A ‘Sink or Swim’ Deal
At EO’s DX18 Conference in Denver, entrepreneur Charlie Davis swam with the sharks to secure the deal of a lifetime.
For Charlie Davis, Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Louisiana has always been a resource for learning, growth and community — but this past October, it challenged him to jump headfirst into the shark tank.
2018 saw the introduction of a new resource for EO, the MyEO DealExchange, which aims to create a platform for EO members to foster mutually beneficial relationships. Launching along with this new resource was the MyEO Deal Exchange DX18 Conference in Denver, Colorado, where EO members and MyEO Deal Exchangers from all over the world gathered in hopes of shaking hands and saying those fateful four words: Let’s make a deal.
Davis, president and CEO of Moxey, was one of 15 attendees chosen to participate in the DX Angel-Shark Experience. This experience was modeled after popular shows like Shark Tank and Den of Lions, which give entrepreneurs a platform to pitch their companies and products to potential investors. Initially, the Angel-Sharks had only committed to investing $250,000 at the conference, but two companies’ pitches motivated them to invest a total of $400,000. Davis — and Moxey — were among those lucky winners.
“It was a bit surreal to be telling Angel/Sharks about Moxey and answering tough questions while standing in front of a camera with a live audience,” Davis said. “EO specializes in delivering once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and this one definitely qualifies.”
Moxey, a local currency accepted by thousands of businesses across South Louisiana, has been a work in progress for more than 20 years. Davis was recruited into the company by fellow EO member Warren Sager with the goal of scaling the company; Davis said his team is now taking the original foundation and building on it with new technology, a new user interface and a new monetary policy.
“The name Moxey is an abbreviation for Medium of Exchange, which is one of the core principles that all currencies are built upon,” Davis said. “Moxey was built for one purpose — to help small business owners grow.”
According to Davis, Moxey works because it is easy to use and creates a link between consumers and businesses that might not have existed otherwise.
“It is a competitive advantage that helps local businesses compete with international conglomerates,” he said. “Businesses simply create an account and then begin accepting Moxey Dollars instead of US Dollars for their goods and services. Because they accept Moxey Dollars, the businesses immediately get new customers that they wouldn’t normally receive.”
Moxey can be especially beneficial for small businesses, Davis said, because it helps them to attract new customers while also keeping money in the bank.
“Every month, we send new customers to their company and each month, they can replace some of their previous cash expenses for Moxey,” he said.
After an impressive pitch stretched over two rounds of competition, Davis and Moxey were granted an investment totaling $150,000. The benefits didn’t stop there, though, as Davis has observed increased interest in his company since diving into the tank; he hopes this new traction will help him to expand his company even further.
“We’ve been successfully raising funds since,” Davis said. “All of the money is being used to build a flagship Moxey economy in New Orleans.”
The experience, he said, was like no other, and it only serves as a testament to the important role EO Louisiana can serve in business owners’ professional growth. The organization has not only served as a medium for collaboration and innovation, but it has now directly contributed to his company’s continued success and longevity.
“I try to tell every entrepreneur I meet about the power of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization,” Davis said. “For leaders who want to grow themselves, their companies and their families, there simply is no substitute.”