Taaluma Totes with Founders Ethan and Jordan



Taaluma Totes, a backpack that has a mission to give back to the world and support entrepreneurs and small businesses through microloans. A company embracing a diverse culture, helping you carry your memories while you explore the world.

Hand make right in California.

Here are just some reasons that make it a great backpack for travelers:

Fun fabrics from around the world – Show off a country’s culture through traditional fabrics.
Room for your cargo – Light excursions or heavy explorations, fit everything you need in one place.
Durable beyond belief – From travel to work or school, we’ve got your back.
A purchase that gives back – Each tote funds a microloan, supporting the country the fabric comes from.

Bios:

Ethan

A lover of travel, ecommerce, and helping those in need, Taaluma is the perfect fit for Ethan’s personal and professional background. Most of Ethan’s career is focused on helping improve and grow online businesses in a variety of industries. Now Ethan gets to do that while giving back to the global community through Taaluma’s mission. Outside of work, you’ll probably find Ethan in a Taaluma Tote hiking up a random mountain or exploring a new area.

Jordan

Jordan is a Florida native living in Southern California with a passion for healthy living, giving back, authenticity, and making connections through culture and travel. After working in digital marketing, social media, and ecommerce for 10 years, Jordan saw Taaluma as the ideal place to begin her entrepreneurial journey. As co-owner and operator, Jordan is able to put all of her energy and creativity into more than just a business. She gets to work with an amazing team to create one of a kind products with a mission that helps other people around the world also begin their entrepreneurial journeys. She believes in doing good, eating your veggies, and playing outside as much as possible. Her happy place is the beach while watching the sunset with her shoes in hand and her Taaluma Tote on her back.


Shaswat Dixit ‘Shani’, ChaiBot Founder



Tea is hot!

For tea lovers or those new to tea!

ChaiBot is a blend of superior engineering design and product innovation to overcome daily hassles in tea making. With its elegant design and classy colors of black, white and matcha green, it will perfectly complement any kitchen setting.

ChaiBot – the world’s first all-in-one tea machine that brews healthier, and faster, with more kinds of tea, so you can enjoy perfect cups

With a push of a button. ChaiBot is a fully automated machine which offers three different modes of making a customized perfect cup of Tea, Chai and frothy Matcha. Add your favorite type of tea – from bags to fresh ingredients and spices and your flavourful drink is ready in less than 2 minutes – 4x faster than a kettle or any other method.

ChaiBot uses patent-pending Total Tea Extraction Technology (TTE) to extract 99.8% of the tea molecules. That means you’ll get the richest flavor possible and 30% more antioxidants in your tea, all the while using a minimal amount of tea leaves.
By heating water to the correct temperature for each individual tea, ChaiBot brews a good pot of delicious tea by extracting the flavors from the leaves of the tea plant, fruits, herbs, flowers and spices in an infusion.

Thanks to automatic self-cleaning mode, it will always be spotless and ready for your next cup without any trace of a dirty mess and time waste.


Karl Haller; Partner, Consumer Center of Competency Leader at IBM Consulting



Rick is joined by Karl Haller, Partner, Consumer Center of Competency Leader at IBM for this special interview.

Many global consumers are ready to celebrate the holidays again however, as a wider set of economic and political issues took center stage this past year, new risks and uncertainties loom over their plans. According to the annual global holiday shopping and travel report released by IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV) nearly half of consumers surveyed will spend less if inflation continues to drive price increases.

The mix of rising prices and decreased availability of inventory means that when consumers shop is just as important as where. Continuing the shift away from the traditional Black Friday start of the shopping season, about 58% of consumers plan to start holiday shopping before November. Almost two in three people plan to pre-order their products to get them on-time with guaranteed prices and 73% said they are considering sustainability when shopping for the holidays.

Travel is also an area where consumers are looking to get back to normal, while still mitigating any risk associated with potential price changes due to inflation and fluctuating gas prices. With even the best plans have risks of disruption, the retail and travel industries are taking notice.

For more information please visit: www.ibm.com/ibv

Karl leads IBM’s Consumer Industry Center of Competency, where he works with retailers and consumer goods companies worldwide to digitally reinvent their businesses and operationalize the use of advanced capabilities across their enterprise. Karl has over 25 years of experience in retail, fashion, and consumer goods, and has served in executive positions in Strategy, Customer Engagement, and Marketing at Brooks Brothers, Tommy Hilfiger, The Limited, and Doner Advertising. Karl began his career in the strategy consulting practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers.


SportsVisio CEO, Jason Syversen on Cutting Edge AI



Great to talk to Jason this week. A great idea and a passion for sports has created SportsVisio. SportsVisio is a highly revolutionary Sports AI/Computer Vision startup that essentially uses cutting-edge AI tech to capture basketball stats and automatically generate highlights, simply using iPhone or Android phone cameras on tripods. All with Syverson and SportsVisio giving back!

Enjoy Jason Syverson of SportsVisio.

Syversen has grown and sold multiple multi-million dollar companies. After earning a BS in computer engineering and an MS in electrical engineering, Jason became a project manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He then went on to found, and later sell, Siege Technologies. Prior to founding SportsVisio, he was GP at 10x Ventures.


Kudo CEO Ryan Lewis and NBA legend “Downtown” Fred Brown on Snacking Products



Kudo CEO Ryan Lewis and NBA legend “Downtown” Fred Brown join Rick to discuss KUDO’s protein-powered snacks and nutritional gummies. Kudo products are non-GMO, gluten-free and created to help health-conscious consumers snack (and supplement) without guilt.

Kudo, The Good Conscience Snack Co., entered the functional foods market in 2022 with a product line that features 100 percent whole grain kettle-popped protein popcorn, protein “krisps” and nutritional gummies.

Functional foods are whole, fortified, enriched or enhanced foods that provide health benefits beyond the provision of essential nutrients (e.g., vitamins and minerals). It’s an industry that was valued at $189 billion globally in 2021 and is projected to reach $285 billion in 2030, according to research by Spherical Insights & Consulting.

Founder and CEO Ryan Lewis created Kudo to address a gap he found in the snacking marketplace.

“Healthy snacking always seemed like a never-ending obstacle. There just didn’t seem to be any good options that were healthy, convenient and great tasting,” Lewis said.

He had already launched two successful start-ups in the supplement and food industry before landing on the idea of infusing a perennially favorite snack — popcorn — with protein.

“I’ve never been more excited about a line of products,” Lewis said. “These products taste good. Without that, all the nutrients in the world won’t sell a product.”

NBA legend Fred Brown joined the Kudo team as a board member and adviser after meeting with Lewis and learning about his product.

“This company has a product offering that first and foremost tastes great, but secondly, each product has its own unique disruptive advantage, from boosting protein, to being sugar free, to promoting relaxation and sleep,” Brown said.

Ryan Lewis is a former collegiate athlete and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in the supplement and food industry. He started two companies that have combined revenues of over $350 million. He is a two-time President’s Award recipient for a billion dollar company and has been recognized as the co-founder of a Top 100 direct sales company during four consecutive years by Business for Home. He also holds a Master’s in Business Administration and has experience opening in more than 25 global markets, including South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada and Mainland China.

Fred Brown retired from the Bank of America (formerly Seafirst Bank) after 15 years of service. As a Senior Vice President with the bank, Brown managed a team in the Northwest Small Business Banking Group. He served as a member of the bank’s Leadership Team in Washington, as well as the bank’s national committee for diversity. Prior to joining Bank of America, he was Vice President of Marketing for the 1990 Goodwill Games. A color commentator for Channel 13 in Seattle for Pac-10 basketball, Brown played with the NBA’s Seattle Supersonics from 1971-1984. Brown was the first player taken by the Sonics in the 1971 NBA draft and was the sixth player taken overall.

For more information, please visit www.kudosnacks.com.


Bob Wilber, Author, ‘How Far?: A Tale of Determination, DNA, and Drama’, Drag Racing, Sports PR



Great to catch up with Bob Wilber this week.

Wilber’s book How Far? explores the incredible friendship that blossoms between a baseball player from Southern California and a hockey player from Minnesota. How Far? is an inspiring story that isn’t just for sports fans — it’s for anyone who wants to be motivated to keep working toward their goals and overcome life’s inevitable setbacks.

Plot:

As the son of a major league baseball player and a former baseball player himself, author Bob Wilber has lived the athlete life, and in his new book, How Far?, Wilber weaves the compelling story of two disparate athletes who meet and form an unlikely bond. His creative use of first-person writing, having his fictional protagonists appear to write the book themselves in their distinct voices, immerses readers in every thought and word of the two characters.

Brooks Bennett is a gifted baseball player (and the son of artist hippies) from Southern California, and Eric Olson is an undersized hockey player from Roseau, Minnesota — where hockey is king. The two men come from vastly different worlds and couldn’t be more dissimilar. And in one spontaneous moment, their paths cross, and their lives change forever.

How Far? follows their serendipitous meeting and what happens as they each experience the emotional and physical highs and lows of their careers. Wilber takes readers on deep dives into the worlds of amateur and professional sports, down to the richest and most evocative details. On the ice, on the field, in the locker rooms and while facing life’s many personal challenges, the two characters tell the tale as it really is.

How Far? is a story that will appeal to sports fans as well as anyone who appreciates an inspiring story of personal growth and perseverance.

“When asked if it’s a sports book, my answer is, ‘It’s a life book, told through a sports lens,’” Wilber said.

Bob Wilber is no stranger to the world of sports. The son of Major League player Del Wilber, Bob Wilber grew up playing baseball. He graduated from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism, then went on to play several seasons of minor league baseball for the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland A’s. When his playing days were over, Wilber spent time as a regional scouting supervisor for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Wilber also grew up with a passion for writing, and ended up journeying through the world of international sports marketing before he was a senior executive for three professional indoor soccer franchises. An interest in NHRA drag racing led to his 22 years as a public relations representative and team manager for professional racers. Wilber published his autobiography Bats, Balls, & Burnouts in 2017. How Far? is his first work of fiction.

A great talk with Bob, have a listen.