2022 MAIN EVENT
Thursday, October 13
Samford University Wright Center
4:00 – 6:00 PM The Lion’s Den Main Event
More details coming soon!
Quantum Interface (QI) is a technology company with 37 active patents either owned or licensed. QI generates revenues through products, servicing, and licensing, although the core product is a company-built immersive interactive interface (QIVX – Quantum Interactive Virtual Experience) that was released this year. This has been adopted by the USAF and is moving into more DoD areas, as well as non-DoD sectors. QI also builds flagship AR/Mobil products for large Biopharmas, which primarily include Merck (Germany) and Takeda. All products use proprietary IP.
QI stewards what God has provided on a minute-by minute, thought-by-thought basis, seeking direction from Him. QI partners with other technology companies on spiritual integration and using QIVX to create new ways to share the Word. 20% of company ownership is dedicated to ministries that are sharing the Word, to deliverance, and to praise and worship. The culture of the company is one of acknowledgment and thanks to God, where employees and staff openly speak of Him to customers and stakeholders.
SALT is a dating and relationship app with a vision to connect Christians globally and support them as they build Godly and loving long-term relationships.
SALT aims to equip and empower Christians on their relationship journey. More than an app, SALT creates helpful / advice content, runs online events and devotions / bible studies to build community and encourage users. It is currently live in over 20 countries globally and will be launching in the US in 2022.
SALT is targeting the 40%+ of couples which now meet online (vs 2% in 1995). There are over 200m+ single Christian adults globally who want to meet someone who shares their faith. It can be hard to meet someone outside your church circle and online dating is now considered the new normal. On the whole, Christians don’t want to use secular apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge where faith is an after-thought and where they’re not given the opportunity to communicate their whole identity and what their faith means to them.
SALT enables Christians to truly live out and grow in their faith as they prepare to date, begin dating and then build a long-term relationship. It combines a Jesus-centric product with a commitment to creating leading technology, content and solutions.
Surv is the monthly membership platform that enables loved ones to age in-home, caring for their basic health and honey-do list needs. Currently in 10 markets, Surv has grown tremendously in recent months.
One-fifth of America, or approximately 65m people will be 65+ by 2030 and 90% plan to age in place. This 65+ demographic is Surv’s target customer. There’s limited solutions that help the aging population with practical tasks around the home that don’t fall into traditional “home care.” Surv has sold over 100K hours of service with an 86 NPS score. and the market opportunity is massive. At the beginning of 2022, Surv launched a subscription service Surv+ and it has gained excellent traction. Through referrals, digital and print ads, local news, and relationships with real estate agents and mortgage lenders, the customer growth has exceeded 130% MoM. Additionally, Surv targets children of seniors who want to make sure their aging parents are well taken care of.
Surv sets itself apart from the competition by being value-forward, taking pride in finding the best workers in order to allow our customers to feel safe. Workers aren’t just there to work, get paid, and never see the customer again. Surv intentionally emphasizes the relationship building aspect of allowing someone into your home and giving them access to your life. Additionally, the Business-in-a-Box franchise model allows Surv to effectively scale and have deep market penetration.
Customers want a relationship with someone they can open their home up to, share stories with, and rely on to complete high-quality work. By providing a trusted brand, rigorous interview and background check procedures, local oversight, and tight team relationships, Surv is able to provide this. Christians and non-Christians work together to serve others selflessly, often stepping into rather sensitive situations like divorces, downsizes, and death. They love the customers well. These shared experiences build valuable relationships between workers, often spawning community Bible studies and addressing the loneliness often found with older individuals living alone.
Chuck Welden – Principal, WeldenField Development
Chuck holds a B.S. from the University of Alabama in Commerce and Business Administration, Law Degree from George Washington University, and Master of Law in Taxation from New York University. After practicing law at the Birmingham law firm of Burr & Forman, Chuck joined WeldenField, a Birmingham based family real estate company.
He has served as a member of the Young Executive Board of Directors of Compass Bank and currently serves on the Board of the Alabama Wildlife Federation and the National Christian Foundation of Alabama. At WeldenField, he focuses on both alternative investments and real estate opportunities which include both acquisition and development opportunities in multifamily, single family, hotel, active adult and land.
Chuck and his wife, Lauren, reside in Birmingham, Alabama and have four children.
Dwight Nordstrom – Chairman, PRI
Dwight has 30+ years of experience doing business in China. Since 1990, he has been the Chairman (initially President) of PRI, a US manufacturing-holding company with 30+ equity investments in China. PRI looks at an average of 10-15 investments per year in order to select 1-2.
Mr. Nordstrom has been General Manager of 8 factories and businesses in China with employment ranging from 30-750. He is passionate about using these businesses to transform lives and provide opportunities to share the Truth.
Leda Shelburne – Founder & President, Media 7
Leda came to the Lord as a teenager, right after the fall of the communist government in Albania, through the program of “700 Club.” She worked with Albanian Public Radio and then as producer and programming director for the first Christian radio station in the country.
In 2001 Leda and her husband founded Media 7, now the biggest Christian media organization in the Albanian language. Media 7 owns five Christian radio stations reaching 90% of the population and two radio stations in Kosovo, reaching 80% of that country. In 2017, Media 7 launched the first Christian TV station in the country of Kosovo, and later on in Albania and other Balkan countries.
Besides radio and television, Media 7’s humanitarian arm serves widows, orphans, and marginalized people while sharing the love of Christ in action. Through skills training, small business start-up funds, food and medical outreaches, thousands of people have been reached. Leda has a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Regent University and believes strongly in servant leadership. Today, her passion is to reach Albanians for Christ all over the world.
Leda and her husband Shayne and son Andrew live in Tirana, Albania.
Will Thomas – Managing Director & Founder, Ambassadors Impact Network
Will has been investing in companies led by disciple-makers since 2013. As Managing Director of Ambassadors Impact Network, he has built a network of Christian investors who have collectively invested over $16M in more than 30 gospel-advancing organizations since 2018. He also serves on the board of two publicly-traded companies and previously on the board of eleven private companies. He served as interim President and as Chairman of the board of Marketplace Chaplains.
Formerly, Will spent six years making investments with a private equity firm, and eleven years as a pilot and in various leadership positions in the United States Air Force. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School
He and his wife are blessed by three exciting children and live in Dallas, Texas.
Rusty Yerkes - Associate Professor of Finance, Samford University
Dr. Rustin T. (Rusty) Yerkes is the RMI Advisory Board Fellow, Medical Properties Trust Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Finance at Samford’s Brock School of Business. He teaches Corporate Finance, Financial Statement Analysis and Risk Management & Insurance courses in the Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Masters of Accounting (MAcc.), and undergraduate finance programs. His research interests are in venture capital, municipal finance and mortgage markets and he has published articles in The Journal of Housing Research, The Financial Review, Journal of Investing, The Journal of Biblical Integration in Business, Journal of Private Equity, and Journal of Trading.
Dr. Yerkes received a PhD in Finance from the University of Alabama, MBA in Finance from Auburn University Montgomery and BS in Economics and BS in Operations Research from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has served as an officer in the USAF and a portfolio manager for AmSouth Asset Management. Dr. Yerkes holds the CFA, CFP, and FRM designations and is the founder of Peregrine Advisors, LLC, a forensic economics and financial analysis consulting firm.
In his free time he enjoys road and mountain cycling, golfing, fishing, fiction and non-fiction reading, and volunteering with Junior Achievement of Alabama.