Success Story: Idaho
The Idaho SBDC’s Business Accelerator in Nampa, Idaho recently celebrated the graduation of one of it’s residents: Idaho Recognition, a locally owned and operated business that markets recognition products and provides graduation and spirit needs and school rings throughout the Pacific Northwest.
The company has grown from two accounts to almost 50, with two full-time and five part-time employees. The growth in sales, along with the sale of its photography business, has allowed the company the opportunity to build its own office building.
Jake Lee, Idaho Recognition’s founder, started with the Idaho SBDC Business Accelerator in June of 2013. He had a vision to grow his business and needed a location to train employees as he was adding product lines and finding new markets.
Being housed at the accelerator, Jake received those resources as well as valuable advice and mentoring from in-house SBDC coaches that had real-life business experience. He also found a community in the other residents; calling on their expertise when needed.
Jake states, “I’m convinced that managing a business is an art, not a profession. It takes continual practice, constant personal growth, and steady innovation. The weekly mentorship at the Nampa Business Accelerator is a huge part of our success.”
Will Fowler, the Entrepreneur Initiatives Manager of the SBDC remembers Jake starting at the Business Accelerator. “When Jake started he was trying to break out of a service-based business model and move towards a product driven model. While he still has a lot of work to do to keep growing his business, we’re happy to have seen him make that difficult shift successfully.”