to set up and a very affordable option. 

Many startups opt for the LLC route right from the beginning. The allure of an LLC’s simplicity and ease of setup is undeniable, making it an attractive choice for those ready to get a jumpstart on their business venture. 

We’re no strangers to the vibrant tapestry of startups. While many ventures kickstart their journeys as Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), we often find ourselves guiding them through the complex terrain of potential transitions, helping them make informed choices based on their unique needs and long-term goals.

In this article, we’ll delve into the key considerations surrounding LLCs to help you make an informed decision when setting up your small business, lifestyle business, or high-growth company.

What do I need to know about an LLC business structure?

Let’s break it down simply. First, the name says it all. With an LLC, you (as the owner) have limited personal liability for business debts. This means that nobody can come after your personal assets if your business ever finds itself in deep waters. Within your LLCs, you can be a single member, or have multiple members. 

Next, when setting up your LLC, you have more flexibility than you would with other business structures. LLCs have fewer formalities compared to corporations, giving you the freedom to structure things in a way that you want for your business.

You will need to define the Operating Agreement which states how the business is run, member roles, and financial arrangements. You will also need to identify Management to indicate who the decision makers are: management will either be indicated as member-managed for all members to share in decision-making, or as manager-managed to designate a singular manager to make decisions on behalf of the company. 

When it comes to taxes, LLCs are usually pass-through entities for tax purposes which means that profits and losses pass through to the members’ personal tax returns.

Remember, while LLCs do offer protection, the specifics can vary. It’s always wise to double-check your work with a lawyer. 

Is an LLC the right choice for my business?

When deciding if an LLC is right for your business, you need to consider your entrepreneurial goals. Are you envisioning a modest, family-run enterprise or are you aiming for aggressive growth with institutional investments? Ask yourself the following: 

  • What are my Long-Term Business Goals? 
  • How Important is Personal Asset Protection
  • What is the Role of Investors or Partners? 
  • Do I Envision Complex Ownership and Governance Structures?

Entrepreneurs who are looking to establish a lifestyle business or a cozy family-run enterprise where high growth may not be the primary objective will typically find that an LLC suits their needs. The inherent protections offered by an LLC’s limited liability shield provide peace of mind, ensuring that personal assets remain sheltered even in the face of business uncertainties.

Lifestyle businesses and enterprises with localized ambitions may find the LLC’s protective shield sufficient for their long-term objectives. For these ventures, the flexibility of an LLC – the ability to tailor ownership structures and governance models – remains a powerful tool that aligns seamlessly with its vision.

However, if you already know from the get-go that you will want to raise venture capital or will have complex ownership, you may consider setting up your business as a C-Corp. 

Pivoting Towards Growth: The Path to a C-Corp

Keep in mind that you don’t have to know the answers to all the previous questions from day one. Plans change over time and you can always restructure your business as needed. 

A C-Corporation (C-Corp) emerges as an appealing option for companies preparing to raise institutional funds. The 1202 tax code “allows capital gains from qualified small business stocks to be excluded from federal tax.” This unique advantage can’t be overlooked, especially when the venture plans for substantial growth and the need for external investors.

Crafting a Tailored Path: RevRoad’s Expertise

As startups evolve and scale, the decision-making process can be complex. Navigating the legal documents needed to ensure a structurally sound foundation for your business can be daunting. That’s where sweat-equity firm RevRoad steps in as your trusted advisor and partner.

RevRoad’s role is not only to provide guidance but also to facilitate the strategic decision-making process. Our Legal team has witnessed the unique advantages and disadvantages that both LLCs and C-Corps offer and can help startups understand the nuances, risks, and rewards associated with each.

RevRoad’s seasoned team is here to work shoulder-to-shoulder with you and attain the full value of your startup. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs with the knowledge, insights, and team needed to make a difference in the world. Let’s start by setting up your organization with the right structure. Contact our investment team to see if your company is a good fit for the RevRoad program. 

RevRoad Entrepreneur Competition Fall 2023 Winners Announced

RevRoad is proud to announce the winners of the Fall 2023 semi-annual Entrepreneur Competition, sponsored by Central Bank. 

As a beacon for emerging startups, both in high-growth and lifestyle sectors, the competition provides a platform for participants to showcase their innovations. With an impressive lineup of judges, this competition is an ideal  arena for entrepreneurs to forge connections, receive valuable feedback, and hone their pitching skills.

The Fall 2023 edition broke the standing record of applicants, bringing in over 200 startups nationwide. From this pool, the top 36 companies were invited to attend the in-person pitch competition on Oct 14, 2023 at the UVU Keller Business Building. 

Of those top companies, the following companies received awards with over $30,000 of value. 

$15,000 Central Bank Grand Prize winner – Gnara

RevRoad CEO Derrin Hill, Gnara Founder Georgia Grace Edwards, CB Vault Executive Director Jake McHargue

Gnara is on a mission to help everyone answer nature’s call (quite literally) via our patented GoFly zipper technology. We’re revolutionizing women’s clothing and adapting it for everyone’s needs—from hiking to serving on the front lines—through innovative and inclusive design that makes people feel safe, comfortable and confident to explore as they are, whether at work or at play. 

$5,000 Runner up – Team Nation Sports

Team Nation Sports CEO Whitney Clayton, RevRoad CEO Derrin Hill, Team Nation Sports Co-Founder Matt Clayton

Team Nation Sports builds software that turns sports learning into games on phones. The company believes that if you can learn how to learn football, you can learn how to learn anything. 

$2,500 3rd place – ILLA

RevRoad CEO Derrin Hill, ILLA Founder Tana Hoffman

ILLA is an AI-driven adventure platform for women+ who walk, run, ski, hike, bike, climb, paddle, surf, brap, and more!

$1,000 Fan Favorite – KAXI

Kaxi Founder and CEO Lexi Cuillard

Kaxi is a women’s hair accessory company that focuses on both style, function, and most importantly — hair health!

WTCUtah Trailblazer Award (Value) – Nani Swimwear

RevRoad CEO Derrin Hill, Nani Swimwear Fo-Founders Jana Barlow and Amy Rasmussen, WTCUtah COO David Carlebach

Nani embraces strength and confidence with active swimwear that not only looks good but feels good. Designed with adventurous women in mind, Nani is made for movement. Nani is the Hawaiian word for “beautiful”, and our mission is to create active swimwear that empowers women of all shapes and sizes to #livenani by seeking adventure, being kind, and striving to give back.

Kiln Membership Award (Value) & Thread Consumer Product Award (Cash) – Powder Baby LLC

RevRoad CEO Derrin Hill, Powder Baby LLC Founder Kylee Black, Kiln CEO and Co-Founder Arian Lewis
RevRoad CEO Derrin Hill, Powder Baby LLC Founder Kylee Black, Thread Wallets Co-Founder McKenzie Bauer

Powder Baby LLC provides dry shampoo that is made of 5 natural , vegan, ingredients. The products are packaged in a paper bottle that is completely biodegradable and healthy for the environment. It is the only dry shampoo on the market to come in 5 unique colors that match your hair shade and leave absolutely no residue. Because the dry shampoo is made with only powder and no aerosol, it is more effective in absorbing grease long term and keeping your hair healthy, smooth, and looking clean.

We Congratulate the winners and offer our heartfelt gratitude to everyone that participated in this pitch competition!

We couldn’t have done it without our incredible judges, sponsors Central Bank of Utah, Squire & Company, PC and RevRoad Capital, and all the competitors, team members, and community who came together.

For information about future RevRoad Entrepreneur Competitions, please visit ecomp.revroad.com.

RevRoad Partners with Kiln to Open Doors of Provo Coworking Location This Fall

RevRoad partners with Kiln

PROVO, Utah, Oct. 5, 2023— RevRoad, a sweat-equity firm for startup companies, is proud to partner with Kiln to host entrepreneurs in a coworking space at their new location at River’s Edge on University development in Provo, UT. The new flex-office opened its doors to membership holders on September 18, 2023, allowing the RevRoad team, RevRoad portfolio companies, and other local startups to claim their new office space. To mark the beginning of this new partnership, RevRoad and Kiln will host a panel discussion on Friday, October 20th, from 3:30 to 4:30 PM, featuring Arian Lewis, CEO & Co-Founder of Kiln, alongside Derrin Hill, CEO & Co-Founder of RevRoad. They will share their insights about entrepreneurship, partnerships, and growing into new markets.

In partnership with Brighton Development, Kiln’s 40,000 square-foot, handcrafted facility provides an amenity-rich, all-inclusive workspace experience for creatives, startups, and enterprise teams. This co-working space is set to become a center of gravity for Provo’s vibrant entrepreneurial community. This beloved corner of Provo, following years of demolition and reconstruction, is now a revitalized hub for visionary entrepreneurs and small businesses.

“I have always loved Provo, not only because I was raised here, but also because it has been home to so many impressive founders and companies,” says Arian Lewis, CEO of Kiln. “We couldn’t be more excited to introduce the Kiln community to all the good that this ecosystem already has to offer. We were very impressed with Brighton Development’s vision and creative plan for River’s Edge. What we are building together in Provo will be world-class, showcasing the future of flexible and experiential workspace.”

Provo continues to thrive with a near-uninterrupted title of America’s “top-performing city” in annual economic rankings by the Milken Institute. Its active population, strong talent pipeline, and dynamic entrepreneurial scene draws hugely successful companies like Vivint and Qualtrics, while nearby Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University both feature impressive entrepreneurial centers and mentorship programs. 

“The days of Plumtree Plaza lying dormant as an eyesore to our community are over with the transformative development well-underway at River’s Edge on University,” says Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi. “Creating economic vibrancy requires the right timing and team. With both now in place, our promise to reinvent spaces for new generations to enjoy is underway. Kiln is an ideal example, with their innovative work concept not only expanding job opportunities, but re-envisioning the entire industry.” 

The standalone facility is conveniently located just ten minutes from I-15, centered between the major thoroughfares of State Street and University Blvd. The 28-acre mixed-use development features popular restaurants and shops, as well as premium apartment units (The Lofts at River’s Edge) and townhouse style condos (The Towns at River’s Edge). As the anchor tenant of River’s Edge development, Kiln’s flexible office and coworking community will provide a full-scale list of amenities for individuals and teams of 1–100. Kiln offers club memberships for individuals, private offices for small teams, and enterprise suites for large teams.

RevRoad CEO Derrin Hill said about the partnership, “Our mission at RevRoad has always been to empower startups and entrepreneurs, working shoulder-to-shoulder with them on their journey to success. Kiln shares this commitment and demonstrates that by creating a vibrant ecosystem of collaborative workspaces and community engagement. It’s the perfect marriage of our shared values and vision, where innovation thrives and entrepreneurs flourish. Together, we are redefining what it means to support and nurture the entrepreneurial spirit, and we couldn’t be more excited about the incredible possibilities that lie ahead.”

Many hands have been involved in helping this project come to life, including The City of Provo, Nate Pugsley of Brighton Development, Eric and Brycen Woodley of Woodley Real Estate, Lance Pendleton of Mountain West Commercial, and Dan Teed and Taylor Carpenter of Mint. 

Kiln and RevRoad intend to host a myriad of events that bring the community of entrepreneurs together, many of which will be open to the general public. Learn more at kiln.com and revroad.com/events.

Kiln Provo address: 2250 N University Pkwy, Provo, UT 84604.

For press inquiries contact kyle@kiln.com and brittany.ouimette@revroad.com

About Kiln 

Kiln is currently home to more than 4,000 members and 1,200 businesses across 12 locations in Utah, Colorado, California, Idaho, and Oregon. Founded in 2018, Kiln is expanding across the Mountain West and West Coast, with several additional locations under development in varying stages. A full list of locations can be found here. Kiln’s founding team, composed of co-founder/CEO Arian Lewis and co-founder/creative director Leigh Radford, has been at the forefront of design, operations, and innovation within the flex-office and coworking industries for the better part of two decades. Lewis and Radford have collaborated on the launch of prior coworking brands, with international locations spanning London, New York, Tel Aviv, Cape Town, Mumbai, and Lithuania. Learn more at kiln.com.

About RevRoad

RevRoad is a sweat-equity partner for scaling companies, dedicated to achieving the full value of startups. The company empowers portfolio companies to maximize profitability, get to market faster, and create a solid foundation for their venture. RevRoad team members work shoulder-to-shoulder with portfolio companies, enabling businesses to scale efficiently while keeping founders in the driver’s seat. Visit revroad.com to learn more and apply to become the next portfolio company.

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Pitch Deck Template – Get Ready to Pitch Investors or Compete in a Pitch Competition

Mobly pitching at RevRoad's entrepreneur compeition

What are pitch decks?

A pitch deck is a concise presentation (usually made in Google Slides or PowerPoint) that provides an overview of a business, typically delivered to potential investors, partners, or stakeholders. It serves as a visual aid to communicate key aspects of a startup’s vision, mission, product or service, market opportunity, financial projections, and team. Pitch decks are crucial tools for entrepreneurs seeking funding, as they distill complex information into a compelling and digestible format. Below, we’ll share a pitch deck template to help you get started. 

In a competition setting, where time is limited, a well-structured pitch deck ensures clarity and leaves a lasting impact on judges. Judges often rely on pitch decks to evaluate the viability and potential of a business. Pitch decks serve as a storytelling tool, allowing entrepreneurs to concisely convey their business narrative, influencing judges to positively sway their decision in favor of cash prizes. 

What Should I Focus On During a 5-Minute Pitch In a Competition?

pitch deck template for pitch competition

In a five minute pitch, it’s important to eliminate fluff and cut to the chase. Each judge may be looking for something different, so it’s hard to make a blatant statement as to what your primary focus should be. In general, judges will evaluate a company based on the following criteria: 

  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Market size
  • Validation and traction
  • Go-to-market plan
  • Investability 

How to Create an Impactful Pitch Deck 

Entrepreneurs gearing up for the upcoming RevRoad pitch competition need a focused and concise pitch deck to stand out to the judges. When you only have five minutes to share your pitch, it is critical to focus on the what matters most. Here’s a pitch deck template to guide you when creating a 10-12 slide deck that showcases the business you are building:

  1. Cover Slide:
    • Keep it simple with your logo and a tagline. 
  2. Introduction:
    • Start with your company’s vision or mission to set the stage with your “why.”
  3. Problem:
    • Clearly outline the problem you’re solving, emphasizing its significance in the market you’re addressing.
  4. Solution:
    • Showcase your innovative solution to the problem succinctly, avoiding unnecessary details. This may be more than one slide if you have a few products you want to show.
    • Don’t get too fixated on product features. Investors are going to care more about your traction (see below) than your solution. Anyone can build a product. The big question is whether or not that product actually has paying customers.
  5. Market:
    • Define the market size and your target customers. Consider using a TAM, SAM, SOM approach for a comprehensive view.
  6. What Makes You Different:
    • Show investors what sets you apart from competitors in the market. What enables you to break through the noise? Communicate your unique selling proposition, be it product features or brand differentiators.
  7. Traction:
    • This is arguably the most important section of your pitch. Dedicate a few slides to showcase your revenue, partnerships, and business model. Investors will want to know exactly how your business makes money, the current financial standing, and the growth potential.
  8. Projections or Big Picture:
    • If time permits, this is where you will dive deeper into the growth potential, presenting 3-5 year financial projections.
  9. Team:
    • Introduce your team, emphasizing their expertise and backgrounds. Investors invest in people as much as ideas.
  10. Conclusion:
    • End with a gracious thank you and provide clear contact information.

BONUS: If you are currently raising capital (outside of the competition), add a slide detailing how much money you’re seeking and what you need the money for. This slide would come after the “team” slide. 

How to Present a Pitch

Crafting an effective pitch deck (using the template above) will make your presentation stronger, but only if you know the information well. Avoid reading the slides—you should know the content inside and out. Remember, less text, more impact.

Before pitching investors or competing at a pitch competition, you should practice your pitch multiples times to ensure it fits within the allotted time frame. You should also anticipate questions from the judging panel (or investors) and practice your responses to those questions. Practice leads to confidence, and confidence leads to positive impressions!

With a well-rehearsed presentation and a pitch deck that focuses on the most important aspects of your business, you’re sure to do well at your next pitch presentation!

Apply to pitch your company in the next RevRoad Entrepreneur Competition, or apply to be part of the RevRoad portfolio