the100, inc. offers CEOs, Presidents, owners and executives valuable networking opportunities and unique leadership dialogue through a limited Membership, non-profit business organization.
Problem Worth Solving
Business leaders tell me that they “need to get out there more”. They struggle to find time for networking and development. They don’t necessarily need to meet more people; they just need to meet the right people. They need to know the owners of companies that provide products and services necessary to own, operate and grow their business. They need to continually sharpen their leadership skills, but they don’t necessarily want to commit to a strict educational schedule. Their time is valuable and they need networking or social outings to have a great potential for return or collaboration.
the100, inc. provides a platform to; promote your business directly to other business owners (the decision-makers); support local entrepreneurs; celebrate the success of fellow job-creators; find commonality with and learn from other experienced business leaders, with no mandatory participation and a minimal investment.
Our Target Market
Our target Member is the private business owner with 5+ years in operation; a desire to grow the organization; a reputation for integrity, humility and good business practices; based and operate within 60 miles of Fargo, ND.
The Competition / Collaborator
Our primary competition for Membership is from other business groups and organizations. Many of them...
- focus on advocacy and public policy - the100, inc. does not
- are dominated by management, sales and/or “non-owner” personnel - the100, inc. is not
- require meeting attendance and “lead-gathering” or referrals brought in - the100, inc. does not
- focus strictly and intensely on leadership development in a structured format - the100, inc. does not
- have a large financial investment and time requirement - the100, inc. does not
- allow Membership from nearly all applicants - the100,inc. does not
- do not have a full-time Member liaison - the100, inc. does
the100, inc. is working to build collaborative relationships with the Fargo-Moorhead area business organizations and non-profits. We offer a certain number of complimentary Memberships to other business-related groups.
Membership sales: The majority of original Members came from relationships and connections from a previous position of the Founder, Kurt McSparron. New Members since, have come by referral from other Members, word-of-mouth, attendance at our Executive Events and from our website. Membership is currently limited to a total of 210 ( the100, theAg100 and Associate Members), therefore, sales channels for Membership are limited as well.
Executive Events sales: Our monthly Executive Events series is marketed to all business owners in the Fargo Moorhead area. Our primary sales tools are; Mailchimp email @ 950 contacts; Fargo Inc! business magazine @ 8000 mailings and social media targeting through Facebook and LinkedIn.
We reach our Members daily through our website (the100.work), a private Facebook group, and our Founder’s open calendar (where Members are encouraged to make appts, schedule calls, meetings etc).
We connect weekly with a Wednesday Member Lunch (generally at a Member-owned restaurant).
Monthly, we host a high-level Q/A discussion at our Executive Events series. These are luncheon or breakfast sessions, where a 3-5 person panel of Members lead a topic discussion with an average of 40 area business owners in attendance.
On a quarterly basis, we invite our Members + spouses and employees to a “no-agenda” Member Social hosted by one of our Members at their location.
- Members invests $1/day for 365 days of Membership
- Gold Members invest $2,500 for 10 years of Membership + Sponsorship benefits
- Executive Event tickets are $50 non-Members and $30 Members
- the100, inc. was formed on August 15, 2015 with Member #1
- officially launched on January 1, 2016 with 70 Members
- Member #100 was added on May 31, 2016
- we’ve enjoyed an 80+% renewal rate in our first year of Membership renewals
- the Ag100 was added in the fall of 2016 and currently has 25 Members (seats filled by the fall of 2017)
- we celebrated 1 year of our Executive Events series in April of 2017 (attendance at these events has been as high as 95 and as low as 25, with an average around 40 per event)
Team and Key Roles
- Kurt McSparron | founder and president
- Advisory Board
- Todd Fisher | business equipment and finance
- Barry Dresser | marketing
- Josh Christy | technology
- Mark Giddings | accounting
- Guy Nelson | manufacturing
- Deb Jaeger | business services
- Cindy Cole | communications
- Jodee Bock | coaching and development
Jim Buus | real estate
Harlan Goerger | coaching
Aaron McWilliams | manufacturing
Partners and Resources (Member contributions)
- Fargo Inc! | promotional sponsor
- Yarn Media | video production
- My Professional Concierge | hosting services
- Custom Graphics | signage
- UPS Store | printing
- Avalon Events Center | discount facility