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.

Someday, You Could Get Sued for Sexually Harassing Your Robot Employees

Welcome to the 152nd episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted by Inc.'s editor James Ledbetter.

Staff reporter Emily Canal talks about the letter Larry Fink of BlackRock, the world's largest public company investor, sent to the CEOs of public firms this week stating they must contribute to society or they could lose BlackRock's support. The letter fuels an ongoing debate in the business world--should companies incorporate a social mission into their business model or focus solely on creating profit?

Staff writer Will Yakowicz talks about how lawyers, philosophers, and technophiles are debating the merits of granting robots certain legal protections. Sure, it sounds ridiculous now to grant rights to robots. But as robotics expand into a wider range of workplaces and public settings, the legal and ethical questions around robots and rights will become more important to society and the companies that employ robots alongside humans.  

Lastly, during Inc.'s Exit Interview segment, the group interviews Rajiv Gupta, whose cloud security company Skyhigh Networks was acquired by McAfee. 

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.

Tech Products Debuted at CES Are Here to Solve Problems You Don’t Have

Welcome to the 151st episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted this week by Inc.'s executive director of editorial Jon Fine

During this week's show, staff writer Zoë Henry talks about how small business owners across America say they would have to fire dozens of skilled employees if President Trump rescinds a decades-old program that protects immigrants from Haiti, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.

Staff writer Will Yakowicz talks about how forensic software startups are helping law enforcement agencies catch criminals who use bitcoin. By studying transactions on the blockchain, the software companies find patterns and clusters of associated digital wallets and connect those wallets to specific crimes. 

San Francisco bureau chief Jeff Bercovici called in from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. According to Bercovici, many tech companies showcased products that solve nonexistent problems--from drone suitcases to a robot that will slowly fold your laundry. Another theme at CES this year was "paranoia technology," Bercovici says, describing products that will track water and air quality in your home and personal security robots that will also vacuum your apartment.     

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 Booming Business of a Bomb Cyclone

Welcome to the 150th episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted by Inc. editor James Ledbetter.

This week, staff writer Zoë Henry discusses the business of 'bombogenesis,' the scientific name for the superstorm that pummeled the Northeast this week. As gusts of 40 and 50 mph wind dumped inches of snow and sleet on coastal cities, companies that manufacture plows, blowers and salt spreaders prepared for a much-needed sales boost. Meanwhile, at least one snow removal service expects to see as much as $100,000 in net revenue per day from the storm.

Then, Inc.'s executive director of editorial Jon Fine delves into the rise and fall of GoPro, the subject of a winter issue feature. Fine explores how founder Nick Woodman, at 42, has become a more seasoned executive, after being forced to fire a quarter of his staff in March 2017 thanks to an ill-advised pivot to media.

Finally, for our executive interview segment, the group interviews Austin McChord, founder of the small business data recovery firm Datto. McChord explains what it was like to sell Datto to Vista Equity Partners in October of last year.

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.