gateways podcast

Welcome to Gateways, the official podcast of the World Trade Center Arkansas.

Episode 16 – Erupting New Markets as an Arkansas Tech Startup with Layne Fortenberry

What if you had an idea that was so revolutionary that it promised to erupt – as opposed to disrupt – an entirely new market? As an entrepreneur, how would you face the obstacles and trials that come with bringing this idea from concept to execution?

In this episode of the Gateways podcast we sit down with Layne Fortenberry, the chairman and co-founder of Grainster, a tech start-up from Little Rock and the 2017 winners of the Talent Unleashed Awards for Best Idea. Grainster’s technology provides a digital trading platform for farmers and buyers. Their technology enhances global food security and small farm strength by freeing growers to offer their production directly to a global buying audience.

Layne shares with us what it has been like to overcome obstacles common to entrepreneurs (including funding) and the tools and strategies he has used to unleash the power of a great idea.

Episode 15 – Why Companies Should Consider Export Training with Rudy Ortiz

SMEs with valuable products will often just export reactively – meaning they export only when an overseas buyer presents themself. Reactive exporters often lack a plan or strategy for tapping into overseas markets and will usually encounter legal, logistical and technical obstacles that make exporting difficult. Through personal mentorship and expert education, national export training programs like ExporTech are proven to help companies develop a comprehensive international marketing strategy to reap tremendous rewards. We sit down with our partner Rudy Ortiz of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission who shares with us his firsthand experience watching companies grow and succeed once they’ve graduated from his export training program. In this episode we discuss:

  • What export training can teach companies
  •  How export training teachers mentor new-to-export companies
  • How export training graduates experience success
  • Which companies can benefit from export training
  • The benefits of strategic exporting
  • How companies can join export training

Episode 14 – The State of Africa with Salim Amin

Many of the today’s fastest growing economies are in Africa. Salim Amin, one the of continent’s foremost journalists, joins us to discuss Africa’s groundbreaking technologies and the economic shifts taking place across the continent that are elevating the standard of living. We discuss what countries are doing to create a positive business climate, the way this positive climate manifests itself and places of opportunity for companies with the right mindset. We end our conversation by discussing the work and legacy of his father, Mohamed Amin, whose coverage of critical events in Africa made him one the most renowned photojournalists in the 20th Century.

Episode 13 – Creating a Climate of Success & Other Sources of Leadership with Stu Todd

Stu Todd joins us to conclude his series on principals of leadership and shared values by giving us his story of serving under General Norman Schwarzkopf. He also provides unorthodox sources of learning and leadership apart from books and biographies from which business leaders can learn principals of success.

Episode 12 – Interning at the World Trade Center Arkansas with Jamie Allen

A key part of the World Trade Center Arkansas’s mission is to provide students an enhanced educational experience in global commerce. Jamie Allen of Little Rock has served as the World Trade Center Arkansas’s intern since 2016. Having graduated this month, she sits down with us on her last day as an intern to share her experiences interning at the World Trade Center before serving in the Peace Corps later this year.

Episode 11 – The 9 Legal Secrets Every Entrepreneur Should Know For A More Bodacious Business.

In Episode 11 of the Gateways Podcast, Angela Grayson of Precipice IP shares her expertise in Intellectual Property for business owners. In this session, Angela gives a special rendition of her original presentation The 9 Legal Secrets Every Entrepreneur Should Know For a More Bodacious BusinessGateways listeners can learn about the legal tools needed to launch a technology-focused business and how to use Intellectual Property to get a leg-up on the competition.
Secret #1 (06:10) – Protecting Your Ideas 
Secret #2 (14:10) – Handle Your Business (Entity)
Secret #3 (18:55) – Protect Your Investors
Secret #4 (26:13) – Hire Employees, Not Friends
Secret #5 (32:10) – Own Product Designs (for Real)
Secret #6 (37:00) – Building Supplier Proof Products
Secret #7 (40:30) – Run Your Brand, Don’t Let Your Brand Run You
Secret #8 (44:30) – Sell Your Product Like You Could Be Sued
Secret #9 (47:45) – Sell Your Business And Make Money Moves
Angela is also hosting a series of roundtable discussions on the same topics for Arkansas companies at Grit Studios in Bentonville throughout the year. You can view a schedule of the discussions and read about the 9 Legal Secrets in more depth by clicking here.

Episode 10 – Opportunities for U.S. businesses in Africa with Toyin Umesiri

We sit down with Toyin Umesiri, CEO of Nazaru and the convener of the Trade With Africa Business Summit 2018 and Denise Thomas, director of Africa and Middle East Trade for the World Trade Center Arkansas to discuss commercial and trade opportunities in Africa. Toyin believes that Africa is the next frontier for economic growth and has dedicated her career to connecting U.S. and African businesses to meet the growing needs of the African market. Listen to her discuss what opportunities exist for Arkansas businesses on the continent and how she hopes to bring Africa’s challenges and opportunities to light at the Trade With Africa Business Summit 2018 in Bentonville, Ark. from May 10-11.

Episode 9 – “Made in NAFTA” with Fernando Marti

We sit down with Fernando Marti, the trade and investment commissioner of ProMexico and Melvin Torres, director of Western Hemisphere Trade for the World Trade Center Arkansas to discuss the bilateral trade relationship between Arkansas and Mexico and business opportunities for Arkansas companies. Commissioner Marti comes to Arkansas seeking to strengthen the relationship between the state and Mexico, working with Melvin to find business opportunities for Arkansas and Mexico companies.

Episode 8 – On a (Trade) Mission with Shire Post Mint

We sit down with Helen Maringer, CEO of Shire Post Mint, a family-operated small business in Springdale, Ark that crafts officially licensed coins from fantasy titles like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Helen tells us the story of Shire Post Mint’s beginnings and then shares her experience travelling to Germany and Spain on a trade mission with the World Trade Center Arkansas at 17-minutes into the podcast.

  • Shire Post Mint Beginnings and Connecting with George R.R. Martin
  • Evolution of the Company and Coin Crafting (07:07)
  • Exporting and Trade Mission to Europe (17:13)
  • Helpful Resources, Helen’s Vision and Advice to other SMEs (23:20)

Episode 7 – Lessons of Leadership from and Unsung Hero, Pt. 2 

We sit down again with Stu Todd, principal of CPM, Inc. as he continues his recollection of Captain Bo Cox, his first company commander in the 24th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. In this session, Stu explores the following ideas:

  • Moral courage
  • Dissent: not tolerated, but insisted upon
  • Show me, don’t tell me
  • Deflect credit, accept blame
  • Enduring a poor leader
  • Timing and criticism

Episode 6 – New Horizons for Arkansas & Belarus with Hon. Consul Geert C. Visser

We sit down with Geert C. Visser, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Belarus in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma to discuss his role as honorary consul. We also discuss issues of doing business with Belarus, the high quality of Belarus products and the future of the Arkansas-Belarus relationship.

Episode 5 – Learning from Arkansas with the Ambassador of Kenya, Robinson Njeru Githae

We had the opportunity to sit down with His Excellency, Robinson Njeru Githae, Ambassador of Kenya to the United States to discuss rice farming, Kenya’s economy, Regional Integration, Kenya’s Vision 2030, and growing the relationship between Arkansas and Kenya. Ambassador Githae came to the World Trade Center Arkansas during the week of our 10 Year Anniversary to meet with Arkansas companies and agriculture leaders to utilize their expertise in improving the lives of Kenyan farmers.

Episode 4 – Lessons of Leadership from an Unsung Hero with Stu Todd

“Having been blessed with a veritable cascade of outstanding managers, leaders, mentors, in my career, one standout was Captain Bo Cox,” says Stu Todd. Stu shares his story of serving in the Army as a young officer under Captain Carlisle B. Cox III, his first company commander in the 24th Infantry Division. Bo was a third generation armor officer who left a profound impact on Stu’s life.

Episode 3 – How to Do Business with Canada with Delon Chan

Delon Chan, the consul and trade commissioner for the Consulate General of Canada in Dallas offers insight and helpful resources on how to do business with Canada. Delon discusses opportunities in Canada as well as its economy and the sectors in which the country excels as a global leader. Click here to view the accompanying presentation deck with in-depth information and details.

Episode 2 – Lessons of Leadership with Stu Todd

Stu Todd shares the stories of individuals throughout his life that have demonstrated an impactful model of leadership. Stu is the principal of CPM, Inc. and has 30 years of experience in retail marketing, licensing, and CPG sales. He has more than 15 years of experience leading cross-functional teams at Sam’s Club and Walmart and served as an officer under General Norman Schwarzkopf in the 24th Infantry Division in the U.S. Army.

Episode 1 – Overcoming Customs Issues with Exec. Asst. Commissioner Brenda Smith.

Executive Assistant Commissioner Brenda Smith of the Office of Trade for U.S. Customs and Border Protection comes to the World Trade Center Arkansas to host a round table with Arkansas companies. We sit down with Commissioner Smith as she discusses customs issues, the Organization of Women in International Trade and how the Office of Trade ensures that American companies remain competitive in the global market.