Benjamin Gage, Managing Partner & Startup CEO Coach, YP2M (Your Product to Market)
Mr. Gage is a career entrepreneur, inventor, and small business coach with a specialty in managing start ups and innovative product launches. For the past thirty years, Mr. Gage has led and supported over three dozen brand launches or disruptive systems changes as founder or service provider, from concept to market, both large and small clients. Mr. Gage is currently managing partner of YP2M (Your Product 2 Market), which is focused on taking your dream concept to its’ 1st million. YP2M supports a plurality of early stage clients in the sport, fashion, medical, creative, and technology industries including mobile apps and wearable technology. Mr. Gage launched the world’s first sport fashion brand and one of his first clients is now the fastest growing brand in America in its product category. A former sports professional who competed globally, he holds several patents in the (PLM) Product Lifecycle Management category, a BA from Wake Forest University, and completed WFU’s MBA Babcock School of Management’s Technology Incubator Program.
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Chuck Hester, Chuck Hester Enterprises
Chuck Hester is a LinkedIn power connector with more than 13,000 direct connections. He is a sought-after expert on the subject of using LinkedIn for media relations, personal and professional branding, and how to use social media to build business contacts. He’s addressed conferences in Canada, Australia and throughout the United States.
The Chief Connections Officer at Chuck Hester Enterprises, Chuck helps businesses get their stories told through influencer relations, good old fashion PR strategies and hard work. He also offers LinkedIn Corporate Boot Camps that help businesses maximize their use of LinkedIn, find and retain customers and enhance their social media footprints. You can find him on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/chuckhester
His new book, Social Media for the Rest of Us: A Boomer’s Perspective is being published by Motivational press in early 2015.
T.J. Breeden, Founder & Executive Director, eMerging Entrepreneurs, Inc.
T.J. is the Founder & Executive Director of eMerging Entrepreneurs, Inc.; a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, that provides Career Transition Assistance, Small Business Training, and Entrepreneurial Developmental services to veterans, military spouses, and under-served minority communities. The organization employs a grassroots approach to assisting those who seek to advance their small business interests; partnering with state & federal agencies, universities, local chambers of commerce, and military installations in an effort to extend high-tech training & resource solutions to under-served communities.
T.J. is a 2012 recipient of the White House’s “Champions of Change” award, as well as the US Small Business Administration’s 2013 “Veterans Entrepreneurship Advocate of the Year” award for his efforts in advancing small business growth within the military community. He also serves on the City of Durham, NC’s “Small Business Advisory Committee,” is a former board member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Durham Black Chamber of Commerce, and was recently invited to serve on the NC Advisory Committee for the US Global Leadership Coalition; a broad-based network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating diplomacy and development alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world. Lastly, T.J. is also the Program Director of the Urban Leadership Lab, a social-incubator that provides urban youth with access to mentorship and career development training.