Discover what it takes and what it means to think entrepreneurially from thought leaders throughout the St. Louis region. Dr. Cheryl Watkins-Moore and Christy Maxfield bring to you the best and most experienced trailblazers around to share insights that can unlock your pioneer potential for creativity, innovation and experimentation.
ETHINKSTL-EP213-SEASON16 EP10 – Nadia Shakoor
Joining us today is Dr. Nadia Shakoor, Founder and CEO of Agrela Ecosystems, an agtech start-up focused on delivering research quality data collection products and services in an effort to accelerate breeding cycle time within agricultural communities. Nadia is a crop phenotyping expert and co-inventor of the PheNode and is speaking with us today to help us better understand the world of agriculture. In this episode: Nadia talks about what sparked her interest in the field of biology and agriculture. Nadia says that entrepreneurial thinking to her means, “actively working on solutions to difficult problems that I am to help leave the world a better place, then we found it and the world of ag-tech helps her to achieve that goal.” Nadia talks about St. Louis' very own Danforth Plant Sciences Center and what attracted her to this state of the art research institute. Nadia says that she self identifies as an Inventor, an Entrepreneur, a CEO and Founder, but says that her passion is trying to develop crops that are healthier and better and improving on current crop technologies. Nadia explains what it means to take discoveries out of a lab and then build a company around them. She says that it takes a lot of hard work and determination to shift gears from developing your product to then selling your product. Nadia talks about what she has learned as a wearer of many hats. She shares with us some valuable advice and says she recommends just sticking with your passions and staying focused on the long term goals. Learn More: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company Website: Company Facebook: Company Twitter:
ETHINKSTL-EP212-SEASON16 EP09 – Valerie Liddell
Joining us today is Valerie Liddell, Founder and CEO of Grind + Growth, a non-profit co-working space that empowers, educates, and inspires people in underserved communities throughout the St. Louis and Illinois region. Through trial and error, Valerie gained a wealth of knowledge and skills, which inspired her to help other aspiring entrepreneurs like herself. In this episode: Valerie explains that she got her entrepreneurial drive, professional commitment and worth ethic from her Grandfather and her Father. While growing up and being provided with the things she needed and not provided with the 'wants' of a child, she found the drive to allow her as a grown up and entrepreneur to be able to purchase the things she not only needed but that she wanted as well. Valerie says that entrepreneurial thinking to her means being able to take a risk and not getting discouraged when obstacles pop up. Valerie talks about being a serial entrepreneur and the inner joy it brings her on a daily basis. Valerie tells us how Grind + Growth came to be and how she overcame the challenges she faced when acquiring capital. Valerie says she turned the obstacle in front of her into a treasure hunt and through research, the use of resources available to her and her drive until eventually, she found her treasure - aka CAPITAL. She explains that Grind + Growth can be of service to non-profits as well as for-profit organizations such as healthcare agencies, restaurant owners and a variety of other business development agencies. Prospective members can also learn more about day passes and annual memberships. Learn More: Email: email@example.com Company Facebook: Company Twitter:
ETHINKSTL-EP211-SEASON16 EP08 - Elise Miller Hoffman
Joining us today is Elise Miller Hoffman, General partner at Cultivation Capital, a Venture Capital Firm that manages a family of funds focused on early-stage investing. Elise is active in St. Louis' entrepreneurial ecosystem and invests in promising digital health and life sciences start-ups. In addition, Elise was named as a St. Louis Business Journal "30 under 30" awardee in 2018. In this episode: Elise talks about growing up in Texas and what brought her to St. Louis. Elise says that entrepreneurial thinking to her means envisioning what a better world could look like and using your unique talents and relentless drive to make your vision happen. Elise shares with us her adventures and what led her to the Venture Capital field and she says that she was very drawn in by St. Louis' entrepreneurial ecosystem. Elise says that she was able to find the right fit for her amongst many different business options by playing an internship role on all playing fields. Elise describes her experiences with the different ranks she held once entering the Venture Capital game. Elise talks negotiating, board representation, strategic counseling, sales process and analytics. Elise discusses how Cultivation Capital fits into our ecosystem. She explains that there are many different investment focuses such as software and IT, Ag Tech and early stage company formations. Elise gives some advice to women and minorities who are thinking about getting into a male dominated Venture Capital industry. Elise also tells us what is on the horizon for her and her Cultivation Capital team. Elise states that the pandemic has sifted her focus and thinking towards effectively battling and conquering the challenges we currently face during Covid. Learn More: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company Website: Company Twitter:
Joining us today is Ron Story, Jr., Serial entrepreneur and Founder of PitchDB, a search engine for speaking engagements that saves hours of digging for leads and contacts in just a few clicks. Over the past 20 years, Ron has been instrumental in the creation, development and leadership of over 30 companies with a potential market value of over 200 million. In this episode: Ron explains that while he was born and raised in East St.Louis he took some advice and decided to go where he would be treated best, so with that he took the advice and some research and moved to Medelllin, Columbia. Ron says he is a starter and a fixer at heart and says that entrepreneurial thinking to him means finding a problem and fixing that problem. Ron talks about being an international entrepreneur and why he chose to make Medellin his permanent business home. Ron shares a warm and fuzzy story about employee development and talks about hiring employees that you can trust. Ron explains his take on business development and says that he is fond of the 'buying a business plan' as opposed to the 'building a business plan'. Ron shares with us his experience with being an author of a book titled "The First 100 Miles". Ron says that your brain is just as valuable as your body, so feed your brain with knowledge and do the things you love to do in life. Learn More: Email: email@example.com Website: Personal Facebook:
Joining us today is Bob Miller, CEO and Founder of Melio, a company that offers products that harness the power of the sun, all while upcycling plastic bottles for a more sustainable future. Bob followed his passion of design and environment by creating a solar charging back-pack and says he envisions Melio as a lifestyle brand. In this episode: Bob says growing up in a small business environment may have played a role in his desire to become an entrepreneur. Bob also says that entrepreneurial thinking to him means opening your eyes to new opportunities to be able to grow and develop into that individual that you want to be or the organization that you want to have. Bob explains that as a small business owner of a lifestyle brand, he hopes to persuade consumers to think about and to make a conscious effort to learn about the companies that they are buying from. Bob tells us how he discovered, marketed and developed Melio and also talks about where the business name Melio derived from. Bob talks about Melios' flagship product called JUICE, a solar powered backpack designed to appeal to outdoor enthusiasts and consumers that are on the go. Bob speaks about the changes in his marketing plan that had to be made in the face of Covid. Bob says that while Covid added some challenges to the marketing of the product, it also helped due to the fact that consumers are participating in more outdoor themed activities. Bob shares with us some of the things he has learned on his journey to entrepreneurship. Learn More: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: Company Facebook: Company LinkedIn:
ETHINKSTL-EP208-SEASON 16 EP05 - Whitney McClendon
Joining us today is Whitney McClendon-Gregory, CEO and Founder of Eemerg.com, a local company that is reinventing how drivers request roadside services. Whitney is ambitious and dedicated to providing an open marketplace platform and has pledged to build a service where her customers can choose a suitable price option for their needs. In this episode: Whitney explains that roadside assistance and businesses of the like, have always been in her blood by way of family entrepreneurs. Whitney says that entrepreneurial thinking to her means having the ability to see differently than the rest of the world and having the inherent trait to make it easier to develop items and innovation. Whitney talks about how the Eemerg app was developed and how it works. Whitney talks about the importance to her of providing a fair marketplace to consumers and says that before Eemerg there really wasn't a fair marketplace. Whitney talks about building a phenomenal customer acquisition strategy. Whitney says she used connections from her family and says attending tow conventions helped her build her company's provider database. Whitney tells us about making the shift from an LLC to a Corporation AND all of the different programs she utilized while working on developing Eemerg.com. She explains that she used Square1, Arch Grants and WEPOWER and talks about the different inputs she received from each program. Whitney shares with us what she has learned on her entrepreneurial journey and gives us some advice to share with our listeners. Learn More: Email: email@example.com Website: Company Facebook: Company Twitter:
One weird trick for secret success
If you want secret insight into the vibrant St. Louis startup ecosystem, listen to this Podcast. It features local businesses, startups, tech companies, and leaders, especially showcasing women of color. Or you can live under a rock like a good little troglodyte and miss out.
One of my faves!
Interesting guests and relevant topics! I love listening while I work. I highly recommend this podcast to entrepreneurs of every size.
Makes its Approachable
What's so great about this podcast is that it makes entrepreneurship easy and fun. I like that there are people that look and sound like me. This is great if you have ever thought about starting a small business!