Who: Juan Garzon moved to Charlotte about 20 years ago and he’s seen the city change drastically in that time. And over the past few years, as the executive director of PitchBreakfast and StartCharlotte, he’s watched the city’s startup and entrepreneurial scene grow and change.

Garzon joined us on the CharlotteFive Podcast this week to talk about PitchBreakfast, StartCharlotte, and Charlotte’s startup scene.

What: PitchBreakfast was created in 2013 to give Charlotte startups a chance to practice their business pitch in a “challenging but supportive environment.” On the second Wednesday of each month, two to four companies present for five minutes with slides, get 10 minutes of feedback from expert panelists and then have a Q&A with the audience.

There’s no money on the line and the panelists are nicer than you might see on “Shark Tank.” The idea is to give entrepreneurs a place to hone their pitch and get feedback, and also connect with others in the startup community.

The next event is today, Aug. 9, from 8-9:30 a.m. at Packard Place (222 S. Church St.). It’s free, but you can RSVP here.

Garzon is also the executive director of StartCharlotte, which aims to connect the startup community and spread information about the startup scene in Charlotte through a newsletter, website and events. We got his thoughts on the city’s startup scene, including why it’s different from Raleigh’s and why it’s important for a city to have a strong entrepreneurial presence.

Anything else?

– We talked about “Star Wars.” It’s not as random as it sounds, since Garzon’s father was involved in creating some of the franchise’s first comic books.

– Sallie filled us in on the newest coffee shop in uptown, Subsecreto. (Pretty sure I’m still pronouncing it wrong.)

– And I ranked the best places to take your dog, inspired by this list of 14 dog-friendly spots.

The CharlotteFive Podcast — presented by The Charlotte Observer and powered by OrthoCarolina — is a weekly podcast that aims to get you Charlotte Smart, Fast with fun, interesting and useful news about the city. It’s hosted by Corey Inscoe and Sallie Funderburk, and produced by Richard Brooke and 2Waves Media.

You can find The CharlotteFive Podcast on SoundcloudiTunesGoogle PlayStitcher and TuneIn. You can follow us on Twitter @Charlotte_Five, on Instagram @cltfive, and on Facebook, and you can shoot us an email to charlottefive@charlottefive.com.

Photos: Courtesy of Juan Garzon and Jeff Cravotta

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