Global Entrepreneurship Week

Episode 148: What You Need to Know- Rochester's Entrepreneurship Week


This week on the podcast we talk about all the engaging events going on next Tuesday through Friday (October 22nd-25th) during Entrepreneurship Week. The challenge to all listeners: attend at least one event to learn more about and connect with our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Entrepreneurship Week is a grassroots celebration and acknowledgment of entrepreneurship with events taking place all over the city. Programming this week is open to anyone in the community.


Links from the podcast today:

Entrepreneurship Week:



Music Attribution: Odd News by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license ( Artist:

Episode 108: GEW and the Founding Story of Sonex Health

Sonex Health founding member Dr. Darryl Barnes.

Sonex Health founding member Dr. Darryl Barnes.

This week on the podcast we take one final peek back at this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week and recap one of the best kept tales of Rochester, the founding story of Sonex Health. Sonex Health was launched in 2014 by local physicians Darryl Barnes and Jay Smith alongside business operations expert Aaron Keenan. The company was founded to improve patient outcomes, enhance the patient experience, and increase practice efficiencies, especially in the field of ultrasound guided surgery. Sonex Health addresses compression neuropathies, with specific focus on carpal tunnel syndrome. Their solution, the SX-One MicroKnife with Meerkat Technology, allows physicians to treat carpal tunnel patients in their office, with local anesthetic and 5-millimeter incision in a “walk in, walk out” procedure. This allows patients to recover in 3-6 days instead of the normal 2-6 weeks seen in the current gold standard surgical carpal tunnel practice.  Sonex Health has raised $1.87M in seed funding and $2.5M in a convertible debt round. They are now looking to raise Series A funding to commercialize their product.

Founder Darryl Barnes said the Sonex team was one of the biggest reasons for the success of the company.  He explained, “I think if there’s anything I would say if you’re going to do this is to really partner with people who have a passion for what they do and are able to share the vision.”

Episode 107: 1 Million Cups Rochester with Beth Fynbo and Busy Baby LLC


This week on the podcast we listen in to the audio from the most recent 1 Million Cups Rochester featuring local mom, veteran, and founder Beth Fynbo of Busy Baby LLC. Inspired by her father’s welding business, Fynbo always wanted to start a business, but just needed to find her passion. After graduating from high school, she spent ten years in the US Army “living an exciting life with a lot of twists and turns.”

“But the biggest twist of all came last year when at age forty I had my son and I found my passion. I wanted to start my own business because I wanted to have control of my own life so that I could be more present in his,” explained Fynbo. 

As a solo entrepreneur, Fynbo is in the pre-revenue, pre-manufacturing stage of Busy Baby LLC with the startup’s flagship product, the Busy Baby Mat. This product is a 100% FDA approved silicone placemat that suctions to the bottom of surfaces and contains a proprietary tether system to attach baby’s toys, utensils, and other items so they remain connected to the mat and not on the floor. The Busy Baby Mat has been market tested by local babies. After getting this initial product to market, Fynbo plans to develop upgraded mats, such as products with LED lighting. The business could also expand the original product to secondary markets, including adults with Parkinson’s disease and children with sensory sensitivities. Now, Fynbo is seeking funds to finish her current production run. She’s also learning how to list the Busy Baby Mat on Amazon and is locating a manufacturer for initial packaging of the Busy Baby Mat.

Episode 61: An Evening with the Founders of DoApp, Part 1

This week on the podcast we listen in to some audio straight from Rochester’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. On the show today we listen in to part one of “A Night with the Founders of DoApp” where DoApp founders Wade Beavers, Joe Sriver, and David Borrillo along with key individuals- John Roberts with New Counsel and David Olson with Blackridge Financial- talk about the growth and exits of this mobile application development company. Today on the podcast, we hear about the very beginnings of DoApp, how they developed three of the very first apps for the Apple App Store, and the reality of starting a business and taking outside funding.

“Whether it’s luck, calculated risk, whatever it is, you have those moments where you have to recognize it’s a failure and you have to adjust.” –Wade Beavers, former CEO of DoApp

Rochester Rising Episode 18: "Start Something" with Minnesotan Pakistani Entrepreneurs

This week’s episode comes straight from the “Start Something” series from Rochester’s Global Entrepreneurship week. This informational session was about getting started with the small business community. The event featured three Pakistani entrepreneurs from Minneapolis sharing their stories: Arif Altaf, Seema Altaf and Caldoun Abuhakel. This event was sponsored by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.

Arif Altaf has an extensive career in healthcare management. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Saint Mary’s University and Cardinal Stritch University. Mr. Altaf shared the top things he felt it takes to become a successful entrepreneur which included understanding why you want to start a particular business, obtaining legal and accounting advice, and having an exit strategy.

Seema Altaf has been in the United States for 25 years. She said that as an entrepreneur you have to have a dream, even if you never achieve it. Her dream was to start a fashion boutique, but her parents also stressed the importance of obtaining an advanced education in case her business dreams did not pan out. Her story of entrepreneurship involved a delicate balance of these two pieces.

Coldoun Abuhakel also spoke (but was not included in the podcast). He came to this country without knowing any English or having a college degree. His first job was as a cashier at a gas station, and even borrowed money from his boss to start his first business at the age of 23. Years later, Coldoun wanted to help his son’s school serve better lunch food and stop losing money. He ended up successfully overhauling the school’s lunch program founded a business called Done Right Food that serves 7,000-10,000 healthy school lunches each day.