The Inc. Founders Project brings you the stories of the entrepreneurs building our future. Hosted by Alexa von Tobel (Founder/CEO of LearnVest and now Founder + Managing Partner of Inspired Capital), listen to the tales of guts, inspiration, and drive behind the people and companies at the forefront of technology. Each weekly conversation digs into each founder's professional playbook — and starts to uncover what makes them tick as people.
How to Stay Present with Christy Turlington Burns of Every Mother Counts
Christy Turlington Burns is known around the globe as a model. She's been featured on thousands of magazine covers and was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People. But Christy is also a repeat founder—of yoga lifestyle brand Nuala, skincare line Sundari, and for the last decade, not-for-profit Every Mother Counts. After experiencing a childbirth related complication of her own, Christy founded EMC to make pregnancy and childbirth safe, respectful, and equitable and has invested $21M globally across 29 programs in 9 countries. Christy shares why she became a global health advocate when she became a mom, how she thinks about the use of storytelling in EMC's work, and why lobbying for legislative change is more accessible than it looks.
How to Solve Hard Problems with Stephany Kirkpatrick of Orum
As Certified Financial Planner, Stephany has long had a passion for helping families manage their money. And as a seasoned tech executive, Stephany realized that the most effective way to help hundreds of millions of families was to build new fintech infrastructure from the ground up. In 2019, she started Orum to make money movement smart and real-time—working to improve upon the 50-year-old system of ACH. Stephany shares why the self-driving wallet is coming sooner than we think, how Orum will lower the $11B consumers currently pay in overdraft fees each year, and why her secrets to success as a founder include Whoop and ice cream.
Why Data is the New Code with Alexandr Wang of Scale AI
As a freshman at MIT, Alexandr was struck by his classmates' interest in AI. But he realized that despite all that AI technology could solve, there was no solution for managing AI-related data. So, at 19, he dropped out of college and started Scale AI. Scale now helps customers like Pinterest and Toyota accelerate the progress of AI and has grown to a valuation of $3.5B. Alexandr shares how AI is changing software development, why he believes in surrounding yourself with optimistic people, and how he learned to get comfortable with not being able to do everything at once.
How to Identify Your Customer with Armon Dadgar of HashiCorp
Armon was on the PhD path, poised to become an academic. But he and his college friend Mitchell Hashimoto realized they had an opportunity ahead of them: building technology to support cloud infrastructure. They founded HashiCorp in 2012 and have grown to more than 80 million open source downloads per year, with a company valuation over $5 billion. Armon shares how a stint at a San Francisco startup led to his aha moment, how HashiCorp decided on an open-source model and enterprise customer, and why the company was remote-first long before Covid.
How to Stay True to Your Principles with Ken Lin of Credit Karma
In 2007, a year before the Recession hit, Ken Lin set out to offer free credit scores and bring transparency to the credit industry. His startup, Credit Karma, now serves more than 100 million members around the globe and has continued to roll out free, consumer-first tools to help members manage the entirety of their financial lives. The industry took note of Credit Karma's exponential growth, and in 2020, the company was acquired by Intuit for $8.1 billion dollars. Ken shares why doing right by consumers is his guiding principle, how he beat imposter syndrome in the CEO seat, and why an IPO was never his end goal.
How to Build Your Executive Team with Ali Ghodsi of Databricks
In 2013, a team of academics at UC Berkeley was working to solve massive data challenges that were impacting the tech companies in their backyard. Fast-forward and that team now represents the co-founders of Databricks, a data and AI company used by more than 5,000 organizations worldwide. In 2016, Ali Ghodsi stepped into the CEO seat and the company is now valued at $28 billion. Ali shares why he prioritizes building leaders over making decisions, how he sees the future of AI, and how he navigates the unique experience of having six co-founders.
Inspiring and informative!
Easily among the most genuine and value-packed podcasts for entrepreneurs of any stage. No matter the topic, you gain something from every episode!
Look forward to these. Love hearing from other entrepreneurs and their stories.
Love these Podcasts!
Having a successful startup entrepreneur turned VC interviewing outstanding tech startup founders is great! Alexa has an infectious enthusiasm for early stage entrepreneurs and her guests are top notch. I highly recommend The Founders Project!