Interviews By Segment: "Flashbacks"
One year ago, Ashok Kamal was at Rice University’s Business Plan Competition presenting the business plan for his plastic recycling company, Bennu LLC. Last year’s winner speaks to this year’s contestants, offering support, advice and inspiration.
We’re convinced that most entrepreneurs have an “AHA!” moment when they get the idea to develop an alternative process, pursue a solution, to take the leap and start a company. Russ revisits “the moment” with genealogy buff Bennett Greenspan, founder of FamilyTreeDNA.com; with attorney Brian Liu, co-founder of LegalZoom, a “do-it-yourself” online legal documents service; and with Farouk Shami, former hairdresser and founder of Farouk Systems Group, who created a line of ammonia-free haircare products.
J.D. Gershbein launched Owlish Communications in 1984. When LinkedIn began to gain traction, J.D. adapted his traditional marketing company to a personal brand development company utilizing LinkedIn. Russ interviews an entrepreneur who was not afraid to reinvent himself and his business to update—and to better exploit—his expertise in marketing communications.
Russ flashes back to earlier interviews with leaders of top-rated Entrepreneurship Programs. Includes Thomas O’Malia, director and chair of the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California; Dr. Leonard Schlesinger, newly-inaugurated president of internationally recognized Babson College; Kenneth P. Morse, senior lecturer and managing director of the M.I.T. Entrepreneurship Center; and Bill Sherrill, the founder of The University of Houston’s Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship.
Flash back with Russ to our interview with Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora, an Internet-based music distribution company with an exciting difference. In this segment, Westergren talks about his genius Music Genome Project, and how it creates a personal music experience for every listener; and about the challenges of startup funding during the dot-com bust.
Russ and John flash back to our 2006 interview with Fred Pounds, co-founder of ScreenTek Ltd. Father and son established this company based on an unfilled need, serving people with broken laptop computer monitors. In this segment, Pounds talks about his core business and how it came to be.
Russ flashes back to our 2009 interview with Bill Schrom, CEO of Geotrace, a sub-surface imaging company that analyzes clients’ old data to help oil companies recover more oil and gas, often from existing wells. Geotrace’s 300 scientists--including mathematicians, physicists, geologists and geophysicists—help clients reinterpret their data more efficiently to provide better seismic imaging information.
Russ flashes back to his broadcast from the Hamilton Unit of the Texas Dept of Criminal Justice (prison). Catherine Rohr’s BusinessMakers interview in October 2006 introduced to listeners her prison entrepreneurship program that trains prison inmates to transition their “street smart” abilities to legal activities. In this segment, we hear about Selling Night, where inmates present sales pitches to MBA students and other “outsiders,” a preliminary step toward their goal in the spring of presenting business plans to potential investors. Her story is a mission of passion you don’t want to miss!
John Pacini conducts a follow-up interview with BusinessMakers alumnus Mark Bent, CEO of SunNight Solar and inventor of BoGo, a solar-powered flashlight with game-changing technology. A single charge gives six hours of light each night; the rechargeable solar cell lasts for two years. Since his 2006 appearance on the BusinessMakers Show, Mark has established several initiatives to get light to those who have none: post-earthquake Haiti, Uganda, Nigeria and even Afghanistan. His years as a diplomat in Africa have given him a unique understanding of the most basic human needs in underdeveloped countries. It’s a remarkable story that affects us all.
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