For the second straight year, entrepreneurs and investors came together foradVentures Academy,an investment summit that helps build skills that can be applied to growing young businesses.

adVentures AcademyIntended to address the frustration of growing companies hitting the same “bumps and bruises,” Alissa Sears, co-founder of adVentures Academy and vice president of growth and strategy at Chrstie & Co, says she wanted to help entrepreneurs not only achieve their growth goals and learn how to maintain their company’s value, but also to learn how to work together and “differently.”

“A lot of times at summits, people are at a boardroom or in a conference room and they're pretty buttoned up and not getting to the heart of the challenges they are facing or what type of resources they need to grow,” states Sears. “So, how do we do this differently? The natural and outdoor industries both were founded byadVentures Academypeople who did things differently. Why shouldn’t the growth process be the same way?”

For four straight days, 22 participants (chosen by a team of experts) were taken on a backcountry trip in Colorado in April of this year. Investors, industry experts and entrepreneurs worked together and tied the course into a business growth strategy.

adVentures Academy, Peter Spenuzza, Rise barFor Peter Spenuzza, founder and CEO of Rise Bar, joining adVentures Academy was an easy decision because of  the individuals slated to attend and the growth he felt he could obtain for his business.

“I didn’t have a concrete sense of how I wanted to raise capital or what the key steps entailed,” stated Spenuzza. “I also felt like I possibly undervalued my business beforehand. Moreover, anytime I previously spoke with investors and advisors, I never truly knew if there was an ulterior motive or agenda.” In contrast, he pulled together honest feedback and advice through the adVentures Academy experience.

Since the participants were outside of their comfort zones, Spenuzza believes it created an open and vulnerable environment for trust and camaraderie.

"From a business perspective, I received countless amounts of advice and input as to how IadVentures Academyshould structure my business for growth, along with a longer-term plan that I am truly excited about,” said Spenuzza. “As an entrepreneur, you must take time to see the forest for the trees and it makes a huge difference when you have feedback from people who have already been there and seen it a few times."

The next course will be held in the Channel Islands off the coast of California in the fall. Additional information will be available on theadVentures website.
Published On WholeFoods Magazine Online, 5/12/2016