Founders Bootcamp Alumni Spotlight- Joi Unlimited (S17-FBGB)

Bridging the Community Crisis/Healing Gap

Joi Unlimited, a Minnesota-based coaching and consultation firm is transforming to lead the way in crisis mediation and conflict management for colleges and communities. The company is scaling to provide unique solutions for guiding clients through overcoming social peril to  the path to collaborative problem solving, as an outcome of CEO’s graduation from Founders Business Growth Bootcamp, Spring 2017 cohort.

In 2014, Founder & CEO Dr. Joi Lewis caught wind of the publicly released information about the challenges many communities dealt with in regards to their interactions and relationships with the local police departments, government, and other city officials.  Soon after, news broke out about the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.  For those not familiar with the event, Mike Brown was a suspect of a convenience store robbery on August 9, 2014.  Policeman Darren Wilson received a suspect description over radio dispatch and encountered Brown a short distance away from the convenience store, which later resulted in a fatal shot that killed Brown.  The reason for widespread uproar was due to controversy as to whether Brown was unarmed and compliant towards Officer Wilson, which led to accusations of police agencies’ use of racial profiling and criticism of their standards and procedures.

Dr. Joi noticed a lack of healing circles and coaching programs between communities and their city leaders to cope cohesively with traumatic events that initiates public debate about social and racial injustices.  Therefore, Joi Unlimited set upon a mission to bridge that gap and serve the needs of those communities, especially whose residents are people of color and prefer seeking a safe space outside of the police and government agencies, in order to resolve their conflict.


Growing from version 1.0 to 2.0: From Solopreneur to Small Business Owner/Team Leader

Prior to attending the Founders Business Growth Bootcamp, Dr. Joi and her healing team had been in business for about 3 years. Although their business idea had grown due to tense social climate, the company faced one major challenge: meeting the demands of a growing market.  Similar to a hamster on its running wheel, Joi Unlimited was a business driven by consumer demand, but struggled to keep up with it.

Initially, Dr. Joi joined the Founders Business Growth Bootcamp to learn how to effectively evaluate the financial statements in preparation for request in funding in the near future. However, the time spent with her mentors and the Founders team taught her that there was more to growing her company than seeking funds.

Under the guidance of Founders Business Growth Bootcamp, Joi Unlimited gained insights on how to transition from an operator to an owner of a sustainable business that can cater to the ever-growing needs of numerous communities by team expansion and supervision. Its biggest internal change was creating a pre-engagement process with a duration of three months for potential partners.  This enabled Joi Unlimited to see if a prospect was a good fit for her vision of her expanded company, as well as making Dr. Joi’s implementation as team supervisor much smoother than expected.

“It can be difficult and challenging to do things by yourself, but it can also be difficult and challenging to expand.  Getting that help along the way from them [Founders Business Growth Bootcamp] was very helpful, especially at times when the journey was interrupted by road blocks.”

-Dr. Joi Lewis

After completing the program, implementing new processes, and updating their business model to meet the demands of a growing market, Joi Unlimited has seen tremendous company growth as indicated by the formations of more partnerships and brought onboard two team members.


From Hamster to Zebra
The company’s ultimate goal is to become the “zebra” business in the crisis conflict and change management industry, which means dominating its niche market and strive to be the “FEMA” for people in all communities and collegiate in crisis situations to provide access to certified professional resources and healing, either in person with a coach or through online video sessions. Dr. Joi expects to deliver Joi Unlimited’s services to not only more communities within the United States, but also reach out across international waters.  In this day and age of technology, there is no limit for accessibility of Joi Unlimited if one ever needs help in his/her crises.

“Build a community of peers who are also looking to build their growth, so you’re not doing it by yourself in isolation”.

-Dr. Joi Lewis

Founders Bootcamp Alumni Spotlight- OneStopPaleoShop (S16-FBGB)

OneStopPaleoShop, a California-based company that specializes in providing select Paleo food products, graduated from the Founders First Business Growth Bootcamp in Spring 2016.

In 2014, CEO Chris Deon experienced a sudden loss of a family member, due to cancer.  Shortly after, he discovered that people suffering from autoimmune diseases were not able to find reliable dietary information. This manifested the motto, “Food is Medicine,” the core belief of OneStopPaleoShop. Like many individuals and families affected by cancer, Chris was devastated by the unbalanced and high-sugar diets people were eating and devoted himself to create a business that provides online access to meal plans and nutrition guidelines.

Prior to attending the Bootcamp, Chris and his management team had been in business for over five years. Although their business idea had grown, the company faced two major challenges: unclear vision of its “ideal customer profile” and minimal online presence.

Initially, Chris joined the Bootcamp to learn about alternative ways for raising capital. However, the time spent with his mentors and the Founders team taught him that there was more to growing his company than simply seeking funds.

Under the guidance of Founders First Growth Bootcamp, OneStopPaleoShop decided to shift their go-to-market strategy to tailoring its products to fit the needs of the at-risk population. Their biggest internal change was creating a new sustainable business model focused on market needs and appropriate product pricing.

“The most striking insight I gained from the Bootcamp modules was the proper [sales] strategy course with regards to our customer acquisition and relationships. We were taught how to challenge, educate and guide our consumers’ decisions in such a way that builds mutual trust, confidence, and strong relationships.”
– Chris Deon

After completing the program, implementing new strategies, and updating their business plan to outline recurring revenue streams, OneStopPaleoShop has seen tremendous company growth as indicated by a 50% revenue increase. In addition to growing their revenue, OneStopPaleoShop has formed more partnerships and brought onboard new team members, which made a new warehouse opening in Pasadena, CA into reality.

Future Expansions of OneStopPaleoShop:  

The company’s end goal is to become the leading location for all internet and personal searches related to the Paleo diet and autoimmune disease protocols. Chris expects his company will quadruple their revenue by the end of 2017. Looking ahead, OneStopPaleoShop plans to form new strategic alliances with additional community leaders who share a similar vision and passion for their niche market. During this year, Chris announced a new partnership with the Jan Reissman organization and hopes to expand their network to other leading medical associations and local development organizations.

New additions to their website include the customer VIP program and new reward points system, both of which will continue to be a focal point for the company. Currently, OneStopPaleoShop is producing $750K in revenue but expects to reach a cash flow of $6M with a future goal of $25M in the upcoming years.


“Make your finance team your profit team, not your cost center”.
-Chris Deon

After undergoing the Bootcamp, Chris and his team developed an understanding of how minor alterations in processes and certain product/services, based on trends, can lead a path for continuation of revenue. Before, they would only view and accept the company’s finances as is, but didn’t identify the challenge point of transition from static profit to exponential profit. Now, they conduct customer surveys and implement tracking systems to gain a better insight on the influential trends, as well as maintaining a more catered relationship with the customers.

We’re looking to you to give others the opportunity to expand their businesses and receive the guidance you were provided by our mentors and program. Our goal is to assist small businesses with revenues of at least $250k with a strong desire to grow, especially those founded by women, minorities, and military veterans.