As a follow up to our conversation last week with John Coulson, serial inventor and founder of SIDOG, we interviewed TJ Wright, founder of Mi Amore the first official licensee of SIDOG’s technology platform.
TJ Wright has a fascinating story himself. For those of you not familiar with the name, TJ is a former Cincinnati Bengals cornerback who played professionally for many years until an injury forced him to move to arena football and eventually retire from the game altogether. While TJ figured out his next steps, he pursued his creative passions with a vengeance, which included forming a rap / rock back called Orian’s belt, pursuing a design degree through an art institute, designing his own merchandise such as accessories, wardrobe and shoes.
We recently had a conversation with John Coulson founder of SIDOG / Seti entertainment who is developing technology that would allow for truly immersive virtual experiences that enable a live, real-time social interaction while in a virtual setting. What that means, is that anyone with the technology could insert themselves into live events and places that enable them to interact with the actual experience.
Imagine being able to swing at a pitch from your favorite baseball pitcher or playing in a concert with your favorite rock band, going on virtual dates with someone in another country, the possibilities for how to extend the experience are endless.
SenSay leverages bots to find humans that need to interact with one another. Need a recommendation on where to go in New Orleans? Do you have a deep knowledge of Opera that you'd like to share with people longing to appreciate the art form?
SenSay will find the people that have the questions...OR the answers. Check out Sandra Ponce De Leon and Pete A Turner as they look inside the SenSay Bubbl with co-founders Ariel Jalali and Crystal Rose.
Jonathan Kim has a fascinating background intersecting various business verticals such as AI, Venture Capital and mobile with an impressive career holding down executive positions at Samsung, JPL, Crosslink Capital and Qualcomm.
During his time at JPL, Jonathan saw an opportunity for AI and in an early learning environment. He realized that even though the tools we are using today in the classroom have changed, the fundamentals behind how we teach kids haven’t. According to Jonathan, we are living in a post AI world and he wanted to build something that would help both parents as well as kids. He asked himself 2 main questions: What are we teaching kids today and how do we teach them? While much of the focus of AI today revolves around the frightening prospect of computers taking our jobs and being something to fear, he wanted to make sure AI is leveraged as tech tool that can better help parents become involved in their child's’ education.
It was wonderful to sit down recently with Lala Castro of Latina Geeks whose own story of triumph over hardship and of pushing through stereotypes serves as an inspiration to us all. LatinaGeeks is a media company Lala started with partner Tanya Salcido with a focus of inspiring and empowering more Latina women to be involved in the tech industry and to embrace their inner geek.
Jim Burke is the co-found of PopUpsters a company created to improve the interaction between event organizers and artisans, brands, non-profits, pretty much anyone seeking to get infant of their customer base and interact offline.
Pete A Turner and Sandra Ponce De Leon sit down with Jim discuss his company and what it's like to trust your co-founders in an emerging company.
Tastemates, the new app that launched this week. Tastemates is a mobile app (android and iOS) that allows people to connect over their interests such as music, movies and books with plans to expand into travel, food and other verticals. It’s a network that helps you connect with “mates” who share the same tastes.
We recently interviewed Steve Ardire, Merchant of Light and AI guru. Steve has been an advisor to over 40 startups in the last 20 years. In recent years, he has focused his efforts on the AI space having positioned himself for the coming wave. True to form, AI or artificial intelligence has become a sizzling red hot industry.
We started by establishing a baseline definition for artificial intelligence which is a broad term that has actually been around 40 plus years. Modern AI now uses more sophisticated techniques such as applying deep learning to data, images, or video and leveraging algorithms to discover the who, what, how and why - which is the hardest question a machine can answer.
Dalia sits down with Pete A Turner and Sandra Ponce De Leon to discuss augmented intelligence and how it is going to change the face of marketing.
The title search marketplace has changed. Nobody picks titles as a place to innovate, but that’s the point. Don saw an industry comfortable and complacent; he stalked opportunity and struck. Within weeks NextAce went from a bar napkin to a working model backed by investors. Now as Next Ace sits in the driver’s seat, Don is looking to push the market to be faster, more ubiquitous with more value. In the brilliant idea Hall of Fame, Don sits by Fred Smith among the guys who went to a bar for drinks and came out with an idea of a lifetime.
We recently spoke with Matt Greeley, CEO of Brightidea a 16 year old “start-up” that has been leading the charge in solving an important problem for many global F500 companies, that of innovating in a scalable and repeatable way. While that may not seem like a tough problem for many of us in StartupLandia where innovation is the norm, for bigger companies leveraging new technologies and navigating the many ways to innovate is a huge challenge but one that is critical to survival.
It was not that long ago companies experienced the longevity of markets represented through an average time spent on the S&P 500 of more than 50 years today that number has shrunk down to the teens.
Unlike traditional accelerators that are in business to help developers create product and raise money, GrowthX is focused on companies with already developed technologies and customers and helping those companies grow exponentially.
The GrowthX academy experience is open to companies that are vetted by first being part of the fund’s portfolio. Unlike the typical batch process of many Silicon Valley accelerators, GrowthX accepts 1-2 companies each month to participate in the hands-on and very intensive process.
Myles Weissleder CEO of SF New Tech drops in to the Popping the Bubbl studio to sit with co-hosts Sandra Ponce De Leon and Pete A Turner.
They discuss SF New Tech's role in providing a launch pad for the next tech company.
SF New Tech has been so successful, it spawned TechBytes an agricultural tech meet up that travels internationally, looking for the next tech breakout in the ag-world
We flip the mics and find out a little more about Sandra
Rania Hoteit is the Co-Founder and CEO of ID4A Technologies. In this episode she dive deep into her philosophy of life, work and design thinking.
Nathan Beckord who is CEO "Captain" of Founder's Suite provides entrepreneurs with the critical tools they need to start, run and fund their business.
Andy Wiedlin former CRO of Buzz Feed discusses the state of modern advertising and news consumption.
Sarah Kunst is the Founder and CEO of Proday. Which allows consumers to workout alongside their favorite athletes. Sandara Ponce De Leon and Pete A Turner sat with Sarah and talked about Proday, Los Angeles Dodgers' sports based accelerator and a program that seeks to improve the quality of talent working in "Rising" cities.
Slywia is a force. She's the producer and host of Valley Talks a show that reveals real stories of Silicon Valley starups. She keeps herself busy as a founder, entrepreneur, traveler...we could go on, but the point is clear. Sylwia is busy and makes her own breaks.
Seeing the Lean
She’s the author of “Lean Out,” a collection of essays that chronicle the experiences of women, LGBTQ folks, and people of color in the start-up world. In contrast to Sheryl Sandberg's widely read Lean In, Elissa’s main message is not that women (and other groups) need to change their behavior, but rather it is the companies themselves that must change and reach these groups that are leaning out because of marginalization.
FastCompany article, “As former Google employee Jamesha Fisher told Fast Company, when she landed in the Bay Area, she became aware of a systematic stigmatism for being both black and female, which made her feel like "the odd egg." She had to work to develop a support circle of peers and mentors, in part through social media, so she could feel more a part of a community.”
In the micro, Elissa’s evocative personal vignettes about her own experiences are shocking. The disregard for her talents, the targeted bullying, these barriers that exist belie our expectations of companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook.
From my view on the edges of the industry (I live in the SF Bay and have consulted with dozens of local tech based clients) my impression was that start-ups and tech giants were leading the way, with some exceptions, in terms of including diversity groups—I was wrong.
One of the baseline tools I bring clients is to re-orient with other perspectives in mind. If the perspective of your target/partner/customer would improve how you approach your objective, it’s critical to obtain and accept their perception to open collaboration.
Recognizing another’s perception isn’t agreeing with it. I don’t agree with a lot of things I experience, but I do accept that someone else’s reality was formed in a different environment; and that matters in ways that create wonderful opportunities.
In a recent interview with Rob Bell we discussed “the furniture of the mind.” If we run through someone’s “mind room,” blindfolded and unaware of their furniture, we disrupt or ignore their world. Leaving them to wonder what they are supposed to do to prevent our chaotic influence...then, they put their room back just as it was, and then begin to lean outside the organization.
Our institutional and personal cultural perceptions tend to revert back to a comfortable setting similar to a compass—in the case of the Silicon Valley, the archetype of Brogrammer with Mark Zuckerberg as its poster boy or “white male nerd” is celebrated and actively sought out by Angels and VC’s.
The trick is realizing you are stuck on magnetic north when you intend to work off of true north. The hard work comes in actually improving the culture of an organization. That improvement requires discomfort, mistakes, patience and a guide.
Illustrating this, Elissa’s stories exposed my own dis-perception of diversity. I realized my experience was shallow and white male (hi, I’m a white dude) based…and dismissive of other experiences; and I know better.
She talked to us about Squinky. I had no idea who or what a Squinky was, I immediately judged simply based on the name. That position, is completely wrong, dismissive and unfair to Squinky. Elissa afforded me the chance to see the “lean” and evolve. I’m thankful to Elissa for coming on Popping the Bubbl, and for her wonderful book.
Elissa is a passionate advocate and recruiter at Kearney, Boyle and Associates delivering underrepresented candidates to companies looking bring diversity to their workforces. Elissa is available and excited to give talks on her book, if you are interested in booking her, please reach out to her agent Melissa Broadway.
In this episode I mention Anthony Iannarino, who writes “The Sales Blog.”
Sean Ryan has founded or been the CTO for a number of companies. In this episode Sean discusses how his 25 years inside the "Bubbl" enables him to balance innovation with proven models for success.
Some how we cover a lot of ground in this episode: distractions in the workplace, mountain biking, Sly Stone, and Jay Mohr. Bubbl Up!
Hosts: Sandra Ponce De Leon, Pete A Turner, Jon Leon Guerrero