Alumni Stories

Videon

It’s both exciting and daunting to serve a fast-paced industry. The digital media space is no exception. While Videon traditionally provided engineering services to a select group of high-end clients, their CEO’s vision went well beyond contract work. Todd wanted to pivot the company and build a suite of products to address specific market needs. Knowing this shift required a fresh perspective on the entire company, he sought guidance on how to adapt.

Enter ExecuStar.

Todd attended ExecuStar’s inaugural class and the experience was critical in pivoting the company. Everything from the content to the interactive class structure to the tools they used helped him re-envision Videon. He learned how to clarify the basics of his work. He also set clearly defined goals that ExecuStar guided him to.

But what mattered most was the peer-to-peer interaction. At ExecuStar, he had a whole room full of company leaders with whom he could talk about challenges in his business. The class interaction in a peer group led to deep and sometimes difficult conversations. “ExecuStar was truly a transformative process for me as a CEO, a leader, and for my business. Connecting with like-minded CEOs and mentors who supported and challenged helped me make business decisions that helped guide Videon to the place where it is today.”

Today, Videon has made their pivot and is successfully transitioning into a product company. It started with a strategic plan and continued with a full rebranding effort. They’ve also established a formal marketing function that drives product development as well as in- and outbound marketing. They’re quickly becoming that product company Todd originally envisioned.

“ExecuStar was truly a transformative process for me as a CEO and a leader. Connecting with like-minded CEOs and mentors who supported and challenged helped me make business decisions that guided Videon forward.”

Todd Erdley, Videon Central

Netrepid

Sam Coyl is the CEO of Netrepid, a business that offers colocation, infrastructure and application hosting. They started in 2004 with a three-person team that focused entirely on project-based work. While they had a vision for growth, it was difficult to find the capital and funding to make it happen. And like many small companies, they had some great clients for whom they were quite effective and other clients where they struggled.

Attending ExecuStar helped Netrepid analyze their ideal customer. ExecuStar helped them see that they weren’t nearly as razor sharp as they thought they were. “It turns out we needed to be even more niched than we envisioned.” Netrepid became more specific with their services, changed internal structures, and improved employee development, salaries, PR and marketing.

The end result was a targeted approach focusing on specific vertical markets with clearly defined revenue targets. In response, Netrepid dropped some clients that did not fit with their new vision. Coyl said that this was a key part of their evolution. “You don’t realize at the time how the bad deals hurt your company and how they prevent you from capitalizing on the great opportunities.”

The shift resulted in intense growth: twenty five new team members and revenue that has more than doubled every year since attending ExecuStar.

“It’s been worth the effort,” Coyl said.

“You don’t realize at the time how the bad deals hurt your company and how they prevent you from capitalizing on the great opportunities.”

Sam Coyl, Netrepid
Sam Coyl

Susan Graham Consulting

Susan Graham was not a beginner. She had run Susan Graham Consulting for seven years and had done very well. She thought she knew it all. But that, she says, is the biggest mistake she made. Graham said, “I wouldn’t have admitted I needed [ExecuStar]. But I did.” Her business was growing and changing rapidly and it was unclear what she needed to do.

Then she learned about ExecuStar and decided to attend.

ExecuStar helped her focus on the parts of her business that were more uncomfortable for her, where she needed to “shine a little brighter.” The class topics and discussions were exactly what she needed to polish her business skills and approach her work with a fresh perspective. “ExecuStar was a huge eye opener and was a kick in the pants to be more proactive with all aspects of my business. It changed my perspective on owning a business.”

And the results are clear. In the three years since attending ExecuStar, Susan Graham Consulting grew significantly. Revenue grew from a million a year to four million. Staff grew from eight people to thirty-five.
One change was building on the cornerstone of her business: relationships. “My business is built on relationships, which is why ExecuStar was the perfect fit. The connections I made in-class and with the alumni network made the program an invaluable experience for my company.” Graham made strong friendships with the leaders and participants and alumni at ExecuStar. Those connections led to other connections and her consulting business grew naturally and relationally.

“Anybody who goes through that class is going to always have the connections to call when they’re feeling lost or confused. There was finally somebody who had my back.”

“My business is built on relationships, which is why ExecuStar was the perfect fit. The connections I made in-class and with the alumni network made the program an invaluable experience for my company.”

Susan Graham, Susan Graham Consulting

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