Interview: entrepreneur Archive

Pedego’s Don DiCostanzo

Posted November 6, 2013 By Frank
Don DiCostanzo

Don DiCostanzo

He’s a member of the Tech Coast Angels, he’s the founder of an electric bicycle company that’s expanding worldwide and he’s a budding bicycle safety advocate. Meet Don DiCostanzo of Pedego Electric Bikes.

Myself, if Pedego were looking for angel funding, I would probably look the other way. “Retail model”, I would say to my peers as I turned down the opportunity. But I would be so wrong. Whatever it is – the baby boomer demographics – the popularity of the bicycle that’s occurring in cities around the world – or maybe I’ll credit his business experience and savvy – it’s adding up to a very successful business that’s making customers happy, so much so that the business motto is “Fun!”.

So as a successful entrepreneur, what does he look for when he evaluates the pitches he sees at TCA?

Does his expertise in consumer products make him more favorably inclined towards similar deals?

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Show #430 Stream, flash player or iTunes

The City Commuter

The City Commuter

 

Warren Konkel, Bountysource

Posted July 24, 2013 By Frank

Warren Konkel

Warren Konkel

Kickstarter meets Open Source? That might be the simplest way to describe Warren Konkel’s new platform, Bountysource.

Warren is leading an exciting life; last year he participated in Geeks on a Plane, “an invite-only tour for startups, investors, and executives to learn about burgeoning technology markets worldwide.” Apparently something clicked. Today he’s funded by Dusan Stojanovic’s True Global Ventures which includes top-level angel investors from around the world, people like NY Angels founder David S. Rose.

That’s really the big vision here, is getting more developers writing code.

How will this new platform help investors and entrepreneurs? Warren describes how Gust will use Bountysource.

Dare I say? As you listen to Warren describe his new venture, you’re gonna wish you were an investor, too.

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Show #420 Stream, flash player or iTunes

 

Sara Hanks, CrowdCheck

Posted July 17, 2013 By Frank
Sara Hanks

Sara Hanks

Nervous about Crowdfunding?

You’re not the only one. Many if not most, early-stage investors recognize great potential for fraud.

This strikes CrowdCheck‘s Sara Hanks as an opportunity. She’s figured out that whichever Crowdfunding platforms succeed, they will have liabilities. CrowdCheck is a B2B play for these new platforms to manage their liability.

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Show #419 Stream, flash player or iTunes

 

Paul Silva, Coworking

Posted June 18, 2013 By Frank

Paul Silva

Paul Silva

Paul sent me an email:

As you may know, I recently became president of Click Workspace, a coworking and startup incubation facility in Northampton, MA. For those unfamiliar with coworking, it is a shared office space solution optimized for founders and freelancers. Why am I telling you? Because I believe Click has wonderful potential to help entrepreneurs in Western Massachusetts and if you or entrepreneurs, freelancers, and startups you know might see some synergy – I’d love to chat :) Our brand new website is at: www.clickworkspace.org

So I called him.

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Show #416 Stream, flash player or iTunes

Stewart Craine, Micro Energy Markets

Posted June 5, 2013 By Frank

Stewart Craine

Stewart Craine

Many entrepreneurs and angel investors aspire to leave the world a better place.

Few do as much as Stewart Craine. His Barefoot Power startup brought him worldwide notoriety and an earlier appearance here. Today he describes a new initiative in the arena of impact investing.

His Village Infrastructure Angels will bring solar energy to the poor in Africa and India, in a novel way.

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Show #414 Stream, flash player or iTunes

 

Product Design and Delivery Via Crowd Supply

Posted April 24, 2013 By Frank

CrowdSupply

Lou Doctor

Lou Doctor

He’s taking an eCommerce approach to Crowdfunding and he should know how to do that. Lou Doctor returns to describe his latest entrepreneurial venture: Crowd Supply.

He’s running about a dozen eCommerce sites. One new one is xCameras where he offers the GoPro and Contour video cameras and all the accessories. He’s opened AudioGeeks; a new site with matching bricks and mortar shop that sells high-end headphones. Makes me wonder what he’ll be selling next. Of course, this all started with a garage-based business selling bicycle tires; check out BikeTiresDirect.

As early-stage investors we’re often perturbed over the potential disruptions Crowdfunding may bring, but there are other aspects that offer great benefits to startups:

There’s information that you learn by Crowdfunding a project that isn’t complete yet that will help make it a better product.

Lou shares stories and thoughtful insights as he describes his vision for a renaissance in consumer product development.

I’m already pledged to one of the Crowd Supply projects; check out the LIT Ultra-reflective Bike Tire.

Disclaimer: I’m an angel investor in Crowd Supply.

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Show #410 Stream, flash player or iTunes