This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Anita Worden, renewable energy business entrepreneur, about her work to improve representation of women in crucial economic sectors like technology, a place where they can innovate and have real impact.  Anita was born in England of Indian parents, grew up in Algeria, moved to the U.S. as a teenager, and attended MIT. While still a student, she co-founded her first company, Solectria Corporation, in 1989, and then went on to found Solectria Renewables in 2005, both of which were acquired.  Now retired, Anita is working to promote tech as a viable, lucrative and satisfying career choice for women and girls, just as she’s educating Americans about her passions, climate change and shifting the narrative around immigrants in the U.S.

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This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Ely Kaplansky, President & CEO of Kaplansky Insurance. Ely’s unconventional path included dropping out of high school and essentially taking the place of the insurance business where he got his start, when it was found that they were committing unethical practices. And since 1974, Ely has created hundreds of jobs in Massachusetts and beyond, with 85 employees in 15 offices across the state today, and he has grown his business especially during the pandemic, with 37 acquisitions to date, such that Kaplansky Insurance was named to INC’s 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America list.  Ely’s success is more than just the pride of having made it. His success fulfilled the dreams of his parents when they moved from Israel to America in 1955, with just the clothes on their backs and an aunt to take them in. Their journey began in the concentration camps of Germany, and Ely’s story is all about the opportunity and freedom America offers, as you’ll discover in this week’s JobMakers.

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This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Russian-born entrepreneur Semyon Dukach about the high value of immigrants to the U.S. Dukach started a seed stage fund for immigrant tech founders, One Way Ventures, in response to the early restrictive moves of the Trump administration, particularly the Muslim ban. In his 20 years of angel investing, he noticed a trend: immigrant-led companies repeatedly outperformed the rest of his portfolio. Indeed, immigrants make up less than 14 percent of the U.S. population but launched 24 percent of high-tech startups and founded or co-founded 55 percent of America’s billion-dollar startups. In this episode, Dukach shares his thoughts on how to reform America’s immigration policies.

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Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with MassLandlords’ Doug Quattrochi about ways landlords faced the challenges of being caught between tenants unable to pay rent during COVID-19 shutdown and having little or no programmatic relief from state and federal agencies.

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Climate Disclosures and Their Stealth Mission

 

A huge fraction of the Biden administration’s regulatory policy is driven by its persistent fear of climate change. Chief among its initiatives are ambitious programs to reduce the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels by pushing for an increase in wind and solar energy reliance.

There are two paths for achieving that goal: direct regulation and disclosure. The former includes the decision made shortly after President Biden’s inauguration to pull the federal permits for the Keystone XL pipeline, which led TC Energy, its Canadian developer, to kill the project some months later. Soon thereafter, the Biden team made its dubious decision to “pause” oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters, only to be blocked judicially for encroaching on Congress’s power to set national policy. Ironically, there was no explanation given of how these actions would help the environment. In my view, Keystone’s removal probably increased climate-change risk by preventing the efficient shipment of fossil fuels, which are still used by over 80 percent of the energy market, notwithstanding the heavily subsidized production of wind and solar energy. Piously claiming to follow “best science” hardly serves as an adequate justification.

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Umesh Bhuju, owner of Zumi’s Espresso in Ipswich, Massachusetts, about how a business model based on selling nothing but fair-trade products can thrive in a world driven by profit. He describes his early experiences in his homeland of Nepal, where he witnessed child labor, and how that has shaped his pursuit of the American dream. Over the past 20 years, through his successful business, he’s been educating Americans about just how far their dollar can go – paying farmers respectable wages, reducing environmental impact, and supporting developing economies; as well as how businesses can catalyze social progress. In this episode, Umesh shares how he has extended his activism to fighting for the rights of immigrants, preserving local habitats, and combatting food insecurity during the pandemic, even as his own business has battled the downturn.

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Member Post

 

You can listen here: https://www.angelinvestboston.com/matt-stellmaker-keith-hearon-good-chemistry Two brilliant scholarship kids became friends at Georgia Tech and went on to found a company that could change the world. This is the story of Matthew Stellmaker and Keith Hearon and of their “good chemistry” expressed in their friendship and in the creation of a new chemistry that is friendly […]

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Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Beacon Hill Institute President Dr. David Tuerck about his recent analysis of the proposed 4% surtax on incomes over $1 million in Massachusetts, and his estimate of the number of individuals who will leave the state as a result. Tuerck, an economist, used STAMP modeling tools comparing the static projections offered by proponents of the so-called “Fair Share Amendment” with a model simulation that accounts for the unintended effects of the tax.

Read about the Beacon Hill Institute study. Read related research from Pioneer Institute.

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Dr. Babak Movassaghi, founder of InfiniteMD (acquired last summer by ConsumerMedical), which connects patients with top U.S. medical professionals through second-opinion video consultations, guiding patients to better care. When the world shut down due to COVID-19, Dr. Movassaghi’s company was already prepared to serve patients via telehealth. In this episode, they discuss his fascinating pivot from physics and professional football in Germany, to healthcare and innovation here in the U.S., an extension of his ability to navigate multiple identities as an Iranian-German living the American Dream.

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Member Post

 

Listen here: https://www.angelinvestboston.com/tim-spong-vistapath-bio A terrible error in a lab led Tim Spong to start a company to improve the reliability and efficiency of pathology labs; big industry players are noticing. This interview was part of my due diligence on Tim’s startup, VistaPath Bio. Subsequently, I invested in the company. Preview Open

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This week on JobMakers, Guest Host Jo Napolitano talks with Jitka Borowick, Founder & CEO of Cleangreen, a cleaning service committed to environmentally-friendly practices, and Nove Yoga, launched during COVID. Jitka grew up under communism in the Czech Republic. Determined to learn English, she made her way to the U.S., initially with plans to stay for only one year – but ended up making it her home. In this episode, they discuss the difficulties of learning another language and culture, her pathway to entrepreneurship, and her courageous decision to open a new business during a pandemic. Jitka shares insights on how her companies have successfully adapted to the challenges so many small businesses have encountered over the past year.

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This week on JobMakers, Guest Host Jo Napolitano talks with Josh Feast, the CEO and Co-Founder of Cogito, a Boston-based software company that deploys Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help employers in a wide variety of industries improve their customer service call centers. Josh got his start creating innovative technology to improve case management for a social services agency in New Zealand, before coming to America on a Fulbright scholarship to earn an MBA at MIT Sloan. In this episode, they discuss the many applications of Artificial Intelligence, how it helps provide emotional intelligence to augment management practices at large organizations, and how to address some of the concerns about privacy and bias that have been raised around its use.

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Member Post

 

Prof. Ed Roberts of MIT Sloan – Startup Prof Listen here: https://www.angelinvestboston.com/ed-roberts-mit-startup-prof Ed Roberts started the scholarly study of startups. Learn from this brilliant academic pioneer and seasoned investor in Sohu.com and HubSpot about the keys to success in founding a tech company. Along the way you will be entertained and charmed by his most engaging […]

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This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Mahmud Jafri, who built on a legacy started by his grandfather and began importing hand-knitted rugs from his native Pakistan, creating opportunities especially for women who traditionally couldn’t work outside the home. Today, he has three Dover Rug & Home stores across Massachusetts, including the Back Bay, which have experienced an uptick in sales during the pandemic’s “renovation revolution.” Jafri discusses why he made the journey to the U.S., and challenges he encountered, such as the “concrete ceiling” in the corporate world for foreigners at that time. He also shares thoughts on how to ensure the United States remains a welcoming country, and what can be done to more effectively integrate all immigrants for the benefit of everyone.

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Member Post

 

  Thrift is an under-appreciated virtue in the world of startups. The founders of Wistia exemplified this virtue in the the way they built their video streaming startup. They rented a dilapidated house where they lived and ran their business for the first few years. They eschewed venture money and mostly bootstrapped their profitable growth […]

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Host Joe Selvaggi talks with cyber security expert Dr. Brandon Valeriano about the Colonial Pipeline shutdown and our national exposure to cyberattack on vital infrastructure.

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Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the CDC finally telling vaccinated people they can stop with all the restrictions – a decision millions of Americans had already made. They also hammer President Biden for tweeting out people have to get vaccinated or stay masked and react to the “trust the science” crowd suddenly very mad at the scientists. And they discuss the implications of cyberterrorists attacking the Colonial Pipeline and Colonial agreeing to pay the $5 million ransom to restart operations.

Every immigrant experiences some kind of shock when they move to the United States, no matter their skin color, language or country of origin. And yet despite this, they learn to adapt to new laws, a new culture, a new education system, and eventually flourish. It takes a special kind of person to do that.  On this week’s episode of JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks to Larry O’Toole, founder of the multi-state Gentle Giant Moving Company that started in 1980 right here in the Boston area. They discuss Mr. O’Toole’s journey at a young age from Ireland to Brookline, Mass., the challenges of being uprooted, and the ability to thrive despite barriers such as skills gaps, that many immigrants face. That is why he’s part of a group that advocates for state and federal policies that foster complete economic integration of foreign-born talent and sustained prosperity for everyone, as we’ll hear more about in this week’s JobMakers.

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Join Jim and Greg as they dissect three lousy reports that highlight deeply flawed Biden administration policies, from huge numbers of people coming to the border, to a record number of available jobs that aren’t being filled, to very disturbing inflation numbers. And each of these of these problems was easily foreseeable.