);

 

 

FIT, FUNCTION AND FASHION WHEN YOU ARE NOT OFF-THE-RACK

 

AK Ikwuakor, or “Coach AK” as he prefers, is a man of many talents. He’s been both a collegiate and Olympic athlete. Motivational speaker. Educator and Social impact entrepreneur. And even dabbled in some standup. In this podcast episode, however, Dan spoke with him as Co-Founder and CEO of ELETE Styles – a startup on a mission to create professional attire with fit, function, and fashion for the athlete build.

ELETE takes the broadest view of the value it adds. From athletes to first responders to returning war vets who need adaptive apparel. Men, women, casual, formal…and everything in between. 

AK’s life journey has included Olympic trials, world travel, and even a stint of being homeless. How does all this connect with an eCommerce startup?

Listen in and find out!

OUR SPONSOR FOR THIS EPISODE: Black Men Talk Tech

 

The future of the fashion industry…what represents 100% you”
~Coack AK

Coach AK and Dan talked about AK’s journey and ELETE, as well as:

  • life as a triplet
  • giving two weeks’ notice to start a non-profit
  • the risks of a cold drink abroad
  • working with manufacturers in China and Thailand
  • analogy of life as a 400M race

 

“We had to come up with a large amount of money, in a short amount of time ” ~ Coach AK

 

Notable ELETE Interview Highlights.

  • (04:14) How ELETE works to bring consumers custom attire 
  • (09:00) How AK’s love of his mom’s homecooking led to ELETE’s origin story
  • (15:05) The challenges of making ONLY one piece (vs. 1000) for a custom design
  • (16:55) Complexities of tariffs and currencies for a global business
  • (23:35) Powerful origin story of AK’s NGO startup Empower 2 Play
  • (33:10) The 400M race as a metaphor for life 
  • (41:21) AK’s adventures as an Olympic athlete
  • (46:44) Personal choices, perspectives, and growth
  • (50:00) Sources of influence: mentors, friends, enemies, and books

 

MORE on ELETE 

Coach AK’s Youtube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/askcoachak

E-LETE company site:
https://www.eletestyles.com/

or check them out on Linkedin:
linkedin.com/company/eletestyles/

 

“…just do something fun… and I just brought a bag of footballs ”
~Coach AK

 

 

 

 

 

Revolutionizing thermal cooling in the global electronics market

 

Bara Cola, founder and CEO of Carbice, is the definition of a rock star scientist. Ph.D Professor. Inventor. Recognized by two US Presidents as a top National Scientist. So what does he do with all that horsepower? He runs a startup that cools things down.

In our podcast, Bara outlines the truly groundbreaking nature of the innovation developed at Carbice. As he points out, we are surrounded by a global infrastructure – from power plants and satellites to your Amazon Echo – that is powered by electronics. These chips, circuits, and devices all generate heat. If they kick out too much heat, well, then they shut down or at least slow down. Carbice’s magic material manages the heat better – so full performance can be realized.

The ubiquity of deivces all over the world means almost unlimited application for Carbice’s secret sauce techology. True to the massive scale of this opportunity, Bara makes the case that everything from Arab Spring to high end gaming is made possible by better thermal management.

Really!? Listen in to hear how and why.

 

But I guarantee you everybody has experienced the ‘spinning wheel of death’ ” ~Bara Cola

Bara and Dan talked about the Carbice journey, and:

  • fundraising via a neighborhood stroll
  • the sometimes decades it can take to achieve real science
  • Bara’s love for yellow
  • Obama vs Trump: how each uniquely recognized Bara as top Scientist under 35 in US
  • the ATL startup ecosystem – better than Silicon Valley?

 

“I would tell them to fail more. I failed a lot to get to where I am ”
~ Bara Cola

 

Notable CARBICE Interview Highlights.

  • (02:42) EVERYTHING that generates heat must regulate it 
  • (06:14) Carbice has invented the first new cooling material class in 100 years!
  • (12:58) Bara connects thermal management to the Arab Spring
  • (14:56) Bara talks Carbice’s current traction
  • (19:44) Homebase: the choice between Atlanta and Silicon Valley
  • (21:22) Closing a lead investor on a Sunday afternoon walk around the neighborhood 
  • (26:00) Growing up in Pensacola, Florida…AKA “lower Alabama”
  • (31:28) Early entrepreneurial aspirations
  • (32:35) Meeting President Obama at the White House
  • (37:44) What Bara considers the most important skill
  • (40:41) Bara gives advice to his 22-year-old self
  • (42:31) Important mentors
  • (44:02) props to TechSquare Labs – Paul Judge and Allen Nance

 

MORE on CARBICE 

Carbice technology:
https://youtu.be/m7jCPyNzF4Q

Carbice company culture:
https://youtu.be/uVqNuexJ-Xk

To learn more go to: Carbice’s site

or check them out on Twitter: @carbice

 

“It’s the first different material in about 100 years” ~Bara Cola