Five entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to a panel of experts at the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship’s Small Business Leadership Conference, held August 1-3, 2018, at the JW Marriott in Orlando. The Jim Moran Institute is part of the Florida State University College of Business. The panelists were Jeff Piersall, founder and CEO of SCB Marketing; Kristal Caron, owner and managing partner of CN Sports Group; and Michelle Griffith, vice president of BoardroomPR.
Learn about the competition winner here.
Red Eye Film Productions
Kewaan Drayton | CEO
John Taylor Timmons | President and artistic director
Based out of Savannah, Ga., Red Eye Film Productions LLC is a team of young professionals who craft both narrative and visual marketing cinema. In 2015, Red Eye was founded by brothers Kewaan Drayton and John Taylor Timmons and has since worked with clients such as Sonny’s BBQ and IDignity.
Red Eye prides itself not only on stunning visuals and client-centered attention to detail, but on its efforts to build a family-like relationship with its customers. “At Red Eye, there are no ‘clients,’ but Red Eye family members,” Drayton says. “Our main goal is to establish a sense of support one can only achieve from being part of a family.”
Anticipating rapid growth in the coming years, Red Eye plans to expand its reach and to provide affordable, high-quality graphics, video and other visual media to businesses and individuals across America.
Healing Women Healing Nations
Michelle Poitier | Founder
Michelle Poitier established Healing Women Healing Nations of Northeast Florida to create a space where women and women veterans could be free to remove the armor they so often steel themselves with to camouflage inner pain and trauma.
Since its founding in 2015, its empowerment sessions and events have expanded to include three other initiatives: “Michelle Speakz,” a podcast where Poitier answers real and sometimes uncomfortable questions women face; “Unmasking the Hurt,” an online program for healing; and “Redefined Life Path,” an eight week or 16-week course that provides tools and resources for those dealing with trauma and abuse.
Poitier is hoping to establish a transitional shelter for female veterans facing post-traumatic stress from military sexual trauma. With two books already published, Poitier is using her podcast as a launching pad toward more media and pursuing opportunities to strengthen the support system she is building through her work as both a speaker and an author.
BLUEWAVE Technologies Inc.
Justin Zhou | President
Miles Clark | Chief Strategy Officer
Kenneth Cherisol | Chief Technology Officer
When BLUEWAVE Technologies Inc. was first established in 2015, it was with the vision of offering “a rapid deodorization device to treat household items that are inconvenient or impossible to wash,” said Justin Zhou, co-founder and president. However, an investor with experience in the world of orthotics and prosthetics saw potential for using the technology to clean artificial limbs.
“Items that are porous are really hard to treat with liquid disinfectants, and often saturating them with liquids damages them or requires hours of drying after treatment,” Zhou explained. His co-founder, Miles Clark, who is the company’s chief strategy officer, explained further: “Even devices that use dry methods like UV light or ozone gas have trouble penetrating deep into pores. The BLUEWAVE’s patent pending technology uses vacuum and physical compression to force ozone deep into items’ pores — so odor and germs have no place to hide.”
The device is now used to clean helmets, back braces, knee and foot braces, shoe inserts and other kinds of medical equipment. “We want to make the BLUEWAVE an industry standard for on-demand disinfection in healthcare,” Zhou said.
Essential Validation Services
Adam Christensen | Founder and CEO
Essential Validation Services is a third-party independent laboratory that specializes in affordable quality assurance testing of essential and absolute oils. EVS creates transparency throughout the supply chain and gives its clients the knowledge and peace of mind that the oils they are buying and selling are authentic.
CEO and founder Adam Christensen said he loves the work of holding people and businesses accountable as he and his team search for truth. “It’s basically like being a detective. For me, truth and integrity are huge in life and in business, so what we try to do is bring both of those into a market that is fraught with misinformation, fraud and half-truths.”
Many of the company’s customers are smaller businesses. “We work with smaller companies that are competing against billion- dollar firms,” Christensen said. “The small guys rely on us to give them an advantage in the market to find the best products possible. The incorporation of the scientific testing aspect gives tremendous weight to what we say.”