In 2020 the Edward Lowe Foundation launched the American Academy of Entrepreneurs® (AAE), a mentoring program for second-stage business owners (those with about 10 to 99 employees and $1 million to $50 million in annual revenue). AAE pairs seasoned second-stage entrepreneurs with business owners who are in earlier phases of second stage. The program gives participants an opportunity to give back, learn from other leaders, and grow their networks and businesses.
ITinspired’s own Rob Wise was paired with Zach Raley, founder of Utiliserve LLC, a utility asset management provider based in Bossier City, Louisiana. The two entrepreneurs credit AAE not only for expanding their network but also igniting a strong friendship.
“The program and process were very well put together,” Wise said. “The foundation equipped us with tools and techniques to use in our one-on-one sessions. Yet they also gave us autonomy and the flexibility we needed to tweak the structure and still come out successful.”