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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: May, 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.

May 29, 2023

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Jeff Amerine and Caleb Talley sit down with Josh Duntz and Tyler Dunbar of Metova and Central Standard Talent, respectively. With their Naval backgrounds, Josh and Tyler have a unique perspective on the business world. Throughout the episode, the crew discusses Central Standard and Metova’s expertise in identifying customer needs and developing digital products that align with business goals. They highlight the importance of tailoring technology solutions to meet the specific needs of each customer, and how this approach sets Central Standard and Metova apart from other tech agencies. They also comment on artificial intelligence, exploring whether these emerging technologies pose a threat to Central Standard and Metova, and whether AI can be as effective as humans.

 

Show Notes

(1:33) Introducing Josh and Tyler

(6:08) Josh’s Transition from the Military to the Civilian World

(9:20) Key Takeaways from Military Service

(15:42) Central Standard and Metova’s Connection

(21:01) Finding Talent without Paying Silicon Valley Prices

(23:35) The Threat of AI

(27:51) Looking at the Landscape of the Current Economy

(32:52) Advice to Their Younger Selves

(35:38) Tyler and Josh’s Naval Background

(39:23) Closing Thoughts

 

Links

Jeff Amerine

Caleb Talley

Josh Duntz

Tyler Dunbar

Metova

Central Standard Talent    

 

Quotes

“I approach leadership the same way in business now, where it’s like, I don’t care if you’re the lowest man on the totem pole or the CEO of the company. I believe that before decisions should be made, everyone should be able to voice their opinion.” - Josh Duntz, (13:19)

“Rule of thumb is we’ll save you 30-50% in cost. And for somebody who’s in any sort of startup, there’s another critical element to this. You also don’t have to give any of your company away to get really high-quality talent.” - Tyler Dunbar, (21:24)

“You have a certain mindset of what outsourcing looks like, right? And typically, for most people, it’s not high quality. So that’s a piece that looks really different for us. We focus on hiring people long-term—custom solution building for a team just for you. And [that allows] us to really focus on high-quality technical talent that is retained over time. So rather than fill fifty really low-level positions, we really try to focus on those senior and mid-level positions that establish and create value for years and years to come.” - Tyler Dunbar, (22:34)

“I think you still need humans to be effective, right? And there’s a difference between being effective and being efficient. I think that AI is probably really efficient, but like Josh was talking about, how effective is it without those little human elements of nuance in between?” - Tyler Dunbar, (26:34)

 

May 22, 2023

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Jeff Amerine, Caleb Talley, and Grace Gill are joined by Fred Gustafson, operating partner of Wabi Capital and president of Louisville Vegan Jerky. Fred details how his entrepreneurial journey began with an online tuxedo rental startup that saw great success and an early exit. He shares about jumping into franchises without any prior experience, leading to—of all things—a brick-and-mortar shop for soap. Throughout his wild ride of entrepreneurship, Fred has learned the importance of being flexible and willing to learn something new. 

 

Show Notes

(1:01) Introducing Fred

(1:20) A Successful Exit with Menguin

(10:57) Working with Voxie and Buff City Soap

(23:08) Wabi Capital

(26:29) Louisville Vegan Jerky

(30:08) Marketing to Meat Eaters

(38:28) The Wabi Capital Name 

(40:35) Advice to the Younger Self

(43:24) Closing Thoughts

 

Links

Jeff Amerine

Caleb Talley

Grace Gill

Fred Gustafson

Wabi Capital

Louisville Vegan Jerky    

 

Quotes

“We started Wabi with our whole background being entrepreneurs and really not finance and investment people. And we felt like that was actually a strength for us…We’ve always kind of looked at business as—there’s a lot of strength in being an outsider to the industry you are going into.” - Fred Gustafson, (23:58)

“The challenge isn’t as much [convincing] more plant-based, vegans, and vegetarians to eat more of this stuff. It’s more so, how do you show the traditional meat eater that there is this healthy, better for you, more natural, less-processed alternative that also happens to not use any animal products, that can deliver more on the nutritional value, the taste, everything like that, as a way to supplement your diet.” - Fred Gustafson, (29:40)

“People still want an indulgence in their snack. They want stuff to taste good. They want that craveable deliciousness. And so we want to be that. We are that. We’ll always deliver big on flavor, but then also be this cleaner, whole food, vegan-based product.” - Fred Gustafson, (36:45)

May 15, 2023

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Jeff Amerine, Caleb Talley, and Matthew Ward are joined by Palmer Hays of Bennet Commercial Real Estate. A collegiate golfer, Palmer shares his insights on how he learned sales through the golf course by building relationships and gaining trust. He highlights how the state of the real estate market is influenced by people and their needs. He explains that infrastructure follows people, and as the population grows, new businesses and buildings emerge to support them.

 

Show Notes

(1:16) Introducing Palmer Hays

(4:09) Palmer’s Origin Story

(6:59) Choosing Commercial Real Estate

(7:59) Business on the Golf Course

(11:55) Market Changes in Northwest Arkansas

(15:37) The Perks of Northwest Arkansas

(22:02) Projecting Future Trends

(28:13) Handling Exponential Growth in Northwest Arkansas

(33:14) Prioritizing Mixed-Use Properties

(37:10) Advice for the Younger Self

 

Links

Jeff Amerine

Caleb Talley

Matthew Ward 

Palmer Hays 

Bennett Commercial Real Estate 

 

Quotes

“A typical deal that we’ll see—we’re either working with a tenant that needs to find a space, whether that be a startup or Fortune 500 company, a manufacturer, or just your typical [quick service restaurant]...We can touch on those businesses, and we can learn so much from what they do and also be able to solve one of their biggest issues at the time, which is typically finding a piece of real estate that works for them.” - Palmer Hays, (7:12)

“I wouldn’t say I had experience in sales prior to getting into the real estate industry, but what I did have experience in was talking to people who had a lot of business dealings. I grew up playing golf, and typically at the golf courses, you’re talking to business owners. You’re talking to individuals who own real estate. You’re talking to individuals who are having to make those decisions.” - Palmer Hays, (8:06)

“There’s nothing better than just getting here [to Northwest Arkansas]. So I’ll tell people all the time, if you have the opportunity and if the property is worth it, just come to Northwest Arkansas and take a peek at it.” - Palmer Hays, (16:16)

“Real estate as a whole, if you take a ten thousand foot view at it, it’s based on people. Where are people? Where are they located? Where are they coming from? What do they need around them?...So whenever you have more and more people moving in here, there’s going to be a need for X, Y, and Z…People drive real estate, so whenever you have more people, you’re going to have more need. And that translates to housing. That translates to industrial product. That translates to offices. That translates to more businesses coming here.” - Palmer Hays, (24:11)

May 8, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

 

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley and Jeff Amerine sit down with Rick West and Henry Ho, co-founders of Field Agent, where Rick serves as the CEO and Henry is the Chief Strategy Officer. Field Agent is a tech company built for winning at retail by connecting brands to shoppers across the country. This enables companies to capture in-store information, gather rich consumer insights, and drive product trials completely on demand. Throughout the show, Rick and Henry discuss the solutions Field Agent provides, how to improve interactions with customers, and how to create business ventures that are scalable and repeatable.

 

Show Notes:

(0:57) Introduction to Rick and Henry

(1:41) Field Agent’s Backstory

(9:33) About Field Agent

(14:18) Raising Outside Venture Capital

(18:56) What’s Next for Field Agent

(26:03) Interacting with Customers

(27:56) The Future Utilization of AI

(35:16) Scalability and Repeatability

(39:13) Northwest Arkansas’s Collaborative Ecosystem

(46:27) Advice to Younger Self

(49:57) Closing Question

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Rick West

Henry Ho

Field Agent

 

Quotes:

“We built this platform along with a crowdsourcing engine to help our clients understand store conditions like pricing product, distribution, merchandising, etc…We also created it so we would be able to gain everyday shopper insights into their shopping experience.” - Henry Ho, (10:19)

 

“We’ve created an opportunity or a marketplace for people to be able to come in and see items and actually purchase as opposed to talking to a bunch of different sales people from different companies to try and make something work.” - Rick West, (19:24)

 

“We think we have the secret sauce to have a services mentality, a sales led growth mentality, and taking the best of that and then productizing it to make it scalable and repeatable.” - Rick West, (35:37)

 

“I think one of the joys I have as an entrepreneur is not only are we pouring into business entrepreneurs, there’s a whole bunch of social entrepreneurs in Northwest Arkansas that are doing incredible things.” - Henry Ho, (44:51)

May 1, 2023

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Victoria Dickerson are joined by Owen Parker. Owen is the co-founder and CTO of HomeKeeper, an app that creates easy to follow, effort-free maintenance plans for busy homeowners that want to take great care of their home without the hassle of researching, billing, and record keeping. Throughout the episode, Owen and the hosts discuss HomeKeeper’s origin story, creating a platform that helps both customers and vendors, and future plans for scaling. 

 

Show Notes

(1:23) Introducing Owen Parker and HomeKeeper

(4:24) Owen’s Origin Story

(8:34) Advice for App Development 

(10:26) Helping Both Customers and Vendors

(12:40) HomeKeeper’s Unique Rollout

(16:40) Raising Outside Capital

(18:10) What’s Next?

(19:53) How Owen’s Childhood Impacted His Entrepreneurial DNA

(22:44) Advice for the Younger Self

(25:56) Connecting with HomeKeeper

 

Links

Jeff Amerine

Caleb Talley

Victoria Dickerson 

Owen Parker

HomeKeeper  

 

Quotes

“I guess the advice would be do not over-engineer. But don’t solve your problem, solve whatever the universal problem is for that marketplace.” - Owen Parker, (10:10)

“That’s our number one priority, it’s advocating for the homeowner. Now that being said, when it comes to vendor relationships, we think that there’s a hugely positive impact for vendors as well.” - Owen Parker, (10:48)

“I think that’s the big thing that keeps me up at night. We’re sort of in a race against time to perfect the processes and models to take this to other markets, because we know that it’s going to happen. I mean, this business makes too much sense to not exist.” - Owen Parker, (16:03)

 

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