Episode 128: From the Edge with Solomon Antoine and Zach WareJoncas

Photos courtesy of Solomon Antoine and Zach WareJoncas.

Photos courtesy of Solomon Antoine and Zach WareJoncas.

Today on the podcast we listen in to the latest in our “From the Edge” series. On “From the Edge” we invite two guests involved in Rochester’s entrepreneurial ecosystem on the show to talk about trends we’re seeing in entrepreneurship. This month we’re joined by two early stage entrepreneurs: Solomon Antoine and Zach WareJoncas. Solomon is CEO and Developer at FAVR Inc., a peer to peer platform that allows customers to request tasks at their own price. Zach is a Cofounder at LEAH Labs, a Rochester biotech startup working to bring modern healthcare to the veterinary space. And as always we’re also joined on the podcast by Jamie Sundsbak, Community Manager at Collider Coworking.

We cover multiple topics on the podcast today including:

·      mental health in entrepreneurs,

·      the importance of managing your own health as well as the health of your business,

·      a potential biotech bubble,

·      approaching startup funders and how to deal with “no”s,

·      and the attractiveness of Rochester to early stage entrepreneurs.


Links from the show today:


Website: https://askfavr.com/index.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/askfavr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/askfavr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/askfavr/?hl=en


Website: https://www.leahlabs.com/

Odd News by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/


Episode 86: Meet the Team behind SolKen Technology

“Don't worry about a thing,every little thing is gonna be alright”.jpg

This week on the podcast we sit down with Solomon Antoine, Ken Nguyen, D’Angelo Tines, and Haron Arama of SolKen Technology. SolKen Technology is a Rochester-based tech startup specializing in cryptocurrency mentoring, web development, and e-commerce development. Their current focus is on the product FAVR, a web-based platform that matches freelancers with jobs, such as yard work and errand-running, in the community.

This week on the podcast we talk about:

·      FAVR, a platform that pairs freelancers with local demand and the SolKen team’s plans to grow the product.

·      The drive and rationale for creating FAVR.

·      How the team balances their education as high school and college students and their other activities with business development.

·      The journey of building FAVR in Rochester and the connections the team has leveraged to jump start the product.

·      Their advice for anyone else looking to #startsomething in Rochester, Minnesota.


“Take risks. You never know the outcome until you try it out.” -Ken Nguyen

Episode 79: 1 Million Cups Rochester with Stationary Astronauts and Solken Technologies


This week on the podcast we share some audio from the most recent 1 Million Cups Rochester. 1 Million Cups is a national education program for entrepreneurs that takes place most Wednesdays in 174 communities across the United States. 1 Million Cups provides a platform for local entrepreneurs to share the story of their business and ask members of the community for help on one particular issue that their startup is facing. Due to a snow storm last week, the original speakers at 1 Million Cups Rochester were not able to attend. Instead, we had two entrepreneurs in the community step up and pitch with very little notice including:

·      Nikolai Zeppa of Stationary Astronauts, a philanthropic event and media company that just celebrated its one-year anniversary in February. Stationary Astronauts is embarking on a huge mission with the launch of their Meeting of the Minds series to bring a world renowned public speaker and paired Netflix comedian to Rochester. The inaugural show will take place this August with serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk and comedian Theo Von.  

·      Solomon Antoine, Cofounder and Manager of Solken Technologies. This startup just launched their first product, FAVR, a service platform for users to request low skilled tasks such as errand running, snow removal, or leaf raking, at their own set price. The first live version of the platform launched just the day before Solomon gave this pitch.

We also heard updates on previous 1 Million Cups Presenters: Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza, How to Babysit, and Spark DJ. Xavier Frigola, Director of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator, provided an update on the Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund.