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Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Aaron Watson's show is a forum for having meaningful conversations about the passions, fears and problems of people from all walks of life. Guests talk about entrepreneurship, ultimate frisbee, finance and lifestyle design. Guests include Nathan Chan, Kevin Kelly, Bill Peduto, Morgan Housel, Noah Kagan, Tucker Max, and Barry Ritholtz.
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Jun 18, 2018

A decade ago, very few people thought a blog could be a business. Today, it’s common knowledge.

 

Nicki Zevola Benvenuti hopped on the trend very early, starting her website, FutureDerm.com, in 2008. It now helps more than 500,000 people a month discover hard-to-find scientific information on skincare, to make sense of marketing claims, and to find what is best for their skin a plethora of products in a crowded marketplace.

 

Now, she is leveraging her fluency in digital media to help other brands grow. At FutureDerm Media, her team has successfully guided brands to 500% traffic growth and accelerated sales over the course of six months.

 

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Nicki’s Challenge; Do something. Every Day.

 

Connect with Nicki

Twitter

LinkedIn

Website

 

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 36 with Sophia Berman where we discuss starting a lingerie company that uses 3-D printing and serves a distinct clientele.


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Jun 13, 2018

This episode was an opportunity to pester one of my good friends, Brad Driscoll, with questions 😏

 

In addition to co-founding Think Big Marketing, Brad has generated 10 million views on YouTube and amassed one of the 1,000 largest audiences on Twitch.

 

He’ll be talking about building a YouTube account at an event we are holding August 1st.

 

RSVP to the Facebook event for updates or buy a ticket right now.

 

In this episode, we primarily talk about building his Twitch audience and building his business.

 

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Brad’s Challenge; For the next 2-3 weeks, let someone know you like their content after you consume it.

 

Resources Mentioned

OBS Studio

ClickFunnels

 

Connect with Brad

Twitter

LinkedIn

YouTube

Twitch

Website

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 131 with Larry Gioia where we discuss why connecting is better than networking.



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Jun 11, 2018

Halima Tammy Thompson's moved to Pittsburgh as a child and was faced with homelessness, loss and countless obstacles.  Years later, she has fused 20+ years of experience in the Real Estate Industry and 8 years of working in the nonprofit sector as a Credit Counselor.    

 

Tammy is a Poverty Expert, Nationally Sought After Speaker, Executive Producer of We Wear The Mask, a documentary released in 2017 highlighting the stigma associated with women in poverty. She provides counseling services with integrity, inspiration, compassion and confidentiality.

 

In the episode, we discuss cycles of poverty, the impact of trauma over a lifetime, and the victims of the 2008 Financial Recession.

 

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Tammy’s Challenge; Step outside your comfort zone.

 

Connect with Tammy

LinkedIn

Website

Circlespgh.org

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 187 with Grant Oliphant where we discuss the Heinz Endowment, how to strengthen communities, and Grant’s personal career path.



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Jun 6, 2018

This interview will dispel the notion that you can’t develop creativity.

 

Allen Gannett is the founder and CEO of TrackMaven, a marketing analytics platform whose clients have included Microsoft, Marriott, Saks Fifth Avenue, Home Depot, Aetna, Honda, and GE. He has been on the “30 Under 30” lists for both Inc. and Forbes.

 

His upcoming book, The Creative Curve, is on how anyone can achieve moments of creative genius. I really enjoyed reading it.

 

He was also once a very pitiful runner-up on Wheel of Fortune.

 

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Allen’s Challenge; Stop believing that creativity is naturally easy for anyone.

 

Allen’s Book

The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time by Allen Gannett

 

Connect with Allen

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 183 with Oliver Luckett where we discuss how he helped break The Chainsmokers, hacking the media machine, and the evolution of social movements.



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May 30, 2018

In this episode of #PiperAnswers, we touch on a few topics that frankly, most entrepreneurs would think are too tedious or boring to share. We also talk about our editing process and how much time we actually spend working on Piper.

 

How did you incorporate your business?

What did you use to set up your website?

What is Hannah's editing process?

How many hours per week do you spend on your own content?

How much do you allocate to extra projects?

How many side projects are you operating?

Do you work with contractors?

 

Follow Katelyn, who was kind enough to help develop these questions.

https://www.instagram.com/katelynlesk/

 

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May 28, 2018

When you think of a polling company, you probably think of Nielsen or Gallup. John Dick is going to change that.

 

As the Founder and CEO of CivicScience, John is building a modern consumer and media analytics company based in Pittsburgh. He and his team are reinventing consumer polling for a digital and mobile-first environment.

 

We discuss how polling has gotten more difficult as media and telecommunications have become more fragmented, the challenges of hiring technical and marketing talent, and how looking at the data has made John more empathetic.

 

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John’s Challenge; Get out of your tribe. Your surroundings are too curated.

 

Connect with John

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website

 

Mentioned

Episode 303 with Luke Skurman of Niche.com

Episode 248 with Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, check out interviews with Mark Leslie about building Veritas to $1 billion in value and Darrin Grove about servant leadership and reinvention.


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May 23, 2018

Lynsie Campbell is the founder of LaneSpotter, a navigation tool that helps cyclists find safe routes. It’s the result of her avid cycling habit and DNA as a “serial entrepreneur.”

 

She started LaneSpotter after a ride with her then one-year-old son, who was strapped into a seat on her bike.

 

Campbell previously co-founded of the online ticketing platform ShowClix. She also started a dog walking business while living in San Francisco for a few years.

 

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Lynsie’s Challenge; Get on a bike. Explore somewhere new.

 

Connect with Lynsie

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Website

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out previous interviews with entrepreneurs like Nisha Blackwell, Darrin Grove, and Christian Simmons.



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May 21, 2018

In this episode, we discuss where Pittsburgh has been and where it’s going.

 

Bill Flanagan is the Chief Corporate Relations Officer for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. Bill guides the development of regional and organizational messaging strategy and supervises Investor Relations activities, including membership development and fundraising.

 

An experienced broadcast journalist, Bill has told the story of the transformation of the economy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for more than 30-years. He serves as host and producer of “Our Region’s Business,” a weekly business public affairs program on WPXI-TV. As President of The Pittsburgh G-20 Partnership in 2009, Bill helped to organize the public/private partnership of organizations from across southwestern Pennsylvania that came together to welcome the world for the Summit.

 

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Bill’s Challenge; Take ownership and agency of making your community better. Meet someone new from a different background, hometown, or industry. Make a personal connection.

 

Mentioned in the Episode

Posturetalk, Powertalk, Babytalk and Gametalk

When we First Pitched Bill

 

 

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May 16, 2018

Jay is COO of The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (ARM). ARM is an independent non-profit that won an $80 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to become the leading catalyst of robotics innovation and expertise to accelerate growth in US-based manufacturing and the high value careers.

 

It is also supported by an additional $173 million in commitments from more than 100 members and partners in industry, academia, technology, government and economic development groups.

 

We discuss how ARM is deploying its capital, the challenges associated with bringing more manufacturing jobs back to America, and the limitations of modern robotics technologies.

 

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Jay’s Challenge; Consider jobs in advanced manufacturing.

 

Connect with Jay

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 297 with Jorgen Pedersen where we discuss robots taking human jobs and episode 304 with Neil Ashbaugh about training the next generation of manufacturing workers.



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May 14, 2018

Stephen Warley teaches people the life skills that matter for business.

 

My mission is to relieve people of their work anxieties by empowering them to design their own work.

 

The evolutionary fear of losing the acceptance of others is often more powerful than the desire to strike out on our own. He sees his job as empowering his readers to stop living up to the ideals of others and to start living up to their own ideals.

 

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Stephen’s Challenge; Find 30 minutes to set aside every week for yourself. YOU are your most important client.

 

Books Mentioned

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

 

Connect with Stephen

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Website

 

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 216 with Noah Kagan where we discuss being #30 at Facebook, the importance of doing work with purpose, and learning ultimate frisbee.



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May 11, 2018

Instead, he’d prefer to offer his perspective. He’s built a $40,000,000 real estate portfolio through hard work, persistence, and patience. Being raised by a single parent in a two bedroom, low income apartment in Mt. Oliver doesn’t usually breed success, but Joe Calloway’s story is anything but usual. Joe went from those unfortunate circumstances to being the largest single family home buyer in Pittsburgh.

 

With little direction in life and few marketable skills, Joe enlisted in the US Navy in 1997. Using his military reenlistment bonus, Joe bought his first property in 2004. For his early projects he served as investor, contractor, designer, and property manager, giving him first-hand experience which proved to be invaluable.

 

Joe formed RE360 in 2009 and has grown the company’s rental portfolio to 270 units with a monthly gross rental income of $229,000. 2014 alone saw the rags-to-riches Calloway invest $5 million and purchase 72 homes, making him the largest housing buyer in Pittsburgh for the second year in a row. Not bad for the poor kid from Mt. Oliver.

 

Attend my one-day conference in Pittsburgh. Learn more here.

 

Joe’s Challenge; Don’t rely on traditional sources if you are unhappy with your current position. If you want something great, you have to make it yourself and get creative.

 

Connect with Joe

Facebook

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out my other interviews with people making moves in the city of Pittsburgh, like Bill Peduto and Grant Oliphant.



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May 7, 2018

Dinesh is a self-professed technophile, in addition to a speaker, mentor, and entrepreneur. He has taken part in three separate companies getting acquired, the third for over $200 million dollars. These days he stays busy investing, mentoring, and sharing wisdom.

 

He initially went to university for sciences, which lead him to a career in software. It wasn’t long before he realized that his pay would hit a ceiling. He saw the sales guys driving Porsches and Jaguars—and wanted in. Little did he know that his passions were in unlocking a business' potential, which goes far beyond the sale.

 

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Dinesh’s Challenge; Count your “I can’t”s over the course of one week, then work to change one to “I can”.

 

http://www.goingdeepwithaaron.com/podcast

 

Connect with Dinesh

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website


If you liked this interview, check out episode 118 with Kevin Kelly where we discuss the technological trends that will shape our future.

May 2, 2018

Bill Laboon is currently teaching Software Quality Assurance, Software Engineering, and the Computer Science Capstone course at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition, he advises numerous students for projects, independent research, and their academic and professional careers.

 

He prepares students to develop high-quality software in a "real-world" environment. That real world is fast including more and more cryptocurrencies.

 

In this discussion, we cover the basics of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Monero, Ripple, Dash, and Bitcoin Cash.

 

Great primer for those just learning about cryptocurrencies beyond Bitcoin.

 

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Connect with Bill

Twitter

LinkedIn

 

Bill’s Book

Strength in Numbers: A Novel of Cryptocurrency by Bill Laboon

 

Underwritten by Piper Creative

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out all of our previous episodes with creators, builders, and influencers in the blockchain space.



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Apr 30, 2018

Self-driving cars are coming. Ford is betting $1 billion dollars over five years that Argo Ai can make it happen.

 

CEO Bryan Salesky calls upon his experience leading the software engineering for Tartan Racing, Carnegie Mellon’s winning entry in the DARPA Urban Challenge as he tries to build the future.

 

He also was on the Google self-driving car team. While at Google, Bryan was director of hardware development, and was responsible for development and manufacture of Google’s portfolio of hardware, which included self-driving sensors, computers and several vehicle development programs.

 

Do not miss this interview.

 

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Bryan’s Challenge; Choose a day of the week where you commute and do not use your phone.

 

Connect with Bryan

LinkedIn

Website

 

Underwritten by Piper Creative

A digital agency that provides strategy, delivery, and analysis specializing in a few key service offerings.

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out other interviews with tech CEOs like Niche.com’s Luke Skurman, RE2 Robotics Jorgen Pedersen, and Jetpack Workflow’s David Cristello.



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Apr 26, 2018

Wendy Downs is an artist who learned to be an entrepreneur. Her company, Moop, was founded in 2007 in western Massachusetts. She has since moved to Pittsburgh, where her small team design and manufactures every waxed canvas bag.

 

In a 35-minute conversation, we cover her expertise in e-commerce, design, small batch manufacturing, and textile manufacturing.

 

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Wendy’s Challenge; Find the thing you love and exercise it.

 

Connect with Wendy

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Website

 

Underwritten by Piper Creative

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Documentary-as-a-Service (Vlogging 2.0)

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 295 with Nisha Blackwell where we discuss making bow ties by hand, reusing fabric, and learning to market on Instagram.



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Apr 23, 2018

Pittsburgh has been in the news recently for robots and restaurants. But it’s still a blue collar town.

 

In a sweeping discussion, Aaron & Neil Ashbaugh discuss the opportunities for good pay and consistent work offered by roles in manufacturing. The industry is facing a cliff over the next ten years as Baby Boomers continue to retire, leaving companies hungry for talent.

 

New Century Careers is training the next generation and excited about the opportunity.

 

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Neil’s Challenge; Read. Never stop learning.

 

Books

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Iacocca: An Autobiography by Lee Iacocca

It Doesn't Take a Hero: The Autobiography of General Norman Schwarzkopf

Walt Disney biography

Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi

 

Connect with Neil

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Website

ashbaugh@ncsquared.com

 

Underwritten by Piper Creative

A digital agency that provides strategy, delivery, and analysis specializing in a few key service offerings.

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 147 with Steve Shelton where we discuss getting ex-offenders reintegrated into society and employed with the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh.



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Apr 18, 2018

Niche.com generated 50,000,000 unique visitors last year. They announced a $6.6M Series B round of fundraising in February 2018. They've come a long way from their humble beginnings in 2002.

 

In my interview with Luke Skurman, the Founder & CEO of Niche.com, we discuss the challenges of raising venture capital as an established company, the marketing & business development talent in Pittsburgh, and importance of aiming at a big target.

 

Luke is also a Co-Founder of Ascender, a non-profit, 501(c)(3), focusing on bolstering innovation and entrepreneurship in the Pittsburgh region. They host the annual Thrival Innovation + Music Festival every year in Pittsburgh.

 

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Luke’s Challenge; The more you give, the more you get back. Have an impact in a meaningful way through service.

 

Connect with Luke

Twitter

LinkedIn

Website



Underwritten by Piper Creative

A digital agency that provides strategy, delivery, and analysis specializing in a few key service offerings.

Documentary-as-a-Service (Vlogging 2.0)

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

YouTube

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If you liked this interview, check out a bunch of previous interviews with Pittsburgh entrepreneurs like David Cristello, Jorgen Pederson, and Darrin Grove.



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Apr 16, 2018

Jake Wheatley joined the United States Marine Corps in 1989. He needed more discipline and that’s exactly what her got.

 

He has since translated the skills and lessons he learned serving in the Gulf War into a career in public service.

 

Jake Wheatley is a Democratic politician from the state of Pennsylvania. He represents the 19th district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives which includes a number of areas in the city of Pittsburgh including: the Hill District, North Side, South Side, Allentown, Hazelwood, Downtown Pittsburgh, The Bluff, Knoxville, Beltzhoover, Manchester, Arlington, Arlington Heights and, North, South and West Oakland.

 

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Books Mentioned

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance by Mark Whitaker

Making Ideas Matter by Dwight Evans

 

Jake’s Challenge; Get involved in your neighborhood. Democracy demands your talents to be active in society.

 

Connect with Jake

Facebook

Twitter

 

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A digital agency that provides strategy, delivery, and analysis specializing in a few key service offerings.

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If you aren’t creating or curating content regularly, your clients and customers might forget you’re open for business.

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If you liked this interview, check out previous interviews with Mayor Bill Peduto and Dan Gilman.



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Apr 11, 2018

Rich, President & CEO of Innovation Works, leads one of the nation’s most active early-stage investors. In this conversation, we discuss a recent report IW authored with Ernst & Young that detailed the last decade of venture investing in the region.

 

Some highlights of recent activity include the $225 million acquisition of security awareness trainer Wombat Security by California-based Proofpoint and the $1 billion round of funding recently raised by self-driving car intelligence provider ArgoAI from Ford.

 

Further, Pittsburgh tech companies have attracted over $3.5 billion in funding over the past 10 years, including $2.1 billion in the past five years. What will this mean for the future of the region?

 

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Rich’s Challenge; Advocate for the startup community in your region to elected officials.

 

Connect with Rich

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website

 

Connect with Piper Creative

YouTube

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our dozens of interviews with Pittsburgh influencers and business leaders including entrepreneurs than Innovation Works has invested Henry Thorne, Hahna Alexander, and Ryan Green.



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Apr 9, 2018

From an early age, Hannah developed a love for art and creating, and has grown those passions into hard skills that could build a business.

 

She started HPMedia in 10th grade and was dedicated to growing it part-time throughout high school. After graduating in 2016, she started an apprenticeship/entrepreneurship program called Praxis. After apprenticing at a digital marketing agency, Hannah found sustainable success in full-time creative work.

 

Piper Creative offers her the opportunity to guide and mentor the next generation of creatives while leveraging their skills to transform brands and drive business outcomes.

 

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Hannah’s Challenge; Look at your daily routine and find 10 minutes to study a completely novel subject.

 

Connect with Hannah

Instagram

Twitter

 

Connect with Piper Creative

YouTube

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out the video where we launched Piper Creative.



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Apr 4, 2018

Lisa is the the President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation. She calls upon over 20 years of experience in the marketplace in sales and marketing and senior management roles, as well as ministry leadership experience, to coach leaders in her day-to-day work.

 

Lisa provides executive leadership for business development and donor relationships and evaluates and develops new initiatives and partnerships that advance the mission and vision of PLF. Lisa also brings this diverse and invaluable expertise to her role as a Leadership Foundations Senior Associate serving the global network of Local Leadership Foundations.

 

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Lisa’s Challenge; Look at your calendar for tomorrow and assess how you are stewarding yourself. Are you allocating your time correctly?

 

Connect with Lisa

LinkedIn

Twitter

Facebook

Website

 

Connect with Piper Creative

YouTube

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 242 with Darrin Grove where we discuss building a company through servant leadership.



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Apr 2, 2018

David Cristello had no background in accounting. He’s not a coder. Yet, he is the founder of a fast-growing accounting software startup called Jetpack Workflow.

 

How’d that happen? David diligently interviewed business owners until he found an untapped opportunity, then struck with full force.

 

He’s driven to solve painful problems with smart, passionate, and empathetic people and is building his company in Pittsburgh.

 

Jetpack Workflow is used by thousands of accountants in 12+ countries to help them better manage their client work.

 

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David’s Challenge; Go sell something in the next 24 hours. An old item around the house, a service you want to offer, or anything you can think of.

 

Mentioned

Dan Kennedy

John Carlton

Gary Halpert

 

Connect with David

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website

david@jetpackworkflow.com

 

Connect with Piper Creative

YouTube

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interviews with other software entrepreneurs like Andy Rachleff, Dennis Mortensen, and Mark Leslie.



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Mar 27, 2018

RE2 Robotics CEO & founder Jorgen Pedersen is responsible for the strategic direction of the Company, developing partnerships and alliances, and overseeing the day-to-day operations.

 

Jorgen has contributed to the growth of the unmanned systems market for the past 20 years, beginning his career at Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Center.

 

Jorgen is the 2016 Carnegie Science Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year recipient. He has also been recognized for his technology leadership by the Department of Defense. Jorgen was presented with the 2008 Army SBIR Achievement Award for the development of the Small Robot Toolkit for unmanned ground vehicles and the 2011 Tibbetts Award for SBIR Excellence.

 

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Jorgen’s Challenge; Get outside of your comfort zone. Take a risk.

 

Connect with Jorgen

LinkedIn

Jorgen's Twitter

Website

RE2 Robotics Twitter

 

Connect with Piper Creative

YouTube

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

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If you liked this interview, check out more interviews with people putting Pittsburgh on the map.


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Mar 26, 2018

We want to talk about what we're learning. If you like this, please let us know in the comments.

We appreciate Solomon, Paul, and Michael for submitting questions :)

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Shot and Edited by Hannah Phillips https://www.instagram.com/hpmedia/

Mar 21, 2018

Nisha Blackwell is the founder & lead design curator of Knotzland Bowties. Founded in 2014, Knotzland specializes in custom handmade bow ties made from repurposed and reclaimed materials.

 

Driven by her passion for the environment and reducing waste, Nisha began Knotzland to create distinctive, fashionable goods that speak to the individuality of her customers. Dedicated to sourcing high-quality, salvaged materials, Knotzland issues limited edition, one-of-a-kind bow ties.

 

Nisha was recently named to Facebook’s small business council. We discuss her humble beginnings, how Instagram has been crucial for growing her business, and how mentors have played a role in her business.

 

Mentioned

The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems by Van Jones

 

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Nisha’s Challenges; Support makers & businesses of color and find creative ways to reuse and upcycle material.

 

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If you liked this interview, check out previous episodes with Pittsburgh Tech Council President Audrey Russo, Black Tech Nation founder Kelauni Cook, and community organizer William Generett.



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