Kenny was quite the introvert when he was younger. Now he's a well-known face.
The Thrival innovation and music festival is coming up at the end of September! Now seems like the perfect time to talk to Kenny Chen, the socially-minded program director of Ascender, the economic laboratory that brings the event together each year.
Kenny and Scot start out discussing Kenny’s adventurous transition from school into the workforce, covering “rejection therapy”, dance parties, Hong Kong and Pittsburgh. Before long, they’re on to what Thrival truly represents, how it connects to Ascender, and ultimately they work together to craft a concise definition of Ascender’s mission, in a fun and friendly pitch dissection segment to close out the show.
Table Ten: The band that became a business by giving money away
On this episode of the Pitchwerks Podcast, we’re digging into a web series called Spare Change (sparechange.tv), which started off simply with a band called Table Ten, but it has been growing into a show and a business. Start with a band, then add in a non-profit cause, and local businesses, and watch them come together to create entertainment that profits all three groups.
This week, Table Ten’s Josh Corcoran and production prodigy Taylor Mantick come into the Epicast Studios to visit Scot MacTaggart and talk about the business model that has taken shape, the rules the band has set for themselves, and what the future might hold for the band that became a business by giving money away.
This episode features Scot trying to keep pace with a Ph.D!
Have you got something complicated to sell? Amanda Lowe can relate. She and her partner Adam Nelson are the geniuses behind Flywheel, an “organizational design studio” that helps business owners and executives to build a useful and rewarding structure for employees...but it sometimes, people just don’t get it.
Amanda did her undergrad at UC Berkeley and has her Ph.D from Duquesne University, where she spent time as an adjunct professor. She’s smart, she’s accomplished - and Flywheel is a unique startup. This week’s episode works just as a cool story. If you care to dig deeper though, you will find some very useful ideas for selling complex products and services.
Go Jane Go is building specialized tools & apps for a clearly defined community.
This week’s show has a lot to offer across a multitude of topics, but here are two really powerful ones to listen for: the largely untapped needs of specialized communities, and the ways that real struggle can give you perspective.
Ellen Saksen, cofounder of Go Jane Go, is our guest this week. Her company set out to build a toolbox for rushed and lonely female business travelers. They’ve just released Amelia, their first app, into no-cost public beta and are encouraging women to try it out.
As a bonus, be sure to check the Pitchcraft blog to see the beautiful slide deck Ellen presented to investors at a recent demo day event!
Connie has over 20 years of experience in major gifts - find out how she does it!
Connie Cavrich, Regional Philanthropy Officer for the American Red Cross, sits down in the Epicast Studios with Scot MacTaggart this week to talk about corporate fundraising and volunteer recruitment. Connie works on a different kind of sales than most of us engage in, but offers useful insights about connecting with your client.
This week’s show is also valuable in that it helps to explain the mission and programs of the American Red Cross. We are living in a time when many of our neighbors just assume that the Red Cross is government funded (it isn’t) or assume that the Red Cross is only mobilized for major events like hurricanes (they deploy literally every day).
We hope that you’ll enjoy this week’s show and learn from Connie’s insights, but we also hope you’ll consider engaging with your local Red Cross office as well.
Two years old. Cash flow positive. Boosts customer engagement 11X!
It takes a minute for people to understand exactly what Qlicket does. They understand all of the words individually - wi-fi, survey, service recovery - but something happens when those words get strung together the way Qlicket does it. Maybe it’s because they DO understand the individual terms, and expect the story to go a different way than it ends up.
Vivek Kumar is the CEO of Qlicket, a guest wi-fi system that asks you to rate your experience in the establishment before joining the network. Adding this simple step to the standard process gives business owners the chance to fix things that are bugging you - before you leave unhappy. Vivek comes into the Epicast Network studios to talk to Scot MacTaggart about the product’s success in hotels, its history, and its plans for expansion.
Alan Houser comes in to explain how communications consultants think.
Pitchwerks host Scot MacTaggart has an emotional relationship with the English language, and this week’s guest Alan Houser comes into the Epicast Network studios to balance things out with a more analytical approach. Alan is a technical writing consultant. His firm, Group Wellesley, helps companies to create, edit, translate and just generally manage the very important documents that businesses depend on.
Alan has a successful consulting practice, and is a past president of the Society for Technical Communication, and the two men spend some time discussing the sales and marketing efforts that success was built on.
Sure, we know you’re not a technical writer, but this week’s show is about more than that. MacTaggart and Houser discuss the very nature of business communication, and their analysis turns up interesting insights throughout the show.
Software and marketing pro Mike Neilson is now an electrical hardware entrepreneur
If you’ve ever doubted yourself at work, be sure to listen to this week’s show. Mike Neilson’s fields of expertise before setting out on his own were business software and marketing. Two years ago, he launched a product called Switcheroo (switcheroo.com), and it required very different expertise - electrical engineering, intellectual property, industrial design, manufacturing, distribution and retailing.
Mike’s story is a great one, perfect for The Pitchwerks Podcast. It’s about making a plan and sticking to it - adapting when necessary - until all the tasks on the list have been checked off, and you’re finally satisfied.
Mike Stafiej tells us the plain truth about his strategy - including his mistakes.
Mike Stafiej, the president of PICLIF(.com), knows that a lot of disruptive young B2B companies start off with the assumption that they will continually need to check in on their clients over a period of time - a model where a lot of “account managers”, “customer success” people, and “client satisfaction” staff need to be hired.
Mike set PICLIF up to be different. Together with his trusted advisors, Mike built PICLIF to grow quickly. The company uses a B2B technology sales model to sell to funeral homes, but rather than pinning their hopes of success onto a large scale field team’s ability to upsell and after-sell, they are working a high-speed market penetration strategy instead.
The young president didn't grow up in the business. He candidly admits that he's "still learning" about PICLIF's market, clients, and ultimate end users - and that in the past, he had confused the clients with the ultimate end users. Mike's open nature and humility are helping PICLIF as it quietly grows into a disruptive force in an overlooked industry.
How do policies get set? Through meetings and research.
GIS Associates is a government-relations firm, and vice president Peter Madaus has been there for 18 years. If you don’t know what that means, or what he does, you’re not alone. Apparently a lot of people have this problem, so it’s good we’re doing a show about it.
Like a lot of lobbyists and government consultants, Peter doesn’t enjoy prospecting and selling. He’s totally comfortable working with representatives and senators, but when it comes to approaching prospects and seeking out new work, he’s just like the rest of us. Peter and Scot talk about using a “referral first” strategy for initial conversations, and also spend time discussing how entrepreneurs might use government relations services.
|Pitchwerks - Presentation for Startup, Sales & Marketing Pros||
The Pitchwerks Podcast