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The Bacon Bits 'n' Bytes Podcast

The Bacon Bits 'n' Bytes Podcast

Author: Karen Swyszcz

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The Bacon Bits 'n' Bytes Podcast is where a bit of business and byte of technology come together. This podcast is like the bits n bytes party mix for your listening pleasure. Karen Swyszcz, the host, (founder of Makinthebacon) chats with various entrepreneurs on what it's like to run your own business, how to stay productive, the importance of learning certain technology-related skills and more.

Visit the website to learn more about the host and read the blog -
46 Episodes
In this episode, I chat with Lori Chai - a UX Designer and Co. Lab Alumna, about her experience living and working abroad in Japan (one of my bucket list destinations!).  She shares what drove her decision to transition in a UX career, the state of UX design in Japan at the time and how she started her own co-hosted podcast: Designer Sushi. For the first episode of this season, Lori was kind enough to be the guinea pig for the This or That segment. I had so much fun and a lot of laughs recording this episode. Enjoy!  You can follow Lori's podcast on Instagram: @designer.sushi and on Twitter: @DesignerSushi
Note: This episode was recorded in March 2022.  Hi everyone! This is the final episode for 2022. I'm hoping to get back into a podcasting groove next year. I really enjoyed interviewing Ali Shah - co-founder & CEO of TapeReal. TapeReal is a social platform where human connection, authenticity, and meaningful content comes first. I came across his company through Equivesto, the Canadian equity crowdfunding platform. The previous episode (Ep. 041) is an interview with Equivesto's managing director, Alexander Morsink.  The mission of TapeReal is create a less intimidating space for aspiring creators. It's a place where they can document their journey, grow and evolve.   In this episode Ali, chats about how the start of his entrepreneurial journey began as a franchisor for Subway. (His dad, banker by profession, became a franchisor for Mr. Sub, when he came to Canada). He then founded several companies before starting TapeReal. We chat about the early days of TapeReal, how it was originally posed as an idea of having a synchronous conversation with someone, before pivoting to focus on asynchronous content.  We also chat about how social media is integrated into our lives and just how addictive it can be. (Especially TikTok! Since recording this episode, I have revived my TikTok account, but I am barely on it. Maybe that's a good thing?) LEARN MORE ABOUT TAPEREAL  Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: YouTube:  
*Correction: I have been in my current role as a Product Manager at an e-commerce startup for just over a year now. The previous year and a bit, I was working on trying to break into the industry.  Popping in with a solo episode to share some life updates to explain why I've sort of been MIA.  Hoping to add a few more solo episodes to the mix in the future, including why and how I got into product management.  FOLLOW THE BACON BITS 'N BYTES PODCAST Twitter - @baconbits_bytes Instagram - @baconbitsnbytes LinkedIn - The Bacon Bits 'n' Bytes Podcast This episode is not a video episode, but you can check out video episodes (starting at Season 3) on my YouTube Channel -
NOTE: This episode was recorded back in February 2022  The idea of helping people who never considered themselves to be investors, to be individuals, investing in a variety of different busineses where they could start creating more intergenerational wealth was something that was really meaningful to the both of us - Alexander Morsink , Co-Founder and Managing Director of Equivesto Equivesto is a Canadian equity crowdfunding platform, that allows all Canadians to directly invest in local businesses and exciting startup companies starting at as little as $100.  LEARN MORE - Follow Equivesto on: Twitter  @EquivestoInc Instagram @Equivesto LinkedIn  @Equivesto
In this episode I chat with the CEO and co-founder, Cole Kirschner of longevity tech company Age Rate. We chat about how AgeRate began as a capstone research project in university and how the company is   empowering the world with tools to demystify and optimize aging.   Use the code BACON at checkout or by using this link:  and receive 20% off.    AgeRate is a direct-to-consumer longevity company that aims to unlock the secret to living a longer and healthier life by redefining AgeRate. Founded in 2018, AgeRate has spent the last 3 years creating and developing a novel at-home blood test and mobile app that allows users to discover how well they are aging and what actions they can take to improve. The company has leveraged the expertise of world-leading researchers to develop a custom epigenetic analysis and proprietary algorithms to reveal a user’s biological age and up to 20 additional health and longevity insights. For more info on how you can participate in their beta testing visit Follow on social media: Twitter -  @age_rate Facebook - AgeRate Instagram -  @agerate
Note: This episode was recorded back in the end of August.  Imagine a world where teachers are doing Tik Tok inspired videos to educate their students and these short-form videos can be accessed by anyone from around the world.  Beau is CEO & Founder of SOLcademy - a new short-format educational video platform. He is on a mission to improve the quality and availability of learning. He went to Dartmouth College and worked as a software engineer before discovering his true passion for education. He was the first sales leader of GoGuardian, a very successful EdTech startup. He's evangelizing personalized and adaptive learning to achieve his goal of Equity for ALL scholars. He is an avid traveler and spent 2 years backpacking through Africa and Latin America.
"Food is a choice we make 3,4 times a day, what to eat, when we're hungry. We do it every single day of our lives and that is a very personal choice for various reasons." - Kishan Vasani , Co-Founder & CEO of Spoonshot.   Kishan has worked in the food-tech industry since 2011. He is the Co-Founder & CEO of Spoonshot, an AI and food science-powered insights company helping the industry uncover the future of food by predicting consumer needs, trends, and innovation opportunities.Before starting his own venture, Kishan worked in 2 leadership roles for 3+ years at a global online food ordering giant, JUST EAT. Also since 2008, Kishan has been the Co-Founder & Chairman of One Cause, an education-focused nonprofit that has raised over $1M to date for grassroots institutions. Website: Twitter:  @spoonshotx Connect with Kishan on LinkedIn:
NOTE: This episode was recorded back in May 2021 That feeling when you get to interview the creator of a product you are absolutely in love with. I was beyond thrilled to have James Mulvany, founder of, and (my fave platform to connect with podcast guests and other podcasters). Really enjoyed learning about his entrepreneurial journey (he started his first business when he was 16) and about his 30 podcasts in 30 days experience (it was actually more than that). James also shares a lot of valuable advice with respect to podcasting- including how to be a great guest on a podcast and  on the flip side, how to create a great podcast.  How To Make A Sh*t Podcast article: Social Media:
Amira Polack is the Founder & CEO at Struct Club, an app for fitness instructors who design motion to music - and their fans, starting with spin (indoor cycling) & treadmill running. Amira's career has centered around technology, startups, and social impact and her opinion has been featured in TIME, Forbes, and the World Economic Forum Agenda. She earned her MBA at Harvard Business School and BA at Princeton. In this episode we chat about both her entrepreneurial journey and fitness journey and how they came together through Struct Club. What's also quite interesting is that we discuss how people have change their fitness routine because of the pandemic.   Find Struct Club on the App Store Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @structclub Connect with Amira Polack at: Instagram: @amirapolack Twitter: @apolack YouTube:
Note: This episode was recorded during the beginning of April 2021.  After having recently gone through the Product Management track of Co.Lab, I have a conversation with the co-founders Sefunmi Osinaike and Helen Huang on their difficult path to product management and why they want to provide confidence and practical experience for those looking to break into tech.  Helen is a first generation Chinese-Canadian, as well as an earth scientist turned product manager turned startup founder. After leaving her mark at companies such as Zynga, Microsoft and Github, she's gone on to co-found Co.Lab, a team-based education program for aspiring technologists. Helen is especially passionate about thought diversity, the power of active learning, and building inclusive communities. Sefunmi is the Co-founder & CEO of Co.Lab, an education program for aspiring technologists to help them break into tech. Sefunmi is a University of Waterloo, Electrical and Computer Engineering alum, and frequently draws from his experiences as an international student from Nigeria. As an avid storyteller, he has authored three books on non-traditional paths into technology. Website: YouTube: Twitter and Instagram: joincolab_io Twitter and Instagram: @heyohelen Twitter and Instagram: @sefunmioshy
Lena is a product manager turned entrepreneur, writer and speaker. After running an innovation lab as a product manager and getting her first taste of entrepreneurship, she quit her job in February 2020 to take a break from the corporate world and test her own ideas. Lena's projects include a self-published book called The Making of Product Managers and a customer interviews tool for venture teams at startup accelerators called Hypothesee. She writes about her entrepreneurial journey on her website - and contributes some of her writing to Product Coalition and The Startup, two large Medium publications. In this episode, we chat about her journey into product management and her more recent journey into entrepreneurship. We discuss the importance of building stuff that solves your own problems and why product managers have a critical skillset to become entrepreneurs.  Connect with Lena on Twitter: @lenasesardic LinkedIn :
A social media futurist, Eugene's forward thinking attitude towards how we connect using technology has been at the forefront of his mission to connect the world. In 2014 he graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on "YouTube Studies" from Evergreen State. Upon graduation he went to work at the YouTube consulting Agency, Press Play. In 2016 he quit his job as an art director to pursue XR social media. Eugene's first project was producing the film "Journey VR". This film became an official selection at SIFF, a staff pick by Adobe and VEER, then would become the number one 360 video download on Steam for 30 days at the time of its release. A year later he would produce and host GLITCHED, the first in VR talk show to be ordered as if it were a TV show. The show revolved around interviewing large name tech and social media influencers like Barnacules Nerdgasm, iJustine, Jake Roper of Vsauce3, and Gear live. The show ran for a total of 3 seasons. Since then he has been an avid YouTube creator making 360 animated shorts which have gained millions of views on YouTube as well as making appearances to educate the masses on the evolution of the social media experience. Instagram: @capondesign Twitter: @CaponDesign Facebook: @eugenecapon Youtube:
UPDATE: The Passionfruit App is now available on both The App Store and Google Play app store and can be found by searching for "Passionfruit." Trying to connect with people can be quite difficult if your goals are not aligned or you don't share the same passion for something.   Passionfruit is the brainchild of creator Paul Deng who came up with the concept of his social app while volunteering at Toronto Distress Centres, where he realized that there was a need for people to make deep, genuine, and long-lasting connections. Without such connections, individuals can become isolated and may lack an adequate support network. Existing products and services often highlight superficial qualities like status or looks, which are unreliable when depended upon as foundations for long lasting relationships. In response, Paul’s vision is to create an app which helps people meet others on the same wavelength by using words and closeness. If someone near you is thinking about the same topics, the app matches you and gives you a platform to chat and break the ice. Discover what you’re passionate about, reach out to others with the same passions, meet, learn, and grow together through those passions and build a strong foundation for relationships. Sign up to receive updates about the passionfruit app. Follow passionfruit on Facebook: @passionfruitapp Instagram: @passionfruit_app Twitter: @apppassionfruit  
Jennifer Hargreaves is the Founder and CEO of tellent. tellent is a flexible work recruitment and social impact organization with a mission to create more equal opportunities for women to lead and earn. Through a job board and virtual networking platform, she supports women on their journeys to finding work that works for them (flexible work). tellent also helps forward-thinking and inclusive businesses to access professional and skilled talent when and how they need it so that they can thrive in our current economic climate and future of work. She was educated in Canada and has lived in worked in New Zealand, New York and London, UK. I had a fantastic discussion with her about her reasons for starting tellent, the benefits of a flexible work culture and how the pandemic caused a seismic shift in the way we work.
Women entrepreneurs account for only 16% of business owners in Canada. It's time to invest in change.  ELLA is a community and an accelerator for women, by women.  Their mission is to reduce the gap of gender inequality in entrepreneurship. They believe that every woman entrepreneur should have access to the community, information and resources needed to scale their business.  In this episode, I chat with Nicole Troster, the manager of the ELLA accelerator. We chat about ELLA's launch at the beginning of March 2020 and how like so many organizations and businesses, had to quickly pivot their offerings when the pandemic began. We also discuss the different reasons women want to start a business vs men, how many serial entrepreneurs dabble in and out of entrepreneurship and facing the hard truth of shutting down your business.  Learn more about ELLA: Twitter: @ellawomenyu IG: @ellawomenyu
"You never know what the market wants until you go and talk to them' - Ardalan Benam, AI scientist and serial entrepreneur. Ardalan is someone who really understands what it means to be an entrepreneur and provides some honest, no BS advice for those who are looking to get into this world. As he puts it, there are so many easier ways to make money and that you shouldn't get into entrepreneurship for the money.   
Being a former personal finance blogger, but still a personal finance nerd, I loved having this type of discussion with Sandy Yong, Keynote Speaker and Award-Winning Author of The Money Master  Book.   Sandy Yong earned a business degree at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. After graduation, she started her career and began saving her hard-earned money. She naively invested in high-fee, high-risk mutual funds and soon lost thousands with the bumpy roller coaster ride of the stock market. Feeling frustrated and upset, she decided to take her money matters into her own hands and became a self-directed investor. Sandy successfully generated a 6-figure investment portfolio by the age of 27. Since then, she has been an avid real estate investor owning several rental properties with her husband. As a Keynote Speaker, she teaches female millennials how to invest in the stock market and in real estate. With her decade of experience and expertise, Sandy has published her award-winning book, The Money Master: Inside Secrets On How To Make Your Money Grow and Stay Safe. She has been featured in 70+ media outlets including Toronto Star, NBC News and Yahoo! Finance. In addition, Sandy proudly partners with CAMH: The Centre For Addiction and Mental Health. For every book purchase, she personally donates $2 to assist this charity with mental health research. Her vision is to help people feel comfortable conversing about money and mental health, as both can be sensitive subjects and have an impact on our daily lives. Website: FB: @themoneymasterbook Twitter: @moneymasterbook IG:  @themoneymasterbook  
Lee Chambers is one amazing individual.  He is a Wellbeing Consultant, Workshop Facilitator and Sleep Specialist. Through relearning how to walk after illness, working in different industries, and building 2 businesses, and studying a number of advanced qualifications, he has now brought all this together to improve wellbeing advancement. He does this by working with organisations to help them become more conscious and purposeful, defining values and communicating them with clarity. Wellbeing strategies are implemented that are measured and embedded. We chat about his entrepreneurial spirit as a child, starting a business during the 2008 Financial Crisis, his new book launching in November and his advice for the graduating class of 2020.  Connect with Lee: Facebook: @essentialisecoach Twitter: @essentialise Instagram: @essentialisecoach Youtube:
From online banking to digital payment processing, the fintech industry has evolved and continues to evolve tremendously. In this episode, I have an open and honest conversation about finances with FinTech entrepreneur, Co-Founder and CEO of Ostrich, William Glass.  His mission is improving financial well-being globally. As founder & CEO of his company, Ostrich, William’s mobile app addresses financial literacy deficits by creating social community and accountability around money - think saving & investing with friends. In addition, William hosts the Silicon Alley Podcast providing a platform for entrepreneurs from all industries and backgrounds to tell their stories. William owns rental property and was a successful tech sales rep before starting his own business. He was also a Fulbright Scholar in Thailand. William is originally from Alabama and now resides in New York City. Site: Facebook: @williampglass3/@theostrichapp/@siliconalleypodcast Twitter: @williampglass3/@theostrichapp/@siliconalleypod Instagram: @williyg_iii/@theostrichapp/@siliconalleypodcast Youtube: EhNgA?view_as=subscriber
 Adam Mendler is the CEO of The Veloz Group, where he co-founded and oversees ventures across a wide variety of industries: Beverly Hills Chairs, the leading seller of refurbished Herman Miller Aeron chairs in the country; Custom Tobacco, a one-of-a-kind e-commerce platform where customers can create fully customized, private-label cigars in real-time; and Veloz Solutions, a technology consulting and software development practice. Adam is a also a nationally acclaimed thought leader, writer and speaker on topics including leadership, entrepreneurship and management. Adam is the creator and host of the podcast Thirty Minute Mentors, where each week he goes one on one with one of the most successful people in the country on how they got to the top and how listeners can too. Adam shares how he got into entrepreneurship and provide valuable advice on leadership, bootstrapping your business, as well as going into business with a family member.  This interview was recorded back in May when we were still in lockdown, so we were also talking about how much we missed lifting weights and it wasn't the same with just resistance bands.  Follow Adam: Site: Instagram: @adammendler Twitter: @adammendler