8 episodes

“Scaling Up” is a new podcast series that tells the stories of great Australian growth companies, as experienced by their founders and CEOs.

With the aim of inspiring the next generation of local entrepreneurs, this podcast series gives incredible insight into what it takes to scale a business from very small to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

Hosted by Ed Cowan and supported by TDM Growth Partners.

Scaling up: A podcast to inspire entrepreneurs TDM Growth Partners

    • Entrepreneurship

“Scaling Up” is a new podcast series that tells the stories of great Australian growth companies, as experienced by their founders and CEOs.

With the aim of inspiring the next generation of local entrepreneurs, this podcast series gives incredible insight into what it takes to scale a business from very small to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

Hosted by Ed Cowan and supported by TDM Growth Partners.

    The future of the flat white w/ Nick Stone, CEO and founder of Bluestone Lane (Bonus episode)

    The future of the flat white w/ Nick Stone, CEO and founder of Bluestone Lane (Bonus episode)

    Welcome to a bonus episode of Scaling Up season one – I recorded this while on the road recording season 2, but it feels like it has a natural home, with the other amazing Australian growth stories told in the previous season.

    Nick Stone is the CEO and founder of BlueStone Lane. This story starts in an underground coffee shop in New York City, where an ex AFL player, turned investment banker decides he was missing the authentic Australian coffee experience and sets up a side hustle to his main banking gig. Fast forward just 8 years, and Blue Stone lane is at the pointy end of the American premium coffee scene, with over 50 stores in 8 markets across the country. What is evident is Nick’s passion for the mission, his intelligence in how he thinks about the world and applying it to how he is trying to overcoming major scaling challenges in the US.

    Interestingly,  Nick beautifully articulately what he learned from his time as an elite athlete, his vision for building Starbucks of the next generation, and how he thinks about building teams and culture in the tough American hospitality industry.

    I felt so connected to Nick and his journey, and I think this shines throughout the podcast.

    This is a story that is ever changing,  and at the moment, changing by the day. There is a fuller footnote and timestamp at the end of the episode that you must listen to to give context to Nick's comments, but even in the two week turn around time between recording and releasing this episode, the world has changed. Even the best laid plans can come undone by the extraordinary. Everyday of strict government protocols around containing the spread of Covid-19 in the US, is another page in the Blue Stone book.

    That though is not going to stop me telling you the inspirational  story of Nick Stone and Bluestone Lane.

    Season two is only weeks away, so stay posted....!


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    • 51 min
    From Outhouse to the Penthouse - How Guy Russo turned around Kmart

    From Outhouse to the Penthouse - How Guy Russo turned around Kmart

    Unlike the other interviews in this series, this is a retrospective tale, recounting one of Australia’s greatest turnaround stories

    Guy Russo is one of Australia’s business masterminds. As CEO of McDonald's Australia and China for over a decade, both businesses excelled. His toughest assignment though was to salvage Kmart from the scrapheap. Under his guidance, he guided Kmart to retail supremacy in Australia.

    The inclusion of a story like this in this podcast is an important one, as businesses never move in a straight line. This is a powerful and inspirational story of simplicity and optimism. A story of the power of long term thinking, honesty and how to get the best out of people. Guy was incredibly generous with his time and the resulting nuggets of gold that are littered throughout this podcast, will no doubt help clarify the thinking of all business owners, not just those going through a little rough patch.

    This is the last episode of Series 1 of Scaling Up. We will be back in early 2020 with Series 2.




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    • 53 min
    'Grit and Hustle over Glitz and Glamour' with Kate Morris, founder of Adore Beauty

    'Grit and Hustle over Glitz and Glamour' with Kate Morris, founder of Adore Beauty

    This is the quintessential heroic founding tale. In 2001, with online retail in its infancy, Kate with just $12,000 of borrowed money in her back pocket, set out with a mission of empowering women to make better beauty decisions. At this point, everything was against her. No experience, no money, no brands wanting to join her platform. Fast forward 20 years and Adore Beauty will this year have over $100 million in revenue, 14,000 products across 200 of the world’s biggest beauty brands and over 160 employees. That is not to say that it was always smooth sailing. As you’ll hear, this story is one of pure resilience, belief, grit and hustle. Its a real founder’s story warts and all. Not much glitz, not much glamour. Until perhaps recently, 19 years after starting, Kate and her business partner finally realised some kind of financial rewards, selling 60% of the business to a private equity fund.

    Kate is incredibly passionate about empowering more female founders and makes some pertinent points in regard to how and why the investment community needs to lift its game in supporting them. 

    Above all else, this interview reminds us all,  that in the world of entrepreneurship, anything is possible.

    Sound quality disclaimer: This episode was recorded on the road and the sound quality is perhaps not up to the standard that we had hoped for. The good news - there are so many nuggets of gold, it is worth putting up with.


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    • 40 min
    'Cracking the Culture Code' with Didier Elzinga, co-founder and CEO of Culture Amp

    'Cracking the Culture Code' with Didier Elzinga, co-founder and CEO of Culture Amp

    Didier Elzinga is the co-founder and CEO of Culture Amp – a people and culture platform, with a mission of powering culture focused companies right around the world. 

    Culture Amp is a pin-up of the growing Australian technology scene, having recently  reached unicorn status – the coveted billion-dollar valuation. While on the periphery, this founding story could be seen to be that of a quintessential fast-growing technology business; venture capital-funded, global focus from day one and the variety of scaling issues that emerge from this. However what separates this story, was the belief required to build a business and go after an opportunity in a category that at the time did not even exist. That is pure entrepreneurship.

    What is inspiring about Culture Amp, is the fact that while attempting to help every other business in the world, focus their attention on culture, Didier and his co-founders have had the added pressure of building a business that itself has needed to be a beacon of light of what is possible by placing people and culture at the heart of their own workplace.

    Didier is thoughtful on a whole range of topics and is no doubt one of Australia’s great next-gen founders.


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    • 40 min
    ‘The Making of a Category Killer’ with Matt Spencer, CEO Baby Bunting

    ‘The Making of a Category Killer’ with Matt Spencer, CEO Baby Bunting

    Baby Bunting is Australia’s largest baby goods retailer, and this episode tracks the strategy & execution of what was a small, state-based, family-owned and operated business into the emergence of the leading national retailer in the category. Matt gives amazing insight into the playbook of how this all unfolded over the 10 years (and counting) of his time as CEO, driving revenue from $40m to over $350m. Matt dives into the importance of an incremental strategic approach, understanding how each building block could add to the next, and the prioritisation of these. 

    Above all else though, there is a continual theme that shines right throughout this interview, and its the importance of a great team in supporting a CEO or founder in all aspects of their role. Matt also gives great perspectives on his experiences as a CEO, not only in transitioning Baby Bunting from a private to a public company, but also the life of an executive and the lessons he’s learned along the way.


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    • 52 min
    'Art meets Science' with ROKT's Bruce Buchanan

    'Art meets Science' with ROKT's Bruce Buchanan

    Unknown to many, Bruce is one of Australia’s great entrepreneurs. As CEO, he scaled Jetstar to Asia’s largest low-cost carrier and then he co-founded ROKT, a global marketing technology business with over $100m in revenue that is growing rapidly. Bruce has seen everything from start-up land to billions in revenue and  so he is a great person to give insight into many of the key issues and pain points that all successful entrepreneurs face in their journey; scaling teams, raising money, founder transition and the need for pragmatic leadership are just a sample of the topics covered in this episode.

    Bruce is so intellectually curious and a true high performer. This is an episode for those who find inspiration from hearing from someone who is currently at the absolute top of their game.


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    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

Jon Tse ,

Phenomenal podcast. Really unique insights and well delivered!

Thank you TDM team.

Jarsh20 ,

A great listen

Well told and easy to listen to stories of Australian business successes, with middle of the bat guidance from Ed Cowan.

Hunter Valley Crew ,

Fascinating

This podcast has been such an incredible listening experience. To hear how these people sought out or were offered opportunities and then made the most of them is just awesome. I really enjoyed listening to examples of when and why each person trusted their intuition and how this paid off for them. Learning about what motivates each person is also so fascinating. Great work Ed and TDM!

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