Not sure how to start doing what you want to do? John's formula worked for him.
We never seem to have any lazy people on the show, do we? This week, it’s John Quayle, one of two partners behind the StartNOW Pittsburgh newsletter, the principal consultant behind Quayle Creative, and a very busy member of the Active X-It fund. He’s a good friend of our host Scot MacTaggart, and kindly accepted our request to come into the studio to help to decode what is happening in Western PA’s startup scene. The insights he offers are useful anywhere though, laying out some very useful insights for everyone who isn’t in San Francisco, Boston, or some other fully matured startup hotbed.
A truly informative and unpredictable episode. Watch. This. Company.
This week on The Pitchwerks Podcast we’ve got three young men who have made it their business to help save the world - Tanner Cook, Grant Halleran and Aakash Pathak from CleanRobotics. Together with host Scot MacTaggart, the team analyzes buyer motivations, end user education, and a two-tiered demonstration strategy for their product, Trashbot. Trashbot is a combination recycling bin / trash can with a bit of AI / machine learning built in. It solves the hidden problem of recycling - unexpected complexity - by analyzing what you dispose of, and sending it to the landfill or the recycling plant based on a number of factors, including your local regulations.
Flexable: One part business, one part mission. #ChildcareEverywhere
AMAZINGLY sharp conversationalist Priya Amin comes into the studio this week, prepping for an investor pitch competition and talking about Flexable, the startup that she and cofounder Jessica Strong have grown into a common presence at major employers and events in Pittsburgh. This episode was recorded just before Priya left for the New England Venture Fair, so she and Scot work on her NEVF investor pitch a little bit, while also making time to discuss cofounder relationships and expansion strategy.
A fun one for the holidays! Greg Coticchia comes back with a friend.
This week, familiar face Greg Coticchia (Pitchwerks #47) brings Randy Eager into the Epicast Studios to talk about upcoming free seminars in Pittsburgh from the Founder Institute, an idea-stage accelerator program that originated in California’s Bay Area. Greg and Randy have both been successful as entrepreneurs, and host Scot MacTaggart takes advantage of their visit to pick their brains for some insight that Pitchwerks listeners can apply in the new year. If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, be sure to check out the Founder Institute event on January 10 at 6pm, in the Truefit offices at 500 Grant Street. The event is free and the topic is the first step, ideation.
From burgers to biryani, chulha to choolaah, Raji and her team have been busy.
So here’s a puzzle for you sales, marketing and startup lovers: How do you launch an Indian fast-casual restaurant, similar to Panera or Chipotle, in an area that doesn’t have much Indian food at all? That's not even familiar with it, really?
This is the main question this week. Our guest is Raji Sankar, Co-CEO of Wholesome International, who set out years ago to launch what has now become Choolaah Indian Barbecue. An engineer by training, Raji has worked to develop a nearly-frictionless system that allows guests who have never eaten an Indian dish to walk into a Choolaah location and order with confidence.
Zak Slayback is an author and speaker with smart tips for efficiency at work.
Watch out at work - this episode has some explicit language.
Zak Slayback may loathe the way the educational system typically works, but he has legions of educators that love him. Scot MacTaggart invited Zak to come into the Epicast Studios because of his charming, tireless efforts as a successful author, speaker and general “re-thinker”. This week, Zak and Scot sit down and discuss ways to rethink how you send emails, how to overcome a lack of willpower, and how a King Slayback would decree that education should be changed.
The audience asked for Adrich - so we got them!
Some of you asked to have these ladies on the show - and we’re delivering! Adhithi Aji is the founder and CEO of Adrich (adrich.io), and Janelle Aslam is the company’s Chief Marketing Officer. Both of these women are well-educated product managers with hands-on experience in major companies you’ve heard of. Now they’re here in the Epicast studios, speaking with Scot MacTaggart about their collection of automated tools for the collection and analysis of real-life usage data, bringing consumer packaged goods (CPG) closer to online industries in terms of understanding the buyer.
If there's a guest you'd like to see on The Pitchwerks Podcast, be sure to let us know through one of our many social media channels.
THIS WEEK: A fun show, but don't overlook the wealth of people & culture insights!
If you’re going to talk to a genius, pick a fun one. That’s what Kevin Kelly is. He’s a fun genius, rethinking human resources / people management rather than just trying to improve on the aging tools that surround questionable HR processes. Kevin and his cofounder Alexander are brains behind Rhabit, a software tool that solves real problems that have dogged employee assessments and development for decades. He and Scot don’t just talk management, hiring and firing though - they work on Rhabit’s pitch to customers and to investors, and Southern banana pudding comes up in more than one context.
You may need to listen to this one twice - Susan English brings a lot this week!
Get your notebook ready, there's a lot to digest this week. Susan English is the senior vice president and director of public relations and social media at the multi-talented Gatesman agency, which has won a number of recognizable, high-profile corporate advertising and PR clients (and awards) despite the fact that the firm is only ten years old.
WARNING: Susan is not messing around. You’re going to learn something this week, and probably get a few new ideas for whatever you’re working on. Susan and Scot cover a lot of different topics, and it turns out to be a master class in messaging.
The Climate Reality Project - Policy activism training for normal, concerned people
Nearly all climate scientists agree that climate change is real and driven by human activity. Even if you don’t believe that, you have to admit that reducing pollution and preserving natural resources are good goals anyway. Here in the US though, the climate change and pollution questions have gone political, and this has stalled some of our efforts to improve on the situation.
That’s where Stacie Paxton Cobos, the Senior Vice President of The Climate Reality Project (www.climaterealityproject.org) comes in. Stacie and the Climate Reality Leadership Corps came to Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center, and they were kind enough to accommodate us in talking about how the organization teaches activists to de-politicize the issue and convince their fellow Americans to demand progress.
This episode, Stacie talks with Scot MacTaggart about the various ways that the mission can be framed, the persuasive methods employed around science and policy, and the ways in which audiences evaluate those efforts.
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