Rank #1: #33-Monica Wood and DeDeHouston of Myxx Recipes
My guests for this show are Monica Wood and DeDe Houston, co-founders of Myxx Recipes.
One of the biggest struggles for busy families is finding and making healthy meals at home. Myxx Recipes lets users shop for new, healthy recipes, create a shopping list from those recipes (including prices from the store where you shop), and then submit the shopping list to your grocery store for pickup. Myxx is sitting in the middle of the massive trend of buying groceries from in-person to online.
Monica and DeDe have a long history together and a truly great story about why they chose this idea to build a company around. We also talk a good bit about the early days of starting a company as two single moms, how they prioritized their lives both then and now, their role models, how they resolve conflict in their partnership and make key decisions, the importance of family meals, how the market is moving in their favor, what they look for in team members, how they create and manage their company culture, and much much more.
Listening to the two of them talk to and about each other made me jealous. They have a kinship that is remarkably rare, and the energy it creates oozes out of them.
Please enjoy my conversation with Monica Wood and DeDe Houston of Myxx Recipes.
Jun 09 2018
Rank #2: #32-Kristine Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Equine Exchange
My guest for this show is Kristine Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Equine Exchange, a marketplace for buying and selling sport horses. If you're like me, you know nothing about buying or selling a horse, but it's actually a massive market with extremely high dollar transactions and fraught with fraud and bad actors.
Equine Exchange brings like-minded buyers and sellers together and provides questionnaires, agreements, and processes to facilitate transparency in the transaction. Kristine does a great job of explaining all that they do in the first 20 minutes of the show.
I've known Kristine for a couple years now and have always admired her tenacity and candor. You'll hear plenty of both in our conversation. We also talk about her relationship with her co-founder and why that's a huge advantage for her, how she deals with adversity, people she admires (and why), and much more.
I hope you enjoy my conversation with Kristine Kelly of Equine Exchange. Thank you for listening.
Feb 07 2018
Rank #3: #31-Ursula Mead, CEO and co-founder of InHerSight
My guest for this episode is Ursula Mead, CEO and co-founder of In Her Sight.
In Her Sight is an engagement platform for women to rate the companies they work for on issues specifically important to women. In Her Sight also provides tools for job seekers to match the issues most important to them with companies who excel in those areas in order to create a more productive, healthy working environment for women. Ursula and I have been trying to get together for this interview for at least three months and I’m thrilled that we finally made it happen.
In this interview, Ursula talks about her early days at Motley Fool and how she came to realize that the culture she was a part of was not available to all women, and how she decided to do something about it. We also talk about how fundraising is uniquely difficult for women, the mommy trap, having productive relationships with male investors and partners, and some of the new technology in addition to what In Her Sight is building that is helping to put women on equal footing in the workplace.
Of all the shows I’ve done, I don’t know that I’ve had a more important, timely guest.
I hope you enjoy my conversation with Ursula Mead of In Her Sight, and I hope you hear something in here that challenges you to take action. Thank you for listening.
Dec 15 2017
Rank #4: #30-Andrew Bagrin of My Digital Shield
My guest for this episode is Andrew Bagrin, CEO and founder of My Digital Shield. My Digital Shield is revolutionizing how small and medium businesses protect themselves from cyber threats. By deploying minimal infrastructure at the customer's location and utilizing the best of cloud technologies, My Digital Shield is bringing cyber security usually reserved for the Fortune 500 to businesses up and down the street for a low monthly subscription.
In this interview Andrew talks about how he got the idea to start the company, how he made the decision to leave a nice, cushy corporate job to start his own thing (alcohol was involved!), how he feels about investor money, mistakes he made getting distracted early in the company's history and much much more.
I hope you enjoy my conversation with Andrew Bagrin of My Digital Shield, and as always, thank you for listening.
Feb 11 2017
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Rank #5: #29 - Tim Sinclair of RINGR
"I would rather fail at greatness than succeed at mediocrity" - Tim SinclairMy guest for this episode is Tim Sinclair, CEO and founder of RINGR. RINGR is an audio recording application used by thousands of podcasters and journalists to record high quality audio interviews. RINGR has developed some unique, patented intellectual property that makes recording great interviews possible over a normal voice call. Tim has been in radio broadcasting for years, and is the in-arena voice of the University of Illinois Fighting Illini, as well as the Chicago Fire soccer club. RINGR was started, as many great companies are, because Tim was trying to solve a problem he had every day in his work. In this interview, Tim talks about all of the hard lessons he’s learned building his first tech company, where he says radio and podcasting headed in the future, why he decided to make the jump from radio to tech entrepreneur, the difference between being entrepreneurial and being and entrepreneur and much much more. I recorded this interview using the RINGR app, and as you’ll hear the sound is amazing. They’re on to something big, and I can’t wait to see where it all goes. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and listen in on my conversation with Tim Sinclair of RINGR.
Jan 21 2017
Rank #6: #28-Stephen Kane of ArbiClaims
My guest for this episode is Stephen Kane, CEO and founder of ArbiClaims. ArbiClaims is a platform that brings parties together to resolve small disputes using trained arbitrators without having to go to court.
Stephen is a start up and small business attorney by background, Stephen has over 10 years of sales and business development experience including with other legal tech companies. He also chairs GRID110, an economic development organization committed to growing the start up ecosystem in downtown LA.
In this episode, Stephen shares:
- How his family background helped shape who he is and what he's doing today
- The genesis of the idea behind ArbiClaims
- Why he thinks now is a unique time in this particular market
- How he got bit by the entrepreneurial bug while at Stanford
- and much more
I think you’ll really enjoy hearing Stephen’s story. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and listen in on my conversation with Stephen Kane of ArbiClaims.
Dec 17 2016
Rank #7: #27-Jake Loosararian of Gecko Robotics
My guest for this show is Jake Loosararian, CEO and co-founder of Gecko Robotics. Gecko Robotics make robots that do unassisted inspections of power plant boilers. These robots have sensors that measure things like temperature, wall thickness and other system failure indicators, as well as a mounted camera that records the entire trip around the boiler. Their technology saves lives and cuts the cost and time of inspection dramatically. Jake and Gecko are graduates of Y-Combinator (Winter 2016).
In this episode, Jake talks about his personal back story, including living abroad in England and being home schooled, and then we dig into Gecko in detail:
- How he came up with the idea for Gecko while still in college
- How he knew on his first day at a "real job" out of college that he would never last
- How he dealt with having to part company with his first co-founder
- The importance of having a great founding team, and what makes a great founding team
- What it's like to be in a room with people who are affected directly by robots doing the work of humans
- The future of robotics and where Jake thinks the industry should be focusing, as well as his take on robots replacing the human workforce
- and a whole lot more
You don't want to miss any of this interview. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and a notebook and listen in on my conversation with Jake Loosararian of Gecko Robotics.
Dec 10 2016
Rank #8: #26-Brant Elliot of Stealz
My guest for this show is Brant Elliot. Brant is the CTO and Co-Founder of Stealz, a mobile app that rewards customers for being brand ambassadors for businesses they frequent. He has over 20 years’ experience building technology and tinkering with electronics. His early days in the tech space were spent hacking/exploring systems during the technology rush of the early 2000s.
Normally on this show we talk with CEOs, but I thought it would be good to have a conversation with a founding CTO about the view of things from the technical side of the fence. Brant and I covered a multitude of topics in this episode, including:
- Why he left corporate America to join a startup
- What makes a good early-stage developers, and how to hire them
- How they built their MVP using a contract shop and then moved it in-house
- How they started with a very high-touch, services-based approach to the problem and then built the product
- The importance of the tech team being involved in sales and support in the early going
- The importance of non-developer CEOs and founders understanding the product development process
- and much more (of course)
Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, a notebook and listen in on my conversation with Brant Elliot of Stealz.
Dec 03 2016
Rank #9: #25-Mark Easley, Angel Investor and Crowdfunding Expert
My guest for this show is Mark Easley. Mark is a startup advisor and angel investor in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina. Previously Mark had a 20+ year technology career in engineering, marketing, sales, and executive management in the semiconductor industry in Silicon Valley. Mark has been on the executive board of a Raleigh/Durham area angel investor group and is a member of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.
Mark provides mentoring to startups and potential entrepreneurs in the areas of investment crowdfunding, lean startup methods, marketing strategies, investor presentations, and management skills. Mark has previously held engineering, sales, marketing, and executive VP management positions in the semiconductor industry at PLX Technology, Adaptec, Intel, and HP.
In this show, Mark and I talk about the early days of Silicon Valley and what it was like to work for giants such as HP and Intel. We talk about how the landscape of startup investing has evolved and where it's headed, particularly as it relates to angel investing and crowdfunding. I also quiz Mark on what makes a business investable as an angel, and who he looks up to in the investing world.
Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, pull up a chair and listen to my conversation with Mark Easley.
Nov 19 2016
Rank #10: #24-Josh Manley, CEO and founder of ReplyBuy
Nov 05 2016