Asheville, N.C. — The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and Venture Asheville honored Justin Belleme as Entrepreneur of the Year at the Chamber’s annual meeting on June 26 at the U.S. Cellular Center. Justin Belleme founded JB Media Group, LLC, a full service online marketing agency, in spring 2011 and has grown the company to 10 marketing professionals.
Asheville, N.C. — The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and Venture Asheville honored Justin Belleme as Entrepreneur of the Year at the Chamber’s annual meeting on June 26 at the U.S. Cellular Center. Justin Belleme founded JB Media Group, LLC, a full service online marketing agency, in spring 2011 and has grown the company to 10 marketing professionals. Last summer, he launched the JB Media Institute, a six-week, in-person training program for online marketing, which has graduated about 40 alumni and has 14 full-time students enrolled in the current summer session.
Earlier this year, JB Media moved into a newly purchased office space in West Asheville at 915 Haywood Road for a more prominent business storefront and to accommodate the agency’s growing staff.
Born in Asheville and self-taught early on in internet marketing, Belleme built his first website called AshevilleNow.com in his dorm room while earning a BS in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
After successful online marketing consulting projects for the City of Asheville, Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau and area small businesses, Belleme at age 28, jumped on the opportunity to start his own marketing agency to stay involved with multiple local clients. Since then, JB Media’s clients have included The Omni Grove Park Inn, AdvantageWest Economic Development Group, Asheville Independent Restaurants, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, Eastern Band of Cherokee, The Van Winkle Law Firm, and others.
Being an entrepreneurial-minded marketing professional, it’s no surprise Belleme has partnered with local ventures Galaxy Digital, Appalatch, and Outrider USA to help grow their businesses through enhanced online visibility. JB Media ran Outrider’s Kickstarter campaign this spring and surpassed their funding goal by raising a total of $126,230 in less than a month.
As JB Media’s client base continues to grow outward, services have also expanded to include marketing automation. This year the company is expected to bring in five times the revenue from its first year in business. Belleme’s dream for the future of the company includes an ambitious expansion of their training program for internet marketing. This fall, JB Media will launch two-day internet marketing training classes in the Charlotte and Atlanta communities through partnerships with small businesses located there.
“In today’s globally competitive environment, we’re focused on educating students, small business owners, and entrepreneurs with the skills they need to brand their business online and help them reach their growth potential,” said Belleme, owner of JB Media Group, LLC.
Belleme’s vision for the JB Media Institute is to enroll as many as 400-500 students a year within four years. And he wants to create a specific “entrepreneurial track” for the training program aimed at helping early stage ventures emerging from accelerators get on the fast track to scaling up. Belleme hopes that will enable him to start investing in Asheville’s entrepreneurial ventures someday.
“Asheville and its great people have been essential to my professional success,” Belleme said. “I hope we can continue to advance together and have many chances to give back to the small business and entrepreneurial community.”
Belleme is an alumni volunteer with Leadership Asheville, an Ambassador for the NC Technology Association, and an instructor for 360 Business Bootcamp (www.360businessbootcamp.com), which helps small business owners overcome challenges to scaling their business through foundational training in leadership, management, sales, and marketing.
JB Media Group is a full-service Internet marketing agency in Asheville, North Carolina, made up of writers, researchers, strategists, and trainers. They specialize in integrating all aspects of Internet marketing including strategy, SEO, online advertising, online public relations, content development, and crowd funding.
The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is a member organization with over 1,800 member businesses and organizations. Chamber members collaborate with community organizations and coalitions to support the community and each other with the mission of building community through business. The Chamber is home to a 4,000 square foot Visitor Center that welcomes over 200,000 visitors per year. To get active in the Chamber, visit www.ashevillechamber.org.
Venture Asheville is the entrepreneurship arm of the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County. With a mission to catalyze Asheville’s high-growth entrepreneurial ecosystem, Venture Asheville creates and connects trusted networks of entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors; and it acts as a hub for entrepreneurship resources and education. Venture Asheville brings visibility to Asheville’s unique startups and talent pool and shares those stories within the local community and with the wider global marketplace. Contact Venture Asheville at email@example.com.