Let’s work together to accelerate Kitsap’s economy.

You are a very busy person, but let’s say you have enough time to mentor one of two struggling entrepreneurs. Which one would you choose to help?

  1. A start-up venture, partners fresh out of college, they have a big idea but no funding, no customers, no business plan, and no experience running a business.
  2. An existing company, five years in business, ten employees, steady revenue, good product mix, repeat customers, and a vision for taking company to the next level.

It’s a tough choice, because I’ve worked with a lot of start-ups. But today — in Kitsap County — I choose #2, because existing companies have a much better chance of success than start-ups.

I’ve been working on an idea to help Kitsap business owners take their companies to the next level… whatever that looks like to them. It’s a combination of two successful models I’ve been involved with in the past, tailored to the needs of existing small to midsize companies.

The VenturePoint small business development center served 500 start-up companies in Orange County, CA. In 3 years, we turned $2.5 million in SBA funding into more than$167 million in economic impact. As a member of the coaching team, I learned the power of mentoring as a way to help business leaders.

Vistage International has been helping the owners, presidents and CEOs of midsize companies since 1957. Today, it has about 15,000 members who run companies with an average of $25 million in sales. They invest time and money every month to become better leaders, make better decisions and get better results. On average, their companies grow 2.7 times faster than their competition.

My vision is a hybrid of the two. The only requirement is that the owner or CEO has a vision for taking his or her company to the “next level” — whatever that may be — and is willing to accept help to get there. I see a nonprofit with a volunteer staff generating significant, measurable results.

I would appreciate having an opportunity to share my ideas with you, to answer any questions and ask your advice. If you would you be willing to set aside an hour for a conversation, please send an email or give me a call.

Ken Sethney


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