Jake Voelker is the driving force behind Voodoo Brewery’s expansion into Pittsburgh and opening of the Homestead location. Following the purchase and extensive renovation of the oldest fire and police building in Allegheny County, Jake has continued expanding Voodoo’s visibility, market share, and profitability in the Pittsburgh area market while providing oversight of Voelker Contracting’s operations. Voelker Contracting is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Company that maintains contracts with the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies and various other private companies.
Following his college graduation, Jake was commissioned as an officer in the US Army and subsequently deployed in support of combat operations in Afghanistan. Jake separated from the US Army in 2010 at the rank of Captain. Directly following his time in the US Army Jake moved to Pittsburgh, got married, and obtained his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.
Jake mentors many veterans returning from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan in personal and professional life. He can also be seen as a regular cast member of the podcast “Veterans on Fire”.
Jake’s Challenge; Take the opportunity to go outside and do a new physical activity or challenge.
If you liked this interview, check out episode 68 with Wes Shonk where we discuss whiskey and digital brand building.
Dennis is the CEO and Founder of x.ai, whose artificial intelligence driven personal assistant lets people schedule meetings using plain English and nothing more than a CC to firstname.lastname@example.org. Founded in 2014, x.ai is backed by blue chip investors, including IA Ventures, Firstmark, and Two Sigma Ventures, and located in New York City.
Dennis is a pioneer and expert in the analytics, optimization and big data space and has been since its inception – he is also a fully-fledged entrepreneur and successfully delivered a number of company exits. He’s an accredited Associate Analytics Instructor at the University of British Columbia, the Author of Data Driven Insights from Wiley and a frequent speaker on the subject of Analytics and Data. A native of Denmark, Mortensen currently calls New York City his home.
Dennis’s Challenge; Take public transportation far away from home and walk back. Leave your phone at home so you can be alone with your mind.
If you liked this interview, check out episode 85 with Sean Ammirati where we discuss startups, exponential growth, and being LinkedIn’s first acquisition.
When I explain to people what I do, this is always one of the first questions out of their mouth. It’s not hard, you just have to start looking in new places.
Aaron’s Challenge; Make yourself an AngelList profile.
Check out AngelList.
What will the future of wearable tech look like? You should probably ask Paulo Santos. He is developing technology to give runners feedback on their running form
Paulo has a Degree in Computer Sciences applied to Management from University Portucalense (Porto, Portugal) and a Master in Innovation and Technological Entrepreneurship from University of Porto. He has started until now 5 different companies. Presently, he is the CEO of Kinematix a company based in Porto, Portugal) and Austin, Texas that develops innovative wearable devices.
Kinematix has spent the past eight years fine tuning its expertise around the movement of the human body. The company is dedicated to giving people a way to obtain meaningful information about their body movements, and turning that information into tangible actions that will improve their health on a daily basis. At Kinematix, moving better makes sense!
Paulo’s Challenge; Spend more time helping those in need. We need more creativity to be applied to these problems.
Connect with Paulo
If you liked this interview, check out episode 47 with Avi Geller where we discuss the future of wearable and hearable technology.
As an entrepreneur, Phil Laboon started his first company in my parent’s basement back in 2001. Back then, no one was thinking about SEO. 15 years later, SEO is one of the most sought after inbound marketing services, and his basement company is one of the leading digital marketing agencies in the country. His company, Eyeflow Internet Marketing provides clients with consulting and digital marketing services that help their business stand up and be heard by audiences both on and off the web.
Additionally, Phil hosts Pittsburgh Tech Talk, an online show that brings attention to some of the city’s biggest names and companies in tech. He speak publicly and offers consulting services to help show startups how to be successful in the fast-paced world of technology. Phil also invests in several startups as a way to help them hit the ground running and build their business.
Phil’s Challenge; Reach out to five high-status individuals in a creative way. Do something other than just sending an email or a tweet.
If you liked this interview, check out episode 12 with Scott Rogerson where we discuss twisting career arcs, entrepreneurship, and investing.
I took a bunch of questions about podcasting on Snapchat and answered them in today's episode. Folks who ask questions are entered to win prizes every week. Be a part of the next question giveaway by following on Snapchat; aaron_watson
(0:55) What does it take to start a podcast?
(4:20) How frequently should you release episodes?
(7:05) How do you grow an audience?
Brad Kriel wants construction firms and Do-it-yourselfers to get projects done more efficiently. His company is dedicated to leveraging modern technology to help save builders time.
At Velocity Robotics he used lean startup methods, developed an MVP application, hired graphic designers to optimize UI and UX of mobile apps and website, and managed legal and accounting team to handle company formation and complexities of bringing in initial startup capital.
In this episode, we discuss finding product-market fit and Brad’s core values.
Brad’s Challenge; Set a date and finish one of your incomplete projects.
If you liked this interview, check out episode 8 with Jason Miller where we discuss developing a website as his side hustle.
Aaron Martinez is a Snapchat storyteller, YouTube personality, and professional voice actor. A lot of people know him as "AaronFPS" or "That Snapchat Guy from YouTube" and he has been blowing up recently.
He has been on YouTube scene for almost 5 years now and focuses on keeping his audience up to date with everything in the technology world! Be it social media like Snapchat, unboxings/reviews on technology, or different giveaways, Aaron brings it.
He has recently risen to prominence as a Snapchat influencer and you need to be following him if you are serious about learning this social media platform.
Aaron’s Challenge; Experiment with Snapchat. Watch “How to Use Snapchat” on Aaron’s channel.
Connect with Aaron on Snapchat; Aaronfps
Add me on Snapchat; aaron_watson
If you liked this interview, check out episode 88 with Sunny Lenarduzzi where we discuss why she loves Snapchat, how she built a YouTube audience, and social media development.
Sunny works with entrepreneurs, personal brands, and corporations to help them bring their business online through social media and video marketing. After reporting at the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, she had an ‘a-ha’ moment and followed her heart into starting a business that serves people who desperately want to live life on their own terms.
She has a decade of experience as a video, social media, and brand strategist. She has created video campaigns for Hootsuite and made history with Applebee’s – earning over 1 billion impressions in 1 day. She has been featured on national radio, television and online platforms like Entrepreneur.com and The Huffington Post.
Sunny’s Challenge; Write down 5 things in a journal every night that your are grateful for.
Connect with Sunny on Snapchat at; sunnylenarduzzi
If you liked this interview, check out episode 84 with Todd Tresidder where we discuss building an online brand and reinventing your business.
Pay attention, because Snapchat is going mainstream. The former sexting app is coming straight for Twitter, Facebook,andInstagram.
I've got two huge interviews coming this week where we will be talking Snapchat and how to make moves on this new platform.
Add me on Snapchat; aaron_watson