July 13, 2018

Igniting Buffalo

So, we just did a thing at 43North. 

We partnered with Facebook, M&T Bank, Amazon AWS, Quickbooks, Wordpress and WooCommerce to award 27 small businesses grants totaling in $1M. 

Just how in the world did this happen?

This week on the podcast we talk to one of the key architects of the program, Dave Jakubowski from Facebook. The WNY native was a 43North judge last year and it was backstage where the seed for Ignite Buffalo was planted. 

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Losing a pet can be traumatic, most people with a pet consider it to be part of the family. But you were smart, you put a microchip in your pet so when your dog or cat is found it will easily be tracked down. 

Not so fast. 

It turns out, there are a dozen or so microchip companies on the market, all with their own scanners and data collection systems. And because there's no standardization in the United States, the likelihood of your pet winding up at a facility that can properly scan the chip is pretty low. 

That's the problem Michael Hamilton came across when he bought his dog, Peeva. So Michael quit his day job and got to work on developing a universal scanner that can ready any microchip embedded in a pet so facilities have better access to the important data that they contain. 

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June 28, 2018

About Failure

On this episode of Latitude, we talk about the importance of embracing failure. Failure is something people often steer away from, but for startup founders, it's ultimately how you grow.

The idea for Loupe came out of local branding agency, Block Club. It was once one of Buffalo's hottest startups, but ultimately founder Patrick Finan had to shut down operations last year. Now he's speaking out in hopes of helping other entrepreneurs who are dealing with uncertainty in their own startup. Patrick talks with host Nate Benson about the beginning of Loupe, securing multi-million dollar contracts, how the 2016 election impacted business, the 'come to Jesus moment' and the final day at Loupe. 

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This week on the podcast we take the show on the road to the Buffalo Urban League with special guest Davielle Jackson - 2017 winner of the 43North competition. 

In this live edition of the podcast, Davielle talks about quitting medical school to pursue a life of entrepreneurship, moving from Atlanta to Buffalo and growing her feminine hygiene empire in the Queen City. 

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Imagine if Eric Reich didn't want a parking pass that allowed him access to prime parking spots when he was a student at the University at Buffalo. Campus Labs may have never been a thing. It was his appointment at a university council that allowed Eric that parking pass, but it also offered him insight as to how universities across the country weren't able to make sense of all the data they had on students, applicants, services and so on. 

From that appointment on a council, Eric started Campus Labs, a data analytics company that is used by over 1,500 universities. 

This week on the podcast Eric talks with host Nate Benson about growing and scaling Campus Labs, creating a high tech headquarters in the City of Buffalo, creating a company culture, and why he joined the 43North board of directors, ultimately becoming chairman and what his vision for the organization will be. 

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This week, the Latitude podcast will make you hungry. That's intentional. Sorry, not sorry. 

We're talking tacos, ice cream, coffee, and changing hundred-year-old street vending laws in Western New York with Lloyd Taco founder Pete Cimino. Pete talks about ditching his career as a math teacher to make tacos in a truck in a city that didn't want him to do it. What started as an idea on paper has turned into four trucks, two brick and mortar restaurants, an ice cream brand and a coffee brand. What was the journey to get all of that accomplished? You don't want to miss this episode of the podcast because it's a textbook definition of perseverance in the marketplace!

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It's another edition of Latitude Live! This week we feature our live audience conversation with Scott Wayman, founder of 2017 43North winning company Kangarootime. Scott has a very compelling story. Host Nate Benson and he dive into his life as one of twenty-five children, what motivated him to start one of the leading child-care management applications on the market, why Micheal Scott is a true inspiration to him and so much more. 

Sit back and enjoy this longer than normal live edition of the podcast as the audience interacts with one of Buffalo's emerging tech startups!

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External communications and messaging can be one of the elements of startups that can easily get overlooked in the daily grind of running a business, raising money and improving products. 

But without a communication plan and key messaging, startups can be caught unprepared for success in the eyes of the public with inconsistencies of flubbed media interviews. 

So this week on the podcast we chat with PR professional Matt Davison from The Martin Group and Martin Davison Public Relations. Matt has experience in public and private sector public relations and has handled PR fires both big and small. He sat down with host Nate Benson this week to provide some free advice for startups looking to craft and maintain company messaging and PR strategy. 

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May 18, 2018

Apply Within

The application period for the $5M startup competition is underway. In this episode of the Latitude podcast, we answer all your questions, talk about the right kind of startups for the competition and why Nate's Nacho Stand probably wouldn't win the million dollar award.

Peter Burakowski, 43North's VP of Marketing, Organizational Strategy and History Songwriter joins host Nate Benson to talk all things application. 

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