Russian Propaganda, Amazon’s Next Big Idea, Laundry Startups: This Week’s Inc. Uncensored

Welcome to the 159th episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted by Inc. editor James Ledbetter.

This week, staff writer Zoë Henry discusses Amazon’s reported move into the banking business. The e-commerce company is said to be in talks with banks including JP Morgan Chase and Capital One to offer a checking account-type product, but analysts suggest that Amazon won’t transform the industry as it has with others.

Then, senior writer Christine Lagorio-Chafkin returns to explore how Russian propaganda infiltrated Reddit. This week, CEO Steve Huffman approached the topic for the first time in a blog post, explaining that the company had identified several hundred fraudulent accounts prior to the 2016 U.S. election. Plus, she discusses how AI could power the next wave of fake news by digitally rendering individuals’ faces and voices.

Last but not least, executive director of editorial Jon Fine discusses a forthcoming feature from the March/April issue of Inc., on the startups going after the $40 billion laundry sector.

As always, you can listen to individual episodes of the Inc. Uncensored podcast on the Panoply network or on Apple Podcasts, where you can also subscribe.

The $460 Billion Reason Not to Deport Dreamers

Welcome to the 158th episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted by Inc.’s editor James Ledbetter.

This week, staff writer Zoë Henry discusses the economic output of Dreamer entrepreneurs, or undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as small children. A recent Supreme Court decision clears the way for Congress to negotiate a path to citizenship for these immigrants, though the Trump Administration has said it intends to do away with DACA, the Obama-era program that affords them short-term legal protections. A recent report found that deporting Dreamers could mean a loss of $460 billion in economic output over the next decade, according to the House Committee on Small Business (Democrats.)

Then, staff writer Emily Canal discusses how ‘Shark Tank’ entrepreneur Daymond John motivates himself to achieve long-term goals. The FUBU founder and investor, the cover subject of Inc.’s March/April issue, dished about his recently published book, Rise and Grind, in which he interviews dozens of successful individuals at the top of their fields.

Finally, the group interviews Dave Halliwell and Rob Clark, co-founders of Lifecast, a Borehamwood, U.K.-based company that makes synthetic cadavers for medical training. Halliwell and Clark discuss what it was like to sell their business to the biotechnology firm SynDaver Labs.

As always, you can listen to individual episodes of the Inc. Uncensored podcast on the Panoply network or on Apple Podcasts, where you can also subscribe.

The Bulletproofing Industry and a $117 Million Organic Egg Brand

Welcome to the 157thepisode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted by Inc.’s editor James Ledbetter

This week, staff writer Will Yakowicz talks about how sales for bulletproof furniture, backpacks, and walls have been booming in the week since 17 high school students and teachers were massacred in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Staff writer Zoe Henry discusses how the LGBT Foundation, a non-profit that supports gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals globally, announced that it would launch its own digital token on the blockchain. Henry and the podcast crew asks if there is a need for what the LGBT Foundation is dubbing the “Pink Dollar” or if it’s just a way to raise money.

Staff reporter Emily Canal talks about how Jesse Laflamme turned his family’s struggling egg business Pete & Gerry’s into a successful organic brand that made $177 million in revenue in 2017.

As always, you can listen to individual episodes of the Inc. Uncensored podcast on the Panoply network or on Apple Podcasts, where you can also subscribe.

The Internet of Thongs and Bitcoin-Backed Loans

Welcome to the 156th episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted by Inc.’s editor James Ledbetter

This week, staff writer Zoe Henry talks about how women-founded startups are disrupting the sex toy industry with more effective products. Make sure to read Henry’s piece, which also looks into the privacy and cyber security concerns for Internet-connected vibrators.

Staff writer Will Yakowicz discusses the world of startups giving out loans in exchange for cryptocurrency collateral, plus interest, so bitcoin millionaires can access their crypto wealth without cashing out. These alternative loan platforms are a sign that the cryptocurrency industry is setting out to build a parallel financial infrastructure to the securities industry.

Lastly, the group interviews Sean Behr, who sold his company STRATIM to Kar Auction Services. 

As always, you can listen to individual episodes of the Inc. Uncensored podcast on the Panoply network or on Apple Podcasts, where you can also subscribe.

The NFL Hosted a Sports-Tech Startup Showdown

Welcome to the 155th episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted by Inc.’s editor James Ledbetter

This week, special guest Ami Kassar, CEO of business loan advisory firm MultiFunding, talks about his new book, The Growth Dilemma Kassar discusses the best strategies for growing a small business, from taking out lines of credit to using traditional banks or online lenders. Kassar discusses how important it is to be logical about a loan and not to let emotions guide your decision-making.

Staff reporter Emily Canal talks about some of the entrepreneurs creating companies that specialize in athletic performance and safety. The startups were the winners of the third annual 1st and Future startup competition held by the NFL, including Impressio, which uses liquid crystal elastomer technology that mimics shock-absorbing cartilage to create dissipative liner materials for protective equipment, and Curv, which uses augmented reality to capture an athlete’s movement and assess performance and injury risk.

Staff writer Will Yakowicz talks about the crime scene cleanup and remediation industry. The industry is largely unregulated and it’s easy to start a business, but biohazard cleanup poses serious risks. One former Kansas City cop launched her company in 2005 cleaning up after murders and unattended deaths. Now her business has seven franchisees cleaning up after hoarders, makeshift drug labs in homes and hotels, and gruesome violent crimes.  

As always, you can listen to individual episodes of the Inc. Uncensored podcast on the Panoply network or on Apple Podcasts, where you can also subscribe.

Trump, Flamethrowers, and Initial Hat Offerings

Welcome to the 154th episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted by editor James Ledbetter.

Staff reporter Emily Canal takes a dive into President Trump’s first year, from tax reform to a clamp down on immigration, and talks about how entrepreneurs and business owners feel about the changes.

Staff writer Will Yakowicz talks about how Elon Musk sold 20,000 limited-edition flamethrowers in a stunt that raised $10 million to help fund The Boring Company, his tunnel-digging project. It seems like Musk can rally people around any idea–from electric cars to gnarly flamethrowers. But, is Musk trying to distract the public, and his patient investors, from how Tesla is woefully behind its production schedule?

Lastly, the group interviews Jason Johnson about how he sold his smart lock company August to Assa Abloy, the largest lock company in the world.

As always, you can listen to individual episodes of the Inc. Uncensored podcast on the Panoply network or on Apple Podcasts, where you can also subscribe.

Inc. Uncensored, Episode 153: Women’s March, Pizza and Bitcoin

Welcome to the 153rd episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted by Inc. editor James Ledbetter.

This week, staff writer Zoë Henry discusses how startups have celebrated the second annual Women’s March, a series of protests across dozens of cities worldwide in support of women’s rights and marginalized communities. In particular, she explores how a founder of the organization, the fashion entrepreneur Bob Bland, says her involvement with the Women’s March has changed her approach to business and leadership.

Staff reporter Emily Canal then dissects the rapid rise of MOD Pizza, the Seattle-based artisanal restaurant chain that has made a series of calculated risks, such as hiring multiple-time felons. Last year alone, the company booked $131 million in revenue.

Finally, staff writer Will Yakowicz reveals why the Pacific Northwest, and Montana in particular, has seen a mining rush in recent months–for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

As always, you can listen to individual episodes of the Inc. Uncensored podcast on the Panoply network or on Apple Podcasts, where you can also subscribe.