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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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Now displaying: March, 2018
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

Website

 

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 :)

Send questions you have to hannah (at) pipercreative (dot) co 

Want to work with us? www.pipercreative.co 

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.

 

Connect with Knotzland

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

Website

 

Nisha

Instagram

 

Connect with Piper Creative

YouTube

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Website

 

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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Mar 19, 2018

Michael is an ethicist, writer, artist, educator, and concerned citizen based out of Pittsburgh, PA. He received his PhD from CU-Boulder's Department of Computer Science in Fall 2017. He wrote a thesis focused on the use of socio-technical narrative as a way of communicating, comprehending, teaching, and debating the ethics of new and near-future technologies. His research spans topics such as design fiction, technology ethics, classroom design, engineering ethics pedagogy, futures, and risk.

 

Michael now serves as the executive director at Community Forge, a mission-driven organization dedicated to rehabbing the Johnston Elementary School in Wilkinsburg, PA into a community centered focused on education, arts, civics, and local business development.

 

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Michael’s Challenge; Either go to an unfamiliar neighborhood and try to venture into a small business or venue and talk to someone there.

 

Connect with Community Forge

Community Forge Website

Michael's Website

mike [at] forge [dot] community

 

Connect with Piper Creative

YouTube

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 131 with Larry Gioia where we explained the genesis of Connection University.



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Mar 14, 2018

Search funds are a distinct style of private equity firm that raises a small amount of capital to go find a business to buy.


Generational Transfer Entrepreneurs is a private investment firm that works with a group of entrepreneurial operators (Operators-in-Residence) that are looking to individually acquire, operate and grow a privately held businesses. GTE provides business owners with a unique transition opportunity with the entrepreneurs at GTE ready to step into the ownership role with the goal of nurturing and creating long-term value for the company.

Jamie talks with Aaron in this episode about the attributes he looks for in OiRs, how his business works, and the importance of self-awareness.

 

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Jamie’s Challenge; Analyze yourself and construct a daily schedule that puts you in a position to do your best work. Self-awareness is a superpower.

 

Connect with Jamie

LinkedIn

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 269 with Brent Beshore where we discuss long term investing, personal values, and how entrepreneurial experience makes better investors..

 

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Mar 12, 2018

Todd Bishop the is co-founder and managing editor of GeekWire, a leading technology news site based in Seattle. His company recently completed a one-month residence in Pittsburgh and learned about the burgeoning tech scene and the likelihood of Amazon setting up their HQ2 in town.

 

Bishop has covered Microsoft, Amazon, and the technology industry for more than a decade in Seattle, most recently as a reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He launched his blog about Microsoft in September 2003, building it into a widely used resource for tracking the software giant.

 

In February 2008, Bishop was the first to publish internal Microsoft emails in which company executives privately criticized the Windows Vista operating system, even as they publicly praised it. His coverage of Bill Gates' departure from daily life at the company was published by papers including the New York Post. His blog has received honors including a 2008 Best in Business Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.


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Todd’s Challenge; Leave your phone at home for an afternoon. Be genuine and open.

 

Connect with Todd

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 260 with Anthony Vennare where we discuss building a media business, the stair step approach to entrepreneurship, and building essential skills.


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Mar 7, 2018

Pittsburgh is well-known for the robotics and maker movements popping up around town. The software companies have been a bit lacking.

 

So, I wanted to feature Ryan Green, founder & CEO of Gridwise. Gridwise provides insights into events and activities around your city, so rideshare drivers can drive smarter, increase their daily trips and make more money.

 

We discuss finding a technical co-founder, the risks of starting a startup, and how Ryan is thinking about the future of the company.

 

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Ryan’s Challenge; Take the time to know the person driving your rideshare vehicle.

 

Connect with Ryan

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our other interviews with Pittsburgh movers & shakers.



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Mar 5, 2018

Key Terms

CAC - Customer acquisition cost

LTV - Lifetime Value

ARR - Annual Recurring Revenue

MRR - Monthly Recurring Revenue

Churn Rate - % of customers that stop paying for your product/service

 

Ned is one of two founding partners at Birchmere Ventures, which is primarily focused on seed SaaS and marketplace investments. He led Birchmere’s investment in Cvent and served on its board for 11 years.

 

His other notable investments include TenMarks (acquired by Amazon), Neolinear (acquired by Cadence Design Systems), Peloton Technologies, Presence Learning, Identified Technologies, Modsy, Gem, Gradeslam, Mapper.ai, Ikos, SubCentral, OneKloud, Sleeperbot, and Treatspace.

 

We cover the 101 of venture capital and how the Pittsburgh startup ecosystem has evolved. Watch the behind-the-scenes on Piper Creative’s vlog.

 

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Ned’s Challenge; Run personal experiments like intermittent fasting.

 

Connect with Ned

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website

ned@birchmerevc.com

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 85 with Sean Ammirati where we discuss the science of growth and why Facebook beat Friendster.



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