Each year, the Lion's Den features an outstanding entrepreneur who is making an impact in business as mission. This part of the event will take place during lunch on March 22 from 12 to 1. This year's keynote luncheon features Nathan Sheets, CEO of Nature Nate's Honey, and a panel consisting of C12 business owners.
A wise leader once said, “Every Failure is One Step Closer to Success.” Some have taken that to mean that if you are not failing, you are not taking enough risks. Others market leaders say, "The goal of failure is ultimately to discover how to succeed." One thing for certain is that if you are in business many years you will have some experience with failure, and how you respond to it determines your future. How do we and how should we as Kingdom minded entrepreneurs and investors respond to failure? Is embracing failure as a good thing? Can you fail in a calculated way? These questions and others will guide our keynote panel of business leaders who discuss the earthly perception of failure, and how we as believers in business, face the challenge of discerning how God is intersecting our business life through failure and success.
Nathan Sheets is the President and CEO of Nature Nate’s Honey Company, the #1 branded honey company in the U.S. After graduating from college and owning his own ad agency, Nathan began serving in ministry where he led over 100 mission trips around the globe. Nathan was also one of the driving forces behind the global ‘I Am Second’ media campaign that highlights stories of hundreds of lives transformed through the grace of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Nathan decided to make honey his full-time endeavor. And life has never been sweeter. Nathan is passionate about developing a company that is driven by more than the bottom line — measuring success not just by what he achieves, but also by what he contributes to others. As Nathan likes to say, “The Lord has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to others.” Nathan and his wife Patty live in Frisco and have four children.
Everyone who knows Tyler can tell you about his knack for understanding consumer behavior. That, combined with his understanding of business fundamentals, made Tyler the perfect person to lead Interstate’s fastest-growing business unit, where he oversees business development, account service and channel penetration efforts. Before joining Interstate in 2010, Tyler led marketing efforts at the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo, where he was awarded PepsiCo’s highest honor, the Chairman’s Award, more than once for championing ideas that continue to deliver billions of dollars in annual sales today.
Travis is a highly experienced and accomplished C-level executive with an extensive track record in growth acceleration and operating improvement. Currently as CEO of a global $125m+ Revenue, $25m+ EBITDA business, he has additional experience as C-level leader at both large and mid-sized entrepreneurial private-equity and public equity backed companies, driving significant financial growth and shareholder value creation. In the last 5 years, Travis has led three investments through top and bottom line growth which ultimately led to successful sales in the $500m+ valuation range. He has extensive experience successfully working with private equity.
Co-Founder & CEO of VOMO, a web-based platform and App that leverages technology to power a global volunteer movement. He is an entrepreneurial visionary who recently moved back to the U.S. after living for six years in London, England. He founded and led a non-profit called Awaken, and started a national conference in the U.K. for millennials. Rob previously served as the Global City Leader for London for the International Mission Board. He’s also served as a mega-church pastor in the United States. Rob consults for various organizations and has written multiple books and small group studies. He and his wife, Medea, have three children.
Host of Point of View Radio Talk Show and also serves as the President of Probe Ministries. He holds masters degrees from Yale University (science) and Georgetown University (government). He serves as a visiting professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and has spoken on dozens of university campuses including University of Michigan, Vanderbilt University, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Colorado and University of Texas.
Our panel of judges are experts in their fields. The panel's purpose is to critique the businesses that are pitching at the Lion's Den and to help them improve.
Get ready to enter the Lions Den. 5 companies will have 8 minutes to pitch their business to our panel of experts, followed by 8 minutes of questions led by our expert panel of judges. The audience will vote by app on the best pitch. Click on the company logos to learn more.
In the Rocket Round, 5 companies will have 5 minutes to pitch their business to our panel of experts. Then the audience will vote on their favorite 3 companies which will get questioned by our expert panel of judges. The audience will vote by app on the best pitch. Click on the company logos to learn more.
This option for breakout session one will be led by John Raymond and Endel Liias. John Raymond is the Chief Business Executive for GuideStone Financial Resources leading all insurance and investment service. He also was a senior management in the Wealth Management Division of Wells Fargo Bank. Endel Liias is the managing principal of Nexus Impact Advisors, where he is responsible for setting the firm's strategic vision. These two will be teaming up to talk about how investors can have a kingdom impact.
This breakout option will be given by Wade Myers. He is an entrepreneur, investor, and advisor. Wade has a portfolio of companies and is a founding partner of two faith-based investment funds: Eagle Venture Capital - a global private equity fund that invests in early-stage to lower middle market companies; and Wellings Capital - an income-focused real estate investment firm that acquires and manages U.S.-based multifamily properties. In his talk he will be covering the 10 top reasons why startups fail.
Grant Skeldon will be leading this third option of breakouts in session 1. He is the founder of INITIATIVE, a missional millennial network. INITIATIVE’s mission is to shift culture by making millennials Christ-loving, city-changing, church-investing, disciple-making, local missionaries. In Grant's breakout, he will be discussing the ways in which millennials can improve to better serve the marketplace and make a Kingdom impact.
This breakout in session 1 will be led by Dr. Ross O'Brien. He is professor of management and founding director of the Center for Business as Mission at Dallas Baptist University. Ross will lead the group in a discussion of our biblical call to work with Christ in restoring creation and how business serves as an impactful way for us to live out that call.
John Raymond will be facilitating this discussion. It will center around why should people actively invest and the risks. Will you receive a return on investment every time and if not, what then?
The Christian concept of the entrepreneur's role in society should reflect a countercultural understanding of success according to Josh Kwan, co-founder of Praxis, Harvard graduate and founding board member of Village Schools International. In the Redemptive Edge breakout session, Josh will explore the dynamics of building high-impact organizations that create enduring value.
Women are becoming business owners at higher rates than ever before, generating over $1.5 trillion in sales annually. Our Women in Entrepreneurship panel session gives you the incredible opportunity to learn from women who have launched successful businesses, hear their stories, and tap into their expertise. Led by seasoned executive, Wall Street industry expert, author, executive coach, and public speaker, Sandra Williamson Crawford, our Women in Entrepreneurship panel will tackle hard questions about both the challenges and opportunities that women face in 2018, and how, through networking and mentorship, they can continue to rise to become the leaders of the future.
Ross O'Brien will lead this discussion-based breakout on practical ways to integrate faith and business. Participants will examine Jesus’ teaching from Matthew as applied to the various elements in the business value chain.
INVESTING: Kingdom Impact Investing w. John Raymond and Endel Liias
ENTREPRENEURS: 10 Ways Startups Fail w. Wade Myers
MILLENNIALS: Millennials in the Marketplace w. Grant Skeldon
BIBLICAL: Business in the Bible w. Dr. Ross O'Brien
INVESTING: Active Investors w. John Raymond
ENTREPRENEURS: Redemptive Edge w. Josh Kwan
WOMEN FOCUS: Women in Entrepreneurship Panel led by Sandra Crawford Williamson
BIBLICAL: Practical Ways to Integrate Faith into Business w. Dr. Ross O'Brien