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America’s ability to create value has been crucial to its success. However, the current data surrounding entrepreneurship in this country is at historic lows. This issue is far too complicated for our team to solve. But our reaction is to talk to the outliers. The people who share a common goal to disrupt an industry. This is The Commonwealth.

America’s ability to create value has been crucial to its success. However, the current data surrounding entrepreneurship in this country is at historic lows. This issue is far too complicated for our team to solve. But our reaction is to talk to the outliers. The people who share a common goal to disrupt an industry. This is The Commonwealth.
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Location:

United States

Description:

America’s ability to create value has been crucial to its success. However, the current data surrounding entrepreneurship in this country is at historic lows. This issue is far too complicated for our team to solve. But our reaction is to talk to the outliers. The people who share a common goal to disrupt an industry. This is The Commonwealth.

Twitter:

@NickCastner

Language:

English


Episodes

Lex Allen on being compared to Prince, being less shitty than yesterday and much more

11/11/2019
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Our guest today is Lex Allen, an up-and-coming soul pop singer/songwriter out of Milwaukee. Lex opened for Lizzo at Indy’s Pride Festival last May, sang the national anthem for President Obama last October and has a new album that drops on Feb. 14th. We conducted this interview the same week we launched the first episode of this show. It was also the same week as Lincoln Calling, a music festival that I helped organize. During this hectic week, the Director of Lincoln Calling hit me up to...

Duration:00:40:46

Hudl founders David Graff and John Wirtz on growing and acquiring to every contintent

11/4/2019
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And today our guests are David Graff and John Wirtz, two of the co-founders of Hudl. If you don’t know what Hudl is, ask a High School athlete. David and John were college buddies when they set out to make it easier for coaches and athletes to watch film. Over the next thirteen years, they’ve grown into an international business that is helping athletes and coaches in most sports, from high schools to professional clubs. Support the show

Duration:00:48:06

Donald Everett of Runza, turning a family recipe into a Nebraska classic

10/28/2019
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Our Guest today is Donald Everett, President of Runza. If you aren’t familiar with the fast food chain Runza, you’ve obviously never been to Nebraska. In 1949, Donald’s grandmother opened the first Runza restaurant. Decades have now passed since that first store opened, and Runza has become as synonymous with Nebraska as corn or football. Throughout our discussion, Donald shares his perspective on creating new menu items, their path to growing the food chain, and the companies approach to...

Duration:00:39:36

Anthony Tolliver on hitting 3-pointers, venture capitalism, and disrupting the industries he's in

10/28/2019
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Our guest today is an NBA player, Philanthropist, and venture capitalists. Anthony Tolliver is starting his 11th year playing professional basketball with the Portland Trail Blazers. When he’s not on the court snagging rebounds, Anthony leverages the money he’s made playing basketball to invest in companies across a variety of industries, which was the focus of our discussion. Support the show

Duration:00:35:38

Becky App on swimming through the waters of Las Vegas, Shark Tank and ice cream

10/21/2019
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Becky App, co-founder of eCreamery. Over a decade ago, Becky and her friend Abby Jordan, were two ice cream enthusiasts with backgrounds in e-commerce. They launched e-creamery, the world’s first website to purchase ice cream. This entrepreneurial journey is unlike any other. From meeting an Italian food scientist in the warehouse district of Las Vegas, to pitching on an episode of Shark Tank, the twists and turns of this story will make you crave ice cream by the end of it. Support the show

Duration:00:31:39

Brian Ardinger, promoting innovation from Hong Kong to Nebraska

10/14/2019
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My guest today is Brian Ardinger. Brian’s been instrumental in building the tech and startup ecosystem in the midwest. After working in the Silicon Valley and Hong Kong technology scene, he came back to Nebraska to run Economic Development for Sarpy County in Omaha. His team recruited PayPal to Nebraska under his leadership. Brian opened the first startup incubator in Nebraska. He now hosts an innovation podcast that has hit Apple’s top 10 list and organizes an innovation conference called...

Duration:00:29:17

Jeff Noordhoek & Mike Dunlap on growing a student loan empire

10/7/2019
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Our show today highlights Nelnet. Nelnet started as a student loan processing company, but has expanded into an array of different services and products. They currently generate 1.2 billion dollars of revenue every year and have offices across America. We first sit down with Jeff Noordhoek, Nelnet’s president, to learn exactly what Nelnet does to make money. Then, we chat with co-founder and Chairman of the board, Mike Dunlap, to learn more about how Nelnet got its start and the direction...

Duration:00:43:15

The Tri-Faith Initiative, building community between a mosque, synagogue & church

9/30/2019
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Our show today highlights the Tri-Faith Initiative. On 132nd and Pacific, in Omaha, Nebraska, there’s a church, synagogue, and mosque intentionally built on the same plot of land. CNN suggests this project is one of a kind. The Tri-Faith Initiative is a non-profit organization that works to build community among the three congregations. We start by sitting down with the interim executive director of the Tri-Faith, Wendy Goldberg. After that, we have a discussion with the staff of the...

Duration:00:53:40

The Commonwealth: Lizz Whitacre and Dr. Varkey Titus

9/23/2019
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On our show today, we actually have conversations with two different people. The first is Lizz Whitacre, founder and CEO of Pawlytics. Pawlytics is a software, used in 12 different countries, that helps animal shelters save more animal lives. My second conversation is with University of Nebraska research professor Dr. Varkey Titus. Dr. Titus’ research specializes in entrepreneurship. He helps us unpack the data around the health of America’s entrepreneurship scene. Enjoy the show. Support...

Duration:00:46:50

Buildertrend Founders, growing from a basement to 500 employees

9/23/2019
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On our show today, we have Dan Houghton, along with Jeff and Steve Dugger, the founders of Buildertrend. Buildertrend is the leading software for home builders, contractors, and remodelers. Dan, Jeff, and Steve were high school buddies who started with just an idea, began working on it from their basement, and now have over five hundred employees. Their story is a wild ride. Enjoy. Support the show

Duration:00:45:29

The Founders of Bulu, laying off our host

9/16/2019
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After finishing San Francisco's half marathon, Paul and Stephanie thought of their first business. Since then, they’ve raised $6 million of capital, started and sold a second company, and are building a third that’s creating e-commerce products for the biggest brands in the world. Paul and Stephanie join The Commonwealth to discuss recent employee layoffs, which included Nick Castner, our host. Nick shares his perspective on working for the company and emotionally processing leaving...

Duration:01:10:13

Jeff Raikes, a Nebraska kid learning tech alongside Steve Jobs & Bill Gates

9/15/2019
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Jeff Raikes first used technology to better manage his family farm in Ashland, Nebraska. After teaching himself programming, he went to work alongside Steve Jobs at Apple, until Bill Gates recruited him to Microsoft in 1981. At Microsoft, he created a software known today as Microsoft Office. Jeff joins The Commonwealth to discuss his perspective on innovation, entrepreneurship and his Midwestern roots. Support the show

Duration:00:51:29

The Commonwealth: Teaser

9/9/2019
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Alec was an overworked journalist. Nick was an exhausted startup employee. A mutual friend forced them to grab beers together and forty-five minutes later, they had a new project to fill their nonexistent time. This podcast soon took on a life of its own. Nick started hounding connections to book guests and Alec worked long evenings producing the content. Alec willingly switched jobs to a marketing firm while Nick was laid off from his startup. Over the span of six months, this is what they...

Duration:00:01:49