In a lively Q&A with Venture Connectors board member Zack Pennington, founder of C.I.Agent Solutions, Dan Parker, shared how he grew his environmental cleanup company into an industry leader that got the attention of Mattoon, Ill.-based Justrite Manufacturing Co., a provider of products for the safe management of flammable liquids. Justrite purchased C.I.Agent Solutions in November.
Moderated by food writer Steve Coomes, Venture Connectors featured a panel of prominent restaurant owners. Fernando Martinez, Susan Hershberg and Chad Coulter, discussed the restaurant landscape both in Louisville and nationally. They shared successes in the marketplace as well as challenges in a competitive culinary city and what the future holds for independent restaurants. The panelists also offered thoughts on current threats facing restaurant operators and insights into what makes them and their restaurants tick.
Laurie Daugherty, executive director of the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE), shared how her organization prepares Kentucky high school students to be successful entrepreneurs by exposing them to the tools and skills necessary to start a company. She discussed how the accelerator-style program offers teens opportunities to gain high school credit, scholarships and build a company from the ground up. She also shared how the audience could get involved with GSE to help create the next 10 entrepreneurs.
Jackson Andrews, managing director of Endeavor Louisville, spoke about the Endeavor network and how the organization supports and grows entrepreneurial communities worldwide. As Endeavor’s third expansion in the United States following offices in Miami and Detroit, the Louisville office leverages the region’s entrepreneurial spirit to drive job and wealth creation, sustained economic growth and a culture of giving back. Andrews shared how Endeavor provides access to talent, markets and capital to selected entrepreneurs from the Louisville region.