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43 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Quang Pham Says This Separates Startup Founders from Follow-on Employees
Sometimes you meet people who radiate a presence, a calm sense-of-self, and you know there is hard-earned wisdom waiting to be shared. Quang Pham, Chairman and CEO of Westwood Therapeutics, Inc., is such a person. Going from a child refugee of the Vietnam War, to serving his adopted country as a Marine Corps officer and pilot, to successfully launching three separate biopharma/biotech companies since 2000 - and being named an EY Florida Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018, to boot - Quang’s life story reads like an improbable movie script (did we include he’s an award-winning author?). It certainly translates to an individual who can seize risk and create extraordinary success regardless of his environment. Whether you’re an early-stage startup seeking that hard-earned advice on how to prepare for a funding round, or a student wondering how a science degree could translate to a variety of career options, you won’t want to miss Episode 17 of Innovate Jax. Regardless of your intent, we guarantee you’ll leave inspired!
33 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
Kristin Keen is Breaking the Chains of Sex Trafficking
Maybe it took the Covid health crisis to make us all realize just how much we do deeply need each other. For some women here in Jax, who could be your neighbors shopping in the same aisle or praying near you in the same place of worship, their need is far more profound. Kristin Keen, founder and CEO of Rethreaded, Inc., practically vibrates with the energy of her passion to see women freed from the chains of sex trafficking. This social entrepreneur has had her share of sleepless nights, kept awake wanting to rescue more women than she could reach and worrying how she’d pay back the $50,000 loan she needed to keep her doors open just a few years ago. Yet this self-described visionary possesses more grit than most, and has evolved Rethreaded into a powerful, successful organization whose mission is “to renew hope, reignite dreams and release potential for survivors of human trafficking locally and globally through business.” Her philanthropic business skills were honed in Calcutta, but Jacksonville has been Kristin’s unending source of support, connection - and soon, Rethreaded’s new 36,000 square feet HQ. Listen to Kristin in Episode 16 of Innovate Jax and we promise you’ll be captivated by her transformative vision too.
46 minutes | Oct 7, 2020
Raghu Misra Has Exponential Goals for Jacksonville
Raghu Misra isn’t one to think in near-term goals or small-scale impacts. A fan of Singularity University and the “abundance” mindset its founders espouse, Raghu, the founder and CEO of Wired2Perform and the Sapna Foundation, is certain he can meaningfully impact one billion interpersonal relationships AND collectively foster $1 billion in economic growth through The Link, his passion project in Nocatee, in the next ten years. A serial entrepreneur from the time he was a teen, Raghu hopes to fundamentally alter an experience-driven hiring economy to a more agile and inclusive process based on people’s dynamic interests and talents through sophisticated applications of behavioral science and analytics. And with a family legacy of sustainability and social philanthropy, Raghu is translating the enormous growth and potential of his Nocatee community into a thriving network where families and budding entrepreneurs can “learn, play, think and do” across all age groups. In our fifteenth episode of Innovate Jax, it’s easy to embrace Raghu’s post-Covid outlook that the future truly is better than you think.The Innovate Jax podcast will introduce you to the Jacksonville change-makers who are propelling our city into a new realm of sophistication. Our goal is to connect you to the people who are leaving their mark on our city today, in hopes that they inspire you to leave your mark tomorrow. Subscribe today and you’ll have fresh new episodes delivered to you each month. And feel free to recommend a guest by dropping us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
27 minutes | Jun 17, 2020
Andrew Rush is Manufacturing in Space and Changing the World
The CEO of Made in Space declares that space is a team sport - and needs all professions to be successful.It takes a certain kind of genius to pack a payload for a trip to space, where it’s not just the cargo dimensions but how the materials will respond to blasting through our atmosphere then behaving in zero gravity, that all have to be considered. So what if you could forego some of those complexities - and build what you need in orbit? Enter Made In Space, the world’s first space-enabled manufacturing company, recently re-headquartered here in Jax. As told by its CEO Andrew Rush, not only does their 3D-printing technology exponentially alter what can be created in the skies above (think giant satellites that build themselves or space-optimized optical fibers), it opens the possibilities of what can happen in extreme environments here on Earth. And it’s not just engineers who are invited to this mission. Andrew is recruiting experts across all business domains, because as he shares in this interview, space isn’t just for scientific exploration, it’s our next economic frontier too.Read more at www.forcura.com/innovatejax.
41 minutes | Mar 26, 2020
Jessica Santiago is Making Jacksonville an Art Destination
Starting with a business-first approach, Jessica Santiago, the CEO and Curator of ArtRepublic Global, is on a mission to transform how business, cities and individuals see the world. With clients ranging from private corporations to local governments, Jessica helps to crystalize brand identities that artists from her global network then translate into public art installations that often break boundaries, and are always memorable. Jessica, a native of Jacksonville, states that Jacksonville is a city “where makers are made,” and has the ambitious dream that she can help our city and her clients become who they were meant to become. For more, visit www.forcura.com/innovatejax
31 minutes | Feb 12, 2020
Aundra Wallace is Making Generations of Success Possible in Jax
Every single day, northeast Florida becomes home to 85 new residents - and Aundra Wallace, the president of JAXUSA Partnership, might be the magnet who drew them here. As head of the Jacksonville Chamber’s economic development arm, Aundra makes a compelling case for new industry and investment to select Jacksonville and its region of seven counties as the best place to set up shop and call the city home. More than that, though, Aundra sees the potential for everyone, from your middle school student to your seasoned professional, to find a career path that ensures our economy doesn’t just thrive today, but continues to grow in the future. To Aundra, there’s no better goal than to see generations of Jacksonville’s residents gainfully employed here in the careers of their choice.
59 minutes | Jan 13, 2020
Tim Cost is Catalyzing Change at Jacksonville University and Beyond
Every university president is impressive, but Jacksonville University’s leader is truly exceptional. A c-level executive at the likes of Kodak, Bristol-Myers and PepsiCo, Tim Cost arrived at the helm of his alma mater in 2013 with decades of Fortune 50 corporate experience and the know-how to execute JU’s yearning to be a preeminent institution of higher learning. Walk onto JU’s riverfront, tree-lined campus today and you’ll discover a hive of innovation, with Jacksonville’s most impressive employers collaborating with students on everything from training nurses to deliver next-generation health care to simulating commercial flight out of LAX. Listen to Episode 11 of Innovate Jax and you’ll learn that President Cost’s potent formula of mixing world-class academia with business will catalyze change not just in JU’s corner of the world, but around the world. For more, visit www.forcura.com/innovatejax
34 minutes | Dec 16, 2019
Cutler Knupp is Laying the New Foundation for Architecture, Engineering and Construction
When it comes to technology adoption, a 2016 study ranked the construction industry at the bottom of the innovation heap - right next to agriculture and hunting. Jacksonville’s esteemed construction, engineering and architecture business, The Haskell Group, immediately seized the opportunity to propel their industry forward by launching their own innovation and investment arm, Dysruptek. In our tenth episode of Innovate Jax, Dysruptek’s director, Cutler Knupp, shares how with everything from modular construction to wearable sensors, the job site of the future will be connected, safer and cutting edge - and attract an entirely new workforce.It’s natural that The Haskell Group would lead the innovation charge since founder and CEO Preston Haskell rewrote the rules of commercial construction from the time he founded the company in 1965. His integrated “design-build” approach is now a global industry standard. With Dysruptek conducting R&D in its Atlanta-based innovation center, discovering early-stage companies with novel solutions, collaborating with an ecosystem that includes local companies like Miller Electric and academia who can train tomorrow’s workforce, Haskell continues to build on this legacy. And Jacksonville can be proud of the thriving foundation being laid around the world.
58 minutes | Nov 20, 2019
Chris Solomon Is Making Golf Media Coverage Fan-Driven
Proof of concept for any successful entrepreneur is table stakes - without this validation of your product’s feasibility, you’re stuck in the starting gate. For Chris Solomon, proof of concept for “No Laying Up,” the podcast and media company he co-founded with Todd Schuster, Phil Landes, and Neil Schuster, arrived in 2016 on a golf course. Not just any golf course, but where the Ryder Cup was in play. From the ninth tee box, Rory McIlroy, one of pro golf’s most elite players, stops his play to tease Chris about the dream pairing Chris and his co-founders had suggested on a recent episode - and Rory was currently beating. Rory didn’t just agree to be a podcast guest, as an ardent fan and a believer in how they were completely disrupting traditional media coverage of the game, Rory pledged to help Chris and No Laying Up’s team in any way necessary. Then and there, Chris knew his life as an accountant was done. It was time to make this weird, hilarious hobby his career. Now, he and his team are broadcasting to the world from Neptune Beach.For full show notes, visit https://www.forcura.com/innovatejax.
44 minutes | Oct 21, 2019
Mari Kuraishi is Advancing Entrepreneurship for Social Good
You know that feeling you get when someone is looking at you? You tend to look around to see if your Spidey sense is right. Imagine then if you’re the person doing the looking, but the people you’re observing don’t bother to look up - because they exist in the Communist state of East Germany and are too defeated to return the avid gaze of the high schoolers watching them from the West German side of The Wall. This real encounter in the early 1980s changed Mari Kuraishi’s life trajectory, evoking in her such curiosity that she became a Harvard-trained Sovietologist who later returned to help rebuild the Soviet block after its political dissolution in the early 1990s. Now, Mari is the president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and is concentrating her considerable talents to ensure Jacksonville’s people, families and communities are always seen - and served.For full show notes, visit https://www.forcura.com/innovatejax.
42 minutes | Sep 16, 2019
Maria Hane is Making Culture Inclusive
Like Shark Week on TV, anything with big teeth is a barnstormer at the Museum of Science and History of Jacksonville (the MOSH to locals). But talk with MOSH’s president, Maria Hane, and you’ll soon discover her mission isn’t just to foster learning about science and history through immersive experiences. It’s equally about helping the people of Jacksonville understand more about ourselves and each other. In this divisive age, Maria has made MOSH a place where curiosity is welcome, free of agenda or third-party persuasion. Walk through the doors at MOSH and you won’t just learn about dinosaurs, you might just leave with a new lens to see the world.For full show notes, visit https://www.forcura.com/innovatejax.
39 minutes | Aug 19, 2019
Vic Nole is Creating Jacksonville’s Front Door for Innovation
No one would contest that the Jaguars put Jacksonville on the map in 1993, but long-time residents will also recall the electricity that pulsed through the city in 1986 when The Mayo Clinic opened its Jacksonville campus, still one of just two US-based locations outside their Minnesota headquarters. With its new Life Sciences Incubator, this globally-ranked brand is investing even more heavily in our city. And incubator director, Vic Nole, believes that not only will the incubator help Mayo’s 6,500 local employees launch game-changing new businesses, but it can also act as our city’s “front door” for life science innovators near and far. For full show notes, visit www.forcura.com/innovatejax
51 minutes | Jul 23, 2019
Dwight Cooper is Transforming the Workplace Environment
If you work for a company that values employee culture above all else, you might have Dwight Cooper to thank. In 2016, Dwight exited PPR Talent Management, a recruiting company he founded in 1996 and grew to $100 million in revenue, to focus his entrepreneurial talents on Hueman People Solutions, a small division that he was passionate about building into his next award-winning human resources company. Now Hueman, like PPR before it, sweeps the workplace culture awards and earns accolades from the likes of Great Place to Work Institute, Fortune Magazine, and Gallup. It’s a formula that Dwight is putting to work for clients across the country, transforming the workplace environment, his mind firmly set on creating the best workplace experience in the world.
36 minutes | Jul 3, 2019
Donna Orender is Leveling the Playing Field
When Donna Orender was growing up in the 60's, if you were a girl who played sports, you had to wear boys’ shoes -- because who expected girls to play sports? Perhaps not even Donna’s father, who dismissed her afterschool stick-ball games as “unladylike”. Not one to bow to conventions, Donna Orender went on to blaze trails not just by playing three years for the first women’s professional basketball league, but in redefining sports casting and production, negotiating how golf was marketed and covered globally in her 17 years with the PGA Tour, and then in championing women’s sports as a six-season president of the Women’s National Basketball Association. Perhaps Donna’s greatest legacy is in her role today, wielding the power of connectivity and relationships, inspiring and empowering women in Jacksonville and beyond as founder and CEO of Generation W and Orender Unlimited. For a complete list of show notes and all our episodes, go to www.forcura.com/innovatejax.
41 minutes | Jun 27, 2019
Gwen Griggs is Making Law Practice Agile
At ADVOS, Gwen Griggs' law practice she co-founded in Ponte Vedra Beach, forget chasing billable hours - really toss all the stereotypes that you typically conjure when you think “law practice". Replace it with an entirely new paradigm (not hyperbole) that sees this cutting-edge group of ten people operate using a system that mirrors the high-growth entrepreneurs her firm exclusively serves. Think agile. Think strategic. Think speed to scale. This is the DNA of a law practice that has consistently earned a Net Promoter Score in the high 90s. When the average NPS for the legal profession is 19, you know Gwen has cracked the code on making law practice not just agile - but extraordinary.
44 minutes | Jun 25, 2019
Brian Kornfeld is Building a Better Future for Florida
When it comes to creating a new center of gravity for entrepreneurship and innovation in the U.S., Brian Kornfeld isn’t just going to stand by and let Florida be left in the proverbial dust. As co-founder and president of Synapse Florida, Brian is working to change the way we network, what stories are told, how corporations solve problems, and elevating the core skills non-traditional investors need to fund burgeoning sectors like technology and healthcare. A man of massive talent, vision and determination, Brian has big dreams for Florida.
16 minutes | Jun 20, 2019
Craig Mandeville on the 'Why' behind Innovate Jax
Forcura's founder and CEO isn't lukewarm about his adopted city - he's a full-on evangelist who wants everyone to know that Jax is ready for its close up! In our first episode, Craig shares how Innovate Jax will feature the city's change-makers across business, academia, culture and technology. Join us as we meet the fantastic, innovative people who are making our city a true contender as most innovative in the southeast (and beyond!). For a complete list of show notes and all our episodes, go to www.forcura.com/innovatejax.
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