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 Be Patient with Tristan Handy of Fishtown Analytics
Tristan Handy did not set out to build a venture-scale startup, backed by the likes of Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia. But that's precisely the journey he's on after founding Fishtown Analytics back in 2016. The company started as a consulting firm, but Tristan soon realized that their core technology—dbt—was a powerful tool in the budding field of modern analytics engineering. Today, dbt is used by over 3,000 companies to organize, catalog, and distill knowledge from their data warehouses. Tristan shares how he built dbt's community and grew through an organic flywheel, why the next generation of knowledge workers will increasingly work in code, and why working within time constraints makes him a more mature founder.
How to Build a Competitive Moat with Kiran Bhatraju of Arcadia
After growing up in Eastern Kentucky coal country, Kiran Bhatraju is no stranger to the energy industry. But as the founder of Arcadia, Kiran is on a mission to make renewable energy accessible for everyone. To combat climate change, he's starting with most people's largest carbon footprint: the home energy bill. With a new model, Arcadia is working to transform an industry by going direct-to-consumer and is able to support customers in all 50 states. Kiran shares why he believes climate work is the biggest wealth creation opportunity for our generation, why he invested in strong technology and data out of the gate, and why he schedules his days in fifteen-minute increments
How to Ignore the Noise with Isabelle Kenyon of Calibrate
75% of American adults are overweight or obese—and that number is only growing. Enter Calibrate, the modern, medical metabolic health business that is changing the way the world treats weight. Isabelle Kenyon founded Calibrate when her mom came to her for advice. Isabelle realized that the science around weight loss was clear, but the industry was lacking a consumer-first approach to helping people address the totality of their metabolic health. Since launching the company in 2020, she has raised over $27 million in funding and seen user growth grow 54% month over month. Isabelle shares why she's striving to change the conversation around weight loss, how she enlisted a best-in-class group of industry experts to help along her startup journey, and what the shift toward consumers paying for their healthcare means across the industry.
How to Accelerate to Meet Demand with Johnny Boufarhat of Hopin
In 2020, the idea of attending an event virtually became commonplace. But Johnny Boufarhat came up with the idea for Hopin, the online platform that's redefining virtual events, years prior. After becoming immunocompromised in 2015, Johnny was searching for a way to enable networking digitally. He started Hopin in 2019, and in less than a year, scaled the company to over 3.5 million users and 50,000+ organizations hosting events. Johnny shares the moment he realized he'd created a viral product, why he wants to build something as impactful as Google, and how he manages his time to fit in an extra day of work each week.
How Process Helps You Build Faster with Vlad Tenev of Robinhood
What if every American were an investor? At Robinhood, Vlad Tenev is on a mission to make the financial system work for everyone. He co-founded the company in 2013, and the fast-growing brokerage has become an investing giant. With over 13 million users and $1 billion in funding, it's no surprise incumbents have been influenced by Robinhood's model, which drove an industry-wide shift toward commission-free trades. Vlad shares why he decided to build Robinhood as a mobile-first platform, how Covid helped to accelerate user growth, and why waking up to an analog alarm clock is a critical part of his routine.
How to Ask the Big Questions with Mateo Jaramillo of Form Energy
Most startups set out to tackle massive problems, but working to develop a low-cost, long-duration energy storage solution that will enable the electric system to be 100% renewably powered? That's a big one by any standard. At Form Energy, Mateo Jaramillo and his co-founders are working to bring that very vision to life, leveraging the smartest minds in the energy storage space. Mateo shares why he bet his career on the climate tech industry after attending Yale Divinity School, how his time at Tesla taught him the importance of top-quality talent, and what it was like to step into the shoes of a founder at age 40.
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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!
Alexa, host of the Inc. Founders Project podcast, highlights all aspects of business, technology and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!
So much value in each episode
I look forward to the content and guests every time