Emmy® Award Winning Director, Nick Nanton, Partners with Russell Brunson to Co-Produce Documentary on Anti-Human Trafficking Organization, Operation Underground Railroad

Nick Nanton partners with Serial Entrepreneur Russell Brunson, co-founder of ClickFunnels, to co-produce the upcoming short film, tentatively titled “O.U.R.: Operation Underground Railroad and the Fight to End Modern Day Slavery,” where they’ll reveal the story of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.). Former Homeland Security Special Agent/Undercover Operator and CIA analyst, Tim Ballard, founded O.U.R. based on multiple experiences of knowing where children were being trafficked across the globe, but not being able to help them in his federal role if there was no connection to the U.S. government. The film follows Ballard as he leads the anti-human trafficking organization on their mission to change the world through rescuing and rehabilitating children who have been trafficked.

“There is so much tragedy in the world, and I see so much of it on a daily basis with the work we do at O.U.R. to help save children across the world who are being trafficked. But there is also so much hope and redemption in the stories that are not being told of those who are being rescued and are being given a second chance at life. We are thrilled to be working with Nick and Russell and the rest of the team on this documentary. It’s an amazing opportunity to share with the world how much progress can be made when a group of people say ‘enough is enough’ and band together to make a difference,” said Ballard.

Russell Brunson’s generous support to create the film will help bring awareness and aid in the fight against human slavery. When Brunson first brought the idea of the film to Nanton he knew it was a story that was worth being told and something he had to be a part of. “What these guys are doing is nothing short of incredible. I’m so happy to be able to play a part in spreading their message. Most people have no idea how many women and children are being trafficked and in most cases, they think that it is not happening in their city. They are wrong. I had no idea of the breadth and depth of this problem until I got involved with O.U.R.,” said Nanton.

The film will portray O.U.R’s mission to help save children all across the globe and features a mission where they teamed up with officials in Haiti to arrest human traffickers, save children, and send a strong message to its country that the trafficking of children will not be tolerated. Featured in this movie are Tony Robbins, Glenn Beck, Congresswoman Mia Love, Senator Orrin Hatch, members of the casts of Miss Saigon and Phantom of the Opera, and many others.

Brunson stated, “Entrepreneurs have a responsibility to use their creativity and innovation to make the world a better place. As the CEO of ClickFunnels, I see every day the impact entrepreneurs have on the world through the products and services that they sell. Then you look at an organization like O.U.R. -a community of people who are going into the darkest places on Earth to rescue kids from situations that are worse than our scariest nightmares, and it hits you just how important it is to get as much visibility and support to them as possible. So many people don’t realize the pervasiveness of human trafficking all over the world, yes, even in the United States. When I first realized how dire the situation is, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.  I am absolutely honored to be alongside Tim Ballard and his team providing whatever resources and talents we have to get his message on a national and global platform.”

UBS and Village Capital Launch VC Pathways Program for Minority Female Entrepreneurs Seeking Early-Stage Funding

UBS, the world’s largest wealth manager, and Village Capital, an organization that finds, trains and invests in entrepreneurs solving real-world problems, today announced the launch of the VC Pathways program. VC Pathways is a national program that will train and support African American, Latin and female founders to increase their competitiveness for seed-stage venture investment and early-stage incubator and accelerator programs.

UBS and Village Capital will launch the VC Pathways program in Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta, each of which were identified for their potential to support early-stage ventures. Key to the implementation of the program are the local entrepreneur support organizations partnered with VC Pathways in each city, which include Philadelphia-based Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Atlanta-based Goodie Nation and Chicago-based I’m Black In Tech and Blue 1647.

VC Pathways will work with these partners to select a cohort of founders in each city to participate in a three-month program that provides entrepreneurs with hands-on training, advice and tailored engagements from mentors, investors, UBS executives and Financial Advisors who will help their companies become investment-ready.

“VC Pathways is an invaluable extension of UBS’s ongoing commitment to advancing inclusive entrepreneurship,” says Jamie Sears, UBS Head of Community Affairs, Americas. “Many of our clients are entrepreneurs in these cities, so we are excited to be playing a part in strengthening the pipeline of diverse founders and giving startups access to investors, best-in-class training, and other resources that will help their businesses succeed.”

“There is no shortage of potential among underrepresented founders. They have firsthand experience in solving critical issues faced by the majority of the US population,” says Allie Burns, Managing Director of Village Capital. “What’s lacking is the social capital and tangible resources to scale these solutions. We’re hoping that, through this program, startups will gain exposure to the thought-process behind investment decisions and a framework to use milestones to clearly communicate their growth and success.”

Defining and meeting business milestones is an important indicator of success for high-growth startups. Having a roadmap to demonstrate these to investors is critical to helping founders move away from over-reliance on “friends and family” funding and focus instead on other early-stage investors. To assist with this, each local VC Pathways program will provide:

  • Guidance through Village Capital’s VIRAL curriculum. Every entrepreneur in a VC Pathways program will receive training on the Venture Investment Readiness Awareness Level (VIRAL) curriculum, which helps entrepreneurs set and surpass specific milestones to make them competitive when raising capital.
  • Connections to angel investors. The VC Pathways program will facilitate formal and informal interactions between startups and angel investors and provide access to a Startup Heat Map, which identifies monetary and in-kind resources at every funding level.
  • Tangible business support. The program will also provide resources for building a business, including Amazon Web Services (up to $5,000 in credits), access to a Kiva Zip Loan worth up to $10,000, up to $2,000 in grant funding awarded for hitting certain program milestones and network-building opportunities.

Participants in the three-month program will be primarily high-growth businesses that are tech-enabled, pre-seed or seed stage ventures, with an established minimum viable product and have less than $500,000 in revenue or raised funds. Priority will be given to startups solving problems within Village Capital’s five investment areas: Education, Healthcare, Financial Technology, Agriculture and Energy.

For more information about the VC Pathways offering and key local program dates, visit: https://vilcap.com/program/vcpathways/. To learn more about UBS’s additional inclusive entrepreneurship programs through the UBS Elevating Entrepreneurs initiative, visit: https://www.ubs.com/microsites/elevating-entrepreneurs/en/home.html