Stairway to CEO is a podcast, hosted by entrepreneur Lee Greene, featuring untold stories from inspiring Founders & CEOs about what it takes to start and grow a business.
Skin in the Game with Matt Weiss, Founder and CEO of RIND Snacks
Matt Weiss joins the show today to talk about his journey to becoming the Founder and CEO of RIND snacks. RIND is a functional snack brand in the better-for-you CPG space that offers a line of unique whole fruit snacks that maximize nutrition and minimize food waste. In this episode, Matt shares with us his story of growing up in Miami, to starting his first company right before the .com bubble burst, to working in finance for nearly 20 years before starting RIND in 2017. He talks about the art of asking good questions, how attending Expo West inspired him to start RIND and why he believes no one is born an entrepreneur.
Luxury Without Labels with Jeremy Cai, Founder and CEO of Italic
Today, Lee spoke with Jeremy Cai, Founder and CEO of Italic, a marketplace that offers high-quality products at low prices. Founded in 2018 with the idea that customers shouldn't have to pay a premium just for a label, Italic seeks to create a world where everyone can afford to live well. In this episode, Jeremy shares his entrepreneurial journey from growing up in Chicago with a family working in the manufacturing business, to starting two companies in high school, to taking a leave of absence in college, to building his first venture-backed business, Fountain, to launching Italic. He talks about the two types of buying behaviors, how he's created a service culture, the importance of focus, and how he's raised over $50 million from investors.
Dreams, Dares, and Dates with Sydney Karmes-Wainer, Founder and CEO of French Squirrel
Sydney Karmes-Wainer joins the show today to talk about her journey to being the Founder and CEO of French Squirrel. A French inspired good for you snacking company, best known for their nutrient dense vegan protein bites and nut butter stuffed dates, both coated in 100% pure unsweetened chocolate. In this episode, Sydney shares with us her journey from growing up with a passion for food, to working at Pressed Juicery in college, to working as a brand manager at Erewhon and starting her company, French Squirrel. She talks with us about how she balances both her full-time job at Erewhon and building her company, the importance of working with the distributor, and why she wants to continue bootstrapping the business and grow organically.
Beverages and Brain Scans with Ben Goodwin, Co-Founder and CEO of Olipop
Joining the show today is Ben Goodwin, the Co-Founder and CEO of Olipop. Launched in 2018, Olipop is a sparkling digestive tonics brand that contains eight to nine grams of fiber, less than three grams of sugar per can, and is dedicated to bringing the benefits of digestive health to consumers in a delicious, convenient, and accessible beverage. In this episode, Ben shares with us his entrepreneurial journey from dropping out of college, to starting a kombucha company at 20 years old, to building and exiting his first probiotic beverage brand, to launching Olipop. We talk about the importance of emotional intelligence as a leader, how he came up with the name Olipop and how it's not related at all to lollipop.
Only the Good Stuff with Lilian Umurungi-Jung, Founder of Mumgry
Lilian Umurungi-Jung joins the show today to chat about her journey to becoming the Founder of Mumgry, a better-for-you nut butter brand made using no added sugar, palm oil, or additives, and no refrigeration needed. In this episode, Lillian shares her story from growing up as the youngest of five, moving from Uganda at just two years old, to becoming a child actor, attending film school, holding 16 jobs in just 10 years, and launching Mumgry in October 2019. She talks with us about how she bootstrapped the business with her severance pay, how she collaborated with ice cream parlors, and how she avoided losing her retail accounts during the pandemic.
Blessing and a Curse with Katina Mountanos, Founder and CEO of Kosterina
Today, Lee is joined by Katina Mountanos, the Founder and CEO of Kosterina. Founded on the simple belief that high-quality olive oil is a superfood, Kosterina is on a mission to set a new standard and showcase how extra virgin olive oil works from both the inside and outside to provide significant health and wellness benefits. In this episode, Katina shares her journey from growing up as a Greek American living between Long Island and Greece, to starting her first company, to working for Jet.com, to launching Kosterina in 2020. She talks about how Kosterina started as a side hustle, what she wished she had known about selling wholesale, some limiting beliefs she had to overcome around fundraising, and why she's expanding the brand into the beauty space.
Lee is a great host!
This is one of my favorite business podcasts. The host does a great job making it fun and natural.
Lee does such a good job covering a variety of topics. The guests offer valuable insight as well. I would recommend this podcast to anyone looking to be inspired and informed!
Inspiring and entertaining!
Such inspiring and real stories, enhanced by thoughtful questions by Lee - very helpful life / career lessons & wisdom, especially for of us at the beginning of an entrepreneurial journey!