Alissa Sears

There are a LOT of values-based and mission-driven companies in the outdoor, snowsports, endurance, cycling, health and wellness, fitness and travel markets. Being able to use our companies as vehicles for positive change is one of the biggest reasons we choose to launch businesses in these markets.

But launching is one thing. Growing is quite another. In fact, I’d venture to say that nothing makes founders recoil faster than making the association between accessing capital for growth and compromising their values.

As values-based business owners we’ve got a clear vision around how we want to make an impact with our companies. And going forward, that will stay in tact through the funding cycle if Alissa Sears has anything to say about it.

Alissa, along with Ted Ning, a leader in the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) marketplace and Luis Benitez, founder of Endeavor Consulting and also the newly-appointed director of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office for the State of Colorado, launched the AdVenturesAcademy.

The organization’s goal is to “harness the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship to revolutionize how to grow truly great, resilient companies committed to building a better world.”

Alissa is my guest today on the Intrepid Entrepreneur podcast. We talk about the inception and growth of AdventuresAcademy as a vehicle to evolve venture capital to work more effectively with mission-driven businesses.

With the advent of the sharing economy, peer-to-peer reviews and the Internet effectively providing a higher level of transparency than ever before, mission-driven companies are growing quickly. In fact, Alissa points to the growth needs of values-based companies being driven by a growing contingency of values-focused consumers.

With more options available to the buyer than ever, consumers will continue to gravitate more and more toward supporting the businesses and brands that align with their values. The companies with strong values who are able to convey that story to their consumers, with authenticity, will win.

Alissa also shares the vision behind the forthcoming “Colorado Backcountry Investment Camp,” taking place in Colorado in April of this year. AdVenturesAcademy’s event brings together select entrepreneurs and investors in a backcountry environment to learn survival, team building, leadership, and innovation skills together. Sears says that hosting the event in the backcountry is very intentional, as experiences learned together are highly relevant in outdoors and in business. And, she added, nothing brings out more of a person’s true personality than working as part of a team in the backcountry.

I couldn’t agree more. …

What Alissa, Ted and Luis are spearheading in AdVenturesAcademy is disruptive and the timing is fantastic. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Alissa Sears on this important episode of the Intrepid Entrepreneur!


Winning the Game of Digital Direct Content Marketing

Date: Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 3:00 PM MST

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Bravery in Business Quote

“None of us know everything, so let’s just be open and honest, and learn from each other.” – Alissa Sears

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The Cliff Notes

  • Accessing capital that is united with your vision can be very difficult
  • The VC world can pit people against each other. It is important to have a platform that brings people together
  • It can be terrifying for mission-driven companies to hand over control to venture capitalists
  • Values are becoming more and more important in the investment process – because consumers are starting to really support companies that are aligned with their values
  • When it comes to investors, the skills of the investor can be just as valuable as their money – and should be taken into heavy consideration when raising capital
  • Because consumers drive so much today, putting values first is actually just good business
  • When a business puts values first, and have a deep mission that is effectively communicated through their story, consumer engagement will soar
  • Consumers crave realness and honesty in business that they deal with

“Build businesses that build a better world.” – Alissa Sears

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Habit for Success

Put your values and mission first. Not only is this the right thing to do, as business becomes more and more transparent, it just makes good business sense.




LOHAS: Life of Health and Sustainability

Outdoor Recreation Industry Office for the State of Colorado

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