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Startup of the Year Podcast

Oct 27, 2020

On this episode of the Startup of the Year podcast, we talk with Dawn Dickson-Akpoghene, the Founder & CEO of PopCom, which has developed software to make kiosks and vending machines intelligent through data and analytics at the point of purchase. PopCom uses facial recognition, A.I, and blockchain technology to help retailers collect valuable customer insights. We first met Dawn when she participated in the Startup of the Year program with a company called Flat Out of Heels.
We also hear some segments from some of our Established Team members. Rich Maloy of Established Ventures provides some tips for our startup founder listeners during the “VC Minute.” Also, our Director of Partnerships, Jacqui Dietrich, provides an update about our Partner Programs and specifically discusses the following:
As mentioned in the episode, please join us for our upcoming 8th Annual Startup of the Year Summit which will be held online on November 16-18. The Summit is a curated experience for emerging founders, seasoned entrepreneurs, corporate innovation leads, accelerators, and investors to build relationships that fuel success. Summit is also the culmination of the 2020 Startup of the Year competition, and attendees can expect some of the following:
  • The Top 100 Startups will compete for the 2020 Startup of the Year championship title.
  • Up to $20K in potential investment from Established Ventures for one of the semifinalists.
  • $10K non-diluted cash prize for a U.S. Veteran-led company from sponsor .US
  • Curated connections for the Top 100 with investors and corporate leads.
  • "Ask Me Anything" sessions with VCs, Corporate Leaders, and Seasoned Entrepreneurs.
  • Opportunity to network with expert judges and mentors, such as Phil Nadel, Lesa Mitchell, Erica Minnihan, and more.
Also, at the summit we will be featuring a number of exciting speakers including Tim Draper, venture capitalist and founder of Draper Associates; entrepreneur and author Kara Goldin will discuss her journey in starting Hint Water and her new book Undaunted; entrepreneur Mike Evans will share his candid story behind starting and taking GrubHub to IPO plus his new startup, and forthcoming book Hangry; author and entrepreneur Rohit Bhargava will share learnings from his latest book Non Obvious Mega Trends; author Meredith Fineman will teach us tips from her new book Brag Better; author Whitney Johnson will teach you how to Disrupt Yourself, and more. Learn more about the Summit and register now at:
This year’s Summit will also highlight the special .US Veteran Startup of the Year category. In partnership with .US, there will be a $10,000 non-dilutive cash prize given to a startup founded by a US Veteran, Spouse, or Dependent. 
.US is offering our community a free .US domain offer. This is a great opportunity for you to get your idea online - and have your dream domain. You can find more info at: 
Thank you for listening, and as always, please check out the Established website and subscribe to the newsletter at
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Startup of the Year helps diverse, emerging startups, founding teams, and entrepreneurs push their company to the next level. We are a competition, a global community, and a resource.  
Startup of the Year is also a year-long program that searches the country for a geographically diverse set of startups from all backgrounds and pulls them together to compete for the title of Startup of the Year. 
The program includes a number of in-person and virtual events, including our annual South By Southwest startup pitch event and competition. All of which culminate at our annual Startup of the Year Summit, where the Startup of the Year winner is announced, along with an opportunity at a potential investment.
Established is a consultancy focused on helping organizations with innovation, startup, and communication strategies. It is the power behind Startup of the Year.  Created by the talent responsible for building the Tech.Co brand (acquired by an international publishing company), we are leveraging decades of experience to help our collaborators best further (or create) their brand & accomplish their most important goals.  Connect with us on Twitter - @EstablishedUs and Facebook -