21 episodes

Investing in Florida Technology explores the exciting landscape of Florida's tech startup market. Hosted by the Managing Director of Florida Funders; Tom Wallace, each episode features a leader in technology, their start up journey and best investment practices.
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Investing In Florida Technology Florida Funders

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Investing in Florida Technology explores the exciting landscape of Florida's tech startup market. Hosted by the Managing Director of Florida Funders; Tom Wallace, each episode features a leader in technology, their start up journey and best investment practices.
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    Rennick Palley - Crypto Crash Course

    Rennick Palley - Crypto Crash Course

    To the traditional investor, the world of cryptocurrency can be intimidating. Luckily, my guest today is an expert in the field and helps us break it all down. If you’ve found yourself wondering about crypto, DeFi, and the blockchain economy, listen in—you may discover this brave new world of finance isn’t quite as complicated as you might think.
    Join me today as I welcome Rennick Palley, founder and CIO at Stratos Technologies. Rennick is an MIT graduate who started his career on Wall Street before turning his interest toward financial technology. He is also a co-founder of Goldfinch Finance, a decentralized global bank that aims to change the face of investing in businesses. 
    We unravel the differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum, the relevancy of blockchain supply and demand, and how we may be looking at a not-so-distant future in which only a few of these new currencies remain relevant. Rennick also expands on the implications of blockchain in regards to global finance, and what that could mean for business finance over the world.
    Find out how Rennick went from Wall Street to venture capital projects, and how the professional mentoring he gained at a global equity fund helped him get there. Learn why Rennick believes that productivity is driven by technological advances, his view on the pitfalls of consumer banking in the US, and what led him to the world of blockchain and crypto. 
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    Some Questions Asked: 
    How did you end up at MIT? (4:08)What took you from Wall Street to the world of crypto? (5:56)How would you compare Bitcoin to Ethereum? (10:09)Do you think that we’ll eventually only have a few different cryptocurrencies? (14:06)What is China’s place in all of this? (25:14)What can you tell us about Goldfinch Finance? (29:09)
    In this episode, you will learn:
    A bit about Rennick’s professional background (2:14)How Rennick’s beliefs about investment strategy changed over time (4:44)About Rennick’s professional mentor (6:01)The difference between crypto, DeFi, and blockchain (16:20)The implications of a liquid form of currency on the global economy (25:13)The key differences between angel investing and the Goldfinch blockchain system (33:33)
    Connect with Rennick:
    Stratos TechnologiesemailLinkedInTwitter
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    • 40 min
    Brian Butler - From Army Officer to CEO

    Brian Butler - From Army Officer to CEO

    Curious as to how military training prepares you for the world of entrepreneurship? 
    If you’ve ever found yourself at a crossroads in your career and felt that you just aren’t being offered anything to your liking, have you ever thought of striking out on your own? Entrepreneurship is a complicated and humbling experience, but it also allows you to be your own boss and create the business you’ve always wanted to work for. 
    What happens when a former Army officer and member of the White House Homeland Security board retires from the military and decides to make his own luck? You get Brian Butler, founder and CEO of Vistra Communications. From college ROTC to working at the Pentagon to founding his own startup, Brain has experienced firsthand a remarkable professional career. 
    Vistra Communications handles PR, marketing, and consulting for a number of government and corporate contracts, including AT&T and Coca-Cola. Founded in 2007, they now employ over 100 people and have offices in both Florida and Northern Virginia. 
    As a 22 year veteran of the US Army, Brian has learned invaluable lessons through his service. Listen and learn what Brian attributes his success to and what we can do to help diversify the growing field of Florida entrepreneurs. 
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    Some Questions Asked: 
    How did you transition from the army to entrepreneurship? (4:33)How did the military prepare you for the rollercoaster of business ownership? (7:22)What did the army teach you about leadership? (8:50)How can we fix the disparity in diversity amongst entrepreneurs? (14:58)What impact does technology have on your business? (19:16)Where does the military stand on adopting and developing technology? (21:22)
    In this episode, you will learn:
    How Brian got started as an entrepreneur. (2:27)Why Brian believes that veterans make excellent employees. (6:05)The type of attitude that makes a successful business leader. (11:15)About the emerging start-up scene out of South Florida. (18:24)Advice Brian has for founders. (25:13)
    Connect with Brian:
    LinkedInVistra CommunicationsVistra on FacebookVistra on Instagram
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    • 29 min
    Steve Raymund - The Keys to Longevity

    Steve Raymund - The Keys to Longevity

    Have you ever wondered what it takes to develop true staying power in an industry as quick and variable as tech?
    If you’re serious about making it in the tech world, there are certain attributes that will set you apart from the pack. Curiosity, humility, and the ability to see patterns are invaluable for anyone, but are absolute prerequisites for successful entrepreneurs. Couple these with a shrewd eye for team building and a knack for playing to your own strengths, and you may be well on your way to success. 
    When you hear names like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, the first thing that comes to mind will, of course, be that they’re titans in the tech industry. What might not immediately strike you is that they both built their empires from the ground up. Steve Raymund is one of the few others who also own that claim to fame. From his beginnings at the dawn of the 1980s tech boom to his diverse stable of investments today, Steve has managed to remain at the top of his game throughout the last 40 years. 
    Steve Raymund is the former CEO, co-founder, and board member of Tech Data, an IT products and services company headquartered in Clearwater, Florida. Steve led the company through early turmoil and self-described “rock bottom” during a nearly complete employee turnover, to going public a mere six years later, with $1 billion in annual sales by 1993. 
    Steve also serves as a board member for Jabil Inc, a $19 billion technology manufacturing company that provides parts to Apple and Microsoft. 
    As a 20-year CEO, Steve has learned some invaluable lessons. Find out why Paul touts Steve as a different kind of tech executive and the traits and personality type that Steve attributes much of his success to. 
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    Some Questions Asked: 
    To what do you attribute Tech Data’s longevity?  (12:57)What have you learned about managing people and creating a team? (17:30)Is there one accomplishment in your career that stands out, that you're most proud of? (19:29)
    In this episode, you will learn:
    Steve’s experience as an early player in tech. (00:56)What the rapidly growing tech marketplace, starting in the early '80s, looked like. (02:26)The unique qualities that make up a different kind of tech leader. (7:11)What to really look for in an angel investment opportunity. (25:48)The key to making it all look so easy (and why the pain along the way is worth it!) (30:09)
    Connect with Steve:
    LinkedIn
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    • 32 min
    Tom Wallace - The 5 Ds of Angel Investing

    Tom Wallace - The 5 Ds of Angel Investing

    Being a successful angel investor requires a lot of work and commitment. At Florida Funders, our goal is to make it easier for people and increase their chances of finding the right opportunities for them. Being in this arena for over 25 years, we’ve learned valuable lessons on how to maximize the probability of great returns, and we’ve compiled these best practices into what we call “The 5 Ds of Angel Investing.”
     
    In this episode, Tom Wallace talks in detail about these five important elements that every investor should pay attention to and rigorously follow whenever the opportunity to invest comes their way.
     
    Tune in, and learn more about the 5 Ds of Angel Investing, and how Florida Funders can help both investors and founders to reach higher grounds in their ventures.
     
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    In this episode, you will learn:
    The 5 Ds of Angel Investing and why they are crucial for a successful angel investor. (00:45)The importance of being selective about the companies you’re investing in (01:45)The two parts of the due diligence process required for a great investment. (02:46)The role played by domain expertise in having successful investments. (08:32)The reason we encourage our investors to build a diversified portfolio. (09:52)Why discipline plays a crucial part in angel investing. (11:14)Why Florida Funders is making angel investing easy. (12:46) 
    Connect with Tom Wallace:
    LinkedInFlorida Funders website
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    • 16 min
    Tom Wallace - The Journey to Florida Funders

    Tom Wallace - The Journey to Florida Funders

    At Florida Funders, we are helping early-stage companies get access to capital from investors through an online process and crowdfunding. We’re all about learning best practices and getting better at angel investing, and the purpose of this podcast is to interview some of the best and brightest and most successful investors and entrepreneurs to learn from them and get better in the process.
     
    After interviewing a handful of people on the show and finding out what makes them tick, what motivates them, how they’ve built successful companies, and how they help others do the same, we thought it’s time to give you some background on Florida Funders – what sparked the idea and why it’s a great network for founders and funders.
     
    Our host and Managing Partner, Tom Wallace, shares his journey in the angel investing world, as well as what drove him and his partners to start Florida Funders. Tom has learned the hard way how challenging angel and early-stage investing can be, and he has dedicated his life to making this process easier.
     
    Tune in to learn more!
     
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    In this episode, you will learn:
    What brought Tom to Florida almost 30 years ago. (00:45)The current Florida tech ecosystem. (02:28)The venture that inspired Tom to dedicate full-time to angel investing. (04:01)What Florida Funders offers to investors. (08:15)The benefits of Florida Funders’ angel network. (09:58) 
    Connect with Tom and Florida Funders: 
    Florida Funders websiteLinkedIn
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    • 11 min
    Ashley Jarocki & Stephanie Markese - The Future of Hiring

    Ashley Jarocki & Stephanie Markese - The Future of Hiring

    What started as a friendship between two women cheerleading for the Buccaneers ended up in Next Path: a growing company providing hiring solutions for companies that see people as their competitive advantage. 
    In today's episode, Ashley Jarocki and Stephanie Markese share with us how they went from cheering on the same line together to making a leap of faith and starting their own company in the staffing world. 
    Stephanie Markese always wanted to be a dentist until she realized that she wanted something more than work for a salary for the rest or her life, where she could evolve and make her earnings grow. After a taste of staffing and sales, there was no coming back into dentistry. 
    Ashley Jarocki was looking for a change after five years in the corporate world. One day, she received a call from Stephanie proposing a leap of faith: bring your knowledge of the corporate world and let's start a company together. 
    Listen to the full episode, learn about the best way of dealing with the hiring process, how our guests think the staffing world will look like in the coming years, and how AI will deal with culture fit when filtering candidates for hire. 
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    Questions I ask:
    Did you guys go into staffing together? (4:11)Your industry changed a lot in the last year. How did COVID affect your business? (7:30 )Any advice for entrepreneurs buildings their team? Should they do it themselves or hire a staffing firm? (10:13)Is it possible to evaluate a candidate in a one-hour interview? (14:28)How do you see things like 5G, AI, augmented reality, and other new technologies affecting your industry? (17:51) 
    In this episode, you will learn:
    How Next Path was born (4:18)Recruiting and staffing evolving with technology (7:30)The reason why companies should look for culture fit when hiring (11:06)AI or a person, who is better for culture fit? (20:56)Are resumes still relevant in the LinkedIn era? (22:29)
    Connect with Ashley Jarocki:
    Linkedin
    Instagram
    Facebook
    Connect with Stephanie Markese:
    Linkedin
    Instagram
    Facebook
    Next Path Resources:
    Website 
    Linkedin
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Instagram

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    • 27 min

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Great content! Excited to see who they interview next.

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