Kelauni Cook transformed her life by learning to code. She came to Pittsburgh to attend a 12-week coding bootcamp called The Academy.
Now, she heads Black Tech Nation and is developing on the Ethereum network. We discussed race and access in tech. We also profiled her story and eclectic collection of job titles. Kelauni grew up in Chicago and attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., before moving to North Dakota, where she studied to get into a program for sociocultural anthropology.
We end up talking about blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
Kelauni’s Challenge; Invest in Bitcoin!
Taylor Monahan is building MyEtherWallet, an open-source, client-side interface for generating Ethereum wallets & more. Her technology is making it easier to interact with the Ethereum blockchain securely.
We had a great discussion about ICOs, early stages of learning about blockchain, and how to stay secure in the Wild West of crypto.
Taylor’s Challenge; Don’t be dismissive of someone asking for help. Self-awareness will make this easier.
If you liked this interview, check out all of my interviews with people building the future of blockchain technology projects.
Since 2007, Audrey Russo has served the technology business sector for southwestern PA as President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, the oldest and largest technology trade association in North America.
With a background in information technology, operations and finance, Audrey facilitates interaction across all sectors of the regional economy, which she believes will only succeed and grow through technology innovation and commercialized disruptions across every platform and experience.
She previously worked for large multinational Fortune 500 companies (Alcoa, Reynolds Metals), as well as at MAYA Design.
Russo earned her Bachelor of Science from Ohio State University. She also has a Masters in Public Administration from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Public Affairs. Russo also co-hosts TechVibe Radio on KDKA 1020 AM Friday nights at 7 to explore technology companies and entrepreneurial issues.
Audrey’s Challenge; Open the door for someone else to get a customer. Use your contacts, influence, and buying power to make a meaningful difference for someone’s business.
Nudge by Richard Thaler & Cass Sunstein
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
1984 by George Orwell
Remaking Post-Industrial Cities: Lessons from North America and Europe by Donald K. Carter
CEO Steven Clausnitzer, prior to Forever Labs, spent 15 years mentoring and developing top-talent at fortune 500 companies including American Express and Wolters Kluwer. He has extensive experience in strategic growth, commercialization, and team leadership.
Dr. Mark Katakowski received his Ph.D. in Medical Physics from Oakland University. He has over 15 years experience investigating bone mesenchymal stem cell therapies for neurological disease, and an extensive scientific publication record.
Dr. Katakowski was first to demonstrate that microRNA functions as an intercellular communication molecule between brain tumor cells. This work led to his finding that bone marrow MSCs communicate with the nervous system via blood-born exosomes. Dr. Katakowski's hypothesis that bone marrow cell degradation contributes to aging and age-related disease is the founding principle of Forever Labs.
Steven’s Challenge; Find someone over the age of 70 and ask them if they’d be interested in accessing their 35 year old biology.
Mark’s Challenge; Be mindful of your physical existence and your body’s natural processes.
Tren has studied the most successful people on Earth and distilled their wisdom into a new book. I love reading his blog posts and his commitment to concise communication.
Tren Griffin is an executive at Microsoft. Before joining Microsoft, Tren was a partner at the private equity firm Eagle River which makes investments telecommunications businesses and startups. He previously worked as a consultant in Australia and Korea. He writes a weekly blog and has published 7 books.
Tren’s Challenge; Study Charlie Munger and be a learning machine. Any year that you don’t reject a view you held, is a wasted year.
A Dozen Lessons for Entrepreneurs by Tren Griffin
Connect with Tren
If you liked this interview, check out previous episodes with Wealthfront founder Andy Rachleff and Li Jiang, and angel investor and venture capitalist.
I love meeting people who beat the odds. Anthony Vennare was supposed to be a “dumb jock”. He wasn’t supposed to open a gym and find profitability within 2 months. He wasn’t supposed to raise millions of dollars to get more people working out. He wasn’t supposed to sign deals with massive healthcare companies and turn the world of digital content writing on its head.
Luckily, no one told him.
Today, Anthony is the co-founder and CEO of Fitt – a media and technology company that connects people to local health and fitness activities. They’ve got big plans for the future and anyone in the content & branding game needs to study what they’re doing.
I got him for 40 minutes over the weekend and hustled to get this episode out ASAP because it got me so fired up. Hope you enjoy it.
Anthony’s Challenge; Leave behind everything in your life that is stuck in the status quo. Write down a plan and execute on one step every month in the new direction.
So excited to share this mix with you. Totally Normal is a young DJ on the rise in the Pittsburgh scene.
Make sure to stick around to the end for our interview about his development as an artist.
Connect with Totally Normal
If you liked this interview, check out the last time we went in the mix, featuring DJ JRod.
Amy‘s dating app, MeetMindful, has almost 1 million members. It is one of the fastest growing dating sites in the world, and is connecting like-minded singles interested in mindful living, health and wellness, and personal growth (unlike the typical swipe dating apps).
Based in Denver, MeetMindful is a Techstars Boulder alumni, has grown to 16 employees, and has raised $3.7 million in capital from top investors, and world-renowned mindfulness teacher, Tara Brach.
Amy's journey towards mindful living started after years of growing early-stage startups in New York. She wanted to put that same ambition and drive inwards towards herself, so she quit her job, sold all her possessions, and bought a one-way ticket to travel through India, Thailand, Bali, and Cambodia for an entire year to expand her mind, body, and spirit.
Amy’s Challenge; Look up and start paying attention to the world around you. See if it makes you feel more connected to the world around you.
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Feminine Genius by LiYana Silver
The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success by Jim Dethmer & Diana Chapman
Connect with Amy
If you liked this interview, check out my other top episodes.