It’s imperative that business owners know about the Startup Junkie. Founder and managing director, Jeff Amerine has a heart for entrepreneurs. He was an entrepreneurship professor at Walton College. Jeff lived in Harrison and their son, Brett graduated from Harrison Highschool.
“There’s a wonderful connection between Jeff and Harrison,” Martha Londagin, executive consultant said. Londagin and Morgan Scholz, business consultant from Startup Junkie were the featured speakers at a Rotary Club meeting on May 13.
“If you look up the definition of ‘junkie’ it is ‘someone who has an unusual amount of interest in something,’ That is Jeff Amerine and his son Brett. They have helped so many people. Jeff began the organization as a way to help regular people start a business. He approached the Walton Family Foundation for a grant and started the Foundation,” Londagin said.
Amerine has held senior leadership positions in nine startups and three Fortune 500 companies, and he has made more than 80+ angel investments into new ventures and small businesses either directly or through the funds he manages. He now leads Startup Junkie Consulting and Cadron Capital partners.
Startup Junkie is a team of professionals and experts in their fields. With funding support from the Walton Family Foundation, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Rural LISC, and the Small Business Administration, they offer the team’s vast business backgrounds and education experiences for consulting sessions at no cost to area business owners, entrepreneurs, tech innovators, business dreamers and university students.
“We help people pitching for millions of dollars from investors to women who are baking cookies to sell in coffee shops and at farmer’s markets,” Londagin said. “We run the gamut of helping folks.”
Londagin said she will be back in Harrison on Monday, June 21, doing a free two-hour seminar for women wanting to start a small business. Bank OZK will provide lunch from Neighbor’s Mill. (Register at the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce website.)
Londagin said about 70% of the people she has worked with have already been in business for a couple of years. “We are never changing the name because if you own a small business, you better think like a startup every day.”
“I share with clients what I’ve seen to be successful in the past nine years of working the hundreds of businesses I’ve worked with,” Londagin said. “I’ve worked with people who started in their garage. I met with one client who was 22 years old doing wreath making and workshops. Recently it was publicly announced that she and her husband just signed the papers on a $700,000 building on College Ave. I’ve been working with them for years.”
Londagin explained, “We never say ‘no.’ If the timing isn’t right, or you’re not ready, we might give a person a six month plan of action,” she said. “Then we will follow up and stay engaged.”
“Startup Junkie Consulting marked its beginnings in 2008 and formally organized as an LLC in 2011 by offering consulting services at no-cost to entrepreneurs. In order to expand the reach, impact, and depth of services, Startup Junkie Foundation was born in 2015 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit. As two organizations sharing the same purpose, mission, vision, and values, the team is jointly building entrepreneurial ecosystems in Northwest Arkansas through providing no-cost, one-on-one consulting; events, workshops, and programs; and access to capital and talent,” as posted on the website.
Now they have expanded to include Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Marion, Newton, Searcy and Washington Counties.
Londagin said, “We are not ‘one and done’ with our clients. We continue to follow up, offering no judgements. Just all help. We provide resources, help, support and connectors.”
Visit startupjunkie.org for more information and scheduled seminars. Meetings can be set up by Zoom or in person by calling 479-310-6261.