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076: Building Billion-Dollar Ideas in the Midwest | Liam Reilly & Chris Callen

  1. 076: Building Billion-Dollar Ideas in the Midwest | Liam Reilly & Chris Callen Tanner Lytle & Wyatt Carson 42:16

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In this special episode of the Decentralized Opportunity podcast, we welcome two distinguished guests from different sides of the entrepreneurial ecosystem: Chris Callen, founder and CEO of Plot, and Liam Reilly, Principal at KC Rise Fund. Join hosts Wyatt and Tanner as they discuss the unique journeys of both guests, exploring the dynamic between a startup founder seeking funding and a venture capitalist building the funds that fuel innovation.

Key Highlights:

  1. Chris Callen's Journey:
    • Chris shares his lifelong connection to the construction industry and how he pivoted to technology and entrepreneurship.
    • He reflects on the lessons learned from his first startup and the creation of Plot, a job site coordination tool.
    • Chris discusses the unique challenges and advantages of building a tech startup in Wichita, Kansas.
  2. Liam Reilly's Insights:
    • Liam explains the structure of venture capital funds, focusing on KC Rise Fund’s mission to invest in Kansas City-based companies.
    • He talks about his transition from law to venture capital and his passion for supporting innovative entrepreneurs.
    • Liam offers a deep dive into what VCs look for in founders and startups, emphasizing the importance of domain expertise and perseverance.
  3. Building and Funding Startups in the Midwest:
    • The conversation highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the Midwest startup ecosystem.
    • Both guests discuss the concept of “Midwest inferiority complex” and how local founders can overcome it.
    • They explore the evolving landscape of tech startups in Kansas and Nebraska, and the growing recognition of these regions as viable tech hubs.
  4. The Role of Venture Capital Beyond Funding:
    • Chris and Liam elaborate on the critical role VCs play beyond just providing capital, including mentorship, strategic guidance, and network building.
    • The importance of aligning visions between founders and investors is underscored as a key to successful partnerships.
  5. Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs:
    • Chris and Liam share practical advice on finding the right partners, building a strong network, and navigating the challenges of startup life.
    • The episode provides valuable insights for anyone looking to start or grow a business, especially in less traditional tech regions.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “The best mentor for someone in the jungle is not someone who's cruising the highway but someone who's just got to the dirt road.”
  • “Good tech can be built anywhere, and good tech is being built in Wichita, Kansas.”

Connect with Our Guests:

  • Chris Callen: Find out more about Plot at and connect with Chris on LinkedIn.
  • Liam Reilly: Learn about KC Rise Fund at and reach out to Liam on LinkedIn.

Tune in to gain a deeper understanding of the startup journey from both a founder and investor perspective, and get inspired by the potential of the Midwest as a burgeoning tech ecosystem.

Don't miss this enlightening episode!

Into music by dreamscape369

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Wyatt Carson Decentralized Opportunity Podcast

"Decentralized Opportunity" is a podcast tailored to entrepreneurs anad businesses in rural areas, focusing on regions that may not be as tech-oriented as urban centers. Our goal is to shed light on the unique challenges and opportunities faced by entrepreneurs in these less techy locations, offering practical insights and actionable strategies to help them thrive.

Through engaging interviews with industry experts, thought leaders, and successful entrepreneurs, our podcast explores topics such as business innovation, personal development, and community building. We aim to empower our listeners with the knowledge, tools, and inspiration they need to succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

We're excited to collaborate with to bring valuable content to your audience and support their entrepreneurial journey.

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