Working from home and avoiding door handles
More recent episodes:
• Growing girls in gaming
• Big aspirations in small Missouri towns
• A new face at a familiar KC entrepreneurship group
• The ripple effects of a corporate mega-merger
FEBRUARY 21, 2020
The ripple effects of a corporate mega-merger
What might a merger involving one of Kansas City’s largest corporations mean for the city’s startups? We explore that in this week’s episode of Speaking Startup. We also caught up with James DeWitt, co-founder and CEO of United American Hemp, about how his Kansas City-area company is trying to carve out a niche in the newly legal hemp market.
FEBRUARY 28, 2020
A new face at a familiar KC entrepreneurship group
In this episode, we speak with Melissa Vincent of Kansas City-based Pipeline, which runs a yearlong entrepreneurial fellowship for Midwestern startup founders and a maintains a nationwide network of alumni and supporters. Vincent visited with us about her vision for the organization and — as a recent transplant to Kansas City — her assessment of the city's startup landscape. After that, we caught up with Kristen Brown, founder of Columbia-based ad agency Hoot Design Co. which has entered its second decade in business.
MARCH 6, 2020
Big aspirations in two small Missouri towns
This episode takes us to a pair of rural Missouri towns for stories of how early-stage businesses affect smaller communities. The first stop, Hamilton, in northwest Missouri, once was best known as the childhood home of James Cash "J.C." Penney, founder of the retail chain that still bears his name. Today, it's the birthplace of another business empire — the Missouri Star Quilt company, which has boosted the town's tourism business with its rapid growth over the last decade. Then we turn our attention to Jonesburg, a town of about 800 that will house one of the state's 60 licensed medical marijuana cultivation facilities. We visited Jonesburg — and talked to residents of a similarly sized city in Colorado — to get a sense of what the new industry might mean to a town of its size.
MARCH 15, 2020
Growing girls in gaming
In this episode, we speak to Lindsay Zeiter, founder of Girls Who Game, a Columbia-based organization that hosts camps to help girls build gaming skills and learn the basics of game programming. Plus, as coronavirus-related cancellations pile up, Kansas City Fashion Week has canceled its spring events, which were set to take place this month. We catch up with Annette Sunshine, a designer and entrepreneur based in the Kansas City area, to discuss her business and the significance of the city’s Fashion Week.
MARCH 20, 2020
Working from home and avoiding door handles
This week’s Speaking Startup podcast features two entrepreneurs who have hatched solutions to challenges being brought to the fore by the spread of the coronavirus. First up, we speak with Zapier co-founder Bryan Helmig about navigating remote work. We also explore avoiding high-touch surfaces with southwest Missouri entrepreneur Mike Sewell. Sewell is one of the co-creators of the StepNpull, a tool for opening doors without touching handles. The product was designed to reduce the spread of germs and has seen a surge in demand due to the coronavirus.
JUNE 21, 2019
Entrepreneurship education goes to prison
In this episode, we travel to a prison in Vandalia, where the state piloted a new program designed to teach prisoners the skills necessary to start their own businesses once they're released. Then, we turn our attention to the future of transportation in an interview with Jy Maze, founder of Maze Freight Solutions, a 2-year-old freight and logistics company based in Kansas City.
JUNE 28, 2019
Funding talk with the Women's Capital Connection
This episode includes headlines from the past week in Missouri startup news (1:28), an excerpt from Pitchin', a new podcast about student startups (2:52), an interview with Kelly Sievers of the Women's Capital Connection in Kansas City (6:47) and noteworthy numbers from the week gone by and a quote to close (13:20).
JULY 12, 2019
Navigating Missouri's CBD industry
In this episode, we check in with Kevin McGinnis. A former Sprint executive, McGinnis is now working to build the Keystone Innovation District, a district he envisions as a central hub for entrepreneurship in Kansas City. We also chat with Kristen Williams, the CEO and creative director of a Columbia startup called Hempsley. Williams is part of a wave of entrepreneurs trying to build businesses in Missouri's burgeoning CBD industry.
JULY 19, 2019
Smart homes and wellness at work
In this episode, we hear from hear from Blake Miller, founder of Homebase, a Kansas City startup that makes software to help landlords manage "smart" residences. We also have a conversation with Tara Gregor, owner of BreakWell. The St. Louis-based company brings wellness education to businesses, which Gregor says is important for employee productivity and retention.
JULY 26, 2019
Bringing tech innovation to the farm
In this episode, we stopped by the InfoAg conference in St. Louis to chat with Vijay Chauhan of GlobalSTL, an organization that works to recruit international startups to the St. Louis area. Then, we visit with Anurag Patel, co-founder of Helix Health, a Kansas City startup that uses data analytics to help health care providers create preventive care for patients with chronic diseases.
AUGUST 1, 2019
The business of yoga ... with goats
In this episode, we traveled to a Missouri farm to speak to local entrepreneur Jessica Baker about her new business: goat yoga. Then, we visited with Mindy McCubbin, one of the founders of a new angel investing group in Columbia, the Women’s Investment Network for Entrepreneurs.
SEPTEMBER 6, 2019
A postcard from the businesses of a small-town square
This week's show offers a glimpse of the entrepreneurial scene in Marshall. The mid-Missouri town was the destination for the latest installment of the Outstate project, which looks at entrepreneurship in small-town Missouri. In a sneak peek of our work from Marshall, we take a look at a staple of the town's business landscape — the square. (Stay tuned for much more from Marshall when the full project goes live later this month.) Then, we hear Isabelle's interview with Meghan Winegrad, the founder and CEO of Generopolis, a St. Louis-based social venture and online marketplace. She reflects on running a mission-based startup.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2019
Assessing the state of VC in KC
On this episode of speaking startup, Isabelle looks into a maker fair that was hosted by The Loop in Columbia and focused on small-scale entrepreneurship. Then Seth shares his interview with Adam Arredondo, executive director of the Kansas City Startup Foundation, about a recent report that came out that has details about Kansas City businesses that gained venture funding.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
The expansion of a Springfield accelerator
On this episode of Speaking Startup, we speak with Rachel Anderson, the director of the Efactory in Springfield. The Efactory is a resource center for entrepreneurs that recently received a federal grant to allow its expansion. Then, we hear from Jason Harrington, the founder of SpraySeeMO, a festival in Kansas City that highlighted spray-paint muralists.
SEPTEMBER 26, 2019
A new event to connect KC entrepreneurs to capital
This episode features a blend of entrepreneurial endeavors old and new. First, we hear from RJ Pahura, co-founder of FUND Conferences. FUND hosts events to connect entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, and it's hosting its first Kansas City conference Oct. 9-10.Then, we catch up with Gary White. He's the CEO of Kansas City-based Water.org, which uses microfinancing to bring water and sanitization to people around the world.
OCTOBER 3, 2019
Recruiting top tech talent 'Back2KC'
On this episode, we hear an interview with Jessica Powell of the Kansas City Startup Foundation. She's helping organize #Back2KC, an event that aims to bring top professionals with Kansas City roots back to the area. Then, we hear a conversation reporter Rashi Shrivastava had with Naga Rayapati. Rayapati, who created GoGetter, a job matching marketplace for software contractors.
OCTOBER 10, 2019
Revitalizing rural Missouri through entrepreneurship
On this episode of Speaking Startup, we hear an interview with Sandy Allison, the executive director of the Marshall-Saline Development Corporation in mid-Missouri. As part of Missouri Business Alert’s Outstate project, we spoke with Allison about her ideas on how to revitalize small towns like Marshall. Then, we turn to a conversation with Dr. Michael Holtzman, a physician and professor at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Holtsman has done pioneering research about respiratory disease, and he formed a startup to commercialize some of that research.
OCTOBER 17, 2019
Cultivation Capital goes coastal
In this episode of Speaking Startup, we speak with Cliff Holekamp, co-founder and managing director of Cultivation Capital. Holekamp co-founded the St. Louis venture capital firm in 2012, and he recently retired from his position as an entrepreneurship professor at Washington University in St. Louis to focus more on his work at Cultivation Capital. His move comes at a big time for the firm: Cultivation Capital has recently announced the establishment of offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
OCTOBER 25, 2019
The art of the elevator pitch
In this episode of Speaking Startup, we get tips for an effective elevator pitch from Columbia Startup Weekend organizers and participants. Then, we travel to Glasgow to tell the story of Fred Foley, who pulls double duty as the owner and chef of a local restaurant and the mayor of the mid-Missouri town. We also sit down with Conner Ruhl, whose idea of an app for paragliders was one of the big winners at Columbia Startup Weekend.
NOVEMBER 1, 2019
A grassroots group of women helping women lead
In this episode of Speaking Startup, we hear from Lauren Conaway, the founder of InnovateHER KC, a group that promotes the professional advancement of women in the Kansas City area. After that, we sit down with Brandon Erbschoe and Jacob Muchow of QuarkWorks to talk about the Columbia app developer’s plans for expansion. Plus, we have the week's news and numbers in Missouri startups.
NOVEMBER 7, 2019
A new name in local news
On this episode of Speaking Startup, we hear from Kelsey Ryan, the creator of the Beacon, a non-profit news organization launching in Kansas City. Then, we spoke with Carrie Gartner, executive director of the Loop CID. That, and the latest headlines in entrepreneurship news.
NOVEMBER 15, 2019
A look at inclusion and Global Entrepreneurship Week
On this episode of Speaking Startup, it's almost Global Entrepreneurship Week. The worldwide series of entrepreneurship-focused events takes place Nov. 18-22, and Kansas City is slated to host more than 200 of those events. To mark the occasion and explore one of the week's key themes — inclusion — we visit with Mary Shannon, who's the founder of Connectus Worldwide and serves on the organizing team for Global Entrepreneurship Week in Kansas City. Then, we chat with Nia Richardson of InnovateKC. The 16-week "startup in residence program" connects technology startups to city departments in an effort to develop solutions to challenges facing city government.
NOVEMBER 21, 2019
The big significance of Small Business Saturday
On this episode of Speaking Startup, we speak to Linda Landon and Hope Snyder of RLadies-MidMO, a data science community in Columbia. Then we speak with Nickie Davis, the executive director of The District in downtown Columbia to talk about small business in the holiday season. That, and the latest headlines and numbers in entrepreneurial news.
DECEMBER 1, 2019
How to ‘shop local’ this holiday season
On this episode of Speaking Startup, we hear about aspiring entrepreneurs in the medical marijuana business in Eldon, Missouri. Then we speak with Austin Barnes of Startland News about the Kansas City holiday gift guide. That, and the latest numbers and headlines in entrepreneurial news.
FEBRUARY 14, 2020
Cutting through the Hyperloop hype
On this episode of Speaking Startup, we take a closer look at the hyperloop. Developers of the futuristic transportation system say it could carry passengers between Kansas City and St. Louis in about half an hour, and that has led to lots of hyperloop buzz in Missouri. Already, state lawmakers have advanced a bill aimed at helping Missouri become the home of one of the world’s first hyperloop tracks. Despite that momentum, many questions remain.
FEBRUARY 1, 2019
Surveying Missouri's startup landscape in 2019
In this episode, we check in with representatives from the state's four biggest startup ecosystems to to get a sense of what 2019 holds in store for early-stage companies in Missouri.
FEBRUARY 15, 2019
Trash to treasure
In this episode, we take a look at three organizations that are turning trash into treasure, making environmental sustainability a focus by recycling resources to generate revenue.
FEBRUARY 22, 2019
Health care's Digital Future
In this episode, we set out to answer a question: is the future of health care on your phone? We found that digital technology is not only the future, but a huge part of the present health care industry.
MARCH 11, 2019
Invisibly, AdSwapper and the changing world of ad tech
In this episode, we look at the ad-tech industry. The web provides an unprecedented opportunity for advertisers to collect user data and more effectively advertise to them. But has this model grown old?
MARCH 21, 2019
Getting started in medical marijuana
This episode is all about the future of the medical cannabis industry in Missouri. Voters approved a constitutional amendment that legalized marijuana for medical use in November, opening the door for entrepreneurs and investors from across the state to participate in an industry that has proved lucrative in states like Colorado and California.
APRIL 19, 2019
The risky business of music festivals
On this episode, we’re taking a look at the business of music festivals in Missouri. At their core, they all share one thing: ambitious entrepreneurs looking to harness their growing popularity and make money. But in their race to become the Coachella of the Midwest, overspending or under-planning can lead to catastrophe.
MAY 3, 2019
Your business does what?
In this episode, we ask the question, "Your startup does what?" We talk with entrepreneurs behind some of the most unusual Missouri-based companies we've encountered to learn about where their ideas came from and how they turned them into viable businesses.
Megan Liz Smith
JUNE 14, 2018
Ripple Glass' rise, net neutrality's demise, AI in the office
This episode covers Gov. Mike Parson meeting Missouri businesses (0:39), net neutrality's repeal and its effect on local startups (5:04), Answers founder David Karandish's new AI startup (8:24), reporter Kristoffer Tigue's trip to Kansas City to learn about Ripple Glass (10:45) and a look at numbers from the week in entrepreneurship news (16:44).
JUNE 22, 2018
AMC answers MoviePass; Zach Pettet on KC's new fintech accelerator
This episode covers how Kansas City's AMC Theatres responded to the challenge posed by the upstart MoviePass (0:53), what a new World Health Organization classification could mean to the burgeoning esports industry (4:30), two efforts announced this week to fund Kansas City startups (8:25), a Q&A with Zach Pettet, managing director of Kansas City's new Fountain City Fintech accelerator (11:40) and a look at important numbers from the week in entrepreneurship news (17:30).
JUNE 29, 2018
Amazon delivery, sales tax, KC Crew, True/False
This episode covers a new Amazon program aimed at helping entrepreneurs create their own delivery services (1:00), a U.S. Supreme Court vote to allow states to charge tax on online retail (2:43), KC Crew, a business that organizes adult sports leagues in Kansas City (5:10), a Q&A with Mason Aid, a Columbia-based diversity and inclusion specialist (8:32), a Q&A with Tynan Stewart, a Columbia Missourian reporter, about changes at the True/False Film Fest (14:15) and a look at important numbers from the week in entrepreneurship news.
JULY 6, 2018
Immigrant entrepreneur rule in limbo, Uber for lawns launches
This episode covers what a $28.6 billion state budget means for Missouri entrepreneurship (0:59), the International Entrepreneur Rule (1:51), the acquisition of Welltodo, a St. Louis migraine-management startup (4:11), a Q&A with Mow Magic co-founders Ryan Leffler and Mike Braun (6:04), a Q&A with Kristoffer Tigue, the Missouri Business Alert reporter who covered the re-opening of St. Louis’ gateway arch and the business district it will impact (12:40) and a look at important numbers from the week in entrepreneurship news (16:40).
JULY 13, 2018
Plastic straws, blockchain, Talent for Tomorrow, Digital Sandbox KC
This episode covers the first fiscal year of the Missouri Technology Corporation after major cuts to its state funding (1:00), Talent for Tomorrow, an initiative aimed at improving Missouri's workforce (3:00), a Digital Sandbox KC announcement of two new grants (5:20), a discussion with Missouri Business Alert reporter Kristofer Tigue on how companies in the state are getting rid of plastic straws (8:13), a Q&A Chris Mertens, the founder of Blossom, a St. Louis based company bringing blockchain technology to the energy industry (14:30) and a look at important numbers from the week in entrepreneurship news (22:40).
JULY 20, 2018
Techstars’ new KC class, Arch Grants’ annual report, scooters in St. Louis
This episode covers Techstars' newest cohort (1:00), scooter startups in Kansas City and St. Louis (2:12), an interview with the executive director of Arch Grants, a nonprofit that’s looking to build up St. Louis’ startup community (4:55), a Q&A with Missouri Business Alert reporter Kristoffer Tigueabout an entrepreneurship project we'll be releasing soon (10:43) and a look at important numbers from the week in entrepreneurship news (14:40).
JULY 27, 2018
Disrupting payday lending in KC; supporting entrepreneurs in Kirksville
This episode looks at a Techstars startup hoping to offer an alternative to payday loans (1:11), a veto by Gov. Mike Parson of a bill that had support from Missouri tech companies (3:20), Rightfully Sewn, a Kansas City startup that provides training and job placement for at-risk individuals (5:15), a Q&A with Carolyn Chrisman, executive director of the Missouri Rural Enterprise and Innovation Center in Kirksville (6:55) and a look at important numbers from the week in entrepreneurship news (12:45).
AUGUST 4, 2018
Feds mull fintech; TripSushi talks travel; Mission Taco cuts straws
This episode covers changes to the way fintech is regulated (0:57), Kansas City’s Innovation Partnership Program (3:05), an update on a story from a previous episode (5:06), a Q&A with TripSushi founder Spencer Carlson (7:08), a Q&A with Adam Tilford, co-owner of the St. Louis-based chain Mission Taco Joint (14:30) and a look at important numbers from the week in entrepreneurship news (18:36).
AUGUST 24, 2018
St. Louis VC, Startup Week, car sharing
This episode explores the carsharing startup Getaround that has been raising a lot of capital lately (1:13), the annual venture capital report for 2017 from the St. Louis Regional Chamber (3:53), KC startups vying for the chance to speak at SXSW (5:44), an interview with Jason Wiens about startup week in Kansas City (7:17) and a look at important numbers from the week in entrepreneurship news (13:01).
SEPTEMBER 1, 2018
A craft beer boom and a ‘fake meat’ fight
This episode includes Missouri's new regulation for plant-based meat alternatives (0:44) and the craft brewing boom in St. Louis (2:45), an interview with Parker Boron, a University of Missouri senior and the co-founder of marketing startup Apex Media (4:54), a look at important numbers for the week in entrepreneurship news (16:57) and top headlines in startup and entrepreneurship news from across Missouri (17:56).
SEPTEMBER 7, 2018
A method to the scooter-sharing madness
This episode covers the unexpected, last-minute cancellation of LouFest (1:05), Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's special legislative session on STEM careers (4:07), an interview with Scott Latham about the strategy and risks behind scooter startups' aggressive go-to-market strategy (6:55), a look at important numbers from the week in entrepreneurship news (12:16) and top headlines in startup and entrepreneurship news from across Missouri (13:53).
SEPTEMBER 21, 2018
The wide-open world of AI
This episode covers how technology is changing the grocery industry (0:48), a new University of Missouri System accelerator for student startups (3:44), AI entrepreneur Dave Copps (5:46), a look at important numbers from the week in entrepreneurship news (20:32) and top headlines in startup and entrepreneurship news from across Missouri (21:46).
OCTOBER 6, 2018
Podcast creator Amy Martin on the business of audio journalism
This abridged episode includes an interview with Jack Schroeder, founder of the specialty sauce retailer Lost in the Sauce (1:14) and an interview with Amy Martin, creator of the "Threshold" podcast, about what it's like making a living as a podcaster, and what it takes to get started (7:50).
OCTOBER 17, 2018
Techweek Kanas City debrief; Startup Weekend Columbia reflections
This episode includes a Techweek Kansas City recap (1:13), an interview with Ross Scanlan and Jake Eovaldi, two of the founders of the app SL.APP (8:16), a look at important numbers in recent entrepreneurship news (18:05) and a rundown of startup stories from across the state (19:22).
OCTOBER 23, 2018
Lessons in language from an executive coach; coworking as a high school class
This episode includes an interview with Sheyvette Dinkens, a Kansas City area teacher turning her classroom into a coworking space (1:22), an interview with Trisha Scudder, a University of Missouri alumna and longtime executive coach, who recently returned to MU to accept an award (11:33), a look at important numbers in recent entrepreneurship news (15:50) and a rundown of startup stories from across the state (16:53).
NOVEMBER 17, 2018
Cannabis entrepreneurs and Missouri’s emerging market
This episode includes a rundown of startup news from across the state (1:14), an interview with Robin Ann Morris, founder of an Ohio-based staffing agency for the medical marijuana industry (2:37), an interview with Kristen Williams, the founder of a Columbia-based startup called Hempsley (8:23) and a look at important numbers in cannabis entrepreneurship news (18:58).
DECEMBER 19, 2018
Chatting coworking with Hatchery founder Amanda Quick
This episode includes a rundown of startup news from across the state (0:57), an interview with Amanda Quick, founder of the Hatchery, a coworking space in Columbia that offers childcare and maternity programs (2:05) and a look at important numbers in coworking news (11:07).
MARCH 16, 2018
IPOs, ICOs and Startup Weekend KC — for free
In this episode, our hosts have a roundtable discussion about SixThirty and World Wide Technology partnering, key findings from a new Kauffman Foundation survey, and a new app that takes users “off the grid.” We also exchange digits from the week in entrepreneurship news.
MARCH 23, 2018
Ax-throwing in KC; startup support at SEMO; Build-A-Bear founder Maxine Clark
This episode features a roundtable discussion about startup support organizations in southeast Missouri, ax-throwing clubs in Kansas City and the fallout from Facebook’s latest scandal (1:16), an interview with Maxine Clark, the founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop (11:00), and takes a look at upcoming startup news by the numbers (15:41).
APRIL 6, 2018
Firebrand Ventures’ new fund, SixThirty’s plans, esports in Columbia
This episode includes a roundtable discussion covering Firebrand Ventures’ new $17.7 million fund (1:38), SixThirty’s progress toward a new $20 million fund (3:43), a marquee collegiate esports event taking place in Columbia (5:45), and a look at this week’s important numbers in Missouri startup news (8:53).
APRIL 13, 2018
The ‘We Create KC’ report, Strange Donuts’ expansion, Zuckerberg in Washington
This episode features a roundtable discussion covering KCSourceLink’s We Create KC Report(1:04), Strange Donuts’ expansion and franchise plans (2:49), Pitchbook’s Venture Monitor report (6:06), and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate testimony (8:26). Plus, we take our weekly look at the important numbers in Missouri startup news (12:30).
APRIL 17, 2018
Startup Visa limbo; top small cities to start businesses
This episode features a roundtable discussion covering startup visas (1:00), the most cost-effective small cities to start a business (2:59) and the REDI Women’s Pitch Competition (4:50). Plus, we take our weekly look at the important numbers in Missouri startup news (7:35).
APRIL 20, 2018
Bike-sharing in St. Louis, foreign investment regulation, Branson’s sinkhole hotel
This episode features a roundtable discussion covering bike-sharing in St. Louis (1:50), bills that could restrict foreign investment in the U.S. (4:08), a new Kansas City marketplace showcasing local vendors (6:55), and Johnny Morris’ sinkhole hotel (8:48). Plus, we take our weekly look at the important numbers in Missouri startup news (11:15).
MAY 4, 2018
Sprint merger’s ripple effects; 1 Million Cups turns 6
This episode features a roundtable discussion covering what the Sprint sale means for startups (2:31), a major court ruling for the gig economy (5:40), the Tiger Cage pitch competition (8:13) and One Million Cups’ 6th birthday (10:06). Plus, we take our weekly look at the important numbers in Missouri startup news (13:07).
MAY 11, 2018
Square’s St. Louis expansion; FestPop’s move to KC
This episode features a roundtable discussion covering Square’s expansion in St. Louis (1:47), FestPop’s move to Kansas City (4:09) and the effect of entrepreneurship on moms (9:46). Plus, we take our weekly look at the important numbers in Missouri startup news (12:52).