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Entrepreneurs Get Help From Nelson Mullins Team

Dwayne Brown’s dream of developing an innovative system designed to more accurately measure human running speed has become more than a dream thanks to the efforts of Nelson Mullins attorneys working through the Atlanta Urban League.

Ray Abram’s NearbyThis, an Internet coupon delivery site, also might see the light of Cyberspace one day because of the assistance he received from Billy Ching, Keri Chayavadhanangkur, and Ron Thomas through the league’s Entrepreneurship Center.

Billy ChingThe program works with private, public, and nonprofit resources to build strong, sustainable, and successful minority businesses. The Entrepreneurship Center assesses the needs and capabilities of minority business owners in the Atlanta area. Then those aspiring or current business owners are linked with resources, classes, training, and counseling that will help them grow to the next level of success.

“I can’t think of a better way to reach out to the community and help the underserved than through this program,” Mr. Ching said. “We are giving them information in an understandable way on a number of business and legal issues that they otherwise couldn’t afford. And in the end, we are also helping them launch their programs by connecting them with potential investors.”

Keri ChayavadhanangkurIn recognition of the Firm’s outstanding support of the Entrepreneurship Center, the Atlanta Urban League has bestowed on Nelson Mullins a Program Service Award. “Nelson Mullins’ demonstration of solid and documentable contributions toward our entrepreneurship efforts have earned the admiration, respect and gratitude of the Atlanta Urban League as well as the metro Atlanta community,” Nancy Flake Johnson, president and CEO, wrote to the Firm.

“We are all very proud to be bestowed with this significant honor,” Mr. Ching said. “I believe our participation in this entrepreneurship pro-bono cause is generating significant goodwill for the firm and building upon our market presence and reputation.”

Ron ThomasMr. Ching and Ms. Chayavadhanangkur committed to the program after Mr. Ching was approached by Tracy Williams of Wachovia Bank, a firm client and supporter of the Atlanta Urban League. Mr. Williams and Mr. Ching had previously interacted on several significant corporate finance transactions and Mr. Williams was well aware of the Firm’s reputation in the private equity space and the firm’s commitment to community service. Mr. Ching and Ms. Chayavadhanangkur developed a presentation on “Equity Investments” and relevant business and legal considerations with raising capital that they presented to a group of entrepreneurs. Then they took the program a step further and set up a series of mock “investor presentations.”

Entrepreneurs selected for the program develop business plans and investor presentations with assistance from the Atlanta Urban League. They then presented their plans to Mr. Ching, Ms. Chayavadhanangkur, and Washington Special Counsel Ron Thomas. After the presentations, the three, along with Mr. Williams and one of their equity investor clients, offered the entrepreneurs a critique and immediate feedback concerning how they could improve their presentations.

The heartfelt testimonials of participants show their appreciation for the help they receive through this program:

“This series has been so encouraging for us. Coming in here and seeing exactly what investors are looking for and getting constructive criticism – it’s been amazing,” said participant Dwayne Brown.

Added participant Ray Abrams: “My business model has been impacted just by the advice that these folks have given me. These people are professionals. They are doing these deals every day on a major level. The blessing here is that they have been able to impart their wisdom to me.”