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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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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 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)