How to Turn Your Passion into A Thriving Business

Meredith Sheperd

Meredith Sheperd is the founder of Love & Carrots, a DC-based sustainable urban farming company specializing in custom vegetable garden installation and maintenance.

When Meredith decided to move back to the city after wrapping up a farm management job, she found very limited urban agricultural job openings in the DC area. Passionate about farming and environmental sustainability, she started her own service helping city residents turn their backyards into vegetable gardens. Love & Carrots was born in 2011.

In this episode, Meredith talked about how she started the business from nothing, developed a loyal customer base relying almost entirely on grassroot community outreach, and the ups and downs along the way.

“Running this business has given me confidence and realigned my life with my purpose.”

– Meredith Sheperd


Love & Carrots

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram



How to Juggle Multiple Businesses While Serving Your Community

Tien Wong
Tien Wong is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and super connector in the DC entrepreneurial community. He currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Tech2000, an IT firm that provides advanced technology training and mobile device software to the federal government and Fortune 500 companies, Chairman of Lore Systems, an IT services firm specializing in managed datacenter hosting, cloud computing, IT networking, and Chairman and CEO of Opus8, a private investment and advisory firm. Tien is also the founder and host of Big Idea CONNECTpreneur Forum, a community that connects entrepreneurs and investors in the Mid-Atlantic region.

In this episode, Tien talked about how to effectively manage multiple projects at the same time, what are the most important considerations when evaluating your business ideas, and how to know that your product/service really solves a customer problem. He also shared other lessons learned through years of entrepreneurial experience and explained why “your network is your net worth” for an entrepreneur.

“Be self-aware. Know your limit. But you have to have the supreme confidence that you are going to win.”

– Tien Wong


Lore Systems



Big Idea CONNECTpreneur

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less


How to Get Venture Capital Investors Interested in Your Startup

how to get venture capital interested in your company
Dan Mindus is the founder and a managing partner of NextGen Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm. What’s unique about NextGen is that they are the first network-driven venture firm. The firm has a network of hundreds of “venture partners”, who are experienced founders, executives and investors, to help the firm get investment leads and evaluate investment opportunities.

In this episode, Dan talked about the company’s investment selection process. He also offered advices on how to get early stage venture capital funding for your startup, what you need to do to get yourself prepared before looking for funding, and how to effectively pitch investors.

And if you’re looking to learn and grow as an entrepreneur, you should check out Soundwise. Soundwise aims to offer a wide selection of audio courses in business and personal development, so that you can learn to become a better version of yourself…on the go. Soundwise just released a series of crash courses on how to build a startup. They are sourced from some of the best entrepreneurship classes ever taught at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, taught by real founders who have built successful businesses over and over again. They cover the essential insights you need to start building your business. And the best part, they are free! Go check them out at

“Be very clear about your level of development (when pitching to investors), or they essentially will assume the numbers are bad.”

– Dan Mindus


NextGen Venture Partners

Twitter, Crunchbase, AngelList, LinkedIn, Facebook


Entrepreneurship Crash Courses by Soundwise

How to Validate Your Business Ideas with Minimal Cost

how to validate your business idea with minimum cost
Earlier this year, our host Natasha Che started Soundwise, a mobile marketplace for on-demand audio courses in business and personal development. She and her cofounders want to build the Netflix for learning-on-the-go. In today’s episode, Natasha and Founders Nextdoor producer, Xue Bai, sit down and chat about how Natasha got the idea for Soundwise. And more importantly, this is an example of how you can go about testing your business ideas, so that you can confirm that your business actually has legs, before you plunge into execution and spend a bunch of money on developing the idea.



Soundwise: Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development

Business Model Canvas

Lean Startup Methodology

How to Validate Your Business Ideas without Spending A Dime

Creative Strategies to Get Customers and Grow Your Brand

Episode 20 copy

Melanie Spring is the Chief Inspiration Officer of Sisarina, a Washington DC-based brand strategy agency with purpose. Melanie had the entrepreneurial blood in her since she was a kid. She started out in the web-design and marketing business, and found her true passion in helping companies grow their brands and build their communities. In this episode, Melanie shared how she made Sisarina stand out from the crowd with authentic human interactions and relationship building. She also talked about some really creative strategies to attract customers and simple actions you can take immediately to refine and grow your brand.

“Your brand should reflect who you are fundamentally.”

– Melanie Spring





801 A St SE #2
Washington, DC 20003
Telephone: (202) 854-8964

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter


Adventures in Branding Podcast


Melanie Spring

Soundwise: Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development