Ep. #7 - Austen Allred, CEO of Lambda School, on Alternate Education, Aligned Incentives & Being Personally Invested

This episode’s guest is Austen Allred, CEO and founder of Lambda School. Austen is a serial founder, having started news network Grasswire, as well as a variety of other businesses.

Lambda School, his current venture, is a 30-week immersive training program that teaches students skills to launch a new career, with no tuition up-front, instead taking a percentage of income once students get a job in their new field.

I am extremely excited about this episode, as aside from being one of my favourite people to follow on Twitter, I believe Lambda School and models like it are the future of education, and a brilliant alternative to college.

In this episode, we talk about the details of Lambda School, some of their success stories, education in general, rapid improvement, and more.

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Ep. #6 - Dave Rafuse on Sales Skills, Starting a Gym & Why Team is the Most Important Thing

This episode’s guest is Dave Rafuse, the owner of Blended Athletics, a primarily CrossFit gym in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Dave is a graduate of Saint Francis Xavier University with a Major in Human Kinetics and a Minor in Chemistry, and began his business career at Pitney Bowes in Halifax, where he spent two years doing outside sales. 

He then moved to Vancouver and continued his career with Johnson & Johnson as a Territory Business Manager, where he won National Rookie of the Year, and later the President’s Club Award in 2011.

In 2013 he decided to blend his passion for business and fitness by opening Blended Athletics. Blended Athletics offers personal training, CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting in a 9600 square foot, state-of-the-art training facility. 

He was recently accepted in to the Entrepreneurial Leaders Program of the Wallace McCain Institute at the University of New Brunswick (ELP10).

In this episode, we cover Dave’s beginnings in sales, some of the habits that made him successful in that field, why he started a gym, and why he’s passionate about fitness and business.  

Joining Dave is my longtime friend Matt Taylor, who introduced us, and is now a trainer at Blended Athletics.

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Ep. #5 - Kendall Tucker, CEO of Polis, on Close Teams, Supporting Peers, and Sleep

This episode’s guest is Kendall Tucker.  Kendall is the CEO and Founder of Polis, the fastest growing data company in the door-to-door sales space. For nearly 3 years, Polis has been selling the most technologically robust mobile canvassing app in politics and a variety of corporate industries. Polis has also expanded as a leader in the door-to-door energy sales space with partnerships alongside the two largest retail energy companies in the country.

Kendall is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree and Polis has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and on the TODAY Show. Before starting Polis, Kendall worked as a management consultant, where she advised executives at multi-national corporations and Fortune 500 companies.

Kendall and I met at Techstars Boston, where I was working, and she was building Polis, and bonded over running, which she seems to enjoy far more than me, among other things.  She’s a good friend, a great CEO, and someone I always make sure to meet up with when I’m in Boston.

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Ep. #4 - Jeff Lohnes on Toronto vs. Halifax, Being a Great Speaker, and Becoming an Entrepreneur

This episode’s guest is Jeff Lohnes, a native of Rose Bay, Nova Scotia, who is the co-founder of Talent Bureau – a speakers bureau and creative talent management firm. He has been booking, managing and coaching speakers for over 12 years.  Jeff is also the Curator of TEDxToronto, a volunteer role leading the selection and coaching of all speakers.

Outside the office, Jeff is a proud east coast transplant to Toronto, athletic enthusiast - which he says means he is ‘mediocre at most, passionate about all’ - and started an online donair spice company, Drunken Sailor, to make the staple east coast product more readily available. It’s now carried in 85 Sobeys stores across Atlantic Canada.

In this episode we cover his early interest in business, why he chose to move to Toronto, how he deals with so many different types of people, what makes a great speaker, and more.

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Ep. #3 - Rob Barbara on VC in Atlantic Canada, Management Principles, and Keeping Options Open

Today’s guest is Rob Barbara, who is currently a Managing Partner at Build Ventures in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a venture capital firm focused on emerging companies based in Atlantic Canada. 

I know Rob primarily through sailing, which he has pursued competitively for most of his life.  We cover his decision-making process through university and his career, why he didn’t enjoy investment banking, how his startup went, and the thesis behind Build Ventures.

I have yet to have a conversation with Rob that isn’t entertaining, and this one was no exception.  We had a couple technical difficulties to start with, but things really get rolling after that.

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