Entrepreneurship on the RISE

Entrepreneurship on the RISE Podcast

Entrepreneurship on the RISE, hosted by RISE Collaborative, tells the story of change-makers to advance the knowledge for rural ecosystem building. In each episode of this limited series, co-hosts Lauren Mathena and Jacob Dolence speak with industry leaders, entrepreneurs and small-business owners, and change-makers for rural ecosystem building in Southern Virginia and across the country to hear how they are building up their local communities.

Featured Guests

Michael Scales headshot April 2022

Michael Scales

Longwood SBDC Business Consultant

Tad Deriso standing outside the SOVA Innovation Hub in South Boston, VA

Taylor Sanders Grande & Margaret Hedderman

Startup Colorado

Natalie Hodge

Founder and Owner of Rudy’s Girl Media

Tad Deriso

MBC & SOVA Innovation Hub

Recent Episodes

Michael Scales on A Lifetime of Ecosystem Building

Michael Scales on A Lifetime of Ecosystem Building

Ecosystem Builder Interview with Michael Scales, Small Business ConsultantOne of the most important considerations in economic development is securing those opportunities for generational wealth and development. Today’s guest is a perfect example of someone that not...

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Joe Kirgues on Supporting the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Joe Kirgues on Supporting the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Joe Kirgues, Co-Founder of gener8tor, on Supporting the Next Generation of EntrepreneursWhen you create a pipeline for the next generation of entrepreneurs to get the resources and support they need, you are able to make an immense impact on building and growing the...

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Natalie Hodge on Representation of Small Town Stories

Natalie Hodge on Representation of Small Town Stories

Ecosystem Builder Interview with Entrepreneur Natalie K. Hodge, Founder of Rudy's Girl Media and HometownHustle.tvWhen you think of television and film, your brain automatically connects to the big stories coming out of LA, but it’s the small town stories that are the...

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About the Hosts

Our podcast is a real-time reflection of the behind-the-scenes and everyday conversations happening among entrepreneurs, ecosystem builders, and small-business resource providers in our region and around the country. Hosts Lauren Mathena and Jacob Dolence interview interesting people leading equity-driven entrepreneurship and innovation movements in small towns in Virginia, Colorado, Oregon, Wyoming, and Minnesota. Stay tuned – we have been completing lots of interviews and can’t wait to share our guests’ stories and expertise with you!

HOST | Lauren Mathena

Growing up in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, Lauren has lived in Danville, Charlottesville, and Richmond, Virginia and in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Today she develops entrepreneurship and digital skills programs for the SOVA Innovation Hub in her role at Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation She brings experience as an entrepreneurial project manager, knowledge of the region, and 15+ years in community engagement to her work as an ecosystem builder with RISE Collaborative

HOST | Jacob Dolence

A native of Wyoming, Jacob worked in higher education entrepreneurship centers in Flagstaff, Arizona and at West Virginia University before joining the faculty at Longwood University in the Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars. In addition to teaching freshman and senior level honors courses in social entrepreneurship, Jacob is a lead facilitator for CO.STARTERS powered by RISE Collaborative.  Still relatively new to Virginia, Jacob Dolence brings fresh eyes and an abundance of experience to his role as an ecosystem builder with RISE Collaborative.