27 Small Business Leaders Say: Mom was Right

At some point, your Mom or someone important in your life advised you to ‘stay in school to get ahead.’  HeadRoom could not agree more, and at the recent HeadRoom Entrepreneur Boot Camp, 27 participating small business leaders agreed.

It is not unusual to see corporate leaders enhancing their knowledge and networks by participating in executive education programs. In fact, many of our local Universities offer an extensive curriculum for leaders and executives. HeadRoom Co-Partners, Dan Lievens and John Tooher, have an interesting perspective on how continuous learning and effective networking can translate in a relevant way to small business leaders. They created the Entrepreneurs Boot Camp to test the concept and gain feedback from participants.

They did not have to wait for the program to begin to get their feedback. Enrollment exceeded expectation. Post Boot Camp survey responses indicate that the content was on-point and that small business leaders appreciated the attention to relevant material, an opportunity to test ideas, and effort to facilitate collaboration.  The success of the Entrepreneurs Boot Camp and feedback from participants fast-tracked the launch of HeadRoom Academy, which will welcome its first class on April 15, 2016.


Traditional executive education takes academic theory and practical experience to deliver in-depth learning laboratories for business leaders.  Dan and John saw a gap between what is offered to corporate leaders and the learning opportunities available to small business leaders. Often, the cost and time commitment of executive education programs are prohibitive for the small business leader. At the same time, some workshops and webinar content targeted to small business leaders fails to translate business challenges, techniques and tools in a relevant way to the unique concerns of a small business.

John Tooher, Co-Partner at HeadRoom describes, “We curated content that addresses the most important concerns and latest techniques used to build a successful business. We recruited some of the best subject matter experts in each area who are serving small and medium sized business clients. Our instructors appreciate the unique challenges of the startup and small business communities. They developed a program in their respective specialty that will be meaningful to small businesses and guide action items for participants. They present tips and techniques so that our students walk away with more than a surface knowledge; they can actually implement changes in their business.”

The HeadRoom Academy calendar provides participants an opportunity to explore topics including: developing business strategies, trademark issues, business liabilities and regulations, leadership in a dynamic environment, planning marketing programs, social media techniques, using public relations, web and app development, financial planning, book keeping, and much more.

HeadRoom Entrepreneur Boot Camp Picture
Janelle Snyder of SnyderLAW presents at the HeadRoom Entrepreneur Boot Camp in February 2016.

Programs will be offered in two-hour working sessions over an eight-week cycle peppered throughout the year. Sessions will be held both in the morning and afternoon on Academy days; in addition, topics will reappear several times within the academic calendar. Small business leaders can participate in as many or few sessions as they like or need. This was specifically designed to accommodate a startup and small business person’s need for flexible time management.

In addition to instructional programs, HeadRoom Academy purposefully provides opportunities for leaders to network. Dan Lievens, Co-Partner at HeadRoom understands “it is what you know AND who you know. Today’s most successful businesses get ahead by putting together a strong team. That team may be internal or a network of external partners for collaboration, lead sharing, and mentoring. It is difficult for a startup or small business leader to take time away from their business or to get an evening to network.  HeadRoom Academy provides a safe environment to stay current, gain insights and build business opportunities over a one-year academic calendar. “

HeadRoom Academy offers all participants and opportunity to network with fellow participants and business within the HeadRoom co-working space. At the end of each Academy day, all HeadRoom Academy members are invited to attend the HeadRoom Resident Happy Hour. These happy hours have been very effective for HeadRoom Residents in finding collaboration and knowledge sharing opportunities. HeadRoom Academy members immediately extend their network to the 70+ businesses within the HeadRoom eco-system.

The cost to participate in HeadRoom Academy is very affordable.  An early adopter rate of $345 for the year is available for a limited time; the regular annual rate is $445 for a full year of programs. If a participant prefers to break payments down, a monthly payment plan of $40/month is available. Register Today

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