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351 Aaron Talks to Professional Sales Class About LinkedIn (Duquesne University)

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Release Date: 10/22/2018

453 $8 Billion in Loans Issues to Save Small Businesses w/ Brock Blake, Lendio founder show art 453 $8 Billion in Loans Issues to Save Small Businesses w/ Brock Blake, Lendio founder

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Brock Blake is the founder and CEO of Lendio, a marketplace for small business loans. Lendio offers borrowers access to loan options from more lenders than any other marketplace in the industry.    Brock has been building his company for nearly a decade and raised more than $100 million in venture capital. 2020 has stretched his team and tech to new heights, as they’ve facilitated over 100,000 PPP loan approvals and the issue of $8 Billion in funds.   In this conversation, Aaron and Blake discuss why Brock pivoted away from his first company, the challenges and constraints of...

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452 Thrasio, a Profitable Unicorn in Less than 3 Years w/ Casey Gauss show art 452 Thrasio, a Profitable Unicorn in Less than 3 Years w/ Casey Gauss

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Casey Gauss is the VP of Amazon SEO at Thrasio. Thrasio is one of the most interesting companies I’ve come across in years.   Thrasio was founded in 2018. It has gone on to raise $520.5 million and be valued at over $1 billion. The companies has acquired more than 70 businesses that sell products on Amazon.   By bundling the companies together, they aim to build the CPG powerhouse (think Unilever or Procter & Gamble) of the digital age. Casey leads the team’s efforts in optimizing Thrasio’s 6,000+ product pages on Amazon to ensure that they rank high.   This translates...

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451 Wiz Khalifa’s Manager Will Dzombak talks Hotbox by Wiz, Artist Management, and Taylor Gang show art 451 Wiz Khalifa’s Manager Will Dzombak talks Hotbox by Wiz, Artist Management, and Taylor Gang

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Will Dzombak is a Pittsburgh native and one of the entertainment industry’s top music managers. He’s helped guide the career of Grammy-nominated rapper Wiz Khalifa and cofounded Taylor Gang Entertainment.   As a student at Penn State, Will co-founded an events company, where he booked Wiz Khalifa will he was still just a rising Pittsburgh rapper. After the first show’s turnout exceeded expectations, Khalifa sought out Dzombak’s help with booking more shows for him.    Within a few years, Dzombak has helped Khalifa create one of the most successful and consistent summer...

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450 Save the Environment AND Healthier Plants w/ Better Soil (Brian Scott, PittMoss) show art 450 Save the Environment AND Healthier Plants w/ Better Soil (Brian Scott, PittMoss)

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Planting soil hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years. Brian Scott wants to change that.   Brian is the CEO of PittMoss, a Pittsburgh startup that creates a recycled/upcycled substitute for peat moss.    Pittmoss has been proven in greenhouse trials to outgrow all current peat-based potting soil products when mixed with these products or when plants are grown in nutrient-enriched Pittmoss alone.    He is currently leading a company pivot to the retail market. Brian originally invested in the company as an angel investor, and took over the company when the founder...

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449 Setting Safety Standards for Driverless Vehicles w/ Michael Wagner, CEO of Edge Case Research show art 449 Setting Safety Standards for Driverless Vehicles w/ Michael Wagner, CEO of Edge Case Research

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Michael is the CEO and co-founder of Edge Case Research, a company focused on making autonomy safer. Edge Case Research’s ECR’s products and services are geared for customers who build autonomous systems.    The company’s offerings include software that tests for gaps in computer vision systems and consulting focused on prioritizing safety into an engineering department’s culture.   Michael’s experience with autonomous vehicles started twenty years ago at Carnegie Mellon University where he built lunar rovers for Red Whittaker, autonomous scientific robots that...

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448 How to Sell a Midsize Digital Agency w/ Amanda Dixon (Barney) show art 448 How to Sell a Midsize Digital Agency w/ Amanda Dixon (Barney)

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Amanda Dixon is the cofounder of Barney, a mid-market M&A firm that helps entrepreneurs buy and sell digital businesses. They boast a database of more than 15,000 buyers and a dynamic portfolio of past mergers and acquisitions.    Before starting Barney, Amanda had previously started and sold two businesses. After successfully selling both businesses, Amanda became painfully aware of the challenges associated with selling a business worth less than $20 million.   Now, Amanda leverages her learnings to helping others exit their business in a way that is simple, focused, and...

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447 Climbing the Entrepreneurial Ladder & Equity Crowdfunding w/ Dawn Dickson (PopCom) show art 447 Climbing the Entrepreneurial Ladder & Equity Crowdfunding w/ Dawn Dickson (PopCom)

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Dawn Dickson is a serial entrepreneur that has launched four successful cash flow positive companies since 2002. Most recently, she splits her time between Flat Out of Heels (rollable flats for women to get relief from painful heels) and PopCom (a software solution to make vending machines more intelligent).   Dawn has an expertise in raising traditional and non-traditional business capital. In 2019, Dawn became the first female CEO globally to raise over $1 million using equity crowdfunding. This style of fundraising was made available by the JOBS Act, which was signed into law in 2012....

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446 Raised $2 Million for Paid Podcast Membership Platform Glow.fm w/ Amira Valliani show art 446 Raised $2 Million for Paid Podcast Membership Platform Glow.fm w/ Amira Valliani

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

In 2017, Amira Valliani created Backyard Cambridge, a podcast about the City Council election in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She interviewed the candidates, produced the episodes, and built a small audience.   When she attempted to turn the show into a viable business, she found that there was no easy solution for collecting subscription revenue from listeners willing to pay for content.   So, she founded Glow. Glow makes building podcast memberships easy and has raised more than $2 million in seed funding.   In this episode, Amira and Aaron discuss why podcasters can make more...

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445 Record-Setting Crowdfunder Building Tech Platform for Truck Drivers w/ Pierre Laguerre (Fleeting) show art 445 Record-Setting Crowdfunder Building Tech Platform for Truck Drivers w/ Pierre Laguerre (Fleeting)

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Pierre Laguerre is the founder & CEO of Fleeting, a startup building a digital platform to increase flexibility, dynamism, and efficiency for trucking companies and commercial truck drivers.    Pierre previously built two successful trucking companies operating trucks and staffing for other trucking companies. He’s been involved in trucking for nearly two decades and has learned the industry inside and out.   Since launching Fleeting in June 2019, Pierre and the team have generated over $1.5 million in revenue and raised more than $1.8 million. Additionally, Pierre became...

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444 Refugee Builds $10 Million Business w/ Gene Leyzarovich (JetStor) show art 444 Refugee Builds $10 Million Business w/ Gene Leyzarovich (JetStor)

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

25 years ago, Gene Leyzarovich came to Pittsburgh as a refugee from Russia. Within two years, he founded Advanced Computer & Network Corporation to build data storage systems for clients.   Decades later, AC&NC has installed their JetStor RAID (redundant array of independent disks) systems for over 4,000 clients around the world. Those clients include NASA, the US State Department, and a majority of the United Kingdom’s police force.   Now, ACNC does over $10 million in annual revenue and assembles its devices in Pittsburgh, PA.   In this conversation, Gene and Aaron...

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Piper Creative CEO Aaron Watson was invited to speak to the Professional Sales Class at Duquesne University. Aaron made a point of driving home that every college student should establish a presence on LinkedIn and use it to find their next job.

 

2018 is the year of LinkedIn. It will likely never be as good again.