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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: 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 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)

 

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)

Mar 27, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Victoria Dickerson sit down with Rodrigo Salas, executive director of Entrepreneurship for All Northwest Arkansas, also known as EforAll. EforAll is a nonprofit entrepreneurial support organization that partners with communities to help under-represented NWA residents successfully start and grow businesses. It works to ensure all individuals are presented with the same opportunities, especially through its Spanish program, EparaTodos. Throughout the show, Rodrigo discusses his entrepreneurship background, his passion for NWA’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and how EforAll provides value to Hispanic entrepreneurs in the form of mentorships and programs.

 

Show Notes:

(1:01) Introduction to Rodrigo

(1:41) Rodrigo’s Origin Story

(8:26) About EforAll

(13:03) The Importance of Bilingual Resources

(18:33) Filling Bilingual Service Gaps

(21:35) Building Bridges within the Community

(24:54) About Chamoy

(31:39) What’s on the Horizon for NWA

(37:18) Advice to Younger Self

(38:43) Closing Questions

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Victoria Dickerson

Rodrigo Salas

EforAll

 

Quotes:

“It’s between an incubator and an accelerator because what we do is get deep into business understanding because a lot of the people that come through our program are struggling with that part, like knowing how to structure the business or determine who is their customer segment.” - Rodrigo Salas, (10:36)

“We all know that networks make a big difference for success…Every touchpoint they have with anybody from the community helps them expand their network. So that’s the objective of the program as well.” - Rodrigo Salas, (17:10)

“We’re experiencing this tremendous growth from a population perspective, from an economic perspective, and from an entrepreneurial perspective…So looking at the size of the ecosystem that has been built here in Northwest Arkansas, it’s amazing.” - Rodrigo Salas, (31:42)

 

Mar 20, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Victoria Dickerson sit down with Randy Wilburn, founder of I Am Northwest Arkansas, a website that showcases business, culture, and life right here in the Ozarks. Additionally, Randy hosts the I Am Northwest Arkansas podcast, an informative interview-based show that highlights everything that makes NWA one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country. As an unexpected transplant to the area, Randy embraced the community and he embarked on a mission to share its vibrancy with everyone. Throughout the episode, Randy discusses some of the most memorable moments he’s had on air, shares why podcasting is good for businesses, and gives insight into why NWA is a great place to live.

 

Show Notes:

(1:02) Introduction to Randy

(1:37) Randy’s Origin Story

(9:19) About the I Am Northwest Arkansas Podcast

(12:16) Podcast Strategy Consulting

(13:19) The Importance of a Podcast’s Digital Footprint

(19:22) What Makes the NWA Community Special

(22:47) What’s Next for I Am Northwest Arkansas

(25:08) Maintaining a Collaborative Culture

(28:14) Experiencing NWA

(39:32) Memorable Guests

(47:06) Advice to Younger Self

(48:39) Closing Question

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Victoria Dickerson

Randy Wilburn

I Am Northwest Arkansas

 

Quotes:

“The one thing I can say about podcasting is that it’s such a powerful medium that allows you to shift and listen and consume really great information that is either really wide open or super narrow and hyper-focused.” - Randy Wilburn, (5:22)

“I think the technology’s there, and from a marketing standpoint, that’s the beauty of something like a podcast, and that’s why anybody listening should consider creating this type of content…you can take it and chop it up into different pieces.” - Randy Wilburn, (16:12)

“The thing I really appreciate about the people here is that they take you at face value…they’re going to take you for who you are right then and there. And so you don’t have to wait for an invitation to sit at the table, the table’s already open.” - Randy Wilburn, (19:03)

“We’re not only trying to build what we have right here, but we’re also trying to export it to other places and build relationships that matter in the same way.” - Randy Wilburn, (25:26)

Mar 13, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Grace Gill sit down with James Bell, vice president of Bentonville Economic Development and host of the Bentonville Beacon Podcast, a show that tells the stories of triumph and growth through the lives of the business leaders, executives, and business owners of Bentonville, Arkansas. Additionally, James is an accomplished senior executive and previous founder with more than twenty-five years of experience in diverse business environments. His passion for economic development and entrepreneurship led him to return to Arkansas to help advance Bentonville's recognized success. Throughout this episode, James discusses his excitement about seeing Bentonville continue to establish itself as a place where his son can grow up and explore, as well as the state of innovative healthcare and mobility coming to Northwest Arkansas. 

 

Show Notes:

(1:06) Introduction to James

(4:54) Working at the Bentonville Chamber of Commerce

(6:17) Starting a Business in Bentonville

(8:20) Northwest Arkansas’s Healthcare Ecosystem

(17:02) What Makes Bentonville Special

(22:33 About The Ledger

(27:37) Bentonville’s Exciting Future with Mobility

(34:44) James’ Favorite Barbeque

(37:37) Advice to Younger Self

(40:02) Closing Question

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Grace Gill

James Bell

Bentonville Economic Development

 

Quotes:

“I love that I get to help people do the things that they most want, that they’re most passionate about. I get to help them build their businesses or decide whether they should be here in Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas.” - James Bell, (5:42)

“If you look at that breadth of businesses, starting from the standpoint of potential customers to just the opportunity to learn from experts and access an amazing workforce, it’s all here.” - James Bell, (6:57)

“...they’re going to build a transformational healthcare system. I can’t wait to see what all that means, but what I do know from my experience is that all this transpired in the past five years. I can’t imagine it happening anywhere else in thirty, forty, or fifty. And I think that says a lot about this place and how people think here.” - James Bell, (14:03)

“You have this amazing place where people are sort of pulling and working together and moving in the same direction. You can stand in the square in Fayetteville, stand in the square in Bentonville, in Rogers, in Springdale, and you can feel the energy.” - James Bell, (18:23)

Mar 6, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Victoria Dickerson, Jeff Amerine, and Caleb Talley sit down with Ricky Ludeman, founder of Ozark Compost & Swap, an environmental protection organization on a mission to make composting mainstream. Ozark Compost & Swap makes composting convenient by offering pick-up services at your doorstep. Throughout this episode, Ricky discusses his entrepreneurial journey and how Ozark Compost has grown over the years from another idea to an actionable concept that promotes sustainability to the NWA community.

 

Show Notes:

(0:47) Introduction to Ricky

(2:17) About Ozark Compost

(7:22) Ricky’s Vision for the Future

(9:19) Supporting Local Businesses

(11:31) What Items Can and Can’t Be Composted

(15:21) Implementing New Processes

(20:23) Ozark Compost’s Marketing Strategy

(26:43) Advice to Younger Self

(29:41) Closing Question

 

Links:

Victoria Dickerson

Jeff Amerine

Caleb Talley

Ozark Compost & Swap

 

Quotes:

“They talk back and forth and the plant tells the microbes what it needs. The microbes bring exactly what the plant needs back to it and in exchange it gives it carbohydrates and sugars. So it’s this really cool relationship, and you get these really beautiful gardens with this worm casting.” - Ricky Ludeman, (5:06)

“There’s this quote that I love and it's, ‘Either my business is growing or I’m growing.’ And I think it’s this really cool, positive way to look at entrepreneurship as it’s awesome when your business is growing, but when you get in some ruts, that just means you’re growing.” - Ricky Ludeman, (14:01)

“...when we talk about sustainability, there is this huge leadership aspect. Like let's get the big leader in the community to help with this and show that they can do it and it’s easy. And that kind of trickles down with the employees and then the rest of the community. So businesses are a huge focus for us right now.” - Ricky Ludeman, (23:19)

Feb 27, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Victoria Dickerson, Jeff Amerine, and Grace Gill sit down with Stamatis Astra, co-founder and head of product at Intelligent Relations, a PR firm that leverages artificial intelligence to build broader and smarter relationships. Additionally, Stamatis is a venture partner who invests in strategic startups with applications that enrich people’s lives. He also co-hosts Grecian Echoes, a talk show in Boston, that offers an in-depth analysis of current news and events laced with provocative commentary to its one hundred fifty thousand Greek-American audience members. Throughout this episode, Stamatis discusses his experience as a lifetime entrepreneur, finding excitement in the beginnings of new ventures, and making public relations accessible for businesses of every size.

 

Show Notes:

(0:49) Introduction to Stamatis

(1:20) Stamatis’s Background

(3:57) About Intelligent Relations

(10:59) How Artificial Intelligence Benefits Companies

(13:52) Different Startup Models

(18:18) Chasing New Ventures

(21:47) Raising Venture Capital

(25:34) Overcoming Challenges

(29:34) Advice to Younger Self

(30:39) Closing Question

 

Links:

Victoria Dickerson

Jeff Amerine

Grace Gill

Startup Junkie

Stamatis Astra

Intelligent Relations

 

Quotes:

“Our technology is a combination of media monitoring databases and artificial intelligence. It allows us to, depending on the company, find the relevant stories, find the relevant journalists that cover the stories, and create relationships with them…bottom line is, we allow any business to connect with journalists and get press.” - Stamatis Astra, (5:34)

“There’s very different levels of startups. There’s a startup that is simply a Powerpoint or a deck and there’s two or three people and that’s it. And there’s a startup with a seed round and twenty-five to fifty people that pay salaries.” - Stamatis Astra, (14:14)

“That’s what we do. We train the model, we get the data. The more data we get, and the more speeches and ideas the customer puts in, the more robust the model gets in order to do all the matching and creating the content.” - Stamatis Astra, (27:38)

Feb 20, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Matthew Ward, Caleb Talley, and Jeff Amerine sit down with Dr. Adam Stoverink, the director of the Sam M. Walton College of Business MBA program at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Stoverink is the author of the book Unbreakable, a resource for leaders on how to build resilient teams, and has also been featured in twelve other notable publications. Additionally, Dr. Stoverink is an associate professor of management, teaching leadership and teamwork to graduate, undergraduate, and executive audiences. Throughout this episode, Dr. Stovering discusses the four essential pillars of resilient teams, how to create adaptability, and what character traits define a satisfactory team member. 

 

Show Notes:

(1:12) Introduction to Dr. Stoverink

(2:16) About Unbreakable

(6:19) The Process of Writing a Book

(8:23) Advice on Building Psychological Safety

(13:16) The Walton MBA Do Good Project

(19:24) Learning from Failure

(22:21) The Four Pillars of Resilient Teams

(28:13) Hard Work vs. Lucky Timing

(30:14) Attributes of Good Team Members

(32:49) Advice to Younger Self

(35:56) Closing Thoughts 

 

Links:

Matthew Ward

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Startup Junkie

Dr. Adam Stoverink 

 

Quotes:

“We have to feel safe in that environment to speak up. Innovation is a big part of what you all do, and if you want to be innovative, you simply have to have all the perspectives on the table. And if people don't feel safe to go against the grain, your innovation is cut.” - Dr. Adam Stoverink, (7:31)

“We don’t really have one another’s back. We do what we have to do to accomplish our goals, but we don’t go beyond that. I think that is what really separates the outstanding teams from the mediocre teams.” - Dr. Adam Stoverink, (12:50)

“You have to have a moderately high, above average confidence, but it can’t be too high. Otherwise, you’re going to run into the situation where hubris takes over and you’re not on the lookout for possible adversities because you think you’re untouchable.” - Dr. Adam Stoverink, (23:12)

“Part of building a resilient team is being very clear about what components are needed to be successful. Part of that is personality. You want a mix of personalities, but most important is diversity of thought that often comes from diversity of backgrounds, which correlates with diversity of demographics.” - Dr. Adam Stoverink, (31:25)

 

Feb 13, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Victoria Dickerson sit down with Kelton Hays, executive director of Cobblestone Farms. Cobblestone Farms is a local nonprofit committed to cultivating a community free from hunger by ensuring all people have access to fresh, nutritionally dense foods that are produced through sustainable agriculture practices. Throughout this episode, Kelton discusses the deeper mission of Cobblestone Farms and how important addressing food insecurity is to uplifting the community.

 

Show Notes:

(0:53) Introduction to Kelton

(1:34) Kelton’s Background

(5:20) Why Cobblestone Farms Needs to Exist

(11:03) Food Insecurity in Northwest Arkansas

(15:41) Being Unburdened by Shame

(17:35) Growing Food for Hunger Relief vs. Donating Food

(21:45) Raising Money

(30:54) Engaging Bigger Players

(37:51) Getting People Involved

(41:34) Advice to Younger Self

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Victoria Dickerson

Kelton Hays

Cobblestone Farms

 

Quotes:

“If somebody were to ask us what we do at Cobblestone Farms and I wanted to be a little ethereal, a little heady, I would say we give people dignity. Food is a lot more than calories. We want people to have dignified access to great food in the same way any of us sitting in this room would have.” - Kelton Hays, (6:34)

“That’s the big picture. We want to give people dignity. We want people to feel dignity because your quality of life, your health outcomes, and your ability to thrive as a human being, if you do not possess dignity and live in shame, is going to be a negative outcome .” - Kelton Hays, (14:46)

“My heart is to mobilize individual community members. We all have such potential…We often get so intimidated by the magnitude of an issue or by our perceived inability to meet the issue that we think, ‘Well, I can’t do anything.’ Yeah, you can.” - Kelton Hays, (20:02)

Feb 6, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and previous Startup Junkie Michael Iseman sit down with Philip Mudd, a former CNN correspondent and counterterrorism analyst. During Philip’s extensive and accomplished career, he was a valuable asset to the FBI, CIA, and the American nation as a whole and received numerous CIA awards for his expertise and diligence. Philip is also the author of three distinguished publications and is a member of multiple prestigious associations. Throughout this episode, Philip shares insight on how to present information to your boss (in his case, President George W. Bush), how to successfully navigate chaos, and why you need to have a “call mom” sentence for any project. 

 

Show Notes:

(1:03) Introduction to Philip

(1:58) From English Major to Senior Executive

(4:29) Leadership Basics

(8:34) Decision Advantage

(16:08) Addressing Vulnerabilities

(19:00) Navigating Crises

(28:00) Taking Responsibility When Things Go Wrong

(31:12) Hiring People More Experienced than You

(39:24) Voicing your Opinion to a Worldwide Audience

(44:44) Protecting Data

(48:51) Cyberattacks during Times of War

(55:14) Geopolitical Business Consequences

(1:06:50) Advice to Younger Self

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Michael Iseman

Philip Mudd

Startup Junkie 

 

Quotes:

“There’s a couple basics you have to think about. One's how to get people better. Mediocre mission, great people, you can win. Great mission, mediocre people, you can’t win.” - Philip Mudd, (4:51)

“I’ll never forget it, the difference between presenting what you know and presenting what the decision maker needs to know based on determining what the decision is.” - Philip Mudd, (13:53)

“We have a responsibility not only to customers, but to families. Let’s talk about how we ensure that today we work through this as opposed to man this is a rough day. Don’t do that. The workforce will tense up and tense means worse decision making.” - Philip Mudd, (24:27) 

“I think you have to take a step back and say, ‘I am not the keeper of knowledge. I am the keeper of the questions.’ Questions result from judgment, experience, exposure, and perspective. So some people around the table might have knowledge that I don’t have.” - Philip Mudd, (31:31)

Jan 30, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Grace Gill sit down with Quinn Robertson, a senior associate at NXTUS. NXTUS is a non-profit organization that connects mentors, capital opportunities, and customers in an effort to further entrepreneurial growth. As an entrepreneurship supporter, Quinn decided to leave his position in the corporate world and work with startup founders by helping them grow companies of significance. Throughout this episode, Quinn shares about NXTUS’s role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, the startup scene in Wichita, and the state of the Heartland as a place for families and entrepreneurship to prosper.

 

Show Notes:

(0:59) Introduction to Quinn

(1:26) Quinn’s Background

(3:23) Wichita’s Startup Scene

(6:18) Comparing Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

(14:42) NXTUS’s Role in Wichita’s Growing Ecosystem

(21:20) Weaknesses in the Regional Ecosystem

(23:50) What’s Next for NXTUS

(27:24) Cultivating Entrepreneurship in the Next Generation

(32:58) Opportunity Gaps in Northwest Arkansas

(39:54) Advice to Younger Self

(42:40) Closing Questions

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Grace Gill

Quinn Robertson

NXTUS

 

Quotes:

“I think both of our ecosystems will press forward with money flowing in from the federal or state government and family or philanthropic areas as well…there’s this little cluster here in the Heartland that I think we’re going to see all grow together.” - Quinn Robertson, (7:00)

“We try to be a connector more than anything. Even if we’re not everything to everybody, we want to be one arm's length away from everything so we can connect individuals to the right people from our own lane and let other people do the great work they’re better suited to do than we are.” - Quinn Robertson, (16:18)

“There’s a little bit of continually morphing and finding small injection points where we can add value, but also where we can stand back and be incredibly supportive of the work that’s going on.” - Quinn Robertson, (28:37)

“As I talk to entrepreneurs, I ask them, ‘What’s your level of success? What’s your happiness metric that you're trying to go towards?’ As long as you have a clear understanding of what that is, then I think you can start to align things really well.” - Quinn Robertson, (41:39)

Jan 23, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies

On this episode, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Victoria Dickerson sit down with Nate Walls to chat about his endeavors, Secondhand Smoke and Second Helping NWA. Nate has been serving the community since 2020, when he started sharing meals with families impacted by the pandemic. Throughout the episode, Nate shares his entrepreneurial journey starting Secondhand Smoke and his mission to better the community with Second Helping NWA.

 

Show Notes:

(0:59) Introduction to Nate

(1:38) Nate’s Backstory

(8:11) About Secondhand Smoke and Second Helping NWA

(12:25) Current Business

(16:24) Running a Nonprofit and Business

(18:45) The Importance of Community

(22:20) Taking the Winding Path

(25:17) A Willingness to Learn

(28:46) What’s Next for Nate

(31:46) Advice to Younger Self

(33:27) Closing Questions

 

Links:

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Victoria Dickerson

Nate Walls

Secondhand Smoke

Second Helping NWA

 

Quotes:

“People say all the time that it’s the people, but it really is the people. If you don’t have a good rapport with the community, I don’t know that you can make it.” - Nate Walls, (18:45)

“Just love people and whatever your trade is or business you’re trying to start, just make sure that love is apparent in what you do.” - Nate Walls, (23:13)

“I think when we start, we have this I know it all attitude, but you have to say, ‘I don’t know everything.’ You have to be humble and say, ‘I don’t know everything, but I can learn.’ If you’re not able to do that, it’s going to be slow moving.” - Nate Walls, (25:17)

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