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Achieving Clear Vision and Venture Capital

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Karen Rands, Managing Member  |  Kugarand Capital Holdings

Compassionate Capitalism – Starting a business – Investing in Innovation

Compassionate Capitalism occurs when people invest their expertise, time, money and resources into entrepreneurial endeavors to bring innovation to the market, create jobs and create wealth.  It is only when start up companies get to market and become successful, growing into thriving profitable business do we get sustained economic growth. There are so many programs to help entrepreneurs become successful, so why is starting a business so hard and why do so many fail?

Karen, known inside IBM as “the Deal Maker”, left IBM in 2001 to catch the wave of a terrific start up and began her REAL education on the venture capital formation market. Launched Kugarand Capital Holdings in August of 2001 initially as a finder for Venture Capital firms. Kugarand Capital Holdings evolved into a full service provider for start up and early stage companies seeking angel investors and venture capital that may come in the way of debt or equity. We do this through these key initiatives: Capital Mastery Program to equip entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to raise a seed round and to manage the capital formation process successfully; Capital Strategy and Formation Services, and Investment Banking Services.  The brand that most of these services are provided through is the Launch Funding Network, or LAUNCHfn. Entrepreneurs seeking to learn more and to arrange for an initial consultation can go to

404-306-1240  |  | |  @karen_rands


Greta Jaeger, President   |  Coaching Your Dreams, Inc.

Greta holds a M.S. from Georgia State in Professional Counseling and a B.A in Psychology from University of California at Davis. Greta is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Personal Life Coach. Prior to developing Breakthrough Now, Inc, Greta proudly held a position as a board member of the Licensed Professional Counseling Association.  She was also a board member for Estro-Fest Productions, producer of the Seen + Heard Arts Festival. She is a recognized keynote speaker, trainer, life coach, therapist, and mentor. Greta strongly believes in maintaining life balance as a life coach, therapist, friend, daughter and fellow human being. She recognizes her own humanity and cherishes it in others. Greta’s understanding and compassion for people, coupled with her extensive education and experience help make her magnificent in her chosen profession.  She works with men and women in their mid-life crisis and military veterans as a life coach and a mental health therapist. She helps them break through the barriers that have blocked them from a happier life and a life in flow.


404-259-1335  |  | |  @Coach_Greta



Executive Series: Mark Kaplan, Chairman of Great Wraps

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Mark Kaplan, Chairman  |  Great Wraps

How to Assess Franchise Opportunities

With all the business opportunities out there, franchising remains the best path to owning your own business. But you really need to understand how to assess the opportunity, or you might wind up working for the Franchisor instead of yourself. I’m happy to help you do that.

Mark Kaplan has a BS in Finance from The Wharton School, and an MBA from NYU in Strategic Marketing. After a short stint in Banking on Wall Street, he started his Marketing Career at Colgate Palmolive as the Assistant Brand Manager on Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid. He then joined Nabisco Brands, as the Brand Manager on Baby Ruth Candy Bars, and was later promoted to Senior Brand Manager on Wheat Thins Crackers. He then joined The Coca Cola Company here in Atlanta as the Senior Brand Manager on Sprite and Diet Sprite. During Mark’s tenure on the Brand, Sprite overtook 7UP as the #1 Lemon Lime in the Country. In 1989, Mark and his partner acquired Gyro Wrap, and set out to develop this small, local food concept into a national franchised-chain of Hot Wrapped Sandwiches. They renamed the Brand “Great Wraps” in the mid 90’s, expanded the Concept to offer a variety of tasty/healthy Wrapped Sandwiches, and are approaching their 80th store. Great Wraps has recently developed the most cutting-edge, “greenest” cooking platform in the industry that enables them to serve their Hot Wrapped Sandwiches, Cheesesteaks, Fries and Full Breakfast with no grill, no frying and no hood. This proprietary operation results in even tastier, hot food…..but is now far less caloric and fattening than competition. This superior operation now enables Great Wraps to expand from the Shopping Mall sector to capitalize on smaller spaces in the College, Airport and Military sectors. The future is indeed bright for Great Wraps!

404-248-9900 X15  |  |

The Benefits of Outsourcing HR and Payroll

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Layne Davlin, Founder & CEO  |  Einstein HR

Running a Business Has Never Been Harder

Most business owners never went into business to deal with payroll, benefits, workers’ compensation and HR issues. They go into business to follow that passion for what they do or make. Well, you get the drama and regulations too, even if you don’t want them. Outsource the non-produce things that don’t make you money, focus on the one’s that do! Outsourcing the non-productive tasks greatly benefits the Employer thru increased focus on revenue producing activities, expansion and growth! Allows them to hire more employees and sell more product or services.  |  770-962-1700 x 9101  |


Cliff Gibson, President  |  Proactive Payroll

Demands on Employers:  IRS and State Agency Regulatory

Federal and State Agency Regulatory Demands on Employers and how outsourcing payroll and HR can protect Employers from costly penalties and fines. Competitive advantages outsourcing offers to small business employers in hiring and retaining top talent. The threats by the national payroll/HR services providers to the industries of insurance, retirement planning professionals, banking and accounting.  |  404.431.0031  |


Branding… A 5,000 Year History

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Mark Speece, CEO  |  800 Degrees

Branding… A 5,000 Year History

Brands have existed for over 5,000 years. A lot has changed… yet, the fundamentals of branding remain largely the same. How are the best companies building brands today – in the face of an every changing set of customers, competition and communications tools?

Backed by 17 years of business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing experience, Mark Speece is 800 Degrees’ Naming Director. His expertise in name and tagline development has been used by some of the world’s best-known branding firms.  Prior to founding the Atlanta-based brand consultancy with Natalie Ross, Mark was responsible for verbal branding practices at FutureBrand and Landor New York, as well as corporate branding for The Sterling Group.  Historically, Mark has managed large-scale programs including global repositioning and brand architecture development, as well as directed numerous naming and renaming assignments for clients such as Boston Scientific, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, DuPont, J&J, Microsoft, Motorola, Proctor & Gamble, SunTrust, Turner Broadcasting and Visa.A noted industry expert who develops and manages brands that inspire, endure and create measurable marketplace advantage, Mark is an adjunct instructor at Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business and a guest lecturer at the University of Virginia.  His branding insights have been reported by media outlets including Ad Age, Brandweek, BusinessWeek, CNBC, USA Today, Automotive News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

404.636.4673  |  |  |  @MarkSpeece


Scarlett Gordon, Area Director | N2 Publishing

Graduate of University of GA, BBA.Realtor with Re/Max Greater Atlanta for 15 years prior to joining N2 Publishing in 2010.  Scarlett will discuss how N2 Publishing grew to be America’s leading provider of specialty publications in just 7 years.

404-512-6493  |  |

Angel Investors and Business Growth

Glenn Bachman, President |  Bachman International

Angel Investor Series:  Getting Your Technology Start-up Funded

Glenn Bachman is an entrepreneur and angel investor for Atlanta based technology companies. Glenn has held senior management and board member positions with venture capital backed and self-funded businesses including one NASDAQ IPO. Glenn is a native Atlantan and earned his MBA from the College of William & Mary.

404-668-9448  |


Jennifer Bull, CEO  |  Spark Ideas

Get inside the minds of your employees to sustain and grow your business

People ask about how a business’s numbers look all the time. Equal emphasis should be placed on employees – the people behind the numbers. Employees are the people who do the work, and leadership needs them to be operating at their best in order to meet the challenges of an increasing complex and constantly changing global marketplace.

Jennifer Bull is the CEO of Spark Ideas, an internal communications company that helps national and global organizations understand the connections between corporate culture, employee engagement and business results.
Spark works and performs research with national and global well-known brands, including Harley Davidson, UPS, IHG, GE, Medtronic, Keller Williams and Acura.
CEO Jennifer Bull offers an insightful and unique perspective on culture transformation based on her leadership experience in the corporate world of UPS and then as president of an internal communications company. Her past experiences include working with other big brands, such as Coke Refreshments, Embassy Suites and Chick-fil-A.
At UPS, she was an internal lead who helped launch the new UPS brand in 2001 (the largest corporate rebranding in history at that time) and helped launch the brand’s sustainability platform, which is still in action today.

404-983-1930  |