News & Podcast

Stay up to date on the latest news from Defiance, including announcements, acquisitions, and podcast episodes.

Recent Updates

A Founder's Reading List for Uncertain Times

March 23, 2020

I originally intended this to be a simple reading list to share with others that I’ve found useful during uncertain times or even more broadly useful whenever myself or others have some spare time to read.  I promise to get to this list, but I quickly realized that to set…

Read More

Defiance Ventures Acquires The Refinery Haus

March 19, 2020

Defiance Ventures today announced that it has acquired The Refinery Haus, a leading full-service digital agency specializing in customer acquisition and experience. The Refinery Haus will continue to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary and portfolio company for Defiance. It will continue to service third party customers and also will…

Read More

Kevin O’Dell Joins Defiance Ventures as Chief Technology Officer

March 12, 2020

Defiance Ventures announced today that it has hired Kevin O’Dell as its CTO. Kevin will be responsible for developing Defiance’s technical vision and execution. He will oversee all investments and company acquisitions from the technical perspective. O’Dell has extensive experience throughout his career in enterprise technology. His experience includes time…

Read More

#32, Jason Tuttle, Nova Capital

March 12, 2020

In this episode, Jason Tuttle of Nova Capital Partners, a commercial real estate investor shares with John how he started and runs his business.  He explains various strategies for creating value for investors.  He also talks about re-development opportunities and the local markets in Charlotte, Jacksonville, and elsewhere. 


#31, Dave Dalton, GMI

February 13, 2020

Dave Dalton is a long time Charlotte business person. He is the CEO of General Microcircuits Incorporated (GMI) which he sold it to East West Manufacturing. GMI is an EMS (electronics manufacturing services) company that builds electronic boards for manufacturers. In this episode Dave discusses the business, how he got involved in it, how his […]


#30, Dualboot Partners

Dualboot Partners is a software development shop in Charlotte with an offshore delivery model. In this episode John interviews the three founders, Daniel, Ben, and Todd. They go through the history of Dual Boot and talk about growth strategies and giving back to the community. They also talk about what makes a tech startup more […]


#29, Wil Brawley, Schedulefly

January 16, 2020

Schedulefly is a technology that restaurants use for employee scheduling. In this wide-ranging interview John sits down with founder Wil Brawley. They talk startup philosophy, starting a company with friends, and building a growing AND sustainable business.


#28, Lenny Pham, Citrrus/Yext

December 14, 2019

In this episode John interviews Lenny Pham, a former co-worker and founder of Citrrus, a firm he and his friend Jason sold to Yext, a tech unicorn. They cover moving from app dev to design and mobile. They also discuss selling to a much bigger and faster growing firm, embracing mobile, and learning how to […]


#27, Samantha Smith, Vishion

November 23, 2019

In this episode, John interviews Sam Smith, founder of Vishion, a color search engine for interior designers.  In this episode John and Sam discuss starting a company based on a personal frustration, growing the business, partnering with other companies, building an entrepreneurial eco-system in a second tier city (Charlotte), and joining a tech accelerator. […]


#26, Micah Minarik, Kingsmen Software

November 9, 2019

Kingsmen Software is a fast growth software development shop in Charlotte.  In this episode, founder Micah Minarik and John discuss starting a software company after a successful career in banking.  They discuss building products vs services, scaling a services business, and leveraging a career in finance to start a company.  


#25, Philip Wegner, SecurEdge Networks

November 7, 2019

SecurEdge is WiFi service provider that Philip Wegner started 13 years ago.  In this excellent episode, Philip talks about going out on his own, building software without a background in application development, and creating a much more compelling product by combining hardware with services, software, and financing.  


#24, Zoe Shook, Tribe Salon

October 21, 2019

Zoe Shook is the owner of Tribe Salon Studio.  In this episode she talks about taking over a failing business and turning it around and then realizing that she needed to start a new company with a blank slate to truly create the company she wanted to work for.  She talks about investing in commercial […]


#23, Alex Smereczniak, 2ULaundry

October 2, 2019

Alex is one of the founders of 2ULaundry, one of the hottest startups in Charlotte that just raised a large round of funding successfully.  In this episode John and Alex discuss leaving a successful consulting job to start a company based on an experience in under grad.  Alex tells the story of starting a company […]