The “INSPIRING MINDS” podcast delves in to experiences of innovators & pioneers that are changing the world around us.

Take notes as they share how they navigated through research, development, and in true Thomas Edison fashion, marketed and sold their new found innovations.

Like these episodes? Subscribe today on iTunes or SoundCloud.


The Sanitizing Solution That Could “Re-Open The World!” – an innovation that is making a difference | Episode 4

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Chris Vazzana
Chris Vazzana, President/CEO, Hydra-Stop

This is the Sanitizing Solution that could “Re-open the World!” Chris Vazzana talks about and the journey to a whole new product line with Host Justin Starbird.

In true Edison fashion, Chris and his team asked themselves if, “… there is a way that we could take some of our existing core technology and change it up so that it can be consumer-ready?”

On this Inspiring Minds Podcast, one exciting piece we learn from Chris is how he and his team went over to their Director of R&D’s house (because of the Covid-19 quarantine) and they sketched out and developed an entirely new product with a couple of other folks and a couple of our key engineers here. They said, “We can take the core technology that we have, change some orifices and pressures and inlets and outlets, make it simpler and make it consumer-ready and be able to put a sanitizing and disinfecting solution into the apparatus and allow for the mixing and the ratio mixing to occur.”

Incredibly, the team was able to take 25 years of experience in technology and existing products and reconfigure it all to be in a new application that could help us open up society, help us open up the world!

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Companies are Vehicles for Change in the World with Ryan Morris | Episode 3

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Ryan Morris
Ryan Morris, Executive Chairman of Software Motor Company

Ryan Morris, Executive Chairman of Software Motor Company, has always viewed business and companies as vehicles for solving important problems in the world. He shares and explains the SMC mission is to transform all motors in the world to be optimally efficient systems.

Software Motor Company, a 2020 Edison Award WINNER, is poised to disrupt an industry that relies on patents over 100 years old. As the leader of SMC, Ryan shares how his quest started at a very young age and continues to evolve as the company keeps breaking down barriers. Listen as Justin and Ryan discuss innovation, best practices, and true leadership during the most challenging of times.

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People, Culture, and Vision: Ken Gray on Innovation | Episode 2

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Ken Gray
Ken Gray, Former Global Director of Innovation, Caterpillar, Inc.

Ken Gray, Edison Awards Steering Committee member and former Global Director of Innovation at Caterpillar Inc., joins host Justin Starbird. Today they discuss Ken’s unique and insightful perspective on the elements companies should consider while focusing on innovation.

Justin & Ken go back nearly 10 years and their friendship started at the Edison Awards in Chicago in 2012 when Ken and his team at CAT disrupted an entire industry by launch the Hybrid Excavator and won GOLD that year. Ken also explores how the size of an organization redefines the appropriate approach to innovation, informed by an extensive career working with companies from large corporations to nonprofits and startups.

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History of the Edison Awards – Inspiration for Innovation with guest Frank Bonafilia | Episode 1

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Frank Bonafilia
Frank Bonafilia, Executive Director, Edison Awards

Listen today as Justin talks with Edison Awards Executive Director, Frank Bonafilia about how the Edison Awards got its start, who was first recognized and what makes him so committed to innovation.

The Edison Awards is one of the few global platforms that really recognizes, honors, and fosters innovation innovators. Frank shares how, “it’s really the teams that we’re looking to recognize and honor. We’re doing this in the name of Thomas Edison, who we see as one of the greatest innovators of all time.”

Frank continues to be amazed how someone like Thomas Edison who’s been passed away over 100 years ago is still revered, and is the icon of innovation around the world. The world has come a long way from the recognition of a calling card compared to putting someone in space or making people’s lives secure.

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