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Interviews

How Abby Frimpong Went From Non-Profit Employee to Female CEO

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There is a glaring gender gap in the CEO suites of America.  It’s visible in America’s C-suites, in its boardrooms and in the founders who get funded.  In the world of venture funding for tech companies alone, female CEO’s receive only 2.7% of investments each year.  Considering hundreds of billions of dollars get invested into tech every year, there is certainly a problem that needs addressing.  Taking initiative has always been the American way and that’s exactly how Abby Frimpong, CEO of challenge app Duuple, began her journey with a European VC.

Abby didn’t start out in the c-suite and after leaving her previous career working for veteran NGO, the Mines Advisory Group, there was definitely an adjustment period.   When Abby raised for Duuple, it was to be able to construct a minimum viable product. This isn’t uncommon in tech where oftentimes large teams of developers must be wrangled to bring a founder’s vision to life.  But for someone who hasn’t done it before without the relationships to fundraise at that level, it can be daunting, “I was not in their network initially, but I worked my way in. Once the investors got to know me better and my story, they invested in me because they invest in people, not ideas,” said Ms Frimpong.

Her first VC check came from Basel Holding, funds she calls “smart capital.”  Smart because the team is progressive and understands the digital landscape that companies like Duuple exist in.  Being on the same page with your investors from the get-go is crucial for optimizing investor relations in the long run. Even with the help of her tech-savvy backers from Basel Holding, Abby still faced her own challenges in the office.  To start, she relocated from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles. For the unfamiliar, just driving in Los Angeles traffic is enough to make a new CEO scream.  

But Ms Frimpong has held her poise, with a staff of more than a dozen employees under her direct command, she’s had to hone in on her natural leadership qualities.  For her, this started by working with a personal development coach to unlock some of her own potential. She also needed to understand the dynamic shift in workplace culture from the stoic, pressed and starched government standard of Washington DC.  In California, on the other hand a pair of cut off jean shorts are just as professional as a pencil skirt and that can take a bit of getting used to for a transplant. But Abby is not one to be stopped, she has a long history of overcoming the odds and isn’t going to let a little LA culture shock stop her.

 Things are now up and running, Duuple is starting campaigns all over the country and recently even as far as Asia. This is just the tip of the social good iceberg.  Duuple will use its integrated marketing suite to help each individual campaign benefit from Abby’s personal fundraising touch. While crowdfunding has spearheaded many campaigns for social good, just as many have never seen the light of day.  In fact, more than half of crowdfunding campaigns never get funded. Changing that statistic to more than half of campaigns being successfully completed is Abby’s vision as CEO of Duuple.  

Crowdfunding itself was an innovation when it first happened in 1997.  A british rock band funded their own reunion tour. Now, 20 years later it looks like Abby’s vision aligns with the times.  Most of the companies dominating the crowdfunding space like Kiva, IndieGoGo and GoFundMe have been around for a while and still less than half of campaigns are getting funded.  Why don’t all these unfunded campaigns bother the legacy companies the way they bother Abby? Simple: because Abby Frimpong cares. She might be a CEO now, but she hasn’t lost sight of her big heart.  In fact, she’s using technology to care more. To add a personal touch of the same enthusiasm and skill that has helped her raise millions for organizations. Except this time, as CEO, she’s directing a team to help her help even more.  Hopefully, she will inspire the next generation of CEOs. But she’s already leading by example and that is exactly what a CEO should be doing for her company.

Josue Arteaga is a 20 yr old Branding Expert and Ventur Capitalist. As the Vice President of Disrupt Media, his aim is to disrupt how personal branding is done through marketing tools like Social Media, Press, and Podcast in a unique way. Josue has worked with clients worth over $100m, celebs, and the worlds biggest entrepreneur influencers like Ed Mylett, Julius Dien, etc. As for as investing his owns and manages $2m in rev/yearly in meat markets and is expanding with his goal to own 1,000 meat markets and generate one billion in annual revenue by the next 7 years. If not he says "$10m a year doesn't sound so bad"

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Interviews

Meet Andra Gogan; The Multi-talented Vlogger and Two Time World Record Holder

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What were you doing when you were around ten years old? Most of us at that age still had no idea of how the world works. Many still had no dream of whom they wanted to become, and those who did, dreamt of what they wanted to be when they become adults. Most of the dreams do not come true. Even so, there are a few individuals that take a different path. At only 11 years of age, Alexandra Gabriela Valentina Gogan, famously known as Andra Gogan, was already breaking world records and achieving the unthinkable.

Gogan is a young woman with many talents, which she discovered at a young age. She is a singer, actor, vlogger, and can play the guitar. Incredibly, she has excelled in all those fields and is continuing to do so. Gogan is achieving what no one else of her age before her have achieved. Gogan is setting the pace for others coming after her.

Breaking Two World Records with Music

Gogan is a 21-year-old YouTube star from Buzau, Romania. She started singing at the age of three. Together with her brother,  Răzvan Gogan, with whom they share the same talent, they went on to do things that were not done before by anyone in the music industry. They appear not once, but twice in the Guinness Book of World Records.

In 2009, Gogan and her brother broke the record for the longest live concert held by a child. The show lasted for three hours and 20 minutes after she performed 55 songs continuously. Gogan also broke the world record for the most CDs released by a child. She had released a total of 16 albums.

The world record was confirmed on September 15 of that year. 

Some of her music compilations include, Hallelujah (2013), Beautiful Sick (2014), See you in September (2017), What a Boy (2017), And you can be popular (2017), Your Eyes Speak When You Don’t (2017), Whatever Happened (2018), You Break a Generation (2018), Dislike (2018), Heart on Insta (2018), Christmas with  you (2018) among others.

Apart from her brother, her father, Florin Gogan has also appeared on one of her Instagram posts.

Going into Acting

Apart from breaking the two world records, Gogan has achieved more in the field of acting. She, however, did not start in front of a camera. Gogan’s first started as a voice-over actor. One of the first projects she did of that kind was when she did voice-overs for the animation Rise of the Guardians in the year 2012. 

Later on, she became famous after dubbing live-action animation shows like Doctorița Plușica, Ferb, Phineas, Dog with a Blog, Violet, and Jake and the Pirates Nowhere for Disney, and Come on, Young Titans! For Cartoon Network. Also, she did commercials and other voice-overs for secondary characters for Disney Junior, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon.

Her most significant success though was when she did the Romanian version of the animated princess in Sofia the First, Ariel Winter did the English version of the same animation movie. Gogan and her brother also participated in the 2016 Romanians Got Talent, a reality contest television program done by the British company, Simco Limited and featured on PRO TV.

What She’s up to Now 

Her journey as a vlogger started in 2016 when she launched the mini-series, How to Become Popular at High School. The mini-series went on for four seasons, from 2016 to 2018. Since then, she has accumulated a total of 780,000 YouTube subscribers, millions of views, and almost 700,000 followers on Instagram.

Currently, Gogan is still making music with her brother, choreography, influencing and vlogging on her Tik Tok. She has an audience of over 1.5 Million viewers in TikTok and is planning a music concert scheduled for September this year, Tickets for the Chisinau concert.

In conclusion, Andra Gogan’s success speaks for itself. She has conquered the entertainment world at such a young age, which is nothing short of incredible. That, demonstrating that it is possible to achieve one’s dreams no matter the age. After all, it is just a number. Don’t let it come between you and your dreams.

 

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Entrepreneurship

Judge Graham: The Man Behind Huge Digital Agency Exits

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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Judge Graham. Judge is a veteran in the digital marketing space and has exited from multiple agencies for hundreds of millions of dollars. We talked about how he got started, his experience, and more. 

 

 

  • Hey Judge, what does your experience in the digital marketing space look like? 

 

 

Judge: After making a high 8-Figure exit from one of my agencies, I moved on to another agency and replicated my processes and helped sell that agency for a 9-Figure exit.

 

 

  • How did you position your agencies to sell?

 

 

Judge: A few pivotal things I teach on were key to positioning to sell. The first is recurring revenue. If your business isn’t generating recurring revenue, you won’t be able to sell it for a lot of money. The second is culture, I worked relentlessly to build a rock-solid culture in every business that I am involved with.

 

 

  • Was selling your agency always the goal? 

 

 

Judge: It was always the original goal to make an exit from my agencies. When starting, your positioning is much different if your ultimate goal is to sell.

 

 

  • What shifts have you seen in digital marketing?

 

 

Judge: I tell all my consulting and mentorship clients this today. In 2019, digital marketing has progressed so much, that we live in the best time to start an agency. The marketplace has become much more educated, and the software has become much easier to use.

 

 

  • What would you tell an agency owner just starting out?

 

 

Judge: Find a good mentor, and position your agency to sell. 

 

 

  • If you were to start an agency today, what steps would you take to secure another big acquisition? 

 

 

Judge: The same process I took in the past, build recurring revenue and a great culture and stop selling tactics, sell revenue.

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Interviews

Meet the Girl behind One of Instagrams Most Prominent Photography Pages; Giulia Woergartner

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Giulia Woergartner is a travel and commercial photographer, based in northern Italy. Growing up in the heart of the Italian Alps, Giulia was surrounded by beauty, which helped shape her love for natural beauty and photography. Because of this, the Dolomites were the earliest subjects of her pictures, an opportunity many photographers can only dream of.

With her yellow jacket and a camera in her hand, she is always chasing the adventure and exploring beautiful corners of this world. Giulia is also very passionate about the environment, the protection and conservation of our planet.

Here are a few questions I asked her:

 

What is it exactly you do?

 

I am an artist working as a full-time photographer and filmmaker. My main audience is on Instagram and that is also where part of my income is coming from. As an outdoor photographer, I travel around the world working for lifestyle, outdoor and tourism companies, creating content but also promoting their services or products on my Instagram.

 

Why did you choose Photography?

 

Photography has been a doorway to appreciate the place I live in and sparked the curiosity to see the world. The love for photography has developed alongside my interest in the environment and the outdoor. I love having access to the memories I’ve lived through my photographs. Photographs are very powerful, they keep the memories forever even if things have changed over time. 

 

What is traveling the world as a photographer like?

 

Traveling around the world, meeting different people and getting to know different cultures is a dream of many. Traveling always brings a lot of challenges and puts you into uncomfortable situations sometimes, this could be a facing a flat tire on a road trip or losing your passport one day before leaving the country. However, I am grateful for making a living out of something I love and I wake up every day full of energy, ready for the next adventure! 

 

Best tips for someone looking to start their photography journey?

 

Go shoot as much as you can! I think with everything you need to put in the work and practice. So many people don’t want to put in the work because they just see the results of others without thinking about the path they have to take to get there. In our fast-paced society, I feel like no one has the patience anymore, good things take time and sometimes you just need a little bit of luck, dedication, and self-awareness to move closer to your goals.

 

What are your core principles?

 

Creativity, Curiosity, and Impact

 

What makes your work different than others? 

 

I was very fortunate to attend an art high school where very early, I developed a close understanding of colors, shape, and composition. My understanding of detail and the way I see subjects has advanced very quickly because of my wide knowledge of art in general. I think in photography there is more to than just going out and taking a photograph, somehow you always let a part of you into the pictures that can express emotions and it can be interpreted differently by any viewer and that is the great thing about art. I like to see myself as an artist rather than a photographer. 

 

What are your future plans?

 

One thing that I am definitely not is someone who is thinking too much about the future or projecting it. I like to live life one step at a time and I do not plan or think more than 1-2 months ahead. Life has a weird way of always trying to change the plans you are making and so I just stopped swimming against the current and just go with the flow. Of course, I have dreams and visions I’d like to accomplish but I prefer thinking about how to get there “one step at a time”! 

For now, I am road tripping on the West Coast of the USA, visiting serval national parks and beautiful landscapes I’ve been wanting to see since I was a little child. The best thing about living in an age where we share so much about ourselves on social media is that you can be a part of everyone’s story. So if you want to know what is next, you know where you can follow my adventures!

To keep up with Giulia’s journey you can follow her Instagram here.

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The Disrupt Podcast tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real life experience. This Podcast is designed to give them a taste of that.

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