Participants in the Collegiate Camp CEO-Saluki Operation Bootstrap are full of innovative ideas for the respective businesses.
Throughout the week-long camp that will help those ideas develop, campers are exposed to experienced entrepreneurs who know what it's like to be at the starting point of entrepreneurship.
Dan and Dave Chancellor are one of the success stories of the Small Business Development Center.
They started So Ill Holds, a company that develops holds for rock climbers, about eight years ago in a barn on their property in De Soto.
In their eight years of business, they have worked to develop a brand recognizable to rock climbers around the world. In January they plan to open a one-of-a-kind climbing gym in St. Louis.
The Chancellor brothers spent time presenting and answering questions with participants of the camp on Wednesday because they know what it's like to be starting out. Dave Chancellor said they, too, participated in business planning competitions and grant competitions years ago. He said it helped get them connected with resources and helped them write their first business plan.
"It's such a challenge, you don't where to turn when you're starting up," Dave Chancellor said. "Thank goodness for the internet and Wikipedia. Beyond that you need face-to-face time with people who have been there and can actually answer your questions. That's where this resource is priceless."
Dan Chancellor said when first starting out, he didn't realize how long it would take for the company to get a foothold in the industry. He said starting out will likely be a long process unless you have a brand new product that takes off in the market immediately. He said meeting the right people and the right manufacturer can be a 10 year program.
In developing their ideas from a concept to a functioning business, the Chancellors told participants to find a mentor who can help guide their business, start small and put together a team of people who share their passion.
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