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Kevin Czinger: Divergent 3D + Jeff Krause: SME

3D printing automotive micro-factories (not electric vehicles) might be the key to sustainability and innovation. We learn why, from the CEO of Divergent 3D. Plus, the head of SME gives some hints on what to expect at WESTEC next week! Sometimes we get trapped by a legacy way of doing things. We’ve built 2 billion vehicles in the last century, and some estimates project another 6 billion cars in the next 35 years. These cars will have an enormous impact on the environment. So, should we...


Courtney Nichols Gould: SmartyPants Vitamins

Launching a consumer product in a complex retail environment: For our season finale, we’re speaking with Courtney Nichols Gould, the co-founder and CEO of SmartyPants Vitamins. She and her partner Gordon Gould both had their own really successful careers in tech, before launching a consumer packaged goods company. Before this venture, she was the Chief Operating Officer of a very complex business called Clear, the first fast pass for airport security. I was curious what her path has been...


Rodney Brooks: Rethink Robotics

We’re busting myths about the future of the workforce and robotics, with serial entrepreneur and AI visionary Rod Brooks. If you own a Roomba, you can thank Rod, because he’s the co-founder of iRobot. He launched the company almost three decades ago when he was a professor at MIT. Well, today, he's at it again. He’s trying to disrupt the world of industrial robotics with his new startup, Rethink Robotics. While I was in Boston a few weeks ago, I visited him at his home in Cambridge and...


Sonja Rasula: The Unique Empire

Connecting with customers to build a great business, with the creator of the weekend pop-up market. In 2008, Sonja Rasula, risked her entire 401k savings to start UNIQUE LA, a popup marketplace that features over 300 independent artists and designers. Over the years she has worked with thousands of artisans and entrepreneurs, and she built an agency to work with brands to develop content and social strategy. Her ambitions have expanded to a conference for entrepreneurs and a co-working...


Jeni Britton Bauer: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Gourmet ice cream that takes the whole state of Ohio to manufacture! This week we’re talking with Jeni Britton Bauer, the founder and CEO of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. She’s been a pioneer in gourmet ice cream since she started over two decades ago, and continues to innovate. I was curious about how she develops her inventive flavors and what it takes to make award-winning ice cream at scale. It turns out there’s a lot more art and science--and logistics—than I ever imagined. She shares...


Ben Horowitz: Andreessen Horowitz (live)

A legendary venture capitalist and entrepreneur shares leadership and startup lessons he learned the hard way. Imagine your startup is down to its last bit of cash, your investors won’t follow on, you’re sure you’re going bankrupt, and everyone tells you to give up. What do you do? You decide to take your company public--it’s dubbed by BusinessWeek as “The IPO from Hell.” That’s just one of many cold-sweat moments Ben Horowitz has experienced first-hand in his career. Ben took that...


Rodney Mullen: godfather of street skating

How do you rebel against rebellion? A skating legend keeps reinventing himself and his industry. In this episode, “the godfather of street skating” Rodney Mullen reveals his insights on the history and future of skateboarding. He invented most of the foundational tricks used today—including the flat-ground Ollie which allows skaters to pop their boards off the ground—and he co-founded the largest skateboard company in the world in the 1990’s. Despite his worldwide fame, Rodney is a bit of...


Litty Mathew: Greenbar Distillery

Becoming the largest organic spirits company in the world takes a careful balance between having a point of view and appealing to a broader market. And no one is as attuned to that dilemma as much as the founders of Greenbar Distillery. As craft distillers and immigrants, founders Litty Mathew and Melkon Khosrovian have learned to embrace the tension between being unique and fitting in. Litty—of South Indian descent, but born in Ethiopia and raised in Jamaica—met a sharply-dressed Armenian...


Bethany Shorb: Cyberoptix and Well Done Goods

A Detroit manufacturer tries retailing. But sometimes the hardest part about growing your business isn’t collapsing ceilings or managing inventory. It’s learning to let go. Bethany Shorb is the founder of Cyberoptix. Her fashionable and subversive ties have been a cult favorite for fans like retired Apollo astronauts and celebrities like Chris Hardwick and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. And she just launched a retail store in Detroit called Well Done Goods. I was curious about the...


Ivka Adam: Iconery + Carolyn Casavan

An on-demand jewelry company, plus a sustainability segment for Earth Day! Ivka Adam is the Founder and CEO of Iconery. She’s mashing up 3D printing, ecommerce, manufacturing, and influencer marketing to create a unique platform to enable designers and influencers to create and sell their own jewelry lines. In a way, her company is a tool for non-experts to access the complex and sometimes bewildering jewelry supply chain. Being unfamiliar with the industry, I was curious about the trends...


Nick Pinkston: Plethora

Job killer or savior? Automation and technology have definitely been changing the way we communicate, how we shop, how we date, how we get around. And it’s changing manufacturing, too. Should we be afraid? Silicon Valley has gotten a reputation of being a “disruptor” – and depending on who you are or what part of the country you live in, that term is either a compliment or an insult. This week’s guest pokes at that hornet’s nest. We visit Nick Pinkston at his startup Plethora, an automated...


Chris Wilson: House of DaVinci

Chris Wilson murdered a man at age 17. He was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison. But what happened next is nothing short of remarkable. While imprisoned, he wrote his grand plan and then got to work. He earned his high school diploma and associates degree, graduated from all of the vocational shops, and started a book club and a new business, all while behind bars. 16 years later, a judge granted him freedom. Now he runs several social enterprises, including a furniture...


Jesse Genet: Lumi

Packaging should be your secret weapon, and Jesse Genet can show you how. At age 15, Jesse started her first business printing t-shirts in Detroit. Over the next year she followed her curiosity, tracked down an obscure invention, and next thing she knew her new company Inkodye ended up on Shark Tank and participated in the prestigious incubator Y-Combinator. Through becoming a manufacturing entrepreneur, she learned how easy it was on the digital side to start a business, but on the...


Mark Fuller: WET Design

Iconic Fountains of Bellagio captured our collective attention when they opened in 1998, and they manage to impress decades later. The creator Mark Fuller and his company WET Design continue to push the envelope and redefine the high-tech fountain industry today. We get a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s launch from Disney Imagineering in 1983, the ups and downs of remaining at the cutting edge, how Mark builds his creative company culture, and their amazing facilities. We also hear...


Kellie Johnson

Through true grit and teamwork, this welder’s granddaughter overcame intimidation and discrimination to turn ACE Clearwater from a third-generation business into a high-tech aerospace powerhouse. It’s one thing to work for the family business, but President and CEO Kellie Johnson really took it up a notch. She’s been a huge advocate for the manufacturing industry in Washington and deals first-hand with the struggles and opportunities at the cutting edge of manufacturing. In this episode...


The Art of Manufacturing is back!

Manufacturing is sexy. Sounds crazy? Just wait! ‘The Art of Manufacturing’ is your behind-the-scenes look at how people who make stuff are trying to ‘make it’ in their industries. We’re about to drop season two, with more insights, more innovation and technology, and more crazy stories from entrepreneurs embarking on their next big venture. If you’ve ever wondered how to build a brand, a business—or just a better mousetrap—tune in and enjoy. (For more information: ...


Ellen Bennett: The Apron Lady + White House Maker Conversations

Maker conversations from the White House and LA! Celebrity makers and chefs like Martha Stewart and Mario Batali are crazy about Hedley & Bennett aprons. We learn how Ellen Bennett is building a company that brings in millions in revenues and cultivates a passionate following for something that’s so mundane on this Season Finale episode. They are at a watershed moment, bursting at the seams and grappling with how to grow. But it all started very modestly, when she ran off to culinary...


Dov Charney Reveals What's Next

American Apparel's controverial founder built a multi-hundred million dollar company that created thousands of local jobs and helped define popular culture in Los Angeles and the world. And then he lost it all. Dov Charney is also notorious for how he was ousted as CEO from his own company. Enough has been written about that, but rumor had it he is starting a new venture so I wanted to learn what’s next. We learn how this entrepreneur has used hustle, technology, and his talents as a...


Greg Steltenpohl: Califia Farms and Odwalla

Greg Steltenpohl realized that playing saxophone in an avante garde punk jazz band wasn’t going to pay the bills, so in 1980 he and his buddies decided to start a juice business. They would hand-squeeze oranges out of the back of his VW van and deliver the product& to nearby restaurants in Half Moon Bay. More than two decades later, the company called Odwalla had pioneered a fresh juice craze and was acquired by Coca-Cola for $181 million--much to his chagrin, because they lost the vision...


Donna and Lauren Johanson: Chivas Skin Care

Sure, you love your mom. But could you go into business with her? The mother-daughter team of Donna and Lauren Johanson have turned their family goat farm into a cosmetics business based on products made with all-natural ingredients and goat milk. I wondered what it’s like to turn a fun hobby into a high-end business that distributes through more than 100 stores around the country. They have 45 SKUs and counting; we learn about the art of mixing scents, naming products, and developing new...


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