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Entrepreneurs

2014 CEA Winners: Where Are They Now?

By Staff Reports, posted May 4, 2018
Coastal Entrepreneur winners from 2014 (File photos)
CAPE FEAR CLINIC
COMPANY: Cape Fear Clinic, a nonprofit corporation, was founded as the Tileston Health Clinic Inc. and provides health care to those in the region who would otherwise not have access. 
YEAR FOUNDED: 1991 
EMPLOYEES: 13
UPDATE: “Our adult vaccination program, which leveraged an initial $1,000 grant from the Downtown Wilmington Rotary club and has provided over 2,000 vaccinations valued at more than $250,000 (and growing), won a national award from the American Pharmacists Association in 2016. CFC has partnered with New Hanover Regional Medical Center on a pilot program to reduce non-emergency visits to the emergency room. The Emergency Department diversion program aims to connect low-income and uninsured patients with CFC to provide them a medical home and CFC has created an open-access scheduling model.”
PHOTO: John Devaney, CEO  
 
DOCSINK 

COMPANY: DocsInk LLC offers a cloudbased application, called DocsInk Connect, that aims to help medical professionals and health systems maximize clinical revenue, facilitate care coordination and streamline communication.
YEAR FOUNDED: 2012
EMPLOYEES: 34
UPDATE: DocsInk LLC remains a privately held and funded company that has won numerous awards.
GROWTH AND INNOVATION: “We have continued to listen to our clients, continually adding functionality designed to streamline work flows, promote linear processes and enable end-users to customize DocsInk to their specific needs. As a result, DocsInk has been selected as a technology partner by multiple large healthcare service and technology companies, which has led to tremendous growth for our company.”
PHOTO: Julie Thomas, CEO and co-founder 
 
NATIONAL SPEED
COMPANY: National Speed is a high-performance automotive center company that aims to make cars go faster and perform better.
YEAR FOUNDED: 2012
EMPLOYEES: 12
UPDATE: National Speed has successfully tripled its business by expanding to a second location in Richmond, Virginia, officials said. President and CEO Ryal Tayloe was hired in April last year. Wilmington is home to the flagship store of the company, which aims to have more than 25 locations by 2021. 
GROWTH AND INNOVATION: “National Speed is now a software and data aggregation business that happens to provide high performance automotive services. In our industry there is no instruction manual for how to make the kinds of modifications we make, so we have built it.”
PHOTO: Jordan Watson, founder 
 
ODYSSEY FIRE PROTECTION
COMPANY
: Odyssey Fire Protection is a subcontractor to commercial and residential builders and provides design, fabrication, installation and inspection services for a variety of fire suppression systems. 
YEAR FOUNDED: 2010
EMPLOYEES: 67
UPDATE: The company remains in operation in Wilmington. “Odyssey Fire Protection LLC was founded on the idea of incorporating old school principles and training techniques with technologically advanced methods and modern equipment,” according to the firm’s website. “We constantly train employees on the latest code updates, safety practices, and learn cutting-edge technologies and methodologies to stay on top of the industry.”
PHOTO: Kevin Hommes and Eric Williams, co-founders 
 
NEXT GLASS (UNTAPPD) 

YEAR FOUNDED: 2013
EMPLOYEES: 94  
COMPANY: Next Glass, now called Untappd, is a venture-backed technology company that develops social- and data-driven consumer and business software products in the beer space.
UPDATE: In 2014, the company had 12 full-time employees, no revenue and had raised just over $1 million from angel investors. Today, the company is nearing 100 employees (90 percent in Wilmington), 8 million users, 15,000 business customers and over $10 million in revenue over the past 12 months.
GROWTH AND INNOVATION: “In 2016, the company launched Untappd for Business, a software product for businesses that sell beer. This all-in-one platform helps businesses manage their beer inventory and publish those beers to their website, print menus, social networks, and the Untappd community.”
PHOTO: Kurt Taylor, founder and CEO 
 
WITHOUT LIMITS
YEAR FOUNDED : 2007
EMPLOYEES: 1 
COMPANY: Without Limits has three divisions: coaching, apparel and race production, with coaches in Wilmington, Greenville, Charleston and Columbia. 
UPDATE: “We have made Without Limits Apparel a separate company and are now providing apparel for over 30 races. We have added a market in Columbia and our Greenville and Charleston markets are well established. We now manage the Southern Tour Ultra and Copperhead . . . The Wrightsville Beach Marathon has been rated in the Top 20 Marathons in the U.S. by bibrave.com.”
TOP THREE TIPS:
1. COMMUNICATION;
2. BE PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING OR OFFERING;
3. MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM PLANS TO ENSURE YOU DO NOT EXPAND TOO QUICKLY. 
PHOTO: Tom Clifford, owner 
 
QUALITY CHEMICAL LABORATORIES 
COMPANY: Quality Chemical Laboratories LLC provides expert scientific services to pharmaceutical companies supporting the Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMS) aspects of drug product life cycles. 
YEAR FOUNDED: 1998
EMPLOYEES: 200 
UPDATE: The company works with more than 100 different customers per month, including many of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies, with expertise in analytical chemistry, wet chemistry, synthetic chemistry, microbiology, stability storage and testing to support expiration dating of drugs, formulation development and clinical scale manufacturing. QCL recently added 37,000 square feet to its analytical labs, formulation development and manufacturing suites. The company also added 50 jobs.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Expanding the work force with qualified employees due to highly technical nature of positions and the length of training.”
PHOTO: Yousry Sayed, president and CEO 
 
SIVAD BUSINESS SOLUTIONS
COMPANY
: Sivad Business Solutions is the parent company and majority owner of EasyVote Solutions (spun out in 2015). Easy- Vote is a provider of elections management software.
YEAR FOUNDED: 2009
EMPLOYEES: 15
UPDATE: “Since winning the CEA award, EasyVote has grown from a presence in two states to 15 states including the District of Columbia.”
INNOVATION AND GROWTH: “Easy- Vote software was built to make the process of running elections better than before. Having built a SaaS platform on Microsoft Azure, we delivered a product that achieved our desired results. We are one of the first to introduce true SaaS, with cloud computing and mobile capability, into the government elections marketplace.”
PHOTO: Charles Davis, CFO and co-founder  
 
TOZAL
COMPANY: TOZAL/Atlantic Medical Inc. is a company that leverages pharmaceutical and healthcare sector know-how to develop products that support people’s ocular health. “We are conducting R&D activities in the field of medical foods and pharmaceuticals used for medical treatment of eye disease.”
YEAR FOUNDED: 2007
EMPLOYEES: 7 
UPDATE: “We have tripled our annual gross sales since 2014 and will be launching our second product in June 2018.”
GROWTH AND INNOVATION: “As a company that innovates and develops new products, finding the right partners for product distribution is our largest challenge in growing our business.”
PHOTO: Edward Paul Jr., founder   
 
WARM
ORGANIZATION: WARM Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit organization that makes urgent repairs and accessibility upgrades for homeowners who are financially and usually physically unable to do so.
YEAR FOUNDED: 1996
EMPLOYEES: 9
UPDATE: “The year WARM was awarded our CEA, total revenue was $513,744 and made repairs on 109 homes. It was the first year our number of homes hit triple digits. Just two years later, WARM’s 2016 revenue was $1,034,208!! We were able to take on larger jobs that were previously outside of our scope. Even then, the productivity number increased to 155 homes . . . While these numbers are impressive, our waiting list lingers around 150-180.”
PHOTO: JC Lyle, executive director
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