8 episodes

Dustin Mix and Maria Gibbs interview INVANTI founders about their backgrounds, how they ended up at INVANTI, what they explored while they were here, and ultimately what venture they have built.

INVANTI Founders' Stories INVANTI

    • Investing
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Dustin Mix and Maria Gibbs interview INVANTI founders about their backgrounds, how they ended up at INVANTI, what they explored while they were here, and ultimately what venture they have built.

    Celena is Founding FoundRE

    Celena is Founding FoundRE

    Welcome to INVANTI Founders' Stories, where Dustin Mix and Maria Gibbs interview INVANTI founders about their backgrounds, how they ended up at INVANTI, what they explored while they were here, and ultimately what venture they have built.

    In this seventh and final episode of this season, Dustin and Maria interview Cohort 2 member Celena Green. Celena moved to South Bend for INVANTI from Queens, NY with 20 years of experience working with small businesses, social enterprises, and nonprofits throughout the U.S. and in 20 countries internationally to create programs and services to increase the success of women and youth as leaders, entrepreneurs, and social innovators. In 2016 she founded her own business, Teke Global Inc., to provide fundraising, communications, strategic partnership, and growth services to entrepreneurs.

    Celena is emerging from this 6-month cohort as the founder of FoundRE, an online marketplace that vets and matches small businesses with industrial spaces, providing a simple lease process, short minimum lease periods, and flexible layouts that accommodate today’s growing companies.

    This conversation covers why Celena chose INVANTI and entrepreneurship, how she discovered the problems that led to FoundRE’s solution, and where this new company is going in the next 3-6 months.

    • 37 min
    Finn is Founding Cara

    Finn is Founding Cara

    Welcome to INVANTI Founders' Stories, where Dustin Mix and Maria Gibbs interview INVANTI founders about their backgrounds, how they ended up at INVANTI, what they explored while they were here, and ultimately what venture they have built.

    In this sixth episode, Dustin and Maria interview Cohort 2 member Finn Pegler. Finn moved to South Bend for INVANTI from Ireland after previously attending the ESTEEM master’s program at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining us, Finn worked with Ford Motors in London as a product development engineer, and launched a small business in the house cleaning industry which he ran remotely from London for 3 years.

    Finn is emerging from this 6-month cohort as the founder of Cara, a vibrant social community for freelancers.

    Cara was born out of the recognition for the over 55 million freelancer workers in the United States, the freedom of freelancing comes with significant drawbacks. Over 39% say they feel lonely since becoming self-employed and current solutions like meetups and networking events are inflexible and inconsistent, co-working spaces commonly lack the community programming needed for connection, and online groups are not sufficient.

    Cara is creating a company for freelancers that simulates all the social benefits of working for a company without any of the drawbacks like having a boss, set hours, or office politics. By joining one of their “mock” companies, freelancers have access to social meetups, pop-up co-working opportunities, weekly standups, milestone celebrations, quarterly retreats, and more, allowing freelancers to enjoy independent work without sacrificing social connection.

    This conversation covers why Finn chose INVANTI and entrepreneurship, how he discovered the problems that led to Cara’s solution, and where this new company is going in the next 3-6 months.

    • 37 min
    Kristie is Founding Scene Happenings

    Kristie is Founding Scene Happenings

    Welcome to INVANTI Founders' Stories, where Dustin Mix and Maria Gibbs interview INVANTI founders about their backgrounds, how they ended up at INVANTI, what they explored while they were here, and ultimately what venture they have built.

    In this fifth episode, Dustin and Maria interview Cohort 2 member Kristie Wickwire. Originally from Athens, Georgie, Kristie moved to South Bend for INVANTI from Saint Louis. She describes herself as an arts enthusiast with a passion for helping creators realize their dreams. Prior to joining us she founded an online multimedia arts publication called Please Hold Magazine, was a co-organizer for the annual St. Louis Small Press Expo, and spearheaded a creative entrepreneurship initiative at Washington University.

    Kristie is emerging from this 6-month cohort as the founder of Scene Happenings, a cultural discovery platform that helps people find authentic local experiences in their area and receive personalized event recommendations based on their interests.

    Scene Happenings was born out of the recognition that people need more than a job opportunity to love where they live. They need to feel connected to the cultural vibrancy of a city, which relies upon diverse and evolving cultural scenes and opportunities to engage with them.

    Although there are people in every city who are innately driven to organize creative opportunities (such as art fairs and music festivals) that drive activity in cultural scenes, it can be difficult for others to discover niche events unless they happen to know the right people. As a result, independent organizers often struggle to sustain their culturally vital projects, while countless residents remain unaware and detached from the wilting scenes that they would have loved to plug into. Scene Happenings addresses this disconnect by identifying local scenes and presenting opportunities to engage with them to the people who help them thrive.

    This conversation covers why Kristie chose INVANTI and entrepreneurship, how she discovered the problems that led to Scene Happenings’ solution, and where this new company is going in the next 3-6 months.

    • 48 min
    Kyra is Founding Inspectus

    Kyra is Founding Inspectus

    Welcome to INVANTI Founders' Stories, where Dustin Mix and Maria Gibbs interview INVANTI founders about their backgrounds, how they ended up at INVANTI, what they explored while they were here, and ultimately what venture they have built.

    In this fourth episode, Dustin and Maria interview Cohort 2 member Kyra McAndrews. Originally from New York City, Kyra moved to South Bend for INVANTI from Washington DC. Having never identified as an entrepreneur, she brought with her experience and enthusiasm for venture development and social entrepreneurship and a knack for translating muddled start-up ideas into viable market opportunities.

    Kyra is emerging from this 6-month cohort as the founder of Inspectus. Inspectus believes that navigating how to open a restaurant is inherently stressful, but made even more difficult since food establishments have to deal with multiple layers of compliance, from building and fire code to food safety regulation. Independent owners find themselves not knowing which codes apply to their business, what inspections they need to get, what order to get the inspections in, and what options they have to pass regulation. Inspectus provides step-by-step guidance to navigating local compliance so independent restaurant owners can make the decisions that fit the budget, timeline, and vision of their food establishments.

    This conversation covers why Kyra chose INVANTI and entrepreneurship, how she discovered the problems that led to Inspectus’ solution, and where this new company is going in the next 3-6 months.

    • 42 min
    Jessica is Founding Increment

    Jessica is Founding Increment

    Welcome to INVANTI Founders' Stories, where Dustin Mix and Maria Gibbs interview INVANTI founders about their backgrounds, how they ended up at INVANTI, what they explored while they were here, and ultimately what venture they have built.

    In this third episode, Dustin and Maria interview Cohort 2 member Jessica Lee. Originally from southeastern Virginia, Jessica moved to South Bend for INVANTI from New York City. While in college, Jessica started a company to utilize the power of crowdfunding to raise capital for local businesses and in the time since worked at four technology startup companies in San Francisco including Stripe.

    Jessica is emerging from this 6-month cohort as the founder of Increment. Increment believes that the trend of manufacturers automating their production processes has been accelerating and will continue to accelerate over the next 10-20 years. Many fear that this trend is resulting in workers being displaced, but Jessica has found that the pressing question on manufacturers’ minds is how to upskill workers internally to adapt to the new technologies. Increment provides a SaaS solution to help small-to-mid-sized manufacturers create a clear, data-driven picture of their internal skills gap. By aggregating data about the skills that each employee has and then tying it to other metrics, such as production data, HR managers and training directors get a visual, customizable dashboard showing them where the specific gaps are and what they are costing the company. Increment will then be able to make recommendations on training programs that may help fill the gaps and measure their effectiveness, creating a full lifecycle of upskilling metrics.

    This conversation covers why Jessica chose INVANTI and entrepreneurship, how she discovered the problems that led to Increment’s solution, and where this new company is going in the next 3-6 months.

    • 40 min
    Dan and Nicola are Founding Main Street Match

    Dan and Nicola are Founding Main Street Match

    Welcome to INVANTI Founders' Stories, where Dustin Mix and Maria Gibbs interview INVANTI founders about their backgrounds, how they ended up at INVANTI, what they explored while they were here, and ultimately what venture they have built.

    In this second episode, Dustin and Maria interview Cohort 2 members Dan Eggleston and Nicola Brown. Originally from Jamaica, Nicola moved to South Bend for INVANTI from Miami, FL. Dan is a native of Mishawaka, our neighboring city, and came to us with experience contributing to an early-stage startup and owning his own small business. You can learn more about Nicola specifically in Episode 1.

    Dan and Nicola are emerging from this 6-month cohort as the founder of Main Street Match. Main Street Match believes that the time consuming and difficult process of finding local lenders is forcing small business owners to turn to online alternative lends which saddle them with terms which can threaten the business. Main Street Match helps these small business owners get connected with local lenders who are genuinely interested in local business’ success.

    This conversation covers why Dan and Nicola chose INVANTI and entrepreneurship, how they discovered the problems that led to Main Street Match’s solution, and where this new company is going in the next 3-6 months.

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

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3 Ratings

3 Ratings

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