True Stories: M3 Race Finalist Cross Between American Idol + Shark Tank

Okay – a little background for my readers. This past year, I have been participatng in the Make Mine a Million $ Business Race. It has helped our company grow in mamy different ways, most of all, through tracking our financials completing a full business plan with 5 year goals clearly stated. I have participated in sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly, webinars with Count Me In, the underlying sponsor, a philanthropic company run by the dynamic inspiring Nell Merlino, who many of you are familiar with as she fought for started the first Take Our Daughters to work day in 1992.  The goal of the program is to create a million Million$ women owned businesses! I like the sound of that, in spite of last years hardship, we scraped worked to follow our business plan, were unbelievably selected across a number of criteria to be one of the top 20 women owned businesses to be a finalist in this year’s competition.  The top 10 finalists get amazing marketing help, business support guidance from a professional teams, lots of publicity to help them get past that $1M barrier. We are confident in our ability to do that, are so excited that the judges found our specialization in green bath & kitchen design for people Aging In Place worthy of this honor. The entire press release is below. Keep your fingers crossed!! We’re off to Houston next week for the judging. Can’t wait!!  Keep us in your hearts as we keep you in our hears every day!   

 Local Business Woman Jane Regan Named As Finalist for the Make Mine a Million $ Business Competition ™ in Houston, Texas

 ~20 Finalists compete for business coaching other prizes to help catapult their business revenues to a million dollars~

Houston, Texas February 8, 2010 – Business growth program, the Make Mine A Million $ Business Competition selected Jane Regan of HB Building Design. Inc., Montara, CA as one of the twenty business women finalists to compete for an awards package at the Houston, Texas event on February 17 18 at the American Express Open Women’s Business Summit. The exciting event will feature female entrepreneurs from across the nation who will compete for business development packages that include business coaching, marketing, PR, technological assistance to help their businesses grow into million‐dollar enterprises. The event also includes educational networking opportunities in addition to a keynote speech by Count Me In Founder, Nell Merlino.

Described as a cross between “The Apprentice” “American Idol,” the competition provides these twenty finalists with the opportunity to present their business in a 3 minute “elevator pitch” to a panel of business experts a live audience. Ten winners will be chosen by the audience judges who collaborate on the selection process.

Jane provides for the care safety of others through beautiful, affordable design. An experienced Network engineer nominated for a Smithsonian Award in the field of medicine in 1988, the Internet brought global responsibilities at Symantec; then a long time role as Principal Citrix Systems Engineer, leading to Sr. Director of Business Development. She switched to an Interior Design career in 2002, is now CEO of the NKBA a Build It Green Design design/build General Contracting firm serving San Francisco, the Peninsula the East Bay. She was named a Silicon Valley Independent Business Woman of the Year 2009.

Finalists will receive several of the key components of the Make Mine a Million $ Business Competition awards package that will help their businesses break the million‐dollar barrier, which includes inspiration, community, business coaching from a “dream” team of coaches business experts from Count Me In, select discounts from national sponsors.

Launched in 2005 by Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence founding partner American Express OPEN, the Make Mine a Million $ Business Competition was created to help post‐start up, women‐owned businesses grow to one million dollars in annual revenue. Since its inception, the program has hosted 19 competitions in cities around the country grown into a nationwide movement. In the history of the program, thouss of women entrepreneurs across the nations have applied.

“We are thrilled by the eagerness of women across the country to grow their businesses, create jobs in their communities, create stability for their families the national economy,” said Nell Merlino, Founder President of Count Me In. “The number of applicants mirrors the growth of our entrepreneurs, businesses, their desire to take them to the million dollar level.”

NellThe Make Mine a Million $ Business Competition has garnered support from organizations who are all joining hs in order to make an impact in women’s lives strengthening the US economy. The impressive list of national sponsors includes American Express OPEN, FedEx, WIPP, Sam’s Club. Sponsors provide an array of products services that serve as invaluable tools for growth.

For more information about how women can grow their businesses please visit

About Count Me In

Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence is the leading national not‐for‐profit provider of resources, business education, community support for women entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses to million dollar enterprises. Count Me In launched the Make Mine a Million $ Business Competition to inspire one million women entrepreneurs scale their businesses to a million dollars in revenue in the next decade by providing tools, skills, the support of a nation‐wide community of peers.