?Ethos Mentor provides entrepreneurs with affordable one on one mentoring, business coaching and capital raising services so they can launch and grow their businesses. We help business owners at every stage, from how to start a business, start-up and growth stage, to established firms seeking large capital funding and expansion. Ethos Mentor, located in Portland, Oregon, offers a very unique value proposition for aspiring entrepreneurs as well as successful business owners. To our knowledge there hasn't been any organization, group or business that provided one on one mentoring, business coaching and raising capital services, at an affordable flat fee, until now. The team at Ethos Mentor helps business owners regardless of what industry or stage of growth they are at, including concept and seed stage businesses along with complete start-ups. A New Concept Born Out of Necessity. While starting and growing my own businesses I found myself in many situations where I needed objective third party advice and found that there wasn't a company that could take me through the process of starting and growing my business from point A to point B to point C and so on. Most people find something even as simple as traditional bank or Small Business Administration (SBA) financing can be confusing if they've never applied for a loan before. Who IS the SBA anyway? Where are they located? Are they a lender? In addition I found a lot of "too good to be true" websites full of big promises but bad reputations. I felt confused, frustrated and lost. What began as an exciting adventure was rapidly turning into an expensive nightmare. Instead of focusing on what I was good at and bringing my vision to fruition, I was burning the midnight oil trying to learn about every aspect of how to start a business and being an entrepreneur. More often than not the information I received was contradictory and came from someone trying to sell me something making me skeptical and more confused than ever. The People and Companies That Prey on Entrepreneurs. Small business entrepreneurs desperate for help and in need of financing will soon discover there's no shortage of predators to be victimized by. For example, as soon as you post online on a capital raising site the feeding frenzy starts. You'll be electronically attacked by swarms of unlicensed middlemen willing to find you money for a "small" monthly stipend ranging from $500 to a whopping $10,000! When I mentioned that it would seem more fair to pay them a commission (even twice the amount they wanted initially) once money was actually raised I never heard from them again. Just the day before they were so excited about my deal and supposedly already had the investors all lined up. I was born at night, just not last night. The first warning sign came when I could never get a straight answer to a simple question; please show me proof that you've raised capital for someone directly because of your efforts. I asked to speak to a couple of clients who they raised money for in the past. You think they'd be motivated to promote their successes publically, like real funding groups, to capture new business. Later, I had an attorney explain to me that if any person or company received compensation for raising capital they had to be registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) or what they were doing was ILLEGAL and I, the business owner, could be held liable for their actions too. Another favorite is business credit building services guaranteeing huge sums of money if you just spend $4250 to learn their "secrets". They were so accommodating that they even had a monthly payment program too. I called one such company for the second time to ask the sales representative a few more questions only to find that their phone was disconnected. Wow. This recession must be real tough since their website said they've been in business ten years. Then the thought occurred to me, their own tried and true "secret" techniques must not have been very effective or they would still be in business! Many entrepreneurs sign up for business plan posting websites supposedly full of anxious investors ready to write them a check, from 2000 miles away none the less, and to their initial surprise they're contacted right away, not by just one but several investors, extremely pumped up about their business concept and clamoring to invest. The money's in sight, almost in your hands, they promise, just as soon as you send them $8500 for a "commitment fee". Yeah right. And to think you only have to pay $99 a month for a "Premium Listing" on a business plan posting website, for several other "quality" offers just like it! Traps Set to Snare the Uninformed. From attorneys charging $1500 to incorporate a business, investment banking advisors who state that you also need a $15,000 Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) before any financier will even seriously look at your project. Executive business coaching that is available for a paltry $1000 a day (with a 3 day minimum), loan brokers who want $850 upfront to "package" a loan request, and I saved the best for last…. the grant finding services. For a hefty fee they'll search the same databases that you could for free except they'll do it for you. And within a matter of days they'll find you a "special grant program" that supposedly only they have access to. All you had to do is pay up to a $6,000 fee upfront and the grant money is yours for the taking! Free money! You don't have to pay it back either! You're already daydreaming thinking about the beautiful office you're going to rent and luxuriously furnish with all that free government money. Bad news, at the last minute they forgot to mention the 120 page 40 section business plan and written grant proposal I was supposed to already of had and the cutoff date was 3 days away. But wait, good news, they have just found a better grant program but you have to pay another $1,000 for "processing". Wash, rinse, repeat. I've heard stories, first hand, of entrepreneurs who kept falling for this over and over to the tune of $20,000 or more lost, down the drain. More Scared and Confused than Ever? You're not alone. A great number of entrepreneurs end up mislead, abused and broke. They end up giving up on their dreams before they even "get into the game" because of these types of tactics. Everything described above has happened to almost all entrepreneurs at one time or another, including me. Some entrepreneurs quit before they ever get started; they were never entrepreneurs to begin with. Others try their whole lives, never make it big but had a blast going for it and would do it all over again. Others get lucky and hit a home run during their first or second time at bat. You simply never know till you try, and luck and timing play a larger role than you can ever imagine. Most entrepreneurs are burdened with too many questions and often given only expensive and ineffective answers. More often than not, each answer is tied to a price tag that few can afford during the beginning stages of their business. From the Ashes a Solution Blooms. My idea for Ethos Mentor was born from an altruistic desire to make sure entrepreneurs don't repeat the same mistakes I did. Some of those mistakes and experiences are outlined above. I created Ethos Mentor to help other entrepreneurs benefit from my staff's and my lessons learned and, fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams at a price point anyone can afford. Ethos Mentor- Gain knowledge, Gain capital. Attain your dream. My name is Ellisa Brenneman and I'm the president/owner of Ethos Mentor. Over time I recognized that what entrepreneurs really needed was a "one stop shop" that offered all the services an entrepreneur needs under one roof. The core of the concept is that each client is paired with their own personal Mentor to coach, motivate and guide them through the entrepreneurial process. Many companies offer ad hoc services but no one tied them altogether into a cohesive affordable program. Ethos Mentor can help the first time entrepreneur offering advice and sharing knowledge about how to start a business, by holding their hand through the start-up process from laying the ground work all the way to funding. The grizzled, battle hardened serial entrepreneur can benefit from objective advice from a Mentor that's stood in their shoes many times before, unlimited angel/private investor leads, warm venture capital introductions and even direct public offerings of the shares of their company. Your Mentor is always there to help you step by step, provide objectivity, share experiences, be your ally, advocate on your behalf, listen to your needs and offer real world guidance in a motivational manner. Visit for additional information about our services. About the Author: Ellisa Brenneman started her career, after receiving her Bachelor Degree from the University of British Columbia. She has worked with the Canadian government merging academic rigor and business savvy to produce and disseminate research findings and has been published multiple times in scientific journals for her research findings. A born entrepreneur; her zeal for entrepreneurism soon took hold. She's started green businesses and has vast experience managing public, media and investor relations for small-cap public companies. Currently Ellisa also manages a cleantech emerging market equities portfolio. Ellisa is the owner of Ethos Mentor and Ethos 360. Ethos Mentor provides entrepreneurs with affordable one on one mentoring, business coaching and capital raising services so they can launch and grow their businesses. Ethos 360 is a public and investor relations firm specializing in cleantech and green businesses with an emphasis in start-up and early stage endeavors. Visit or for additional information or to schedule a free consultation.
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