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404 Planning Surprise 3-Day Vacations w/ Lillian Rafson, Pack Up + Go founder

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Release Date: 11/11/2019

435 Juneteenth, Retaining Diverse Talent, and YNGBLKPGH w/ Brian Burley show art 435 Juneteenth, Retaining Diverse Talent, and YNGBLKPGH w/ Brian Burley

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Brian Burley is the founder of YNGBLKPGH, a book and community of talented black professionals in and around the city of Pittsburgh.   Brian came on Going Deep to discuss the absolute necessity of cities and corporations adopting more empathetic and diverse approaches to attracting and retaining talent.   He has a distinct perspective that he has earned through writing his book profiling over 100 black professionals, working in economic development for the Pittsburgh region, and leading conversations about diversity at ADP.   Aaron and Brian also cover the rise of Juneteenth...

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434 Billionaire Henry Schuck just IPO’d ZoomInfo during a Pandemic show art 434 Billionaire Henry Schuck just IPO’d ZoomInfo during a Pandemic

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Henry Schuck founded his company, originally named DiscoverOrg, in 2007 at the age of 23. The company IPO’d on June 4th, 2020.   After acquiring ZoomInfo in 2019, they took the new name and consolidated their position as one of the leading sources of business information and now drive the go-to-market initiative of over 15,000 companies worldwide.    Henry sees ZoomInfo changing the way every company goes to market, the way sales reps engage with buyers, the way marketing targets, and the way HR recruits.   In this episode, Henry and Aaron discuss bootstrapping the...

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433 Upgrading Legacy Financial Technology w/ Joe Hipsky of iraLogix show art 433 Upgrading Legacy Financial Technology w/ Joe Hipsky of iraLogix

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Joe Hipsky’s long career in financial services have allowed him to identify and develop a solution to the pipes of the financial system.   His company, iraLogix, is aimed at reducing the administrative burden placed on financial service providers.    In this conversation, Joe and Aaron discuss fundraising, why the financial services industry has been slow to adapt, and the regulatory climate for fintech.   happens once a year.   Joe Hipsky’s Challenge; If you’re looking for investors, study the investment process and how venture capitalists make decisions. ...

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432 Bringing Tech to Waste Management w/ Charlie Dolan show art 432 Bringing Tech to Waste Management w/ Charlie Dolan

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Charlie Dolan is the founder of Sequoia Waste Solutions, a technology company aimed at modernizing waste management.   When Charlie first looked at the waste management industry, he saw business still being run on paper with enormous inefficiencies needing to be addressed. So, he started building.   Today, the firm employs more than a dozen people and offers a suite of software and hardware solutions that drastically reduce costs associated with billing for and hauling away garbage.   In this conversation, Aaron and Charlie discuss the evolution of the company, the benefits of...

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431 Augmented Reality will Unlock Human Creativity w/ John Feghali (Toaster Pets Cartoons) show art 431 Augmented Reality will Unlock Human Creativity w/ John Feghali (Toaster Pets Cartoons)

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

John Feghali’s technology startup blends augmented reality, digital media, and animation to enable a new style of storytelling.   Most animated videos take thousands of hours of work and come with hefty price tags. For example, Frozen 2 cost $150 million and Toy Story 4 cost $200 million.   John’s company, Toaster Pets Cartoons, allows children and adults to make their own animated cartoons by recording cardboard cutouts and using artificial intelligence to translate the live action into a digital cartoon.     In this episode, Aaron and John discuss how he found this...

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430 Tapping into the Billion Dollar Market of Land Rights w/ Luke Glass & RealX show art 430 Tapping into the Billion Dollar Market of Land Rights w/ Luke Glass & RealX

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Luke Glass is building a digital marketplace for land rights in the US. That means that any property owner can list their property’s rights to timber, solar, wind, or oil & gas for sale.   Luke’s company, RealX is aiming to unleash the trends of digitization, globalization, and virtualization on a marketplace that still operates on postcards and paper contracts.   As vice president and general manager of ListHub, which was purchased by Move in 2010, Luke Glass grew the platform into the nation’s largest online real estate listing syndicator.   In this podcast, Luke and...

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429 How to Raise $35 Million w/ Luke Skurman of Niche.com show art 429 How to Raise $35 Million w/ Luke Skurman of Niche.com

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Luke Skurman is the CEO and Founder of Niche.com. Niche is an informative website that provides insight and analysis from experts and neighbors to help people choose colleges, K-12 schools, and places to live.    Niche, formerly College Prowler, was founded in 2002 and recently raised $35 Million to expand its client base and grow its team. This Series C funding was led by the New York-based Radian Capital and San Fransisco-based Salesforce Ventures.    Luke has been at the helm of this college resource dynamo since its founding and has led it through tremendous years of...

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428 Saving Small Bars & Restaurants w/ Keith Harmon (Alchemy Financial) show art 428 Saving Small Bars & Restaurants w/ Keith Harmon (Alchemy Financial)

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Keith Hamon has over 30 years of operational restaurant experience, with 10 years in active financial management and 7 years of direct experience owning, operating, growing, and stewarding a small group of restaurants.    His firm, Alchemy Financial, serves as a bookkeeper, financial planner, and CFO for clients in the hospitality space.   Keith is committed to helping small restaurants and bars survive and thrive using better financial planning and thinking strategically about pricing.   In this episode, Keith and Aaron discuss pricing strategy, how restaurants deal with...

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427 Ben Hunt of Epsilon Theory talks Seeing Through Fake Statistics, Hope, and Being a “Girl Dad” show art 427 Ben Hunt of Epsilon Theory talks Seeing Through Fake Statistics, Hope, and Being a “Girl Dad”

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Ben Hunt is the creator of Epsilon Theory and co-founder of Second Foundation Partners.    Epsilon Theory is a newsletter and website that studies markets using game theory and history. It is read by over 100,000 professional investors and allocators across 180 countries.   Ben is the founder of two technology companies, a past professor of political science, and a successful investor. He’s worked in venture capital and subsequently on two long/short equity hedge funds. He evolved to blend his background as a portfolio manager, risk manager, and entrepreneur with academic...

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426 Making Crypto More Useful w/ BlockFi’s Flori Marquez show art 426 Making Crypto More Useful w/ BlockFi’s Flori Marquez

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Flori Marquez is the cofounder of BlockFi, a fintech firm that provides wealth management products to investors in cryptocurrency.   BlockFi currently offers interest-bearing crypto accounts, crypto trading, and crypto-backed loans.   In the last year, BlockFi has raised an $18.3 million Series A and a $30 million Series B from investors like Morgan Creek Digital, Fidelity, the Winklevoss twins, and Valar Ventures.   Flori has spent her career managing alternative lending products, including a $125MM portfolio for Bond Street (acquired by Goldman Sachs).    In this...

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Lillian Rafson did not plan to start her business Pack Up + Go. But, on a trip to Latvia, she came across an idea that was too good to pass up. Booking surprise travel for vacationers.

 

She came back to the US, started the business, and hoped to get 50 clients that year. She got 500.

 

She followed the sharp trajectory upwards and remained bootstrapped the whole way. Now she runs a team, does millions in revenue, and is charting expansion plans.

 

In this conversation, Lillian and Aaron discuss the inspiration for the business, how she got initial traction, and the way she has built her team.



Pittsburgh’s best conference to Expand your Mind & Fill your Heart happens once a year.

 

Lillian’s Challenge; Go visit a new neighborhood in your city or town.

 

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