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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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Now displaying: October, 2022

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.

Oct 31, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Victoria Dickerson sit down with Sophia Rascoff, the co-founder of Recon Food, a social media app that allows users to research, recommend, and reconnect with friends through a common love of food. Sophia explains how Recon Food was designed to be a space where individuals can share photos, recipes, and experiences with their social network without all the stressors that come with a more mainstream media platform. Throughout the episode, Caleb, Jeff, Victoria, and Sophia discuss the rise of vertical social platforms and how Recon Food aims to combat the toxicity of social media. 

 

Show Notes:

(1:12) Introduction to Sophia

(1:21) About Recon Food

(7:00) Navigating the Toxicity of Social Media

(9:59) Being a Young Entrepreneur

(12:44) Three-year Forecast

(17:04) Monetizing Recon Food

(18:57) Product Placement Opportunities

(21:29) Advice to Younger Self

(25:19) Closing Thoughts

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Victoria Dickerson

Sophia Rascoff

Recon Food

 

Quotes:

“Social media as an entire concept has become very stressful as of late due to the bad news you encounter on it. It’s not really a fun place anymore. So the goal of this was to be a space where people could talk without having to be bombarded with everything else.” - Sophia Rascoff, (1:29)

“On the receiving content side of Instagram, it’s a highlight reel where you’re left comparing the best of what you see to your entire life, which isn’t accurate and is not a great reflection, but it’s what happens.” - Sophia Rascoff, (8:50) 

“...everyone says just get off social media, but I don’t think for my generation that's really a viable solution. It’s such a powerful tool I know we can do so much with. It’s just about optimizing it and making sure it’s used in the best way.” - Sophia Rascoff, (15:58)

“My favorite piece of advice, which I would give someone else and also which I wished I had discovered sooner, is that in this day and age, if you have the ability to just go do it, why not start?” - Sophia Rascoff, (21:29)

Oct 24, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Grace Gill sit down with Yang Luo-Branch, founder and president of the Arkansas Association of Asian Businesses, the first Arkansas-Asian Chamber of Commerce in the Natural State. Yang shares about her experience as a first-generation immigrant from China and overcoming struggles that many immigrants face, such as public speaking and adjusting to an individualistic society. Throughout the episode, Caleb, Jeff, Grace, and Yang discuss what it means to be a global citizen, create meaningful connections through conversations, and how problem-solving is a lot like eating with chopsticks.

 

Show Notes:

(1:12) Introduction to Yang Luo-Branch

(1:51) About the Arkansas Association of Asian Businesses

(8:13) Yang’s Origin Story

(10:51) What’s Next for the Arkansas Association of Asian Business

(14:04) The Association’s Reach in Arkansas

(18:41) From Global Citizen to Northwest Arkansas Resident

(21:11) Being Welcomed in Northwest Arkansas

(24:44) First-Generation vs Second-Generation Immigrants

(27:02) Global Challenges

(32:38) Tangible Outcomes of the Association

(38:40) Advice to Younger Self

(39:24) Closing Questions

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Grace Gill

Yang Luo-Branch

Arkansas Association of Asian Businesses - join the Arkansas Association of Asian Businesses newsletter here!

 

Quotes:

“We have an analogy in my culture—we use chopsticks to eat everything, right? The rice, the noodles, the soup, whatever. We just have this mindset of problem solving and using chopsticks to eat everything versus using different shapes of knives, you know, utensils. Very specialized. So that’s how I approach things in life, too, I feel, doing art, doing nonprofit, doing data analytics at Tyson which is the company I work for. To me, it’s just approaching life. Solving life’s whatever needs to be solved and if I can play a role in this whole context, I feel I’m pretty lucky.” - Yang Luo-Branch (10:24)

“We have members writing to us long paragraphs telling their stories from east Arkansas, from south Arkansas, from north Arkansas, definitely outside of these population-dense areas. They just feel passionate about, ‘Hey, there’s something like this existing in Arkansas.’ And they care about us in south Arkansas, too.” - Yang Luo-Branch (14:59)

“I think global citizen, I mean it sounds fancy or sounds like a big word, but to me it’s really just making the best of living wherever you are, wherever you find your place on this earth. That’s just about participating in life wherever in the world. That’s my definition of it. So, today I find myself in Northwest Arkansas, you know, with my husband and my daughter here and all my family is still in China, so what do I do? I need to participate in life in Northwest Arkansas. And I feel probably many residents in this area share that same kind of attitude, no matter if they’re local or from other parts of the world. I think my message would be, ‘Hey let’s all come out and let’s all give back and we can all bring something to the community and make the most of it for ourselves too.’” - Yang Luo-Branch (18:41)

“If I can help [immigrants] to create a channel out to help them connect their little enclave or bubble with the rest of the community who’s so willing to help, if I can be that channel, I’m willing to.” - Yang Luo-Branch (24:54)

“Personally I feel there should be more talks between people to people connection, community to community connections, the geopolitical things. I can see why on an intellectual level but I feel we’re missing out if we just stop talking to each other, if we just stop socializing because the ‘big guys’ are not playing along very well.” - Yang Luo-Branch (28:50)

“Every connection starts with a conversation, so I just see people get connected on LinkedIn due to our event, or people write thank you notes to us and say, ‘Hey, we’ve carried on the relationship after your initial introduction.’” - Yang Luo-Branch (33:40)

Oct 17, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Davis McEntire, Victoria Dickerson, and Jeff Amerine sit down with Parker Graham, founder and CEO of Finotta, a platform that helps financial institutions personalize their mobile banking. Along with his successful entrepreneurship career, Parker has also played in the NFL as a tackle for the Baltimore Ravens and was named Innovator of the Year by Pipeline in 2022. Throughout the episode, Davis, Victoria, Jeff, and Parker discuss the past, present, and future of Finotta and the intricacies behind funding a startup.

 

Show Notes:

(1:05) Introduction to Parker

(1:34) About Finotta

(2:38) Finotta’s Journey So Far

(5:09) Who Finotta Caters To

(8:43) How Being an Athlete Influences Entrepreneurship

(13:57) The Ideology behind Finotta

(19:29) Advice to Entrepreneurs 

(25:25) Advice to Younger Self

(27:19) Closing Thoughts

 

Links:

Davis McEntire

Victoria Dickerson

Jeff Amerine

Parker Graham

Finotta

 

Quotes:

“The mobile app looks similar at every bank and credit union, there’s not a lot of differentiation. So what we build is a technology that gets embedded in the mobile front end and personalizes the user experience.” - Parker Graham, (1:49)

“It’s all about engagement. We improve the times that users are spending on the device with that bank. So the more time the bank has with that customer, the more opportunities they have to sell them a product and generate revenue.” - Parker Graham, (5:46)

“Open banking is the buzzword and what that means is the infrastructure is becoming less siloed where technology’s starting to talk to each other. Technology stacks are becoming more fluid and it allows for companies like us to come in and build and deploy cool stuff quickly.” - Parker Graham, (16:29)

“Be patient and get your metrics in order so that when you want to raise capital, you can. The worst thing you can do is get on a treadmill where you’re constantly consuming and needing more.” - Parker Graham, (21:21)

Oct 10, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

 

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley and Jeff Amerine sit down with Luke Owings, VP of product at Abilitie, a leadership development company that provides team-based simulations. In 2020, Luke left his corporate job and decided to lean into his mosaic career, pulling together a disparate set of experiences to create a fulfilling and impactful picture of work. Throughout the episode, Caleb, Jeff, and Luke discuss the history behind Abilitie, how Abilitie is influencing education, and Abilitie’s vision for the future.

 

Show Notes:

(1:12) Introduction to Luke

(6:10) How Being an Athlete Affected Luke’s Career

(9:26) About Abilitie

(12:40) Driving Change in How Education Is Delivered

(16:35) Bringing Faculty to the Table

(19:57) What’s Next for Abilitie

(22:12) Advice to Younger Self

(23:14) Closing Thoughts

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Luke Owings

Abilitie

 

Quotes:

“With tools like ours, we run our entire MBA virtually to create an accessibility that never existed in the past, and of course there’s the pricing accessibility as well.” - Luke Owings, (13:40)

 

“What we strive to do when we create our cohorts and our classes, is to have some diversity. So, the entrepreneurs are one group we have in there, and we also like to have some people who are transferring from one thing to another.” - Luke Owings, (14:58)

 

“From our faculty perspective, we opt toward practitioners, people who have been there, people who have experience...who are coming together and saying, ‘I learned a ton over the years. I want to help the next generation.’” - Luke Owings, (16:58)

 

“Our goal is to grow. Our goal is to continue to create an opportunity for people to have conversancy in the language of business connections around the world and confidence in how they build and run their company.” - Luke Owings, (20:33)

Oct 3, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Davis McEntire, Jeff Amerine, and Victoria Dickerson sit down with Amy Keever, owner of Amy Keever Gallery, a unique Parisian art salon located a block off the Bentonville square. Amy is a primarily self-taught glass mosaic artist of twenty-one years who prides herself in creating one-of-a-kind heirloom pieces. Throughout the episode, Davis, Jeff, Victoria, and Amy discuss balancing a business that is also your creative outlet and how to reignite your creativity when you’re feeling uninspired.

 

Show Notes:

(1:02) Introduction to Amy

(1:11) About Amy and Amy Keever Gallery

(2:54) Being a Business Owner and an Artist

(4:56) Future Plans for Amy Keever Gallery

(6:20) The Gallery’s Ideal Customer

(8:38) Balancing a Business as Your Creative Outlet

(10:57) How to Refuel Your Creative Side

(13:04) Mentoring Young Artists

(15:12) What Comes Next 

(18:20) Advice to Aspiring Artists

(21:14) Closing Thoughts

 

Links:

Davis McEntire

Jeff Amerine

Victoria Dickerson

Amy Keever

Amy Keever Gallery

 

Quotes:

“As a small business owner, you don’t have that boss to tell you, ‘This is how you have to do this.’ So, setting up systems was a big deal for me. I have a vision book that I keep the year’s goals and everything in.” - Amy Keever, (4:06)

“I think when you have a passion like that, it’s really hard, you’ll do anything to keep that. I’ve always said my dream is like a baby and it’s my job to protect that baby…There are some things that are not fun, but I know they get me to my end goals.” - Amy Keever, (8:38)

“I always said I wasn’t necessarily the most academic teacher, but I could motivate a kid. I think so much with life is about validation. If you can say, ‘Hey you’re valid just as you are,’ that’s a huge thing to be able to conquer.” - Amy Keever, (13:05)

“I would be true to myself and not feel like I had to validate myself to the rest of the world to be able to go forward in what I’m doing.” - Amy Keever, (17:31)

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