“Innov865 Week” runs through Friday with numerous events

(Note: This article was originally published on Teknovation.biz)

By: Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

It’s show time for the Knoxville region’s second annual “Innov865 Week” celebration.

Following two early events on Friday – a preview of the week at the weekly meeting of the East Tennessee Economic Council and the all-day “Endeavor Summit” for young professionals hosted by the Knoxville Chamber, the full-week of activities begins today with “Future865,” a look at strategies and opportunities to further grow entrepreneurship in the region.

A final event on Friday afternoon was added late last week to commemorate the opening of UpStart Ventures, a new co-working space in West Knoxville. We’ll spotlight the facility in a teknovation.biz article next week, but you can see it on Friday afternoon. The event runs from 2 to 6 p.m. with free beer and wine. UpStart Ventures is located at 110 Center Park Drive.

Here’s a day-by-day snapshot at the week’s other activities. All locations are in Knoxville.

Read the full article here.

The JumpFund hosting invitation only event on angel investing during “Innov865 Week”

(Note: This article was originally published on Teknovation.biz)

One of the topics you always hear whenever start-up entrepreneurs gather is the matter of available investment capital, and that’s certainly the case in Knoxville. While it’s not the only area where more “players” are needed, it is certainly an important one, and early stage funding is particularly critical for new ventures.

With an eye toward getting more people off the sidelines and in the game, The JumpFund, a Chattanooga-based angel fund that invests in female-led ventures throughout the Southeast, will be hosting an “invitation only” discussion on September 21 as part of “Innov865 Week.”

It’s the second year in a row that The JumpFund has held an event ahead of Knoxville’s “Start-up Day” which occurs that afternoon.

“It’s not just about our funds,” Melissa Aldridge, Managing Director, told us. “It is a little bit of Angel 101. We will provide some basic overview education on angel investing and venture funds and information about the success of the JumpFund.”

Read the full article here.

Rise & Grind highlights the importance, financial advantages of leadership diversity in the workforce

Coffee, donuts, and an engaging conversation held at UTRF’s Business Incubator showcased the need for increased flexibility and diversity in the workforce.

On Wednesday’s Rise & Grind event the audience became acquainted with Kim Seals, General Partner of MomSource Network investor The JumpFund and Courtney Jones Startup Day alum & Founder of the MomSource Network.

MomSource Network is a startup focused on seeing women achieve their ideal work/life blend. The company has two separate parts to its business. Part one is a tech platform focused on development and training for women as they navigate their journey in and out of the workforce. MomSource Network also provides a gateway of progressive employers who are willing to use their skill set in a flexible full-time, permanent, or part-time remote capacity.

The other half of the company is providing consulting services to those progressive employers who are mindful about attracting and retaining great female talent.

The JumpFund’s mission is to invest women’s capital in female-led southeastern companies with growth potential in order to generate a strong financial return and elevate the role of women in business.

The JumpFund invested in MomSource Network about two years ago, and Kim Seals along with her sister Pam made a sidecar investment as well.

“There’s a lot of data that supports that there is a need for women to invest in women, and it can produce a good ROI,” said Seals.

During the Rise & Grind event Seals recited striking statistics that highlight the positive financial outcomes from employing a woman within a company’s leadership.

According to a recent MacKenzie survey, companies with at least one female founder are performing 63% better than investments with all male-led companies.

“We want to see diversity in that leadership, and one of the key reasons is that most purchasing decisions made in the household are made by females,” said Seals.

Seals brought up that 80% of all purchasing decisions in the household are made by women. If a company doesn’t have a female in its leadership team helping make product and strategy decisions, that business is missing a key voice of their customer.

“We’re seeing companies with women in the top leadership positions producing 47% higher returns on equity and 55% higher returns on EBIT,” said Seals.

On top of that, Courtney Jones echoed the importance of flexible employment.

“85% of people say they would be more loyal to their current employer if they were offered increased flexibility,” said Jones.

Jones mentioned that in society, women are often pushed into choosing whether to become a full-time working mother or a full-time stay at home mom.

“At the end of the day, it’s really about organizations being progressive enough to say, ‘We’re willing to offer some agile workplace arrangements if we can still get the results that we need for our business,'” said Jones.

Seals reinforced that need for flexibility after describing her background in human resources with Mercer and it’s importance at the time.

“There was a real financial ROI for our companies that we were working with at Mercer about how to keep women in the workforce,” said Seals.

Seals said Mercer quickly discovered that they needed to keep women engaged, figure out how to create that work/life blend for them because it was something their clients were asking for. Ultimately, that’s what led to her interest in MomSource Network.

Rise & Grind was hosted by UTRF, Three Roots Capital, and Best Behavior Creative Club

UTRF, ORNL planning “Technov865” event on September 19

(Note: This article was originally published on Teknovation.biz.)

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are joining forces to host a technology-focused showcase during this month’s “Innov865 Week” celebration.

The event, dubbed “Technov865,” will focus on the latest technologies coming out of the region’s two major research enterprises as well as those from TVA. It is set for the Square Room on Market Square, starting at 2:30 p.m. September 19, and ending with a one-hour networking event that begins at 5 p.m.

“This is a unique opportunity to meet and hear from the inventors behind the technologies,” said Stacey Patterson, Interim UT Vice President of Research and Vice President of UTRF.

Jetta Wong, Senior Advisor at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and the former leader of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Technology Transfer, will keynote the event. Other presenters include Joe Hoagland, TVA Vice President of Stakeholder Relations; Mike Paulus, ORNL’s Director of Technology Transfer; and three of the entrepreneurs in ORNL’s inaugural “Innovation Crossroads” program.

“This is really a great opportunity to get a quick glimpse of some of the best new technologies at both ORNL and UT, and to learn more about how you can get engaged in tech-based startup activity” said Tom Rogers, ORNL’s Director of Industrial and Economic Development Partnerships.

Read the full article here.

Wendy Lea, CEO of Cintrifuse to be featured keynote speaker at Future865

Future865 promises diverse discussion on the types of entrepreneurship happening in Knoxville.

The event will kick off Innov865 Week 2017 on Monday, September 18 and explore opportunities to build the most effective and vibrant future for Knoxville with community, business and thought leaders.

A variety of presenters will describe their visions for harnessing innovation and entrepreneurship in building a stronger ecosystem and propose solutions in an engaging environment with the audience.

Future865 will include presentations on issues such as the importance of angel investing, innovations in healthcare, intelligent transportation, and entrepreneurship in Knoxville’s food industry.

Wendy Lea, CEO of Cintrifuse will be serving as the featured keynote speaker for Future865. Cintrifuse is a startup catalyst, a public private partnership designed to build a tech-based economy in the Greater Cincinnati Region.

Having delivered business solutions in 30 countries, Wendy Lea brings a worldly point of view to digital innovation and her entrepreneurial pursuits. She also is a member of C200 and Cincinnati Women’s Executive Forum. In 2012 and 2013, Wendy was recognized as a Women of Influence in both Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

She currently serves on the boards of The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, The Health Collaborative, INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati, TechStars, and venture-backed Xyleme in Boulder, Colorado.

Innov865 Alliance announces nominees for the 2017 Traction Award presented by UT Federal Credit Union 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Knoxville will once again celebrate its entrepreneurial spirit with the return of Innov865 Week and the fifth annual Startup Day, to be held on Thursday, September 21, featuring the Innov865 Traction Award presented by UT Federal Credit Union. The Innov865 Alliance has announced its 2017 nominees for the award, which is presented to a Startup Day alum who has made the most progress, or gained the most ‘traction,’ since pitching their business at Startup Day.

Startup Day is the signature event of Innov865 Week, a week-long series of events that celebrates entrepreneurship and showcases Knoxville as a great place to start and grow a business. Innov865 Week is set to take place September 18 – 22, 2017.

“East Tennessee has a rich tradition of innovation, and that tradition lives on in this year’s Traction Award nominees,” said Lynn Youngs, Executive Director of UT’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and a founding member of the Innov865 Alliance. “Each one has contributed in some way to building Knoxville’s reputation as THE place for startups in our region. They are true role models and exemplars of what it means to be an entrepreneur.”

“UT Federal Credit Union is pleased to once again sponsor the Traction Award and recognize the achievements of an East Tennessee entrepreneur who is not only thriving, but driving innovation and growth in our community,” said Myra Hamilton, AVP of Business Lending at UT Federal Credit Union.

Bob Bradley with NewsBreak was the 2016 award recipient. Since then, the company has reached an agreement with Gilbarco Veeder-Root, the world’s largest fuel pump manufacturer to make NewsBreak available to Gilbarco’s product line of multi-product fuel dispensers with a select number of U.S. based convenience store operators. Currently, NewsBreak is available across five states with 1,000 screens reaching 5.6 million viewers each month.

The Innov865 Traction Award presented by UT Federal Credit Union will be presented at Startup Day, Thursday, September 21 at the U.S. Cellular Stage at The Bijou Theatre. Startup Day is free and open to the public. Registration is required at http://innov865week.com/register/

The Innov865 Alliance selected the following three nominees:

Jenna Johns, RDI Technologies

Jenna Johns is the Chief Operating Officer for RDI Technologies, which has patented a noncontact, video camera-based technology platform that allows users to measure motion, vibration, deflection, and displacement not visible to the human eye. Unlike traditional contact monitoring systems, RDI’s technology measures data in real time, turning virtually every pixel in the camera’s view into a sensor capable of measuring vibration or motion with sub pixel accuracy. The results lend themselves to a visualization of motion, as captured in the company’s tag line “seeing is believing.” RDI’s method of video data collection has proven to be a cost effective, convenient, and safe way to conduct contact monitoring and has benefits for multiple markets, including infrastructure, healthcare, and machinery.

A 2015 Startup Day and 2016 CodeWorks alum, RDI has evolved from offering technology services to products that can be purchased and used by customers. The company has been awarded two patents (three additional patents are pending) and is now profitable, with revenues that have increased 300% year over year. RDI has also grown in size, with eight full time and eight contract-based employees. Within the last two years, the company has been the recipient of two awards: the Vision Systems Design 2017 Innovator Award and an American Society of Civil Engineers 2016 Innovation Award in the “Innovative Business Models and Technologies” category.

Graham Taylor, T&T Scientific

Graham Taylor is co-founder of T&T Scientific, a company that produces low-cost, single use liposome extrusion devices that simplify the process of preparing liposomes for research laboratories, manufacturing facilities, and clinical settings. Compared to other commercially available extrusion platforms, T&T Scientific’s NanoSizer (formerly LipX) technology is ready to use out of the package and does not require any assembly or cleaning. As a result, the liposome extrusion process time is reduced from the standard 45-60 minutes to 2-3 minutes, and its single-use nature eliminates the risk of batch to batch contamination.

Since winning the Startup Day Pitch Competition in 2016, Taylor, along with his business partner Nima Tamaddoni, have attained greater visibility for T&T Scientific, which helped them land their first investor. T&T Scientific’s NanoSizer product line has expanded to include the patent-pending NanoSizer AUTO, an automated system capable of scaling up liposome extrusion for large scale production, and the NanoSizer STERILE, the world’s first sterilized, single use, and fully assembled liposome extrusion system. In addition, T&T Scientific has started selling a selection of lipids to complement their equipment line. The company’s products are now available in 40 countries and its customer base has tripled in size. Total revenues for T&T Scientific reached $100,000 earlier in 2017 and the company has acquired seven patents since September 2016.

Chris Van Beke, Vendor Registry

Chris Van Beke is CEO and co-founder of Vendor Registry, an online platform that streamlines procurement and vendor management for local governments. Vendor Registry was founded with the simple purpose of making it easier to do business with local governments and institutions by replacing the paper-intensive purchasing process with a standardized, affordable, cloud-based solution. Through Vendor Registry, local governments can register their vendors, post bids and quotes, send notifications of those bids and quotes, and check to ensure their vendors remain in compliance. Vendor Registry also makes it easy for vendors to register with multiple governments and find bid opportunities in the areas they serve. It is a one-stop shop that saves time, generates new revenue for vendors and suppliers, and decreases costs for government and institutional purchasing departments.

Vendor Registry has experienced significant growth since participating in Startup Day 2014, having tripled its revenue in the last 18 months alone. The company has expanded its platform’s offerings, adding contract management tools and more robust reporting and data capture capabilities. The platform itself is being used by 250 governments and institutions in more than 20 states, primarily in the Southeast and Midwest, and more than 36,000 vendors are registered, representing all 50 states and Canada.

About Innov865 Alliance

The Innov865 Alliance develops, supports, and promotes the Knoxville region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. It is a collaborative effort to celebrate and showcase Knoxville as a great place for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses and increase access to capital. Innov865 Week is our signature event; however, the Alliance coordinates other activities throughout the year, including pitch competitions, educational opportunities, and social events. Founding members of the Innov865 Alliance include the University of Tennessee Research Foundation, Oak Ridge National Lab, PYA, UT’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Three Roots Capital, Tennessee Valley Authority, Launch Tennessee and Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.

Learn more about us at http://innov865.com/

About UT Federal Credit Union

UT Federal Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative with more than 22,000 member-owners and assets of over $250 million. UT Federal Credit Union’s mission is to provide members with exceptional financial service, education and leadership. As winner of the Tennessee Small Business Administration Credit Union of the Year award each year since 2012, UT Federal Credit Union is dedicated to providing support to startups and small businesses in Tennessee. The heart of UT Federal Credit Union has always been and will always be its owners. Learn more about UTFCU at https://www.utfcu.org/

Startup Day Pitch Competition Ups the Ante with Two Cash Prizes for 2017

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The 2017 Startup Day pitch competition promises to be bigger than ever with the addition of a second cash prize. This year’s six competitors will pitch their businesses before a panel of investor judges on Thursday, September 21 at the U.S. Cellular Stage at The Bijou Theatre for the chance to win up to $15,000. This is the fifth Startup Day pitch competition and the signature event of the second annual Innov865 Week, a celebration of Knoxville’s vibrant entrepreneurial community, September 18-22, 2017.

“Innov865 Week is our opportunity to highlight the diverse entrepreneurs who are driving innovation and economic growth in the region,” said Jim Biggs, Executive Director of the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC). KEC is a founding member of the Innov865 Alliance. “This year’s Startup Day pitch competitors more than exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit found here in East Tennessee. I am excited to see just how far they will go.”

New this year, the Startup Day pitch competition will feature two prize categories: the Startup Day 2017 Judge’s Choice Prize presented by the Innov865 Alliance, worth $10,000, and the Startup Day 2017 Crowd Favorite Prize presented by SunTrust Bank, worth $5,000. Competitors will have an opportunity to win both prizes for a grand total of $15,000.

“SunTrust Bank is pleased and honored to join the Innov865 Alliance as a sponsor for the fifth annual Startup Day pitch competition. We are amazed at the entrepreneurial talent represented at this year’s competition and look forward to giving one deserving East Tennessee startup the financial kick-start they need to grow their business,” said Harry L. Gross, Jr., Knoxville City President and Executive Vice President of Commercial Banking at SunTrust Bank.

Graham Taylor, co-founder of T&T Scientific and the 2016 Startup Day cash prize winner, has made great strides with his business since pitching at last year’s competition. He has expanded his single-use liposome extrusion device product line, tripled his customer base, and has an international reach with products available for sale in 40 countries. To top it off, total revenues for T&T Scientific reached $100,000 earlier in 2017 and the company has acquired seven patents since September 2016.

Startup Day is free and open to the public. Registration is required at http://innov865week.com/register/

The Innov865 Alliance selected the following six startups to compete in the 2017 pitch competition:

Mac Bartine, Smart RIA Smart RIA is a cloud-based, secure software platform that simplifies and automates regulatory compliance for the registered investment advisor (RIA) industry, serving firms that are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Compliance management can be a costly and time-consuming task for businesses, especially those that do not have in-house expertise. Smart RIA’s software streamlines the process through customized tools that use customer data to track and address compliance issues. This solution not only saves customers time and money, but allows them to focus on growing their business while remaining compliant and independent.

Anna Douglas, SkyNano Technologies SkyNano Technologies has developed an open system manufacturing technique to produce low cost, high value carbon nanotubes, a material with potential applications in a variety of areas from energy storage to consumer electronics. Compared to traditional manufacturing processes that require high vacuum and high pressure gas flow systems, SkyNano’s patent-pending technology relies on the electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide, resulting in a process that is lower in cost and scalable for commercial applications. Aside from lowering the cost of carbon nanotubes, SkyNano’s technique offers a promising method for converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into useful functional nanomaterials.

Flora Ellis, Unveil Unveil is a free online tool that makes wedding planning much easier. The Unveil team has taken the experiences of a hundred couples who planned their own weddings and distilled their feedback into a comprehensive and easy-to-use tool. With Unveil, couples can compare vendors side-by-side to make important hiring decisions. In addition, Unveil offers a premium concierge service for couples who are looking for personal assistance in gathering pricing, availability, and other vendor details, tailored to their specific needs.

Brandon Hardin, Joyce Development, LLC Joyce Development, LLC has developed the Command Glove™, a lightweight, Bluetooth enabled glove embedded with sensors that control functions on electronic devices, such as cell phones, mp3 players, and tablets. With the Command Glove™, wearers can answer a call or change up their playlist with just the tap of a finger, all without having to remove the device from their pocket. The Command Glove™’s patent pending technology promises to change the way people interact with electronics, making it easier and more efficient to interface with wearables and mobile technology while on the go.

Jonaaron Jones, Volunteer Aerospace, Inc. Volunteer Aerospace, Inc. (VAI) uses metal powder bed additive manufacturing to produce hardware and fully functional prototypes for the aerospace and defense industries. VAI uses state-of-the-art additive equipment that has been production hardened to produce aerospace grade components with lower lead times. This competitive edge allows VAI to compete with traditional casting and forging processes.

Melissa Kreis-Stephens, Tomboy Organic Skincare Tomboy Organic Skincare is an organic skin care company for adventure enthusiasts that formulates plant salves, skin care products, and makeup using herbs and roots from the southeast’s native deciduous forests. Born from an experiment to create a poison ivy salve in a Tennessee high school science classroom, Tomboy Organic Skincare has expanded its focus to create earth-inspired, preservative-free products that provide relief from sunburn, sore muscles, scars, and insect bites and stings. The company was awarded the American Choice Best Brand Award in 2016 and its War Woman Scar Oil Salve was recognized as one of Trailblazer Girl’s Top Skin Care Products of 2016.

About Innov865 Alliance

The Innov865 Alliance develops, supports, and promotes the Knoxville region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. It is a collaborative effort to celebrate and showcase Knoxville as a great place for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses and increase access to capital. Innov865 Week is our signature event; however, the Alliance coordinates other activities throughout the year, including pitch competitions, educational opportunities, and social events. Founding members of the Innov865 Alliance include the University of Tennessee Research Foundation, Oak Ridge National Lab, PYA, UT’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Three Roots Capital, Tennessee Valley Authority, Launch Tennessee and Knoxville Entrepreneur Center. Learn more about us at http://innov865.com/

About SunTrust Bank

SunTrust is a purpose-driven company dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being for the people, businesses, and communities it serves. Headquartered in Atlanta, SunTrust operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, along with 24-hour digital access. As of June 30, 2017, SunTrust had total assets of $207 billion and total deposits of $158 billion. In February 2016, SunTrust launched its onUp Movement, a national movement inspiring Americans to build financial confidence and reduce financial stress. The goal is to have five million people take a pledge and make a commitment to take control of their finances. As of August 2017, more than two million people have joined the Movement. Learn more at www.onUp.com.

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Launch Tennessee now accepting applications for new “SBIR/STTR Matching Fund Grants Program”

(NOTE: This article was originally published on Teknovation.biz)

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Tennessee-based entrepreneurs seeking to commercialize technology with funding from two federal initiatives now have another tool in their toolkit, thanks to funding included in the 2017-18 State of Tennessee budget, and the application window is open.

As a result of a more than two-year effort, spearheaded by two statewide organizations – Launch Tennessee and Life Science Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam recommended and the General Assembly approved $1.5 million for the new “SBIR/STTR Matching Fund Grants Program.” The dollars are non-recurring, meaning they will have to be included in next year’s state budget for the program to be more than a 12-month initiative.

The funding represents an important milestone in efforts to support more technology start-up growth in the Volunteer State. The $1.5 million pot of funds will be used to match federal grants that companies receive to advance their efforts to commercialize technologies important to the federal government. The state’s program has a cap of $150,000 that can be awarded to any one company.

“It allows us to remain competitive and keep really good start-ups here,” Lindsey Cox, Launch Tennessee’s Director of Operations and Government Affairs, said. Several of the states around Tennessee have already implemented similar initiatives, and some start-ups from here have relocated to those states to be eligible for their matching dollars.

Read more here.

Future865 promises engaging discussion on the innovations in healthcare

Future865 promises diverse discussion on the types of entrepreneurship happening in Knoxville.

The event will kick off Innov865 Week 2017 on Monday, September 18 and explore opportunities to build the most effective and vibrant future for Knoxville with community, business and thought leaders.

A variety of presenters will describe their visions for harnessing innovation and entrepreneurship in building a stronger ecosystem and propose solutions in an engaging environment with the audience.

One of those speakers will be Dr. Bruce Ramshaw, Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he will be discussing innovations in healthcare.

He received his medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He has been recognized internationally for laparoscopic and advanced hernia procedures, and he also specializes in creating patient-centered care teams.

Most recently, Dr. Ramshaw served as chair of the Halifax Health Medical Center General Surgery Residency Program in Daytona Beach, Florida, since 2009.

In addition to being an education leader, Dr. Ramshaw has founded multiple companies in the healthcare field including Advanced Hernia Solutions and Surgical Momentum.

Advanced Hernia Solutions has helped complex hernia patients from all over the world on the basis of a patient-centered care model. Surgical Momentum, dissolved in April 2017, was a patient safety organization that was established in 2009 after Dr. Ramshaw recognized there could be vast differences in how the same hernia mesh reacted in different patients. Using Continuous Quality Improvement principles, Surgical Momentum worked with medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and distributors to improve value, quality of care and patient outcomes.

From freelancer to small business owner

(Note: This article was originally published on Startup Southerner.)

The 3 key foundational things you need to transform your side-hustle into a small business

By Alex Hubenthal, owner of Bookscaping

Are you ready to take your side-hustle and turn it into a viable business but don’t know how or where to start? So many budding entrepreneurs have been in your shoes at one point in time or another—including myself. When I started my first business, I had no idea what a DBA was or what the difference between a C Corp and an S Corp was. But rest assured, I am here to give you all the information you need to get started so you can run the business of your dreams. Start with these 3 key steps:

  1. Select a business entity type.

The very first thing that you should be considering when turning your side-hustle into a small business is selecting your business entity type. In business, you have the option to file official documents with the state where you reside to provide yourself legal and financial protection. These documents have a fee associated with them that range between $100-$400 depending on the state and entity type. These documents are filed with your state’s Secretary of State Division of Corporations. Some states allow you to file digitally so you can get your documents immediately, while others are still on the paper system where you have to mail in your documents and then wait 1–2 weeks to hear back from the state. When you are paying, make sure that you request official copies of your documents and a certificate of status. You will need this later. Also, it’s important to note there is an annual filing fee (also known as an “Annual Report”) that is in most cases cheaper than the initial filing with the state but you must pay this annually to keep your records current.

For information on different business entity types, you can check out my blog post here.

  1. Apply for an EIN

After you receive confirmation from the state that your business entity is approved and in an “active status,” you will now need to apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) with the IRS. You need this regardless if you have employees or not. This is free to obtain and only takes a few minutes. This number is the equivalent of your personal Social Security Number and you will need this number when filing your business taxes at the end of the year or paying taxes throughout the year as required by your state/business type. To obtain your EIN, go here and follow the prompts. You will have an option to receive a digital copy or a paper copy by mail to the address you provided the IRS when filling out the form.

  1. Open a business banking account

The third thing that you want to have set up is a bank account for your business. You must have a bank account set up for your business that is separate from your personal bank accounts. I cannot stress how important this is. If you start conducting business transactions in a personal bank account, you are going to have a very big financial mess on your hands. When budding entrepreneurs are getting started, I recommend that they go to a large national bank. The reasoning behind this is that when you go to set up your accounting platforms, we can guarantee that the accounting software will link up to your bank account so you can make reconciliations a breeze. My three favorite banks are Wells Fargo (Simple Business Checking), Chase Bank (Chase Total Business Checking) and Bank of America (Business Fundamentals Checking). These all require minimum balances and may have a nominal monthly service fee. In most cases, you can avoid the service fee by using a debit card associated with the account or agree to receive digital statements. Note, you will need your business filing documents provided from the state when opening a bank account.