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Influence and Co. - Mentor

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2013, Click to Enter The 2014 Steve Awards for Women in Business

Company: Influence and Co., Columbia, Missouri, MO USA
Company Description: Influence & Co. assists individuals and brands in growing their influence by creating and publishing bylined articles on reputable publications such as Forbes and Inc., facilitating in-residence programs for brands, and much more. Growing from two to 50 employees in the last two years, Influence & Co. is now one of the leading providers of expert content to the world’s top publications.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Mentor or Coach of the Year – Business

Nomination Title: Kelsey Meyer, Cofounder and President

Describe for the judges the nominated individual's activities and accomplishments that supported women in business since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

From her contributions to the Young Entrepreneurship Council (YEC) to her involvement with the University of Missouri in Columbia, Kelsey is a dedicated advocate for the growth of other entrepreneurs and their ideas. As a member of the Alumni Mentor Program at the University of Missouri, Kelsey has mentored five different students in the past two years who have an interest in entrepreneurship. The Alumni Mentor Program allowed Kelsey to provide her expertise and give constructive feedback on professional and personal development. Student participants in the program report increased self-awareness and self-discipline. As a successful businesswoman, entrepreneur, and mentor, Kelsey has helped shape five future business leaders and entrepreneurs. The program has also given Kelsey the opportunity to enhance her coaching, communication, and interpersonal skills.

Along with her participation in the Alumni Mentor Program, Kelsey is also heavily involved with the Entrepreneurship Alliance at the University of Missouri. The Entrepreneurship Alliance is an initiative designed to foster a culture of innovation at the University of Missouri. Alliance members explore personal opportunities in various areas of business startups, franchises, and family-run businesses. The Alliance engages in experiences that develop entrepreneurial traits and characteristics such as a passion for business, tenacity despite failure, self-determination, management of risk, self-confidence, seeking opportunities, creativity, initiative, and detail orientation. In the past year, Kelsey has mentored several students who are starting businesses through the program. She enjoys being able to share her success and provide insight into how she learned from her business failures. Kelsey has recently been asked to speak at the College Entrepreneurship Organization Conference in Chicago about her experiences as a young entrepreneur mentoring students.

In 2011, Kelsey led the organization of the first Startup Weekend in Columbia, Mo. This year, she is a co-organizer for the event. Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams, and communities. Her duties involve putting on the event, but also mentoring the different teams trying to start businesses.

Kelsey is also a regular contributor to reputable publications such as the 85 Broads column on Forbes, a network of female game-changers who invest in each other’s success. She contributes her advice for startups, business culture, entrepreneurship, and much more.

With content creation at the heart of Influence & Co., where Kelsey is co-founder and president, she became co-creator of Contributor Weekly, a free weekly newsletter for contributors that keeps them up-to-date on the latest trends and tips for writing, publishing, and sharing their contributions. Now just in its 5th edition, Contributor Weekly already has over 500 subscribers that receive weekly coaching in the form of a free newsletter from Kelsey and her team at Influence & Co.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated individual (up to 125 words):

Prior to co-founding Influence & Co., Kelsey ran a B2C marketing company in Columbia, Mo. and cofounded the League of Innovators, an organization focused on developing and bringing together the local entrepreneurial community. She did both of these while also performing as a full-time student athlete for the University of Missouri. Kelsey is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council and has a passion for promoting women in entrepreneurship. She has contributed her expertise and experiences to Forbes and many other reputable publications.