Inc. Founders Project with Alexa von ...

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.

Business
Education
Technology
1
Why Utility Matters with Vishal Garg of Better
29 min
2
How to Approach a Complex Space with Andrew Hin...
29 min
3
How to Build a Global Business with Kristo Käär...
28 min
4
How to Create a Magical Experience with Joe Ari...
28 min
5
How to Strive for Excellence with Iman Abuzeid ...
26 min
6
How to Be Transparent with Mathilde Collin of F...
30 min
7
How to Stay the Course with Sid Viswanathan of ...
29 min
8
How to Get Comfortable with Negotiation with Ka...
28 min
9
How to Adopt a Learner’s Mindset with Rachel Ca...
27 min
10
How Skepticism Can Fuel You with Irving Fain of...
29 min
11
How to Be Deliberate with Your Time with Sanjit...
29 min
12
How to Solve Your Customers’ Core Problem with ...
29 min
13
How Constraints Create Opportunity with David V...
30 min
14
How to Unlock Innovation with Emma Grede of Goo...
29 min
15
Why Companies Should Think of Employees as Cust...
27 min
16
How to Rebuild the System with Iyah Romm and To...
28 min
17
How to Foster Curiosity with Augusto Marietti o...
28 min
18
How to Pace Yourself with Francois Kress of Fee...
30 min
19
How to Create a Sticky Product with Flori Marqu...
30 min
20
How to Stay Present with Christy Turlington Bur...
39 min
21
How to Solve Hard Problems with Stephany Kirkpa...
28 min
22
Why Data is the New Code with Alexandr Wang of ...
31 min
23
How to Identify Your Customer with Armon Dadgar...
37 min
24
How to Stay True to Your Principles with Ken Li...
37 min
25
How to Build Your Executive Team with Ali Ghods...
32 min
26
How to Work Smarter with Andrew Frame of Citizen
35 min
27
How to Create Cultural Change with Alyssa Ravas...
32 min
28
How to Be Patient with Tristan Handy of Fishtow...
27 min
29
How to Build a Competitive Moat with Kiran Bhat...
31 min
30
How to Ignore the Noise with Isabelle Kenyon of...
25 min
31
How to Accelerate to Meet Demand with Johnny Bo...
32 min
32
How Process Helps You Build Faster with Vlad Te...
33 min
33
How to Ask the Big Questions with Mateo Jaramil...
40 min
34
How to Be a Constant Learner, with Deon Nichola...
27 min
35
How to Build a Viral App, with Prerna Gupta of ...
40 min
36
How to Lead, with David Rubenstein of Carlyle
35 min
37
How to Be a Multiplier, with Cal Henderson of S...
35 min
38
How to Maintain Extreme Focus, with Peter Colis...
31 min
39
How to Make a Positive Impact, with Jason Gross...
32 min
40
How to Love the Journey, with Josh Reeves of Gusto
29 min
41
How to Build Something from Nothing, with Paul ...
31 min
42
How to Think Long-Term, with Steve Fredette of ...
35 min
43
How to Build a Thriving Marketplace, with Chris...
31 min
44
How to Drive Retention, with Dylan Diamond and ...
28 min
45
How to Fix a Broken System, with Othman Laraki ...
31 min
46
How to Build a Connected Team, with Brynne Roja...
27 min
47
How to Make a Difference, with Julia Cheek of E...
35 min
48
How to Engage Your First Customers, with Olivie...
22 min
49
How to Learn What Motivates You, with Daniel Gr...
30 min
50
How to Quantify Product Market Fit, with Rahul ...
29 min
51
Why Creators Matter, with Jack Conte of Patreon
29 min
52
How to be Tenacious, with Blake Hall of ID.me
37 min
53
How to Know You're Ready to Launch, with Julie ...
26 min
54
How to Build a Company Remotely, with Wade Fost...
36 min
55
How to Pursue Audacious Goals, with Marcelo Cla...
38 min
56
How to Be Your Customer's First Call, with Zach...
29 min
57
How to Be a Present Parent and a CEO, with Jess...
36 min
58
How to Trust Your Gut, with Adam Nathan of Almanac
32 min
59
Why Execution Is More Important Than Ideas, wi...
36 min
60
How to Build a Marketplace That Scales, with St...
41 min
61
How to Tap Into What Makes Your Business Specia...
31 min
62
How to Integrate Work and Childcare, with Chris...
33 min
63
How to Chase Your Passion, With Shane Curran of...
29 min
64
How to Turn Feedback into a Business Model, wit...
28 min
65
Why Failure is a Path to Progress, with Will Ah...
40 min
66
How to Manage Risk, with Marla Beck of Bluemercury
35 min
67
How to Grow Your Business Organically, With Joe...
32 min
68
Why Building a Company is a Team Sport, With Ch...
28 min
69
How to Take the Startup Leap, with Richie Serna...
34 min
70
How to Nail Your Value Proposition, with Kevin ...
31 min
71
How to Solve the Unsolvable, with Doug Hirsch o...
30 min
72
How to Grow from Founder to CEO, with Brian Hal...
30 min
73
How to Speak to a Niche Audience, with Samantha...
30 min
74
How to Craft a Viral Product, with Ivan Zhao of...
34 min
75
How to Be the Best at One Thing, with Alli Webb...
33 min
76
How to Scale Rapidly, with Toby Sun of Lime
30 min
77
How to Build an Effective Company Culture, with...
34 min
78
How to Foster Collaboration, with Dr. Joseph De...
32 min
79
How to Build for the Future, with Everett Cook ...
31 min
80
How to Be Authentic Storytellers, with Danielle...
How to Be Authentic Storytellers, with Danielle Snyder and Jodie Snyder-Morel of Dannijo
40 min
81
Why Emotions Are Not a Liability, with Jason Br...
32 min
82
How to Create Change, with Carolyn Childers and...
How to Create Change, with Carolyn Childers and Lindsay Kaplan of Chief
43 min
83
Why Equity Matters, with Henry Ward of Carta
Why Equity Matters, with Henry Ward of Carta
28 min
84
How to Build a Transparent Business, with Max L...
How to Build a Transparent Business, with Max Levchin of Affirm
38 min
85
How to Be Scrappy, with Eric Senn of Storr
Will the future of retail be decentralized (think: what Uber's done for transportation and Airbnb for lodging)? This entrepreneur thinks so. Eric shares how Storr is enabling anyone to monetize their style by opening a digital store in just three clicks, why he started by researching the history of retail (all the way back to the 1800s), and how he got creative to sign his first brand partners before raising seed funding.
31 min
86
How to Make Customers Happy, with Daniel Schrei...
While insurance is a $5 trillion dollar market, Daniel noticed an opportunity: most insurance companies are not described as lovable or delightful. He wants consumers to forget everything they know about insurance and start fresh. Daniel shares how Lemonade leverages technology to build trust, how they've achieved an NPS of 70+, and why keeping Shabbat each week helps him set healthy boundaries as a founder.
31 min
87
How to Turn a Pain Point into a Business, with ...
70% of American employees work in open floor plan offices—and according to Brian Chen, they don't like it. Brian and his cofounders set out to reimagine the modern workplace and launched their first product, an office phone booth (which already graces the offices of Google, Apple, and J.P. Morgan). Brian shares his own frustration with not being able to find a quiet space at work, explains how he and his co-founder personally delivered and assembled their first prototypes, and why they care about being responsible citizens of the world.
35 min
88
How to Be Yourself at Work, with Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown began her career as a freelance makeup artist. She didn't set out to build a billion dollar makeup business, but she quickly accelerated from creating a line of lipsticks to an acquisition by Estee Lauder four years later. Bobbi went on to spend nearly two decades building Bobbi Brown into a household name. Bobbi shares how she adapted to being a corporate employee post-acquisition, why being able to wear jeans to work matters, and how she interviews for work ethic.
32 min
89
How to Get Through the Tough Stuff, with Aaron ...
Aaron Levie dropped out of college and moved into his uncle's garage to launch Box. Fast-forward and the company has 95,000 enterprise customers and a $3 billion market cap. While one of his first win's was securing an investment from Mark Cuban off of a cold email, it wasn't always an easy journey. Aaron shares how he zeroed in on the right business model, how he hires for culture adds, and why startups have to be 10X better in some way (like simplicity).
34 min
90
How to Be Vulnerable with Justin McLeod of Hinge
Justin McLeod has an unusual mission: build a dating app designed to be deleted. It was his own offline love story that helped him gain clarity into his vision for Hinge and guided the company through a critical pivot. Justin shares what it was like to be acquired by the Match Group, why he thinks social media is the new smoking, and how to know when a new business strategy is working.
29 min
91
How to Know Your Customer, with Misha Nonoo of ...
From the time she was a teen, Misha Nonoo dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. She has since grown her women's apparel company into a powerhouse that constantly stays ahead of seismic shifts in the retail landscape. Misha shares why she forewent the wholesale model to gain a direct relationship with her customer, why sustainability is critical to the future of fashion, and why discipline is the most important trait for entrepreneurs to embody (and to hire for).
36 min
92
How to Build Community, with Jonathan Neman of ...
After meeting as freshmen at Georgetown, Jonathan and his two-cofounders set out to open a healthy fast food restaurant in a 500 square feet storefront. From those quaint beginnings, Sweetgreen has grown into a massive food platform, with over 100+ locations and 200+ outposts. Jonathan shares why authenticity is core to the brand, why their inexperience actually enabled innovation, and how he thinks about falling on the right side of this equation: as companies get bigger, they either get better or worse.
35 min
93
How to Achieve Your Goals, with Leandra Medine ...
From her parents' house to two million+ monthly readers, Leandra has built a media business at the forefront of fashion. With a firm belief that quality content should drive all, the Man Repeller team has grown to over twenty employees and continues to innovate into new lines of business. Leandra shares the blessings (and curses) of building a brand on social media, why creativity is a key ingredient for a great day at work, and the difference between being a good leader and a good boss.
45 min
94
How to Maximize Every Minute, with Susan Tynan ...
Susan started Framebridge out of a personal paint point: she tried to frame a series of National Parks posters and realized the process was both confusing and expensive. With $82 million in funding and a major facility in Kentucky, Framebridge has fundamentally transformed the experience for consumers across the country. Susan shares why she always does the hard thing first, the challenge of managing seasonal spikes in business, and how she doesn't waste time on guilt as a working parent.
32 min
95
How to Build Trust with Consumers, with Eddy Lu...
There's something about sneakers. It's one of those rare product categories that can get people to line up around the block. GOAT has made a huge dent in the sneaker scene, building a managed marketplace that currently lists over 1 million sneakers. Eddy shares how GOAT authenticates the product moving across their platform, how he thinks about online vs. retail sales, and what it was like to acquire a sneaker pioneer as a new upstart.
34 min
96
How to Achieve Product-Market Fit, with Shan-Ly...
Shan-Lyn Ma is transforming the wedding business. After graduating from Stanford Business School and joining Gilt as their first product person, Shan launched Zola in 2013—and has already helped over half a million couples. Shan shares why product is so important to every business, how to get smart (and actionable!) consumer feedback, and the real story behind Zola's creative name.
35 min
97
How to Stay Ahead of the Competition, with Phil...
Mattress shopping never sparked joy — until Casper came around. Philip and his coworkers have upended the industry and now have a $1.1 billion dollar valuation. Philip shares his vision for the future of sleep, how to scale a brand (both digitally and in retail experiences), how he thinks about the competition, and tells us about the synchronous run-in at a co-working space that led to Casper.
35 min
98
How to Build a Subscription Business, with Jess...
After working for 8 years as a Wall Street Journal reporter, Jessica set out to build a new content model - a subscription business founded on a simple premise: create articles worth paying for. Jessica shares why she became an entrepreneur, how she learned to make decisions quickly, and how content consumption will evolve over the next decade.
37 min
99
How to Make it Work with a Cofounder, with Lind...
Umbrella is on a unique mission: the startup is aiming to help people 65+ stay in their homes longer. The demographic they serve is not only one of the fastest-growing, it's also an audience that avidly uses tech. Lindsay shares what excites her about the market opportunity, how product testing uncovered key wins, and most importantly, how she makes it work with her cofounder, Sam Gerstenzang.
35 min
100
Why Hospitality Matters, according to Danny Mey...
Chances are, you've experienced Danny Meyer's brilliance. He's the founder behind Union Square Hospitality Group, which holds a remarkable 28 James Beard awards and is responsible for Shake Shack, which now has over 250 locations worldwide. Meyer opens up about what he looks for in new hires, how he took the leap into the food world, and shares his scariest moment to date (spoiler: getting punched in the face by a diner).
44 min