Latitude - The 43North Podcast

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This week on the Latitude Podcast we chat with Noa Simmons, Executive Director at Upstate Venture Association of New York. Noa has spent time in Boston and Shanghai in her business career, more recently settling into the startup & entrepreneurship scene in the Hudson Valley.  Noa gives us her insights into the role startups and entrepreneurship is playing in revitalizing upstate New York, how the flow of venture capital aids in that comeback, and where the region is going in the future.  This week's Latitude podcast is brought to you by KeyBank.
Rubens Mukunzi arrived in Buffalo in 2013 after leaving Rwanda. As a journalist in a country without freedom of speech or freedom of the press, Rubens found himself at odds with the government.  He grew up during one of the worst genocides in human history, started an education focused newsletter while still and high school and ultimately started a radio show and news publication in his home country.  But he had to leave, and his journey led him to Buffalo, NY. Once there, his passion for journalism resurfaced and he started the Karibu News. Buffalo's only immigrant and refugee centric newspaper. Translated into five different languages, Karibu News has become the center for news in a community of residents that are often overlooked by traditional media outlets.  Rubens sits down with us this week to talk about his journey as an immigrant, and a startup founder.
Well, actually it requires a boatload of work, but who doesn't love a podcast title that plays on the title of a 1960's Broadway musical?  Anyway, this week on the podcast we're talking with Somak Chattopadhyay, the managing partner at Armory Square Ventures. Somak talks about the type of startups his firm likes to invest in and gives some detailed advice about how a startup should prep for meeting a VC firm.  Armory Square Ventures invests in many WNY companies including the 2015 million dollar award 43North winner ACV Auctions. You may remember, we had ACV Auctions co-founder Joe Nieman on the podcast several weeks ago. Somak also talks about what attracted Armory Square Ventures to invest in a startup like ACV Auctions. It's great insight this week, especially if you're looking to start pitching to VC's.  This week's podcast is sponsored by Allied Global. Allied Global is considered one of the top business processing companies in North America and they partner with Fortune 500 companies, down to startups with a small team. So how can Allied Global help your startup get off the ground? They offer a vast array of B2B and B2C inbound and outbound sales, customer care, tech support and quality assurance. They even offer IT and Back Office solutions, which can be one of the easily overlooked aspects of a company that startups need.  
What is it like seeing your work launched into space? This week on the podcast we talk with 43North winning co-founder Sourav Sinha from Oncolinx, the $1 million winners.  In May, Oncolinx's cancer treatment experiment was launched to the International Space Station where astronauts there will conduct tests that allow the Oncolinx team to see the how effective the treatment is in a complete 360° environment. On Earth, researchers are only able to test their treatments in a 2D environment on a Petrie dish. Thanks, gravity.  Sourav talks about the launch, how nerve-wracking it was and the developments his team has made to their treatment that could benefit those with cancer in just a few years. 
The players on the Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins are playing elite level hockey right now in the Stanley Cup Finals, and one could argue it's because of the platform that CoachMePlus has built. The Buffalo-based sports science startup works with 1/3 of all professional sports teams in North America, 200 colleges, and high schools, as well as Cirque du Soleil. CoachMePlus's software allows trainers to manage and monitor the various metrics important to a players performance.  This week we sit down with CoachMePlus co-founder Kevin Dawidowicz, himself a serial entrepreneur, where he explains how CoachMePlus got started, the importance of the platform, and why teams wins and losses can't be a metric for the platform's success. 
Joining the podcast this week is John Cimperman, founder of the 42North Brewery and the incredibly popular Borderland Music Festival in East Aurora. We chat with John about his time with the Buffalo Sabres, staring a brewery and how Borderland could be the next big festival in the northeast. 
This week on the Latitude Podcast host Nate Benson is joined by royalty, well, chicken wing royalty. Drew Cerza, aka "The Wing King", joins the podcast to talk about the early days of the International Chicken Wing Festival, how he became a king, the best and worst wing he’s ever had and how he found his passion in chicken wing entrepreneurship.
This week on Latitude we chat with John Hill, VP of Network at Techstars. John talks about his background in journalism and how that led him to a career of connecting people, why networking is so vital to the health of an emerging startup community, and how to actually network. 
Barb Stegemann’s entrepreneurial vision was formed after her best friend—a soldier—was severely wounded in Afghanistan. Understanding that supporting Afghanistan’s economy was key to building stability for its people, Stegemann created The 7 Virtues, a company that sources organic, fair trade essential oils from countries experiencing turmoil (such as Afghanistan, Haiti the Middle East and Rwanda). Despite addressing complex global matters in her talks, Stegemann uses humor to explain how individuals can use business for good and effect change, both at home and worlds away.  This week on the podcast, presented by the UB School Of Management Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, Barb talks about starting her company, the passion involved in mission-driven entrepreneurship and the impact the company has had on war-torn farmers. 
This week on the podcast we go live again from the inaugural Code Buffalo hackathon presented by 43North, Techstars, ACV Auctions, BNMC and more.  We chat with Apollo GraphQL founder Geoff Schmidt about GraphQL, how it's becoming an important tool for developers, starting multiple companies in the valley, and the pressures after raising $22M in capital. 
This week we take Latitude on the road for another live edition featuring 2018 43North winner Nadia Hamilton, founder of Magnusmode.  Magnusmode is creating digital decks that guide those living with Autism through daily life. Nadia talks about the origins of Magnusmode, why it's so personal for her, why brands are creating MagnusCards, growing in Buffalo and the zombie apocalypse. 
How do you do some good? There are many ways, and good comes in all shapes and sizes. For Kate and Joe Vacanti, their calling was to help people access water. One in seven people in the world lack access to clean water and 3.5 million people die from water-borne illnesses each year. On the continent of Africa, 40 billion hours are spent each year walking to sources of clean water.    Something had to be done.    This week on the podcast hosts Nate Benson and Darren Treadway talk with Kate and Joe about Let Them LOL, their nonprofit initiative that is building water wells in Sierra Leone. To date, Let Them LOL has built 105 wells, bringing clean water to more than 42,000 people. Why did they choose Sierra Leone? How difficult was digging the first well? Was entrepreneurship always the plan?  This episode of Latitude is presented by the University at Buffalo School of Management Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, in collaboration with 43North, and with support from the UB School of Management Alumni Association.
One of our most downloaded guests on the show returns to talk about all things upstate on this episode of Latitude. Noa Simons, Executive Director of the Upstate Capital Association, joins host Nate Benson to talk about all the various types of capital being deployed in New York since the last time she was on the show. 
43North has kicked off the sixth year of the $5,000,000 startup competition and is now accepting applications.  But should your startup apply? How long is it going to take? Why are you seeing 43North staff on the road at demo days? Is your startup ready for 43North?  These are all great questions and we brought the man behind that works in the shadows to effectively execute the 43North application every year, 43North staffer, Brian Straka.  Brian talks about how five months of prep are done before the application goes live, why the staff travel across the country to connect with investors and startups, the types of startups we look for and more. 
It's finally here, episode 100 of Latitude - The 43North Podcast. It's been a remarkable journey for this show and what better way to celebrate than with a live (to tape) edition of the podcast!?  For Latitude 100 we were joined by 100(ish) of our closest friends, community supporters, staff and former guests. All coming together to celebrate this milestone.  Joining host Nate Benson on the show was two of the three co-founders of ACV Auctions to talk about their recent growth, how they're continuing to innovate, what they'd do over and more.  Settle in for this one, it's just over an hour of incredible insight into a startup that hasn't even begun to reach the limits of what they're capable of. 
When putting together your pitch deck, you probably have a slide or three about your future roadmap. Slides that show some sales milestones, hiring trajectory, or monumental fundraising goals.  But Cody Simms, Partner at Techstars, is here on the podcast to say that you may be thinking about it all wrong.  This week with Cody we cover roadmaps, how to look at roadmaps differently, touring the world talking to founders and BB-8.
This week on the podcast we explore a unique tourism attraction, peddle tours of Buffalo and how this entrepreneur has created a unique experience for those visiting the Queen City. 
After 20 years in the financial industry, Sharon Weinberg joined NY Ventures, the investment division of empire state development. After a couple of years as its managing director, Sharon moved on to found Blue Leaf Ventures with a colleague of hers, to spend time investing in startups in an overlooked industry. This week on the Latitude, host Nate Benson chats with Sharon about the growth of startups in NY, what she looks for in a pitch and why technology in women’s reproductive health could be the next industry that could lead to successful startups and smart investment strategy.
In the heart of the Dotcom boom, Jennifer Beckage founded Edgenet, a Buffalo-based internet company that provided cutting edge technology to companies and organizations like Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center, FAO SCHWARTZ, The Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres and another fortune 500 companies. EdgeNet eventually sold to ChoiceOne COmm, where Jennifer stayed on as  VP until she exited in 2002. With time and resources on her side, Jennifer did what any successful entrepreneur would do…she went to law school. Now Jennifer is the Founder of Beckage, a law firm that is leading the conversation in cybers and data security and has provided counsel and legal defense in class action cases as well as regulatory actions. This week on the podcast I talk with Jennifer about cyber and data security, how startups need to focus on this just like everything else in their business, what to do when your company has a data breach and why you shouldn’t trust Sally at the front desk with a thumb drive. All of this and more on this week's Latitude.  
Sam Marrazzo has had a lengthy career as a technologist. Getting his start in the US Navy, Sam worked for many tech companies across the United State but ultimately made his journey back to his hometown and is now the CIO of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus where he promotes innovation, assists startups through mentorship and uses his influence to make Buffalo a more technology-focused city.   
Even though we're well into the 21st century, Patrick O'Brien noticed a significant gap with mortgage lenders and efficiently writing loans. We all know the routine, by the time you as a home buyer are done haggling offers and counter-offers, you finally get the blessing from your real estate agent and it's 11pm on a Friday. Should that hinder you from being able to move forward with the home buying process? This week on the podcast, host Nate Benson talks with LenderLogix founder Patrick O'Brien about bringing tech into mortgage lending and how lenders are now able to write more loans and provide better service to home buyers. 
Recruiting talent is a vital aspect of scaling a startup. This week on the podcast host Nate Benson talks with Jen Reed, Director of Talent Strategy at 43North, about recruiting for startups, what founders need to look out for, how to improve your terrible resume and full details on the inaugural JobCade event.  Latitude is powered by 43North, the $5M startup competition in Buffalo, NY.
This week on Latitude hosts Nate Benson from 43North and professor Darren Treadway faculty expert from the UB Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, talk with an internationally recognized leader in philanthropy, Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker. For more than a decade, Clotilde has led the Buffalo Community Foundation’s strategy to create meaningful community change on behalf of the clients who have chosen to support this work. The community foundation, established in Buffalo a century ago, provides meaningful resources for institutions such as Say Yes Buffalo, the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable and the WNY Impact Fund. Clotilde’s work is directly responsible for attracting $93M in funding to support these efforts. Nate and Darren talk with Clotilde about the important work the Community Foundation has done and plans to do in the future, how coming to America from Cuba in 1968 led to a life of philanthropy, how startups can benefit from connecting with a community and how the community can benefit from an entrepreneurial resurgence. Latitude - The 43North Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Podbean or any podcasting app.
Pete Augustine spent much of his 25+ career at New Era. At the height of the sports licensing wars of the 90's and early 00's, Pete saw and eventually led New Era (as President) through a gambit of tough decisions that ultimately positioned New Era as a powerhouse in sports branding. Today, New Era has over 500 licenses in its portfolio, many of them negotiated while Pete was President.  Today, Pete spends much of his time mentoring consumer product startups. Pete has been a mentor for 43North winners since year one of the competition and now is expanding some of his mentorship across the country.  Latitude host Nate Benson talks with Pete about growing New Era into the licensing powerhouse that it is today, what consumer product startups need to look out for in those early years and why storytelling plays a vital role for consumer product companies. 
Being a firefighter is stressful in its own right, but imagine the stress of a commander trying to keep track of their crew with a whiteboard and some magnets - not as reliable as one would think.  Patrick O'Connor, co-founder of 3AM Innovations and a former volunteer firefighter, wanted to be the one to bring technology to a fire scene. He and his partner Ryan Litt have developed patented technology that tracks firefighters in real time, in any location. How did they come up with technology? How has it been deployed? What do other firefighters think of it? Host Nate Benson chats with the founders of 3AM Innovations about bringing technology into a fire scene. 
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Podcast Details

Created by
Podcast Status
Mar 20th, 2017
Latest Episode
Sep 12th, 2019
Release Period
Avg. Episode Length
31 minutes

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