We’re Here For You – A Preview of What’s to Come!

February 11, 2021News

We're Here for You - A Preview of What's to Come!

Exciting changes to our programs and services

In the spring of 2013, an abandoned former poultry processing plant reopened its doors. The space had been completely reimagined as the efactory – a business incubator and resource hub designed to help entrepreneurs and innovators start, scale and transform companies in southwest Missouri. It started with an idea, a dream and imagining “What if…” 

Today we’re nearly eight years into our missionWe’ve helped founders launch new companies, create jobs, and build their dream right here in Springfield.  An important part of our work is helping clients scale – and in recent years we’ve been working hard to scale our own operationsThis work has allowed us to grow both our facility’s physical footprint and our regional reach beyond our front doors.  

We’ve positioned our services to help more businesses than ever through strategic partnerships and collaboration.  We’ve completed successful expansion projects on our second floor to house more incubator clients and will soon finish the third-floor expansion, making way for more virtual, hybrid and in-person programs.  

When we opened our doors, we brought over the expertise of the Management Development Institute (MDI) and the Missouri Small Business Development Center at MSU as part of our business support suite of programs (formerly housed at the College of Business).  

As we enter the new year, we’ve made changes to our program structure that will allow us to be more efficient and effective than ever. Our programs operate largely “off budget” from Missouri State University. Like every other business, COVID gave us an opportunity to look at our business model and reimagine the future. We decided we can’t use the same lean staff to effectively serve four programs and will be retiring the MDI brand. We will still be offering innovative workforce development solutions under the Missouri SBDC at MSU and efactory brands. We will continue to support our region’s needs, including individual training programs, certificate programs, and custom solutions. While the brand will be different, the quality expert-led educational programming will remain

These changes to our program structure aren’t the only adjustments we have planned for the new year. We know leaders across organizations of all sizes will need continued support and resources as we move beyond COVID-19. We’re looking forward to sharing additional announcements soon about how we plan to help our region’s businesses become even more resilient and dynamic.   

We’re excited to be entering 2021 with more alignment, purpose, and clarity than ever before. We hope you’ll join us. Community is who we are. Forward is where we’re going. 

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Compatio Raises Seed Round, Brings Total Investment to $2.4 Million

February 10, 2021Members, News

Compatio Raises Seed Round and Brings Total Investment to $2.4 Million

The Springfield-based Intelligent Commerce platform that accelerates online purchases recently completed a $1.5M seed financing round.

Compatio, the Intelligent Commerce platform that moves the in-person customer experience (UX) online, today announced it has completed a $1.5 million Seed Round of financing. With participation from both existing and new investors, a $250,000 investment from the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) was the catalyst to attract the final investment to close the round. The round was led by Kurt Hellweg, former CEO of American Dehydrated Foods.

Compatio participated in the Springfield-based efactory 2019 accelerator, which was instrumental in helping build Compatio’s investor network. This investment adds to Compatio’s $900,000 Pre-Seed Round, bringing total funding since launching the development of its revolutionary knowledge -based commerce platform to $2.4 million. The funds will help the company aggressively expand its sales and marketing efforts, as well as broaden and accelerate product development.

“Ecommerce was growing at a rapid pace and the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated that growth. However, many retailers selling products that include multiple components have failed to create an effective online user experience, limiting their ability to take advantage of ecommerce opportunities,” said Kurt, Hellweg, lead investor, “We are excited about Compatio’s solution as it recreates a personal user experience in an ecommerce environment.”

Compatio’s Knowledge-based Commerce Suite provides an Intelligent Customer Experience® that accelerates online purchases. This increases retailer revenues through analytics-driven matching of components to create an optimal final product, precision cross-selling, decreases costs due to returns, and improves customer satisfaction. Buyers, whether consumers or corporate, enjoy a faster, more seamless purchasing experience. Compatio’s technology understands the compatibility relationships between products, and between products and services, enabling a B2B buyer or consumer to discover and buy the correct product solution that precisely fits their needs.

“In today’s multi-channel retail marketplace, retailers of all sizes must move quickly to create a personalized eCommerce experience. Consumers and corporate buyers will continue to rethink the retailers they work with and those that focus on selling a holistic solution versus a series of products will win out,” said Tim Baynes, CEO and Founder of Compatio. “Retailers can not only increase sales and improve customer loyalty, they can increase margins. Our retailers are seeing several hundred percent ROI within just weeks of implementing our system.”

Tim Baynes, Compatio CEO & Founder

About Compatio

Based in Springfield, Missouri, Compatio is building the world’s first Knowledge-Based Commerce platform, and the only digital commerce platform engineered specifically to sell complete solutions and not just products. Tim Baynes, Compatio’s Founder and CEO, is globally recognized for his expertise in product configuration, a.k.a. CPQ or configure-price-quote systems. He has designed, implemented and led project teams for these systems at Fortune 100 companies worldwide. 

About Missouri Technology Corporation

The Missouri Technology Corporation is a public-private partnership created by the Missouri General Assembly to promote entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech companies. Its mission is to provide leadership and make strategic investments that help entrepreneurs create and grow technology-based Missouri businesses. 

Keep Up With Compatio

Find the latest news from Compatio and follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

Recent Press:
StreetInsider – Feb. 8, 2021
GlobalNewswire – Feb. 8, 2021

Kingdom Playgrounds Collaborates with TV show The Fixers

February 4, 2021Members, News

Kingdom Playgrounds Collaborates with TV Show "The Fixers"

The efactory member provided playground equipment for the recent episode filmed in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Kingdom Playgrounds Collaborates with The Fixers & TOPPS in Pine Bluff, Arkansas Episode

If you’re wondering what to watch on TV tonight, let us make a suggestion. Check out the most recent episode of The Fixers, featuring equipment from efactory member Kingdom Playgrounds.

The Fixers is a one-hour high-stakes reality series in which an “A-team” of experienced builders travel around the world, working tirelessly with communities to complete life-changing projects for people in need.

The most recent episode was shot in Pine Bluff, Arkansas where the crew partnered with Teaching Our People’s Priorities with Service (TOPPS), a program dedicated to providing hot meals and a safe space for children after school. The Fixers find the TOPPS facility in need of an overhaul and install a new kitchen, build a learning lab, level floors, and build a new playground.

That’s where Kingdom Playgrounds comes in. Founder Sam Nichols said “We were able to collaborate with The Fixers to provide the playground for this project at TOPPS in Pine Bluff, AR. It was such a blessing to be a part of this awesome project in a community that really needed some help.” 

CARES Act Funding Supports Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Springfield

February 3, 2021News

CARES Act Funding Supports Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Springfield

Thank You!

Our work to support entrepreneurship and innovation is truly a community and statewide effort. We work closely each day with a broad network of partners and stakeholders in our efforts to make Springfield, Missouri the best place in the country to start and grow a business. 

We’d like to thank Greene County, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, and the Missouri Technology Corporation for their work to bolster these important efforts. Our programs at the efactory and Jordan Valley Innovation Center (JVIC) have received $300,000 in CARES Act grant funds from the Greene County CARES Act Relief Fund and $250,000 from the Missouri Department of Economic Development and MTC’s COVID-19 Coworking and Incubator Grant program. 

“We’re proud that the Coworking and Incubator Grant Program could help organizations like the efactory during these unprecedented times. These organizations recognize the role of Missouri’s entrepreneurs in our economy and help them drive innovation and technological advancement across all industries.”

– Rob Dixon,
Director, Missouri Department of Economic Development

Supporting Entrepreneurs & Innovators

It should be no surprise that we’re used to getting creative to solve problems and meet needs. When the Coronavirus pandemic turned life upside down, our team pivoted quickly. While businesses were innovating and finding new ways to connect with customers, we were doing much of the same. Overnight consultations moved online, training events became virtual, and we leaned into the partnerships we’ve worked hard to cultivate.  

Consultants with the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University have been on the frontline assisting businesses in our region. They’ve helped business owners navigate disaster relief funding, control cash flow, and more.  

While supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) run short around the world, JVIC opened its doors to help. The innovation center worked closely with CoxHealth to create PPE for healthcare workers using 3D-printing and laser-cutting technology. This impressive collaboration saw concepts move from initial idea to production in less than two days. 

“Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the backbone of our community, and now more than ever we need avenues like the efactory to help them thrive. The CARES Advisory Committee and the Greene County Commission agree that grant dollars awarded to the efactory will have far-reaching benefits for individuals and the County as a whole during these unprecedented times.”  

– Bob Dixon
Presiding Commissioner, Greene County

Preparing for Whatever Comes Next

We’re proud of our work to support dreamers, innovators, and job creators in southwest Missouri. We’ll be here and ready for whatever comes next, thanks to the incredible support we’ve received from partners at Greene County, the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Technology Corporation. CARES Act funding has allowed for critical infrastructure and technology upgrades at both facilities.  

Startup companies, innovators, user groups, and more come to our facility every day to work. And while their day-to-day may look different in response to COVID-19, business is still happening. Entrepreneurs and business owners still need a place to get work done, collaborate and recharge – safely. 

Meeting community needs requires infrastructure and technology. These CARES Act funds have allowed for important upgrades that allow us to continue our mission of serving entrepreneurs and business owners. Our centers are now equipped to provide virtual and hybrid training and meeting space as our region’s businesses respond to COVID-19 and changes to their business models. 

“Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) was excited to work with the Department of Economic Development to ensure that our stakeholders had access to the Federal CARES Act funding provided to the State of Missouri. Many of the State’s entrepreneurs rely on coworking and incubator spaces to run their businesses. Leveraging CARES Act funding to make the necessary physical improvements to the facilities to accommodate social distancing protocols and upgrading the equipment to facilitate virtual meetings and training was vital to our State’s continued economic development and COVID recovery efforts. These physical improvements will have a long-term positive impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystems these Coworking and Incubator facilities support.”

– Jack Scatizzi
Director, Missouri Technology Corporation

An Opportunity for Innovation

We know many businesses have found their plans and financial projections wadded up and thrown in the trash in response to COVID-19. Everything has changed. As frustrating as it may be, scrapped plans can also make way for new ideas, innovations and opportunities. Changed plans are the perfect opportunity to create something new. 
 
There’s a line that seems apt for the situation we find ourselves in right now – “Opportunities are rarely offered; they are seized.” We’re committed to seizing every opportunity. And we’re committed to helping the rest of our community do the same. As the world continues to change, we will be here to help businesses respond, innovate and imagine “what if.” After all, Springfield is where dreams really do come true. Community is who we are. Forward is where we’re going. We hope you’ll join us.  

See For Yourself

Springfield, MO Allocates $400,000 of CARES Act Funding for Small Business Support Grants

January 5, 2021News

Springfield, MO Allocates $400,000 of CARES Act Funding for Small Business Support Grants

Learn how to apply for grants up to $10,000.

man working at laptop computer

CARES Act Funding

Springfield City Council recently allocated $1.1 million in Community Development Block Grant money issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide housing assistance, homelessness diversion, public services and business grants.

The funding will be allocated in the following categories:

$405,223 dedicated to small business grants

$331,776 dedicated to public services and homelessness diversion with

$385,016 dedicated to housing assistance

Small Business Grants

The grants for small business support are intended to help local small businesses respond to the business impacts of COVID-19. In order to qualify, a business owner must demonstrate a hardship that was caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The maximum grant amount is $10,000. Businesses must have a physical location within the city limits of Springfield and must be a for-profit business. Business owners are encouraged to review the full application and eligibility criteria. 

Grant applications will be processed in the order received. Applications must be complete in order to be processed.

Learn more from the City of Springfield

Download City of Springfield CARES Act Round 2 Small Business Grant Application

This relief funding comes after Council approved $916,138 in CARES Act funding for affordable housing assistance, services for the homeless and forgivable economic recovery business loans in June. Approximately $400,000 of that funding was allocated in the form of forgivable small business loans.

Southwest MO Startup AgButler Connects Farmers to Workforce

January 4, 2021News

Southwest MO Startup AgButler Connects Farmers to Workforce

Learn how the startup is bringing agricultural labor into the gig economy.

Revitalizing Rural Farms

Agriculture is the heart of rural communities across the United States. And just like any other industry, farmers and ranchers have found themselves facing serious workforce challenges in recent years. 

Producers spend valuable time and energy looking for skilled laborers to tend to crops, take care of livestock, and other activities that have to happen for their operation to remain economically viable. Social media channels are flooded with posts seeking part-time labor to help with milking cows, hauling hay, or clipping cattle. Each year hundreds of producers go without the help they need while laborers struggle to find work that matches their skills.

Introducing AgButler

Kevin Johansen is on a mission to solve this problem. Johansen is the founder and CEO of southwest Missouri based AgTech startup, AgButler, a solution that brings agriculture labor into the modern-day gig economy. 

As a fifth-generation farmer and former day laborer, Johansen understood the challenges facing the industry and identified the missing piece. Johansen was born in Tipton, MO and later studied agriculture at Missouri State University. Throughout college and early adulthood he regularly worked as a day laborer and had a first-hand view into the workforce challenges facing agriculture. After returning to the family operation, he knew there needed to be a centralized platform connecting laborers to producers.

“The AgButler story directly connects with my foundation in agriculture. My family runs a Charolais and Hereford seedstock operation,” Johansen said. “Nothing gets me more excited than connecting farmers and ranchers from across the country with my fellow skilled laborers and to give back to the industry I was raised in.”

How It Works

AgButler is a mobile application designed to help solve agricultural workforce shortages. It works by creating a network of experienced ag laborers made accessible in real-time. Similar to ride-sharing, the platform allows farmers, ranchers and/or agribusinesses to connect with available laborers filtered by location, ratings, work experience and availability. The entire experience – from posting available work to being paid for completed labor – all lives within a secure structure organized in the app.

When surveyed, producers overwhelmingly cited reliability and trustworthiness as their top concerns when hiring labor. AgButler validates those characteristics by vetting laborers and building in accountability in the form of star ratings. The solution meets the needs of laborers, as well. Users can easily search for jobs and filter them to a particular radius of their location.

Industry Recognition

AgButler has already proven itself to be a popular solution. The platform was named the People’s Choice Winner in Farm Credit Services of America’s Innovation Challenge earlier this year and has secured endorsements from the National Center for Beef Excellence, Missouri State University’s William H. Darr College of Agriculture, University of Missouri Extension, the Missouri Farm Bureau, and Missouri Cattlemen’s Association.

Bringing AgButler to Market

Johansen has assembled a team with deep industry expertise and experience to bring AgButler to market. The initial launch efforts will be focused on Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas, where more than 350,000 individuals take part in paid farm work each year.

Expansion plans include Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota before ultimately moving both west and east to capture the rest of the United States. In total, nearly 2.5 million Americans are employed as farm workers across the U.S. 

Southwest Missouri producers and laborers can sign up and get started today!  

Building an ‘Innovation First’ Organization

December 14, 2020News, Partners

Building an 'Innovation First' Organization

We sat down with local innovation leaders to learn how they equip their employees to embrace innovation and continuous improvement.

Supporting Innovation Across Southwest Missouri

We know innovation isn’t just for startups. Many of our region’s largest and most established employers are constantly innovating to meet new demands. These leaders are doing important work in our community, which inspired us to create the Springfield Entrepreneurial & Innovation Network. The network is a peer group for local business leaders focused on innovation and continuous improvement. The group is dedicated to innovations and improvements that are driving businesses and our community forward.

You know what we like to say around here. Community is who we are. Forward is where we’re going. We believe our work to convene these leaders plays an important role in moving us all forward. We’re thankful to know they feel the same way.

Building an ‘Innovation First’ Organization

The group recently got together for a roundtable discussion led by James Jeffries, Partner at Kutak Rock and Teresa McGeehan, Owner/Operator of a network of McDonald’s restaurants. James has spent the last 15 years as an attorney specializing in intellectual property, trademark, and copyright law. And before he helped people protect their intellectual property he spent time developing some himself as a software engineer for MasterCard. He’s been on both sides of the table and understands what businesses need to know to protect their innovations.

Teresa McGeehan has worked with the McDonald’s brand since she was 16 years old. Today she owns and operates a network of the restaurants across southwest Missouri that employs more than 1,000 people. She’s worked to implement a wide range of innovations at McDonald’s throughout the years and has a first-hand view into how the brand with more than 38,000 physical restaurants across 100 countries innovates to meet customer demands.

The two shared their insights into how organizations can equip employees to innovate, how leaders can demonstrate an ‘innovation first’ approach, and how you can learn just as much from a failure as you do from a success.

Tips for Building an Innovative Organization

Examine Your Policies

If asked, most organizations and leaders would say they want to be innovative. Those good intentions don’t equate to actual innovations. Whether intentional or not, an organization may have policies or other barriers in place that stifle innovation and discourage employees from bringing forward new ideas.

It’s important to take a look at all policies and revise or remove them, as necessary. It’s also equally important to consider what policies aren’t in place. Organizations may want to codify incentives for employee innovations. If there is no framework for how employees bring ideas forward, how projects are piloted, or how new ideas are evaluated, employees may assume that those activities are discouraged. 

Communicate Your Values

It’s important to have policies in place that reflect a commitment to innovation. Beyond that, it’s important to communicate those policies and values to the entire organization. 

Create a messaging plan that consistently reinforces the organization’s commitment to innovation. Remind everyone of the importance of process improvement, and encourage leaders to echo this message to their teams. Leaders should imagine any employee at any level being stopped and asked if their employer is innovative – What would they say?

Plan for Pilots

Piloting new ideas is an important step in any innovation process. Organizations should have plans in place for how to pilot new ideas, be prepared to designate the appropriate resources to pilots, and should have clear evaluation standards in place for each project.

Involve Everyone

Diversity is a critical component of innovation. Groups formed to focus on innovation should involve employees from all aspects of the organization. It’s important to bring together different perspectives, tenures, and backgrounds. While some leadership presence is likely in the mix, consider asking senior members to take a back seat and refrain from taking charge of the conversations.

Innovation groups and exploratory committees are great – but don’t let these structures become the only means of generating new ideas within an organization. Innovation should be everyone’s business.

Learn from Failures

A truly innovative organization will have plenty of failures. Customer needs may change, business models may shift, and pilots may fail. Organizations have an opportunity to learn at every step along the way. 

It’s important for leaders to be prepared to embrace failures, learn from the process, and encourage everyone involved. The things that don’t work can provide the best data for future innovations. Organizations that embrace all aspects of innovation – including the failures – will ultimately reap the greatest rewards.

Work With Us

Are you looking to build an innovation first culture, but don’t know where to start? If you’re unsure of where to begin or how to conquer common stumbling blocks – let us know! We regularly work with organizations or all sizes to create customized innovation initiatives.

Double Jump Media Outgrows the efactory

December 11, 2020Members, News

Double Jump Media Graduates from efactory Incubator

Learn what the video production house has been up to since outgrowing their office at the efactory.

Double Jump Media Moves Up & Out

The efactory is a special place. It’s a hub for entrepreneurs and innovators – and being here provides a front-row seat to what some of the most exciting companies in our region are working on. One of those companies is Double Jump Media – founded in 2014 and having had a presence at the efactory since 2016. Over those four years Ben Clayton and members of his team have flexed and grown through many of our spaces, including stints in coworking, small offices, and some of our largest private spaces. Through it all we’ve watched the company grow and build a portfolio of work for domestic and international clients, including Wal-Mart, Forbes, and Dairy Farmers of America. 

And while they were making great use of nearly 900 square feet of office space at the efactory earlier this year, the time had come for something bigger. Something way bigger. This fall the team of seven moved up and out into a 3,750 square foot space just outside downtown. The new location includes 10 private offices, a conference room, and studio space.

Office locations may have changed, but Double Jump’s commitment to clients remains the same. The team has had a busy year developing videos for clients across the country, including a project for a COVID-related Kickstarter that helped the client raise over $300,000 on the crowd-funding platform. 

Thermbot is an innovative thermometer that has been featured in publications such as CNET , International Business Times, and British national newspaper The Times. Double Jump Media was approached by the Brooklyn company in June to help produce a video for their campaign which launched in late July 2020. Thermbot’s original campaign goal was $18,000, which was fully funded within the first seven hours of the Kickstarter going live.

Thermbot was particularly interested in the creative spin that Double Jump could put on their pre-existing, straightforward script. Founder and CEO of Double Jump, Ben Clayton, noted that this is part of what draws clients from all over the world to his company. 

“What we were able to accomplish in partnership with Thermbot shows that the midwest filmmakers can play with the ‘big boys’ on the coasts. The cost of living here helps to keep our pricing lower than our competitors’ in bigger cities, but more and more we see clients realizing that that doesn’t mean we sacrifice on the creative or the quality. In fact, it can mean just the opposite.”

– Ben Clayton,
Founder & CEO of Double Jump Media

Ben Clayton

Double Jump Media Gives Back

The team at Double Jump Media is also preparing to roll out a new internship program in partnership with the Geek Foundation, focusing on furthering film education for women and minorities in Springfield.

This program will assist in creating a space for hands-on, real-world knowledge about video production and technology. It will also provide paid internships at Double Jump Media for those in the program. The team is stoked to partner with a female-led and minority-focused nonprofit to make a difference in Springfield.  

Successful Exits

Saying goodbye is hard, but ultimately it’s our goal for clients to outgrow the efactory. Double Jump Media is in good company as efactory alums. Other recent efactory graduates include Added Innovation, Botix Automation, and Hearo Technologies.

Are you next?

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, we’re ready to help. Get in touch to learn more about private offices, coworking memberships, and more.

Doug Harris with 3D&L Wins 2020 Pitch Contest

November 18, 2020News

Doug Harris with 3D&L Wins 2020 Pitch Contest

Innovative Plumbing Support Products Win $10,000 at 2020 Pitch Contest

Doug Harris, founder of 3D&L, won a $10,000 cash prize along with other in-kind awards at the efactory’s 2020 Pitch Contest, presented by RMI

Harris was one of five participating companies that took to the virtual stage in this year’s Pitch Contest during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Each company delivered a five minute presentation followed by brief Q&A with the judging panel.

Watch the Pitches

3D&L creates custom, 3D-printed plumbing support products that hold pipes in place while plumbers are working at a job site. The 3d-printed parts simplify the plumbers’ workflow when installing cross-linked polyethylene tubing for jobs such as bathrooms and water fountains. 

Right now the products are typically sold on a per-job basis, with local suppliers such as Harry Cooper Supply Co. purchasing larger quantities to stock the product.

The efactory’s 2020 Pitch Contest was presented by RMI, a recognized 504 Loan Program leader focused on improving the economic well-being of individuals, businesses and communities. The RMI team has earned a reputation for excellence by consistently meeting the high standards of the commercial lenders and borrowers they serve. RMI serves all of Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas, as well as parts of Illinois.

Supporting sponsors included Kutak Rock, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Missouri Small Business Development Center at Missouri State University.

Kingdom Retailers Launches New Outdoor Recreation Platform

October 27, 2020Members, News

Kingdom Retailers Launches New Outdoor Recreation Platform

A New Solution for Outdoor Recreation

Our clients are constantly innovating to develop new solutions. We love to see new products developed, new markets entered, and new brands launched. Today we’re excited to celebrate the launch of Kingdom Rec, the newest addition to Kingdom Retailers’ family of brands.

There’s never been a better time to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. And Kingdom Rec has everything you need to take your outdoor adventures to the next level. From camping and hiking to fishing and archery – with over 180 brands like Bushnell, Leupold, Wenzel, Kuuma, and Ravin – Kingdom Rec has the products you need for any outdoor adventure.

A Commitment to Customer Service

Kingdom Retailers prides themselves on outstanding customer service and a high level of integrity across their family of brands. All customer service is handled by local, in-house staff, meaning the person you talk to knows the products, brands, and purchasing process on a level not found at today’s big box stores.

Outdoor Adventures in the Ozarks

The Ozarks are rich with outdoor experiences. It’s no surprise to see lots of great startups in this space, including efactory accelerator portfolio company Easy Access Hunts and 2019 Pitch Contest participant 37 North Expeditions. So the next time you book a hunting excursion, plan a hike, or just want to get outside – be sure to grab your gear from Kingdom Rec.

efactory Announces Partnership with Brex

October 22, 2020News

efactory Announces New Partnership with Brex

The company is offering exclusive discounts and benefits to efactory client companies

A New Partnership with Brex

We’re excited to add a new platform to our efactory member perks program – Brex!

Brex is reimagining financial systems so every growing company can realize their full potential. Put simply, they’re building the financial OS for the next generation of business. Brex puts credit cards, bank accounts, payments, expenses, and accounting all in one place to keep founders in control of their growth.

Thousands of businesses use Brex to manage their finances. The company serves newly-founded startups, established tech companies, life sciences companies, and ecommerce brands alike, helping founders and their teams stay focused on what they care about most.

Brex Benefits

Replace your bank with Brex Cash — a free, easy-to-use cash management account. Initiate free unlimited ACH and wire transfers, all without setting foot into a bank. Brex Cash also comes with the Brex 1 Card — a credit card with a 1-day payment cycle to spend funds, build business credit, and earn rewards (up to 8x back).

Additionally, Brex provides a 30-day credit card that comes without a personal guarantee, higher credit limits, and valuable rewards (up to 7x back).

Through the partnership, efactory client companies are eligible to receive 55K points, $5K in AWS credits, and priority onboarding.

Additional Perks

The Brex discount is one of several benefits available to efactory client companies. Companies are also eligible for savings from Google, Amazon Web Services, HubSpot, and more.

Succession Planning for Your Business

October 16, 2020News, Partners

Succession Planning for Your Business

Andy Peebles with efactory partner Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown shares his insights into succession planning for your business.

Succession Planning for Your Business

Imagine this scenario: You’ve worked your entire life to turn what was once seen as a risky and unlikely business venture into a successful and profitable company that you are immensely proud of. Your company’s name is known far and wide for providing an excellent service or a well-crafted product, you’ve grown from one employee to 100 loyal workers, and your bottom line continues to increase year over year. You have finally reached the point in your career that you feel comfortable retiring to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

However, you realize you have absolutely no idea who should take over your company to lead it successfully into the future. What happens to your dream-turned-reality when you are no longer around to lead it?

This situation is quite common for business owners, and it can be a daunting thing to consider. This is where a proper business succession plan comes into play.

Succession planning involves a series of logistical and financial decisions about who will take over your business at certain key events in your life, such as retirement, death or disability. This usually involves a written buy-sell agreement, which provides step-by-step instructions as to No. 1, when a transfer of your business is required; No. 2, who should take over management and ownership at those key events; and No. 3, the ultimate terms of the purchase (e.g. price and payment).

Triggering Events

Most succession plans provide for a transfer of the business at death and retirement. However, the best plans also take disability and involuntary transfers (e.g. divorce or bankruptcy) into consideration.

Care should be taken to properly define the term disability. For example, exactly how long must you be disabled before ownership is transferred? What if you are lucid enough to make personal care decisions, but unable to understand every single financial aspect of your business? How disabled do you really need to be before your trusted successor steps in? These, and other questions, must not be overlooked.

Selecting a Successor

Clearly, one of the most vital parts of a proper succession plan is determining what trusted individual(s) will take over your business in the future. As a business owner, you have the option to sell your ownership interest to your fellow co-owners, family members, key employees, an outside third party or even to the company itself

The ideal successor will be business-savvy, familiar with your particular business, experienced in the industry and respected by your staff, all of which can ease the transition. It may be helpful to keep an updated list of your potential successors, including their respective strengths and your order of consideration.

Payment Terms

Outlining the value of your business and how your successor must pay for your ownership interest are essential provisions to include in a succession plan. It is advisable to utilize your certified public accountant or employ a professional business broker or valuation expert to assist in formulating an accurate value for your business.

Once a value is set, you will need to determine if your successor must pay for the entire cost in full at closing or whether they may pay for the interest over a certain time period. Often, the purchase price will be secured through a life insurance policy on the owner’s life or through a loan.

The most prudent business owner will plan for all of these decisions in advance, providing all interested parties and potential successors a timeline of when a succession should take place. Keep in mind that an exit from your business may not always be foreseeable, especially when it comes to incapacity or death. Therefore, the sooner a business owner gets a strong succession plan in place, the better. Such a plan will undoubtedly relieve stress for the owner, the successor, and the employees, and ensure that the successful business they worked so hard to develop thrives for years to come.

Brought to You by Our Partners

Andy Peebles is an estate planning and business attorney with our corporate partners at Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown PC. In addition to advising business owners on succession planning strategies Andy also regularly meets with business owners during efactory office hours.

Sign up for upcoming office hours with efactory partners.