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Anne Mahlum

Founder @ [solidcore], Back on My Feet

Startup Mentor

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Anne M. Mahlum is an entrepreneur who knows how to create and build with purpose…and she knows how to do it quickly. She is founder, owner and CEO of a fast-growing boutique fitness company she founded in DC in 2013 called [solidcore]. In just over seven years, Anne has grown her company to 70 locations and has raised over $70MM in private equity financing. [solidcore] is not a franchise. Prior to [solidcore], Anne was the CEO of Back on My Feet (BoMF), a non-profit organization she founded in Philadelphia in 2007 that uses the power of running to change the way those experiencing homelessness see themselves so they can make real change in their lives, which includes employment and independent housing. In addition to Philadelphia, the organization now has chapters in Baltimore, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Indianapolis, Atlanta, New York City, Austin and Los Angeles. Anne led BoMF to become a $6.5M privately-funded organization with staff of 48, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of members. ​ Anne’s work with Back on My Feet has been featured in countless times in both local and national media. She has been named ABC world News Person of the Week, a CNN Hero, New Yorker of the Week, a top 40 under 40 individual by both Philadelphia and Washington DC’s Business Journal. Anne regularly speaks at corporate events, academic institutions and conferences on numerous topics including, leadership, being bold, finding your happiness, the business behind starting a nonprofit, fundraising and social change.

Zim Flores

Startup Mentor

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Zim is a believer, entrepreneur and investor who purchases, builds and scales delightful online businesses and other appreciating assets. Zim is one of SuperSoul's 100 Leaders Elevating Humanity, Forbes 30 under 30, and an advisor who teaches other Christians how to become modern day tentmakers by acquiring assets that afford them the financial flexibility to serve God freely.

Andrew Gazdecki

Founder @ MicroAcquire. Inc. 30 under 30

Startup Mentor

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I’m Andrew Gazdecki and I’ve been an entrepreneur for longer than I can remember. I like to build stuff, mostly companies, and try to tell a story that goes beyond what the company does to how it’s changing markets. I started my first company, Bizness Apps, while still in college. We made mobile app development affordable for small businesses, and initially, raised around $100,000 in funding. By the time Bizness Apps was acquired by private equity firm Think3, we had grown to $10M in annual recurring revenue, operating in 40 countries, and employing over 100 people. Now, $100,000 isn’t a lot of money, so we needed a story that resonated with our target market so we could scale before the cash ran out. What was the bigger picture? What positive change did our business enable? In the end, we had the perfect David vs Goliath tale. We helped small businesses compete against their larger rivals through mobile marketing – and this struck an emotional chord with our customers. My second business, Altcoin.io, was a decentralized exchange (DEX) for trading digital assets. The story here was simple: by trading on our decentralized, non-custodial platform, traders could protect their assets. Altcoin.io became a champion of security in a market dominated by custodial platforms that put users’ funds at risk. By challenging the status quo, we were defending the rights of traders everywhere – a story that our prospects loved. This eventually lead the company to be acquired by global investment firm BnkToTheFuture. A good brand story elevates companies above the competition. While someone can copy your product or service, they can’t copy your brand. So tell stories that excite your customers and align with their goals.

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