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StitchCrew Change Makers Podcast
Bringing you real-world experiences, tools, and insights from changemakers who’ve challenged the status quo and are now doing things they once thought impossible.
Jun 21, 2021
#39 Cliff Hudson, Master of None
In this episode we talk to Cliff Hudson, former chairman of the board and CEO of SONIC, a company founded in Shawnee Oklahoma by Troy Smith that ultimately evolved to be one of the largest chain of drive-in franchises in America. Now Sonic is owned by Inspire Brands, the parent company of Arby's and Buffalo Wild Wings. Since his departure from Sonic, Cliff has moved on to help others embrace life as masters of none. Sharing his philosophy on the freedom of being comfortable with uncertainty and variety, allowing yourself to thrive in unfamiliar environments, and seizing opportunities that we often don’t see coming. Join us as we talk to Cliff about the need to appreciate flexibility as the foundation for success in both work and in life. Find Cliff Hudson on: Twitter Linkedin Buy his book More about Cliff Hudson, Author, "Master of None" (Published by Harper Collins) Clifford Hudson spent 35 years of his career at Sonic Corp., an Oklahoma City-based, publicly held company that owns, operates and franchises SONIC Drive-In restaurants. Most recently, he was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of this public company with more than 3,500 franchised and company-operated drive-in restaurants. He left the company upon its sale in December 2018 and joined the law firm Crowe & Dunlevy as Of Counsel in the firm’s Oklahoma City office. Hudson graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in History, from which he also received in 2011 an honorary doctoral degree in humane letters. He holds a J.D. from Georgetown University, where he served as Chair of the Board of Visitors from 2013-2016. In 2014, Georgetown University awarded him the John Carroll Award, its highest alumni recognition. Hudson served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), a presidential appointment, from 1994-2001. He served as Chairman of the Oklahoma City School Board from 2001-2008, a position created in 2000 as part of a $530 million turnaround of a 40,000 student, inner-city Oklahoma City Public School system, for which he received the 2012 David T. Kearns Award for Excellence and Innovation in Education. He served as Trustee of the Ford Foundation (New York) from 2006-2017 and is a past Chair of the Board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 2020, Harper Collins published Cliff’s first book entitled Master of None: How a Jack of All Trades Can Still Reach the Top. In addition, he has been the guest on numerous national television, radio and podcast programs, including his own podcast, “Master of None”.
Jun 8, 2021
#38 Tower Theater and the Future of Live Events
In March 2020, the live event industry shut down overnight, shuttering growth plans, jobs, and some businesses. There was a mass exodus of talented artists, entertainers and event professionals. But others managed to stick around, pivoting to virtual events and shifting their businesses online while betting that the industry would in fact, bounce back. In this episode we talk to Stephen Tyler, one of the operating partners at the historic Tower Theatre, which originally opened in 1937 and is one of Oklahoma City's last original movie houses with an intact auditorium and iconic neon marquee. After many years of movie premieres and historic runs of classic films, the Tower Theatre closed in 1989. In 2017, Stephen, along with Chad Jabee, the Pivot Group and other partners re-opened Tower Theatre as a live music, movie and event venue in the heart of OKC's Uptown 23rd district. Join us as we listen to how they pivoted during the pandemic and what they are predicting for the future of the industry. For time reference, this episode was recorded in March 2021. Follow Tower Theatre: Twitter Instagram Facebook Follow and connect with Stephen: Twitter Instagram Facebook
1 hr 2 min
May 11, 2021
#37 Cybersecurity with Marcus J. Carey
According to the Department of Homeland Security, our daily life, economic vitality, and national security depend on a stable, safe, and resilient cyberspace. In fact, the global cyber security market size was valued at USD 167.13 billion in 2020 and is expected to register a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9% from 2021 to 2028. This growth can be attributed to the growing sophistication of cyberattacks and the frequency and intensity of cybercrimes that have increased over the last decade and have resulted in huge losses for businesses. As a result, businesses and governments worldwide are channeling their spending to strengthen their in-house security infrastructure, creating a pool of opportunities for industry participants. Join us as we talk to Marcus J. Carey, a cybersecurity advocate and startup founder with more than 25 years of protecting government and commercial sensitive data. Marcus started his cybersecurity career in the U.S. Navy and the National Security Agency (NSA). After his service, Marcus founded a cybersecurity startup Threatcare which he later sold to Reliaquest. Marcus is also the author of Tribe of Hackers, a series of books providing cybersecurity advice from the Best Hackers in the World. Find Marcus on Twitter: @marcusjcarey Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcuscarey/ Check out Tribe of Hackers
Apr 26, 2021
#36: The Film Industry in Oklahoma
In this new series we go behind the scenes of some of the billion dollar industries we often hear about but don't necessarily know exactly how they work and how they impact the way we live, work and play. Prior to the pandemic, the global box office and home entertainment industry surpassed $100 billion dollars for the first time in history according to the Motion Picture Association. Yet, despite being a massive industry there is still a lot of mystery around how the industry actually works. When we think of the film or motion picture industry, we tend to think of California, production companies, animation, film studios, actors and film directors and we fail to recognize the full commercial and technological spectrum. Particularly as the industry moves outside of traditional film hubs. In this episode we talk to Emmy nominated Film Director Lance McDaniel who has worked in 21 feature films, including Oscar winning "Million Dollar Baby." Until recently Lance was also the Executive Director of the Deadcenter Film Festival. Join us as we talk to Lance about the different layers of the industry and its potential impact in emerging film hubs like Oklahoma. Find Lance on Twitter: @lancemcdaniel Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lance-mcdaniel IMBD: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1590373/
Oct 19, 2020
#35 "Chingona" a Badass Investor
Almost 60 million Latinos account for $2.3 trillion in economic activity and are projected to make up 30% of the U.S. population by the end of this year. In addition, the number of Latinx businesses grew 34% over the past 10 years, making them the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country. Despite these numbers, when it comes to Venture Capital, less than 2% of venture led companies and venture capitalists are Latinx. Fortunately there are several new fund managers emerging and challenging the status quo. To wrap up Hispanic Heritage Month, we invited one of the most badass investors in venture, Samara Hernandez, Founding Partner of Chingona Ventures. As an immigrant struggling with english as a second language, Samara fell in love with numbers, the universal language as she describes it, and became an engineer. Prior to launching her fund, Samara was a partner at MATH Venture Partner and before that she worked at Goldman Sachs where she continually ranked top 5 in her field. As one of less than one percent of Latinas in Venture, Samara actively recruits more women and people of color into STEM fields, venture capital and entrepreneurship. She also co-founded the Latinx Founders Collective, an organization bringing together Latinx founders, investors, and community leaders. Join us as we talk to her about her fund, the story behind the name and her passion for early stage investing. You can find Samara at: www.Chingona.Ventures Twitter: @SamaraMHernandz Linkedin: @samaramejia
Oct 5, 2020
#34 Investing in Diverse Teams, Marcos Gonzalez, Vamos Ventures
Last year, a report to Congress based on data from 2017, found that almost 60 million Latinos already account for $2.3 trillion in economic activity and are projected to make up 30% of the U.S. population by the end of this year. Another study from Stanford University found that over the past 10 years, the number of Latino business owners grew 34%, compared to 1% for all business owners, making them the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States. Despite these numbers, when it comes to Venture Capital, Latinos represent less than 2% of venture led companies and venture capitalists. How do we change that? In this episode we talk to Marcos Gonzalez, Managing Partner at Vamos Ventures. A son of Mexican immigrant parents, Marcos was the first in his family to graduate from college and is now a Brown University and Harvard Business School alumni. Marcos began his career at IBM pre-business school, and the Boston Consulting Group. He then joined the private equity industry as an Investment Officer. Somewhere in between, Marcos also co-founded a venture backed e-commerce company, grew it, and sold it before founding Vamos Ventures, a $25mm fund seeking to invest in companies led by diverse founders. Join us as we talk to Marcos and learn more about what led him to invest in early stage startups. You can find Marcos at: https://www.vamosventures.com/ https://twitter.com/MarcosCGonzalez https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcos-gonzalez-b567042/
Jul 27, 2020
#33 A $50 Million Dollar Bet in the Middle of the Country
In this episode we talk to Brian and Candice Brackeen, Partners at Lightship Capital. Prior to becoming investors and co-founding their venture firm, Brian and Candice were entrepreneurs with first hand experience building, financing and raising funds for their respective companies. Join us as we talk to them about their latest $50 million dollar fund, which is considered to be the largest-ever VC fund to invest in Midwest in underrepresented founders including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities working on artificial intelligence (AI), consumer packaged goods (CPG), sustainability, e-commerce, and healthcare. You can learn more about the fund and pitch Brian and Candice at www.Lightship.Capital and and by following them on twitter @brianbrackeen and @candicebrackeen. *Show Notes and Links:* The Grit by Angela Duckworth, Candice book reference. Undock, instantly schedule, host and document meetings with your network. FreshFry, Lightship Capital first investment under new fund. If you enjoy the show please leave us a review on iTunes and let us know which was your favorite part of the show.
Jul 20, 2020
#32 Demystifying the Cannabis Industry
Cannabis sales in the U.S. alone are estimated to reach more than $30 billion dollars by 2023. This growth is only going to accelerate as more and more governments legalize the industry’s medicinal and recreational use, prompting entrepreneurs and investors to jump into the opportunity. In addition to recreational and medicinal use, there is a broad range of cannabis-related consumer products including edibles, topical creams, soft drinks, coffees, sleep-inducing teas, and even infused non-alcoholic beers and wines. Yet, challenges continue. Similar to our democracy, the legalization of marijuana is an ongoing social experiment, imperfect and undone, as we’ve failed to discuss the practice of disproportionately imprisoning people for buying, selling, and cultivating the product. In this episode we talk to Farhaj Mayan, the Founder of Kanna, a startup providing the Cannabis industry a platform to hire, train and manage their workforce. Join us as we talk about the stigma and systemic racism behind what is now a lucrative, not yet fully bankable industry, and the mental and physical toll of building a startup.
1 hr 4 min
Jul 13, 2020
#31 Marie Rocha, Managing Partner Realist Ventures
*Venture Capital is still very much a closed network. By design, the sector is exclusive. Legally, to be an LP or a Fund Manager, investors have to be able to carve out their own capital, or benefit from having an established elite network with enough personal wealth to tolerate the risk. * *The vast majority of VCs, come from very similar and privileged educational backgrounds from institutions like Harvard or Stanford. In fact, most LPs still look for that stamp of approval as a way to de-risk their fund investments. Although there has been progress in recent years, with more women and people of color joining venture firms or starting their own VC funds, the lack of representation is still staggering with males still representing 85% of all senior investors. * *In this episode we talk to Marie Rocha, General Partner at Realist Ventures, a VC Firm in Connecticut investing in startups at the development, seed, and early stage. Marie knew there was a gap in funding years ago, and without a background in Venture or an established network of ready to invest LPs, she set out to raise her first fund to invest in promising startups. Join us as we talk to Marie about her investment strategy, what led her to launch a VC Fund and her experience as one of only 1% of Black Women in Venture. *
1 hr 7 min
Jun 12, 2020
#30 More than a VC Fund
Eighty percent of all venture capital is spent on three coastal states. Unfortunately, this statistic often leads founders to think they have to move to places like California or New York to build a high growth company. There are many reasons why fund managers and venture capitalists have concentrated in certain regions, luckily new fund managers are emerging in the middle of the country to close the funding gap and help support early stage entrepreneurs. Today we talked to one of those fund managers. Michael Basch is the Managing Partner at Atento Capital, a new Venture Capital Fund in Tulsa, Oklahoma backed by the George Kaiser Family. Prior to moving to Tulsa from NY, Michael founded and invested in startups, ran for Mayor of NYC and even helped in the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016. Join us as we talk to him about what led him to move from NY to Oklahoma, his views on today’s environment and vision for growing the innovation economy in Tulsa.
May 26, 2020
#29 Launching a VC Fund in Oklahoma
Eighty percent of all venture capital is spent on three coastal states. Unfortunately, this statistic often leads founders to think they have to move to places like California or New York to build a high growth company. There are many reasons why fund managers and venture capitalists have concentrated in certain regions, luckily new fund managers are emerging in the middle of the country to close the funding gap and help support early stage entrepreneurs. Today we talked to one of those fund managers. Nathaniel Harding is the Managing Partner at Cortado Ventures, a new Venture Capital Fund in Oklahoma looking to invest in the most promising companies in the state and region. Join us as we talk to him about the dire need to invest in local startups, and the struggles of establishing an early stage fund in Oklahoma.
May 22, 2020
#28 Managing through COVID-19, Brian Sampson
People all over the world are experiencing abrupt life changes as we attempt to return to work safe and responsibly. As founders, we must figure out ways to keep not just our loved-ones but our employees and customers safe, our companies afloat, and investors onboard. And on top of that we also need to take care of our mental state because if we are not well, we can’t help others. In this episode we talk to Brian Sampson, the owner of multiple ServiceMaster franchises in Louisville and Nashville specializing in disaster restoration and commercial cleaning services. Before venturing on his own, Brian managed multiple multimillion-dollar business units in the oil and gas industry. Join us as we talk to him about what it’s like to manage an essential business, how his employees are reacting to the situation and how he transitioned from a 6 figure salary with perks and benefits in the oil and gas industry, to a business owner.
May 12, 2020
#27 Steven Hughes, Founder of Know Money
Why is it so hard to talk about money? With our parents, spouse, kids, friends, employees and yes, investors? Is it a taboo or social norm? In this episode we talk to Steven Hughes the founder of Know Money, a nonprofit teaching college students how to think, talk, and interact with money. Having made nearly every financial mistake imaginable during his own college experience, Steven now dedicates his efforts to helping other young adults avoid the same pitfalls. Selected for his contributions as one of the Global Shapers at the World Economic Forum Steven is now a nationally recognized Financial Education Instructor providing workshops and conferences in universities across the country. Join us as we talk about money, the financial psychology behind it and how we can use it to get us through this uncertain time.
Apr 21, 2020
#26 Max Tuchman, CEO and Co-Founder of Caribu
In this episode, we talk to Max Tuchman, the Co-Founder and CEO of Caribu, an interactive video-calling platform that helps grandparents and parents, have virtual playdates, read and draw with children when they’re not in the same location. What a concept right? Especially as we shelter at home with our kids in an attempt to flatten the Covid-19 curve. But Max and her Co-Founder came up with this idea way before Covid-19. Max's passion for educational equity began way before Caribu. Prior to launching her startup, Max served as the Executive Director of Teach For America in Miami-Dade. Her policy background also helped inform her views on financial equity. Appointed by President Obama, Max served as a White House Fellow in the U.S. Department of Treasury where she worked on issues of financial inclusion and she also worked in Mayor Bloomberg’s administration. Join us as we talk to Max about the origins of her startup, how she became the first Latinx Founder to raise more than $1…
Apr 9, 2020
#25 Larissa Rocha, Employee No. 1 at BREX
Co-founded by Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, two engineers who previously founded one of the largest payment processors in Brazil, Brex, is now valued at well over $2 billion dollars and is backed by high profile investors, including Paypal co-founders Max Levchin and Peter Thiel, Y Combinator, Ribbit Capital, Yuri Milner, and Carl Pascarella, former CEO of Visa. In this episode, we talk to Larissa Rocha, Employee No. 1 at BREX, the ultimate corporate credit card for Startups which doesn’t require a personal guarantee and has the ability to issue cards instantly while providing higher limits than traditional options on the market. The card also provides points and rewards more suitable and relevant for startups. Join us as we discuss how as a fintech, BREX is adapting and helping other startups with cash flow and cash management. Links discussed on the episode: - Brex's Response to COVID-19 includes new WFH rewards, learn more at brex.com/remotecollaboration - Webinars…
Apr 8, 2020
#24 Harold Hughes, Angel Investor and Founder of Bandwagon
People all over the world are experiencing abrupt life changes as we attempt to flatten the COVID-19 curve. As founders, we must figure out ways to keep not just our loved-ones but our employees and customers safe, our companies afloat, and investors onboard. And on top of that we also need to take care of our own mental state because if we are not well, we can’t help others. This new podcast series we’ll be sharing tips, tools, and tactics from entrepreneurs on how they are adapting to the new norm and how they are finding opportunities in this uncertain time. In this episode we talk to Harold Hughes, the Founder of Bandwagon, a blockchain-based analytics company helping sports teams better understand fans behavior and increase game-day revenue. Join us as we discuss how he is adapting and communicating with his team and investors. Bandwagon is backed by high profile investors including Blue Vista Ventures, Backstage Capital, and the Black Angel Tech Fund.
Mar 24, 2020
#23 Dale and Carrie Spoonmore, From Seed to Spoon
Imagine walking out to your backyard and picking bright red tomatoes, bell peppers and fresh-picked cilantro. Or any other fresh produce that is often expensive and difficult to find in stores. Sounds great no? Particularly in times of uncertainty like we are experiencing now as we combat coronavirus fears and isolation. During World War II, people experienced food shortages, fear and anxiety, so Dr. George Washington Carver, a prominent scientist and inventor, promoted the idea of Victory Gardens, urging people to grow their own food, mostly as a way of supplementing their rations, but also as a way to boost morale. There are so many good reasons to begin growing your own food and really no reason not to. Growing food doesn’t just increase your access to nutritious food, it can save you money all while providing a creative and active outlet. It can also help reduce our carbon footprint, since long-distance transportation of produce relies heavily on fossil fuels and packaging. The…
Mar 10, 2020
#22 Allison Watkins-Conti, Founder of Watkins-Conti Products
Urinary incontinence, or urine leakage you can't control, is something that many Americans, men and women, suffer from. In fact, it is believed that one third of Americans in the U.S. suffer from urinary incontinence. That means millions of people, although experts don’t know the exact number since many people do not tell anyone about their symptoms often because they are embarrassed, or because they think nothing can be done. So they suffer in silence. Many people think urinary incontinence is just part of getting older. But it's not. It’s also not just a medical problem. It can affect individuals emotionally and psychologically. It can also effect one’s social life. Given that many people who experience it are often afraid to do normal daily activities that keeps them from enjoying life. Luckily there are entrepreneurs like Allison Watkins-Conti, Founder of Watkins-Conti Products, who is developing women’s health products, including solutions for urinary incontinence. Join…
Feb 25, 2020
#21 Hugh Forrest, SXSW | Chief Programming Officer
Imagine spending 10 days with creatives, artists and thought leaders from across the world. Last year, the SXSW Conference & Festivals combined exceeded more than 400,000 attendees. The conference alone was comprised of more than 2,100 sessions, 73,000 attendees, almost 4800 speakers, and 4300 media representatives from around the globe. SXSW began in 1987 and every year it’s grown in size and scope, emerging as one of the world’s most influential conferences and festivals. The event celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries — and takes place every year in March in Austin, Texas. This year, SXSW conference will feature 22 diverse tracks of programming and will include featured speakers like: Award-winning host and comedian, *Stephen Colbert*, Former Microsoft CEO and founder of USAFacts, *Steve Ballmer*, New York Times bestselling author *Dr. Brené Brown*, Kim Kardashian and artist Janelle Monáe, Trent Reznor and mega film director Michael Moor…
Feb 17, 2020
#20 Anna Mason, Partner at Rise of the Rest
You’ve heard us talk about the daunting statistic that almost 80% of all venture capital is spent on three coastal states. And while there are plenty of investors arguing why this trend will continue, there are contrarian investors looking beyond the coasts for their next homerun. Steve Case, Co-founder of AOL, is one of those investors. Steve co-founded Revolution, an investment firm that houses multiple funds. One of those funds is the Rise of the Rest seed fund which made its debut in 2014 to invest in startups located outside traditional tech hubs. Since, Steve has raised a second fund backed by high profile individuals like Jeff Bezos, Sara Blakely, and Ray Dalio. As part of their efforts, the Rise of the Rest Team hosts other investors, and first-tier national media on a bus tour every year making one-day stops in five different cities. The goal of the tour is to highlight the innovation happening across the nation. The team also invests in at least one startup per stop. This…
Jan 28, 2020
#19 Ally Myers, Founder of SUMA
43% of women with children leave the workforce at some point in their careers and unfortunately, many of them face an uphill battle when attempting to return to work. And while we’ve come a long way, many employers still discriminate (often covertly) against new moms or moms who for one reason or another have stayed out of the workforce for a period of time. In fact, a 2018 study in Harvard Business Review found that women who tried to transition from being stay-at-home mothers were only half as likely to get a job interview than those who had been laid off, even if the absence from the workforce lasted about the same amount of time. Parents who leave the workforce but later want to reenter it might be one of our greatest untapped resources. And with unemployment rates near historic lows and companies lamenting over labor shortages, it’s time to tap into this talent pool. Luckily, moms like Ally Myers are taking matters into their own hands. While leading a non-profit organizatio…
Jan 14, 2020
#18 Behind the scenes with Karlis Kezbers and the Crew
Two years ago, we partnered with the Oklahoma City Thunder to launch an accelerator and to help us build a more inclusive startup community in our region. Since our launch, we’ve helped 39 startups and we’ve built a community of 78 founders and over 100 mentors as well as an impressive database of in and out of state investors. Although we’ve been operating for a while, we still get asked questions about what it is that we do. So we decided to start the year with a new episode talking about our partnership with the best NBA team in the nation, and we asked Karlis Kezbers, Director of Business Intelligence and Strategy for the Oklahoma City Thunder to help us go over some of the most frequently asked questions we typically get about the accelerator program.
1 hr 4 min
Oct 29, 2019
#17 Brett Kolomyjec - Founder of Happily
There are several companies transforming the way we interact with loved ones. Instagram for example, changed the way we capture and share moments about our daily lives. Venmo has altered how our friends can pay us back and Happily, a company located in the middle of the country, is making it easier for couples to have lasting relationships by making relationship health resources accessible to everyone. Founded by Brett Kolomyjec and his wife Devon, Happily, helps couples have a deeper connection through planned date nights and access to expert relationship counseling. Formerly known as DateBox, Happily launched offering personalized subscription pre-planned dates. But Brett and Devon’s vision for the company goes well beyond date nights. Happily now offers conflict resolution classes and is using technology to eliminate the time, cost and stigma associated with traditional relationship counseling. Join us as we talk to Brett about the origins of Happily, his journey moving from Sea…
Oct 15, 2019
#16 Kathy Taylor - Angel Investor, Entrepreneur and Policy Maker
When it comes to fundraising, Venture Capitalist tend to get most of the attention, but in reality, most first time checks for startups actually come from angel investors, not VCs. Angel investors are basically wealthy people who like to invest in early stage startups - in other words, they are people that can financially afford to lose their investment, without impacting their lifestyle. Most angel investors were once founders. They sold their company and now have capital to invest in other companies. Those often turn out to be great investors because they get it, they’ve been in the ring. Kathy Taylor is one of those angel investors. After earning her bachelors and juris doctorate Kathy began her career as an attorney. She then became Vice President and General Counsel of Thrifty Car Rental and later bought National Car Rental from General Motors using her family’s savings. Kathy eventually sold the company with her husband and started the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation - a ph…
Sep 24, 2019
#15 Unshackling the Next Generation of Venture Capitalists
Venture capital (VC) has been a highly visible part of the growth of many well-known companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Rent the Runway, 23 and Me, among many others. But, while VC has been very helpful for some entrepreneurs, the industry is focused on a small percentage of businesses with high growth potential: in fact, only 0.6 percent of businesses ever raise VC. Venture Capital is also very concentrated, out of all the venture capital spent, 78 percent is spent in three states New York, Massachusetts, and California. But as these areas become more and more saturated, venture capitalists are starting to pay attention to startups located outside traditional tech hubs. Last week, we hosted a fireside chat with two of these venture capitalists who are traveling across the country to meet with entrepreneurs, investors and key stakeholders in the startup community. Join us as we talk startups and early-stage investing with Nitin Pachisia, Founding Partner of Unshackled Ventures,…
Sep 10, 2019
#14 Kevin Moore - Spur Capital
Access to capital continues to be one of the main barriers to entry for entrepreneurs. With 80 percent of startups never accessing traditional loans and less than .6 percent of startups ever accessing venture capital funds, entrepreneurs are struggling to find financial resources to launch and scale their companies. This is particularly true for entrepreneurs of color and female entrepreneurs. In this new series of the StitchCrew Changemakers Podcast, we’ll be talking to early-stage investors who can help entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of accessing capital and fundraising. Join us as we talk to Kevin Moore, Partner at Spur Capital, a venture capital funds of funds and author of How to Start Your Own Venture Investment Fund.
Aug 27, 2019
#13 AgBoost - Sean Akadiri
Since the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, there is renewed focus on how to create a food supply that can sustain this amount of people. Given the scrutiny that industrialized agriculture is responsible for a significant portion of greenhouse emissions, several food innovation startups are working on solutions that will enable the industry to meet future demand without destroying our planet. In fact, growing food in labs is now a thing. This process is often referred to as cellular agriculture, where researchers take stem cells from an animal and place it in a growing medium in a bioreactor to produce "cultured meat." While the science can't yet create the texture of a fine steak, processed meat such as burgers, chicken nuggets and meatballs are expected to be available on supermarket shelves in five years. But are consumers ready for this change? And how will the existing industry react? Given that the United States is the world's largest producer of beef…
Aug 13, 2019
#12 Green Tree Project - Sam Walker
Christmas is a big deal for retailers around the world as people and corporations purchase gifts, decorations, and supplies to celebrate. In the U.S. alone, the Holiday shopping season accounts for more than $1 Trillion dollars and more than a quarter of annual retail sales. Even companies completely dependent on Christmas, benefit from big industry, Christmas trees companies for example sell more than 40 million trees in the US every year. But for an industry selling trees, does it promote sustainability? Is cutting live trees or shipping fake trees from across the country good for our environment? In this episode we talk to Sam Walker, the Founder of Green Tree Project, a social good company promoting sustainability by renting and delivering living, potted Christmas trees. Join us as we discuss how she came up with the idea of Green Tree Project, her passion for sustainability and the struggles of launching a company that's challenging the way we celebrate family traditions.
Jul 16, 2019
#11 Congresswoman Kendra Horn - Flipping More Than Just A District
In 2018, we saw more women launch innovative companies accounting for 40% of new entrepreneurs in the U.S. We also experienced an increase of women investors and fund managers as well as a record number of women run for office and get elected to Congress. Today, we have more women than ever running to become President of the United States in 2020. What is behind the drive of these women to build the businesses they want to see in the world and run for office to enact the change they want to see in their communities? In today’s episode we talked to Congresswoman Kendra Horn, who in 2018 flipped the 5th congressional district in Oklahoma, a seat held by the opposing party since 1975, making her the first Democratic woman to be elected to Congress from Oklahoma. Many attributed Kendra’s success to the changing demographics in the district, others to the ongoing frustration of politics as usual in Washington. What captured our attention is Kendra’s similarities with female entrepr…
Jul 2, 2019
#10 Emmy Winning Rapper, Jabee - In a World So Fragile and Cruel, We Are Glad We Got You
Hip hop emerged in the mid-1970s from neighborhood block parties. Like any style of music, it has deep roots, and its evolution was shaped by many different artists. The Music Industry has also made a giant evolution. It is now easier than ever for an artist to publish and stream their music online thanks to social media and music-streaming platforms like Spotify which has made record labels a lot of money and music fans very happy. But what about the actual musicians? Platforms like Spotify, have been a savior for record labels like Universal Music Group, which has tripled its value since 2013. Meanwhile, just 28 percent of artists earned money from streaming in 2018. Join us as we talk to Jabee, an Emmy-winning rapper, entrepreneur, and community activist about the evolution of the music industry, the struggles of being a black entrepreneur, and his drive for equity.
Jun 19, 2019
#9 Brian Byrnes, OKC Thunder - From inauspicious beginnings to becoming one of the NBA’s most successful franchises.
Sports teams are one of the greatest motivators of our time. They inspire commitment, dedication and risk-taking. they also teach us a thing or two about an individual’s ability to push limits, manage success and failure as a learning step to becoming great. Moreover, sports teams tend to be inclusive, diverse and unscripted. These cultural characteristics are critical traits of successful entrepreneurs and thriving innovation ecosystems. But what about the similarities of startups and the actual management of the franchise? In 2018, the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrated ten years since relocating from Seattle and changing its name from the Seattle SuperSonics. Since the move, the team has seen a drastic evolution, but the transition and beginning of a new brand in a new market, hasn’t always been a smooth ride. Similar to the argument some still make that a startup can’t be prosperous outside larger markets with abundant access to capital, there were several people who questione…
1 hr 17 min
Jun 4, 2019
#8 Lisa and Matt Pinnell - Founders of Binxy Baby: From Hijacking Shopping Carts to Building a Global Brand
*Sylvan Goldman** invented the shopping cart in the mid-1930s. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, Goldman was solving a problem for himself. He owned a supermarket in Ardmore, Oklahoma called Humpty Dumpy and although business was good, he knew he’d be able to sell more if he could figure out how customers could carry more products while shopping. Although Goldman continued to make modifications to his original design, it was another Oklahoma inventor who managed to make the shopping cart more functional for parents. * *Imagine going grocery shopping with a toddler and a newborn. The toddler is in the cart seat, and the baby carrier is in the basket taking up all the room where your groceries are supposed to go. What do you do?* *Lisa Pinnell, the Founder and Inventor of **Binxy Baby** found herself in this situation and felt very frustrated. At first, she tried using front and back carriers, then baby wraps, she even resorted to pushing two carts at the same time, and although that was…
1 hr 9 min
May 21, 2019
#7 Stephanie Conduff - Founder of Leche Lounge: Creating Safe Spaces for Working Moms
Managing the nuances of returning to work, while caring for an infant is a heroic endeavor. That’s why having the support of management and peers is not only encouraged but critical. Particularly for moms who choose to breastfeed. Nearly 4 million babies are born each year in America and according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 out of 10 moms choose to breastfeed. Many of these moms are going back to work quickly for economic reasons -- in fact, it’s not uncommon for women to cut their maternity leaves short. Companies that commit to supporting working mothers during this time, experience higher retention rates and increased engagement. Yet to this day, most workplaces don’t have access to a private and clean place to pump milk. This despite legislation requiring employers with 50 employees or more to provide ample break time and a private space other than a bathroom -- for nursing moms. Stephanie Conduff wants to change that. A lawyer by trade, Stephanie c…
May 7, 2019
#6 Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt - The MAPS to a Big League City
There have been three Presidents who’ve served as mayors prior to taking office. Grover Cleveland, served as the mayor of Buffalo, NY. Andrew Johnson, as mayor of Greeneville Tennessee and Calvin Coolidge as mayor of Northhampton, Massachusetts. Today, Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana is running for the 2020 presidential bid - and until recently, many speculated that Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti would also run though he’s publicly decided against the presidential bid. Although, most people look at federal and state governments for solutions. When it comes to our most serious social, economic and environmental challenges, the roadmap to creating change often lies in the communities where people actually live and work. It all goes back to designing the city in which you’d like to live. That’s why we believe that Mayors can play a huge role in building sustainable economies and communities. In today’s episode, we follow one of those Mayors with a strong influence in…
1 hr 9 min
Apr 23, 2019
#5 Jill Castilla - Small Bank, Big Impact
With only 18 percent of startups ever accessing a bank loan, finding community banks that see the long-term value of working with early stage entrepreneurs even if they are not bankable right away, is a rare find. Jill Castilla, President and CEO of Edmond Citizen’s Bank is one of those rare finds. As a Fintech inventor herself, she believes in fostering the next generation of businesses and has even transformed 15,000 square feet of unused office space into Vault 405, a co-sharing space for startups and early stage entrepreneurs. Jill is also a big proponent of organic growth and is the chief architect of Heard on Hurd, an outdoor community appreciation event drawing more than 45,000 visitors. But the Journey hasn’t been a smooth ride for Jill. She took over the bank at a time of turmoil and was forced to make difficult decisions in order to save the bank. She also had to deal with peers who didn’t believe in her unconventional approach. Jill ultimately led a successful turnar…
1 hr 5 min
Apr 9, 2019
#4 Elizabeth Frame Ellison - An Entrepreneurs Journey Along Route 66
*After receiving a lot of criticism and little to no support when launching her bakery, Elizabeth Ellison identified a gap when it came to supporting entrepreneurs in the community. In a world where technology and high growth ventures tend to dominate the conversation, Elizabeth wanted to create a better environment for traditionally overlooked entrepreneurs - food entrepreneurs. Through her Family’s Foundation, she’s created several programs to support all types of entrepreneurs in Tulsa. Most recently she celebrated the launch of Mother Road Market, Tulsa’s first food hall where she houses 21 food entrepreneurs. But for someone who’s ran the NY Marathon, climbed the Colorado 14er, hiked the Inca Trail and completed the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon for fun, just helping entrepreneurs is not enough. Following her passion for criminal justice and leveraging her vast network in San Francisco, she helped manufacture a strategic partnership between The Last Mile, the Chan Zuckerb…
Mar 25, 2019
#3 Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum - Renewing The Spirit of High Expectations
How does an underdog win an election against a two-term incumbent by 17 points while running a very unconventional campaign? To win elections in today’s political environment conventional candidates often resort to their base, fear-based rhetoric and divisive instincts. But as a candidate for mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, G.T. Bynum took on challenging equity conversations and decided to skip the smear campaigns. Instead he challenged the community to think like an entrepreneur and dream big again. Join us as Mayor Bynum recounts what he admires the most about his grandfather’s legacy and conviction, why he believes entrepreneurship is key to economic growth and how he applies his experience as a former business owner when tackling critical problems in the community.
Feb 12, 2019
#1 Stephanie Bice - From Entrepreneur to Policy Maker
*This episode of the StitchCrew PodCast is a fascinating interview with Oklahoma State Senator, Stephanie Bice. Stephanie joined the Senate at a time when Oklahoma was 49th in the country for female legislators, despite being one of only five females in the senate and a first-term senator, Stephanie received national attention when she managed to challenge the status quo by changing the Oklahoma Constitution to allow the modernization of the state liquor laws. The first overhaul since 1959. We also get to know Stephanie on a personal level as we dive into what led her into politics in the first place after being a successful entrepreneur and working in multiple leadership roles for her family’s technology company. Enjoy! *
Feb 12, 2019
#2 Rooted - A Cut Above The Norm
The role of barbershops has always been about more than a haircut. Barbershops have always propagated around creating a sense of community, dating back as early as 296 BC when greek men used to gather in marketplaces to get their hair and beards trimmed while debating politics and life. The trade was formally introduced in the US in the 19th century, as AB Moler opened a barber school in Chicago, making it the first institution of its kind anywhere in the world. It brought training, education and professionalism in the world of facial hair trimming, giving rise to a new industry. Serving as a cultural staple, barbershops were one of the founding industries that boosted the African American economy after slavery was abolished by allowing black men to become entrepreneurs. Join us as we learn more about the founders of En-Root and Rooted, their journey, the challenges they’ve had to overcome and the impact they are having in the community.
1 hr 25 min