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PROCO360 | Best Podcast for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners
35 minutes | 4 days ago
Every Entrepreneur Needs Help All The Time
“Every entrepreneur needs help all the time.” Erik Mitisek, CEO, Highwing You may know Erik Mitisek as a founder of Denver Startup Week, or as Colorado’s Chief Innovation Officer, or from his many other endeavors in the Colorado entrepreneurial community. This is a great conversation with Erik as we transition through several topics including Colorado as a home for startups, Erik’s current venture – Highwing, and lessons of entrepreneurship.
37 minutes | 18 days ago
Solar-Powered Democracy at Work
“1 person, 1 share, 1 vote… how we spend profits is an important ownership decision.” Jason Sharpe, CEO, Namasté Solar Namasté Solar takes being a “B Corp” to a new level with what CEO Jason Sharpe calls a “Democracy” where employees can become owners by buying-in ($5,000). I explored with Jason how that could possibly work, and he explained that they run the business day to day differently from how they make Governance decisions. A really fascinating look inside an employee owned “democracy.”
29 minutes | 18 days ago
Blossoming to Pop-Up Markets
“It’s a logistics challenge… we’re building a Garden Market every week for 5 weeks in a row.” Jeremy Friedman, President, Plum Creek Garden Market and Brown’s Greenhouse I like this episode for two reasons. First, I’ve always wondered about the greenhouse/nursery business, particularly about how and why quality varies so much. Second, I am fascinated by the whole “pop-up” business concepts – businesses that temporarily take space to meet seasonal niche demand like at Halloween, Christmas – and in this case, spring planting. I dove into both of those topics in this interview during which I was surprised to learn that Jeremy Friedman had no background in the business… he found the original greenhouse company for sale online!
33 minutes | a month ago
The Powder that Powers Electric Cars
“You have to meet all of today’s performance requirements… then of course greatly outperform on others – that’s the justification for adoption.” Doug Campbell, CEO, Solid Power Solid Power is a “technology transfer” business with science that originated at CU. Solid-state batteries are 50% more efficient than current lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles and other products. I wanted to get a better understanding of Solid Power’s technology and learned that the battery business, even the newer solid-state battery business is more competitive than I’d realized, and even more wildly expensive to get into. Doug Campbell explains Solid Power’s focused strategy: develop and then manufacture the solid-state POWDER electrolyte that is the critical substance inside of solid state batteries, and sell that powder to the many companies building batteries for electric vehicles and other applications. Doug is a dynamic entrepreneur, and you’ll enjoy this interview.
37 minutes | 2 months ago
Shedding a Bike Storage Problem
“That was the problem – we had too many mountain bikes… and I decided to build my own nice looking shed.” Jeremy Nova, co-Founder, Studio Shed Studio Shed is another Colorado example of a business started, not on purpose, but as the outcome of one person’s effort to solve his or her problem and not being able to find that solution on the market. Jeremy Nova was a professional mountain bike racer – an Olympic athlete – who needed a way to store his mountain bikes. His answer became the now thriving Studio Shed!
38 minutes | 2 months ago
Fun & Fear Drives 30 Wheel Brands
“We had somewhat of a plan, we kind of knew where we were going… the truth is the basis for a plan didn’t even come close to what the business is today.” Randy White, co-Founder & CEO, Wheel Pros It took me a while to understand the impressive scope of Colorado-based Wheel Pros. I’d done my research and erroneously entered my interview with Randy White thinking that Wheel Pros was a distributor of many brands of custom wheels. No – Wheel Pros created and built 30 distinct brands of wheels that owners of Ferrari’s to lifted Jeeps to ATVs purchase for their vehicles. The story is bigger and more impressive than I’d realized!
39 minutes | 3 months ago
Great Name, Unlocked Niche raises $100M
“I constantly tell my senior leadership to try to do less and think more.” John Street, Founder & CEO, Pax8 Pax8 CEO John Street shares perspective and wisdom in this episode, all shaped and earned through his multiple startups. John has been an entrepreneur steering technology innovations in telecom, email, internet technology, and now cloud services technology. In each business, John was the industry innovator – early to the game with the risks and opportunities of being at the forefront. You’ll love when John goes off on a tangent and shares the 8 rules for naming a startup, including Pax8!
40 minutes | 3 months ago
Celebrities Clamber for Fitness Climber
“What I think is great about the TRUTH is that it always wins… It’s not about selling – it’s about sharing knowledge with people and letting them make a decision.” Avrum Emakis, Founder & CEO, CLMBR CLMBR (“Climber”) is earlier stage than I normally feature and I was super excited to do this interview because I love cool fitness equipment (see the picture of me demoing it!) and because CLMBR has attracted a ton of celebrity support and investment. CEO Avrum Elmakis has very engaging “humble confidence” – and I’m humbly confident that you’ll enjoy this episode!
26 minutes | 3 months ago
Arts & Business Together at a Challenging Time
“Most people don’t think of the Arts as an industry sector. It’s 4 ½ % of our GDP – we need to make sure that arts and creative industries are part of our state’s economic recovery strategy.” Christin Crampton Day, Executive Director, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts A couple of times a year I feature a successful non-profit and its leader. I like to find non-profits that intersect with Colorado’s business community, and in the midst of the brutal effects of COVID on the arts and entertainment sector, I invited Christin Crampton Day, Executive Director of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, to join me CBCA advances Colorado’s creative economy by connecting business and the arts. Christin obviously faces some huge challenges now – arts venues are shut down – we talked about that, and about WHY there’s a strong connection between business and the arts. I left our conversation convinced that a business’s operations can be enhanced by partnerships with the arts community.
36 minutes | 4 months ago
Electric Aircraft Close to Taking Off
“There’s a profoundly important problem to be solved... in terms of creating a product with DEMAND, electric aviation is the ideal solution.” George Bye, CEO, Bye Aerospace The key topics I wanted to discuss with George were 1) the patience and perseverance required to create an entirely new aircraft, and 2) how he maintains his excitement for an aircraft that is designed as a 2-seat trainer when in his past, George flew fighter jets. Both answers really speak to lessons of entrepreneurship which make this episode interesting and valuable!
33 minutes | 4 months ago
Dave's 2020 Episode Highlights, Listener Questions
“The top three questions I get are: 1) Which were my favorite episodes? 2) Have you had any really difficult guests? and 3) How do you get such great guests on the podcast?” Dave Tabor, Host, PROCO360 podcast This episode of PROCO360 was a lot of fun for me. It reminded me of all the great guests I had during 2020 – guests I’d almost forgotten about in my eagerness to find and interview the next great one! Mike did a great job editing together this show, weaving in excerpts from each guest, along with my answers to the most frequent listener questions.
33 minutes | 5 months ago
"Almost Deported" CEO Leads Market
“Because of the opioid epidemic I expect we can develop that market to $1 Billion a year because our products provide great pain relief without side effects.” Thomas Sandgaard, Chairman and CEO, Zynex Medical Zynex’s main product line treats pain with FDA-approved electric stimulation that reduces the need for opioids in the marketplace. Direct and understated, Thomas Sandgaard doesn’t seem at all impressed with his success. His story of starting with $2,000 twenty-four years ago, and building that into a public company valued at half a billion is pretty impressive. We discuss that, as well as Thomas’s transition from full-time CEO to a life that includes philanthropy, a UK football club, and a return to his rock-and-roll guitar roots.
28 minutes | 5 months ago
Here's Your Doctor's Cell Phone #
“You will have your physician’s cell phone number… we’re creating nice alignment with those providers… they are being incented to provide better clinical outcomes and better patient satisfaction scores.” Chris Miller, CEO, Paladina Health Kudos to Chris Miller on two fronts: 1) he’s delivering on the holy grail of health care – providing high patient satisfaction AND better clinical outcomes AND at lower cost, and 2) he’s a great guest – candid, personable, and really good at explaining how Paladina Health is making inroads in what is arguably the country’s least cost-efficient industry.
37 minutes | 6 months ago
Social Media is Nerdy Pay to Play
“The problem with organic social media is there is so much noise – everybody is producing content… you gotta PAY TO PLAY.” Benjamin Kepner, Global Social Media Marketing I struggle with what I perceive to be endless NOISE on social media and I was eager to understand from Benjamin how to cut through that noise for effective social media execution. His answer: “You gotta PAY TO PLAY – you need a paid social media strategy.” OK, well that clears it right up. Listen in.
42 minutes | 6 months ago
Full Bar and a Living Wage
“It always seemed disingenuous to me for companies to talk about how well the animals for the food source are treated when their employees have to work two or three jobs.” Pete Turner, Founder and President, Illegal Pete’s I used to think that Illegal Pete’s competed with Chipotle and Qdoba. The more I explored Illegal Pete’s, the more it’s clear that Illegal Pete’s is in its own category – great food, sure. Full bar where people really want to hang out? That’s unusual. Voluntarily paying a living wage at a quick serve restaurant – wow, that’s almost unheard of. Pete talks about how and why he made these decisions. You’ll leave the episode a fan of Illegal Pete’s!
33 minutes | 7 months ago
Inside the Broadmoor
“It dawns on the guest that it’s done by design – that the sincere friendliness of the staff is something that rings true.” Jack Damioli, President & CEO, The Broadmoor I feel terrible for all our state’s hospitality businesses that are suffering through the COVID pandemic – none more than the Broadmoor, a Colorado icon. Here’s what I really wondered going into this interview: while many properties can trim and cut back on various expenses when business is slow, the Broadmoor is the longest running 5 Star resort in the world – can you “cut back” on expenses that could jeopardize guest expectations and the resorts reputation? We talk about that, about the Broadmoor’s “Colorado luxury” service culture, and why Jack Damioli, the current CEO, spent over a YEAR in transition to his role. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about a world-class resort with over 1200 employees operates and has MAINTAINED unsurpassed quality year over year for over 100 years, you’ll love this episode.
33 minutes | 7 months ago
The Historic Five Points Redevelopment
“Yes, things change – we want to bring the people in the community along as we develop.” Haroun Cowans, Partner & Chief Real Estate Development Officer, Five Points Development Corporation I’ve always been curious about real estate development and cognizant of the impact of “gentrification” on a community. After a walking tour of Five Points by Haroun, I was really impressed at how he’s approaching the redevelopment. This interview features some great highlights of the area’s music history and iconic buildings. You’ll also better understand how Haroun, who grew up in the area and is an Associate Pastor of a nearby church, thinks about “bringing the community along with redevelopment.”
37 minutes | 8 months ago
Upslope Brewing Earned Its Success
“There is the fallacy that you can outgrow any problem. (You think) I’ll just sell more – that will solve the problem. Well, that’s not true.” Matt Cutter, Co-founder & President, Upslope Brewing Company Many of us are familiar with the stories of our favorite small microbreweries and of the huge Colorado successes like New Belgium Brewing which was acquired by Kirin. Regional beer makers (starting at 15,000 barrels a year) have their own niche – big enough that we know their brand and big enough to be in stores, and small enough to still feel like the term “craft beer” still fits. I love Matt’s comment that “Good brewers dump beer!“ referring to the need to throw out beer that doesn’t meet their standards. About a year ago, I interviewed Dave Thibodeau, Founder and CEO of Ska Brewing in Durango (episode) – it’s fun for me to contrast the style and the story of this week’s featured guest, Matt Cutter of Upslope Brewing.
34 minutes | 8 months ago
Inside Angie's List and HomeAdvisor
Every job I've had before this I'd get bored after 4-5 years... fixing the home services business, fixing the experience for home owners, is an intractable problem that will probably outlast me. Brandon Ridenour, CEO, ANGI Homeservices Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor have always fascinated me – and until recently I didn’t know that the company that holds those brands and 10 others, ANGI Homeservices, is a Colorado-based public company. We discussed what makes me curious about these businesses: how they compete with Google and Yelp, and particularly how ANGI can serve BOTH the consumer and the advertising service providers with integrity. Brandon explains!
33 minutes | 9 months ago
"Secret Drink Mix" Formula Gets Out
“We think about the consumer first and foremost and not about a business opportunity. That authentically resonates. What do you do after that – who the heck knows?” Ian MacGregor, CEO, Skratch Labs Ian at Skratch Labs was recommended as a guest by Dan Konigsberg of CampMinder (listen to that episode!) This is an episode you’ll enjoy if you still believe there is such a thing as “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” In today’s world, that RARELY happens – it CAN – if you develop just the right product for just the right customer – and have a team working its ass off doing whatever needs to be done. It also takes discipline to stay focused on the customer, and a lot of humility, particularly by a CEO who got the job by default.
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