To celebrate the 150th episode of the WHOA GNV podcast, Collin Austin and co-host Jason Hurst sat down with four Gainesville entrepreneurs that appeared in the podcast’s first fifty episodes. In a round table discussion, the group reflected on the changes to their businesses and the overall business climate over the last 3 years.
Back in episode 6, Elio Piedra was bringing the fiesta to corporate events, weddings, and more as an entertainer and DJ.
After a pandemic threatened his way of life, Elio responded by helping other businesses adapt to the digital space. His company, The Fiesta Media, lets brands tell their stories online through live streaming, video, and podcasts – all produced right here in Gainesville.
Brad Gamble of The Selling Factory first joined Collin in episode 2, when he was coaching about 20 UF students in effective selling techniques.
Since then, his roster has grown to around 300 students, whose services are outsourced to 75-80 companies. Their workplace has changed a bit too. The Selling Factory has embraced remote work with a VR office – complete with avatars that let them coach students through their calls.
Halo Potato Donuts founder Drew Stuerman still has the food truck he was selling out of when episode 43 aired.
He’s also got a drive-thru food truck, a donut-making trailer, and a brick-and-mortar shop on South Main Street. And they’re still running out of donuts every day. After keeping up their momentum through the pandemic, Drew is looking forward to opening a second Gainesville before taking on other Florida cities.
Lifestyle and fashion blogger Kristen Coffey Pressley had 89,000 Instagram followers when she appeared on episode 39.
After a social media boom in 2020, she now boasts 318,000 Instagram followers – a following that netted her around $300,000 in 2019. After a rebrand of her blog, she sees a future where she continues sharing her life with her audience, partnering with brands that align with her content, and learning to work the Instagram algorithm.