Jeff is a visionary entrepreneurial force with particular expertise in creating and developing early stage companies. Jeff is the co-founder and CEO of StartupNation® (www.startupnation.com), a multi-media company that provides education and inspiration to aspiring and existing business enthusiasts. StartupNation is now one of the leading brands in the world of entrepreneurship. The website is one of the most visited by aspiring entrepreneurs with over 2,000,000 people using the StartupNation “Ten Steps to Open for Business” startup process.
Jeff currently spearheads Aria Ventures, LLC whose mission it is to “package” meritorious business opportunities and concepts into viable businesses. Specifically, Jeff and the Aria International team prepares the business plans, identifies the key team members, raises the seed financing, and provides ongoing strategic guidance throughout the development phase, the launch phase and the growth phase.
Today, Jeffrey and co-founder/brother Rich Sloan appear on numerous cable news networks as entrepreneurial experts, including regular monthly appearances on the Fox Business News Network show “Your Money/Your Business”. In the first quarter 2010, the Sloan Brothers completed a nationally televised show on Public Television stations entitled “StartupNation – Open for Business” (StartupNation – Open for Business). Jeff is also a nationally syndicated talk show host. In 2005, the Sloans first book, by the same name, was published by Doubleday. A follow up book, authored by Jeff, will be published in 2014.
Rich is co-founder of StartupNation. Rich has been involved in building businesses and technology commercialization throughout his career. While still in college, Rich successfully commercialized technical automotive and marine inventions that generated seven-figure royalties. From there, Rich co-led a business that helped inventors commercialize their own inventions through licensing. In the mid-’90s, Rich co-founded Sloan Ventures, a firm designed to build fast-growth businesses based on innovative technologies and commercializing university research, including several biotech companies. Rich then co-founded the Sloan Investment Fund, a seed-stage venture fund which yielded attractive liquidity events in the software, hardware and biotech arenas totaling over $80 million.
As co-founder of StartupNation, Rich is recognized as one of America’s most passionate evangelists for innovation, entrepreneurship, and growing a small business. In that capacity he has been a frequent contributor and expert resource to major media outlets including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Costco Connection, Fox Business Channel, ABC News, CNN, NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC. Rich co-authored the acclaimed Doubleday “how-to” book, StartupNation: Open for Business, and has received numerous awards – including U.S. Small Business Administration “Journalist of the Year”.
Rich lives entrepreneurship everyday as he continues to build new and innovative businesses. He is currently CEO of FWD:Energy (http://www.fwdenergy.com/), a renewable energy business focused on converting waste to value. He is also CEO of Able Therapeutics (http://www.abletherapeutics.com/), a UNLV biotech startup that is pioneering solutions to bacterial infection super bugs such as C. diff. As reflected in the mission of all of his ventures, Rich’s for-profit endeavors are increasingly focused on win-wins that go way beyond financial gain.
Norman A. Pappas
Mr. Pappas, president and founder of Pappas Financial has extensive experience in solving the unique problems faced by successful business owners. His focus is on estate and business succession planning, retirement and investment planning, and executive benefit plans. Mr. Pappas is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer and the author of several articles on various business and estate planning topics. His book,” Passing the Bucks,” is an informative and easy to read guide to business succession and wealth transfer planning. Mr. Pappas has served on a variety of charitable boards in the Detroit community.