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The Price

The Price

Author: American Podcast Company

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Entrepreneurs describe the real-life choices they are making to realize their start-up dreams. Hear from founders as they answer the ultimate question - is it worth the price? Hosted by Drew Adams.
11 Episodes
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Imagine getting to work out with trainers that train some of the most well-known athletes and performers in the world from the comfort of your own home for $19 a month.  My guest today - Karly Pavlinac - is building a platform called WAAM that allows everyday people to subscribe to workouts conducted by the world’s best celebrity trainers.  She has a growing list of users asking for access to her apps beta, an interface for her trainers to upload new classes as well as business model that is working and ½ million dollars in startup funding.   But road has not been easy.  From sleeping on a mattress in her parents living room, to having a substantial loan of money to fund the first version of her app stolen by a disreputable app development company, if there is one aspect of Karly’s story that stands out its perseverance.  Keep listening to hear the story of Karly and WAAM on The Price.
Don Shin is the CEO of CrossComm, an app development studio applying some of the most cutting edge technologies to the business problems of its' customers.    In this episode we discuss augmented reality, virtual reality, AI, Bitcoin and market opportunities these technologies open up.  Additionally, Don describes the most common pitfalls that startups experience when building out an app or technology platform.  So if you are developing an app or looking to innovate your product or service, check out this episode with Don Shin, the CEO of CrossComm
“Any four of the big pieces of intellectual property that you can get traditionally -- patents, trademarks ... copyrights and trade secrets -- the common thread that runs through all four of those is time. If you're first at any of those four, eventually you're going to win against third parties. If you beat them, right? If you're the first one to think of the idea or the first one to publish the idea in terms of patents, you're going to win in the United States and in the world, and in a lot of cases.  Having a technology available to us that can prove this time, that's freely available and is able to be integrated and used as a kind of an undeniable proof of time, that's crowdsourced, essentially, is pretty powerful.”  - Eli Sheet, Idea Block Eli Sheets is the founder of IdeaBlock, an innovative new technology platform that leverages the power of blockchain to provide immutable and provable timestamps for intellectual property. Essentially, IdeaBlock's customers can prove when they first had their ideas, which helps them defend their intellectual property rights. Eli is 18 months or so into IdeaBlock and after raising money from friends and family, has a growing base of paying customers using his product’s beta. In this podcast episode, Eli talks about learning to program computers, working at the US patent office, spending several years as a patent attorney before starting IdeaBlock. Eli explains how the technology works, who uses it and what it's like to be at this stage of the entrepreneurial journey.  Please enjoy my conversation with Eli Sheets from IdeaBlock.
Back in early 2000’s, Joe Colopy left his job to build a software product - without funding or without even a firm idea of what to build. The first attempts was not going anywhere and the clock was ticking.  But then with his wife three months pregnant, and his back against the wall, he stripped down his product and focused in on something one of his customers said was useful. That hint of something eventually became Bronto Software, that Joe grew along with his co-founder Chaz Felix from pre-revenue to an exit of $200M dollars, all done without taking on debt of venture funding. In this episode we talk about Joe’s upbringing, how he founded his company, found his first customers, partnered up with his co-founder, as well as how and why he sold the company and what it like to be on the other side.
Today I talk to Mark Johnson, is an entrepreneur, and an investor and a creator.   Back in the early 2000s, Mark started writing reviews for hotels. When he saw it start to gain traffic, he started to think this might be something he would do.  Over the course of 10 years Mark turned that idea into a business with over 40 content creators. Run out of the attic of his house, Mark bootstrapped that content business into a company eventually sold to Conde Nast.  I talk with Mark about what it was like to build and exit that business. But before we get into all that we spend time talking about Mark’s newest project Foodboro and what its like to build a service from scratch (again)!  We also talk about the pitfalls of angel investing and Mark describes what its like to be a limited partner in a venture fund.   This episode of full of fun stories and take aways.  Check it out.
In this episode, I talk to James Avery founder and CEO of Adzerk about how he turned a small ad network doing 1 thousand dollars a month in revenue into an ad platform doing over 5 million a year. Adzerk's platform helps other companies use apis to build ad servers.  James talks about the different ways he priced the product and how unexpected invitation to stick around in a meeting at a customer’s office led him realize his key product differentiator and helped formulate the product strategy. Also, James describes his company as “seed-strapped”.  To find out more about what that means, listen on!
Allison Wood - CEO of LCMS+

Allison Wood - CEO of LCMS+

2018-07-1801:24:30

In this episode, I interview Allison Wood, the CEO of LCMS Plus, an enterprise software solution that helps medical schools streamline accreditation reporting and gain greater insight into medical programs.  Spun-out from Duke, LCMS Plus is software that tracks everything surrounding the education components of medical school, which includes keeping track of student schedules, grades and evaluations of instructors just to name a few.  In this episode, Allison discusses how the company was spun out from Duke and how she manages life with a business partner who is the CTO and also her husband. We also discuss how she has come to see the value her software provides.
David Hadden is the co-CEO of Pro-ficiency, a maker of simulation learning technology for the healthcare industry.  Using Pro-ficiency’s technology, doctors, patients and clinical trial investigators can face real life scenarios and make decisions in a consequence free environment to improve their performance and create better outcomes.  In this episode, David talks about how he came up with the idea for the company after helping train doctors in Africa, what it was like to exit his first company, Therasim, and how simulation is a superior learning construct for those in jobs where people face life or death decisions.
Founded in 2015 by Clarence Bethea, Upsie is an insurance technology company changing the way device warranties are purchased, managed and serviced.  In this episode, Clarence tells the story of how he learned about his opportunity in the marketplace, how he got the first version of his product made, and what it was like to raise money via TechStars. Clarence also explains the thing that keeps him motivated and excited everyday.
Nathan Clendenin is the Founder of StoryDriven, an 8-time Emmy Award winning video marketing firm that specializes in telling human centric stories. In this episode, Nathan tells how he develops stories for his customers, what a "brand journalist" is, how StoryDriven comes up with their core values, and what it was like to get an Emmy. We also talk about what kind of stories he wants to tell.
Joe Bell - CEO of Cultivate

Joe Bell - CEO of Cultivate

2018-07-1801:08:51

Joe Bell is the CEO of Cultivate, a social media management platform that helps companies plan organize and execute social campaigns that reach more customers. Cultivate was featured in South by Southwest’s 2017 Startup Spotlight and won North Carolina Technology Association’s Top Tech Startup to Watch for 2017.  In this episode, Joe shares his experience evolving his marketing company into a software company.  He talks about bringing on co-founders and raising money from investors. He also gives his advice for how to land those first customers.
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