October 2012

Guests Dr. David Pensak, author of Innovation for Underdogs, and Grace Fricks, CEO of Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs http://www.cyberears.com/cybrss/18821.mp3 [caption id="attachment_4067" align="alignright" width="192"] Innovation for Underdogs[/caption] Dr. David Pensak Dr. Pensak is awesome! His dry humor and omniscient insights into innovation made us big fans. He claims that he is not that smart, despite getting a PhD from Harvard in Chemistry, teaching Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Drexel University and innovation at Wharton, and winning the Kaufmann Foundation award for top 50 most innovative startups twice.  He is the only person to win twice and the oldest. And he is created as being the developer of first commercially successful internet firewall. Oh, and he grew up next door to some Albert guy, Einstein I think.  How could you not want to listen to this interview? We discuss: Can innovation be taught? Why India has an innovation problem, How to see the Pacific Ocean from Colorado, Growing up next to Einstein, Why Botswana is so innovative, Why your first idea is not eh best one, And much more!   Grace Frick Grace Frick runs Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs.  This non-profit helps entrepreneurs find capital when banks wont lend.  Her organization is part of a national group and she tells how to find capital no matter what state you live in.         ...

Guest: Eli Rodriguez, Owner of Loui Consulting Group, Inc. http://www.cyberears.com/cybrss/18804.mp3 [caption id="attachment_4061" align="alignright" width="256"] Loui Consulting Group[/caption] Eli Rodriguez was an employee of mine back in 94 or 95, and to see how far he has come is really exciting. He graduated from Georgia Tech and started working for the man!  A job.  Today, he celebrates a huge Navy contract and has 70 employees in the US, Japan, Italy, Spain, Guam, and Guantanamo Bay (Cuba). Such a cool story! Eli tells us how he got started, about his first company contracts, and...

Guest: Cherie Stine of OCG Products (Stretchy Shapes) http://www.cyberears.com/cybrss/18828.mp3 [caption id="attachment_4058" align="alignright" width="300"] Cherie Stine and April Mraz[/caption] This is an amazing story. Cherie Stine and April Mraz, both of Birmingham, Alabama started a business with $3,500 on a credit card and in 11 months turned it into over $3 million in sales. Oh, and the product is basically a rubber band! Listen to all the twist and turns of this story: their success at retail sales, mall carts, importing from China using Alibaba, and trade show success. Cherie tell how they got their idea and exact each step they took. Cherie and April's products are now distributed in Germany, the Middle East and Australia and are represented by 62 amazing sales representatives in the United States! And they have showrooms in Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and Seattle. Their products are carried nationwide in Nordstrom department stores and Hallmarks. Listen to how they learned something new every day, finally really using her MBA, and most importantly, having fun. And Cherie takes a golf cart to work every day as the office is just a few blocks from her daughter's school. Cherie was so interesting, and the story so cool, that we did not finish and had to invite her back to hear the rest of the story!       ...

Guest: Nelson Chu, Managing Director of Kinetic Ventures http://www.cyberears.com/cybrss/18820.mp3 [caption id="attachment_4055" align="alignright" width="200"] Nelson Chu[/caption] Today, we are excited to have Nelson Chu on the show. We at School for Startups are not huge venture capital fans. But we agree with everything Nelson says.  Nelson is a great sport when we tease him too! He gives great insight into the VC world and how to get money from one, if you should. Ever wish you could play 500 questions with a VC, this sis your chance! Nelson Chu joined Kinetic Ventures in 1998. His investment activities focus on , enterprise and Internet software, information and infrastructure technologies, and other emerging software and hardware technologies. He has led a broad range of Kinetic investments including BroadWare (acquired by Cisco), VerticalOne (acquired by SONE), FoodBuy (acquired by Compass Group), Vertical Acuity, Cardlytics, and Tower Cloud. His insights into clean tech and related businesses are fascinating. Prior to joining Kinetic Ventures, Nelson worked with McKinsey & Company as a management consultant  and as a Development Manager with Oracle. Nelson received his BS (summa cum laude) in Electrical Engineering  from Virginia Tech, his MS in Electrical Engineering from MIT and his MBA (with distinction) from Harvard Business School.       ...