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Dr. Naomi Fisher is a clinical psychologist, mother of two self-directed learners, and the author of the forthcoming book, "Changing Our Minds: How children can take control of their own learning."In this deep-dive interview, Naomi and I dissect the modern culture of “intensive parenting” and the research behind Judith Rich Harris’ controversial bo…
 
Ian Hathaway has been a founder, an investor, an author, a professor and an advisor, just to name a few roles he’s played. He’s currently an executive at Techstars, a fellow at Brookings Institution, a board member at the Center for American Entrepreneurship and recently co-authored a book, The Startup Community Way, with his friend, Brad Feld. Ian…
 
Anthony Saba is currently Executive Director at Samueli Academy, an amazing charter high school in Santa Ana that uses an innovative, student-centered approach to education. As a public charter school, it’s available for all students and no tuition fees. The students can even take high school and college classes at the same time. Their new facility…
 
Andy Wilson is currently the Executive Director of the Alliance for Southern California Innovation, a group formed to pull together the talent and ideas in all of SoCal to help more innovators to emerge and succeed in bringing their breakthroughs to the world. We talked a lot about the mission and activities of the Alliance on the show. Andy has al…
 
Katrina Ghazarian is founder & CEO of Gameday HR, an HR solutions provider to small and mid-sized companies. She recently renamed the company to reflect the perspective they have - "IT'S GAMEDAY... EVERY DAY. We're changing the way the world thinks about HR." They offer both hands on consulting and an online subscription service. Katrina unveiled t…
 
Neal Hansch is CEO and Managing Partner at Silicon Foundry, a membership-based innovation platform for corporations, enabling them to connect, learn and invest in the innovation ecosystem, such as in startups and with each other. He and his team have helped advise and drive forward many corporate venture capital, venture studio and other innovation…
 
Dev Carey is the founder and co-director of the High Desert Center in Paonia, Colorado (highdesertcenter.org), where he’s been offering an adventurous, affordable, and highly alternative gap year program for more than six years. We discuss his approach to working with 16- to 23-year-olds, the most common issues they face, and the lessons they learn…
 
Andrew Bermudez is founder and CEO of Digsy, a commercial real estate search and marketing engine. He often calls it "Zillow for commercial real estate." He started it a few years ago after a successful career as a commercial real estate professional. Andrew and I met and became friends when he was first conceiving the idea of what became Digsy. He…
 
Hazime is the Founder of Prodoscore, a SaaS startup that provides productivity intelligence. Leveraging ML, AI, and NLP to measure thousands of daily activities across cloud tools already in place (like your office suite, CRM, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Communications, etc.) Prodoscore creates visibility and drives performance and growth. They’ve se…
 
Schedules aligned and I finally was able to have Neal Bloom on Accelerate Show to compare notes about startup community building in San Diego and what he's learned by participating in some other SoCal communities. Neal is CEO of Rising Tide Partners, a PR and communications firm in San Diego. He’s also founder of Fresh Brewed Tech, which publishes …
 
It was super fun to have Jenny Dinnen with me on the Accelerate Show. She is currently President, Sales & Marketing at MacKenzie Corporation. For over 30 years, MacKenzie has been turning analytics into action and using data-driven insights to help companies to strengthen their customer experiences. As businesses have turned to more of a customer f…
 
Prisma (joinprisma.com) is a brand-new company that’s attempting to combine the best parts of homeschooling with the best parts of online education. In this episode I speak with Victoria Ransom, who co-founded Prisma alongside her husband Alain Chuard, about the Prisma model, who it’s for, how self-directed it is, why they don’t do grades or transc…
 
Per is General Partner at Welinder Shi Capital, an investor in lifestyle, culture and technologies around it. Why, might you ask, would Per be good at finding and seeing opportunities there? We’ll talk more about it in a bit, but if you’ve been around awhile and followed action sports, his name might be familiar. In a prior era, he was a really goo…
 
It's been a true pleasure to get to know Tom Ferry over the last year. We both have a passion for entrepreneurs and startups and interviewed each other for perspective and stories. If you don't know Tom, he's a force of nature and #1 coach for real estate professionals. He's also CEO of Ferry International, and a markeing and social media maven. We…
 
Jessica Oslo joined me on Accelerate to share her journey to becoming an entrepreneur with Vantis Institute. It was a fun story to hear, and highlights how creative, driven entrepreneurs emerge. She is a founding partner and clinical director for Vantis Institute in Newport Beach. She explained more about Vantis and the innovative aesthetic work th…
 
Tony and I spoke last year about the amazing company he was leading and building here. He is the co-founder and CEO of Restaurant365, which he started in Orange County in 2011 and over the last 8 years has built the company into a leading back-office solution provider to restaurants. Earlier in 2019 the company raised $88 million in a series C fund…
 
Re-releasing one of the top-rated Accelerate Show episodes: Ray Grainger from Mavenlink. He is the founder and CEO of Mavenlink, a fast-growing software company in the services business management and collaboration space. He’s also a graduate of highly distinguished school, Harvey Mudd College, where he’s been a trustee now for many years. He was a…
 
What does it mean to educate in freedom? What are the different flavors of “freedom” that appear in the self-directed education world? In this live interview (recorded in January 2020) I speak with Alexander Khost, Editor-in-Chief of Tipping Points, the online magazine of The Alliance for Self-Directed Education, and a facilitator at Brooklyn Apple…
 
Kate Buckley joined me on the Accelerate Show to discuss premium domains, a topic not discussed nearly enough around startup and brand conversations. She is the CEO of Buckley Media where she specializes in Premium Domain Sales & Acquisitions, Domain Strategy Consulting, Naming and Branding. We had a super engaging and exploratory conversation abou…
 
Jeff Gardner joined me on the Accelerate Show to discuss what he's been doing as the new President and CEO of CalAmp, a local company that has always been a pioneer in IoT and connecting the mobile economy. He’s been on their Board for over 5 years, so he knows the company well and has a strong vision for its future. Through their hardware and soft…
 
What’s it like to be someone who knows a little bit about everything? Or sometimes, a *lot* about everything? Ethan Mitchell (zemita.net) is a teacher and essayist who lives on a sheep farm in Vermont, attended just one semester of college, and writes an underground newsletter called the “Hebdromodary.” In this interview we talk about Ethan’s wide-…
 
Maryam Rofougaran joined me on Accelerate OC and shared a great primer on 5G, for those curious to learn more about it and the many impacts and opportunities it will have. She is at the forefront of it as the founder, Co-CEO and COO of Movandi Corporation, a local company with a mission to revolutionize 5G everywhere. They have raised over $50M for…
 
Nicole Suydam is an inspiring leader in our community - driving forward a huge organization that meaningfully impacts thousands of people here every year, whether they work for Goodwill or are served by them. She is currently President and CEO of Goodwill of Orange County, a role she’s been in for the last couple years. She had previously served fo…
 
If you have a kid who has been identified as academically gifted, is a self-directed learning center a good place for them? Kristen Montesano, co-founder of EPIC Life Learning Community in Dallas, Texas (epiclifelearningcommunity.com), grew up in public school gifted programs, yet she was still bored and unchallenged. In college she began volunteer…
 
Larry Armstrong joined me on Accelerate OC at a time that his industry, commercial architecture and building, is undergoing the greatest disruption and change of his multi-decade career. It was such an engaging and compelling conversation! He is Chairman of Ware Malcomb, an international design firm providing planning, architecture, interior design…
 
Nick Zasowski joined me on Accelerate OC to discuss the recent rise of startup and venture studios globally. Speculation by those following the industry puts the number between 250 and 500 global studios, and Nick and I discussed the role they play, why they are important in the startup community, and some examples of studios that are thriving (man…
 
In May 2020, Elizabeth Bartholet, a Harvard Law Professor, called for significant new regulations on homeschooling in the United States. In this extra-long episode, I interview Professor Bartholet about her ideas, research, and proposals. We are joined by Rachel Coleman, executive director of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education — and a gro…
 
David Friedman is a longtime angel investor, and he became President of Tech Coast Angels’ Orange County chapter just recently. He has a plan to increase TCA’s engagement and member base, and we talked more about that in our conversation. He’s also been a businessman and executive for technology, software, cloud, and service companies, with a passi…
 
Many teachers aspire to work at progressive schools that are more kind, individualized, and humane. But what do you do when even the “best schools” still treat kids with distrust and coercion? Aaron Eden has asked this question over his long career in education, ultimately leading him to his current position as Executive Director at the Institute f…
 
Fred Haney joined me on Accelerate OC and class was in session. He covered some important points for startups, such as what makes a fundable startup, the importance of strong management teams, and even how entrepreneurs need to understand they are competing for investment dollars. He is a private investor and venture capitalist, as both a fund mana…
 
Neal Polachek is the founder of ThinkLikeAnApp, a methodology and program for companies to better anticipate the future so they can succeed today. Neal recognized that we are increasingly using devices to help us get things done more easily and effectively, and are expecting other businesses to better recognize that in how we want to do business wi…
 
This special episode celebrates the release of Blake’s new book, Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?, which is now available through local bookstores, Amazon.com, and other marketplaces. Joined by guest host Kevin Currie-Knight, Blake discusses how kids learn to work hard when given the freedom to self-direct, the nature of “intensive pa…
 
Paul O'Brien is currently the CEO of MediaTech Ventures, based in Austin. They are a leading venture development group at the intersection of media and technology. They also run an incubator called Collective, which Paul and team run as part of MediaTech. He’s also been Director of the Founder Institute Texas for the last few years. Paul also found…
 
Derek Herrera is the founder of Spinal Singularity, a medical device company that develops products to improve lives for those with spinal injury. He started the company in 2015 after working for another startup medical device company to learn a bit of the ropes. We discussed his path to becoming an entrepreneur and journey so far.Derek graduated f…
 
Spencer Rascoff and I had a lively conversation about many of the exciting things happening in the LA and Southern California startup community. Spencer has fully immersed himself here and is helping to build it as the next global innovation center, and I couldn't be more excited to have him here! We discussed the many advantages we have here, such…
 
It was a pleasure to welcome John Bradley Jackson to Accelerate OC. JJ, as his friends call him, is an Investor, Professor at Cal State Fullerton, Author and Startup Adviser. He is the Director of the CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship and he’s also the Director of CSUF Startup Incubator. The CSUF Startup Incubator helps startups validate business mo…
 
Nicole McMackin is currently the CEO of Irvine Technology Corporation, an award-winning Information Technology Solutions and Staffing provider with roots in Southern California. For over 20 years they have helped local and national companies with technology personnel needs, provided through their seasoned technologists, recruiters and support team.…
 
Dr. Wallace Walrod is currently the Chief Economic Adviser for the Orange County Business Council and he’s led research there for over 20 years. During that time he has done strategic projects with most of the biggest companies and cities here, such as Toshiba America, Irvine Company, First American, as well as the cities of Anaheim and Santa Ana. …
 
Steve Pfrenzinger is a successful multi-time entrepreneur, hall of fame angel investor and long-time executive coach specializing in self-awareness and how it can become your X-Factor for success. Currently he is the head coach of the self-awareness mastery series that he’s developed, as well as his own mastermind to work with executives and entrep…
 
Niall McSheffrey is currently Managing Partner at Elementz Ventures, a new VC fund here in SoCal. He is a successful entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in startup investment, product management, application development, and creating digital product strategies and solutions. He moved to Orange County in 2019 and is in the process of raisi…
 
Dean Kline is the Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director of a newer group at USC called Rossier EdVentures, which is an education ecosystem at USC. We talked a fair bit about it and the exciting things they're doing to support innovation across the education landscape. He’s also Co-Founder and Managing Director for Penn Venture Partners, a VC fund…
 
James Dwyer is a professor of law at William & Mary Law School and the co-author of Homeschooling: The History & Philosophy of a Controversial Practice (University of Chicago Press, 2019). Following the arc of Jim’s excellent book (co-authored with historian Shawn Peters), we discuss some foundational questions related to homeschooling, such as: Wh…
 
It was very timely to have my friend, Carson Lappetito, on the show. He is currently the President of Sunwest Bank, an OC-based business bank started 50 years ago by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Sunwest is active in Orange County and works with businesses from startups to multi-national corporations. Carson is also innovative in how he thinks a…
 
Bill Carpou, CEO of Octane joined me again on Accelerate OC for a special show, to discuss what Octane is doing to help businesses here navigate the challenges presented by COVID19, updating us on how the Octane team is doing at this time, and what he's seeing and hearing from our business community. Bill sits in the middle of innovative startups, …
 
Mike Gentile is the founder and CEO of CISO Share, which provides on-demand professional services in the information security space, including their unique “security program as a service.” He has been a leader in the infosec (as it’s known) space for a long time. Mike has been doing security research and program development for all kinds of organiz…
 
Matt Case joined me on Accelerate OC to talk about his company, Bionatus, where he is President. It functions as a venture studio here in Irvine, so we had a lot to discuss. Matt, his partner and team have worked with innovators to launch several companies, with a focus on leveraging futuristic science into next-generation businesses that benefit t…
 
Dawn Reese, CEO of The Wooden Floor, joined Paul and me for a special virtual and distributed episode of Accelerate OC. We had a great conversation about leadership during a crisis, how she is collaborating with her fellow non-profit CEOs during this time to support, encourage and innovate together, and how we'll see long-term benefits from that he…
 
Super connector and entrepreneur Sinan Kanatsiz joined me on Accelerate OC recently. He is currently the CEO of KCOMM, a PR and marketing agency he started over 20 years ago. He’s worked with many of the largest and most prominent companies in Orange County, as well as some of fastest growing and innovative ones. Sinan also founded and is currently…
 
My partner, Kyle Kamrooz, and I broke in our new studio at OC4 and shared some thoughts on why we started OC4 Venture Studio, our excitement for the future of building great companies in SoCal, and working with amazing founders, our studio team, investors and partners in the community. We got real and raw - and we welcome feedback and follow up con…
 
17-year-old Zoe Greenhouse (zoegreenhouse.com) talks about her recent decision to stop going to school and attempt a thru-hike of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Zoe discusses her background as an unschooler and world-schooler, the handful of private and public schools she attended, her decision to leave school and spend 5+ months on the …
 
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