Florida State Podcast of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The official Florida State University Podcast highlighting Entrepreneurship and Innovation with host Dr. Mark McNees

S4E1 Morgan Rogers Founder of Morgan Madonna

May 20th, 2022

Morgan Rodgers is a small business owner who specializes in Luxury Pajamas for everyone with her brand Cool Silk by Morgan Madonna, as well as a custom clothing designer for womenswear exclusively through Morgan Madonna the Brand. Morgan started her first business back in 2011 with a family partner at the time and it was called Abandoned Threads where they thrifted and revamped gently used clothing to provide a new fashion flare. This ultimately became too overwhelming for the two undergrads, and they eventually parted ways.  In 2019 Morgan picked back up where she left off and started designing ladies’ apparel launching Morgan Madonna LLC that same year! When the pandemic hit in 2020 Morgan switched gears from custom clothing and designed, created, and donated hundreds of custom masks. She quickly met the demands of her customs and gained new customers during this time. Like most Morgan was working from home during the pandemic which gave her the idea for her latest line and launch, Cool Silk  which launched June 2021. Cool Silk is a luxury sleepwear line for women, men, and children that provides fashion forward sleepwear. Cool Silk provides Luxury you can see, and Comfort you can feel. Today Morgan is focusing more and more on growing her Fashion House (Morgan Madonna the Brand) as well as researching cooling technologies to keep her Cool Silk sleepwear line innovative, eco, and fashion forward. To contact Morgan please visit the website www.morganmadonnathebrand.com or send an email at morganmadonna2019@gmail.com.

FSPEI S3E3 Gerard LaMothe Founder of Superior Painting and the Over Under Bar

March 17th, 2021

Gerard LaMothe has created a brand that is associated with excellence in service and results. Gerard earned an  FSU degree in Psychology class of 1998, Leadership Tallahassee Class 28. President of Superior Painting 1998-present.   I started a painting business with a classmate at FSU during my junior year.  Upon graduating I separated from my partner and asked my father to move up from New Port Richey and be my partner.  We started Superior Painting in June of 1998.  I am responsible for the day to day activities of the business.  I am married to Beth La Mothe who is an RN at Select Specialty Hospital and we have three children.  I enjoy playing, watching and coaching sports.  I spend most of my weekends with the Tallahassee Parks and Rec coaching and watching my kids play soccer, baseball, football, and softball.

FSPEI S3E2 Drip Drop Fitness, with Founder Summer Griffith

March 17th, 2021

Summer Griffith opened Drip Drop Fitness in May 2017 after seeing a need a place where women could enjoy fun, high energy group workouts in Tallahassee. Three years and one pandemic later and she’s still going strong. 

FSPEI S3E1 Dominick J. Ard’is Founder of the Act House - 2% Better

March 17th, 2021

Dominick Ard'is is known as “The Facilitator of Human Potential,” is passionate about helping organizations and the people that empower them to grow. For over 3 years, Dominick has supported the launch of 22 startups that have collectively raised over $550k in early seed-stage funding. In addition, he has accelerated the growth of 5 second-stage tier companies through optimization consulting and leadership development.

Join Dominick and Mark McNees in a conversation about the ACT House, a network of co-living spaces where students live in one house, to create one startup, in one year. We combine affordable communal living with a team-centered incubation model to reduce startups failure rates and accelerate the ethnic diversity in the world of startups and entrepreneurship.

FSPEI S2E4 Michael Benarde Co-Founder and CEO of NightCap

March 9th, 2020

In this episode of FSPEI Mark McNees sits down with the 2020 winner of the Florida State University, Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship InNOLEvation Challenge, Michael Benarde, co-founder and CEO of NightCap. NightCap combines a protective drink cover with a stylish hair scrunchie that can also be worn as a wristband. The cover fits tightly over most glasses and solo cups making it much more difficult for drinks to be tampered with. The NightCap is ultra-convenient, reusable, and stylish.

FSPEI S2E3 Rebecca Cunningham the illustrator and creative behind Cunning Co

February 10th, 2020

On this episode of FSPEI, Mark McNees has a conversation with Rebecca Cunningham the illustrator and creative behind Cunning Co (www.cunningco.com). Her expertise ranges from watercolor illustration, to product development, to creative project management. Founder of www.cunningco.com, Rebecca's illustrations and surface pattern designs can be found at major national corporations such as Anthropologie and Terrain. She lives in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta with her french bulldog, Louise.

FSPEI S2E2 Kris Izquierdo Co-Founder and CEO of Breezy Swim

January 20th, 2020

In this episode of the Florida State Podcast of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Mark McNees sits down with Kris Izquierdo the Co-Founder and CEO of Breezy Swim. Breezy Swim is a Miami, Fl based brand. Their mission is all about female empowerment! At Breezy Swim they want females to feel confident in any swimwear, regardless of age or body shape. Breezy Swim caters to all shapes and sizes inspired by women globally. They say their swimwear gives women the chance to feel their best and to take on the world, no matter where they come from! Everything they provide is influenced by our millennial generation, from social media, popular culture, to the latest trends. Allowing the staff at Breezy Swim to curate the perfect products for women worldwide. 

FSPEI S2E1 Sunny Ilyas CEO and Founder of Vale Food

January 13th, 2020

We kick off Season 2 of the Florida State Podcast of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (FSPEI) with one of the most successful startups to come out of FSU in recent years. Sunny Ilyas CEO and Founder of Vale Food Co. tells the story of the beginnings of Vale Food as an on-campus food subscription service and how and why he pivoted to brick and mortar restaurants that are growing across the South East. 

FSPEI S1E9 (Bonus Episode) The Importance of Corporate Responsibility | Lyft’s Senior Manager of Social Impact, Lisa Boyd

December 9th, 2019

A special bonus episode of the Florida State Podcast of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. This episode is a presentation given by Lisa Boyd, Lyft's Senior Manager of Social Impact. In this episode, Lisa Boyd talks about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), perhaps the biggest sea change in business since the tech revolution and Lyfts's commitment to Corporate Responsibility, implementation strategy, and the metrics they used to determine impact.

FSPEI S1E8 Failing Forward into Success | A candid conversation with Adam Kramer Co-CEO of Hall Pass

December 2nd, 2019

2019 7 Under 30 Interview #1

In this amazing episode, Mark McNees sits down with Hall Pass' Co-CEO, Adam Kramer. Hall Pass is a Members-only platform that connects great people with great venues, with over 300 active Members, ranging from pro athletes to established actors & musicians, accomplished entrepreneurs, recognizable models, and high-spending tastemakers.

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