The Innovation Conversation

by Harry McDonough & Ricardo Pascual

Are you ready to dive deep into the world of innovation and entrepreneurship? Join us, a group of passionate professionals with over 20 years of combined experience in driving change and fostering innovation, as we bring you inspiring stories of entrepreneurs who are breaking boundaries and reshaping industries.

In these podcast series, we go behind the scenes and provide you with exclusive access to the minds of these ... 

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Podcast episodes

  • Season 1

  • Akil Benjamin

    Akil Benjamin

    In this episode of the Innovation Conversation, Akil Benjamin discusses his journey as an entrepreneur and the work he does to support small businesses. He shares how he started his design studio, Kamusi, and later transitioned to helping small businesses grow. Akil also talks about the creation of the Black Business Residency at Somerset House and the impact it has had on supporting entrepreneurs. He provides advice for young entrepreneurs, discusses the challenges of building the residency program, and shares his thoughts on raising money and the UK startup ecosystem. Takeaways Starting small and experimenting is key for entrepreneurs. Test out your ideas and propositions in the smallest way possible to validate them before scaling up. Building relationships and demonstrating value to potential partners and investors is crucial for success. Align your goals with theirs and show how working together can help them achieve their dreams. Recognize the cultural differences and conservative nature of the UK market. Adapt your business model and focus on making sales and demonstrating traction before seeking investment. Maintaining a support system, seeking therapy, and practicing prayer can help entrepreneurs stay grounded and navigate tough times. Balance may not always be achievable for entrepreneurs, but finding what works for you and being present in your journey can lead to success. Chapters 00:00Introduction and Background 06:20Starting Small and Experimenting 08:25Building Relationships and Demonstrating Value 12:11Navigating the UK Market 14:45Finding Support and Staying Grounded

  • Jane Fisher -Founder @ Social Impact Startup Imii

    Jane Fisher -Founder @ Social Impact Startup Imii

    Jane Fisher is the founder of Imii an AI assistant for immigrants. She shares her journey as a first-time founder and the challenges she has faced. She discusses the importance of having a co-founder with complementary skills and values. Jane also talks about the concept of imposter syndrome and how she deals with it. She emphasizes the need for more funding for female entrepreneurs and the importance of building businesses with a genuine impact. Jane finds inspiration in the documentary 'Breakthrough' about the discovery of immune therapy in cancer You can sign up for Imii here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScldBYKBmHQgAnMB4rgFaKgmMikMDRe-EPZyg096dxDpHBpwQ/viewform?usp=sf_link Chapters 00:00Introduction and Background 02:51Challenges of Being a First-Time Founder 09:30The Importance of a Complementary Co-Founder 26:14The Need for More Funding for Female Entrepreneurs 32:10Building Businesses with Genuine Impact 35:36The Inspiring Story of 'Breakthrough'

  • Odev Tech

    Odev Tech

    www.Odev.tech is a development firm that started 10 years ago to solve the problem of finding trustworthy development services. They have worked with startups and companies looking for senior development services. The team at Odevtech emphasizes the importance of budget management and advises startups to take care of their budget. They also highlight the need for a clear and concise pitch to convey the idea effectively. Building an MVP can be challenging due to scope creep and unrealistic expectations. When building a team, it is crucial to have senior developers who are committed and have the right skill sets. The team should also include a salesman and someone who can get things done. While there may be some differences in how startups operate in different markets, the ultimate goal is to build a great product. The conversation explores the differences between Web2 and Web3 development, the importance of Web3 in empowering startups and individuals, and the potential of AI and Web3 technologies. The speakers discuss the challenges and benefits of using AI models like ChatGPT and the need for responsible data custody. They also emphasize the importance of embracing innovation and specialization in the evolving tech landscape. Takeaways Take care of your budget when starting a business Develop a clear and concise pitch to convey your idea effectively Be mindful of scope creep and manage expectations when building an MVP Build a team with senior developers who are committed and have the right skill sets Include a salesman and someone who can get things done in your team While there may be market differences, the goal is to build a great product Web3 development is more exciting and intellectually challenging than Web2 development. Web3 empowers startups and individuals, disrupting traditional businesses and sectors. AI and Web3 technologies offer great potential for breakthroughs in various domains. Responsible data custody is crucial to prevent misuse and protect individuals. Embracing innovation and specialization is key in the evolving tech landscape. Chapters 00:00Introduction and Background of Odeftech 08:33Advice for Starting a Business 11:58Challenges of Building an MVP 25:25The Power of Combining Coding and Sales Skills 26:08Differences in Business Practices Across Countries 29:31The Impact of Web3 and AI on the Industry 35:22The Significance of Specialization and Innovation in Startups 36:58Web3: Empowering Individuals and Disrupting Traditional Businesses 42:40The Benefits and Risks of AI and Technology in Software Development

  • Santiago Sanchez Ruiz- Gen Z Entrepreneur

    Santiago Sanchez Ruiz- Gen Z Entrepreneur

    Santiago Sanchez, co-founder of Scammy Company, discusses their unique clothing brand that incorporates customizable QR codes. The QR codes lead to a link tree where customers can add their own photos, social media profiles, and contact information. The company targets university students, particularly men, who may struggle with socializing. They have had success stories of people connecting and even dating through the QR codes on their clothes. The company is focused on improving their link tree functionality and the quality of their garments. They are considering expanding to markets like Miami in the United States. They also explore the idea of using their QR codes as digital menus in restaurants. Takeaways Scammy Company is a clothing brand that incorporates customizable QR codes on their garments, allowing customers to add their own photos, social media profiles, and contact information. The company targets university students, particularly men, who may struggle with socializing and want a unique way to connect with others. Customers have had success stories of meeting and dating through the QR codes on their clothes. Scammy Company is focused on improving their link tree functionality and the quality of their garments. They are considering expanding to markets like Miami in the United States and exploring the idea of using their QR codes as digital menus in restaurants. Chapters 00:00Introduction to Scammy Company 03:41Customizable QR Codes on Clothing 11:44Connecting and Dating through QR Codes 16:24Improving Link Tree Functionality and Garment Quality 23:33QR Codes as Digital Menus in Restaurants

  • Laura Iriarte Zabalaga

    Laura Iriarte Zabalaga

    In this episode of the Innovation Conversation, Ricardo interviews Laura Iriarte, Head of PR and Communications at Zero 100 Conferences. They discuss the importance of ESG and impact investing in the venture capital industry. Laura shares her journey from working in sustainability to joining the investors world. They also explore the challenges of fundraising, the role of family offices, and the startup ecosystems in Europe and Latin America. The conversation covers topics related to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and impact investing. The guests discuss the importance of ESG reporting and the challenges companies face in gathering and delivering data. They also touch on the issue of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the need for more flexible policies to support working parents. The conversation highlights the role of ESG and impact investing in creating a more balanced and sustainable world. ESG and impact investing are becoming increasingly important in the venture capital industry, driven by regulatory requirements and investor demand. Fundraising is challenging, and founders need to do their homework and tailor their pitches to the specific interests and requirements of investors. Family offices play a significant role in investing in alternative assets, including venture capital and private equity. The Spanish startup ecosystem is growing, and there is a strong connection between Spain and Latin America in terms of investments and knowledge sharing. Different countries in Latin America, such as Chile, Mexico, and Colombia, have vibrant startup ecosystems with attractive opportunities for entrepreneurs. ESG reporting is important for companies to track their progress and identify areas for improvement. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are crucial for creating a balanced and equitable environment. Flexible policies are needed to support working parents and ensure a healthy work-life balance. ESG and impact investing play a role in creating a more sustainable and balanced world. Chapters 00:00Introduction and Background 02:07The Rise of ESG and Impact Investing 04:54The Importance of ESG for Investors 08:19Tailoring Pitches to Investor Requirements 13:30Navigating the Challenges of Fundraising 21:42The Hardships of Being a VC 24:43The Role of Family Offices 26:01The Spanish Startup Ecosystem and Latin America 28:25Startup Ecosystems in Latin America 29:22The Importance of ESG Reporting and Data Gathering 36:18Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace 39:01Supporting Working Parents with Flexible Policies 50:31ESG and Impact Investing for a Sustainable World