Bringing you real-world experiences, tools, and insights from changemakers who’ve challenged the status quo and are now doing things they once thought impossible.
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Venture capital has been a highly visible part of the growth of many well-known companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Rent the Runway, 23andMe among many others. While VC has been very helpful for some, the industry is focused on a small percentage of businesses with high growth potential. In fact only 0.6% of businesses ever raise VC. It's also very concentrated. Out of all the venture capital spent, 78% is spent in 3 states NY, MA + CA. As these areas become more and more saturated, venture capitalists are starting to pay attention to startups located outside traditional tech hubs. Last week, we hosted a fireside chat with 2 of these venture capitalists who are traveling across the country to meet with entrepreneurs, investors and key stakeholders in the startup community. Join us as we talk startups and early stage investing with Nitin Pachisia, Founding Partner of Unshackled Ventures, a Venture Firm that recently raised its second $20M fund and is investing exclusively in immigrant founders, and Ben Bayat, Managing Partner of NextGen Venture Partners, a network-driven venture capital fund whose latest fund is $60M
StitchCrew Change Makers Podcast EP 14
Access to capital continues to be one the main barriers to entry for entrepreneurs. With 80% of startups never accessing traditional loans and less than 0.6% ever accessing venture capital funds, entrepreneurs are struggling to find financial resources to launch and scale their companies. This is particularly true for entrepreneurs of color and female entrepreneurs. Join us as we talk to Kevin Moore, Partner at Spur Capital, a venture capital funds of funds and author of Starting Your Own Venture Investment Fund: A How to Guide.
StitchCrew Podcast #13: Sean Akadiri - Founder of AgBoost
Since the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, there is renewed focus on how to create a food supply that can sustain this amount of people. Given the scrutiny that industrialized agriculture is responsible for a significant portion of greenhouse emissions, several food innovation startups are working on solutions that will enable the industry to meet future demand without destroying our planet. In fact, growing food in labs is now a thing. This process is often referred to as cellular agriculture, where researchers take stem cells from an animal and place it in a growing medium in a bioreactor to produce "cultured meat." While the science can't yet create the texture of a fine steak, processed meat such as burgers, chicken nuggets and meatballs are expected to be available on supermarket shelves in five years. But are consumers ready for this change? And how will the existing industry react? Given that the United States is the world's largest producer of beef and has the largest fed-cattle industry in the world Regardless of where the industry goes, there is no question that what we eat and where our foods come from has changed a lot over the last two decades and as a result, people are demanding more transparency from food and livestock producers. And while some startups are working on creating meat without using an animal, others are working to enable livestock producers to become more efficient when breeding animals. In this episode, we spoke to Sean Akadiri about how his startup is helping cattle producers make better breeding decisions through genetics and health data analytics. Join us as we learn more about how he came up with the concept, what motivated him and what barriers he had to overcome as a multicultural founder going into a very traditional industry.
StitchCrew Podcast #12: Sam Walker, Founder of Green Tree Project
Christmas is a big deal for retailers around the world as people and corporations purchase gifts, decorations, and supplies to celebrate. In the U.S. alone, the Holiday shopping season accounts for more than $1 Trillion dollars and more than a quarter of annual retail sales. Even companies completely dependent on Christmas, benefit from big industry, Christmas trees companies for example sell more than 40 million trees in the US every year. But for an industry selling trees, does it promote sustainability? Is cutting live trees or shipping fake trees from across the country good for our environment? In this episode we talk to Sam Walker, the Founder of Green Tree Project, a social good company promoting sustainability by renting and delivering living, potted Christmas trees. Join us as we discuss how she came up with the idea of Green Tree Project, her passion for sustainability and the struggles of launching a company that's challenging the way we celebrate family traditions.
StitchCrew Podcast #11: Congresswoman Kendra Horn - Flipping More Than Just A District
In 2018, we saw more women launch innovative companies accounting for 40% of new entrepreneurs in the U.S. We also experienced an increase of women investors and fund managers as well as a record number of women run for office and get elected to Congress. Today, we have more women than ever running to become President of the United States in 2020.What is behind the drive of these women to build the businesses they want to see in the world and run for office to enact the change they want to see in their communities? In today’s episode we talked to Congresswoman Kendra Horn, who in 2018 flipped the 5th congressional district in Oklahoma, a seat held by the opposing party since 1975, making her the first Democratic woman to be elected to Congress from Oklahoma. Many attributed Kendra’s success to the changing demographics in the district, others to the ongoing frustration of politics as usual in Washington. What captured our attention is Kendra’s similarities with female entrepreneurs. She outhustled her opponent, circumvented bias and figured out how to be resourceful, particularly in the early days of launching her campaign. Join us as we talk to Kendra about what drove her to run in the first place, the challenges of running and serving in office, what she considers to be the most critical problems facing our country and her views on the value of startups to our economy.
StitchCrew Podcast #10: Emmy Winning Rapper, Jabee
To listen to the full episode subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcast or your favorite directory. Hip hop emerged in the mid-1970s from neighborhood block parties. Like any style of music, it has deep roots, and its evolution was shaped by many different artists. The Music Industry has also made a giant evolution. It is now easier than ever for an artist to publish and stream their music online thanks to social media and music-streaming platforms like Spotify which has made record labels a lot of money and music fans very happy. But what about the actual musicians? Platforms like Spotify, have been a savior for record labels like Universal Music Group, which has tripled its value since 2013. Meanwhile, just 28 percent of artists earned money from streaming in 2018. Join us as we talk to Jabee, an Emmy-winning rapper, entrepreneur, and community activist about the evolution of the music industry, the struggles of being a black entrepreneur, and his drive for equity.
StitchCrew Podcast #9: Brian Byrnes, Oklahoma City Thunder
Sports teams are one of the greatest motivators of our time. They inspire commitment, dedication and risk-taking. they also teach us a thing or two about an individual’s ability to push limits, manage success and failure as a learning step to becoming great. Moreover, sports teams tend to be inclusive, diverse and unscripted. These cultural characteristics are critical traits of successful entrepreneurs and thriving innovation ecosystems. But what about the similarities of startups and the actual management of the franchise? In 2018, the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrated ten years since relocating from Seattle and changing its name from the Seattle SuperSonics. Since the move, the team has seen a drastic evolution, but the transition and beginning of a new brand in a new market, hasn’t always been a smooth ride. Similar to the argument some still make that a startup can’t be prosperous outside larger markets with abundant access to capital, there were several people who questioned the viability that a professional sports franchise would survive in a smaller market. Join us as Brian Byrnes, Senior Executive with the Oklahoma City Thunder recaps the last ten years of the team, the transition from Seattle to Oklahoma City, the loss of high profile players and recruitment of new ones and their ultimate strategy for success: community.
StitchCrew Podcast #8: Lisa and Matt Pinell, Founders of Binxy Baby
For the full episode, visit www.StitchCrew.com/podcast Sylvan Goldman invented the shopping cart in the mid-1930s. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, Goldman was solving a problem for himself. He owned a supermarket in Ardmore, Oklahoma called Humpty Dumpy and although business was good, he knew he’d be able to sell more if he could figure out how customers could carry more products while shopping. Although Goldman continued to make modifications to his original design, it was another Oklahoma inventor who managed to make the shopping cart more functional for parents. Imagine going grocery shopping with a toddler and a newborn. The toddler is in the cart seat, and the baby carrier is in the basket taking up all the room where your groceries are supposed to go. What do you do? Lisa Pinnell, the Founder and Inventor of Binxy Baby found herself in this situation and felt very frustrated. At first, she tried using front and back carriers, then baby wraps, she even resorted to pushing two carts at the same time, and although that was a great workout, it didn’t really solve the problem. After sharing her frustration with her husband Matt, they decided to come up with a solution. Using her experience as a purse maker in college, Lisa invented a shopping cart hammock that wraps around the cart and leaves room for groceries around and under the baby. Lisa and Matt worked on at least 50 prototypes before going to market. The product is now sold all over the world. Matt and Lisa are well on their way to expansion and introducing additional products to their line. Matt recently became Lt. Governor of the State of Oklahoma as well as Secretary of Tourism and Branding. A position he is using to bring awareness to the importance of investing in local entrepreneurs, creatives and inventors. Join us as we learn more about Lisa and Matt’s journey, the early days of Binxy Baby and how they are managing the nuances of entrepreneurship and serving in public office.