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Three amazing small business innovators

Small business innovators that make the biggest impact are not usually revolutionaries or inventors, rather they evolve current ideas. Here are three admirable small business innovators and how they have achieved their growth.

Changing the world

High visibility innovators have revolutionary ideas and are changing our world. Apple. Intel. Microsoft. Google. Amazon. These companies have ground breaking, big ideas that shake the status quo, turn their leaders into global icons and grow into hundred billion dollar valuations. These huge innovations are risky and expensive – and when they work they have enormous returns. But…

Often times, the most successful small business innovators aren’t revolutionary concepts or technologies – they are companies that evolve current ideas. It is easier to manage risk and cost in these environments. As an investor, I look for companies applying proven ideas in new ways, or opportunities where small improvements in service and efficiency can steal market share. Below are three of my current favorite high-growth innovators:

Have to Have

HaveToHave.com/

In-store retail has been around for millenniums and online retail is a significant and important part of our culture. Social media and sharing has been established as a game changer with huge momentum. Mobile has blurred the lines between online and offline. Have to Have is the first company to develop a platform that seamlessly blends all of the above to create a universal shopping experience whenever, wherever you are. Their online and mobile applications allow users to share, register save money and buy their favorite items without having to conform to conventional boundaries. Additionally, Have to Have provides a powerful platform for retailers and brands to reach their best customers (with information, discounts and more).

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No need to reinvent shopping and sharing – just combine them and make them better!

Maine Mead Works

MaineMeadWorks.com

Mead (a delicious alcoholic beverage made from honey) is the world’s oldest fermented beverage. During medieval times honey became expensive, and consumption shifted from the masses to only the very elite. While mead remained “the drink of kings,” this trend halted innovation and relevance of the product for more than five hundred years. In the late twentieth century, mead made a resurgence and now has a growing following with a new batch of enthusiasts.

Maine Mead Works capitalized on this trend and launched its HoneyMaker brand of meads. Instead of working with old styles and technologies, MMW utilizes a totally new fermentation process along with creative aging and flavoring methodologies. Add in that they use 100% all natural and locally sourced honey (actually for all of their ingredients) and you have a socially conscious company making a great product for loyal fans. It simply tastes better than other meads – and holds it own against any of your favorites too.

No need to invent a new alcohol – just made the world’s oldest existing one much better!

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myFootpath

myFootpath.com

Education is one of the most important social and economic issues of our time. It has also become a large and growing industry. MyFootpath capitalizes on both as they help people navigate life’s “footpath” from high school, maybe on to college, through a career, maybe graduate school, and from ordinary to life-changing experiences. Their goal is to provide thoughts, advice and experience on how best to find this footpath and to navigate all the twists and turns in one’s journey.

myFootpath’s innovation is bringing true consultation and exceptional service to the relatively new education industry, an industry where most competitors seem to just be treating people like numbers. MyFootpath advisors (yes real live people), along with leading edge technology, help students and people with careers develop a more satisfying and success life. They are making a real difference.

Additionally, the company works closely with colleges and schools to manage risk and enrollments, with specific focus on new federal legislation as well as career services, finances and more. This close relationship with traditional and non-traditional institutions of higher learning allows myFootpath to continually evolve their service and set the customer experience bar higher and higher.

No need to create a new pathway for people – just help them find their own in a better way.

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Just do it.

If you believe you have a world-changing idea, go for it. Be prepared to take big risks, raise huge amounts of capital and bring on a very smart team to help you lead. If you want to attack an industry you love with evolutionary (verses revolutionary) improvements to the business model and customer experience, then you think like me. And who knows, perhaps Morgan Investments can help you with tactics and strategy, and even finance your venture too!

Written By

Hoyt David Morgan is an entrepreneur, angel investor and business strategy leader. He is an investor and/or adviser to a handful of exciting and high growth companies, and has been a part of several high-value exits. He is passionate about customer experience, smart business and helping innovative companies grow... and sailing.

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