048 - Devin Mills: President of Rado Distilling is distilling all Colorado sourced ingredients

If you live or have been in Colorado you know that we have an unbelievable micro-brew scene, but if you’re paying attention you’ll notice that there are micro-distilleries that are gaining in popularity.  In this interview, Devin Mills, the President of Rado Distilling, explains how his company is creating a local distillery with all Colorado sourced ingredients.

Topics Discussed

  • Starting a distillery

  • Raising money

  • Selling a product that requires educating your customers

Best Business Advice

"Raise more money than you think you need."

Book Recommendations

Stick with reading books on the area in which you are trying to start a business.

Contact Information 

Website: http://www.radodistilling.com/ 

Twitter: @RadoDistilling

045 - Eric Lough: Founder and Craftsman of Famous Beard Oil Co. talks about No Fear Marketing

Eric Lough is the Founder and Chief Craftsman of Famous Beard Oil Co., which is a Denver-based maker of high quality beard oils handcrafted in Colorado using all natural oils.

Topics Discussed 

  • Creating demand before starting a business

  • No fear marketing

  • Getting professional athletes to promote your business

 Best Business Advice

"Never give up on your dreams"

"Just go for it"

Contact Information

Website: http://famousbeardoil.com/

 

042 - Luke Vance and Bryan Costanza: Hemera Project is using solar power to build a business and help the developing world

Luke Vance and Bryan Costanza are from the Hemera Project.  Luke is the President and founder and Bryan is the head of business development.  The Hemera Project is a Colorado based startup that is developing a solar powered watch and cell phone charger.

Topics Discussed

  • Clean energy and solving problems in the developing world

  • Solar powered watch and cell phone charger

  • Bootstrapping and Crowdfunding

  • Designing and manufacturing in Colorado

  • Accessible and fashionable solar products

Best Business Advice

"Ask for help"

Contact Information 

TWITTER: @hemeraproject

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE: http://hemeraproject.com/  

040 - Brett Jurgens: Co-founder and CEO of Notion, developing smart sensors for your home

Brett Jurgens is the Co-founder and CEO of Notion.is, which has developed a home sensor with eight senses that can send information about what is going on in your home to your phone.  

Topics Discussed

  • Leveraging startup experience as an employee to build your own startup

  • Retrofitting products

  • Co-founder tips - have different skill sets

  • Manufacturing locally

Best Business Advice

"Really, really know who your investors are."  "Be very careful who you are partnering with because it will likely last a long time."

Contact Information 

Email: brett@notion.is

Twitter: @notion

Website: www.notion.is

022 - Eric Hubbell: Founder and CEO of MyHub shares tips on how to prepare for your entrepreneurial journey

Eric Hubbell is the founder and CEO of MyHub, which is a mobile tech company that created a new and smarter solution for social planning. The MyHub app allows you to plan upcoming activities and share them with your friends. 

In this interview Eric shares tips on preparing for the entrepreneurial journey through preparation, validation, user testing, and good design. 

Topics Discussed

  • Recognizing a "lightbulb" moment
  • Validating a business idea
  • Bootstrapping your company
  • How to put together a team 

Favorite Resource

Fancy

Best Business Advice

"Bootstrap!"

Contact Information

Email: eric@myhubapp.com

Website: http://myhubapp.com/

 

021 - Chris Franks: Serial Entrepreneur Drops Some Value Bombs for Your Benefit

Chris is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Real Good Technologies and MadSmarts.  Recently he took a position with a startup, Secure Ideas. Chris is one of the co-organizers behind the Denver Founders Network Meetup group, he was part of the initial group of people who put Denver startup week together and basically he’s been around the Denver tech and startup scene for a while and has an amazing amount of knowledge about starting businesses (both mistakes and successes). In this interview Chris shares some awesome entrepreneurial tips for everyone to learn from.

Topics Discussed

  • The wrong reason to start a business
  • The history of the Colorado tech scene
  • How to get involved
  • Finding co-founders

Favorite Resource

Built In Colorado

Best Business Advice

"If it ain't broke, break it and fix it"

Contact Information

Email: cefranks@gmail.com

Website: www.about.me/cefranks

Founders Network

020 - Amber Ludwig: Founder of NGNG, Enterprises lives by the motto No Guts No Glory!

Amber Ludwig is a well-known online business development expert and the founder of NGNG Enterprises. Amber helps online entrepreneurs get results through creating websites, social media branding and online business coaching. She has supported well over 1000 entrepreneurs including more than 500 authors on six continents.

Topics Discussed

  • Overcoming the fear of speaking
  • Creating a service menu and determining pricing
  • Finding your first client
  • Building a team
  • Trusting your gut!

Favorite Resource

Active Inbox

Best Business Advice

"Just do it anyway"

"No Guts No Glory"

Contact Information

Website: www.amberludwig.com 

019 - David Cockrel: Co-founder and CEO of Spex.it tackles a niche market

David Cockrel is the co-founder and CEO of Spex.it, which develops "Smart Inspection Software" for property & casualty insurance companies. 

Topics Discussed

  • Finding a co-founder and leaving a secure job
  • Validating an idea and determining a price
  • Costs to build an app
  • Creating the Wikipedia of building materials

Favorite Resource

Invision app

Best Business Advice

"You're not alone - look for those who have been in your situation and succeeded and those who failed and learn from both"

Contact Information

Email: david@spex.it 

Wesbsite: http://www.spex.it/ 

018 - Doug Simons: President of Enstrom Candies explains how a family business can be successfully passed on to the next generation

Doug is the president of Enstrom Candies, which is a candy company that I’m sure most have heard of located in Grand Junction, Colorado and known for its addicting almond toffee. 

Topics Discussed

  • History of Enstrom Candies
  • Taking over a family business
  • Passing on a family business to the next generation

Contact Information

Website: www.enstrom.com/

017 - Craig Clark: Co-founder of Pillows.com shares valuable Ecommerce tips

Craig is the co-founder of Pillows.com, a company that (as you may have guessed) sells pillows and other bedding products. But, these aren’t the typical products you can buy at Bed Bath and Beyond; Pillows.com only carries bedding products found in luxury hotels and resorts that are typically only available to businesses that buy in large wholesale quantities.

Topics Discussed

  • Buying domain names
  • SEO tips
  • Picking a niche to beat amazon.com 
  • Driving traffic to your website
  • Sales funnel tips

Favorite Resource

Google Analytics

Crazy Egg (website heat mapping)

Contact Information for Craig

Email: craig@pillows.com 

Website: www.pillows.com 

016 - Andrew Victora: Co-founder of College Pedicab Tours

Andrew is the co-founder of College Pedicab Tours, which is a sustainable tourism company entering the University and downtown area market to provide tours and transportation in their uniquely designed pedicabs.

Topics Discussed

  • Lightbulb moment
  • Validating an idea and determining a price
  • Designing a pedicab
  • Importance of mentors

Favorite Resource

Entrepreneur.com

Best Business Advice

"Follow up with people"

Contact Information for Andrew

Email: avictora@live.com 

Phone: 970-420-6904

015 - Steve Albers and Scott Fulbright: Co-founders of Living Ink Technologies - scientists and businessmen

Steve and Scott are the co-founders of Living Ink Technologies, which is a cool concept with a patent pending living ink process that uses algae to create a time-lapse greeting card where the ink forms by using carbon dioxide and sunlight.

Topics Discussed

  • Being a scientist and starting a business
  • Marketing a startup product 
  • Scientists can be business people!

Favorite Resource

Trello (my favorite)

Best Business Advice

"Follow your passion"

"Follow your gut" (my paraphrase of Scott's advice)

Contact Information

Website: www.livinginktechnologies.com

Twitter: @LivingInkTech

 

014 - Menno Axt: Co-founder of Crimson Oak Clothing offers some great tips for young entrepreneurs

Menno is the co-founder of Crimson Oak Clothing, which is an  online fashion website that allows designers to submit clothing designs and everyone to shop for them.  

This is a great interview with an ambitious entrepreneur! Check it out and show some love for the next generation of Colorado entrepreneurs that are going to keep this community going.

Topics Discussed

  • CSU Venture Accelerator Program
  • Being a young entrepreneur
  • Building a community

Favorite Quote

"Go big or go home" 

Favorite Resources

Digg

Entrepreneur.com

Contact Information

www.crimsonoakclothing.com

Twitter

013 - Aaron Berman: CFO of The Infinite Monkey Theorem shares the ins and outs of an urban winery

Aaron is the CFO of The Infinite Monkey Theorem, which is an urban winery operated out of a back alley in the RiNo Art District of Denver.

You will hear some dogs barking, but don't worry it doesn't last long and they don't bite! 

Topics Discussed

  • Monetizing an urban winery
  • Turning R&D projects into revenue streams
  • Changing antiquated laws to benefit business
  • Financing a business with high equipment costs

Favorite Resource

UShip - http://www.uship.com/ 

Best Business Advice

Approach all issues with the mindset of what's best for the company.

Contact Information for Aaron

Website:  http://theinfinitemonkeytheorem.com/ 

Email: aaron@theinfinitemonkeytheorem.com 

012 - Benjamin Frohlichstein and Stacey Marcellus: Co-founders of Cappello's Gluten Free share their startup experience

Ben and Stacey are the co-founders of Cappello’s Gluten Free, which is a gourmet food company specializing in high-end gluten free, grain free products. 

Topics Discussed

  • Manufacturing food products in Colorado
  • Marketing through social media
  • Splitting duties between co-founders
  • "Farmer's Marketing"

Favorite Quote

"The harder I work, the more luck I have" - Thomas Jefferson

Contact Information

Website:  www.cappellosglutenfree.com

Special Thanks! 

A special thanks to John-Nick Gaetano (aka: JNG or Johnny 5) for the new intro and outro music!! You're the man!  Looking forward to the next funky bass slapping mix that you send.

011 - Steven Sashen: Co-Founder and CEO of Xero Shoes (and one of the fastest men over 50) offers some amazing tips on marketing and the Shark Tank experience

Steven is the co-founder and CEO of Xero Shoes, which is a company that creates a modern spin on the traditional barefoot running sandal.

Topics Discussed

  • Shark Tank experience
  • Being YouTube famous
  • Find your story and remember that the "story" is not your product 
  • Benefits of being naive

Favorite Resource

Addroll - Retargeting Ads

Links

Shark Tank Video

YouTube Video "Sh*t Runners Say to Barefoot Runners"

Contact Information for Steven

Website:  http://xeroshoes.com/

Twitter: @XeroShoes

010 - Jud Valeski: Co-founder of Gnip talks about approaching VCs and situational awareness

Wow! This was a fun interview and I think I could have spent another two hours with Jud because I had so many questions to ask him. Maybe I'll be able to get him on again in the future. 

Jud is the co-founder and CTO of Gnip, which is a Boulder based company that is known as the World’s largest and most trusted provider of social data.  Fast Company has named Gnip one of the top ten most innovative companies in big data two years in a row and Gnip has been named one of the best places to work by Outside Magazine and the Boulder chamber of commerce.

Topics Discussed

  • History of the Boulder software startup scene
  • Letting go of the CEO reigns (Situational Awareness)
  • Approaching VCs
  • Starting without a clear path to revenue
  • Finding product/market fit

Favorite Resource

Google Apps

Best Business Advice

"There is always something to clean" 

Contact Information for Jud

Website:  http://gnip.com/ 

Twitter: @gnip

Email: jud@gnip.com

009 - John-Paul Maxfield: Founder of Waste Farmers drops some serious knowledge about starting a business in CO

                           

                           

John-Paul is the founder of Waste Farmers, a company that empowers the farmers of the 21st century with sustainable solutions to grow consciously. 

Topics Discussed

  • Building a company that makes a difference
  • Leadership styles
  • Raising money in difficult times
  • Becoming a CEO

Parting Advice

"Don't take anyone's advice" - "Get out and do"

Contact Information for John-Paul

Email: jpmaxfield@wastefarmers.com 

Website:  http://www.wastefarmers.com/ 

Twitter: @WasteFarmers

008 - Craig Baute: Founder of Creative Density and the Coworking Passport explains the new workspace revolution

Craig is the founder of Creative Density, a Coworking space located in Denver off of 17th and Emerson and he also started the Colorado Coworking Passport, which is an innovative concept that allows users to pay one monthly fee and use many different coworking space locations. 

Topics Discussed

  • Lightbulb moment regarding coworking space
  • Benefits of coworking space
  • Using surveys to determine viability of an idea
  • Deciding when to expand

Favorite Resources

Shareable

Business Week

Contact Information for Craig

Email: craig@densitycoworking.com

Website:  www.densitycoworking.com 

Twitter: @creativedensity

007 - Dan Kruger, Founder and CEO of Absio: their data security product is so good, the Department of Defense was their first customer

Dan Kruger.png
Absio.png

Dan is the founder and CEO of Absio, which offers software applications that enable users to maintain control of their digital data wherever it is located.

Topics Discussed

  • How Absio works (separating the key from the lock)
  • Avoiding venture capital
  • Finding talent in Colorado
  • "Successful businesses are built on people who are proud of what they do and who they work with"

Favorite Resources / Books

Amazon

Advisen

Atlas Shrugged

The Gulag Archipelago

Contact Information for Dan

Website:  Absio.com

Mentions

Angel Capital Summit - Building Value in Angel Backed Companies