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Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Aaron Watson is the CEO of Piper Creative. On this show, you'll hear thoughtful, focused conversations with entrepreneurs, executives, and innovators. Guests include Nathan Chan, Kevin Kelly, Bill Peduto, Morgan Housel, Noah Kagan, Tucker Max, and Barry Ritholtz. This is the biggest business podcast in Pittsburgh.
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Going Deep with Aaron Watson
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Jan 10, 2022

​​Aye Moah is the co-founder and CEO of Boomerang, the most popular extension for Gmail and Outlook which enables millions of people to email more effectively with artificial intelligence.

 

Aye has over a decade of experience in bringing category-creating products to market. She is an innovator with multiple patents and has scaled revenue with a consumer freemium model and a bottoms-up B2B SaaS motion. 

 

In her experience as a Chief Product Officer, Moah has grown her product lines’ revenue from 0 to $8M profitably, on $400k total investment. 

 

In this episode, Moah and Aaron discuss how she helps her team improve productivity, the product development challenges of a Gmail extension, and how they have defended their patents.

 

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Aye Moah’s Challenge; Evaluate how much of your day is “I have to” vs “I get to”. 

 

Connect with Aye Moah

Linkedin

Twitter

Boomerang App Website

 

Mentioned

Mohinga Catfish chowder

Tea leaf salad

Coconut curry noodle



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Jan 3, 2022

Jesse Pujji currently serves as Founder & CEO of Gateway X and as Executive Chairman of Ampush and MySubscriptionAddiction.com.

 

Prior to GX, Jesse co-founded and was CEO of Ampush. He grew Ampush to over 100 Ampushers, managed over $1BN of digital media spend, and partnered with brands such as Dollar Shave Club, Uber, Birchbox and Hulu. 

 

Prior to Ampush, Jesse started his career with short stints at both Goldman Sachs and McKinsey.

 

Gateway X is a holding company that builds, buys and invests in market-leading direct to consumer companies. 

 

In this podcast, Jesse and Aaron discuss experimenting with TikTok ads, lessons from joining the Red Ventures portfolio, and the DTC companies Jesse has launched.



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Jesse Pujji’s Challenge; Remove the bottom 5 things on your to-do list.

 

Connect with Jesse Pujji

Linkedin

Twitter

Website

 

Links

TikTok Ads

Happiest Baby on the Block

Jesse's Baby Sleep thread

Jesse on Invest Like the Best

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Marshall Haas about building a holding company of profitable businesses.




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Dec 27, 2021

Colin Huwyler is the CEO of Optimus Technologies, a firm that designs and builds EPA compliant biodiesel conversion systems (“Vector Systems”) with integrated telematics to allow medium and heavy-duty diesel engines to operate on up to 100% biodiesel in temperatures to -20F. 

 

Colin founded the company in 2010 after previously founding Fossil Free Fuel, a renewable fuel company. 

 

Optimus Technologies’ Vector System seamlessly integrates with existing engines or as a ship-through option on new commercial vehicle purchases. They focus on the highest efficacy solutions to carbon emissions by focusing on diesel (and biodiesel) over other forms of renewable energy.

 

In this conversation, Colin and Aaron discuss misconceptions about renewable energy, the Optimus Technologies business model, and how Colin retrofitted his old Volkswagen to run on vegetable oil.

 

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Colin Huwyler’s Challenge; Take five minutes and assess your personal energy balance.

 

Connect with Colin Huwyler

Linkedin

Twitter

Optimus Technologies Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview w/ Cetin Mericli about self-driving trucks.




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Dec 20, 2021

Ricky Stanzi is a professor and coach within the GOATA (Greatest Of All Time Athletes) system. GOATA’s goal is to hone in the most effective transfers of energy in the body and make those muscle movements second nature.

 

Ricky was formerly a football quarterback in the NFL, CFL, and Big Ten. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft and played college football at the University of Iowa.

 

Ricky and the GOATA team have studied slow motion video of crawling babies, indigenous tribes, super athletes that avoided non contact injuries, and the 55-60 year old marathon runner who still runs at a high level pain free to develop their system.

 

Now, they’ve built a business helping normal people recode their movements, certifying coaches to use their system, and coaching top athletes pursuing a professional career.

 

In this episode, Ricky and Aaron discuss the origins of the GOATA system, which athletes are the best to study, and quick wins that anyone can implement to improve their movement.

 

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Ricky Stanzi’s Challenge; 1) Get your feet straight, fist width apart, Inside Ankle Bone High. 2) Watch 100 non-contact ACL tear videos on YouTube.

 

Connect with Ricky Stanzi

Ricky’s Instagram

Coach Gil

GLS_training

Load the Bow

 

Youtube

 

GOATAmovement.com Website

GOATAcoaches.com

Recode225.com

GoataShop.com



If you liked this interview, check out our interview w/ Dr. Timothy Wong where we discuss seeing patients without insurance, for just $35.



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Dec 13, 2021

Sara Mauskopf is the CEO and co-founder of Winnie, a marketplace for child care built on powerful data systems and backed by a trusted community of parents and providers.

 

Parents use Winnie to research and uncover high-quality daycares and preschools in their geography with detailed information about licensing, tuition, and photos. Sara started Winnie in early 2016 after she experienced the frustration of researching daycares first-hand as a new mom.

 

She has called upon her experience in product management at Google, YouTube, Twitter, and Postmates to catapult Winnie to success. 

 

In this episode, Sara and Aaron discuss the origins of the company, the evolving market for daycare, and the business model behind the platform.

 

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Sara Mauskopf’s Challenge; If you have children in childcare, talk to the care provider/teacher about how you can help.

 

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Linkedin

Twitter

Winnie Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview w/ Luke Skurman where we discuss building a platform for researching schools & neighborhoods.




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Dec 6, 2021

Matt Dayton is the cofounder of Pure Air Nation, a company that focuses on mold remediation and air quality around the greater Pittsburgh area.

 

In just two years in business, Matt and his cofounder Jake have raced to serious business success with a full calendar and loads of 5 star reviews. Beyond mold remediation, they also offer air quality testing, duct cleaning, and preventative care.

 

In this episode, Matt and Aaron discuss how he got started in the business, why the demand for mold remediation is growing, and the challenges in hiring blue collar talent.

 

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Matt Dayton’s Challenge; Grow yourself personally and give back to your community.

 

Connect with Matt Dayton

Twitter

Instagram

Pure Air Nation Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 419 with J.D. Ewing where we discuss scaling his family’s office furniture business.





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Nov 29, 2021

Tom Galluzzo is the founder and CTO of IAM Robotics, a mobile robotics platform to automate manufacturing and warehouse facilities. In 2018, IAM Robotics raised a $20 million Series B to build their platform.

 

Tom founded the company back in 2013 after developing and nurturing his robotics technology within Carnegie Mellon University and military research. He has over 15 years of experience in autonomous robotics with Carnegie Mellon University, Harris Corporation, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and Boeing.

 

In this episode, Tom and Aaron discuss GPT-3 technology, the IAM Robotics business model, and the skillset of being a technologist and an entrepreneur.



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Tom Galluzzo’s Challenge; Find a task that you can offload to a robot.

 

Connect with Tom Galluzzo

Linkedin

Youtube

IAM Robotics Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview w/ Cetin Mericli about self-driving trucks.





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Nov 22, 2021

Steven Van Metre is a certified financial planner, the inventor of the Portfolio Shield™ trading strategy, and a financial media personality.

 

Steven transitioned from IT to financial services and found that he had an especially capacity to automate the systems of running a financial practice. In conjunction with producing a regular YouTube series, Steve has built a dynamic and highly-profitable practice.

 

The extra time he has been afforded by his commitment to automation has allowed Steve to research market structure deeply and come to some fascinating conclusions about deflation and the policies of central banks.

 

In this episode, Steve and Aaron discuss the risk of deflation, how small businesses can prepare, and how Steve has built his practice.

 

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Steve Metre’s Challenge; Find something you do repetitively and automate it.

 

Connect with Steve Metre

Linkedin

Twitter

Steve Van Metre Website

Portfolio Shielf website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our conversation with Brent Johnson about his Dollar Milkshake Theory and our conversation with Jeff Booth about the impact of deflation.



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Nov 15, 2021

Diane Danforth is the founder and CEO of Americat Company, a cat products company that manufactures all of its goods in the United States.

 

Diane’s business blends her entrepreneurial ambition, corporate experience, and love for cats into a single company.

 

In this discussion, Diane and Aaron discuss how she’s built out her products SKUs, what lessons from large corporate marketing she has brought with her, and how she engages with her customers.

 

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Diane Danforth’s Challenge; Create something and ship it.

 

Connect with Diane Danforth

Linkedin

Instagram

Americat Company Website

Amazon

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 443 with Blake Dube where we discuss selling oxygen tanks for pets, how to find a product manufacturer, and long-term use of compressed oxygen.



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Nov 8, 2021

Scott Absher is th Chief Executive Officer and cofounder of ShiftPixy, a platform to help business operators engage with a part-time workforce. 

 

ShiftPixy is developing technology that balances the needs for business operators who rely on part-time labor and workers who make up the part-time workforce.

 

 ShiftPixy is a powerful platform for leveraging the gig economy forces for both.

 

Scott was previously President of Struxurety, a business insurance advisory company. 

 

In this episode, Scott and Aaron discuss the structure of ShiftPixy’s capital raises, the need for restaurants & manufacturers to leverage part-time labor, and the advantages of IPOing early.

 

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Scott Absher’s Challenge; Don’t ignore the service staff that you interact with every day.

 

Connect with Scott Absher

Linkedin

Twitter

ShiftPixy Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Keith Harmon where we discuss how restaurants can navigate seismic changes to the economy.



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Nov 1, 2021

Marshall Haas is the co-founder & CEO of Need/Want, a holding company of brands he has started and owns. Over the years Marshall has started a multitude of products and brands, including some that have been acquired and done millions of dollars of revenue.

 

He is self-taught and has translated his curiosity into Peel, Shepherd, ofHass, and others.

 

Inc. Magazine ranked Marshall’s company one of the fastest growing private companies in America and in 2018 Need/Want ranked #1 in St. Louis and the state of Missouri

 

In this interview, Marshall and Aaron discuss the labor market, how to successfully test & iterate a product, and why hiring overseas is such a big opportunity.

 

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Marshall Haas’s Challenge; Go find what can be eliminated, automated, or delegated.

 

Connect with Marshall Haas

Linkedin

Twitter

Support Shepherd Website

Need/Want Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Andrew Gazdecki where we discuss buying and selling small businesses.




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Oct 25, 2021

Richard Goldman has been one of the nation's top private school leaders for several decades. He currently sits on the board for Xceed Preparatory Academy, which helps the next generation’s athletes and entertainers maintain their education while traveling and performing. 

 

Richard Goldman was the Dean of Graduate Education at Nova Southeastern University for 20 years, where he pioneered internet-based education. He then successfully launched five private education companies. In 1996, Richard co-founded The Sagemont School which grew to more than 800 students and sent graduates to universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, and Vanderbilt. 

 

Richard then co-founded and held leadership positions in the University of Miami Online High School, Another Generation Preschools, and Smart Horizons Career Online Education, which is McDonald’s official high school.

 

In this conversation, Richard and Aaron discuss his string of entrepreneurial successes, insights about the changing world of education, and the importance of reputation.

 

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Richard Goldman’s Challenge; Don’t give up. Focus and put blinders on.

 

Connect with Richard Goldman

Linkedin

Twitter

Xceed Prep Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode XX with XX where we discuss XX.





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Oct 18, 2021

Dylan Lew is the CEO of Ecotone Renewables, a startup dedicated to making sustainable food and agriculture systems more accessible.

 

Ecotone Renewables has developed the “Seahorse”, which reinvents the food and plant waste disposal system, taking food that would otherwise be wasted and turning it into renewable energy and nutrient-rich fertilizer. The Seahorse uses a process of anaerobic digestion to produce ‘Soil Sauce’ and transform methane gas emissions into less harmful CO2.

 

Ecotone won 2nd place at the Allegheny Cleantech Competition in 2018 and at the 2020 ACerS Humanitarian Pitch Competition. They are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to catalyze their next phase of growth.

 

In this episode, Dylan and Aaron discuss composting, emissions, waste management, and how many modern sustainability issues are matters of coordination, not requiring technical breakthroughs.

 

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Dylan Lew’s Challenge; Reduce your own food waste.

 

Connect with Dylan Lew

Linkedin

Instagram

Facebook

Ecotone Renewables Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out these three sustainability-focused startups; Fifth Season (vertical farms) founded by Austin Webb, Sequoia Waste Solutions’ Charlie Dolan, and Mark Cuban-backed PittMoss (w/ CEO Brian Scott).





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Oct 11, 2021

Dylan Beynon is the Founder & CEO of Mindbloom, a telehealth psychedelic therapy startup. Dylan founded Mindbloom to help people treat mental disorders with clinically back solutions involving ketamine.

 

This is Dylan’s third startup and he has already raised money from some blue chip investors, including Founders Fund.

 

Mindbloom is on pace to deliver 100,000+ psychedelic therapy sessions by the end of 2021 and is aiming to climb from 13 to 42 states of operation.

 

In this episode, Dylan and Aaron discuss finding a Chief Medical Officer, ketamine’s history of use, and Dylan’s vision for a healthier future.

 

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Dylan Benyon’s Challenge; Take 110% responsibility for your mental health. Read a book about mental health and well-being like Awareness by Anthony de Mello, The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer, and Letters From a Stoic by Seneca.



Connect with Dylan Benyon

Linkedin

Twitter

MindBloom Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Henry Schuck where we discuss sales and taking ZoomInfo public.

 

Text Me What You Think of This Episode 412-278-7680




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Oct 4, 2021

Don Racey is Chief Executive Officer of Engage Energy & Industrial Consulting and President, Marketing for American Energy Partners.

 

Don’s specialty is assisting diversified energy companies to better align with sustainability and ESG initiatives.

 

Don’s background in corporate finance, operations, and strategy allows him to guide business transformations and Asset Lifecycle Management plans.

 

In this episode, Don defines ESG, talks about the energy systems that need to change, and talks about his background as a consultant.

 

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Don Racey’s Challenge; Go out and plant a tree.

 

Connect with Don Racey

Linkedin

Instagram

Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 458 with Mark Marmo where we discuss natural gas, business building, and company culture.





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Sep 27, 2021

Kamron Khodjaev is the Chief Commercial Officer of Koop. Koop is an insurance technology and specialty brokerage company focused on commercial autonomy and robotics.

 

Robots have different data sets, risk models, and track records of performance than machinery operated by humans. Due to this complexity, many robotics firms find themselves struggling to get insured or paying way too much.

 

Kamron and his three cofounders realized that they could use their own proprietary algorithms to better chart the risks of autonomy and partner with large insurers the help these companies.

 

In this episode, Kamron and Aaron discuss the founding of the company, different data his team looks at, and the enormous market opportunity. 



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Kamron Khodjaev’s Challenge; Keep an open mind.

 

Connect with Kamron Khodjaev

Linkedin

Twitter

Koop.Ai Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 395 with Çetin Meriçli where we discuss self-driving trucks and episode 357 Jim Gibbs about parking for self-driving vehicles. 



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Sep 20, 2021

Michael Tam is a partner at Craft Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund known for the development of B2B Saas startups.

 

Based in Los Angeles, Michael sits on the boards of Bbot, Dray Alliance, Route, Trellis, and Vendr. He also works closely with notable investment companies such as Pipe, Salted, Shef, and Sync, amongst others. 

 

Prior to joining Craft, Michael was an investor at Crosscut, where he led investments at the seed stage. As an operator, Michael managed Uber's business in Southern California markets and launched L., a direct to consumer brand acquired by Procter & Gamble. 

 

Michael also serves on the investment committee of the USC Marshall Fund, which invests in startups in the Southern California tech ecosystem.

 

In this episode, Michael and Aaron discuss how to break into venture capital, his investments in Shef & Pipe, and much more.

 

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Michael Tam’s Challenge; Reach out to someone you’re afraid to. Send a cold email w/ intention.

 

Connect with Michael Tam

Linkedin

Twitter

Craft Ventures Website

Michael@craftventures.com

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 466 with Matt Harbaugh where we discuss founding a venture fund.

 

Text Me What You Think of This Episode 412-278-7680




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Sep 13, 2021

Dave Fink is the CEO and cofounder of Postie, a platform for making direct mail marketing campaigns as sophisticated as elite digital marketing.

 

Dave Fink has been building companies for the consumer internet for over 15 years. Over the last decade Dave has launched and scaled over 20 consumer-internet businesses. During the early part of his career he created performance-marketing platforms helping brands as diverse as Walt Disney World, Procter & Gamble and The Gap adapt to the rapidly changing digital media strategies available in the internet world.

 

Dave also established the customer acquisition strategy that successfully launched consumer brands with celebrities including Kate Bosworth, Jessica Simpson, Rachel Bilson, and Mary- Kate and Ashley Olsen. 

 

In this conversation, Dave and Aaron discuss some basic marketing definitions, the mission behind Postie, and how Dave coaches marketing clients to success.



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David Fink’s Challenge; Find a new hobby to get a break from work.

 

Connect with David Fink

Linkedin

Postie Website

dave@postie.com

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 386 with Jon Shanahan where we discuss YouTube marketing, men’s fashion, and much more.





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Sep 6, 2021

Joe Percoco could not stand the idea that the best financial products were inaccessible to the common person, so he co-founded Titan. Titan is a fintech startup that aims to be this century’s Fidelity Investments

 

The startup is growing rapidly with 500% growth in the last 12 months, 30,000+ users, nearly 1 billion in assets under management, and a recent valuation of $450 Million. Their investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Kevin Durant, Odell Beckham Jr., and Will Smith.

 

Joe has been able to build this company so quickly thanks to his pedigree at some of the world’s top business institutions; Wharton business school, Goldman Sachs, and McKinsey.

 

In this interview, Joe and Aaron discuss the building blocks of a fintech startup, why index funds & day trading aren’t right for everyone, and the near-death experiences Titan has survived.



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Joe Percoco’s Challenge; Answer the question; What is your personal KPI for the week?

 

Connect with Joe Percoco

Linkedin

Instagram

titan.com



If you liked this interview, check out episode 231 with Andy Rachleff where we discuss Wealthfront, index investing, and a framework for successful venture investing.





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Aug 30, 2021

TJ Fairchild started Commonplace in 2003 with his wife in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Today, Commonplace has nine locations and TJ is consistently hired to consult with other coffee shops to help get their business established.

 

In addition to operating coffee shops, Commonplace also roasts their own beans which they sell directly to consumers and wholesale to other coffee companies.

 

TJ did not have a business background before starting his company, he majored in philosophy and avoided a career in academia to start his firm.

 

In this episode, TJ and Aaron discuss the equipment needed for a coffee shop, how to develop a soulful environment, and the shortcomings of ‘free trade’ coffee sourcing.



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TJ Fairchild’s Challenge; Be Grateful.

 

Connect with TJ Fairchild

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Instagram

Commonplace Coffee Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 455 with Michael Mayer where we discuss his smart scales that automatically ship customers fresh coffee whenever they start running low. You can also check out the interview we did with Patrick Colletti.






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Aug 23, 2021

Howie Choset is a robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a serial entrepreneur. With his students, Howie has formed several companies including Medrobotics, for surgical systems, Hebi Robotics, for modular robots, and Bito Robotics for autonomous guided vehicles.

 

Further, Choset co-lead the formation of the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute, which is $250m national institute advancing both technology development and education for robotics in manufacturing. He is aksi a founding Editor of the journal ‘Science Robotics.

 

In this conversation, Howie and Aaron discuss the series of startups he has founded, how to delegate & develop teams, and the patience required to see technological innovation turn from idea to reality.

 

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Howie Choset’s Challenge; Have good students actively teach students that are further behind. Go into fields that seem too difficult. Find applications for snake robots.

 

Connect with  Howie Choset

Linkedin

Biorobotics Lab Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 306 with Bryan Salesky where we discuss raising billions of dollars to develop self-driving cars.

 

Text Me What You Think of This Episode 412-278-7680




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Aug 16, 2021

Charles McIlvaine is an effective operator and financier who is in the midst of a significant rebrand for Coen Oil.

 

After acquiring the company in the 2000s, Charlie and his brother Andy have built and spun off the company’s Energy and Transport businesses, in order to focus on their convenience store and gas station business.

 

In this conversation, Charlie and Aaron discuss business strategy, company culture, and how to differentiate a company’s brand.

 

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Charles McIlvaine’s Challenge; Evaluate your business through people, process, and technology. Also, remember you are not alone. Nobody succeeds alone.

 

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If you liked this interview, check out episode 415 with Bill Sarris where we discuss building a family business and candy empire.

 

Text Me What You Think of This Episode 412-278-7680




Underwritten by Piper Creative

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Aug 9, 2021

Will Weiner is the CEO of Xpogo, the association focused on the growth of extreme pogo sticking.

 

After taking over in 2018, Will has focused on expanded the sports media reach and developing a more robust event strategy.

 

In this episode, Aaron and Will discuss media, business models, and the athletes that make it possible.

Aug 2, 2021

Eli Harris is the cofounder and President of R-Zero Systems. R-Zero has raised $60 million to re-design hospital-grade disinfection solutions for day-to-day life.

 

In just fifteen months, R-Zero has raced to over $20 million worth of revenue and finds itself at the right place, at the right time, to take advantage of the cultural changes taking place post-pandemic.

 

Eli has been named a Forbes 30 under 30 and previously founded the portable energy company EcoFlow. EcoFlow has raised $100 million and has been valued over $1 billion in private markets.

 

In this episode, Eli talks about disrupting the disinfectant industry, his past failures as an entrepreneur, and the discipline requires to build something great.

 

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Eli Harris’s Challenge; Ask for help.

 

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R-Zero Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 453 with Brock Blake where we discuss PPP loans, equity vs debt financing, and how to build a company in Utah.

 

Text Me What You Think of This Episode 412-278-7680




Underwritten by Piper Creative

Piper Creative makes creating podcasts, vlogs, and videos easy. 

 

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We work with Fortune 500s, medium-sized companies, and entrepreneurs.

 

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Jul 19, 2021

Barbara VanKirk is the CEO and founder of IQ Inc. She has spent the last 28 years creating company value by providing the vision, leadership, strategy, and general management skills necessary to grow IQ Inc into a dominant player in Pittsburgh’s tech ecosystem.

 

IQ Inc helps its clients with expert consulting, staffing, project management and software development services. They serve clients across financial services, transportation, and medical device with Software Design & Development, Software Q/A Testing, Product Development, System Integration, Technical Writing, and Database Design.

 

In this episode, Barbara and Aaron discuss how she bootstrapped the company, how to hire tech talent, and why her company has stood the test of time.

 

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Barbara VanKirk’s Challenge; Learn something new, Give back, Seek feedback, Stay hungry

 

Connect with Barbara VanKirk

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IQ-Inc Website

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 438 with Ben Wilson where we discuss building a computer software consultancy.

 

Text Me What You Think of This Episode 412-278-7680




Underwritten by Piper Creative

Piper Creative makes creating podcasts, vlogs, and videos easy. 

 

How? Click here and Learn more.

 

We work with Fortune 500s, medium-sized companies, and entrepreneurs.

 

Follow Piper as we grow

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