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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: 2024

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.

Feb 26, 2024

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Daniel Koonce, Claudia Scott, and Harrison Kitson sit down with Daizhan Ennals, the CEO and founder of Renewed Robotics, a manufacturer leveraging robotics and technology to help people become more resource independent. Born in Cambridge, Maryland, Daizhan dedicated five years of service to the United States Marine Corps. where he developed expertise as a mechanic, inspiring him to delve into the rigorous world of mechanical engineering. Throughout the conversation, Daizhan shares his entrepreneurial journey, explains Renewed Robotics Self-Assembling Municipality (S.A.M.) device, and lays out his plan to help end homelessness and home insecurity.

 

Show Notes

(0:47) Introducing Daizhan

(1:48) About Renewed Robotics

(3:14) Developing the Self-Assembling Municipality (S.A.M.)

(4:30) The Intent behind Renewed Robotics Tiny Home

(5:30) How the S.A.M. Device Works

(7:29) The Research behind the S.A.M. Device

(10:04) Daizhan’s Entrepreneurial Journey

(12:54) Renewed Robotics’ Project Timelines

(15:42) Renewed Robotics’ Ideal Customer

(18:31) The Future of Renewed Robotics’ Manufacturing

(19:36) About the S.A.M. Referral Program

(23:27) The Challenges of Business Ownership

(25:42) Achieving Sustainable Drinking Water

(29:02) Daizhan’s Motivation behind Helping Others

(32:20) Advice to Younger Self

 

Links

Daniel Koonce

Claudia Scott

Harrison Kitson

Daizhan Ennals

Renewed Robotics

 

Quotes

“[The S.A.M.] will be a self-assembling and self-sustaining tiny home that can not only dig its own foundation, but unfold on its own and have solar panels on the outside to power the onboard battery bank, HVAC lights, water filtration system, and everything else. It will ideally be used for people who don’t have access to luxury, first-world amenities, so it can bring everyone up to speed with one device.” - Daizhan Ennals, (2:10)

“These technologies that are going into the S.A.M. are being developed and promoted independently. There’s just no one gluing them together. And that’s what Renewed Robotics is doing, we’re more of a technology integrator, not necessarily a technology inventor.” - Daizhan Ennals, (8:03)

“One of the most difficult parts of founding such a capital intensive product is getting a lot of people to actually understand the full scope of what you’re doing and then having faith that you can execute on that.” - Daizhan Ennals, (10:19)

“The referral program is to incentivize those who have already placed a pre-order. Right now, a lot of people who are interested in the device have been advocating for free, telling people about the device, but it would be even better if we could reward those people who are spreading the word about the S.A.M.” - Daizhan Ennals, (19:37)

“Currently, my number one need is actually being met, and that is, there’s a collaborative space being built in Bentonville where you can have an idea go from concept to reality.” - Daizhan Ennals, (22:00)

“I think one of the bigger things that people don’t really talk about when it comes to sustainability, that maybe we should approach going into the future, not only is electricity, but access to clean and healthy drinking water.” - Daizhan Ennals, (25:56)

“The aspiration of everybody being united for one force and solving our problems by focusing on something bigger has always been a driving factor…I would like to focus on making something that no matter how you look at it makes sense that it’s there for good.” - Daizhan Ennals, (30:10)

Feb 19, 2024

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Caleb Talley, Victoria Dickerson, and Daniel Koonce, sit down with Bonnie Adams, founder and CEO of The Joys of Swimming, an organization providing water safety education that saves lives and develops lifelong swimmers. Throughout the conversation, Bonnie shares an inside look at her two companies: The Joys of Swimming and SWIM OZ, and delves into her entrepreneurial journey and the importance of water safety amongst swimmers with all different backgrounds, from elementary school kids to Olympic-level swimmers. 

 

Show Notes

(0:45) Introducing Bonnie Adams

(12:20) Water Education in Schools

(22:04) The Impact of Northwest Arkansas’s Entrepreneurial Community

(29:27) Participating in Northwest Arkansas’s Entrepreneurial Culture

(34:35) The Joys of Swimming’s Origin Story

(38:27) Advice to Younger Self

(41:50) Closing Question

 

Links

Caleb Talley

Victoria Dickerson

Daniel Koonce

Bonnie Adams

The Joys of Swimming

SWIM OZ



Quotes

“I’m all about building community. And so it’s been really neat to have that, be able to grow that aspect of it, and circle it back to The Joys of Swimming.” - Bonnie Adams, (8:39)

“There’s so much benefit from swimming. Yes, it’s a sport. Yes, it’s athletic. Those are wonderful pieces of it. But the pieces that you learned packing your swim bag, going to a swim meet, preparing your nutrition, all those things are really just amazing. And then you add on the fact that it can save your life is huge.” - Bonnie Adams, (10:19)

“I feel like you can do just about anything in [Northwest Arkansas] and there is support somewhere, and it may not be you’re the one that’s going to support me, but you’re going to put me into contact with who is… but it’s really incredible what a tight knit space this is.” - Bonnie Adams, (28:10)

“There’s so much to go around, whether it’s events or networking or ideas, we’re in a blessed place. I’m sure everybody else here calls it the same, but [Northwest Arkansas] is a bubble. We are in a very special place and it’s amazing that we get to live here and do life here and learn from each other.” - Bonnie Adams, (31:44)

Feb 15, 2024

Summary

En este sexto episodio de Startup Junkie en Español, nos sumergimos en el mundo culinario con las hermanas Laura y Sandra Carrasco, las mentes maestras detrás de Bites & Bowls, un restaurante que está conquistando el paladar del noroeste de Arkansas con sus exquisitos waffles. Descubre cómo estas emprendedoras convirtieron su pasión por la comida en un exitoso negocio, desafiando los obstáculos y encontrando inspiración en cada plato que sirven. 

 

Acompáñanos en esta deliciosa conversación, donde Laura y Sandra comparten sus experiencias, consejos y sabiduría para aquellos que sueñan con emprender en la industria gastronómica. Prepárate para abrir tu apetito y tu mente mientras nos sumergimos en un viaje lleno de sabor y emprendimiento. ¡No te lo pierdas!

 

Show Notes

(00:08) Bienvenido

(00:30) Presentación de Invitados

(00:59) De la Idea a la Realidad

(02:18) El Nacimiento de Un Menú

(03:07) De Dónde Eres

(03:45) Lo Que Ha Cambiado en El Noroeste de Arkansas

(06:03) Limitaciones Que Llevaron a Un Menú

(08:30) Necesidad Y Falta de Recursos

(09:00) Herramientas a Tu Disposición

(11:03) Menús de Temporada

(12:56) Obstáculos a Superar

(14:31) Errores Tempranos

(16:55) Un Acto de Equilibrio

(18:52) Conociendo a Su Cliente

(20:39) Listo Para la Expansión

(23:09) Proporcionando Ayuda

(25:33) Asesoramiento Emprendedor

(27:55) Técnicas de Venta

(36:55) Consejos Del Pasado

(38:50) Que Sigue

 

Links

Claudia Scott

Ana Ortiz

Laura Carrasco

Sandra Carrasco

Bites & Bowls

 

Quotes

“La idea siempre había estado ahí y empezamos a planear.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (01:14)

“(El Menú) Es cómo nosotros una fusión… un poquito de aquí, un poquito de allá.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (01:59)

“Laura es el 100% en el menú yo nada más lo pruebo y si me gusta le digo.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (02:51)

“En muchos aspectos es igual, trabajando todo el tiempo… Diferente, es que somos más.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (04:10)

“Antes de tener el negocio no es que éramos muy involucradas en la comunidad entonces es al comenzar el negocio que empezamos a explorar más, a conocer más gente.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (04:25)

“El menú nace porque al momento de nosotros comenzar no teníamos todo el fondo para comenzar con una cocina completa, entonces para ser posible ofrecer un desayuno que fuera completo y a la vez tradicional hasta cierto punto la conversación con la ciudad era así ¿cómo que equipo de cocina puedo utilizar?” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (06:09)

“Fácil no es y nos ha tomado bastante tiempo perfeccionarlo.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (07:57)

“Es la necesidad y la falta de recursos.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (08:45)

“Mas que nada es adaptación y como mexicanos o latinos en general siento que así somos... Como que le encontramos solución a cualquier problema.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (09:06)

“Cualquier obstáculo lo puedes superar con perseverancia.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (13:14)

“La mayoría de los errores los vas a cometer en los primero dos años.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (14:33)

“Los errores los tienes que cometer para aprender.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (15:05)

“Tenemos que acomodarnos a nuestras necesidades.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (17:09)

“Para restaurantes creo que la mayoría de las ganancias vienen de la cena porque es cuando la gente sale más.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (19:06)

“Comenzar un negocio es mucho trabajo, invertir para una renta no funciona para todos y usualmente cuando alguien me viene con una idea nunca decimos no… Siempre decimos vamos a intentarlo.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (23:56)

“Muchas veces es bueno decir que no, pero, cuando tienes una ilusión de empezar algo y que alguien venga y ni siquiera te quiera contar su historia y te diga no, no puedo, no tengo tiempo…. Si tienes el conocimiento ¿porque no compartirlo?” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (25:08)

“Siento que tienes que tener por lo menos una idea pequeña de lo que quieres hacer y experiencia.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (26:08)

“Tienes que saber vender.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (26:21)

“Y no es que tengas que ir a tocar a las casas y estar vendiendo, es como saber hacer confecciones, hacer relaciones públicas para dar a conocer tu negocio.” - Laura y Sandra Carrasco (27:36)

“Soñar en grande, pero empezar pequeño.” - Claudia Scott (32:57)

Feb 12, 2024

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Harrison Kitson, Claudia Mercado, and Annie Xu sit down with Jenna Kempkes, a senior biomedical engineering major at the University of Arkansas and the winner of Startup Junkie’s student expo during last November’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. As a patient care technician at UAMS and a student intern at the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Jenna is passionate about applying her biomedical engineering skills and knowledge to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare. Jenna has received the Gilman Scholarship, was awarded first place at the NWA Biodesign Sprint Program, has been included in published research in the GeroScience journal, co-founded and led the Pre-Med Hogs student organization, and completed several study abroad programs in Germany and Kenya. She is also an active member of the Army ROTC, the Honors College Executive Board, and various pre-health and medical humanities clubs. Throughout the episode, Jenna shares about the provisional patent on her Pavlik harness for hip dysplasia, her experience with Startup Junkie’s Student Expo, and her outlook on being a young entrepreneur.

 

Show Notes

(0:46) Introducing Jenna Kempkes

(2:50) About Jenna’s Harness

(4:30) The Inspiration behind Jenna’s Journey

(5:49) Jenna’s Research Process

(10:11) Next Steps for Jenna

(11:43) Jenna’s Experience with the Office of Entrepreneurship

(13:41) How Jenna Stays Driven

(17:36) The Impact of COVID

(18:52) Jenna’s Experience at Startup Junkie’s Student Expo

(22:48) Advice to Younger Self

 

Links

Harrison Kitson

Claudia Mercado

Annie Xu

Jenna Kempkes

University of Arkansas

 

Quotes

“I’ve only known this, I call it an organized chaos lifestyle, but it’s something I’ve realized I really love and is really important to me…and I keep finding more opportunities, and I’m really big on why say no? What’s the worst that will happen if you try?” - Jenna Kempkes, (14:34)

“I hear the word entrepreneurship and I [think] I’m too young. I can’t do that. I still feel that way sometimes because it’s this scary world and you hear these people and everything they’ve given up for it…I didn’t realize that it could be something I explored safely at the University and that I didn't have to have some big idea…And now I’ve realized you don’t have to start a business to be an entrepreneur.” - Jenna Kempkes, (20:11)

“Encourage an open mind. Having an open mind about everything around you is life changing...and so that closed mindset could have stopped me from a lot of things, but I’d want to encourage myself to take those opportunities. There’s nothing wrong with failing. A lot of people want to be perfect, they’re high achieving. It’s scary to fail, but it’s okay to fail. And I feel like I’ve learned more through my failures than I have through my successes.” - Jenna Kempkes, (23:12)

Feb 5, 2024

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Victoria Dickerson, Jeff Amerine, and Grace Gill talk to Peter Mann, founder and CEO of Oransi. Oransi is a leading manufacturer of HEPA air purifiers and a motor technology company with a sustainable mission based in Radford, VA. Peter’s passion for clean air began with his son who struggled with asthma. Conducting extensive research, he learned the significant impact of poor air quality on one’s health. Peter aimed to create an affordable and accessible solution for others, thus, Oransi was born in 2009. Peter shares his passion for neurodiversity advocacy, and discusses how being on the autistic spectrum has impacted his career as an entrepreneur and the lack of awareness about neurodiversity in the workforce. He details how entrepreneurship may be a viable option for those on the spectrum rather than corporate jobs. Throughout the episode, Peter discusses his passion for marketing, clean air advocacy, and autism advocacy. 

 

Show Notes

(0:49) Introducing Peter Mann and Oransi

(3:41) Maintaining a Competitive Edge

(6:50) Strategies for Marketing Clean Air Energy

(8:33) Making the Jump from Corporate to Entrepreneurship

(12:48) Entrepreneurship on the Spectrum

(24:29) Advice to Younger Self

(25:16) Closing Thoughts 

 

Links

Victoria Dickerson

Jeff Amerine

Grace Gill

Peter Mann

Oransi

 

Quotes

“There’s been a lot of work recently in terms of raising awareness and education about the importance of indoor air. And there’s a guy at Harvard who leads their healthy building program who says your facility or building manager has a bigger impact on your health than your doctor does.” - Peter Mann, (7:13)

“We’re really kind of, shockingly in some ways, in the early days of understanding the impacts of poor indoor air quality and what we’re doing is really just trying to raise awareness for [the danger of that] as well as provide solutions that are affordable and accessible.” - Peter Mann,  (8:14)

“For me, I think how I got to where I am is largely in part due to [being autistic] and that drive for autonomy. I don’t know anyone who’s autistic that worked their way up through a large organization to the top, but I know several folks that are autistic that started their own business…if your interest is work or producing new things or bringing products to market or working on problems, and that’s where you get your energy, I think that’s definitely an advantage.” - Peter Mann, (14:28)

“You’re going to work most of your life. You could have a fifty year career and you don’t have to crush it in year one…and everything always takes longer so you have to have patience and be able to stick with it.” - Peter Mann, (24:38)

Jan 29, 2024

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Caleb Talley, Jeff Amerine, and Victoria Dickerson are joined by Chris Heivly, co-founder of MapQuest and managing director of Build the Fort. Based out of Durham, North Carolina, Chris is the author of Build the Fort: The Startup Community Builder’s Field Guide, a book which simplifies entrepreneurship and outlines five basic elements that are common to both startups and startup communities. Chris is passionate about sharing his expertise in helping other entrepreneurs find success, and as a frequent blogger and public speaker, Chris advocates the importance for communities to develop viable entrepreneurial ecosystems. Throughout the episode, Chris discusses the value in networking and mentorship as an entrepreneur, the mechanics of building a startup ecosystem, and the different types of business systems.

 

Show Notes

(0:54) Introducing Chris Heivly

(5:03) The Trajectory of MapQuest

(10:21) Chris’ Startup and Investing Journey

(13:17) The Importance of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

(18:41) The Process of Building an Ecosystem vs. A Venture

(22:02) The Impact of Mentorship

(29:16) Advice to Younger Self

(30:57) Closing Question

 

Links

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine

Victoria Dickerson

Chris Heivly

heivly.com

Build the Fort

Build the Fort: The Startup Community Builder’s Field Guide

The Startup Factory

 

Quotes

“Every entrepreneur knows, and if anybody’s been doing it for more than a couple of years, and if you’ve ever had any real success, you know that your success is based on the backs of the people that helped you. And it’s just the nature of this thing that you get help. And I think the best entrepreneurs seek help and are more self aware and more vulnerable to put themselves out there.” - Chris Heivly, (10:40)

“The very nature of being in an entrepreneurial community is one of disruption, is one of discovery, is a process of knowns and unknowns, with the best intent and with the best motivation.” - Chris Heivly, (17:03)

“The basis for our view is around systems theory, and in systems theory there’s either three or four types of systems. But along this continuum from simple to chaotic are two systems, complicated and complex. And although they’re synonymous in the dictionary, in systems theory, they couldn’t be more opposite.” Chris Heivly, (19:30) 

“People think networking is a transaction. It’s not, it’s a connection. And I found the value in connecting with people and asking them two questions. Asking them what they’re stuck on and asking if there’s any way I could help them. And in doing that, I helped other people, and then other people helped me.” - Chris, Heivly, (23:48)

“To close the gap between success and failure you have to use your network, and your network is your community.” - Chris Heivly, (24:57)

Jan 18, 2024

Summary

En nuestro quinto episodio nos acompaña una invitada excepcional: Tahamara Ibarra de LinguaConnect Translations.

En esta edición Tahamara comparte su experiencia y conocimientos sobre la importancia de comprender no solo las palabras, sino también la cultura y el contexto detrás de cada mensaje. Descubre cómo LinguaConnect está transformando la manera en que nos comunicamos en un mundo cada vez más diverso.

Prepárate para sumergirte en una conversación que te inspirará a superar los límites del lenguaje y a conectarte de manera más profunda con aquellos que te rodean. ¡No te pierdas este episodio lleno de aprendizaje y descubrimientos!

 

Show Notes

(00:32) Introducción a Tahamara Ibarra

(02:06) La Educación de Tahamara 

(03:25) Por qué Thamara Comenzó su Propio Negocio

(05:03) Cambios en la Cultura Local

(06:01) De una Idea a la Realidad

(07:10) La Cronología de una Empresa

(11:25) Superando Obstáculos

(14:41) Lecciones Valiosas

(17:57) Valores Fundamentales

(20:15) Palabras de la Sabiduría

 

Links

Claudia Scott

Ana Ortiz

 

Quotes

“Estudie español con énfasis en el lado medico” - Tahamara lbarra (02:06)

“Al paso del tiempo lo que me di cuenta es que me gustaba más las clases de idioma y las clases medicas eran muy difíciles.” - Tahamara lbarra (02:06)

“Decidí estudiar para ser maestra de español y después seguí mi educación con una maestría en español… Y en la maestría era la intención de ser profesora” - Tahamara lbarra (02:35)

“Primeramente nunca me vi como una emprendedora, siempre pensé que iba a estudiar en algo, iba a trabajar, pero nunca sabia en que.” - Tahamara lbarra (03:25)

“Me di cuenta que siempre, en cada trabajo usaba mi habilidad de español.” - Tahamara lbarra (03:58)

“Llegue a la conclusión que podía combinar mi pasión de educar con mi amor a lo que es el idioma, la lectura y hacer un negocio de educar.” - Tahamara lbarra (04:04)

“Uno tiene que entender que el idioma refleja lo que es la historia.” - Tahamara lbarra (04:40)

“Ahora creo que hay más conciencia de que la información se debe de proveer (en otros idiomas).” - Tahamara lbarra (05:33)

“Estoy tan orgullosa y me siento humilde de saber que hay tanta ayuda para la comunidad.”
- Tahamara lbarra (09:59)

“Es impresionante cuantas personas de negocios comenzaron igual como yo, y como otras personas que literalmente era una idea...” - Tahamara lbarra (10:37)

“Estos programas hacen posible que las personas aprendan información, sepan a donde recurrir para sus herramientas y pongan esa información y herramientas a trabajar.”
- Tahamara lbarra (10:45)

“Para mí, el mayor obstáculo ha sido el miedo.” - Tahamara lbarra (11:38)

“Lo que me encanta de mi proceso es que es muy orgánico.” - Tahamara lbarra (12:17)

“Para mí, nuevamente, la barrera principal he sido yo misma.” - Tahamara lbarra (12:44)

“El sol sale para todos.” - Tahamara lbarra (14:13)

“Los valores siempre van a ser los mismos… Quizás tomen diferentes formas, o tomen diferentes colores, pero la idea básicamente es la misma.” - Tahamara lbarra (18:04)

“Creo que mi negocio representa las experiencias personales que yo viví como persona bilingüe.” - Tahamara lbarra (18:29)

“Tenemos que darnos cuenta de dónde venimos para saber a dónde vamos.” - Tahamara lbarra (21:09)

“Considero que no lo hubiera pensado antes, pero ahora lo que quiero hacer es regresar a dar a las comunidades que me dieron a mí.” - Tahamara lbarra (22:20)

“Reconozco que si no hubiera tenido buenos maestros y maestras que hubieran estado interesados en mi educación no estaría aquí.” - Tahamara lbarra (22:57)

“Yo quiero crear material que maestros puedan usar en sus salones para que aiga inclusividad.” - Tahamara lbarra (23:15)

Jan 15, 2024

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Caleb Talley and Victoria Dickerson sit down with Ahren Boulanger, the founder of Pleasant Counter, a family-run restaurant in Springdale specializing in burgers with a passion for sustainability and locally sourced ingredients. Ahren unpacks his diverse food influences, his take on the challenges of menu diversity, and why his preference for quality ingredients is revolutionizing the local dining scene. Additionally, he shares insights from his previous fermentation business, delves into the valuable lessons learned from international cuisine, and reflects on starting up in different regions, from California to Texas and now Northwest Arkansas. Caleb, Victoria, and Ahren also dive into what it takes to create food while aligning with your mission and discuss Pleasant Counter's recent trip to the World Burger Championships in Dallas where they placed 4th best burger in the world!

 

Show Notes

(1:09) Introducing Ahren Boulanger

(13:08) How Pleasant Counter fits into NWA’s Restaurant Scene

(23:10) Ahren’s Experience at the World Burger Championships

(36:03) How the Community Can Help Encourage Entrepreneurship

(44:49) Advice to Younger Self

(50:18) Closing Thoughts

 

Links

Caleb Talley

Victoria Dickerson

Ahren Boulanger

Pleasant Counter Facebook

Pleasant Counter Instagram

 

Quotes

“We leaned into a simple menu…there’s a lot of customization that’s kind of hidden in there, I’m not purposely trying to be cryptic, I just don’t want to clutter up the menu…[doing a few things and doing them well] is the philosophy I was trying to embrace.” - Ahren Boulanger, (8:37)

“There’s nothing we’re doing that’s so difficult. It’s just as long as we do it the way we like to do it, it works. But to try and do all that other stuff and not using an actual distributor that just shows up at your door and brings you things is rough, but it makes it so that we can do it the way we want to do it.” - Ahren Boulanger, (41:21)

“Also my personal phone number is the restaurant phone number. So my cell phone, you can just go on Google and literally call or text me…It’s just a little bit more personal. I guess it’s something that most people wouldn’t do, but it’s kind of our whole thing. There's not a lot of restaurants where you can go in and talk to the owner and actually have the owner bus your table, wash your dishes, make your food, take your order. So I think people like it.” - Ahren Boulanger, (49:01)

Jan 8, 2024

Summary

Welcome to another great episode of the Startup Junkie Podcast! On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Caleb Talley and Jeff Amerine are joined by Canem Arkan and Shawn Morris from Endeavor, the leading global community of, by, and for high-impact entrepreneurs. Endeavor is on a mission to build thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems in emerging and underserved markets around the world by inspiring high-growth founders to dream bigger. Endeavor creates a multiplier effect by providing entrepreneurs with the platform to scale faster and pay it forward, resulting in a compounding of their individual impact. Throughout the episode, Caleb, Jeff, Canem, and Shawn talk about the importance of exposing yourself to a variety of markets and how a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem can exist anywhere with the right key people and support groups.

 

Show Notes

(0:47) Introducing Canem and Shawn

(1:23) Endeavor’s Origin Story

(3:46) Endeavor’s Expansion into New Markets

(10:36) What’s Next for Endeavor

(23:13) The Importance of Storytelling for Northwest Arkansas

(28:24) Celebrating Wins and Normalizing Failure

(34:24) Gaining Exposure to Different Markets

(41:14) Current Challenges in the State

(47:06) Advice to Younger Self

(50:51) Closing Question

 

Links

Caleb Talley

Jeff Amerine 

Canem Arkan

Shawn Morris

Endeavor

 

Quotes

“We work with scaling founders with the goal of job creation and revenue generation and what that does for economic transformation…Because what we found was people with good ideas need certain help and people who have fifty or one hundred team members need a different kind of help. So how do we plug and support all the organizations that exist and do that for scaling founders who need a different kind of help?” - Canam Arkan, (1:23)

“We still have a lot more to do. So part of what we’re trying to focus on is are there areas of specialty we can really hone in on because we’re industry agnostic, but it’s hard to be everything to everyone, which is what we try to do.” - Canam Arkan, (11:00)

“It feels more and more people are seeing that there’s things happening here in NWA. And so whether it’s investors from out of town or just founders in the region checking this place out, it feels more like people want to come in. And so how do we bring those people in and show them around and what’s happening here and hold their feet to the fire of you’ve been here, you’ve seen it, now start doing stuff here.” - Shawn Morris, (12:35)

“I think [celebrating wins] is helpful when it comes to selling to both, like bringing in and then retaining your employees, communicating to them like maybe we haven’t raised a ton of money or we have a down round, but there’s traction here. Your decision to jump ship from corporate to go work in a startup was smart because we’re moving in the right direction. And I think we have to reiterate that and derisk it to people as often as possible.” - Shawn Morris, (30:59)

Jan 1, 2024

Summary

Welcome to another great episode of the Startup Junkie Podcast! In this live recorded special episode, hosts Jeff Amerine and Caleb Talley join Amy Herzberg and Bob Ford, the co-founders of TheatreSquared (T2), and Shannon Jones, the executive director, on the set of A Christmas Carol for a captivating discussion about TheatreSquared’s origin and mission. Since its founding in 2005, TheatreSquared’s locally produced and nationally acclaimed productions have remained rooted in its founding vision that “theatre done well and with passion can transform lives and communities.” Throughout the episode, Amy, Bob, and Shannon share how TheatreSquared has impacted Arkansas’s artistic landscape and how its reputation continues to blossom in the performing arts world.

 

Show Notes

(1:45) Introduction to Bob Ford and Amy Herzberg

(2:23) TheatreSquared’s Origin Story

(15:59) TheatreSquared’s Impact on Arkansas’s Artistic Landscape

(19:53) Attracting Talent from the University of Arkansas

(26:29) Introduction to Shannon Jones

(33:29) Catering To New Audiences

(36:37) How TheatreSquared Approaches Innovation

(40:37) Measuring TheatreSquared’s Success

(44:32) Questions from the Audience

(52:54) Advice to Younger Self

(56:09) Closing Question and Thoughts

 

Links

Jeff Amerine 

Caleb Talley

Bob Ford

Amy Herzberg

Shannon Jones

TheatreSquared

 

Quotes

“Having this theatre [in Northwest Arkansas] makes a real statement about how the arts are valued in this area, and that means a lot to people who are coming from all over the place to study at the University of Arkansas in its theatre department.” - Amy Herzberg, (20:05)

“I think one of the things that theatre does really well is it touches lives. Like you said, in our mission, it transforms communities. And the thing about T2 and the thing I think that we do really well, and I think we'll continue to expand upon, is making that human connection. And I think one thing that we use to help build upon what is already there is our ability to adapt.” - Shannon Jones, (33:52)

“When I see a young person say, ‘I've never seen me and my friends on stage before, I've never seen my story before. Thank you.’ That's how I measure [success]. That's what keeps me going, that to me is impact. We could fill this place, I guarantee, if we put on certain shows over and over again, and that would also look like a certain kind of success. But our goal is to do both because what we're discovering is that our community wants to see a full range of stories because, as we know, everybody's different, but also everybody's the same. But that's an amazing kind of conundrum.” - Bob Ford, (41:19)

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