Editor’s note: Charlotte Beat is a regular feature on Wednesdays.NuTech Solutions expects to add another famous name to its board in about 30 days, says Matt Michalewicz, NuTech’s chief executive officer and co-founder.

This time the big name comes from a different sphere than the other marquee names the company wooed to its board. Michalewicz says adding big name members to the board opens doors in an industry where “everything boils down to credibility.”

The company garnered wide-ranging media attention when it added Lech Walesa, hero of Solidarity and leader in post-cold war Poland, to its board. It struck again when one-time presidential advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski signed on.

Retired Bank of America chairman Hugh McColl, an investor in the company, is another prominent name on the board.

How much value do they bring? Michalewicz asks rhetorically, “How much does it cost to hire 10 sales people and pay their expenses as they travel, entertain, stay in hotels, go to trade shows? How much does it cost to create brand awareness advertising in magazines?”

Getting someone with a big name who opens doors for the sales people “cuts 60 percent of the cost out of the sales cycle and increases your chance of closing,” Michalewicz says.

NuTech has targeted governments and defense as part of its strategy.
Michalewicz says when big names make a phone call in behalf of NuTech, “Suddenly we’re having meetings with Tom Ridge, head of Homeland Security. All of a sudden we’re meeting with decision makers.”

For example, Walesa arranged a meeting with a group of decision-makers at the Polish Embassy in Washington D.C. “He made a speech about changing the world with technology.” Michalewicz says.

Afterward, he says, “We talked to people when before we couldn’t even get their administrative assistants on the phone.” The Polish hero introduced the company to a top energy company in Poland, for instance.

The company also continues to make progress financially. Michalewicz says NuTech is operating at break even. It raised a total of $14 million in backing since its inception four years ago. The company added the smart-agent supply chain management software and expertise of Santa Fe-based BiosGroup to its offerings several months ago.

The company’s artificial intelligence software simulates and evaluates supply and distribution chains or other systems to improve their performance.

This can lead to counter-intuitive findings. The BiosGroup ran a simulation of operations at Southwest Airlines, for instance. It showed that it would be faster and cheaper to keep luggage on a plane that was eventually going to the same place rather than unloading it and putting it on a plane going directly to its destination. The airline quickly instituted the change.

NuTech clients include General Motors, ChevronTexaco, Bank of America, Proctor & Gamble, Boeing, Dupont, the Defense Department, and the Polish Air Force.

Growing Team of Experts

My Team of Experts Inc. (MTE), the public relations firm Patricia Pollack founded after serving as first executive director of the Metrolina Entrepreneurial Council from 1998 to 2001, is seeing healthy growth.

“I’m on track to double revenue this year,” Pollack says.

Pollack tells Local Tech Wire her firm now represents 16 companies in the Carolinas and Kentucky. MTE provides services to companies with fewer than three employees, “meaning W2 employees on a payroll,” she says.

“Nearly all my clients use independent contractors for maximum flexibility and efficiency,” she says. Her self-funded company has offices in Charlotte and Lousiville, KY.

“Despite this difficult economy, my clients averaged annual revenue growth in 2002 and 2003 of 90 percent,” she says, but points out that MTE works with companies five to seven years old, not start-ups.

After spending 1998 to 2001 at MEC and the last two years at the helm of her own company, Pollack says, “I’ve seen an awfully lot of established small businesses close their doors the last 18 months. Even more are hanging on by a thin thread.

“Those surviving and prospering are focused on a niche or specialty market, are dramatically different from perceived competitors, deliver measurable benefits to customers, and have established a stellar reputation for integrity.”

Pollack does media relations, email marketing, editing, and other services for her clients. “I concentrate on the happy side of PR, dealing with the positive communications because of the nature of my clients.” They’re too small to need “crisis communications,” for instance.

Pollack says she’s optimistic about the future of entrepreneurial activity in Charlotte, but “it doesn’t seem to have the excitement it used to have. I think some exciting things are being whipped together just now and in a couple years we’ll be back to that, but the last 18 months have been rough in this town.”

NuTech Solutions: www.nutechsolutions.com

My Team of Experts: www.myteamofexperts.com