Monday, March 28, 2011

Planting Seeds to Grow Businesses-CEO Tim Hoerr

This interview profiles Timothy C. Hoerr of Serra Ventures. Tim is the CEO of Serra Ventures, LLC, a professional services firm offering assistance in business strategy, capital formation, and organization development. He is also the Managing Partner of Serra Capital which provides seed and emerging stage funding to high tech companies in selected sectors. He serves as a transitional CEO for two start-up companies located in the University of Illinois Research Park, Cbana Labs and ImmuVen.

For nearly seven years, through 2008, Tim served as Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of iCyt, a rapidly growing bioscience technology firm which won numerous technology and business awards. The company was acquired by Sony Corporation in 2009. Tim was formerly a partner in the international accounting and consulting firm, RSM McGladrey, and is author of the book Thank God It’s Monday! He won the Entrepreneurial Excellence in Management Award at the Innovation Celebration in 2009.

To watch the entire interview with Tim Hoerr CLICK HERE

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Simply Amish-A Local Start Up With International Sales

Kevin Kauffman is the co-founder and owner of Simply Amish, a furniture company in rural Arcola. Kevin grew up in Douglas County, the second son of an Amish furniture maker. At age 20, Kevin left his father’s Amish workshop behind to help start what has become an international enterprise. It all started in 1979, when Kevin Kauffman and his brothers joined their dad, learning the finer points of furniture construction on the family farm. Putting his experience to good use, Kevin soon joined forces with his uncle, John Mast, to start a company that would pursue a much larger vision. Together, the two partners eventually linked an entire network of traditional Amish workshops with a modern distribution system. And furniture lovers everywhere rejoiced. Joined later by John's brother, Butch, and a fourth partner, Kent Patterson, they soon found their stride, transforming an innovative furniture distribution system into a great American brand. And Simply Amish was born.

Twenty-two years later, Simply Amish is a vibrant and thriving business in Central Illinois that connects Amish craftsmen and their furniture to international customers. Having grown the company from two to 45 employees, Kevin keeps his finger on the pulse on all aspects of the operation – from furniture design and product development, to sales and customer service. To watch the TV interview with Kevin Kauffman CLICK HERE