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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: 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.

Nov 28, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Victoria Dickerson sit down with Tim Swindle, a serial entrepreneur in the toy and game space and co-founder of Glacier Games. With his passion for outdoor sports, Tim teamed up with two others to create a new recreational game called PaddleSmash, which combines the best elements of Pickleball and Spikeball. Throughout the episode, Caleb, Jeff, Victoria, and Tim discuss how incorporating fun into your day is a necessity, building a business with Kickstarter, and how entrepreneurs should advertise their ideas, not safeguard them.  

 

Show Notes:

(0:55) Introduction to Tim

(1:27) Tim’s Origin Story

(5:16) The Development of PaddleSmash

(9:36) Tech vs Outdoor Sports

(13:41) The Importance of Having Fun

(17:33) Lessons Learned

(22:49) Increasing Your Surface Area

(26:01) The Kickstarter Experience

(29:17) Social Media Strategy

(32:34) Advice to Younger Self

(33:11) Closing Questions

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Victoria Dickerson

Tim Swindle

PaddleSmash

 

Quotes:

“There’s a resurgence to being low-tech right now. People spend so much time on their computers, laptops, iPads, and iPhones that you’re seeing physical board games and outdoor games becoming more popular. We’ve become so digital with society that they provide this opportunity to get back to actually interacting with each other.” - Tim Swindle, (12:07)

“That would be my biggest advice to entrepreneurs. Go out there, share your ideas, and talk to people. Don’t worry about anybody stealing it, that’s not going to happen. Get the real raw feedback as to whether or not you have something and can move forward.” - Tim Swindle, (25:01)

“People think Kickstarter is where you start, but a lot of times these people have gathered interest and email addresses prior to launching, and they engage that community once they go. Then the Kickstarter algorithm says they’re trending, and they start to show up everywhere. So focus on pre-marketing and building a community before you ever go live.” - Tim Swindle, (26:27)

Nov 21, 2022

 

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

 

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Victoria Dickerson sit down with Brad Gentry, the CEO of Gentry Professional Services, an elite engineering consulting and talent acquisition firm that specializes in placing subject matter experts with clients that require specific knowledge. With over a decade of experience, Brad is experienced and skilled in engineering design, project management, and business development. Throughout the episode, Caleb, Jeff, Victoria, and Brad discuss preparing the next generation of labor workers and how a company’s culture is vital to success.

 

Show Notes:

(1:12) Introduction to Brad

(1:26) About Gentry Professional Services

(5:34) Challenges with the Labor Market

(8:06) Encouraging Employee Retention

(11:02) Navigating the CHIPS Act

(13:36) Technologies' Role in Supplementing Labor

(19:23) Gentry Professional Services Culture

(28:08) The Future of Gentry Professional Services

(32:02) Advice to Younger Self

(34:36) Closing Questions

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Victoria Dickerson

Brad Gentry

Gentry Professional Services

 

Quotes:

“The way that manifests itself today is when someone retires they may have someone who is two or three steps behind them in experience. So that generational gap has followed us as people have progressed through their careers.” - Brad Gentry, (4:37)

 

“We go through a vetting process of not just checking references, but also behavioral assessments because somebody can be the smartest person in the room but if they can’t work with others then it’s not going to be a good fit. So we do several things to assess not only their knowledge and skills, but also how well they interact with the team they’re going to be supporting.” - Brad Gentry, (16:15)

 

“We work hourly and that fits with retirees greatly…They’re coming back because they want to. So we want to make it a good experience for them and treat them like family. We found that if you let them have that autonomy, flexibility, and respect to work on what they want to, they will in turn represent you well to the clients.” - Brad Gentry, (25:04)

Nov 14, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley and Jeff Amerine sit down with Matthew Moore and Kyle Kellams of KUAF. Matthew is a reporter and producer for Ozarks at Large, a locally produced news podcast/daily show that covers news, sports, politics, arts, culture, and the quirky and unusual happenings in the Ozarks. Kyle has been the news director at KUAF for over twenty-five years and has been producing Ozarks at Large for over three decades. Throughout the episode, Caleb, Jeff, Matthew, and Kyle discuss the history and future of public radio, how podcasting has influenced traditional radio, and the burden of providing newsworthy content.  

 

Show Notes:

(0:57) Introduction to Matthew and Kyle

(2:03) Matthew and Kyle’s Origin Stories

(7:02) Marrying Podcasting with Traditional Radio

(8:57) Podcasting’s Effect on the Radio Business

(10:52) Providing News Coverage to Large Areas

(14:24) A Public Radio Station’s Business Model

(20:11) Changes in the Radio Industry

(24:18) Listening to Your Own Content

(27:05) Interesting Moments

(32:46) When Earned Media Makes Sense

(37:11) Advice to Younger Selves

(40:10) Closing Questions

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Matthew Moore

Kyle Kellams

Ozarks at Large

 

Quotes:

“I think for a certain number of people who had left radio for whatever reason, audio became cool again. For public radio, at least, podcasting is a natural rift back and forth.” - Kyle Kellams, (9:10)

“At Ozarks at Large sometimes we get to tell a different kind of story that you can really only tell on radio. If you were trying to tell that story in the paper or on TV, you would need different kinds of aids, but hearing someone tell a story from perfect memory in a way you can only do through audio is really cool.” - Matthew Moore, (13:42)

“I could talk forever about the fractured media landscape and the danger that it poses, but I think one of the great things going for us is there’s so many out there doing it like that and so few doing it like us, that we have people searching for the kind of radio we do.”- Kyle Kellams, (16:03)

“There’s this expectation of a kind of journalism, reporting, and storytelling they can hear from other stations like NPR. What they hear from Ozarks at Large is a very specific and very regional version of that. It’s high-quality and well-informed, unbiased storytelling.” - Matthew Moore, (16:34)

Nov 7, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and guest host Permjot Valia sit down with Elizabeth Prenger, founder and chief brand officer of Prose Creative, a company that helps brands and individuals connect with audiences by creating authentic relationships through their content and messaging. Elizabeth is also the co-founder as well as the marketing and public relations lead at FemHealth Founders, a startup that empowers female entrepreneurs to build and lead profitable women-centric companies. Throughout the episode, Caleb, Jeff, Permjot, and Elizabeth discuss the current product landscape and how women are making their voices heard through entrepreneurship. 

 

Show Notes:

(1:12) Introduction to Permjot

(2:10) Introduction to Elizabeth

(5:09) Elizabeth’s Entrepreneurial Origin Story

(10:45) Pain Points with the Current Product Landscape

(17:41) About Elizabeth’s New Prototype

(23:45) Launching FemHealth Founders

(27:40) The Response to FemHealth Founders

(33:28) Decision-Making Hierarchies between Women and Men

(37:38) New Postpartum Recovery Concepts

(40:25) Giving Women the Words to Identify Their Needs

(44:41) Advice to Younger Self

(48:38) Closing Thoughts

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Permjot Valia 

Elizabeth Prenger

Prose Creative LLC

FemHealth Founders

 

Quotes:

“One of the things I love the most about this journey of being an entrepreneur and launching these ideas is I’ve learned so much about things I wouldn’t have even considered looking into before.” - Elizabeth Prenger, (7:06)

“What I really liked and found refreshing about you [Elizabeth] was you didn’t talk about your identity, you were talking about the problem and the women who suffered from the problem and how your product solved that.” - Permjot Valia, (11:08)

“We have 80% of the buying power. Women are the primary purchaser in the retail and healthcare space. So we should be more involved. We should be making these products.” - Elizabeth Prenger, (28:43)

“If we as women feel more empowered to research, educate ourselves, ask questions, and be our own best advocate in this space, I think the outcomes of that can be really powerful. It can save lives. It can save families. It can save a lot of women.” - Elizabeth Prenger, (43:21)

 

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)

Sep 26, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Jeff Amerine and Caleb Talley sit down with Farzad Rashidi, the lead innovator at Respona, an all-in-one link-building outreach platform built for B2B, SaaS, and agencies to increase organic traffic from Google. As the former director of marketing at Visme, Farzad helped the company gain over fourteen million users, and since then, he’s been helping other companies achieve similar successes via Respona. Throughout the episode, Caleb, Jeff, and Farzad discuss how Respona is utilized as a promotion tactic and the concept of backlinking.

 

Show Notes:

(1:01) Introduction to Farzad

(1:21) About Respona

(6:59) The Resilience of Backlinking

(11:10) The Concept of Hyperlinking

(14:07) Link Building

(18:55) Respona’s Customer Journey

(21:57) Respona’s Focus on SEO

(23:30) Making the Choice Not to Raise Venture

(28:31) What’s Next for Respona

(30:43) Respona’s Company Culture

(34:15) Advice to Younger Self

(35:47) Closing Thoughts

 

Links:

Jeff Amerine

Caleb Talley

Davis McEntire

Farzad Rashidi

Respona

 

Quotes:

“Instead of us trying to invest cash to pour into advertising to become a household name, let’s start showing up in places where people who are looking for a product or a solution like ours would naturally come and find us.” - Farzad Rashidi, (4:21)

 

“So now, not only do you have to create a good website with a good foundation that loads fast, you have to have content that people stay on to read and is relevant contextually. You also have to convince other websites to link back to it and talk about it.” - Farzad Rashidi, (9:05)

 

“We are not in the sales industry…the reason being is the way we structure our companies is entirely inbound. So, what we do is produce lots of educational pieces that are targeted for our industry. So, it touches all bases when it comes to the customer journey.” - Farzad Rashidi, (18:56)

Sep 19, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Davis McEntire sit down with Greg Shepard, founder and CEO of BOSS Capital Partners, a boutique investment firm focused on Series Seed through Series B technology businesses. Greg also founded BOSS Startup Science, a school for entrepreneurs. Greg is a twenty-year startup veteran and serial entrepreneur, a Forbes author, a TEDX speaker, and the host of Meet The BOSS Forbes Radio show. Throughout the episode, Caleb, Jeff, Davis, and Greg discuss the curriculum of BOSS Startup Science and the methodology behind startup accelerators.

 

Show Notes:

(1:06) Introduction to Greg

(1:45) Greg’s Background in the Venture Capital Arena

(3:39) About BOSS Capital Partners

(8:32) Insights from Greg’s Five-Year Study

(17:28) Thoughts on Raising Money vs. Selling a Product or Service

(20:55) Success of the BOSS Startup Science Methodology

(24:52) Concept Centric vs. Entrepreneur Centric

(34:42) Curriculum of BOSS Startup Science

(44:04) Advice To Younger Self

(50:32) Closing Thoughts

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Davis McEntire

Greg Shepard

BOSS Capital Partners

 

Quotes:

“I did this study and was trying to figure out why they were failing, but what I really needed to learn was when they were failing because the why was coordinated with the when. They always collided at the same time.” - Greg Shepard, (4:55)

“I thought that the first thing I should focus on was helping them not fail, but the first thing I needed to focus on was helping them get into an accelerator in the first place.” - Greg Shepard, (6:18)

“It enables the people that are running the venture studio to put together funds and start making money on the loads. I don’t feel that is helping the entrepreneur. I think a lot of these things developed are helping the middle man but not really helping the entrepreneurs.” - Greg Shepard, (25:40)

Sep 12, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Davis McEntire sit down with Will Trapp, founder and CEO of Gratavid, a tool for collecting and sending personalized videos. Before Gratavid, Will became a recognized expert in web development and design systems as the director of technology at Saatchi & Saatchi X. Throughout the episode, Jeff, Davis, and Will discuss the variety of ways customers utilize Gratavid, the process of being acquired by a private equity firm, and the benefits of bootstrapping. 

 

Shownotes:

(1:12) Introduction to Will

(2:02) About Gratavid

(3:45) Acquisition by Private Equity Firm

(5:28) Bootstrapping Gratavid

(8:04) Finding Your Niche

(13:07) Pros and Cons of Being Acquired

(15:05) Integration Period While Being Acquired

(21:10) Different Ways Customers Use Gratavid

(22:45) Building the Gratavid Team

(24:26) What’s Next for Will

(25:42) Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

(30:30) Advice to Younger Self

(35:28) Closing Thoughts

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Davis McEntire

Will Trapp

Gratavid

 

Quotes:

“And I remember my lawyer, he said, ‘Start a business to run a business. Don’t start a business to try and sell a business.’ And I genuinely never intended to sell Gratavid.” - Will Trapp, (4:07)

 

“Companies that want to stay relevant have to embrace the fact that they’re going to have entrepreneurial people if they want to maintain a competitive advantage. And those entrepreneurial people are going to have side hustles going on.” - Jeff Amerine, (12:09)

 

“There’s just two different ways to go about it. You can raise money or you can bootstrap. I think your chances of success are so much higher if you can figure out how to bootstrap for as long as you can.” - Will Trapp, (34:27)

Sep 5, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Davis McEntire, Jeff Amerine, and Victoria Dickerson sit down with brothers Adam and Kfir Alfia, founders of Real Time Feedback, a two-way customer communication platform that allows customers to communicate directly with management in real time through technology. Adam and Kfir’s entrepreneurship experience spans three decades, including their 2004 venture Maestro Personal Assistants, the premier provider of personal assistance/concierge services. Throughout the episode, Davis, Jeff, Victoria, Adam, and Kfir discuss their multiple ventures, the current customer service space, and why addressing feedback is so important.

 

Shownotes:

(1:03) Introduction to Adam and Kfir

(1:21) About Real Time Feedback

(1:54) Adam and Kfir’s History with Maestro

(4:00) Idea behind Real Time Feedback

(6:18) Real Time Feedback’s Success

(9:05) Addressing the Problem of Disengaged Employees

(14:37) Customer Feedback Trends

(19:15) Ventures Involving Family Members

(23:28) Managing Multiple Ventures

(25:27) Feedback over the Next Five Years

(29:44) Advice to Younger Self

(30:43) Closing Thoughts

 

Links:

Jeff Amerine

Davis McEntire

Victoria Dickerson

Adam Alfia

Kfir Alfia

Real Time Feedback

Maestro Personal Assistants

 

Quotes:

“And so we’re really hypersensitive to customer experience. When a customer calls up our service, we want them to hang up the phone and go, ‘Wow, that was one of the best phone experiences I’ve ever had with anybody.’” - Adam Alfia, (2:54)

“We actually put a lot of emphasis in that response time because you’re getting somebody that’s having a negative experience, and you want to respond quickly and save that relationship and save that experience in real-time and in the moment while that customer is in your business.” - Adam Alfia, (8:31)

“If you’re turning your customer into your eyes and ears, they’re able to let you know about deficiencies in your business that you otherwise wouldn’t have known because you don’t have the staff to properly address issues.” - Adam Alfia, (10:38)

“There’s a whole swatch of guests and customers that are silently having bad experiences and leaving, and then either thinking, ‘Oh let’s never come here,’ or, ‘I’ll tell my friends,’ but those are the people who are the silent majority that really need a voice and that's what this tool was created for.” - Kfir Alfia, (17:06)

Aug 29, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

 

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley and Davis McEntire sit down with Sandra Hodzic, the director of strategic innovation and design for the Government of New Brunswick. Sandra has over ten years experience in corporate innovation and has a deep understanding of how to identify breakthrough ideas and take solutions to market. Throughout the episode, Caleb, Davis, and Sandra discuss the methodologies used to further social innovation and what that looks like throughout Canada.

 

Shownotes:

(0:59) Introduction to Sandra

(1:48) About Strategic Innovation and Design at the Government of New Brunswick

(9:24) What Innovation Can Look Like

(11:50) Social Innovation throughout Canada

(17:48) Methodologies Used in Social Innovation

(28:10) Organizations Fostering Social Innovation

(30:10) Challenges Moving Forward

(34:39) Advice to Younger Self

(36:17) Closing Thoughts

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Davis McEntire 

Sandra Hodzic

 

Quotes:

“Innovation isn’t the panacea to all social ills. It’s just one set of mechanisms that can be deployed amongst a variety. Actually, I would argue that it works best when it’s complemented by other methods as well because a lot of them do work very well and in unison.” - Sandra Hodzic, (4:21)

 

“Innovation is doing cool stuff that matters. I think that’s ultimately what we try to create is we try to work on interesting things that make a difference and that matter in the lives of the individuals we collaborate with, the public that we serve, and the people that we’re there to represent.” - Sandra Hodzic, (8:33)

 

“...whenever I embark on a project where that individual’s leader allowed them the space and the time in their workday to focus on being playful, and being disruptive, and being divergent, and employing new methods of overcoming risks or de-risking a model, those are the ones that have led usually to the most success.” - Sandra Hodzic, (25:12)

Aug 22, 2022

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

 

On this episode, hosts Matthew Ward, Jeff Amerine, and Grace Gill sit down with Deric Cahill, the founder of Wicked BOLD, a company specializing in producing small-batch, vegan chocolate. Wicked BOLD’s chocolate is handmade in Texas using only three ingredients—one of which is organic and ethically sourced cacao from Belize. Throughout the episode, Matthew, Jeff, Grace, and Deric discuss utilizing TikTok as a marketing strategy, the challenges behind starting a business, and how to navigate growth while staying authentic.

 

Shownotes:

(2:00) Introduction to Deric

(4:50) TikTok Strategy

(13:28) Zero To Side Hustle: The 0–90 Day Playbook for Entrepreneurs

(16:02) Advice to Those Wanting to Start a Business

(22:16) Next Steps for Wicked BOLD

(26:24) The Volatility of Inflation

(33:04) Keeping the Authenticity behind Wicked BOLD

(36:59) Navigating How to Delegate Work

(39:38) Advice to Previous Self

(41:33) Closing Thoughts

 

Links:

Matthew Ward

Jeff Amerine

Grace Gill

Deric Cahill

Wicked BOLD

Zero to Side Hustle: The 0 – 90 Day Playbook for Entrepreneurs 

 

Quotes:

“People love seeing people succeed at the core of who they are. So for small brands that don’t already have their brand strategy or their social media strategy, I would highly recommend showing people what you are like. You always hear the saying ‘friends buy from friends’ or ‘people buy from people they like,’ and that’s the approach I take on TikTok.” - Deric Cahill, (8:46)

 

“I want to be irrational. I want to live life a little bit on the outskirts and I want to be unapologetically me…I want to find my people and I don’t want to care about the people that are not my people.” - Deric Cahill, (12:25)

 

“And while my customers might not notice that my prices stay consistent—maybe they do—but I’m not relying on a $3 difference in the cost of my goods to feed my family. So, I keep my prices consistent.” - Deric Cahill, (27:27)

 

“I feel like everything that I do right now with my time is in perfect alignment with who I want to be…I’m not faking it for anyone, which is really cool…I’m on my track to like my best life.” - Deric Cahill, (34:38)

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