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Entrepreneur Video Interviews Video Interviews

Alex Lavidge – Business Development Manager at Variable, Inc.

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Alex Lavidge is the Founding Manager of the Wireless Sensors High Growth Fund LLC headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Lavidge also serves as a Business Development Manager at Variable, Inc., maker of the NODE wireless sensor platform for smart devices. CNN Money called the device the “coolest gizmo” at 2013 CES, the largest consumer electronics trade show in the world.

Since returning to his hometown from Silicon Valley in 2008, Lavidge has helped spur a plethora of initiatives and community-building events for entrepreneurs, young professionals and creatives throughout the region: TEDxKnoxville, 48 Hour Launch, Envision Knoxville, Knoxville Twestival, Creative Mixed Use Symposium, InnovativeKnoxville.com, Lunch 2.0, Knoxville Overground, Young Professional Mayoral Debate & Political Symposium, CoworkingKnoxville, Entrepreneurial Imperative 2011, and several others.

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Small Business and Entrepreneurial Funding with Paul Solitario

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Great, you just had your AHA moment, probably in the shower. You yell Eureka. You just figured out the best new business idea you would like to pursue. Awesome. Now what? One important question is how will you fund this venture? The answer, of course, depends on the idea. Will a credit card suffice? Do you need help from friends and family? Or, perhaps an Angel Investor to help realize your dream.

J. Paul Solitario – Managing Partner at Cerium Capital LLC is someone that has lots of experience in Small Business and Entrepreneurial Funding and fortunately for us we had the opportunity to pinch a few minutes of his time to discuss this topic.

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Entrepreneur Written Interviews Uncategorized Written Interviews

“Believe in what you are doing” – my interview with agricultural entrepreneur Sam Dobson of Dobson Farms

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Statesville Record & Landmark feature on Sam Dobson’s Grass-fed Beef Operation.

Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview today. Could you please tell us about yourself?

Sure. Sam Dobson from the northern part of Iredell County. I think I’m the tenth generation on this dairy and now, grass-fed beef farm. We’ve been in the dairy business since 1939, and before that we farmed the traditional cotton and tobacco, and maybe some small grains since the late 1700’s. We have transitioned over the last few years after looking at organic dairying, and transitioning with that process as well as starting a grass-fed beef part of the operation in 2006. We’re moving forward with that. I’m married – I have a wife Sherry, and one son Chase, who’s five; so there’s another generation coming along! And we just kind of hang out here on the farm and try to make things go.

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Interview With Patrick Jones by Hillary Watkins

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I have had the privilege of working with Patrick Jones in my previous job, and when the opportunity arose to interview someone in the financial field my thoughts immediately turned to him. Pat, as I like to call him, is the branch manager of North State Acceptance, a finance company that focuses on consumer loans in the Eastern part of North Carolina.  His friendly demeanor and ever smiling face are attributes that I’m sure have benefitedNorth State Acceptance him greatly in his career, however he is an individual who genuinely cares about people and businesses and has always strived to do the right thing in an industry whose reputation has been marred by those who have not had the same strong character.

When I asked about his past experience with the finance industry he told me that he had previously worked for Wachovia Bank for 23 years managing both consumer and commercial lending.  He worked with automobile, RV, and yacht loans with the largest credit underwritten at $3.5M.  He later managed a portfolio of automobile dealers by lending them credit and managing wholesale lines of credit.  In his career with North State Acceptance, Pat states that currently the biggest challenge is irrational competition.  “Many new lenders are entering the market and have forgotten the sins of the past.  There is very little discipline that I compete with daily.”

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