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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: April, 2023

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.

Apr 24, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Victoria Dickerson, and Matthew Ward sit down with Chris Thompson, creator and CEO of SoberSidekick, a free app that helps users maintain their sobriety by connecting with a community of people who can empathize and relate with where they’re at. Chris opens up about his personal sobriety journey and the road to creating a platform aimed at solving the issue of isolation and loneliness for those struggling with addiction. Throughout the show, Chris talks about scaling empathy, designing an algorithm that provides users with a judgment-free space, and the current realities for recovering addicts in the healthcare system and how Sober Sidekick aims to solve some of those issues. Listen and be inspired by Chris's story and mission!

 

Show Notes:

(1:07) Introduction to Chris

(2:28) Moving to Northwest Arkansas

(6:53) About SoberSidekick

(11:25) The Importance of Supportive Networks

(14:06) Growth Tactics

(17:31) SoberSidekick Users

(21:28) Expanding SoberSidekick

(30:03) SoberSidekick’s Business Model

(34:11) The Process of Raising Capital

(37:48) Measuring Success

(43:51) Advice to Younger Self

(45:47) Closing Thoughts

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Victoria Dickerson

Matthew Ward

Chris Thompson

Sober Sidekick

 

Quotes:

“...acknowledging that luck, I started to theorize what if there was an algorithm we could build that created a world where connecting with the right people at the right time was no longer up to chance. So I formed this idea of an empathy algorithm.” - Christ Thompson, (8:39)

“Most people don’t commit suicide during therapy sessions…it’s when they think they’re alone. And that’s what we’re there for. An analogy I make is like AA therapists, mental health professionals, you could compare them to the heart surgeon and we’re here to be the pacemaker.” - Chris Thompson, (20:41)

“Understanding how we need to go to the market is the first step to being able to produce an effective pitch. It’s about understanding how our own data correlates to outcomes and how that can be positioned.” - Chris Thompson, (35:00)

“The differentiator between founders is not IQ, it’s not talent, it’s just resilience. You know there’s mental and emotional resilience, but then there’s also the idea of building something to be resilient and that’s why we bootstrapped as long as we possibly could.” - Chris Thompson, (40:17)

 

Apr 17, 2023

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Caleb Talley and Jeff Amerine sit down with Patrick Randall, Fallon Cardoza, and Jason Lam, co-founders of Boulders and Brews. Boulders and Brews is a coffee shop and rock-climbing gym with a clear mission: Growing the NWA climbing community and helping climbers of all skills grow by providing a premier indoor climbing facility that embodies the climbing atmosphere with an open, welcoming environment for new climbers. Throughout the episode, the crew discusses turning an old Piggly Wiggly into a bouldering gym, learning to pivot and adapt, and creating a safe space and culture for the climbing community and Boulders and Brews’ staff. 

 

Show Notes

(0:58) Patrick’s Origin Story

(2:51) Fallon’s Origin Story

(3:27) Jason’s Origin Story

(5:06) Each Parter’s Role

(8:44) Choosing a Dickson Street Location

(11:21) Investing in Arkansas’s Climbing Culture

(14:57) Learning to Pivot and Adapt

(18:10) Dealing with Vendor Issues

(21:07) Curating a Safe Space for Customers to Enjoy

(23:05) Boulders and Brews’ Burgioning Company Culture

(25:38) Climbing’s Barrier to Entry

(28:47) Creating a Gym That’s Convenient for Students

(31:41) Outreach and Events

(37:03) Advice to the Younger Self

 

Links

Jeff Amerine

Caleb Talley

Patrick Randall

Fallon Cardoza

Jason Lam

Boulders and Brews     

 

Quotes

“...We’ll bring some health and fitness back. So adding that diversity to Dickson Street I think is really helpful for the community—and exposing the sport to people from all walks of life that would never be interested in climbing, but since it’s in the right location, they’re like, ‘Alright, I’ll maybe give it a shot.’” - Patrick Randall, (10:59)

“We actually have the mecca of outdoor climbing two hours away from us in Jasper—Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. People from all over the world come to develop routes here in Arkansas. It’s such a great beginner place for people to be able to go out. All the anchors and everything is fixed and ready for you. I mean, it’s right in our backyard.” - Fallon Cardoza, (11:51)

“It’s been magical to go into the space and watch people enjoy the safe space that we intentionally created for them to walk into and feel safe and feel happy and feel like they have a community away from their home…I’m told almost daily that people feel all of these really great positive things, and being able to know that we were attributed to that is so reassuring. And it’s beautiful to know that we created that for them.” - Fallon Cardoza, (21:20)

“...Everything that’s inside the gym is great, but it’s only a vessel. Your business is the community.” - Patrick Randall, (21:55)

“I’m looking at our life as a whole, like what is important to us—our friends, our family, the big picture type thing. So when you look at risk in that regard, it’s like, okay, starting this business isn’t as scary because the risk versus reward is a lot higher. So I would tell my younger self to just take the risk and not wait as long as I did.” - Fallon Cardoza, (37:42)

“I guess if I were to go back in time and before starting this journey, I would tell myself to think bigger. Shoot for bigger because at some point, we’re going to max out our location and we’re going to have to find another one. And maybe it would’ve been easier if we just started with a bigger location, but obviously there is risk to that.” - Jason Lam, (40:18)

Apr 10, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Jeff Amerine, Victoria Dickerson, and Grace Gill sit down with Sean Fitzgibbon, author and artist of the nonfiction book What Follows Is True: Crescent Hotel. Sean is a freelance creative who specializes in various forms of visual development. He has had his work exhibited throughout the United States and was a 2023 recipient of the Arkansas Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship Award. Throughout the show, Sean shares the eerie history of Eureka Springs’ Crescent Hotel as well as how he turned a longtime interest into a passion project, his experience promoting his work on Kickstarter, and best practices for entrepreneurs looking to do the same.

 

Show Notes:

(0:49) Introduction to Sean

(9:40) About What Follows Is True: Crescent Hotel

(15:13) Utilizing Kickstarter

(23:42) Stories Found in the Book

(32:35) Sean’s Research Experience

(39:59) Where to Find Sean’s Work

(42:06) What’s Next for Sean

(44:57) Advice to Other Creatives

(52:52) Closing Question

 

Links:

Jeff Amerine

Victoria Dickerson

Grace Gill

Sean Fitzgibbon

What Follows Is True: Crescent Hotel

 

Quotes:

“This is a big passion project because I’ve always loved telling stories. I always have this weird history I’m attracted to. I always want to go to these strange places that are off the beaten path.” - Sean Fitzgibbon, (9:13)

“If you’re going to do a Kickstarter campaign, you need to go support other Kickstarters. There's a network effect. People will look and be like is this just some interloper coming into our community…also a lot of people think of Kickstarter as a shortcut and it’s not. It’s a profit maximizer.” - Sean Fitzgibbon, (19:00)  

“I want to do something for society, and I feel like I’m helping bridge this gap of making history accessible. It’s a gateway to literacy for children.” - Sean Fitzgibbon, (47:28)

“A fist doesn’t do anything, whereas an open hand gives and receives. And that’s the way I look at it…I don’t ever want to have a closed fist.” - Sean Fitzgibbon, (50:06)

Apr 3, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Grace Gill sit down with Mariano Quinones, founder of Hunger & Action Gym, a local boxing and general fitness gym in Springdale. After boxing helped Mariano graduate high school and eventually obtain a degree, he made it his mission to give back to the community by providing a healthy space for individuals to come together. Throughout the show, Rodrigo shares about his entrepreneurial journey starting Hunger & Action, how he found boxing to be a release when he hit rock bottom, and his hopes that Hunger & Action can do the same for youth today.

 

Show Notes:

(1:08) Introduction to Mariano

(2:00) Mariano’s Origin Story

(7:41) Helping Out the Next Generation

(9:42) The Risks of Starting a Business

(10:54) Why Members Choose Hunger & Action

(14:49) Marketing Hunger & Action

(18:53) What Hunger & Action Offers

(24:02) Hunger & Action’s Boxing Fights

(26:49) What’s Next

(29:20) Advice to Younger Self

(30:15) Closing Question

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Grace Gill

Mariano Quinones

Hunger & Action Gym

 

Quotes:

“The meaning behind it, to give a little background behind Hunger & Action, hunger was the desire for something, just wanting something bad enough. And then action is the necessary steps to achieve a goal.” - Mariano Quinones, (4:13)

“I learned a lot just wanting it, just really being hungry, wanting it bad enough that I did my due diligence and research. It was exhausting at times, but I read this quote somewhere and it said, ‘Start where you’re at now and better tools will come along the way.’” - Mariano Quinones, (6:14)

“The hardest part looking into it would be a little bit of fear of failure. I think the biggest obstacle is just getting over the fear and then knowing that I’d rather try than regret [not trying] at one point.” - Mariano Quinones, (9:43)

“I think we were received really well by the community…We don’t have all the bells and whistles. We don’t have all the equipment we really want to compete on that level. I really think it’s just being ourselves.” - Mariano Quinones, (11:15)

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