Metro Startup Launcher


Micro-Angel Startup Investing


  • Cornbread Hemp’s Big Win with Equity Crowdfunding

    Cornbread Hemp’s Big Win with Equity Crowdfunding

    25/04/2020 Duração: 42min

    In the last MetroStart podcast, we talked to Cornbread Hemp's Jim Higdon about their ongoing equity crowdfunding round. This week, we talk to Jim again about how they knocked it out of the park - nailing an oversubscribed $107,000 round in just 17 days! Listen to the podcast to learn how they were so successful, even in the middle of the Coronavirus shutdown.   Podcast Transcript (This is machine transcribed, so please forgive the typos.) Alan (00:03): Welcome everyone to the MetroStart podcast. This is Alan Grosheider and I'm here today again with Jim Higdon. Jim is the co founder of Cornbread Hemp ,and it's a first for Metrostart because I'm interviewing Jim for the second time in a row. So it's the first time I've ever interviewed the same person twice right in a row. And there's a good reason for that. In the last podcast we talked about a capital raise that a cornbread hemp was going through and what was the first, because they received $20,000 from Render Capital and they were the first to be accep

  • Louisville’s Cornbread Hemp Scores a Startup Fundraising First

    Louisville’s Cornbread Hemp Scores a Startup Fundraising First

    07/04/2020 Duração: 47min

    Louisville's Cornbread Hemp just scored a local fundraising first. They're the first company to receive Render Capital's $20,000 investment in their WeFunder Match Fund. They're also the first local company to raise funds using Regulation CF equity crowdfunding through WeFunder, one of the nation's top equity crowdfunding portals. Equity crowdfunding is the way of the future for startup companies, and Cornbread Hemp is blazing the trail in the Louisville area. In this episode of the MetroStart podcast, learn: --- how Cornbread hemp got started; --- what they learned about equity crowdfunding; --- the pros and cons of equity crowdfunding; --- pitfalls to avoid; and --- how to make equity crowdfunding successful.     Transcript (This has been machine transcribed, so there may be some typos.) Alan (00:02): Welcome everybody to the MetroStart podcast. I'm Alan Grosheider, and today I'm talking to Jim Higdon. He's a cofounder of Cornbread Hemp Company, and we've been talking about raising capital and w

  • Louisville Entrepreneur Steven Plappert Back in the Startup Game

    Louisville Entrepreneur Steven Plappert Back in the Startup Game

    17/08/2019 Duração: 43min

    Steven Plappert and two co-founders, Andrew Busa and Chris Pierce, started an online fantasy sports company in 2013 called FantasyHub. The company saw early promise and growth, moved to Austin, TX to join the TechStars accelerator program, and even attracted $1.1 million in investments. However, due to issues in the industry as a whole, FantasyHub eventually shut down and sold parts of their operations to another fantasy sports company called DraftKings. In the world of startup companies, you learn more from being in the game than you ever could from reading any books or even earning an MBA. So, the experience was a fantastic learning opportunity. Steven is now back in Louisville, sharing his experience with our local startup community. He's also back in the game with a new startup called Forecastr. In this episode of the MetroStart podcast, learn how Steven got started as an entrepreneur, how he funded his previous company, and what he has learned from his entrepreneurial journey. Also learn what's happeni

  • Louisville Startup is an Implantable Healthcare Pioneer

    Louisville Startup is an Implantable Healthcare Pioneer

    22/07/2019 Duração: 47min

    People often cite healthcare as an area of expertise that may help propel Louisville, KY to greater startup and business prominence in the United States, and Dr. Angelique Johnson is helping us make that happen. She holds undergraduate degrees in mathematics and in computer engineering, a masters in electrical engineering, and a PhD in electrical engineering. Her doctoral work lead her to the development of technologies that she now applies in her own company called MEMStim. To quote directly from their website: "At MEMStim we produce implantable electrode leads capable of providing targeted electrical stimulation to highly dense and small nerve fiber groups. Using automated Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) manufacturing similar to that of the micro-computer chip industry, we create biocompatible electrode leads, which, just like computers, can be made smaller, and do much more than their hand-assembled counterparts." The website also notes that, "We are an early stage startup dedicated to enhancing

  • How This Louisville Company Makes Online Food Ordering Better

    How This Louisville Company Makes Online Food Ordering Better

    03/07/2019 Duração: 32min

    After years of working in the corporate world, Mo Sloan saw a need. Online ordering systems that were available to restaurants had a glaring problem. They do not integrate with the restaurant's current point-of-sale systems. This causes many restaurants to forego offering any sort of online ordering, even though the demand is very high. Mo set out to create a solution: EZ-Chow. The company found early traction and is growing fast. Entrepreneurs like Mo are a great example of how the "Third Wave" of growth of the Internet is happening. Specifically, people like Mo with industry experience are spotting problems and creating solutions with current technology. Learn how Mo saw the opportunity, how he got started, and where EZ-Chow is headed in this MetroStart podcast interview.  

  • How Has Y-Combinator Boosted Louisville’s WeatherCheck

    How Has Y-Combinator Boosted Louisville’s WeatherCheck

    04/06/2019 Duração: 01h03min

    What single Louisville company is part of the same fraternity as Airbnb and Dropbox? It's a company called WeatherCheck, and they now are an alumnus of the prestigious Silicon Valley accelerator Y-Combinator. They're the first and only Y-Combinator company to date from Kentucky! Demetrius Gray, Founder of WeatherCheck, and Co-Founder Jermaine Watkins recently returned from their 4-month stint with the accelerator, and it has proven to be an amazing accelerator for their company. In this podcast, I have an in-depth conversation with Demetrius and learned: ◊ more about his background and how he became and entrepreneur, ◊ how WeatherCheck got started and raised early seed capital, ◊ how they got into Y-Combinator, ◊ what they learned from Y-Combinator that can apply to our startup community, and ◊ where they're headed. This is a must-listen podcast for our startup community and aspiring entrepreneurs.   Transcript (This was machine transcribed. Please forgive the typos.) Alan: 00:00:01 Hi everybody. Welcome

  • How to Make Raising Capital Easier

    How to Make Raising Capital Easier

    03/06/2019 Duração: 17min

      Since the very beginning, MetroStart (formerly Metro Startup Launcher) has worked to make it easier for startup companies in our area to raise capital and get started. With a lot of trial and error, we believe we have figured out a much easier way for startups to raise capital. The same method allows investors to invest smaller amounts and spread their risk, which statistically produces huge returns compared to typical stock market returns. As we have worked to build the audience for MetroStart over the last couple years, we've heard a lot of common themes: ◾ It's REALLY difficult to raise the first $25,000 to $50,000 for startups that need a small amount of cash to get started. ◾ NO ONE wants to be the first investor to help me get my concept off the ground. ◾ After raising my initial chunk of capital (sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars), we just can't seem to find any additional investors. ◾ All the serious angel investors say they are tapped out.   And, from the investor side, we've heard

  • Want to Know More About Patrick Henshaw, LEAP CEO?

    Want to Know More About Patrick Henshaw, LEAP CEO?

    20/05/2019 Duração: 44min

    Patrick Henshaw came to Louisville about 4 months ago to lead the Louisville Entrepreneurship Acceleration Partnership (LEAP) as CEO. If you're part of our entrepreneurial community, you've probably seen him speak at an event or two. You've probably heard some of his vision for the local startup world. However, he probably hasn't had time to talk too much about his background. It's become more and more clear with successful entrepreneurial communities around the country that startup communities are more successful when they are lead by entrepreneurs. Well, when you hear his story, you'll see that Patrick has real, in-the-trenches, entrepreneurial experience, including pitching many, many, many angels before getting his first investment. In this podcast, you'll learn about his entrepreneurial journey and more, including his real life combat experience, which earned him a Bronze Star. You'll also find out what Patrick has learned from 4 months on the job and his thoughts about the growth and success of our

  • How to Help Save Lives and Build A Successful Startup

    How to Help Save Lives and Build A Successful Startup

    11/12/2018 Duração: 54min

    Rebah Wheeling was a successful insurance claims adjuster. One emotional day while meeting with a hurricane victim lead to the founding of her fast growing local company - Schedule It. In this podcast, Rebah talks about the emotional moment that lead her to start her company. Her description of the process of building her company is a MUST-LISTEN for any aspiring entrepreneur in our area and anyone else who would like to see our area prosper with technology startups in the "Third Wave" of the global economy. Learn how she got started, how she got funded, and how she is building a very successful software as a service company right here in the Louisville area.   Transcript (machine transcribed - please forgive the typos) Alan: 00:01 Hey everybody, welcome to the Metro Startup Launcher podcast. This is Alan Grosheider and today I'm talking to Reba wheeling with schedule it and we've known each other for a while, but I think we were introduced originally about Greg Langdon. Right. Rebah: 00:17 I think that

  • How to Get Capital for Your Startup

    How to Get Capital for Your Startup

    26/11/2018 Duração: 23min
  • Can Louisville be a Leader in the Sharing Economy?

    Can Louisville be a Leader in the Sharing Economy?

    25/09/2018 Duração: 13min

      The "Sharing Economy" has been an amazing driver of wealth and convenience for the world. Companies like Uber, Lyft, and, Airbnb have dramatically changed the way we get from one place to another, stay in one place or another, and get things done. They also have created HUGE company valuations and wealth for investors. Where does Louisville fit into this? Can we get a piece of the pie? Are we actually poised to be a leader in some areas of the sharing economy? Most people these days are familiar with Uber and Airbnb. If you like to travel, they can make your life a whole lot easier, more convenient, and more cost-effective. They have attained recent valuations of $60+ billion and $30+ billion, respectively, and they continue to grow rapidly. But, there's only so many markets and services that will work with these kinds of software-based peer-to-peer plays, right? Actually, I believe the sharing economy will continue to dominate the landscape of great scalable companies for quite a while. I also believe th

  • How to Find Success with Louisville Angel Investing?

    How to Find Success with Louisville Angel Investing?

    11/09/2018 Duração: 19min
  • Cuddle Clones just made Louisville startup history!

    Cuddle Clones just made Louisville startup history!

    19/06/2018 Duração: 40min
  • How to Boost Louisville’s Rise of the Rest Momentum

    How to Boost Louisville’s Rise of the Rest Momentum

    17/05/2018 Duração: 09min

    What a week we had recently for local entrepreneurs! I hope you had a chance to attend some of the Kentucky Startup events. With Endeavor's International Selection Panel and Steve Case's Rise of the Rest Tour making Louisville its only return city to date, we have a lot to be proud of. So how do we keep up the momentum? We're collectively doing a lot of great things, but let's see if we can crank it up a notch! At Metro Startup Launcher, we're working on a better way to increase the amount of available capital for local startup companies, spread the risk much more effectively, and help all of our local angel investors make more money (statistically, an AVERAGE of 27% annually). How do we do that? Well, to start we've stumbled into some funding that will help make a huge difference in our area: 1. We've partnered with a group that is creating multiple $500,000 mini-funds that we can access for very early startup capital. 2. The same group also is creating two $100 million funds that will be available for fo

  • How to get startups started with Alli from Wicked Sheets

    How to get startups started with Alli from Wicked Sheets

    24/04/2018 Duração: 51min

    Alli Truttmann just celebrated a HUGE milestone for any business: the 10-year anniversary of her company, Wicked Sheets. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of businesses fail in their 1st year, about 50% of small businesses fail by their 5th year, and only 30% survive over 10. And things are really starting to heat up now with her upcoming appearance in front of an audience of 96 million on QVC! Alli has been interviewed for a lot of Louisville area publications, but as she mentioned during our talk, she's never been interviewed about how she got her funding to get started, what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and what she would have done differently. Since our mission at Metro Startup Launcher is increasing the number of local "micro-angel" investors and helping more startup companies get their early funding, we really enjoy learning how our amazing local entrepreneurs made it happen and getting to know them a little better. So, enjoy our podcast interview with Alli Truttmann

  • Ben Reno-Weber, MobileServe, and Louisville’s Rise of the Rest!

    Ben Reno-Weber, MobileServe, and Louisville’s Rise of the Rest!

    05/02/2018 Duração: 44min

    MobileServe is a fast-growing mobile app company that helps organizations track and encourage participation in volunteer activities: tracking, managing, and reporting their social impact.  They're a great example of how you can see a problem in your own workplace and then create your own solution that you and many others can use.  They're also a great example of how a Louisville area company can help us participate in the Rise of the Rest of the entrepreneurial startups in the U.S. In this podcast, I talk with Ben Reno-Weber.  Ben and his co-founder Chris Head, started MobileServe to solve a problem that Ben saw while he was working as the CEO of the Kentucky YMCA Youth Center.  He wanted a better way to track the activities and participation of volunteers.  These guys are great examples of how to pick an idea and get started, even while you're still working your day job. Well, they're full time now and chugging along very well with successful capital raises and customer growth. Learn how Ben got the entre

  • How is John Williamson advancing healthcare artificial intelligence in Louisville?

    How is John Williamson advancing healthcare artificial intelligence in Louisville?

    06/12/2017 Duração: 37min

    Artificial intelligence is quickly affecting more and more of our lives, like it or not.  I personally look forward to the day that lots of "bots" do all my busy work and leave me free to be much more creative.  Could AI take over the world?  Elon Musk thinks so.  But, I tend to focus more on what it will do FOR us vs. what it will do AGAINST us.  I'm a pretty optimistic guy. Well, artificial intelligence is advancing in Louisville, and local entrepreneur John Williamson is at the forefront.  I spoke to John about his entrepreneurial journey and his latest venture, RCM Brain. Listen to the latest Metro Startup Launcher podcast to learn: ♦ How can public speaking improve your entrepreneurial skills? ♦ Do most entrepreneurs start early? ♦ Why clearly expressing your vision and getting others excited is so important for an entrepreneur. ♦ How important is persistence in the startup world? ♦ Does a person's childhood play a factor in entrepreneurial drive and success? ♦ What was John's progression into starting

  • How are Ted Smith and Revon Systems trailblazing healthcare?

    How are Ted Smith and Revon Systems trailblazing healthcare?

    13/11/2017 Duração: 36min

    In the latest edition of the Metro Startup Launcher podcast, I interview Ted Smith, CEO of Revon Systems, Inc. Ted has been a major influencer of our startup community in many ways for quite a while.  He's been a researcher, an entrepreneur, and even the Louisville Metro Director of Innovation.  Now Ted is the CEO of Revon System, a leading developer of software applications for the treatment of chronic health conditions. Ted, Revon Systems, and their associated colleagues at Apellis Pharmaceuticals are doing amazing things to give Louisville a big star on the map in the world of healthcare innovation.  They're setting an excellent example of how we all should think much bigger about what we can accomplish right here in the Midwest. In this interview you'll learn: ♦ What is Revon, and how could their technologies improve healthcare? ♦ What's the background of Revon and Apellis? ♦ How should a local entrepreneur think about raising capital in Louisville for big vision, risky, world-changing projects? ♦ What

  • How to take advantage of the 40% Angel Tax Credit?

    How to take advantage of the 40% Angel Tax Credit?

    25/10/2017 Duração: 29min

    One thing that makes a startup investment in Kentucky extremely attractive is the Kentucky Angel Investment Tax Credit. If you're an accredited investor and a Kentucky resident, you can get an amazing tax credit (40 to 50%) on startup company investments. This is a TAX CREDIT, not a deduction.  In other words, you get a dollar for dollar reduction of your tax for up to 50% of your investment in a qualified Kentucky startup company. These tax credits were designed to encourage qualified individual investors to make capital investments in Kentucky small businesses, create additional jobs, and promote the development of new products and technologies.  And, they have been extremely successful. Tax credits are non-refundable (only count toward actual Kentucky state taxes that you owe).  The amounts that you can claim in any one tax year may not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the total amount of credit awarded or transferred to the taxpayer.  However, any unused credits may carry-forward for up to fifteen (15) y

  • How SkuVault launched from startup to skyrocket?

    How SkuVault launched from startup to skyrocket?

    02/10/2017 Duração: 42min

      Local company SkuVault has won a lot of awards and made a lot of headlines lately.  They're one of the local Endeavor companies, and they're a shining example of how to go from scrappy bootstrapped startup to amazing success story. On this episode of the Metro Startup Launcher podcast, we talk to Andy Eastes, co-founder and CEO of SkuVault. If you're interested in being an entrepreneur or investing in local startups, you don't want to miss this podcast. Here's what you'll learn about SkuVault: What does SkuVault do?  Who are SkuVault's competitors?  How do you start a company these days when there seems to be competition everywhere? Do you have to have an earth-shattering, brilliant idea to start a company?  Why a niche mentality and a great "story" gives you an edge. What's Andy's story?  Any early entrepreneurial experience?  How did he become the entrepreneur he is today? Why are lots of small steps and partnerships important to get things started?  Why is very hands-on client interaction critica

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