Today's Entrepreneur: Brian Raney

Meliza Solan Surdi · January 17, 2011 · Short URL:

No. 1 mistake: Lack of focus

Our community is made up of trend-setting entrepreneurs, who deserve to be recognized.

We've recently created new profiles, specifically for innovators to express themselves by sharing their interests, lessons learned, as well as bits and pieces of their roller-coaster journey.

So if you are an entrepreneur, a serial entrepreneur, or even an aspiring entreprenener, we'd like to hear your story.

Today's Entrepreneur is Brian Raney, from Lexington, KY, and founder of Awesome Inc. and Apax Software.

Out of the three biggest lessons the 29-year old entrepreneur has learned, two of them emphasize the importance of having the right team. "As soon as I was able to train up 20 solid employees at Apax Software, I was able to focus on the bigger picture," he said. "I like to use sports analogies. So for example, if I was playing in a basketball tournament and my teamates were Michael Jordan, Shaq, Kobe Bryant, and myself, I would not have to worry about playing every position in the game. I would totally trust my team. This relates to building a business. You have to have the right employees." 

Raney would know about growing a team when it comes to business as well as sports because during his free time he coaches a soccer team of 11-year-old boys, where he emphasizes growing together as a team.

Being a serial entrepreneur keeps him extremely busy, but at the end of the day, it's all about giving back. 

Here's more from Raney, based on his Vator profile:

I am: an Entrepreneur

Name companies you've founded or co-founded:, APAX Software, Awesome Inc

If you are an entrepreneur, why?

I want to change the world.

List your favorite startups:


What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Just like anything else, the most frustrating thing to me about entrepreneurship is losing / failing. It can be a major blow to your confidence when someone passes you or beats you in a sale, contest, or other competition. The most rewarding thing about being an entrepreneur is seeing someone use your product and knowing that if it wasn't for you, the product wouldn't have been created. I remember starting my first business ( to help students buy/sell textbooks directly to each other. The first semester I launched it I was blown away and became addicted to the feeling of having customers use my service.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

Lack of focus

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

1. Fire fast
2. The team with the most best players wins (it's less about the idea, more about the team)
3. Don't hesitate. Develop a quick short term plan and then start acting. Take some time to think long term occasionally, but spend most of your time executing / acting on your short term plan.

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Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs

Awesome Inc


Joined Vator on

Awesome Inc is a seed stage startup accelerator program in Lexington, KY. We offer a 3 month program, up to $20k in funding, access to 60+ mentors, and free office space.  You can apply here.


We are a hub for the entrepreneurial, high tech, and creative communities in Lexington, KY.  We attract talent and make sure that if someone has a great idea, they'll have the resources neccessary to execute on the idea.

Apax Software


Joined Vator on

We are a Lexington, KY-based software development that specializes in designing custom web based and mobile application solutions. You know exactly what your business needs to succeed and we provide the software tools to make it happen.


Please view the "APAX Story" on our profile to the right.  This will give you the best idea of what our company has done and what we are capable of.


Or view the prezi presentation here:


 Featured projects:

more complete portfolio can be found here:

1. Downtown Lexington Corp


This site is an information website for an advocate group of Downtown Lexington, KY.


2. University of Kentucky Student Affairs (K Week)


This site allows students to get plugged into events and news at the University of Kentucky.



This site is a nationwide BookExchange program where students can buy/sell textbooks directly to other students.


4. Better Business Bureau iPhone app


This iPhone app serves as a portal to BBB information such as company reports, directory of local BBB companies, and the option to file a complaint against a company.  The app currently serves Central & Eastern Kentucky and is being built to serve more chapters throughout the nation.  You can download it in the app store by searching for "BBB".


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Twitter account:



Brian Raney

Joined Vator on

CEO at APAX Software. Founder at Awesome Inc. MS in Economics, BS in Computer Science from University of KY. I also coach soccer. I love building a culture that attracts smart, creative people.