50 episodes

Of Note is a podcast on innovation. We’re opening up the notebooks of some of the most interesting business minds in the South. They’re hands-on, they’re driven and they’re sharing the notes they’ve taken on invention, funding, entrepreneurship, growth, and so much more. Created by South Carolina Department of Commerce's Office of Innovation.

Of Note Scribble - SC Innovation

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 15 Ratings

Of Note is a podcast on innovation. We’re opening up the notebooks of some of the most interesting business minds in the South. They’re hands-on, they’re driven and they’re sharing the notes they’ve taken on invention, funding, entrepreneurship, growth, and so much more. Created by South Carolina Department of Commerce's Office of Innovation.

    38: Mike Finnern, Leading the Charge on Electric Public Transportation

    38: Mike Finnern, Leading the Charge on Electric Public Transportation

    Nearly a third of all U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are produced by transportation GHG emissions. Today, industries across the board are actively working to improve their sustainability practices and thanks to early adopters like Proterra, the technology now exists to support the mission. The founder of the world’s first fast-charging, all-electricity city transit buses had a vision two decades ago to help reduce the planet’s pollution problem by reinventing its biggest contributor. Its newest heavy-duty vehicles can now travel over 300 miles on a single charge, electrifying the transit industry for airports, universities and private entities. It wasn’t enough to be the first in the market, they also needed to be the preferred choice. The industry leader aimed to create a safer, more reliable, and cleaner transportation option, offering a more pleasant solution for commuters, drivers and the air we breathe.


    Proterra’s VP of Customer Success, Program Management and Transit Product Management, Mike Finnern shares what the road to innovation has been like for the company pioneering the nation’s transition to electric vehicles. He shares the secret to building an advanced company from the ground up, in a segment that didn’t yet exist, and how they’ve earned their high repeat customer rate in the process. On this episode of Of Note, Mike joins our hosts Joseph Nother and Kim Christ to explore how to spot innovative talent, inspire it and apply it to achieve success. Learn how Proterra scaled their company from a single product manufacturer to a three-tiered business manufacturing electric commercial vehicles, EV technologies, and charging infrastructures.

    • 23 min
    37: James Townsend, 3D Visualization and the Future of Product Marketing

    37: James Townsend, 3D Visualization and the Future of Product Marketing

    Workplace burnout and quiet quitting have become major concerns for companies of all scales. Employers across the nation are seeking solutions to remedy these issues as they navigate the modern challenges that arise with remote and hybrid business models. An innovative 3D product experience startup took the risk of offering its entire team unlimited PTO to prevent these complications–and the results have been positive. Dopple employs a number of 3D artists and uses Augmented Reality (AR) to offer clients product visualization services, so they can sustainably alter and scale product designs online. The technology helps companies track inventory, leverage assets and create interactive product experiences for consumers.


    In this episode of Of Note, VP of Product Development, James Townsend joins our hosts Joseph Nother and Kim Christ to share his unique approach to 3D visualization and leadership. James combines the narrative of eCommerce and company culture to explain how his brand maintains passion for their product and the momentum to keep up with the rapidly evolving industry. He reveals how Dopple keeps their innovative product ahead of the competition and relevant to the market, and ways the brand maintains its forward-thinking mindset. To learn his key practices for creating a contemporary, flexible, inclusive work culture, listen now.

    • 26 min
    36: Vernita Brown, A Human-Centered Approach to Product Design

    36: Vernita Brown, A Human-Centered Approach to Product Design

    Many women who have tried to conceive or have been pregnant are aware of the stigmas and frustrations that existing reproductive care products impose. Despite the variety of natal tools and resources available today, most haven’t adapted to the needs of their modern users. Sterile-feeling products and overly gendered designs subliminally make assumptions about the baby-to-be or add pressure to the aspiring mothers using them. Natalist introduces a neutral, compassionate line of conception and pregnancy products, without bright pink packaging and baby blue bottles inflicting outdated expectations on their users.


    The sustainable brand takes a human-centered approach to pregnancy planning, enduring, and recovery products. Natalist’s VP of Operations, Vernita Brown joins us to share how her and the female founder developed the brand based on their own unique pregnancy journeys, and what they did to get the startup in big box retailers so quickly. Natalist embodies its mission to bring comfort to the female experience in every aspect, from company culture to product packaging and use instructions.


    In this episode of Of Note, Vernita joins our hosts Joseph Nother and Kim Christ to explain how her brand reimagined and reintroduced pre-existing products to the marketplace amidst the pandemic, successfully catching the eye of retailers like Target and Whole Foods. Learn Vernita’s advice on acquisition, branding and driving company consensus, right here.

    • 28 min
    35: Thomas Crawford, Experimenting with Entrepreneurism

    35: Thomas Crawford, Experimenting with Entrepreneurism

    With so many diverse uses for data in the modern world, there’s a growing need to store that valuable information somewhere reliable and readily accessible. Thanks to innovators in the technology and science industries, the software continues to adapt to our evolving and expanding needs. Professor Thomas M. Crawford and his lab at the University of South Carolina work to anticipate consumers’ data needs and iterate existing hard drive designs to develop technology that will accommodate them.


    The breakthroughs Thomas and his lab experienced along the way have much broader applications than the nanoparticle discoveries’ initial purpose. Thomas shares how he was discovered by USC, applied his previous experience in the disk drive industry to the experimental nanoscaled technology field, and what crucial partner pulled him and his lab out of debt. The professor offers his unique perspective on the relationship between academic and scientific research and reveals what the college and graduate program curriculum won’t prepare researchers for.


    In this episode of Of Note, Thomas Crawford joins our hosts Joseph Nother and Kim Christ, and reveals the lesser-known risks of modern research, how to pivot when demand doesn’t support the discovery, and the skill innovators need to be successful. To hear his advice on entrepreneurship, responding to failure and introducing futuristic discoveries to uncertain markets, listen now.

    • 24 min
    34: Jules Weldon and Stacey Pierce, Calculating Risk and Chasing A Dream

    34: Jules Weldon and Stacey Pierce, Calculating Risk and Chasing A Dream

    Most travelers are familiar with the frustration that comes with the packing and hauling portion of taking a trip. Two entrepreneurs decided it was time for a product that freed vacationers from the inconvenience of juggling and toting all of their equipment and belongings from their doorstep to their vehicle and the ultimate destination. OME Gear Co-founders, Jules Weldon and Stacey Pierce, developed a solution that supported their audience’s travel needs, while aligning with the brand’s vision and values.


    Entrepreneurs can sometimes lose sight of their central goal, while taking serious risks, making major sacrifices, and iterating their product to get it to market. Jules and Stace share how they navigated funding and industry challenges to design and develop a product that kept their mission in focus. They unpack what they’ve learned from building this sustainable, multi-functional product, a good-natured brand around it, and a strong network of fellow entrepreneurs, outdoor enthusiasts and interested consumers.


    In this episode of Of Note, Jules and Stace sit down with our hosts Joseph Nother and Kim Christ to share how they’ve smoothed funding speedbumps, prepared for potential risks and responded to the needs of their audience. Learn about risk strategy, building a brand and network, and utilizing your platforms to nurture key relationships.

    • 36 min
    33: Jeff DiMaio, The Humble Process of Learning to Lead

    33: Jeff DiMaio, The Humble Process of Learning to Lead

    Is leadership innate—or learned? As CEO at Tetramer, Jeff DiMaio has learned that leadership takes both natural aptitude and purposeful practice. Tetramer’s work in the research and development of advanced materials requires a collaborative process, trust between company and client. Those clients, from government agencies to private industry, often call in search of a product that does not exist. Tetramer’s team of scientists and engineers then begin brainstorming, trying to find a solution that works.


    That same trust with clients also applies to leadership, requiring understanding and commitment between team members. It’s a group narrative, not an individual one. Honest communication and team buy-in are crucial, whether the end goal is fiber laser weapons systems or low-calorie fat replacers.


    In this episode, Jeff DiMaio joins our hosts Joseph Nother and Kim Christ to talk about building a team, learning to lead, and finding work/life balance. Listen as Jeff DiMaio talks about the variety of products that Tetramer has produced, why failure is important, and how they bring ideas from research to reality.

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

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