Startup Knox Podcast

Startup Knox Podcast

Podcasting from Knoxville along the banks of the mighty Tennessee river, this is the Startup Knox Podcast featuring interviews with local entrepreneurs about their startups.

Episodes

July 21, 2021 34 min

Today I'm talking with?David Harmon, founder of Native Maps and Maker City Summit advocate. We discuss the jump from art school to business, the rapid advance of technology and the power of understanding its application, and the growth potential of Knoxville in the coming years. ?

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Today we talk with, Maranda Vandergriff, founder of Vagabondary and Creative Director at The Knoxville Entrepreneur. We discuss the future of the Maker City and the culture surrounding Knoxville’s growing community of creatives. We also touch on pricing, logistics, and the ins-and-outs taking your passion projects to the next level. 

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July 7, 2021 32 min

Today I'm talking with Alaina Smith, founder of Cold Gold. We discuss the journey from side project to full-time jewelry making, along with pricing models, design evolution, and getting the courage to take the next step. We also touch on differentiating yourself in a crowded market and using the right platform to promote your work.

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June 30, 2021 31 min

Today I'm talking with John Phillips, founder of Phillips Forged.  John is a blacksmith, artist, and entrepreneur, whose work has received numerous national and international awards, and been featured on the History Channel's Forged In Fire.  We discuss John's initial risk to hop out of construction and into his creative pursuits full-time, what it takes to scale a custom cutlery business, and next steps.  

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Today I’m talking with Paris Woodhull, artist, designer, maker, and entrepreneur. Her designs and work have been featured at prominent Knoxville landmarks and become a part of a distinct Knoxville aesthetic.  We discuss focusing on multiple revenue streams, growing your brand online, and what it takes to make it as a working artist.

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June 16, 2021 35 min

Today I’m talking with founders that pitched for $10k at this years What's The Big Idea? competition. We speak with Rume Akong from Crwdn, Brandon Schrieber from Leviathan Aquarium Automation, and Ben Ribera from Ear Buttons.  We discuss the journey that each  took to get to WTBI, what they learned, and what they have planned for the future.

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We continue our series of interviews with Black founders in partnership with 100Knoxville.  I’m talking with Angela Elder, founder of Smiles Professional Cleaning Services which offers janitorial cleaning services for companies. We discuss pivoting careers, starting a cleaning company during a pandemic, and the difficulty of keeping all the various pieces of a business intact, while scaling to the next level. 

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June 2, 2021 34 min

I'm talking with Jorge Sanabria founder of  ExpoQuip, a worldwide distributor of quality heavy equipment replacement parts and components. We discuss the explosive growth his company has experienced as an essential service provider and supplier during the COVID outbreak, how he developed the key relationships that helped his company go international, and the importance of high-quality accounting. 

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I’m talking with, Meg Davis, Founder of Telling More Stories, a company that writes memoirs for families. She launched the company after her extensive work with Kreis Beall, founder of Black Berry Farms. We discuss the process of story telling and it's unexpected emergence for the everyday experiences we share. What it's like to explain personal memoir as business model, and the importance listening.

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May 19, 2021 36 min

I’m talking with, Drew McKenna, Founder of Knox Pro Soccer. Today, we discuss how similar the formation of professional soccer team is to a startup, and what it really takes to bring such an ambitious project to life. We also touch on the power of shared experience and how to translate the global language of soccer to East Tennessee. 

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We continue our series of interviews with Black founders in partnership with 100Knoxville. Today, we talk with Peejay Alexander, Founder of Purple Mouse Smart House, an IOT automation company.  We discuss a serendipitous conversation with his daughter, the increased connectivity of our world, and the importance of solid tech infrastructure in a post-pandemic world. 

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We continue our series of interviews with Black founders in partnership with 100Knoxville. Today, we talk with Richard Dapaah, Executive in Residence at Knoxville Entrepreneur Center and mentor for the 100 Knoxville initiative.  We discuss the importance of continuous learning and curiosity, his work on the Access To Capital report, and the latent potential stored up in East Tennessee’s thriving small business community. 

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April 28, 2021 28 min

We continue our series of interviews in partnership with 100Knoxville. Today, we talk with Angelique Adams, CIO at Aperam, mentor with 100Knoxville, and author of the recently released? You’re More Than A Diversity Hire: Women in STEM. We discuss what it takes to research, assemble, and market her book (and more in the pipeline!), as well as her experience in corporate America, and how it has translated to being a 100Knoxville ment...

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We continue our series of interviews with Black founders in partnership with 100Knoxville. Today, we talk with Reuben Mitchell, founder of NACI Construction. We discuss NACI’s mission, giving back to one’s community, and working to provide opportunities to learn skills by doing. 

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April 20, 2021 26 min

We continue our series of interviews with Black founders in partnership with 100Knoxville. Today, we talk with Sterling Henton, AKA Sterl the Perl, founder of Rev It Up. We discuss Sterl’s storied career as an athlete and entertainer, trace his progress to Rev It Up, and hear about his plans to keep the party going in a post-pandemic world. 

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April 15, 2021 26 min

We continue our series of interviews with Black founders in partnership with 100Knoxville. Today, we talk with Deidra Harper, Director of Business and Community Relations at B&B Services, Inc. We discuss succession planning in family-owned business, being bold and asking for mentorship, and how to increase female entrepreneurship. 

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We continue our series of interviews with Black founders in partnership with 100Knoxville. Today, we talk with co-founders Lee Sloan & Stephania Whitt with Hand N Hand Home Health Care. We discuss the perils of navigating healthcare in a COVID world, the opportunity in taking risks, and the benefits of being co-founders.  

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April 8, 2021 35 min

We continue our series of interviews with black founders in partnership with 100Knoxville. Today, we talk with Jade Adams, founder of Oglewood Avenue, a modern plant boutique. We discuss her new media deal with Discovery, the art of batching tasks, and the effectiveness of simply asking others for advice. 

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April 6, 2021 27 min

We continue our series of interviews with Latinx founders. Today we talk with Edy Recendez, founder of Far Productions. We discuss the benefits of self-directed learning and the wide range of tools available. We also dive into the ups and down of freelancing and what it takes to stay relevant. Edy is currently listening to Respect The Process and the The Wandering DP and South of Scruffy

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April 1, 2021 25 min

We continue our series of interviews with Latinx founders. Today we talk with Karolina Trejos, founder of K-Candles, a handcrafted, scented soy wax candle company. We discuss the journey from hobby to product line, discovering customers through experimentation, and the importance of reaching out to others for feedback. 

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