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047: Anastasia Mikhalochkina - Founder of Lean Orb (Miami, FL)

“It’s not a business that I’m building for myself. That business builds a community for everybody—it builds a new city—and we’re building it for everyone.” — Anastasia Mikhalochkina Today’s guest is Anastasia Mikhalochkina, Founder at Lean Orb. Anastasia is an advocate for sustainability in South Florida. Lean Orb offers food service packaging made from plant-based materials, with a goal of ultimately replacing plastic and styrofoam with greener, more sustainable options. Anastasia joins...


046: Natalia Martinez-Kalinina - General Manager of CIC Miami & Latin America Lead of CIC Global (Miami, FL)

“Making entrepreneurship accessible… can be an incredible way of driving economic development.” — Natalia Martinez-Kalinina Today’s guest is Natalia Martinez-Kalinina, General Manager of CIC Miami and Latin America Lead of CIC Global. Natalia is also the Founder of Awesome Foundation MIAMI, a micro-grant leader in South Florida, Co-Founder of Aminta Ventures, and she was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve on the Florida Commission on Community Service. She is also the Co-Creator...


044: Mark Prendergast - President of AB Mauri North America (St. Louis, MO)

“It starts with a why: why are you doing it? Are you actually passionate about doing it, or is it just a job?” — Mark Prendergast Today’s guest is Mark Prendergast, President of AB Mauri North America. Headquartered in St. Louis, ABMNA is the largest division of AB Mauri, the global yeast and baking ingredients business. AB Mauri is also home to AB Biotek, a yeast innovation startup. Mark has over 20 years in the baking industry and he is also a non-executive director of Bridge Bread...


043: Farzana Chohan - Executive Director at Leadership IN Women (St. Louis, MO)

“The world which women will be leading will look like a harmonious, collaborative, calm, peaceful world.” — Farzana Chohan Today’s guest is Farzana Chohan, DMGT-ABD, Executive Director at Leadership IN Women. Farzana is a futurist and a global leader in nonprofit development, management, and design. A published author, accomplished Toastmaster speaker, and Doctor of Management, Farzana’s work focuses on Mentorship and Leadership. She shares the story of her professional development,...


042: Genera Moore - Founder of Motorparts Nation (St. Louis, MO)

“If it’s crazy, run for it — do it… You don’t get a lot of crazy visions." — Genera Moore Today’s guest is Genera Moore, Founder of Motorparts Nation. Motorparts Nation is a U.S.-based company that exports aftermarket auto parts to Africa. Genera also took Lexani Motorcars to dealerships in Dubai through the Deals on Wheels program, and recently launched Tano Travel a travel company for tourists visiting West Africa.


041: Dan Lauer - Founding Executive Director of UMSL Accelerate (St. Louis, MO)

“I always say 95% of companies fail, 75% of companies who go through accelerators succeed. That’s kind of the new way of entrepreneurship.” — Dan Lauer Today’s guest is Dan Lauer, Founding Executive Director of UMSL Accelerate. Dan is also the founder of Lauer Toys and the inventor of Waterbabies. UMSL Accelerate is working to change the university’s culture by giving students a way to test and grow their entrepreneurial dreams. Dan sits down with Tyler and Michael to talk about his own...


040: William MacMillan - CTO & Co-Founder of Prattle (St. Louis, MO)

“One of the challenges people face with information and data really is – you kind of don’t know how important things are… and it becomes really difficult to decide where to allocate your attention.” — William MacMillan Today’s guest is William MacMillan, Ph.D., CTO & Co-Founder of Prattle. Bill joins Innovation City to discuss the development of the field of data science, Prattle’s role in bringing attention to under-researched central banks and large companies in countries all over the...


039: Rikki Byrd - Writer, Educator, Scholar (St. Louis, MO)

“Whenever you find that thing that wakes you up in the morning, that thing that you cannot live without, you have to commit yourself to it.” — Rikki Byrd Today’s guest is writer, educator, and scholar, Rikki Byrd. Rikki’s academic focuses include Black studies, visual culture, fashion history, and cultural studies. Most recently, Rikki was a faculty member at Washington University, where she created new courses on the intersections of fashion and race. In the Fall of 2018 she will begin...


038: Dennis Lower - President & CEO at Cortex Innovation Community (St. Louis, MO)

“It’s all about developing horizontal relationships and creating an innovation community. The buildings will come if you create the community of innovators.” — Dennis Lower Today’s guest is Dennis Lower, President & CEO of the Cortex Innovation Community. Dennis has been involved in technology-based economic development since 1995, planning and developing university-sponsored urban innovation districts in Louisiana and New Jersey before coming to the Cortex. Dennis sits down with Tyler...


037: Sam Abbassi - Partner at BUSHIDO Lab (Miami, FL)

“It’s kind of the idea of what the internet should have been… but now we’re actually building it.” — Sam Abbassi Today’s guest is Sam Abbassi, Partner at BUSHIDO Lab. A software engineer with a background in neuroscience and economics, Sam leads blockchain initiatives at BUSHIDO, where he works with a small team to turn Miami into the epicenter of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies. He joins us to talk about where blockchain technology is now, where it’s going, and the specific...


036: Heather Monahan - Founder at Boss in Heels (Miami, FL)

“Your heart telling you to do something—and you following through—is an act of building your self-confidence.” — Heather Monahan Today’s guest is Heather Monahan, Founder of Boss in Heels. Heather’s first career was a successful 20-year stint in media and sales that ended with a surprise termination. As she wrestled with what to do next, she chose to devote herself completely to helping women take control of their careers, taking Boss in Heels to the next level. Heather is the author of...


035: Pilar Guzman Zavala - CEO at Half Moon Empanadas (Miami, FL)

“What does ‘success’ mean? If you wake up and you feel happy about what you’re doing in your life; that’s success. That’s how I define it. And I feel happy about what I’m doing.” — Pilar Guzman Zavala Today’s guest is Pilar Guzman Zavala, CEO at Half Moon Empanadas. Half Moon Empanadas is a serious innovator in the food space, offering 20+ flavors of Argentinian empanadas, and leading the charge to create a whole new food category in the national fast-casual market. Pilar is also a mentor...


034: Janisse Rosario-Schoepp, PhD - VP of Operations and Strategy at Health Foundation of South Florida (Miami, FL)

“You need to have the right people at the table, because you have to have a shared value and a shared vision. Without that, you’re not going to get the job done.” — Janisse Rosario-Schoepp Today’s guest is Janisse Rosario-Schoepp, M.P.H., Ph.D., the Vice President of Operations and Strategy at Health Foundation of South Florida. She also recently attended the Young American Leaders Program at Harvard Business School. Janisse plays a critical role in the Health Foundation’s work to improve...


033: Nicole Denil - GM Global Channel Sales, Internet of Things at Microsoft (Miami, FL)

“It seems like it’s in the future... but the future is here, the future is now. It’s actually happening. It’s happening in pockets.” — Nicole Denil Today’s guest is Nicole Denil, GM of Global Channel Sales for Internet of Things at Microsoft. Nicole has extensive experience in both corporate and startup environments, working in marketing, sales, product development and partner development in the fields of cloud computing and IOT. Nicole sits down with our team to talk about building...


032: Farris Bukhari - Founder & Creative Director at 10b live arts incubator, Inc. (Miami, FL)

Sweat equity. It’s the blood, sweat, and tears that you put into a project that really offers the trust and the appreciation of the people that you are doing this for. — Farris Bukhari Today’s guest is Farris Bukhari, Founder and Creative Director of 10b live arts incubator, Inc. Farris is a multi-disciplinary theater practitioner with over 20 years of experience as a writer, actor, director, producer, coach, and workshop leader. Farris sits down with the Innovation City team to talk...


031: Alejandro Burgana - President & CEO at Brickell Energy (Miami, FL)

“It took seven years to sell the first million electric cars here in the U.S. But at this rate of growth, it will take only two more years to sell the second million.” — Alejandro Burgana Today’s guest is Alejandro Burgana, President and CEO of Brickell Electric and Founder of OBE Power Networks. Alejandro is building the commercial electric vehicle charging infrastructure in South Florida. He shares his insights on the rapidly changing economic models of electric vehicles and charging...


030: Mikhaile Solomon - Director of the Prizm Art Fair (Miami, FL)

“I was like, ‘Well, why doesn’t something like this exist? Why don’t I take it upon myself?’” — Mikhaile Solomon Today’s Innovation City guest is Mikhaile Solomon, Founder and Director of the Prizm Art Fair, which promotes the work of contemporary artists from Africa and the global African Diaspora. Mikhaile received her BA in Theatre Arts from the University of South Florida and her Master’s of Architecture from Florida International University. She joins Innovation City to talk about...


029: Tina Brown - Executive Director at Overtown Youth Center (Miami, FL)

“I wanted to make sure kids knew that they could make it.” — Tina Brown Tina Brown is the Executive Director of the Overtown Youth Center, a Mourning Family Foundation charity. Tina is also a Co-Chairperson of the Overtown Children & Youth Coalition, Co-Chairperson of the Equity Advocacy Coalition, and a Board Member of both the Commonwealth Institute and Urban Philanthropies. Tina sits down with the Innovation City team to talk about her journey and how she uses her own experience to...


028: Brandon Curry - Founding Partner at Moonbase Market (St. Louis, MO)

“I know who I was when I was playing video games, and why I was playing them, and that’s the guy I’m rooting for.” — Brandon Curry Today’s episode was recorded at 39 North at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and today’s guest is Brandon Curry, Founding Partner of Moonbase Market. Moonbase Market is the first E-sports arena in St. Louis. Located in the Soulard neighborhood, Moonbase provides a physical arena for playing and spectating tabletop and video game competitions. Brandon...


027: James C. Carrington, Ph.D - President of Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (St. Louis, MO)

“If you put the time and patience and effort in, you can learn some pretty spectacular things.” — Dr. James Carrington Today’s episode was recorded at 39 North in the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and today’s guest is Dr. James Carrington, President of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Dr. Carrington is one of the most highly-cited plant scientists in the world, and he was elected as a Member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2008. Dr. Carrington leads the Center’s...