CEI Blog

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Four Bold, Informative and Inspiring Talks Every Phoenix Entrepreneur Should See

March 1, 2016, 11:10 PM | Posted By: Greg Bullock

For most entrepreneurs, there is nothing better than having the opportunity to learn directly from those who have chased a similar path. They are among the few who have the insight, experience and empathy for those innovators launching startup companies. Here are three of our favorites, all from Phoenix entrepreneurs who have been there, done that, and have some nuggets of wisdom to share.

Topics: Startup Lessons, entrepreneur resources

A Note to My Startup Friends: Why I Believe in Miracles

December 24, 2015, 1:01 PM | Posted By: Greg Bullock

For the first time in my life, I had the opportunity to visit New York City in December and experience the iconic landmarks and locales of one of our nation’s most wonderful cities. I even traversed the magical “34th Street” with its fictional history as memorable as any other holiday tale. Indeed, there is something truly surreal about New York in the winter. And it is inspires this message to all my entrepreneur friends out there: celebrate the amazing things that you make possible.

Topics: Startup Lessons

Legendary Entrepreneur Pat Sullivan (Ryver) Shares Lessons, Wisdom & Startup F*&%ups

November 18, 2015, 5:45 PM | Posted By: Greg Bullock

CEI client companies had the privilege this week to hear from #yesphx legend, successful entrepreneur and investor Pat Sullivan. During the hour long conversation - part of our business incubator’s monthly client-only meeting - Pat shared some of his biggest lessons (usually learned the "hard" way) to help the next generation of Phoenix entrepreneurs. Here is what he taught us.

Topics: Startup Lessons, Running a Successful Business, minimum viable product, yesphx, startup team

Terrifyingly True Tales from Famous Entrepreneurs (and What They Learned)

October 25, 2015, 9:50 AM | Posted By: Greg Bullock


Just in time for Halloween! These are the the horror stories faced by famous entrepreneurs in the evolution of their successful businesses, and (most importantly) the lessons they took from their experiences.

Topics: Startup Lessons

What Little Miss BBQ Can Teach Tech Entrepreneurs about Running a Successful Business

March 22, 2015, 3:24 PM | Posted By: Greg Bullock

Great food, more specifically great BBQ, is special. It is hard to find, it brings people together from all walks of life, and it can teach valuable lessons in the fine art of running a successful business. Recently, the CEI staff visited an unknown gem of a BBQ restaurant in Phoenix, Little Miss BBQ. With moist brisket, incredible short ribs (Fridays only!) and the perfect sweet finisher in smoked pecan pie, it rivals some of the best food in the state of Arizona and compares favorably with some of the best BBQ west of Texas. Our bellies painfully full, we began pondering how something so simple could become a beacon of BBQ with lines around the corner and people willing to wait an hour-and-a-half just for a taste. 

Topics: Startup Lessons, Running a Successful Business

Startup Lessons: ECM's Path to $1 Million in Revenue

January 21, 2015, 8:03 PM | Posted By: Paige Shacklett

Tom Lagerhausen, CFO and COO of Energy Conservation Management (ECM), a startup company providing a commercialized alternative to reduce greenhouse emissions and fuel bills, shares his five “lessons learned” from ECM’s journey to a million dollars in revenue. 

1. Team over individual

Lagerhausen says you have to find the right team; partners, not employees. “The three of us, we went through roller-coasters, up and down.  One day it worked, one day it didn’t work, until we could fine-tune it.  And basically we were having board meetings everyday because we own all of it. We don’t have any outside investors; it’s just us three. We work well together, we finish each others sentences and we compliment each other.”

Topics: Startup Lessons