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Awesome Inc

Awesome Inc

By Awesome Inc
Our mission is to help people pursue their definition of AWESOME by building community around the creation and education of technology and entrepreneurship.

Episodes will focus on those who have been inspirations to our entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout Kentucky. Additionally, we aim to highlight up-and-coming entrepreneurs, innovators, and tech-savvy individuals.

Email podcast@awesomeinc.org for inquiries.
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Don't leave the soft skills behind

Awesome Inc

1x
From retail to disc golf to developer, seizing opportunities as they arise
Episode 111: Samuel Wheeling is the owner of Bang-A-Chain LLC, which he runs with his wife Jennifer Wheeling.  While growing his disc golf business, he recalled many skills learned over the years while being a manager of retail and fast food establishments. And when an opportunity to change his career paths presented itself, he decided to learn how to code and become a web developer.  Currently, Sam works for Blueframe Tech which was recently acquired by Hudl. He has been with them since graduating from Awesome Inc U's Bootcamp. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: • Samuel Wheeling on Linkedin • Bang-A-Chain website Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
29:26
July 27, 2022
Success without my family isn't worth it
Episode 110: Philip Devine is co-founder of Quill, which enables real estate agents to write, sign, and submit offers for their clients without their laptops, in less time than it takes to send a text.  They're currently getting ready to launch the beta version this fall.  Philip is passionate about building things that make life easier, doing CrossFit with his family, and spending time with friends. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: • Philip Devine on Linkedin • Quill website Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
32:31
July 20, 2022
5 Across April 2022 WINNER - MiniGrip
Episode 109: Bill Meehan and Kirk Selenberg are the Co-Founders of MiniGrip, which is the World’s First Portable Gripper – A high quality accessory that people carry with them and use to open twist-top bottles, jars and other items!   Kirk and Bill met in Business school at Carnegie Mellon in 2010 and have been friends since.  Kirk (Chief Product Officer) is a Mechanical Engineer by education with 7 Years in R&D and 15 Years in IT.  Bill (CEO) has and Finance and Operations background with 20+ years of experience leading businesses in both High-tech and Retail.  Bill and Kirk launched MiniGrip in 2020 and have both always wanted to start a new business.   Bill and Kirk both live in Lexington with their families. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: • Kirk Selenberg on Linkedin • Bill Meehan on Linkedin • MiniGrip website Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
10:57
June 29, 2022
Not every startup has the same diet
Episode 108: Gary Ditsch is on a mission to help others live happier and healthier lives. He utilizes technology, data analysis, entrepreneurship, and education as his tools to empower those around him to make behavioral changes and meet their personal goals. Gary is currently the Director of Product at VividCharts, which is a Lexington-based company that makes reporting and data visualization with ServiceNow data much easier for their customers. When not building products or teaching others how to program, you will likely find him out on a run training for an upcoming race. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: • Gary Ditsch on Linkedin • Vivid Charts website Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
32:01
June 22, 2022
Do the thing that excites you on the weekends
Episode 107:  Jason Mize is a Co-Founder, CEO, and Developer at Stellar TechWorks, a software development house in Lexington, KY. What Jason loves best about his job is helping Stellar TechWork's clients find their path towards delivering their vision to the world.   He's a former Awesome Inc U Bootcamp grad and APAX Software employee. And his local band is about to release a new album! For more information or to connect with Jason, please visit https://stellartechworks.com/ Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: • Jason Mize on Linkedin • Stellar TechWorks website Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
30:17
June 15, 2022
Give less to Caesar and more to your future
Episode 106: Jordan Guess is a CPA and entrepreneur helping small business owners spend more time scaling their business instead of worrying about taxes. At his core, Jordan is an educator committed to empowering people to lower their lifetime tax expense through legal means so they can scale their business faster and build generational wealth for their families.  Jordan is a co-host of the weekly podcast “Not All At Once” where he discusses current events related to Bitcoin. You can find out more about Jordan and all he is working on by following him on twitter @guess_jordan. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: • Jordan Guess on Linkedin • Trusted Advisors CPA website • Not All at Once podcast Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
30:39
May 25, 2022
Push play on purpose
Episode 105: Steve Seidel is your Virtual CMO and Award-Winning Founder of The Seidel Agency with 15+ years of experience consulting and marketing health & wellness, entertainment, and technology firms. Seidel helps established corporations and emerging entrepreneurs grow by delivering socially conscious campaigns, as well as cultivating a culture of positivity.  Recently Seidel has spearheaded multiple 8-figure acquisitions using his proprietary "From Looking to Booking" method and MorePayingPatients.com Instagram Masterclass. Originally from Philadelphia, Seidel's biggest dream was to become a father, and he continues to cherish that role each and every day.  Whether you're a Forbes 400 company or just starting up, his mission is to take you to greatness, while leaving our world a better place. Please connect with him personally on social with @StephenSeidel and professionally with @TheSeidelAgency across all platforms.  Do Good. Give Back and Make an Impact! Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: • Steve Seidel on Linkedin • The Seidel Agency website • From Looking to Booking Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
38:08
May 18, 2022
You don't have to be lonely anymore
Episode 104: Richie Hoagland is the founder of VRTogether and a two-time Fellowship Founder. VRTogether is a virtual reality (VR) application that connects people together in virtual spaces to take a walk in the forest, watch a sunset on the beach, and more.  Their technology is evidence-based, improving health and happiness through research. We focus on touch and feelings of "being near" someone, something Zoom and telephone calls can't do. He's a Lexington native solving the problem of isolation within Senior Care Facilities and Seniors Aging-at-Home.  Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: • Richie Hoagland on Linkedin • VRTogether website Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
34:52
May 11, 2022
5 Across April 2022 WINNER - Resound
Episode 103: Jacob Bozarth is co-founder and CEO of Resound which is a mobile-first AI Editing tool for podcasters that saves creators time so they can focus on their message, not their mess-ups.  Resound was birthed out of Jacob's first company, Resonate Recordings, a leader in the podcast production space, working with over 3,000 podcasters including top brands and podcasts. Jacob and his team are currently closing their pre-seed Resound and will be releasing Resound Beta in Summer of 2022. You can sign up for early access to their beta at https://resound.fm. Jacob is passionate about startups, audio engineering, podcasting, and the great outdoors. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: • Jacob Bozarth on Linkedin Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
11:13
May 04, 2022
Deviate From Denial
Episode 102: Sam Perez is a first-time author of Deviate from Denial and a senior journalism major at the University of Georgia. She has written the book based on her parents' work with DV8 Kitchen, a restaurant and bakery in Lexington that hires people in recovery from substance use disorder.  Sam hopes to erase the stigma surrounding addiction by telling inspirational stories in her book, which is available for preorder. Sam is passionate about storytelling, good food among great company, and the Georgia Bulldogs. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:  • Rob Perez on Linkedin • Sam Perez on Linkedin • Deviate From Denial - Sam's book Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
32:54
April 27, 2022
Revisit: Bring a higher purpose into your work with Rob Perez and DV8
This is to prepare for the next episode, highlighting Rob's daughter, Sam Perez's book titled Deviate From Denial: Erasing the Stigma of Addiction and Recovery Through Inspirational Stories With 30 years of restaurant experience, Rob Perez has seen first-hand how to build restaurant brands and how prevalent addiction is in the industry he loves. Along with his wife Diane, he founded Dv8 Kitchen as a social enterprise focused on giving second chance employment opportunities to people in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction through vocational, on-the-job training. Dv8 Kitchen focuses on providing top-quality food, service, and atmosphere for every guest, and by providing “a better-than-expected” dining experience, the hope is to build a new standard for the second chance employee to live by and to change the way the guests perceive people in addiction recovery. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: • Rob Perez on Linkedin • Deviate From Denial - Sam Pere'z book (next episode) Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
42:55
April 20, 2022
The Startups Assemble at Fellowship Demo Day (Live from Awesome Inc)
Episode 101: Did you miss out on our Fellowship Demo Day and 13th Birthday Celebration? All of the donuts were eaten, but we've got you covered with audio from the event! Our Director of the Fellowship, Keith McMunn, leads the way on this episode, introducing the Fellowship program and each of its current companies.  Curious about what all of the startups do? Buckle in and take off with us as we celebrate local entrepreneurship in Lexington and the life of Awesome Inc.   HUGE thanks to Chase for sponsoring this Fellowship Demo Day. If this episode peaked your curiosity about startups, entrepreneurship, or what's happening around town... we've got the perfect event for you. Later this month (April 2022), Awesome Inc is putting on a Startup Pitch Competition where 5 startups will share their companies with a live audience for a chance to win up to $500 and a $5000 founder-friendly investment. Plus, attendees will get a free meal and a chance to network before and after the event! Register here.   Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: • Keith McMunn on Linkedin • Awesome Fellowship Portfolio • Awesome Fellowship • 5 Across April 2022 Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
52:29
April 13, 2022
Guess who is turning 13 years old?
EPISODE 100: Awesome Inc is turning 13 years old on April 1, 2022. Oh, and this is our 100th episode.  We're celebrating with three of our cofounders (Brian Raney, Luke Murray, and Nick Such) sitting down and reflecting on Awesome Inc's inception and goofy memories that go back to the beginning. ** "Go it Alone" by Beck is not our original work and does not belong to us.  Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: • Go it Alone by Beck on YouTube • Brian Raney on Linkedin • Luke Murray on Linkedin • Nick Such on Linkedin Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
36:36
March 30, 2022
5 Across February 2022 WINNER - Party Horses
Episode 99: Chris Wiedmar is a technology leader and entrepreneur with a focus on operations, partnerships, and business development.  He has experience building applications, IOT solutions, and is currently building in the web3 and NFT space with Party Horses.  He is born and raised in Louisville and lives in the Highlands with his wife, Erin, and 3 children. 5 Across is a year long series of pitch competitions and highlights some of the most exciting tech companies to be growing in Kentucky. 5 Across is Kentucky's premiere pitch competition. If you've ever seen NBC's Shark Tank then you'd enjoy 5 Across. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: Party Horses website Chris Wiedmar on Linkedin Kinetic by Windstream - 5 Across 2022 Title Sponsor Chase - 5 Across February 2022 Presenting Sponsor Leave Some Feedback: • What should we talk about next? Please email podcast@awesomeinc.org • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram @awesomeinclex • Twitter @awesomeinclex • YouTube
19:25
March 02, 2022
Quick! The building just caught fire. What are you taking with you?
Episode 98: Garrett Fahrbach and Kevin Mansur of Awesome Inc talk about their team's core values: BE Good, BE Excellent, BE a Friend, BE You. Awesome Inc's core values keep their team and organization in alignment. After laying these out, the conversation moves to defining "luck" and how we are actually able to create our own. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: • Garrett Fahrbach on Linkedin • Kevin Mansur on Linkedin • Awesome Inc's core values pdf Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram -- @awesomeinclex • Twitter -- @awesomeinclex • YouTube
30:44
February 23, 2022
Cleaning our water for the next generation
Episode 97: Cameron Lippert, Ph.D., co-founded ElectraMet in 2014. He is currently leading the implementation of ElectraMet's business development and metals recycling strategy. Since its founding, ElectraMet's technological achievements have continued to receive recognition, including the CleanTech Open Water Award, CleanTech Open Best Business Model Award and the 2018 BlueTech China Most Innovative Technology Award. Cameron is co-founder and CEO of PowerTech Water. PowerTech Water is a clean tech company building an electrochemical platform to tackle all aspects of water purification in a sustainable & environmentally friendly way. We use advanced carbon materials and electrochemistry to deliver specialized solutions for targeted water treatment. Powertech Water won the 2021 Global Impact Award at the University of Kentucky's 2021 Patent Palooza event. One of their biggest recent milestones was to close on a $6 million series B round of funding (that can be read here). Cameron's entrepreneurial journey started at 5-Across in 2013 when he pitched his idea for an anti-hangover concoction. PowerTech 5 Across Finals pitch 
30:29
February 16, 2022
60 startups, $80M, and 500 jobs later...
Episode 96: Keith McMunn is the Director of Entrepreneurship at Awesome Inc and serves entrepreneurs through the 5 Across Entrepreneur Pitch Competition and Awesome Fellowship Accelerator.  Keith is proudly a Kentucky transplant after having settled in Lexington after his time studying Accounting at the University of Kentucky. He believes that the best way to develop a bright future for Kentuckians is to invest in entrepreneurs and startups. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: October 2021 companies: borderless -- website borderless on Linkedin Raffi Kayat on Linkedin Legal Gantt Pav*r Adam Bledsoe on Linkedin Jessica Bledsoe on Linkedin Rave On Sports James Clark on Linkedin Brittany Harris on Linkedin April 2021 companies: Symba -- website Evan Knowles on Linkedin Synaptek -- website  Doug Van Pelt on Linkedin  Kate Van Pelt on Linked James McCollum on Linkedin Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram @awesomeinclex • Twitter @awesomeinclex • YouTube
31:29
February 09, 2022
Worldwide payments without borders do exist
Episode 95: Raffi Kayat is the CEO of borderless, a global payouts API that powers payments to 120+ countries for a flat low rate. Raffi has taken borderless from an idea to an award winning Fintech company. He has been featured as a speaker in New York Fintech Alley, The Power of PrePaid, and Money 20/20. In his free time you can find Raffi searching for the best burger, playing soccer, and watching football. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: borderless -- website borderless on Linkedin Raffi Kayat on Linkedin Leave Some Feedback: • Email podcast@awesomeinc.org with what you want to hear about next. • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram @awesomeinclex • Twitter @awesomeinclex • YouTube
28:05
February 02, 2022
Paving the way to productivity
Episode 94: Adam and Jessica Bledsoe are the Co-Founders of Pav*r, a time management and digital calendar analytics app. Pav*r helps business owners and busy people align their time with their priorities. Launched in 2020, Pav*r has experienced explosive growth as teams continue to work remotely and currently serves users in 22 countries around the world. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: Pav*r Adam Bledsoe on Linkedin Jessica Bledsoe on Linkedin Leave Some Feedback: • What should we talk about next? Please email podcast@awesomeinc.org • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram @awesomeinclex • Twitter @awesomeinclex • YouTube
20:06
January 26, 2022
Awesome Inc U: Peanut Butter, Rubber Ducks, and Jelly
Episode 93: Kyle Raney is the Director of Youth for Awesome Inc U's Coding School. Awesome Inc U inspires the youth to learn to code and create amazing things by flipping the classroom so that students have the ability to be creative and learn at their own pace. Coding may seem daunting at first, Awesome Inc U exists to show that anyone can learn to code. Stephen Ruh is the Marketing Director for Awesome Inc U's coding school. He loves to watch and encourage students on their "hero journey" as they go from aspiring coders to full stack developers who crush it in the world of tech. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: Awesome Inc's Kids Camps Awesome Inc's Youth Coding  Awesome Inc Web Developer Bootcamp Kyle Raney on Linkedin Stephen Ruh on Linkedin Leave Some Feedback: • What should we talk about next? Please email podcast@awesomeinc.org • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram @awesomeinclex • Twitter @awesomeinclex • YouTube
23:14
January 19, 2022
Awesome Inc U: From the coal mining community to the startup community
Episode 92 Justin Hall was born in Pikeville, KY in 1974. His parents had a Bluegrass Band and his father was an artist. Even though he grew up in the hills of eastern Kentucky where coal was king, it never interested him. He loved the mountains, history, and heritage, but he had other interests. Hall graduated from Elkhorn City High School in 1993 and Pikeville College (now UPike) in the summer of 1997. Shortly after graduating from UPike he discovered an interest in web design and development.  The web held his attention and captivated his imagination.   In 2017, Justin was chosen as one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business for teaching a coal miner how to code and helping start Bit Source, a company located in eastern Kentucky that employs former coal miners as coders.  Currently, he is the Lead Instructor for Awesome Inc's Web Developer Bootcamp in Lexington, Kentucky. He's also involved in several startups and entrepreneur efforts across the Commonwealth. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: Justin Hall on Linkedin Justin Hall's website Awesome Inc Web Developer Bootcamp Leave Some Feedback: • What should we talk about next? Please email podcast@awesomeinc.org • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram @awesomeinclex • Twitter @awesomeinclex • YouTube
27:20
January 12, 2022
5 Across FINALS 2021 Winner - Inphlu
Episode 91: Joshua Reid is the Founder and CEO of Inphlu, and winner of the 2021 5 Across FINALS pitch competition.  Inphlu offers employers a simple way to amplify their brand and drive recruitment by sharing corporate approved content through the social media channels of their employees. Joshua and his team launched January 2020 and have since oversubscribed their $500,000 pre-seed round and have expanded into both the enterprise and collegiate markets. Joshua is passionate about helping companies solve two of their biggest problems, talent acquisition and customer acquisition. The 5 Across Finals is the culmination of a year long series of pitch competitions and highlights some of the most exciting tech companies to be growing in Kentucky. 5 Across is Kentucky's premiere pitch competition. If you've ever seen NBC's Shark Tank then you'd enjoy 5 Across. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: Inphlu Josh Reid on Linkedin Kinetic by Windstream - 5 Across' 2021 Title Sponsor Airwing Ventures - 5 Across FINALS' Presenting Sponsor Leave Some Feedback: • What should we talk about next? Please email podcast@awesomeinc.org • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • Subscribe to our podcast • awesomeinc.org • Instagram @awesomeinclex • Twitter @awesomeinclex • YouTube
25:44
December 17, 2021
Money makes people funny
Episode 90: Steve Pottinger is a multi-state real estate investor and owner/ operator in several past and present businesses. He was one of the 1995 founding members in the Greer Companies Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchens. They sold the restaurants in 2017. Before working with the Greer Companies, Mr. Pottinger practiced law with a focus on employment law. Pottinger holds BA from the University of Louisville, and a JD from Western Michigan Cooley Law School. Today, Pottinger is a partner who oversees operations in the Greer Companies Taco Tico enterprise, Infinity and ItalX, and a partner in the City Center Marriott/ Residence Inn, Offices and Penthouses in downtown Lexington, KY. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: Taco Tico - Steve Pottinger interview Leave Some Feedback: • What should we talk about next? Please email podcast@awesomeinc.org • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us: • awesomeinc.org • Instagram @awesomeinclex • Twitter @awesomeinclex • YouTube
37:39
December 15, 2021
Semi-truck collision inspires the Legal Gantt vision
Episode 89: Hishem Alsalman is the Co-Founder and CEO of Legal Gantt, which provides law firms with an online platform to facilitate status updates, safer communication, and improved workflow with their clients through a mobile and web application.  Hishem and his team launched an MVP into the market that is currently being used by lawyers and their clients across the US, Canada, and Australia. Hishem is passionate about law, startups, and helping the under-represented communities across the country. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: Legal Gantt Leave Some Feedback:    • What should we talk about next? Please email podcast@awesomeinc.org    • Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a short review. Connect with Us:  • awesomeinc.org • Instagram @awesomeinclex • Twitter @awesomeinclex • YouTube
20:47
December 08, 2021
Transylvania's pioneering new entrepreneurial pathways
Episode 88: Transylvania's president Brien Lewis and his right hand man, Steve Angelucci, are paving new paths for liberal arts students in central America to pursue and grow as entrepreneurs. Brien Lewis commenced his term as Transylvania University's 28th President in July, 2020. He came to Lexington after serving eight years as President of Catawba College in North Carolina. His background includes practicing law in North Carolina and holding several teaching and administrative positions in higher education including as an Associate Professor of Business Administration at Winthrop University in South Carolina.    Steve Angelucci, a Lexington native, came to Transylvania University in May, 2019 as the Vice President for Advancement after a diverse career which included practicing dentistry, college athletics administration and most recently serving as President of Lexington Catholic High School, After President Lewis's arrival in 2020, he transitioned to the role of Assistant to the President for Special Projects. His primary responsibilities include exploring and developing prospective new programs and initiatives for the university.
32:44
December 01, 2021
Fragmented real estate environments unite with Symba
Episode 87: Evan Knowles is co-founder and CEO of Symba, which is a mobile-first platform for real estate agents that empowers them to manage and grow their business from their pocket. Evan and his team launched at Startup Weekend 2019 and have since raised a pre-seed round and launched their product in the App Store (scan this link). Evan is passionate about startups, real estate, podcasting, and Lexington.
23:55
November 24, 2021
Maker's Mark introduces bourbon one glass at a time
Episode 86: In this episode, we dive deep into Kentucky's favorite drink with Jane Bowie, Master of Maturation, Director of Innovation at Maker's Mark Distillery. Maker’s Mark’s innovation has been grown more organically than most with its products and inspirations coming from the people who make them and the land itself.  With the whisky landscape drastically changing over the last decade, whisky houses are pushing the boundaries of where to go find flavor. Maker’s Mark, one of the industry’s most storied brands, established its innovation department 2 years ago to dream about what the future could hold for the brand while staying rooted in its founders’ vision.
42:16
November 17, 2021
Awesome Inc U: Changing lives with the Bootcamp
Episode 85: Building on part one, Awesome Inc U's Director, Nick Such, goes into greater detail about the Bootcamp program. Students that are selected for each Bootcamp cohort learn how to become a Full-Stack Developer in just 16 weeks. Get a complete breakdown of the Bootcamp experience in just a few minutes, and head to Awesome Inc's website to apply.
13:24
November 10, 2021
Being a part of the action has never been closer
Episode 84: Rave On is ALL about sports. A recent addition to Awesome Inc's Fellowship program, Rave On Sports' fan-focused app gives people a place to connect with other fanatics, cheer, and jeer as the action happens! Founders James Clark and Brittany Harris sit down with Garrett to chat about how it all started. From super fans to super founders, James and Brittany have built something worth rooting for. Recorded October 20, 2021 - this will help with references to recent and upcoming collegiate and professional games.
37:38
November 03, 2021
Awesome Inc U: Born out of failure
Episode 83: Awesome Inc U wasn't the first venture that our team pursued. Over the years, various failed ideas and businesses led to its creation. Nick Such, the Director of Awesome Inc U, kicks off this series by sharing his own journey with programming and the inception of our coding school.  Starting with one-day workshops across the midwest, Awesome Inc U has grown into a multi-program coding school that teaches technology and changes lives.
24:09
October 28, 2021
You're no longer a burger restaurant; you're a tech company that sells burgers
Episode 82: Few industries have had to innovate faster in 2020 than the restaurant industry. Curbside, contactless delivery, new payment methods... just a few examples of processes that are now standard. Liz Bazner, Senior Director of Marketing for A&W Restaurants, joins founder Mo Sloan of EZ Chow (former Awesome Inc Fellowship company), to discuss innovation within the restaurant industry from two different perspectives: big business and mom-and-pop stores.
32:06
October 20, 2021
How a Bollywood dance party led to Corporate Innovation
Episode 81: Corporate-backed VC is perhaps the premiere example of how large established companies and startups work together. Carlo Cruz shares insights as portfolio engagement manager at Toyota Ventures, Toyota’s first standalone venture capital firm, and his role in supporting early-stage startups on their journey.
29:57
October 06, 2021
Concussion care at its finest
Episode 80: The Synaptek team - Doug Van Pelt, Kate Van Pelt, and James McCollum - talks about their journey to bringing their startup idea to life and how they strive to provide the ultimate concussion care solution.  Synaptek provides the concussion management solution clinicians have been looking for. An intuitive, mobile-first platform lets medical providers spend more time on athlete well-being, and less time managing data.
43:28
September 30, 2021
Are you the generation that kills the business?
Episode 79: We didn't set out to find the textbook example of a company that re-imagined its future and re-prioritized its business model to foster innovation... but we found it anyway. President and Chief Operating Officer of KLH Engineers, Jim Tavernelli, tells the powerful story of how he and KLH leadership turned the ship around for their company.
50:21
September 15, 2021
From Big Ass Fans to Xometry - The Team Is Just As Important As The Idea
Episode 78: Adam Bowe has seen it all when it comes to creating an innovative culture and he gets SPECIFIC about what building infrastructure around innovation looks like - from risk tolerance, org structure, to consistency.
35:49
September 02, 2021
Horses, Bourbon… and Movies? How Wrigley Media is moving KY up in the TV & Film industry
Episode 77:  Wrigley Media Group is on a mission to put Kentucky on the map in the world of TV, film, and all things media. Their Founder & CEO, Misdee Wrigley Miller (yes, THAT Wrigley) and David Bertram, Chief Revenue Officer talk about what makes Wrigley so innovative, why they love Kentucky, and most importantly, KY’s first nationally syndicated TV show, Relative Justice, coming out Fall 2021. Thanks to our sponsor, APAX Software - They create powerful custom software, websites, and mobile apps that take your business’s innovative ideas and turn them into realities. Reach out today to get a quote at apaxsoftware.com.
39:08
August 26, 2021
Bullard invented the hard hat in 1919 and hasn't stopped innovating since
Episode 76: We talked with Landon Borders, Director of Product Development, to talk about his breadth of innovation experience from Big Ass Fans to Bullard. Thanks to our sponsor, APAX Software - They create powerful custom software, websites, and mobile apps that take your business’s innovative ideas and turn them into realities. Reach out today to get a quote at apaxsoftware.com.
29:04
August 18, 2021
Creating innovation anywhere, from ceiling fans to cleaning products
Episode 75: If you don’t believe that a cleaning company can make a viral video, you haven’t met Alex Alex Reed’s career will convince you that the most boring industries on the planet, ceiling fans and cleaning supplies, can be innovative. He cut his teeth at Big Ass Fans and went on to start and sell his own company, Truman’s. Thanks to our sponsor, APAX Software - They create powerful custom software, websites, and mobile apps that take your business’s innovative ideas and turn them into realities. Reach out today to get a quote at apaxsoftware.com.
39:55
August 11, 2021
From Barrel to Bourbon: Innovating a Kentucky Classic
Episode 74: We're kicking off our newest Innovation Inc series with Brad Berron of the James B Beam Institute, who talks about innovation in the bourbon industry - the research, the trends, the obstacles, and certainly the bright future of the bourbon capital of the world. Innovation Incubated is the newest company in the Awesome Inc family - they help KY companies discover, test, and implement innovative ideas. Find out more about the James B Beam Institute. Thanks to our sponsor, APAX Software - They create powerful custom software, websites, and mobile apps that take your business’s innovative ideas and turn them into realities. Reach out today to get a quote at apaxsoftware.com.
46:50
August 04, 2021
These 4 steps will fix all your issues!
Episode 73: Chase Fairchild hits home with (more laughter) why someone should care to use your business and the importance of clear messaging...again. 
24:60
July 07, 2021
Now, you all play nicely...
Episode 72: Chase Fairchild shares a few examples of B2B and B2C messaging and why they matter. One of Bolt Marketing's main offerings is helping clients communicate with clarity.
24:02
June 30, 2021
Personal creativity takes risks
Episode 71: Chase Fairchild with Bolt Marketing shares about his personal creativity and the risk that's involved with putting your content out into the world.
22:60
June 23, 2021
Back to the basics (of marketing)
Episode 70: Chase Fairchild with Bolt Marketing kicks off this series talking about getting back to the basics of clearly communicating your company's messaging.
25:35
June 15, 2021
5 Across May 2021 WINNER
Episode 69: Josh Reid pitched at and won May 2021 5 Across with his startup Inphlu. His company advanced content engine, powered by artificial intelligence, monitors global sources to find, curate, and publish relevant third-party content, specific to your industry. Inphlu helps you generate content ahead of time. All you do is set and approve it. Inphlu will publish it for you and show you real-time metrics. Connect with Josh on LinkedIn!
08:53
June 02, 2021
Don't leave the soft skills behind
Episode 68: Jose Gaztambide, CEO of Goodmaps highlights the importance of caring about people, knowing the value you bring, and work life balance as a founder.  Goodmaps is furthering the cause of accessible navigation with their digital indoor mapping solution. They providing a customer portal where venue owners can access and edit their digital maps in multiple views: 2D floorplan, 3D model, and LiDAR point cloud.
24:56
May 25, 2021
Growth gets results
Episode 67: Matt Langan, CEO of Stuccco hopped back on the podcast to talk about growth - personal and professional. Stuccco is a startup in the 2021 Fellowship spring cohort and we are excited to see where this company is headed.  Listen to the first episode with Matt Langan on Awesome Inc's podcast here. 
28:01
May 18, 2021
Do you care about good business?
Episode 66: Ben Smock with Canopy Kentucky in Louisville, KY sat down with Garrett and Liz to share how they are a driving force for encouraging Kentucky companies to be better and why this matters.  Stay tuned for Ben's dad joke at the end of the episode (27:51).
29:27
May 11, 2021
Don't suffer from the bystander effect
Episode 65: Rebecca Webb of Community Inspired Solutions, Inc. (CIS) (and coworking member of Awesome Inc's) shares why a Facebook post led her to make a difference in Lexington after an outbreak of youth violence in 2014.  Listen to CIS's podcast Through Their Eyes, In Their Words.
29:06
May 04, 2021
Your business's heart, head, and feet matter
Episode 64:  Taylor Sears, COO of Silent Guard (and a coworking member of Awesome Inc's) shared his team's story and why working around other startups has been valuable for a growing company. 
34:07
April 27, 2021
In memory of Kent Taylor
The Awesome Inc team honors Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame inductee Kent Taylor who recently passed away. retells his business story as told in the chapters of Unbridled Spirit: Lessons in Life and Business from Kentucky's Most Successful Entrepreneurs. Thank you to Noah Wonder for providing the music in this episode.
07:53
April 13, 2021
Do you fall to your systems?
Episode 63: (Part 2) John Fox wraps up his conversation focusing on how he helps people. He shares his coaching method and questions he asks to add value to companies and find the burning desire behind a person's why. 
15:25
April 06, 2021
Is experience that important?
Episode 62: This episode is for founders. (Part 1) After running his own business for a over a decade, Jon Fox became passionate about helping business owners who are pressing their nose to the grindstone day in and day out. In this episode, Jon shares his background along with how he didn't spend unnecessary time in school, gained experience, went through a business drought, and came out more effective on the other side.
21:59
March 23, 2021
The great migration from corporate innovation
Episode 61: This episode is for founders. (Part 2) Jake Miller wraps up his conversation with Liz and Garrett by sharing about his journey from being a corporate innovator to startups founder, what prompted the career jump, and advice he’d give to others.
18:52
March 16, 2021
Corporate innovation requires urgency
Episode 60: This is for innovators.  (Part 1) Jake Miller, Cofounder and CEO of Toggle Health in Louisville, KY is a corporate innovator turned startup founder. He gives extensive insight and practical advice that can only come from someone who has experienced both sides of the innovation spectrum.
35:58
March 09, 2021
5 Across February 2021 WINNER
Episode 59: Addie Reinhard pitched at and won February 2021 5 Across with MentorVet.  Her company improves the well-being of life as a veterinarian.  The MentorVet mentorship and professional development program support young veterinarians through a combination of peer mentorship and online training in non-clinical professional skills to provide tools to help veterinarians cope with some of the most common stressors of practice. Connect with Addie via email: addiereinhard@gmail.com or on LinkedIn. 
12:38
March 01, 2021
Do you know what will be powering our future?
Episode 58: This episode is for founders. Harut Vardanyan is the CEO of HeXalayer with 11 years of experience in the nanotechnology & energy industry. He went through the 2017 Vogt Award accelerator based in Louisville, KY & the 2019 Ameren Accelerator. So you know, current Li-ion batteries offer an insufficient amount of energy for their weight. Small & Medium UAVs can only fly 30-40 minutes without payload and 15 minutes with a payload. A HeXalayer battery-powered vehicle will provide 3-4 times more energy for the same-weight battery (aka will be able to operate & travel longer without increasing the battery weight).
28:01
February 23, 2021
Do you show people the wall?
Episode 57: This episode is for innovators. (Part 2) Tom shares his perspective on cultural differences between big cos versus startups, what he's learned about creativity and innovation working at some of the most highly-perceived “innovative” companies in the world, how training can be a strategic weapon for a company, and why it's important to show people the wall rather than the door. This is a good one, folks.
17:45
February 16, 2021
Appreciating people is your super power
Episode 56: (Part 1) Tom Stern is a Technical Curriculum Developer at Amazon Web Services with an extensive background in teaching, publishing courses, aiding people in understanding machine learning, data structure, and cloud architecture. He has worked with highly popular tech companies like Cisco, Google, and Amazon, yet has a humble persona that is not often found in the tech industry.
25:41
February 09, 2021
Using your MVP to progress your business
Episode 55:  This episode is for founders. Brandon Young, the founder of Pascal Tags, started a company after his girlfriend kept misplacing her keys... After learning inventory displacement has been an issue since the 1950s (when Barcode and RFID were originally conceived), he's created a product to combat inventory problems.
24:34
February 02, 2021
Why it's important to remain like a small company
Episode 54: This episode is for Innovators. (Part 2) Curt talks about good risk versus bad risk for corporate companies and updated us on what he’s been up to post-Dippin’ Dots with his newest venture, 40 Below Joe. 
20:51
January 26, 2021
Why you don't need to be CEO to grow a company
Episode 53: This episode is for innovators.  (Part 1) Curt Jones, the founder of Dippin' Dots Ice Cream and 40 Below Joe, walks through his journey on what it was like to go from corporate innovator to entrepreneur and why it was so important to build a company that encouraged innovation from within. In 1988, microbiologist Curt Jones used his knowledge of cryogenic technology to invent Dippin’ Dots and changed the way we consume ice cream.
20:20
January 19, 2021
5 Across 2020 Finals WINNER
Episode 52: This episode is for founders.  The winner of the 2020 5 Across Finals was Natalia Bishop. Her company, Level Up, is on a mission to connect, educate, inspire women, and future entrepreneurs within holistic learning environments. Participants learn with burst-style learning - imagine if Masterclass collided with Instagram's reel video feature.  Natalia's main focus is helping pour back into the community and develop the people who are looking for alternative means to earn a living given the COVID-19 pandemic. 
26:27
January 12, 2021
What are we lacking here in Kentucky? (part 3)
Episode 51: This episode is for founders.  Keith wraps up our conversation and shares why assisting startups is crucial for Kentucky, and how our entrepreneurial culture is changing the state.
17:57
January 05, 2021
Why all relationships need accountability (part 2)
Episode 50: This episode is for founders.  Keith McMunn, unsuccessful with replacing Garrett as the new host, is back and dives into the structure and programming of how the Fellowship helps startup companies and everyone's' favorite word, accountability.
14:08
December 29, 2020
Your startup needs Kentucky's accelerator
Episode 49: This episode is for founders. (Part 1) Keith McMunn, Director of the Awesome Fellowship, program talks about the importance of knowing your roots, the direction Awesome Inc's startup programming is headed and shares some behind-the-scenes goals most people don't know about.
21:40
December 22, 2020
Do people on your team matter? - Jamie Rosenstein Wittman
Episode 48:  Jamie shares why she’s so passionate about changing the narrative around performance management (aka make metrics meetings not suck) and dispels some of the myths around Google's culture (is there free food? free dry cleaning? free massages??) Performance Management articles:  On the folly of rewarding A while hoping for B Transforming Performance Management in Drive Performance: An Evidence-based roadmap
24:47
December 15, 2020
The importance of curiosity in the workplace - Jamie Rosenstein Wittman
Episode 47: This episode is for innovators.  We have Jamie Rosenstein Wittman, who is a boomerang (which is a term we’re desperately trying to normalize at Awesome Inc). She grew up In Lexington, KY, and left to spread her wings at Cornell and Google. For now, she's back to take advantage of remote learning and further her career. She leads the conversation on how to hire and encourage a culture of curiosity. Show notes: Rework with Google website Resources to run a design thinking lab (slide deck + facilitator guide) Tool to foster psychological safety NY Times article on Google's Teams research
23:21
December 08, 2020
How creating relationships can save your business model in a crisis - Andy Shea of the Lexington Legends
Episode 46: This episode is for innovators... Garrett and Liz wrap up their time with Andy as he shares how he pivoted the Lexington Legends business model (yes, professional baseball teams do have those) and sought out baseball talent of all ages.  Check out our conversation with the founders of Zone Traxx! Co-founder, Tommy Warner, is a pitcher for this organization. 
30:13
December 01, 2020
You don't have to create new technology to be innovative - Andy Shea of the Lexington Legends
Episode 45: This episode is for innovators. Garrett and Liz start another Venture Labs series and interview Andy Shea, President and CEO of the Lexington Legends to talk about how he organically created a baseball brand that’s now known for innovation.
27:04
November 24, 2020
What are tech ethics and why should you care?
Episode 44: Blake Reichenbach of Hubspot, a light-hearted Boomerang tech enthusiast and entrepreneur, shares insights into how Internet users' ignorance is in fact exploited and capitalized for "The Algorithms."  He discusses tech ethics - no, not quite "ethics" from Billy Madison - and why there is a lack of clarity around this topic, how to properly say L.A., and how to confidently wear fruit patterns on your clothes.   Resources: Blake's website Blake's book - Big Picture Living: A Guide to Finding Fulfillment (Even When Everything Sucks) *Parental advisory material at 23:45-24:00*
34:14
November 17, 2020
Why your team needs innovators - Ben Atkinson from Toyota
Episode 43:  This episode is for innovators. In the final episode, Ben Atkinson from Toyota talks about how to manage the diverse skill sets of teams to find the balance between developing and maintaining ideas. Companies need both innovators and adaptors to feel the freedom to pitch and develop ideas for the machine of innovation to work. And bringing it full circle, they talk about how the corporate world and the startup world are “a marriage waiting to happen.” Ben ends by sharing his strongest emotional muscle and his greatest piece of advice for innovators that he would share with his younger self.
20:59
November 10, 2020
How the S curve of innovation works - Ben Atkinson from Toyota
Episode 42: In this episode, Ben Atkinson from Toyota explains the S curve of innovation and the difference between attainers, maintainers, and sustainers (we like to think of it as the Enneagram, but for corporate employees). They talk about the risk of growing a team that can both dream and build and sustain ideas, which often means hiring the right people *before* the right time. They cover Scottie Pippin, teenage driving, and bourbon. You won’t want to miss it.
19:33
November 03, 2020
What can happen when innovation is a system - Ben Atkinson from Toyota
Episode 41:  This episode is for innovators. We invited one of Venture Lab’s closest friends, Ben Atkinson from Toyota, to talk about what innovation actually means (and about beat-up Toyota Camrys). Ben explains that Luiz Pere-Breva’s definition, from his book, Innovating: A Doer’s Manifesto..., “Bringing parts and people together, to solve a problem in a novel way.” gets us partway to a clear understanding of what innovation is...it’s solving problems in new ways. But, if we apply some systems thinking to this definition, we arrive at a much more useful definition. If you care about innovation and are looking for a more effective way to talk about it, this episode is for you.
20:37
October 27, 2020
How taking action gets you to where you want to be
Episode 40:  Silver Fern Group is a technology company providing software, mobile apps, IoT Devices, data analytics, and custom solutions for the horticulture industry. The team at Silver Fern is helping Individuals simplify their businesses with technology for growers.  Adam VanWingerden sits down and shares his recent experiences and talks about the mindset needed to succeed. Taking action yields fruit, it's just a matter of time. 
26:36
October 20, 2020
Letting "stick-to-itiveness" lead to results
Episode 39: Stuccco provides virtual staging services for real estate agents; online interior design services for homeowners.  Real estate agents place virtual staging orders on Stuccco.com (est. time: three minutes). Stuccco renders the photos and completes the order within 24 hours. Agents add the virtually staged photos to their online listings, share them on social media, include them in flyers, brochures, and/or posters.  Homeowners hire online interior designers on Stuccco.com (est. time: five minutes). The homeowner collaborates with an online interior designer through Stuccco and over the phone. In 14 days or less, the homeowner gets their room designed including visualizations of their newly designed room, a floor plan, a clickable shopping list, and design instructions. And in 2021, Stuccco will begin integrating with big-box retailers, making items visualized in virtually staged photos purchasable.
32:41
October 13, 2020
Why innovating improves the game
Episode 38: Coaches and players want every edge possible to stay competitive. Having accurate analytics for pitching and hitting is now an essential part of the game. Zone Traxx is a baseball and softball analytics tool designed to improve players and teams before, during, and after games. The Zone Traxx app allows you to easily track important information in real-time during practice and games and automatically compiles, analyzes, and reports the results.
33:35
October 06, 2020
Why creating a culture for your company is crucial (part 2)
Episode 37: Charley Miller of Louisville, Kentucky is an entrepreneur, product manager and game designer with a focus on systems and product experience. He's founder of Unitonomy, one of the companies in Awesome Inc's 2020 class of the Fellowship. Unitonomy is making culture management software for knowledge workers and their teams. They primarily focus on helping remote teams augment communication. Charley dives into his past experiences with startups, living all over the nation, and why creating and maintaining a culture is vitally important for health and success.
18:53
September 29, 2020
Why creating a culture for your company is crucial
Episode 36: Charley Miller of Louisville, Kentucky is an entrepreneur, product manager and game designer with a focus on systems and product experience. He's founder of Unitonomy, one of the companies in Awesome Inc's 2020 class of the Fellowship. Unitonomy is making culture management software for knowledge workers and their teams. They primarily focus on helping remote teams augment communication. Charley dives into his past experiences with startups, living all over the nation, and why creating and maintaining a culture is vitally important for health and success.
19:36
September 22, 2020
What high schools nationwide can learn from Kentucky's teenage entrepreneurs (part 2)
Episode 35: Natasha Sams dives into what it took to make a Kentucky teacher became an innovation leader for the Commonwealth's future entrepreneurs. The Governor's School for Entrepreneurs (GSE) identifies and enables Kentucky high school students to become our Commonwealth's next generation of entrepreneurs. Through our three-week residential experience, GSE participants from throughout the Commonwealth are: 1) introduced to KY's most successful entrepreneurs and fastest-growing businesses, 2) equipped with the tools and skills to create and build their own businesses, and 3) matched with complementary skilled peers to develop business plans and product or service prototypes. The annual GSE intensive program culminates in a pitch competition attended by a large audience representing Kentucky's entrepreneurial ecosystem. In addition, as a direct result of their participation in GSE, participants qualify for some $3 million of scholarships from Kentucky's universities and colleges. Over 500 young Kentuckians have graduated from GSE since our inception in 2013. While all participants gain vital entrepreneurial skills through the program to use as they enter the workplace or continue into higher education, 11 new businesses have already been launched by young entrepreneurs. Others have filed for multiple patents and developed new ideas and relationships that sow the seeds for more business formation. Many alumni have chosen to enroll in entrepreneurial programs at Kentucky universities and attribute this decision to the inspiration they received attending GSE in high school.
15:36
September 15, 2020
What high schools nationwide can learn from Kentucky's teenage entrepreneurs
Episode 34: Natasha Sams dives into what it took to make a Kentucky teacher became an innovation leader for the Commonwealth's future entrepreneurs.  The Governor's School for Entrepreneurs (GSE) identifies and enables Kentucky high school students to become our Commonwealth's next generation of entrepreneurs. Through our three-week residential experience, GSE participants from throughout the Commonwealth are: 1) introduced to KY's most successful entrepreneurs and fastest-growing businesses, 2) equipped with the tools and skills to create and build their own businesses, and 3) matched with complementary skilled peers to develop business plans and product or service prototypes. The annual GSE intensive program culminates in a pitch competition attended by a large audience representing Kentucky's entrepreneurial ecosystem. In addition, as a direct result of their participation in GSE, participants qualify for some $3 million of scholarships from Kentucky's universities and colleges. Over 500 young Kentuckians have graduated from GSE since our inception in 2013. While all participants gain vital entrepreneurial skills through the program to use as they enter the workplace or continue into higher education, 11 new businesses have already been launched by young entrepreneurs. Others have filed for multiple patents and developed new ideas and relationships that sow the seeds for more business formation. Many alumni have chosen to enroll in entrepreneurial programs at Kentucky universities and attribute this decision to the inspiration they received attending GSE in high school.
27:32
September 08, 2020
To Techstars and Beyond (part 2)
Episode 33:  Here's the conclusion to our live Lunch & Learn podcast with Logan Burchett and Steven Plappert Forecastr reflecting on their journey through Techstars and how they are moving forward during a global pandemic.  This podcast episode was recorded live to catch up with our friends from Louisville, KY Steven Plappert and Logan Burchett of Forecastr to hear of their journey through Techstars and future of the company. Over a year ago in July 2019 we sat down with Logan adn Steven and caught the background story of Forecastr (episode linked here). Forecastr is online software that helps founders build great financial models so they can understand their numbers, make better decisions, and get funded. The Forecastr founding team is a diverse group of serial entrepreneurs with well-balanced skillsets, and a mission to help startup founders everywhere better understand their numbers so they can fulfill their own missions to make an impact.
34:21
September 01, 2020
To Techstars and Beyond
Episode 32: This podcast episode was recorded live to catch up with our friends from Louisville, KY Steven Plappert and Logan Burchett of Forecastr to hear of their journey through Techstars and future of the company. Over a year ago in July 2019 we sat down with Logan adn Steven and caught the background story of Forecastr (episode linked here). Forecastr is online software that helps founders build great financial models so they can understand their numbers, make better decisions, and get funded. The Forecastr founding team is a diverse group of serial entrepreneurs with well-balanced skillsets, and a mission to help startup founders everywhere better understand their numbers so they can fulfill their own missions to make an impact. In addition to the founding team, Forecastr is backed by a world-class tribe of 25+ angel investors who understand just how big of a problem financial forecasting and 'good financial hygiene' really are within the startup world today. The idea of Forecastr was born when they saw their customers' frustration with the financial models being used.
28:56
August 25, 2020
How technology is positively impacting education
Episode 31: With 34 years of background in education, Scott Stuckey has been improving teaching systems for almost two decades.  Founded for the unique challenges of rural communities, Inquiry Technologies, LLC (InqTech) is a research and development firm with a mission to create new instructional technology that has a positive impact in education, healthcare, and workforce development sectors. Founded in 2012, InqTech has been awarded more than one million dollars from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Economic Development. InqTech’s senior research and design team draws on decades of experience in classroom instruction, technology facilitation, software development, and commercialization. An innate understanding regarding various learner types, computer platforms, data management solutions, and security policies has positioned InqTech as an emerging leader for products and services designed to improve communications and heighten literacy rates for individuals in a wide variety of learning settings.
34:55
June 16, 2020
Why building your brand helps with storytelling
Episode 30: Adam Brown is the creative director and founder of Marrow: a brand design agency for challenger brands and startups that give a damn. Call him a design zealot, a provocateur, or—if you’re his mother-in-law—a BS artist. With Adam, brands embrace empathy as strategy, value audacity over relevance, and commit unequivocally to the remarkable.  Clients include a craft distillery, a brewery, a coffee roaster, a couple of private colleges, a killer video game publisher, an investigative research company (not spies), contractors, an international design-build firm, a public school system, a fine dining and event caterer, a national flower grower, social causes, non-profit organizations, his mother-in-law, and the very smart people who helped Apple build Siri.  He’s good at lots of things, but he’s most at home in front of clients guiding strategy or behind his computer making something amazing for people who aren’t so easily satisfied. Like his mother-in-law.
32:43
June 02, 2020
How keeping a watchful eye for others' safety fosters love for your community
Episode 28: In 2015, the city of Louisville, KY noticed a big problem: half of all fires involving two or more buildings involved an abandoned property. The city recognized the threat to families and challenged the community to make a solution – and they did. Meet CASPER! CASPER and its suite of sensors constantly monitor abandoned properties for events like smoke detector sirens, break-ins, and floods. When a potentially dangerous event occurs, CASPER alerts both neighbors and emergency services so situations don’t turn into catastrophes. Better yet, through the CASPER Portal, neighbors and city officials can better understand and address activities happening in vacant and abandoned properties by looking at historical activity data. Nathan Armentrout, CEO, and founder, with his team of civic hackers, developed CASPER and soon after piloted 10 devices across 15 homes for six months, culminating in over 100 successful tests, two real-life confirmed detections, and zero false positives. Following the success of the pilot, Louisville is expanding the program to more homes to ensure the safety of all Louisville families living next to abandoned homes.
27:04
May 05, 2020
Why learning from your competitors can give you an advantage
Episode 27:  Shane Slone founder of Nursing CE Central has one mission: deliver high-quality nursing CEUs in a convenient, stress-free online environment.  They provide the required continuing education nurses need in a fast & easy online platform. Every detail has been taken into account to make your experience fast, easy, and hassle-free. The platform never requires tests and your certificates are automatically at the completion of each course.  We also understand that the #1 reason nurses seek continuing education is to satisfy the board of nursing requirements. We ensure that all of our continuing education meets the board of nursing standards for our accepted states. 
16:54
April 21, 2020
Why community engagement is vital for a successful business
Episode 26:  Brian Raney shares what started his vision of creating a startup community in Lexington, KY.  In 2009, a few college friends came together to bring to life an idea. They believed in the potential for Lexington to be a creative, innovative, welcoming community that helped anyone and everyone pursue their definition of “awesome.” This has meant many things over the years (remind us to tell you sometime about Awesome Wedding Engagements and Awesome Airlines), but today it means building the tech and startup community in Central Kentucky. Awesome Inc was founded on the basis of the "give-first" mentality and has grown to be the epicenter for anything related to technology or startups. We strive to make Lexington a better place to live and work, one Oreo at a time. Our Mission: To help people pursue their definition of Awesome  Our Vision: We do that by growing the tech and entrepreneurial community in Central Kentucky Our Method: Grow our community by providing the resources, connections, and a space to make it happen. Brian shares his lessons learned and the struggles that he faced early on (over a decade ago!), which shaped our community to what it is today.
23:50
April 07, 2020
WHY WE'RE CHANGING OUR (PODCAST) NAME - Awesome Inc
Some things are changing in house and we want you to stay In the know!  Long story short, we've got some fun and new stuff in the works. We're excited to share more of what our awesome team, startups, and community are doing to make Kentucky the best place to live and work.
05:26
April 02, 2020
Adder is bridging the gap in real-time advertising
Episode 25: Ian Gerard, the CEO and product designer of Adder talks about his company making outdoor advertising engagement easy. Adder is a specialized real-time, real-world data analytics platform for out of home and word of mouth advertisers.  Their advertising and audience measurement tools bridge the gap between digital and physical ad spaces and help brands invest directly in their community. Ian Gerard is a lifelong entrepreneur with a passion for stories, space, place, and time. Before Adder, Ian surveyed and mapped construction sites as a geospatial data specialist with Multivista, a startup that became a subsidiary of Hexagon and Leica Geosystems during his time with the company. In 2015, Ian kickstarted his first venture, a community farm focused on providing fresh, local food to the economically disadvantaged. During that time, he learned a lot about building communities and providing value to them. Since then, he's been working to bring modern data science to age-old industries while protecting everyone's right to data privacy.
20:45
February 11, 2020
Machine learning is cutting edge for your business engagement
Episode 24: Enable.Ai is a social media analytics solution making cutting edge machine learning and natural language approachable to business users. It provides better performance metrics by identifying real moments of engagement and delivers insights on how to build better content for your audience.  Brian comes from the Enterprise software world, having led efforts at recognized brands like Johnson & Johnson, Burton Snowboards, and Colgate-Palmolive. Eric has worked in startups for over 20 years including exits at Tech Republic and Telapoint.
20:20
January 28, 2020
This remote controller will help you level up in the operating room
Episode 23: Jake Miller is CEO of Toggle Health, a med-tech company that aims to dramatically improve surgical workflows by providing surgeons with a wireless, sterile controller to access their digital world without having to leave the sterile environment. Jake has 25 years of product development experience, 20 of which were focused on launching new businesses & startups in the healthcare space for companies such as Target, Walgreens, & Humana. He holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Bellarmine University and an MBA from Vanderbilt University. Jake is experienced in lean launch methodology as a mentor at both the LaunchIt & XLerate Health Accelerator programs. Jake is on the board of Louisville-based New Roots, working to create affordable access for farm-fresh food.
30:32
January 14, 2020
Are you raising money with your exercise?
Episode 22 Mac Wilkinson is the founder and CEO of Moolathon. Moolathon is a social fundraising platform and fitness tracker. It gives charities, teams, groups of all sorts the ability to raise money and awareness for a cause with the miles that a user may run or walk. 
16:08
December 31, 2019
Startup Weekend Lexington 2019 recap
Episode 21 This episode contains a recap of the experiences of three individuals who participated in Startup Weekend Lexington 2019.  Logan Jones is from Ashland, Kentucky and currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky where he recently graduated from UK. He works at Awesome Inc and also works to expand the business he started in 2017, KY Elevated Drone Imaging. Logan is Producer & Co-host of the Middle Tech Podcast, and he is passionate about entrepreneurship, digital media, and building relationships. Isaac Mesiner is a Senior Application Developer at Zudy, building custom web application solutions for enterprise businesses. He is a proud ’17 graduate from Georgetown College where he studied Computer Science and Business. During college, he had the opportunity to intern at Awesome Inc which connected me to the Lexington tech and startup community. That experience sparked an interest in entrepreneurship and attending all the great events Awesome Inc puts on like 5 Across and Startup Weekend! Clay Harrison is a mechanical engineering student from the University of Kentucky with a drive for business and a passion for learning. Clay has worked across the industry and across the world. Most notably, Clay has interned with Toyota in positions from production to R&D, at Common Ltd. in Lodz, Poland, and at Badger Technologies!
26:36
December 17, 2019
Are you standing out from the crowd?
Episode 20: Destin George Bell is a senior at the University of Kentucky studying marketing. He shares his story about the company he founded LifeOffU in college. From a young age, when he started selling candy out of his backpack to walking around the neighborhood with a lawnmower in high school, he’s been fascinated with business & finding ways to make money for himself. Since coming to the UK, he started a college marketing platform helping connect students to discounts, events, jobs, etc to places like Lyft, Malibu Jacks, Breakout Games, and more, generating over $12,000 in revenue. He is also the president of the UK Entrepreneurship and has brought the club back from death to 62 members & raising over $12,000 in funding over the first two months of the semester. He also recently became the CEO of Synerjii, a startup seeking to improve the way we network. As he nears graduation, he looks forward to sticking around Lexington and fostering the entrepreneurial ecosystem both at UK & Lexington at large.
31:26
December 03, 2019
E-commerce is infiltrating the hospitality industry
Episode 19: Mo Sloan of EZ-Chow sits down to share a little about his company and his personal life and he is onboarded and accepted into the Awesome Inc Fellowship Program. Mo Shares that in order for restaurants to be profitable and thrive in the digital age today, it's important for hospitality organizations to begin operating as e-commerce businesses. His solution is EZ-Chow. EZ-Chow provides an all-in-one digital customer engagement platform for restaurants and hospitality companies. Our platform consists of POS integrated ordering, loyalty application and capability, and digital marketing. By providing the digital customer engagement platform and focusing on increasing the number of times a customer engages digitally with a restaurant, our solution allows the restaurant to generate additional "off-premise" dining revenue with minimal costs. 
16:17
November 12, 2019
NetGain Technologies secured a private equity deal
Episode 18: Since 1984, NetGain Technologies has delivered IT services to companies across the South Central U.S. NetGain Technologies managed services allow clients to focus on their business growth and Tim Burke, CEO NetGain Technologies' success, secure in the knowledge that their IT infrastructure is always operational and serves their needs. With a multi-state regional footprint and a three-decade pedigree, the company has helped thousands of clients grow their businesses by leveraging best-in-class IT services and solutions. Jason Jacobson was most recently CEO and an owner of NetGain Technologies before leading the sale of the company to a private equity group based in San Francisco. Jason graduated with dual degrees in Management and Finance from the University of Kentucky, where he also studied international business and finance in London. His focus when he started working at NetGain in 2007 was mergers and acquisitions. During Jason’s time at NetGain Technologies, he helped to spin off a non-core asset of the company’s medical billing unit; acquired four I.T. companies in other cities in the region; and opened an additional branch office in Chattanooga, Tenn., after a competing company failed. NetGain was named a Kentucky Best Place to Work for five consecutive years earning it a place in the Hall of Fame as well as being named to the list of top Managed Service Providers in the world since inception in 2013. Jason and wife Shanda have two daughters and a son all age four and under. He enjoys golf, movies, and travel. Jason is also engaged in the Young President's Organization (YPO), serving on the organization's Bluegrass Chapter's board as well as the University of Kentucky’s Gatton School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council.
41:34
October 29, 2019
Striking gold as a Kickstarter product developer
Episode 17: Zach Jenkins of Syndicate is an extremely talented designer based in Louisville, Kentucky. He enjoys building brands, developing products, and when he’s not working he enjoys Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, and Ale8. A few years ago, he released a product for Pelican that launched about as successfully as one could hope! His Spartan Cases MDX Lid Organizer exploded on Kickstarter. Spartan is dedicated to the efficient organization and protection of film and photography equipment. Zach's product has a great post on Medium as well as varying photography and gear community forums.  Currently, Zach has some cool products in his pipeline, but his newest product is from Fifth Made.
54:02
October 15, 2019
Cut out the middle man and fall in love
Episode 16: Austin Willard is the founder of the Faithful Platform. In his life and work, he focuses on building relationships and stewarding what God has given to him. He is constantly exploring new opportunities for growth in the jewelry and wedding industry. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, playing golf, and fishing.  He is on the session (of a Congregation) at Tates Creek Presbyterian Church and helps lead a 210 Leaders group. Since 2016, Faithful Platform has been helping guys walk through the process of buying their engagement, wedding, and anniversary rings by saving clients thousands of dollars, providing them with unlimited options, and educating them on the industry. Their approach separates them from typical retail stores. No longer are guys having to wonder if they got a good deal or not. Their goal is to make sure guys get the best ring for the best price.
37:16
September 24, 2019
Sexy insights of property management
Episode 15: Chase Minnifield is a former defensive back for the Washington Redskins and three-time entrepreneur who was recently inducted into the 2019 class of Forbes 30 under 30. He currently serves as CEO of EZ Turn, the only vendor management digital platform that enables property managers in the student housing business to more efficiently manage, invoice and communicate with contractors. In its first year, EZ Turn has acquired more than 30 clients and managed over $1M in invoices. With EZ Turn's EZ Scheduler, housing unit staff will be more efficient and give their property managers more free time to focus on different tasks. Chase began his entrepreneurial career at the age of 25, post-NFL career, with his first company Helping Hand, LLC, which provides moving, cleaning and apartment turnover services for college dormitories and student housing complexes.
41:17
September 10, 2019
BREAKING: Cleaning company's disruption makes a mess!
Episode 14: Alex Reed co-founded cleaning startup Truman’s following more than a decade at fan and light manufacturer Big Ass Fans, where he led an expansive marketing division that helped the company grow from $30 million in annual sales to more than $250 million. Alex used innovative approaches to grow the company’s customer base nearly 40 percent annually. At the same time, customer loyalty became so strong that repeat business accounted for half of all orders. He oversaw its expansion beyond a business-to-business strategy to business-to-consumer with the 2012 debut of Haiku, the first Big Ass Fan for homes. After their exit sale in 2017 for $500 million, Alex co-founded Truman’s with Big Ass Fans Chief Operating Officer Jon Bostock. The pair aims to disrupt the cleaning industry with the belief that cleaning should be green, simple,  convenient and cost less.
51:31
August 20, 2019
Are you getting paid to view ads yet?
Episode 13: Matt Miller is the founder of RAADZ, a digital advertising company that aims to revolutionize the way people interact with ads. He is the visionary behind the idea, and the developer who created the platform. In all parts of life he strives for improvement, thus how RAADZ was born. Outside of continuously improving the digital advertising world, he enjoys sports, games, and most outdoor activities. Awesome Inc article: Focus on the Hot Dog
28:04
August 06, 2019
Kentucky leading financial modeling startup
Episode 12: Logan Burchett and Steven Plappert are the founders of Forecastr, a SaaS model to help startups with their financial planning. They see their product becoming the "Quickbooks" for financial planning and analysis. Logan Burchett is the Outsourced CFO, head of FP&A at Venture First. He has constructed over 100 financial models for startups, CFO for various startups, and helped to raise millions in early stage funding. Steven Plappert is a Techstars alum & serial entrepreneur who Founded Fantasyhub and grew it to 40,000 users. Has been working in finance/marketing at Venture First for the past two years.  Both Logan and Steven have been well prepared because of their involvement with Venture First out of Louisville, KY, which exists to build an ecosystem for entrepreneurs, companies, and investors while providing support throughout their lifecycle.  Listen to how these two are helping eliminate the barrier for startups as they raise capital.
35:57
July 16, 2019
Social entrepreneurship is changing lives in Lexington, KY
Episode 11: With 30 years of restaurant experience, Rob Perez has seen first-hand how to build restaurant brands and how prevalent addiction is in the industry he loves. Along with his wife Diane, he founded Dv8 Kitchen as a social enterprise focused on giving second chance employment opportunities to people in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction through vocational, on-the-job training.  Dv8 Kitchen focuses on providing top-quality food, service, and atmosphere for every guest, and by providing “a better-than-expected” dining experience, the hope is to build a new standard for the second chance employee to live by and to change the way the guests perceive people in addiction recovery.
43:39
July 02, 2019
OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE: Chris Sullivan
Episode 10: Chris Sullivan is a co-founder of the Outback Steakhouse restaurant company and a member of the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.  Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame profile | Founders Series video Chris is a graduate from the University of Kentucky and while in college, he would work the busy seasons down in Fort Lauderdale to pay for school, which was his first entry into the restaurant industry. Chris' main restaurant ventures included Steak and Ale, Benningans, Carrabba's before founding Outback. The first Outback Steakhouse was opened in March 1988. From 1991 to 2005, he was CEO of OSI Restaurant (parent corporation of Outback), after serving as the first President of the organization. In 2007, OSI Restaurant was sold for $3.1B to Bain Capital Partners and Catterton Partners. Outback has 968 locations worldwide and also operates over 300 locations of Carrabba's Italian Grills, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, Roy's, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Bonefish Grill, Paul Lee's Chinese Kitchen, and several other hospitality-related businesses.
20:04
June 04, 2019
What's your fix?
Episode 9: Chase Fairchild with Manchester Coffee Co. and Manchester Studios is the prime example of the Enneagram's Type 7: The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered.  Chase he focuses on building relationships first in life and work. He lets people know they come first. He is constantly exploring new opportunities for growth and looking to see where he can connect people personally and professionally.
40:41
May 21, 2019
The people around you matter
Episode 8: Allen Warford (formerly) with A Cup of Commonwealth, Chocolate Holler, and KRFT Goods is a design guru and entrepreneur with an architectural background and a decade of small business experience. Allen resides in Lexington, Kentucky and highly values his people. His community and values are driving factors in his entrepreneurial and creative pursuits. A Cup of Commonwealth's mission is: Embrace community. Serve others. Create culture. They are known for their culture and great coffee throughout the city of Lexington. 
34:20
May 07, 2019
Failing is the first attempt in learning
Episode 7: Morgan Franklin of Atlas Trust Real Estate is one of the co-working tenants of Awesome Inc and is always keeping things interesting. On our 2018 Summer Retreat, he led a session on something he cares passionately about, sales. Morgan is a digital marketer who excels within the real estate industry and is in the top 1% of all agents nationwide.   He has a background in corporate finance and private equity, as well as having started several businesses with some pretty awesome failures.  As a mentor and coach for many small startups, Morgan is currently leading an entrepreneurial workshop in Lexington to help people make their dreams an everyday reality.
46:31
April 23, 2019
Are you reducing the number of wasted organ donations?
Episode 6: We hear from the 40th company to be accepted into Awesome Inc's Fellowship program, OmniLife.  Eric Pahl shares the why behind OmniLife - an unfortunate career-ending motor vehicle accident left his friend (and co-founder) Dalton Shaull, a former University of Iowa football player, with paralysis in his right arm, in addition to family members being waitlisted for organ transplantations. His passion for medical software in hopes to influence medical support led to what the company is now today. OmniLife (formerly HealthTech Solutions) was founded in 2016 based on the need to make the organ procurement process more efficient. OmniLife's SaaS offers an ability to transplant additional organs by reducing donated organ waste.
18:41
April 09, 2019
Facts tell and stories sell (part 2)
Episode 5: In part two, Keith identifies why you need to know your story as a startup. He notes that as people, we relate to stories well, and this is a connection founders need to be able to use to their strength when networking and working with customers.  Additionally, we hear from Smart Rotation's founder, Madison Hartung, as she shares the "why" behind her company - Smart Rotation provides automatic rotational scheduling solutions for gymnastics to allow facility owners to focus on providing high-quality gymnastics instruction.
24:43
March 26, 2019
Facts tell and stories sell
Episode 4: In this first episode, Keith McMunn shares about Awesome Inc’s flagship entrepreneurial program, The Fellowship. He goes in-depth about his role and what exactly the Fellowship program is. He points out how we serve startup companies across the state of Kentucky while making note of some insights he's observed within the entrepreneurial world. And, Keith talks about naming the newest addition to the McMunn family, his son "Wells."
23:27
March 19, 2019
Developer mishaps at Startup Weekend Lexington 2018
Episode 3: APAX Software Senior Developer Dave Mitchell reflects on his involvement and gained experiences after participating in the 2018 Startup Weekend Lexington event. 
22:40
March 12, 2019
Dippin' Dots: Curt Jones (Live from LED)
Episode 2: Recorded live from Base 110 on Lexington Entrepreneurship Day (LED), Curt Jones the founder of Dippin' Dots discusses how he started his company and how Pearse Lyons, the founder of Alltech, both encouraged and influenced him to follow his passions. LED is designed to celebrate, support, and learn from some of the greatest entrepreneurs. The events offered throughout LED promote the local Startup Ecosystem and the players who work hard to make sure Kentucky becomes an even better place to innovate.
23:45
March 05, 2019
Alltech: Aidan Connolly (Live from LED)
Episode 1: Recorded live from Lexington Entrepreneurship Day (LED), Keith McMunn of Awesome Inc interviews Aidan Connolly. Aidan is the former Chief Innovation Officer Alltech & current CEO of Cainthus. He discusses the legacy of Pearse Lyons, the founder of Alltech, and his influence of entrepreneurship across the Bluegrass.  LED is designed to celebrate, support, and learn from some of the greatest entrepreneurs. The events offered throughout LED promote the local Startup Ecosystem and the players who work hard to make sure Kentucky becomes an even better place to innovate.
25:50
February 26, 2019
Awesome Inc: About US
Episode 0: A brief history into Lexington, Kentucky's Awesome Inc and how its played a role in the Kentucky entrepreneurial ecosystem and learning about the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
04:30
February 18, 2019