Seven huge companies, working together, formed the Columbus Collaboratory!
This week, Scot is on the road in Columbus and talks to Matt Wald, President and CEO of the Columbus Collaboratory. Matt has a few surprises up his sleeves, like when he lists the giant organizations that have co-invested in the Collaboratory, or how difficult it can be for any organization to pivot to compete with digital-native firms. Matt explains how executive leadership of the 7 founding companies created the Columbus Collaboratory, how reluctant executives should look at their options, and what is waiting for them if they don’t build a good plan from the outset.
From crashing at the cowork to the national stage - BTN's big first year
Kelauni Cook is the founder of Black Tech Nation, and we’ve been trying to get her into the studio for some time now because we have seen her sacrifice firsthand. Kelauni has made some real sacrifices to get where she is today. The Howard University grad is a software developer, a community builder, and now - a funded non-profit executive looking to create a space for black tech workers, who often find themselves feeling isolated. Kelauni talks to us about how she got here, what comes next, and how big of a factor time management is playing in her life now that she and BTN have built some momentum.
Sex tech is fraught with hidden meanings and complexity. And it's going to be huge.
This week, Alison Falk gives us a glimpse of the future by explaining her advocacy of “sex tech” - and no, it isn’t just VR and robots. Alison is the brains behind SexTechSpace (.com), a digital publication that talks about everything related to the intersection between technology and human sexuality. Alison talks to Scot MacTaggart about her mission, the “boring realities” of building an industry, and in doing so details a very credible vision of future of what will eventually be a multi-billion-dollar space. Alison has one master’s degree and is a candidate for a second, and while she does that and runs SexTechSpace, and on top of all that, she runs Women In Tech Pittsburgh. Don’t miss this episode.
Having "been there and done that", Kit Mueller looks out for newer startup founders
An entrepreneur who is 50% player, 50% coach, and 50% cheerleader, Kit Mueller is a hurricane of can-do builder spirit and supportive energy - with a definite mischievous streak - and Scot MacTaggart has always enjoyed his company. Kit was an early trailblazer on the tech startup scene, and has had an open invitation to come to the Epicast Studios and appear on the Pitchwerks Podcast since the show started.
Instead, he has always suggested others for the show in his place. This week he finally comes in and talks about what he thinks real mentorship looks like, and tells us about his efforts to bring the Startup Boost program to Pittsburgh, working with our friend Jim Gibbs and serial entrepreneur Mitch Turck. Applications for the first cohort will be closing soon, so if you’ve got a young company you might want to listen to this show right away!
The Hardware Cup is February 28th! Get yer tickets!
If you’re not familiar with AlphaLab Gear's Hardware Cup, it’s time to get familiar. Startups that make physical products are finally getting hot again, and the Hardware Cup is the leading pitch competition for entrepreneurs in that space. The Pittsburgh event is coming up on February 28th, so we invited Hardware Cup event coordinator Kayce Karlo to come into the studio and talk to us about what makes this event so special, what kinds of companies have competed in the past, the prizes and support the winners get to claim, and what’s going on in the United States with regard to building and making physical products.
When she's not Hardware Cup-ing, Kayce works with our good friend Erica Peterson over at Science Tots, bringing STEM education to young kids in fun and engaging ways.
EagleDream Technologies became a top-producing AWS Partner in just 5 years!
Jon Providence is the Vice President of EagleDream Technologies, who holds the #1 spot among resellers of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the Northeast United States. It’s a very competitive space - there are 58,000 other AWS resellers out in the world, and considering just because of Boston and New York City alone, the Northeast is an incredibly competitive territory. Jon talks to Scot about how EagleDream climbed to the top spot, makes a few predictions regarding what the future might hold, and even tells us how he makes those predictions, providing instructive examples from history that tell us what we might expect from the future.
This is a special bonus episode of Pitchwerks, provided in addition to our usual Wednesday programming because EagleDream has just announced a partnership with KRNLS, the firm that Scot started with Olga Pogoda to help businesses grow. KRNLS is handling EagleDream’s launch in Pittsburgh, providing value-add tools and discounts to Amazon Web Services clients in the area.
If you’re interested in such things, check out krnls.co/eagledream
"The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names"
Hey kids! Do you like brilliance? Wanna know how to plan for change so it don’t kill yinz?
This week we’ve got Ben Mosior, founder of Hired Thought, who was recommended to us by some of the smartest people we know. He’s a “go-to” strategic thinker who practices Wardley Mapping, among other things - and since we didn’t know what that was, we asked. It’s a huge, wide-ranging discipline that studies and diagrams complex systems to understand them, so we only focused on a couple of aspects of it for this episode. Ben explains the relative value of mapping - which includes efficiency and savings you get from doing things in a strategic order of operations - and then helps Scot to understand the evolution of ideas from genesis to commodity.
Francois Gau and Levy Industrial move fast to identify actionable strategies!
Francois Gau has managed major initiatives for some of the world's largest corporations, including Honeywell and Kennametal, but he started out as an accountant and innovator in Toulouse in Southern France. He now owns Levy Industrial, which helps companies from $25 - $200 million per year to upgrade their processes and integrate their departments so that they can attract new clients, keep existing ones and multiply their revenues. In this extended-length episode, Francois tells Scot MacTaggart about his “sweet spot” method for quickly identifying opportunities for improvement, the value of ethnography (cultural study), and a practice he swears by called “hard listening”.
These tactics have served him well over the years, and resulted in major improvements for manufacturing and industrial firms as well as their clients.
As an international business lawyer and MBA professor, Mark's got the goods.
Trained as a lawyer, teaching classes in the Duquesne University MBA program, dragging a track record of high-dollar deals around with him, Mark Santo has seen a lot. This week, he visits Scot and Buzzy in the new podcast studio at the Pittsburgh Technology Council, looking out to the common outdoor area of Nova Place. Mark and Scot talk about right and reasonable timing and methodology in taking a business into the global international market, today’s competitive landscape, and how a young professional should prepare for the changes that are unfolding in the world.
Courtney Williamson has a process for everything - she shares some of her best with us!
LOTS OF GREAT STUFF THIS WEEK as Dr. Courtney Williamson, CEO of Abililife, checks into the Epicast Studios to talk to Scot about being the head of a medical equipment startup that is already assisting Parkinson’s patients in 40 of the 50 states after just a few short years. Courtney’s mom had Parkinson’s, so she assembled a team and invented the a product that could help with some of the physical challenges of the disease. The Calibrace+ is now accepted by Medicare and private insurance under prescription from a doctor. Courtney and Scot hit it off big time in this interview, hitting on the risks that passion presents to entrepreneurs, the importance of valuing process and time management, and of course Steve Urkel and Family Matters. Check it out!
|Pitchwerks - Startups, Sales & Marketing||
The Pitchwerks Podcast