David was the catalyst for bringing the Railbird Festival to the historic grounds of Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. The annual festival celebrates music, bourbon, equine, and culinary experiences for over 30,000 people from around world seeking a weekend of pure Kentucky.
David is a partner in Kre8Now Makerspace, a community workshop where like-minded individuals gather to collaborate on various projects in order to learn from each other, share knowledge, and promote community and economic development. Its members are a mix of local artists, engineers, tradesmen, designers, inventors, business people, educators and economic developers who are provided equipment, tools, supplies, and classes to help build almost anything you can imagine.
David Helmers founded The Other Side Mediation Services to assist attorneys and their clients in resolving litigation in an efficient and cost-effective manner. After a dozen years of litigating cases, David brings his experience in the courtroom to help clients quickly and finally settle their cases and move on with their lives. Other Side Business Services division offers a range of assistance to entrepreneurs at every stage of business development, specializing in assisting start-up and early stage companies getting off the ground.
Edelen Ventures partnered with the bluechip, Eastern Kentucky-based coal company to monetize their vast landholdings. The result is a unique deal structure to develop the first-of-its-kind, large scale solar installation on a reclaimed mountaintop coalfield in the heart of Appalachia. “Bringing diverse partners together to create a multi-layered win is what we do,” said ESV Founder Adam Edelen of the deal that united coal executives and renewable energy developers in creating hundreds of new jobs for displaced miners. The project has garnered national media attention and has been featured in outlets as diverse as Fast Company, SkyTV, The Wall Street Journal, CNET and CNN.
The Jackson, MS-based tech company is a leading developer of Virtual Reality experiences for the educational, industrial and military sectors. Lobaki engaged Edelen Ventures to assist in developing and executing a strategic plan to enable the company to scale quickly to meet the unprecedented demand for VR applications. Since forming that partnership, Lobaki has installed VR Academies in dozens of schools in several states, and has significantly expanded their tailored industry and defense development practices. Adam Edelen, Edelen Ventures’ founder, joined Lobaki’s board as vice-chairman in late 2019.
Under LRC, Phil Holoubek rehabilitated this premier historic development site located in the heart of downtown Lexington into 26 urban residential loft units, boasting dramatic high ceilings and large windows with unmatched views. Winner of the Best Local Lofts Award (Ace Weekly), Best Old Building Rehab (Ace Weekly), Vision Award (Bluegrass Tomorrow), and Urban Innovation Award (Downtown Lexington Corp.), Nunn Lofts is a testament to LRC’s desire to reform the design of the built urban environment and raise the standard of living by creating better places to live.
In an effort to reduce urban sprawl and spearhead investment in Lexington’s long neglected urban core, Main & Rose was developed and designed to help promote downtown infill, ensuring our farmland in surrounding areas remain secure and productive. This large mixed-use downtown development comprised of luxury lofts and retail space was awarded the LFUCG ‘Historic Preservation’ award despite being new construction. The designation was achieved by developing existing space without tearing down any buildings and blending new architecture within the existing urban fabric. Other awards include Best Downtown Development (Hearld-Leader), Architectural Award (AIA), Vision Award (Bluegrass Tomorrow), and Urban Streetscape Award (Downtown Lexington Corp.)
Founded by Indian child rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for his struggle against the suppression of children, Senior Partner, Nathan Cryder, was hired as the acting U.S. Director in 2015, and since joining Edelen Ventures, has remained an active advisor on a pro-bono basis. Since 1981, Mr. Satyarthi’s organizations have directly rescued over 90,000 children from slavery and have tirelessly advocated around the world for the right to a quality education for all children. Among other things, Nathan’s advisory role has included the editing of Mr. Satyarthi’s speeches, including his TED talk, as well as his memoirs. He was also an advisor to Oscar award-winning filmmaker, Davis Guggenheim, producer, Sara Anthony, and director, Derek Doneen during their filming of The Price of Free.
This Lexington-based gym had no interest in being your run-of-the-mill gym based on a model of low-monthly membership fees. The owners, Lucy Hendricks and Dave Wilton, were nationally respected fitness experts who wanted to build a community of people tied together by their commitment to wellness based on the pillars of practicing mindfulness, developing healthy sleep patterns, physical training, healthy eating, and connection to nature. While most gyms were in dire straits when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Edelen Ventures helped Enhancing Life convert the crisis into an opportunity. Their holistic model paid off in spades, as they were able to create an online training platform to grow and strengthen their community during a time when human connection is more important than ever.
For years, Durham and Brand Co. was a one-man show. Founder, Austin Dunbar, was nationally-recognized as one of the top young branding talents, which is why he was able to pull in clients among the likes of Bud Light, Old Spice, Adobe, Dell, Fat Tire Brewing Co., Sazerac Col, New Riff Distilling, United Way, and many more. He had the wonderful “problem” of more work than he could handle, so Edelen Ventures helped Austin manage its growth as he hired six new employees and took on dozens of new clients.
Downtown Lexington’s growing dining and entertainment scene is anchored by the wildly popular Carson’s restaurant, Gus Fried Chicken, and East End Taproom. All three of these great restaurants are in developments created by Phil Holoubek and his team. To complete these projects, Holoubek was able to pull together funding from a variety of sources including private investors, traditional bank equity, and public financing including the creation of a TIF district. The result is increased business investment, enhanced dining options, and new tax revenues for Lexington.
Thanks to an electrical outage at Hartford Airport in Atlanta in 2017, EV’s Managing Director, Nathan Cryder, found himself stuck on a runway in Havana for four hours. Seated next to him was Erin Goodman, a complete stranger who at the time was the Associate Director for Latin American Studies at Harvard. They struck up a conversation in which Erin mentioned that she was hoping to leave Harvard soon to start a tour company focused on connecting American and Cuban women. The only problem–she had no previous business experience. Over the next several months, Nathan walked Erin through the business creation process–from legal filings to branding, website creation to successful launch. Since then, CubaConnect has conducted dozens of tours and connected hundreds of American and Cuban women.
Specializing in the breeding and training of Colombian show horses, Criadero Lusitania was looking to expand into thoroughbreds in the “Horse Capital of the World”. Managing Partner, Nathan Cryder, was able to help them navigate the difficult business terrain and connect them to some of the region’s leading experts in breeding and training to guide them through this often opaque and idiosyncratic industry.
Founded by two cousins from Marion County, Cornbread Hemp was the first USDA Certified Organic CBD oil on the market in Kentucky. They came to Edelen Ventures to help them develop strategies for increasing sales and distribution and forging new partnerships that could take them from a small, profitable start-up to one of the leading brands in this emerging, highly-competitive space. Coming off of a successful $107,000 crowdsourcing effort, Cornbread Hemp needed to position themselves for a successful Series A round in order to solidify their position as a trusted brand offering the highest quality, most dependable CBD oil products on the market.
Lexington-based Breakout grew rapidly from a small, family-owned business founded by Senior Partner, Nathan Cryder, and six others in December of 2015, to the world’s largest escape room company with over 1,000 employees just two years later. With 44 locations across the U.S. and one in South Africa, Nathan was a founding board member during Breakout’s most rapid period of growth and was responsible for overseeing the construction phase of new locations.