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DC Entrepreneur

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Work. Wealth. Wisdom. This weekly interview podcast showcases the founders and minds behind some of the most innovative and creative start-ups. Guests from around the DC region and beyond share their unique journeys of becoming entrepreneurs.The show is produced and hosted by George Mocharko who has been documenting the stories of early to mid-stage founders whose voices are often overlooked by corporate business media. You'll enjoy hearing from these local, talented builders speak about their paths to success, and how they've bounced back from failure. Investors, business leaders, Venture Capitalists, and aspiring founders will find out what drives these intrepid professionals and how their career journeys look different than others.


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Francesco Amodeo Owner of Don Ciccio & Figli distillery in Washington, DC
On this episode of DC Entrepreneur​, George speaks to Francesco Amodeo the owner and president of Don Ciccio & Figli​ on location at his distillery in Ivy City. The establishment, which features both a production facility and tasting bar, is bringing amari-based craft cocktails to DC based on recipes from Amodeo's family from the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Amaro drinks are bitter herbal liquers commonly consumed as digestifs.From Don Ciccio's website: Francesco ‘Ciccio’ Amodeo began his journey in the hospitality industry as a young boy growing up in the small town of Furore, Italy, a quaint, tight-knit hamlet of just over 800 residents. With an extended family supplying the town with its most celebrated chefs, winemakers, and artisanal liqueur makers, Amodeo became an epicure at a young age, and began his life-long love affair with hospitality. Deciding to follow in his family’s footsteps, Amodeo got his first job at the age of 14, working under the mentorship of Marisa Cuomo, one of Italy’s most respected winemakers. He continued his apprenticeship at his uncle's restaurant in Positano. Uncle Amodeo soon pulled young Francesco behind the cocktail bar, and in that moment, an Amalfi Coast alchemist was born. He had found his true calling in hospitality, and Francesco continued his tutelage at the town’s only resort. At Furore Inn Resort young Amodeo came of age, and received many specialized certifications of his expertise. In 2004, he became a Master of Food and Beverage Management, but not before his certification as a Master Sommelier for the A.I.S. of Napoli, Italy. He is a Master Barman through the A.I.B.E.S. of Salerno too. In the spirit of adventure, Francesco travelled to Washington D.C. in 2005. Seeing its potential as an epicurean capital, he decided to return in February 2006 to make D.C. his home. Francesco became prominent in the evolving hospitality scene, lending his expertise to notable establishments including Butterfield 9, Hook, Café Milano, and Bibiana Osteria Enoteca. But there was something else stirring in his blood. Francesco began to research and experiment with handcrafted liqueurs in his free time. With over a century of family history in the business, at the age of 29, Francesco started Don Ciccio & Figli. His vision: to bring the signature flavors of his hometown back to life, and share the artisanal ‘Rosoli’ with the world.Support the show
Steve Salis owner of Kramerbooks, Ted's Bulletin & Sidekick Bakery, Federalist Pig, and founder of &pizza and Prefab Partners
George speaks with Steve Salis a DC-Based, serial entrepreneur and executive, who has founded an impressive portfolio of brands under his company Salis Holdings. He’s the owner of Kramerbooks and Afterwords cafe—the iconic 44 year old bookstore in Dupont Circle—the owner of Ted’s Bulletin; the founder of Federalist Pig American BBQ restaurant; a co-founder of real estate venture Prefab Partners: and former CEO of &pizza. In Ballston, Virginia he’s recently opened Sidekick Bakery. Steve has invested in these concepts because he believes in the strength of their collective brands, saying "anytime you're buying a company, it's like you're buying someone's art."Steve talks about his path to becoming a business owner and his motto and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to "get comfortable being uncomfortable."Support the show
Chris Brauckmuller, Chief Product Officer of Fundrise
In this episode George speaks with Chris Brauckmuller, Chief Product Officer and Creative Director of Fundrise. Chris is involved in all investor-facing aspects of the business, from new product development to the visual presentation of the platform. Prior to joining the Fundrise team, Chris ran his own independent interactive design studio for three years and spent two years as an interactive designer at a large digital agency, where he took design leadership on accounts for the Fortune 500, including Microsoft and BAE Systems.Fundrise allows individuals to diversify their portfolios into private market real estate investments. Fundrise launched their first online opportunity seven years ago after working with the SEC through multiple filings and audits. The concept was largely made possible due to the JOBS Act of 2012. As a result, Fundrise has invested in nearly $2 billion worth of real estate across the country and has 500,000 members.Support the show
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Podcast Details
Oct 15th, 2015
Latest Episode
Oct 4th, 2019
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
33 minutes

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