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SBA Recognizes Nathan Sleadd as 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Release Date: 
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Release Number: 
12-03
Contact: 
Kellie Randall, kellie.randall@sba.gov

PORTLAND, Ore.  SBA takes great joy in announcing that Nathan Sleadd has been named the SBA 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Portland District, which covers Oregon and Southwest Washington. Nathan is the owner of Sleaddventures, a successful zip line gear company based in Grants Pass, Oregon.

“The Portland District Office is happy to recognize Nathan and his outstanding accomplishments as this year’s 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year,” said Deputy Director Robert DuCotè. ”To have established and scaled up a successful business enterprise at any stage in life is a feat to be applauded, but to have accomplished the business successes that Nathan has at the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey is truly remarkable.”

Nathan, who enjoyed building tree houses and tree climbing in his childhood, thought it would be “cool” to develop a zip line course to link the tree-houses in his yard. He looked into purchasing some equipment but found that the cost of the gear was prohibitively expensive. So, he set out with the help of his grandfather to assemble his own “course” of cables and pulleys. Proud of his cost savings, he decided to invest his personal savings into purchasing more supplies so that he could put together and sell his own kits. In April 2005, Nathan began selling homemade zip like kits through the local newspaper and Sleaddventures, LLC came into being.

In his early twenties, Nathan now employs a team of seven full-time and two part-time employees, which operates out of a small warehouse in Grants Pass. The company has outfitted over two thousand zip line locations in the United States and overseas and continues to grow its sales, primarily through the website http://www.ziplinegear.com/. Sleaddventures has experienced rapid annual revenue growth in recent years, and hopes to employ a full-time staff of 10 by the end of 2012.

As Nathan’s business has grown, so too have the challenges of taking on new markets and sales goals. With support from advisors at the Rogue Community College Small Business Development Center, Nathan has developed and is implementing a strategic growth plan for Sleaddventures.     

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States designates one week to recognize the many contributions of the small business community and community partners. This year, National Small Business Week kicks off the celebration of Portland District winners of small business, champion, and lender awards. SBA’s Young Entrepreneur award category is designated specifically to recognize small business owners under the age of 30, at the time when the award is named.

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