Kevin Harrington and Juliann Nichols launch venture to address business owners’ challenges
St. Petersburg, FL — When Kevin Harrington of Quantum Media, and an original Shark on ABC’s television series Shark Tank, stepped onto the main stage at the Focus On Entrepreneurs Conference in downtown St. Petersburg in April, little did he or the conference organizer know that this would be the launching pad for a new partnership. The conference, the brainchild of Juliann Nichols of Focus On YOU Strategy, impressed Harrington with its depth, content, energy, and idea sharing so much, he asked Nichols where she hoped this forum would ultimately lead.
“We met over coffee and I told him [Harrington] about my idea for a new business incubator and accelerator concept called the Focus On Business Owners Network, or FOBO Network. The idea is to give business owners a proactive way to collaborate, learn, and grow together,” said Nichols.
“I immediately saw the synergy of all of these business owners coming together and knew they had something there,” said Harrington.
“My whole career has been focused on the entrepreneur, and I know with the right platform, we can create a powerful collaborative network of like-minded business owners focused on success and innovation,” Harrington continued.
Kevin and Juliann are each bringing over 35 years of business success to the FOBO Network. Kevin’s success played out over national media and Juliann’s achievements focused in the business world at the local level.
Kevin got his start as a young entrepreneur in the early 80’s when he invested $25,000
and launched Quantum International, which he sold his interest in after it became a $500 million per year business. He then formed a joint venture with the Home Shopping Network, called HSN Direct, which grew to hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. He launched over 20 businesses currently earning $100 million in sales each and launched over 500 products generating more than $5 billion in sales worldwide. He opened distribution outlets in over 100 countries.
Kevin is recognized as one of the Original Sharks on the ABC hit “Shark Tank”, filming over 175 segments. Kevin invented the Infomercial and will always be associated with the phrase “As Seen On TV”. He is a prominent business thought leader with endless energy and passion to help business owners and celebrities alike turn their ideas into million dollar products. Currently, Kevin’s private consulting firm works with companies in the electronic retail industry with all facets of their business based on his own formula for success.
Juliann Nichols, a native of Kansas City, has a 95% success rate with her Focus On YOU Strategy clients because of her one-of-a-kind process built from launching several businesses herself. At 16 years old, she created a following as a Mobile Disc Jockey while attending high school. When an unexpected family emergency turned a negative into a positive, at 25 years old, she started a full service private detective agency, with only her reputation and contacts in hand. She grew that company for 14 years before selling it. Then she developed winning business strategies for several private industry clients and community organizations. Juliann also launched BBOK Bags, a full line of custom-made handbags for upscale boutiques; a business she grew for 6 years until the recession hit. It was during this time that many of her peers started inquiring how she achieved her success.
Juliann founded Focus On YOU Strategy 10 years ago to fill the need for a proactive business advisor who challenges the status quo, asks the right questions, and adds value to every interaction. She not only thinks outside the box, but is ready to reinvent or smash the box by developing strategic plans and recommendations for those needing to identify and overcome the challenges of their businesses. Juliann assisted over 600 entrepreneurs and business owners develop their own “CEO mindset” to be successful in business and life.
The FOBO Network will start chapters across Tampa Bay, and radiate out across both coasts of Florida, expand into the Southeast, and ultimately go nationwide. Nichols has officially joined forces with Harrington, a man dubbed by Entrepreneur Magazine to be one of the “top Entrepreneurs of our time,” to bring the FOBO Network to life.
Such collaboration and network building is nothing new to the partnership. Both lent their expertise to creating business networking groups successfully in the past. For Kevin, it was launching the Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO), a worldwide network. Likewise, Juliann called upon her experience as executive managing director for several gender-based and franchised business networking groups in multiple markets throughout her career. The FOBO Network is an opportunity to take all types of business owners to the next level by adding an educational aspect that will impact the business owner’s bottom line.
“The EO concept was what I saw in action at the Focus On Entrepreneur’s Conference—peer-to-peer learning, connection to experts in their fields, and exclusive access to the information, processes and best practices to help savvy business owners take their businesses to the next level,” said Harrington.
“That’s what will set us apart. We have one goal and only one goal in mind—to help the entrepreneurial spirit thrive,” said Nichols.
The FOBO Network differs from other area networking organizations in a myriad of ways.
• Harrington’s vast sphere of influence and ‘golden Rolodex” will give members access to some of the top entrepreneurial minds across the country.
• The organization’s membership base is not based on gender, geography, religion or industry, and is open only to those business owners who have a corporation registered and in good standing in the state where they do business.
• Members are not burdened with mandatory referrals to other members nor restricted to only work with others within the organization.
• No more than 20 percent of any chapter’s member base can be made up of start-up organizations.
This structure promotes a spirit of “coopetition” that is indispensable for a true business incubator and accelerator community.
“We’re not looking for the ‘wantrapreneurs’,” said Nichols. “We’re looking for serious, established business owners seeking the best ways to reach next-stage growth or
develop exit strategies when the time is right. In the past, the entrepreneurial community in Tampa Bay has been rather provincial and fragmented, and didn’t come together for the common good. We’re out to change all that. It’s time entrepreneurs are encouraged and rewarded for supporting each other.”
There are three levels of membership, with Basic Access membership priced at $499, a Member Plus Access level of $999 per year, and the top tier level called “Platinum Access” priced at $1499 annually. Platinum Access membership gives members VIP contact to successful CEOs willing to share their wisdom, one-on-one time with specialized coaches, exposure to best practices in fast-paced workshops, and the ability to extend some benefits to their resource staff. All memberships offer entry to FOBO Exchanges where business owners can overcome challenges that will accelerate their growth.
The website, www.FOBONetwork.com, is currently under construction. A landing page with early membership pricing and other information is now live at that address.
About the Company: The Focus on Business Owners Network, LLC is a private organization committed to meeting the challenges of business owners because they are business owners themselves. The FOBO Network will serve business owners from a variety of industries looking to expand their enterprises, develop key relationships, discuss their main challenges, and to come together to network and produce strategies for finding solutions to their business problems. This is for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. For more information to Connect, Learn and Grow, Email: Juliann@fobonetwork.com, Call: 727-316-5958