Rule Breakers Win

In business, sometimes it pays to be a rule breaker. Not a lawbreaker – there’s a difference – but a rule breaker, someone who is not afraid to buck the trends, try something new, disrupt a market. Rule-breaking companies are the innovators, the businesses that bring us great new things that enrich our lives.

At Provendus Group, we believe wholeheartedly in breaking the rules to achieve extraordinary business success. We don’t believe in following the pack, but we do believe in forging a new path for others to follow. Which is why we are a sponsor of the first annual RuleBreaker Awards in New York City on June 10th.

15 finalists have been chosen in the RuleBreaker awards. The unconventional awards program, sponsored by Nextiva, Skype, Constant Contact, and Provendus Group, celebrates entrepreneurs who ignore conventional wisdom, take the path less traveled, and break all the “rules” in their pursuit of success.

 One grand-prize winner will be chosen from among the category winners. The grand-prize winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on June 10th at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in New York City.

 The category winners are:

 Service Provider, Under $1M in Sales:

Casey Bankford of Slimbooks,, whose slim books break the rules of publishing

And (It’s a tie) Simeon Schnapper of Youtopia,, which provides digital rewards for students

Service Provider, $1M-$5M in Sales:

Mike Beirne of Vetted Capital,, which invests in veteran-led businesses

Service Provider, Over $5M in Sales: Mike Agugliaro of Gold Medal Service,, which provides home services

 Technology Provider, Under $1M in Sales:

Jason McAninch of Jtek, a tech recycling company

Technology Provider, $1M-$5M in Sales:

Tom Dent of ICLOPS, which provides technology solutions for healthcare providers and Shelley Armato of My Smart Plans,, project management software for construction companies

Technology Provider, Over $5M in Sales:

Mitch Rothschild of Vitals,, which helps consumers find health care providers

 Retailers, Under $1M in Sales:

Christina Daves of Cast Medic Designs which creates fashion casts

Retailers, $1M-$5M in Sales:

Robert Blackwell of Killer Spin,, which designs and sells innovative table tennis products

Retailers, Over $5M in Sales:

Ben Sayers of VoIP supply,, an online retailer of VoIP products

 Manufacturer, Under $1M in Sales:

William Brimstone  Kucmierowski of Hound Comics,, a publishing company.

And Kristin Elliott of Doodie Pack which manufactures dog backpacks

Manufacturer, $1M-$5M in Sales:

Ross Evans of Xtracycle which manufactures cargo bikes

 People’s Choice Award:

Michael and Marc Guberti of Teenager Entrepreneur,, an online membership site that educates and empowers teenage entrepreneurs

 “We’re proud to honor entrepreneurs who have succeeded by doing it their way,” said Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media and a co-host of the RuleBreaker Awards.

 “Choosing the winners was a difficult decision,” said co-host Mike Michalowicz, CEO of Provendus Group and author of The Pumpkin Plan. “It was inspiring to discover so many entrepreneurs revolutionizing their industries.”

 “All of our Rulebreakers have one thing in common: They’re passionate about making a difference in business,” said co-host Barry Moltz, author of How to Get Unstuck.

 Winners were selected by a panel of judges including:

        Ken Yancey, CEO of SCORE

        JJ Ramberg, co-founder of Good Search and host of MSNBC’s Your Business

       Anita Campbell, founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and BizSuga

Ramon Ray, Marketing and Technology Evangelist of and Infusionsoft

 For more information and to attend the awards, visit

 ABOUT RIEVA LESONSKY: Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. A nationally recognized speaker who regularly addresses audiences across the country, Rieva broke the rules by becoming the first female editorial director of a general business magazine; she was SVP/Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine for more than 25 years.

ABOUT MIKE MICHALOWICZ: Mike Michalowicz is the author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, The Pumpkin Plan and Profit First.  Mike is the co-founder and C.E.O. of Provendus Group, and has previously grown and sold two multimillion-dollar companies.  And if there is one thing he attributes entrepreneurial success to, it’s breaking the rules.

 ABOUT BARRY MOLTZ: Barry Moltz is the author of How to Get Unstuck: 25 Ways To Get Your Business Growing Again.  He is a small business motivational speaker and radio talk show host. He breaks rules by showing there is nothing to learn from failure and demonstrates how to strive for minimal achievement.

Donna Leyens Pumpkin Plan your BizWritten by:

Donna Leyens