Smart entrepreneurs are the ones who know they don’t know everything. And who then go out to find the help they need, to fill the holes they may have to make their businesses successful.
Tom Scarpello is one of those smart entrepreneurs. He’s the founder and president of Revology Cars, LLC, a manufacturer and builder of totally cool, brand-new (and updated with modern technology and features), Ford-licensed reproduction classic 1960’s Ford Mustang and Shelby GT automobiles. Revology is the first company to ever be licensed by the Ford Motor Company to build reproductions of any of its vehicles in the company’s more than a century of existence. That’s how good Revology Cars is and how true to the original the vehicles it builds are.
When he started Revology, Scarpello brought 26 years of corporate auto industry experience to his new company but believed he needed to know more. “While I have a good base of technical and functional skills in my areas of expertise, I had not been exposed to a lot of the elements of running my own business,” he recalls.
It was then that he turned to the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance, in the form of both business training and consulting. “You can improve anything,” says Scarpello. “The FSBDC’s seminars are extremely valuable for entrepreneurs who are experts in their subject matter, but may not have expertise in running a business. I had a good experience there. It’s unusual to have an essentially free resource like the FSBDC that’s actually valuable. It is almost too good to be true, but then turns out to in fact be true.”
Beyond its business training, Scarpello also took advantage of the FSBDC’s no-cost consulting. As his business grew, the need for capital to finance that growth became apparent. Scarpello connected with FSBDC consultant Pauline Davis, an expert in accessing capital, to help him prepare a presentation or “pitch” to potential investors. “I had never done an investor pitch before,” Scarpello recalls. “I’d read books and watched videos but never really gone through the process.”
“The FSBDC was an outstanding resource that helped us to be very prepared for our pitch. They put together a panel of mock investors that allowed us to practice and fine tune our presentation,” says Scarpello. “Ultimately we were successful and able to raise the $2 million in funding we needed.”
“The FSBDC was a great partner. They have people who are or have been entrepreneurs, who are or have been investors, who have the experience, who have been through this before and were able to give us excellent guidance,” Scarpello went on. “We raised our capital really quickly. It made us wonder if we could have gone for more or, more likely, if maybe we were just really well prepared as a result of going through this process with the FSBDC.”
“Today Revology Cars is growing really, really quickly,” concluded Scarpello. “Since we raised our funding, we’ve been able to hire new employees, buy new tooling and equipment and expand our existing facility. We’ve increased our production capacity. That’s all a result of successfully accessing new capital and that was, in part, a result of the work we did with the FSBDC.”
For information about Revology Cars, please visit www.revologycars.com.