This event is only for those who are truly committed to their own business success, those who understand the value of avoiding costly mistakes and lost opportunities which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Anyone who isn’t willing to learn, share the experience with their peers, and work hard on their own success should not attend.

Microbrand University

Business Accelerator

This will be a collaborative workshop, with an agenda attendees help set, so that we can address those topics which are most important to microbrand owners and will have the biggest impact on their success.

Where: Washington D.C.

When: 10/10 - 10/11

Cost: TBD+Travel/Lodging

What Else: Lunch will be provided both days. There will also be a dinner provided.


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Get a fresh perspective on how to position your brand for long-term success, and avoid common pitfalls for microbrand startups. 

Improve your concept-to-delivery product development process, to eliminate costly delays and mistakes.

Avoid wasting tens of thousands of dollars on ineffective marketing.

Improve the operational efficiency of your business, so that it grows more quickly, and makes more money for you, its owner.

Chris Vail

Founder, Janis Trading Company

World-class experts in Microbrands, Operations, Retail & Marketing

John Tooher

Managing Partner, Head Room

John Keil

CEO, WatchGauge

John is currently the founder and owner of and part owner of the Urban Gentry. His past roles include Brand Director for Chronoswiss, USA, Store Manager of Maddaloni Jewelers, Contributing Writer to Quill & Pad, and many other consulting positions.

John is a 20 year veteran of the watch industry. Having worked in many roles, from wholesale, media, and over 16 years in retail management, he brings a wealth of knowledge in how to organize your brand for selling and service success.

Josh Irons

CEO, River Avenue Digital

Josh is CEO of River Avenue Digital, a digital-first full-service marketing agency that engages in digital storytelling to grow small and medium-sized businesses. 

With over 15 years of experience in the digital space, Josh is an expert in strategy development and tactical execution. He honed those skills running large-scale marketing communication projects for the Federal Reserve, aligning sales and marketing at several successful start-ups and as COO of a market-leading digital agency that doubled revenue, increased margin, and twice made the Inc. 5000. 

As the owner of Janis Trading Company, Chris is the founder of two watch microbrands, Lew & Huey, and NTH. Janis has been profitable since its founding in 2012, and consistently grown at double-digit rates every year, with customers in more than 50 countries, and retail distribution in seven.

A serial entrepreneur and military veteran, with a background in finance, and extensive experience in both retail and wholesale sales at a national and global level, Chris brings a diverse skill set to running his business, a role which requires competency in strategy, finance, operations, sales, and marketing.

READ MY BLOG POST: Why Would I Bother Helping My Competitors? 

John is a seasoned business leader with 17 years’ experience in multinational / operational roles with global companies such as General Electric and 3M, as well as 10 years as President & CEO of a US-based manufacturing business, which he grew from $12M to over $60M by continuously focusing on the long-term vision rather than last months’ results.

In 2014, John co-founded HeadRoom, a strategy-planning and business-acceleration company

based in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He now works with both mature businesses and start-ups, helping them to stay focused on the long-term and prepare for the future by fixing what’s not working now.


One-hour of 1-on-1 Consultation with our marketing and operations experts, Josh Irons and John Tooher


Unlimited access to workshop video recordings archive

Microbrand Meet-Up

Lunch Included

Welcome Dinner

Agenda for Microbrand U

(Prior to the session the group will be surveyed and specific topics of interest will be added to the agenda)

Day 1 Agenda

Orientation – Chris Vail

  • Overview of the course and key terms

Creating a Business Growth Roadmap – John Tooher

  • Purpose – the “why”?
  • Challenges & Opportunities
  • Future state – where do you want to be in 2 years, and how do you get there?

Fundamentals of running a microbrand, part 1 – Chris Vail

  • The 3 P’s
  • What’s your plan for success?
  • Economic reality for microbrands

Effective marketing for microbrands, part 1 – Josh Irons

  • Marketing challenges for the startup
  • Being the entertainer/educator in chief
  • Finding your voice and being heard 

Distribution Strategy, part 1 – John Keil

  • Defining your strategy
  • Understanding the risks/rewards of each methodology
  • Setting your brand up for success

Day 2 Agenda 

New Product Development – Process Controls for Design through Delivery – John Tooher

  • Keys to success 
  • Root causes and KPI’s 
  • Communication 

Fundamentals of running a microbrand, part 2 – Chris Vail

  • New model pricing 
  • Product planning  
  • Gaining operational efficiency 

Effective marketing, part 2- Josh Irons

  • Building your following 
  • Maintaining pace 
  • Methods and tactics 

Distribution, part 2 – John Keil

  • Pitfalls to avoid 
  • Key metrics for success 
  • Growing volume 

Pre-Conference Preparations

Prior to our workshop, attendees will be asked to complete a short survey regarding the state of their business and goals for it, and take part in a new model market pricing exercise.

Participant satisfaction guaranteed. Space is limited to 15 participants.*

Price TBD

Travel & Lodging Separate

Money Back Guarantee


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