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The Startup Junkies Podcast

The Startup Junkies podcast is hosted by Jeff Amerine and the team at Startup Junkie. We’ll cover topics ranging from getting started, planning, growing your business, proving your concept, leadership, marketing, exit strategies and so much more. We’ll interview business owners, entrepreneurs, experts and people we think will bring value to our audience. Subscribe, and together we'll take your business to the next level.
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This is the Startup Junkies Podcast. These are the stories of the people that are afflicted with creating the next great products and services that are going to change lives - not just in America, but worldwide. We're going to tell the stories of the next great beer producer, products and apparel makers, and the stories of people that don't accept the status quo and that want to make things better. 

Welcome to the Startup Junkies Podcast.

Nov 30, 2020

Welcome back to another episode of the Startup Junkies Podcast! This week, Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Matthew Ward talk with Dr. Joseph Daniels, founder of Build Community Through Love. Build Community Through Love seeks to infuse AGAPE LOVE into the strategic and actionable redesign of authentic community.  Dr. Daniels has a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Arkansas, is a community builder, and is a real investor. In this episode, some of the topics you will get to hear about our insights around inclusivity in ecosystem development, opportunity zones in real estate, the need for equity in Northwest Arkansas, and Dr. Daniels' why. Thanks for listening in with us!

Shownotes

(2:01) Introducing Joe Daniels

(5:06) Moving from a metropolitan area to NWA

(11:19) Inclusivity in entrepreneurial ecosystems

(26:12) Joe’s future with Build Community Through Love 

(32:15) Joe talks about what drives his passion

(35:48) Advice for Joe’s younger self

(38:55) Wrapping up

 

Links

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Matthew Ward

Joe Daniels

Build Community Through Love Website

BCTL Podcast

BCTL Instagram    

 

Quotes

“We value all of these things and then allow for a seven day event where everybody comes in from outside to come into our home.  And we begin saying, you know what, we’re not gonna, we can’t do anything. We’re just going to let everybody be themselves.  And, you know, if I’m a taxpayer in this city, I don’t want to have to go to another city for a week just to let other people come into my house and wreck it, just for me to have to come back.” (27:20)

 

“So I would tell young Joe, as he’s coming out of high school, begin thinking of ways to employ people.  Begin using your mind to solve problems.  Don’t force yourself to get A’s in a system that’s gonna continue to keep you locked into as an employee, because your mind is so powerful.  And if you use your mind, you can always be an employee, but you can also be someone who can really affect change, and who can provide ideas that solve and can provide real solutions.” (37:08)

Nov 23, 2020

Welcome back to another episode of the Startup Junkies Podcast!

This week, Caleb Talley and Matthew Ward talk with Bo Lais, founder of Lula and KC Collective.  They chat about building a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kansas City, silver linings from the Pandemic, and working with Pipeline.  Listen to this week’s episode to hear about an ideal example of a business that assesses the marketplace and adapts to address a need in the property management industry!

 

Shownotes

(2:24) Introducing Lula 

(5:46) KC Collective 

(10:20) Surprises of working with KC Collective

(12:42) Creating a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem

(14:40) A silver lining from the pandemic

(18:14) Raising capital for Lula

(21:13) Working with Pipeline

(26:44) Advice for the younger self

(28:27) Wrapping up

 

Links

Caleb Talley

Matthew Ward

Bo Lais

Lula  

KC Collective 

 

Quotes

“You really need universities, corporations, and they need government, right? You need all of them to play nicely with one another in order to be a really strong, entrepreneurial city.” (13:08)

“We’re always asking, you know, investors to take more risks but on the other side, you know, I think that founders, I think we need to do bigger things.  We need to have more exits, right? More exits and bigger exits.” (17:07)

Nov 16, 2020

218: Creating Startup Junkies

Jeff Amerine - Startup Junkie; Jeff Standridge - The Conductor

Welcome to a special episode of the Startup Junkies Podcast! This week, Caleb Talley and Morgan Scholz sit down with Jeff Amerine and Jeff Standridge to talk about their new book "Creating Startup Junkies". In this episode, you will get to hear about the genesis of the book, the importance of venture ecosystem development, and the crucial pillars to creating a venture ecosystem. This is an episode you do not want to miss out on!

 

Check out this link to find more information on how to create an effective ecosystem: https://www.creatingstartupjunkies.com/

 

Shownotes

(2:03) What led to writing a book?

(5:09) Who is the book for?

(14:02) What are the benefits of building a startup in unexpected places?

(20:19) Discussing the four pillars

(27:09) Game-changing policy changes for startup ecosystems

(33:14) What is the biggest goal of the book?

(34:36) Wrap up



Links

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Jeff Standridge 

Morgan Scholz 

Creating Startup Junkies 



Quotes

“Otherwise they think of economic development as ‘we’re going to go attract a big plant from somewhere,’ and there’s a place for that, that’s important. But that’s kind of like buying a winning lottery ticket.  What we’re talking about in this book, and in everything we do, is sort of the Money Ball play, to use a movie reference. This is the how do you get a better on base percentage with the talent that you have locally, and it’s something that sticks.” (8:10) 

 

“If we believe that this is a movement that can change lives, our defining purpose and reason for being is to empower and enable innovators and entrepreneurs.  And by virtue of that, improve their lives or quality or standard of living.  The book is a manifestation of that.  It’s intended to be a little bit inspiration, a little bit practical and tactical detail for how to do it.” (33:32)

Nov 9, 2020

Welcome to another episode of the Startup Junkies Podcast! This week, Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Matthew Ward have a virtual chat with Jonathan Kazarian, founder and CEO of AccelEvents. AccelEvents is a virtual event platform that creates high-quality broadcasts and on-demand videos at scale. With over 12,500 companies, organizations, and events who have utilized the platform, AccelEvents has been proven to be an effective solution. In this episode, you will get to hear about the birth and development of AccelEvents, advice to be successful with organizing and running virtual events, and emerging trends in the virtual event space. Check out this great episode!

Shownotes

(1:16) Introducing Accelevents

(7:03) The benefits of transitioning to virtual events

(12:44) Setting up a virtual event through Accelevents

(14:11) How virtual events favor tech employees

(16:26) Scaling quickly with a global virtual team

(18:02) Price structure and how sponsors benefit from virtual events

(22:56) The future of virtual events post-pandemic

(24:25) Jonathan gives advice to his younger self

 

Links

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Matthew Ward

Jonathan Kazarian 

Accelevents 

 

Quotes

“One big trend that we’re seeing...is that these events that used to take three, six, nine months to plan in person and were crazy expensive, now through our platform, these event organizers can take that event and they can repurpose and reuse a lot of the content and bring that community back and re-engage that community every month or every quarter and build those deeper relationships.” (7:20)

 

“You learn best by taking the hit in the face with a two-by-four, because you know the kinds of things you won’t do again.  And some of those, I think some of those life lessons are the things that define good leaders.  If you could do everything right and you’ve kind of lived an enchanted life, when the first big obstacle comes up you have no idea how to deal with it.” (25:40)

Nov 2, 2020

Hey everyone! We are glad to have you here for another episode of the Startup Junkies Podcast! This week, Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Matthew Ward talk with Jeff Starling, an owner of The Source. The Source is a one-stop-shop for the highest-grade medical marijuana in the state. Their pledge is to create a high-end, seamless experience that enhances the patient's journey to healing and leaves them feeling cared for. In this episode you will get to hear about changing attitudes around medical marijuana, thoughts around full legalization, the impact COVID has had on the weed supply chain, and innovation in the weed industry. We are happy to have you here with us!

 

Shownotes

(1:12) Introducing The Source and Jeff Starling 

(3:03) Opening a business in a highly regulated industry

(4:56) Marijuana as medicine

(7:16) Changing the stigmas about medical marijuana

(10:57) A surprising client base

(12:25) Preparing for the full legalization of recreational marijuana

(14:26) Staying above board in the medical marijuana industry

(18:09) What’s next for The Source

(20:07) Marijuana quality in Arkansas compared to other states

(25:53) How Issue 3 can affect the future of legalized marijuana

(29:50) Jeff gives advice to his younger self

(31:39) Wrapping up



Links

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Matthew Ward



Quotes

“There was some resistance to us opening our location in Bentonville, cause everybody thinks it’s going to bring crime and, you know, this counter-culture attitude, and it’s just going to be a sore-spot… To be honest, it was already here.  People can just be more open about it, and everybody’s paying taxes on it now.  So the attitudes are definitely shifting.”  (7:20)

 

The powers that be in Arkansas did not want this, they didn’t.  They made every hurdle and bit of red tape to go through in order for anybody to get approved here.  But, the people voted.  The people spoke.  This is what they wanted.  This is how our government is supposed to be set up. That we, as the people, have the right to put things on the ballot that we want to see voted on.” (26:07)

 

“I think that when you start to see these small towns get this industry moving in and all the sudden there’s tax revenue and jobs, and again, the economics become way more important. You’re going to start to see people’s eyes are opening up.”  (27:41)

Oct 26, 2020

As a part of the Game-Changers Series for Startup Week, Caleb Talley sat down for a conversation with Tom Gordon, the co-founder, president, and CEO of Slim Chickens.  They talked about the early days of Slim Chickens, how the company has adapted through the pandemic, the current and future expansion of Slim Chickens, and much more.  You do not want to miss out on this tremendous episode!

 

Shownotes

(1:20) The beginnings of Slim Chickens

(6:12) Handling finances with a young business

(8:21) Taking outside capital after initial investors

(11:15) Building a culture that welcomes everyone from the community

(13:40) Going international

(15:33) Making menu decisions

(18:49) Adjusting to the pandemic environment

(23:55) Tom gives advice to his younger self

 

Links

Caleb Talley

Tom Gordon

Slim Chickens  

 

Quotes

“We say none of us really ever lost.  Everybody who has a company that they start from scratch makes sacrifices.  And those are things you’ve got to do.  You know, you don’t pay yourself.  You sell a car to make payroll.  You know, you take your money to the bank after Friday lunch to make sure you make Friday payroll for your people.  That’s real-life in business.  That’s real life in American capitalism, and if you stick to it, you know, often you can get to the next level.”  (7:45)

 

“You know, those are lessons that are learned and will always be valuable to me and Greg Smart.  And it just takes time.  Surviving is the key, and if you can survive long enough and have enough time and adjust quick, you know, I think that anybody in the US, anybody in this country has a shot at it.” (25:

Oct 19, 2020

This week, Jeff Amerine talks with Sam Alley, chairman, and CEO of VCC.  VCC is a leading general contractor in the nation, and it is the largest retail construction company in America.  In this episode, you will hear about how Sam started VCC with two partners, challenges the business has overcome, and the strong culture found within the company.  Sam also shares advice for engineers who are looking to build their own businesses.  As always, thanks for tuning in!

Shownotes

(1:10) Sam Allley introduces VCC

(3:46) Sam talks about the early days at VCC 

(6:18) Challenges that VCC has overcome

(9:34) Advice for entrepreneurs looking to build large enterprises 

(11:47) Building a strong culture

(14:19) Managing a business through COVID-19 

(20:06) Advice for engineers looking to start their own business 

(22:15) Sam’s take on the American Dream

Links

Jeff Amerine

Sam Alley 

VCC 

Quotes

“So really, construction includes engineering and business together, and that’s why I was really excited to choose the construction industry.” (2:41)

“If you ever go and start your own company, people will come and ask you to service them because they’ve dealt with you.  And it doesn’t matter what the name of the company is, it’s the individual that makes a difference.”  (4:09)

Oct 12, 2020

Welcome back to another episode of the Startup Junkies Podcast! This week, Caleb Talley and Jeff Amerine chat with special guest Sarah Frey, CEO, and founder of Frey Farms. Frey Farms is one of the nation's largest fresh produce suppliers and grows fresh produce in the Midwest, Southeast, and West Virginia. From a recent appearance on CBS to creating her book "The Growing Season: How I Built a New Life -- And Saved an American Farm", Sarah Frey has made an impact on many people telling her remarkable entrepreneurial story. In this episode, you will get to hear about Sarah's inspiring journey to save the family farm, an in-depth conversation around everything pumpkin related, and how COVID has affected the agriculture industry. Listen in to this great story!

Shownotes

(1:00) Introducing Frey Farms

(11:17) Frey Farms, the largest pumpkin provider in the country

(16:14) Educating the public on the pumpkin as a part of a meal

(19:20) The sales model of Frey Farms

(27:00) Using imperfect produce

(31:32) How Sarah’s childhood experiences prepared her for future success

(35:32) The future of Frey Farms

(38:40) Sarah’s advice to her younger self

 

Links

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Matthew Ward

Sarah Frey

Frey Farms

Sarah's Homegrown   

 

Quotes

“Food was simple.  It was clean, and it was delicious.  Nothing ever went to waste on our farm, because we couldn't afford to waste anything on the farm where I grew up when I was a little girl.  And it’s those same principles that apply today to our business on a much larger scale.  And I think there is an opportunity to tell that story...to educate the consumer on this is who we are.  This is how we grow your food.  This is what’s important to us. And I think that translates to more customer loyalty at the grocery retailer.”  (20:17) 

Oct 5, 2020

Hey everyone! We are back again with another spectacular week of the Startup Junkies Podcast! This week, Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Matthew Ward talk with Jeroen Corthout, co-founder and CEO of Salesflare. Salesflare is a simply powerful CRM that automates data to build better relationships and make more sales. It's a fast, visual, and easy-to-use sales machine that is built by humans for humans. In this episode,  you will get to hear about the evolution of Salesflare, the amount of time employees spend on SaaS platforms, the flexibility of raising various funds to run a startup, and the impact of COVID on Salesflare. We are happy you are tuning in with us!

Sep 28, 2020

Hey everyone! Welcome back to another great episode of the Startup Junkies Podcast. This week, Jeff Amerine and Matthew Ward have a lively conversation with Mark Donnigan, founder of d-launch. d-launch is a marketing consulting firm Mark started in 2010 to help startup companies crush their business objectives through marketing architecture. In this episode, you will get to hear about Mark's impactful journey from sales to opening his own marketing consulting firm, his approach to picking your first marketing hire, and why there should not be a demand generation function. Tune in for these words of wisdom!

Shownotes

(1:01) Introducing Mark Donnigan

(4:46) Go-to market engineering

(10:51) The importance of a startup’s first marketing hire

(19:30) Demand generation marketing

(23:35) The difference in B2C and B2B sales

(31:00) Mark’s advice for his past self

 

Links

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Mark Donnigan

d-launch  

 

Quotes

“The high failure rate of startups is due largely to the fact that - not because what was built didn’t work, or didn’t fulfill the promise...but it’s because they failed to educate the market as to the problem that this invention would solve.” (5:52)

 

“In some ways, a lot of the B2C motions are, are, are, the tactics are different in B2B.  It’s true, but at the end of the day, I’m still selling to a human.  And if that human doesn’t connect with me, as another human even at the most basic relationship level, I’m not going to close the sale” (23:59)

Sep 21, 2020

Hey everyone! This is another special week with your Startup Junkie Crew. This week, Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Matthew Ward have an insightful call with Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and CEO of Revolution. Revolution is a venture capital firm that helps entrepreneurs build the next generation of transformative companies outside of Silicon Valley. In this episode, you will get to hear about barriers around private investment activity, important aspects of developing a venture ecosystem, and opportunities exposed by COVID-19. You do not want to miss out on this valuable episode!

Sep 8, 2020

Tyler Elm - BlueInGreen

Welcome back to another episode of the Startup Junkies Podcast! This week, Caleb Talley and Jeff Amerine speak with Tyler Elm, Chief Marketing and Business Sustainability Officer of BlueInGreen. BlueInGreen designs the most efficient water treatment solutions in order to lower the total cost of treatment while improving water quality. In this episode, you will get to hear about Tyler's sustainability background, challenges of growing in a niche vertical, and potential exit strategies for BlueInGreen. Check out this episode!

Shownotes

(1:06)  Introducing BlueInGreen

(1:52) Tyler’s career background

(6:47) BlueInGreen’s significant growth in a conservative market

(12:51) BlueInGreen’s plans to scale internationally

(15:50) COVID’s effects on scaling for BlueInGreen

(20:38) How teaming up with a strategic partner could benefit BlueInGreen

(28:20) Tyler shares advice to other people looking to team up with a startup

(36:02) Wrapping up

Links

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Tyler Elm

BlueInGreen

Quotes

“What we’ve been trying to do is scale certain technologies and certain markets based on high value opportunities for the customer.  So the drive of strong ROI and applications that really leverage our core competencies of being able to treat more water with less energy and have a smaller footprint.” (10:12)

“I would say that we’re giving the customer the opportunity to either tap a capital budget or an operational budget.  In some applications, the operation, the operational savings cover more than the capital costs very quickly.”  (23:34)

Aug 31, 2020

 Hey everyone! Welcome back to another episode of the Startup Junkies Podcast. This week, Caleb Talley has a special chat with Cameron Smith of Cameron Smith & Associates. Cameron Smith & Associates is one of the nation's leading recruiting firms that is devoted to finding and placing the best talent. In this episode, you will get to hear about the impact Cameron Smith & Associates has made in Northwest Arkansas, the game-changing moment for Mr. Smith, and the transformation of fastpitch softball in Arkansas. Check out this fun, insightful episode!

 

Shownotes

(00:34) Intro

(2:21) Cameron Smith and Associates origin story

(7:39) Cameron shares game changing moments from his career

(10:21) Cameron and his wife Monica’s meeting story

(15:32) How Cameron changed the Arkansas sports landscape

(21:41) COVID’s effects on Cameron Smith and Associates

(23:14) What’s next for the company?

(24:40) Best advice Cameron has received 

Links

Caleb Talley

Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith and Associates

Quotes

“I was busier than all get out, and I really couldn’t hire recruiters quick enough to manage the business.  So fast forward 25 years later.  There are 1,600 plus Walmart vendors here.  And I believe we are responsible for bringing more than 500 of those teams here, and help facilitating close to 5,000 jobs.  It’s been a great run, and we’re very grateful” (5:13)

“When you’re first starting out, you have this vision for this business.  You’ve got to ask a lot of questions.  You have to do your due diligence.  You’ve got to run the numbers and make a plan.”  (25:31)

Aug 24, 2020

Welcome back to another week of the Startup Junkies Podcast! This week, Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Matthew Ward have a chat with Sean Petterson, founder, and CEO of Strongarm Technologies. Strongarm Tech is a developer of a safety science platform that uses wearable sensors and AI-driven analysis to collect, analyze and predict insights on industrial workers in order to mitigate the risk of injury, enabling clients to mitigate workman's compensation claims from back injuries and increase worker productivity and comfort. In this episode, you will get to hear about Sean's compelling story and background, critical adjustments made during COVID-19, and insights around company culture. Check out this compelling episode!

Shownotes

(1:14) What is StrongArm Tech

(6:20) How StrongArm Tech saves company’s money

(9:51) Where will StrongArm be in the 3 years?

(12:13) COVID’s effects on StrongArm

(16:26) How insurance helps in StrongArm’s sales process

(19:23) Sean talks about keeping people from all areas of operation focused on the data that truly matters

(22:52) Sean shares stories of how StrongArm has been impactful and helpful to clients

(26:20) Sean talks about the culture of StrongArm

(29:39) Seans shares advice to his younger self

(31:53) Wrap up

Links

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Matthew Ward

Sean Petterson

Strongarm Tech

Quotes

“So today we’ve transitioned, and Strongarm is the world’s leading safety science company.  We’ve had over 35,000 people run through our platform, and we’re reducing injuries now at a rate of nearly 50% year over year.” (5:32)

“So for us to be able to be front that is solely focused on one issue - the industrial athlete, and making them relevant in the future by driving value that is not seen necessarily, is our unique operation.” (21:58)

 

“We use a core set of values, and those values for us happen to be a cool acronym that ends up being sacred.  But those values are things like self-improving, and our ability to stick to those is key for us to hire the same people as we build that scalable business.” (27:15)

“Your value as an entrepreneur and as an individual leader is your ability to synthesize.  To disagree with some of the insights you may get, to agree with some of the insights you may get, but to synthesize your own thoughts based on the information that you pull in is hands down the most valuable asset.” (30:21)

Aug 17, 2020

206: Beer Saves The World... Again

Brian Crum and Bianca Tessa with Beyond the Tap

Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of the Startup Junkies Podcast! This week, Caleb Talley and Jeff Amerine talk with Bianca Tessa and Brian Crum from Beyond the Tap. Beyond the Tap is a podcast that brings together the best of craft beer, wine, and spirits, which are made in Northwest Arkansas. They inspire, educate, and celebrate the people who are making it happen as they sit down with the top brewers, distillers, and vintners across the region. In this episode, you will get to hear about the story behind the creation of the Beyond the Tap podcast, learning experiences around creating and growing a podcast, and insights around the adult beverage industry during COVID-19. Check out the episode!

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