Skip to main content
Finding Founders

Finding Founders

By Finding Founders
A podcast about vulnerability and entrepreneurship — learn from the life stories of founders 🚀, activists ✊, and even drug lords 💊

Our aim is to inspire you and let's face it... you aren't inspired when you hear about success. Real inspiration comes from hearing someone's lowest moment, and rising with their success. Using music, sfx, and voiceover, we interview the founders of companies, movements, and even drug cartels to reveal vulnerability so you can learn from victory. I’m your host, Samuel Donner, and together with my team we aim to inspire and educate a global community of leaders.
Listen on Spotify
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


PodBean Logo


RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

How A Bad Tinder Relationship Started Bumble: Founder Wisdom #035 - Diane Prince

Finding Founders

How to Make a Billion Dollars Selling Cups: Founder Wisdom #077 - Mike Beckham
In a world where Hydro Flask is now synonymous with water-bottle, how does one break into the insulated drink space? On today’s Founder Wisdom, we talk to Mike Beckham co-founder and CEO of Simple Modern, a drinkware company with the goal of designing water bottles as unique as you. Starting off in the non-profit space, Mike brainstormed a list of 100 products, decided on drinkware, and started one of the biggest companies in that space. In fact Mike has been responsible for over a billion dollars in sales! Mike talks us through his lows, his competition, and Simple Modern’s recent partnership with Disney. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
March 17, 2022
#106 Ege Tutuncu - How to Collab with a Supermodel by Chucking a Package Over Her Fence | The Fashion Series
Born in Turkey, Ege's flair for design led him to found the clothing brand TUTUNJ. Initially he started with nothing but a few designs in his head and the encouragement of some friends. Since then, TUTUNJ has seen its products donned and praised by superstar models Meredith Mikelson and Alessandra Ambrósio. However, what makes Ege’s story truly inspiring are not only the victories he celebrated but also the challenges he braved. Along his journey, Ege faced an inordinate number of “No’s” compared to “Yes’s”. He grappled with the rejection of a big-time investor in the early days of TUTUNJ. He received one decline after another when seeking influencers to help promote his brand. Though these obstacles might have broken anyone else’s spirit, they did not break Ege’s. Instead, he saw each “No” as an opportunity to simply try again and each “Maybe” as a reason to push himself harder. If there’s anything to be learned from Ege’s story, it is this: With time, patience, and endurance, success is never too far out of reach. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
March 10, 2022
The Death of a Guru: Founder Wisdom #076 - Alisha Flecky
Alisha Flecky was delving into spirituality and came across a guru that would change her life. She followed him for years, abiding by his wisdom and feeling that her life was improving and slowly becoming the life she wanted. She saw this guru as perfect, as close to a deity. But everything changed when the veil was lifted and behind it was a flawed man that couldn't accept his humanity. This led to a question: Is the image perfection necessary for total devotion? Our full episode with Alisha will be coming out in a few weeks! Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
March 03, 2022
#105: Jason Y. Lee - The Disney of Empathy | Jubilee Media
Jason Lee grew up in Kansas raised by a family who idolized education. They even said school is “like Disneyland but better…”. School was important because it led to a “respectable job”, that job being a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer. Initially that was ok with Jason, but there was something missing. He didn't feel quite whole.  Regardless, he moved forward on the "right" path and attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He assumed his problems would be solved but eventually realized that he still wasn’t fulfilled. That same emptiness remained even as he began making 6 figures at Bain and Company. The turning point of Jason's life began on his 22nd birthday when the Haiti earthquake taught him the importance of empathy. Committed to do something, he decided to film himself bussing at a New York subway station. Jason would make a video that accumulated 10,000 views in a single week and raised hundreds for the cause. Inspired, he decided to pursue his passion for filmmaking, quit his job, and create Jubilee Media which seeks to demonstrate the common ground between people and foster empathy in a divided world. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
February 24, 2022
Dissecting Humans to Understand Humanity: Founder Wisdom #075 - Gil Hedley
How does a priest-in-training end up educating the world on anatomy? In today’s Founder Wisdom we speak with Dr. Gil Hedley, Creator and Producer of the Integral Anatomy Series. Beginning his adult life receiving a PhD in Theological Ethics, Gil felt a calling to the priesthood... but at the same time he didn't want to be a priest. Gil describes the winding path that led to discovering the beauty of human anatomy and the courage it took for him to share his knowledge with the world. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
February 17, 2022
Escaping Gangs through Animation & Storyboards: Founder Wisdom #074 - Jay Oliva
Jay Oliva is an LA-based storyboard artist, film producer, and animated film director. Inspired by comics and the animated cartoons of his childhood, he's climbed his way up to work with major production companies such as Marvel, Netflix, and Warner Bros. His first break was an opportunity at Marvel which came just in time and had him narrowly avoiding gang violence in Orange County. Nowadays, he teaches Cinematic Storyboard courses at his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University. He's also launched his own animation studio and production company, “Lex and Otis” and “Lex on Orange Productions”, in 2018 and 2019 respectively. In addition to creating the show Trese, Oliva is working on other projects at Netflix such as reuniting with Zach Snyder after their original partnership during Man of Steel. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
February 11, 2022
Slow Fashion and Radically Inclusive Clothing : Founder Wisdom #073 - Hanna Baror-Padilla
How do you create radically inclusive clothing, while still maintaining a profitable business? What does it take to build a company off a kickstarter campaign? In today’s Founder Wisdom we speak with Hanna Baror-Padilla, founder and owner of the inclusive and diverse clothing brand Sotela. From her childhood years working in her dad’s clothing store to successfully launching several of her own inclusive clothing collections, Hanna guides us through her journey and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
February 07, 2022
From Hand Painting Clothes in His Mom's Garage to Teaching the Next Generation of Fashion: Founder Wisdom #072 - Manuel Jackson
Manuel “MannyJStyle” Jackson has led an incredible career in men’s fashion while also being an advocate for the next generation of stylists and designers. Manny started his fashion journey from his mom's garage hand painting clothes. This led to developing his first company Ekqualyte Abstract Abstract. Not long after he created The Gents Closet, a Hollywood based men Style Haus where Manuel designed a collection of men's accessories including ties and bow ties. He also carried and supplied the latest upcoming labels from around the world to a high-end clientele of stylists, celebrities and influencers. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
February 03, 2022
Are Introverts Better at Selling?: Founder Wisdom #071 - Tom Alaimo
Today we're talking to Tom Alaimo about his entrepreneurial journey and why it might be better to be an introverted sales person. Tom got his start creating and selling his own sports magazine as a kid. After selling a few issues around his neighborhood, he realized he had a knack for sales but needed some training. Thats when he discovered Cutco, a company whose sales program honed his interpersonal skills and developed his love of sales. Now Tom is a B2B sales professional, blogger, and podcaster. With the Millennial Momentum podcast, Tom aims to create a community to help millennials upgrade their sales game. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
February 01, 2022
The Curse of Being Too Early: Founder Wisdom #070 - Stephane Roulland
The year: 2000. The turn of the century marked the beginning of a whole new world, one with anxiety inducing elections, trendy juicy tracksuits, and technological advances like never before. With a world of information available at the swipe of your thumb, it might take you a minute to remember the sound Web 1.0 made when you tried to load a page. In the early 2000s, the internet wasn't yet a place of infinite knowledge but rather untapped potential. Stephane Roulland saw that potential clearly in a future not as distant as the world may have thought. Described as a Yahoo-esque portal to viral videos, Stephane sets the stage for a world at the cusp of an internet revolution and a stubborn man ready to run into the fight. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
January 28, 2022
9 Figures for a Business Started in an Apartment: Founder Wisdom #069 - Jonathan Skogmo
This is an update to an episode we did a while back in April of 2020. And we’re doing an update because Jonathan Skogmo, founder of Jukin Media, has some pretty big news… recently he sold his company for a reported $140 million dollars. In this episode we take a behind the scenes look at that 9 figure deal, and try to understand emotionally what it’s like to sell a company you’ve built from your apartment over the last decade. A bit more about Jon: He’s the founder of Jukin which is an innovative media company that focuses on user-generated content. What is user-generated content? Well, it’s stuff like a video of a mom laughing hysterically while wearing a Chewbacca mask. That video is known as Chewbacca mom and the original video alone received over 140 million views. In fact, the video became so popular that this Chewbacca mask completely sold out around the world. Although the Chewbacca mom, otherwise known as Candace Payne, technically owns the video, the right to license that video belongs to Jukin. By acquiring viral videos, like this one, Jukin media has amassed 200 million fans and receives 3 billion views every month. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
January 25, 2022
#104: Laura Osuri - Finding an Afghan Refugee a Home | The Afghanistan Series
If there's one thing that drives Laura Osuri, it’s serving her community. After college, she sprang into an expedition that would take her across the globe to Europe and Latin America in search of new perspectives. Coming back to the states she felt listless, but soon sunk her energy into Street Sense media, whose mission was to vocalize homeless issues and provide community support. Realizing that she could help the marginalized, Laura once again saw a calling as the Syrian refugee crisis erupted. Taking action, she joined her church in welcoming and supporting newly displaced families. Her work with these agencies eventually inspired her to found her own resettlement nonprofit--Homes Not Borders right in her hometown of Washington D.C. However, things would get more complicated as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
January 21, 2022
Founding the University of Cannabis 🍁: Founder Wisdom #068 - Kevin Greene
Since Kevin Greene moved to the US from Jamaica at age 6 he's always been hustling. Entrepreneurship was his personality, but at times it wouldn't be fully expressed. In 2006 Kevin got a job at T-Mobile, and quickly realized that the corporate world didn't take kindly to conflict. The same voice that made him such a great entrepreneur, held him back in the corporate world. Although he was passed by for promotions, he did gain insight into mobile phone industry. This would eventually lead him to create Faces International in 2012, a mobile marketing and development firm. Diving deeper into his knack for spotting a trend Kevin noticed the high growth potential of Cannabis and decided someone needed to step in to educationally legitimize the industry. In order to fulfill the need for a qualified workforce in the rapidly-growing cannabis industry, Kevin co-founded the Cleveland School of Cannabis in 2018, the first and only school for cannabis with national accreditation. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
January 18, 2022
#103 How a Mammogram Converted a Pastor to a Nudist - Jeff & Judy Bowman | Alternative Communities
Jeff and Judy Bowman are the acclaimed founders and owners of the Living Waters Spa, which was an internationally renowned clothing-optional spa in Desert Hot Springs, California. Before becoming key members of the clothing optional community, Jeff & Judy were church folk who started and grew congregations across America. Suddenly Judy was diagnosed with breast cancer which led Jeff to question nudity and soon question his religion. This would send both of them on a quest to understand their relationship with nakedness and come face to face with a new clothing-optional lifestyle. Words of Wisdom: Jeff and Judy challenged their beliefs and found that in doing so, they were able to get more in touch with their spirituality. Sometimes trials are what you need to better understand yourself and others around you. They experimented with clothing optional facilities. Never be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Self discovery can be the most enlightening part of life. They stayed true to their beliefs and ideals. You may lose people, but you’ll find a community that will be better suited to you. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
January 13, 2022
Disrupting the Fast Beauty Industry: Founder Wisdom #067 - Liah Yoo
Originally from Seoul, Liah was studying architecture and feeling like she didn't really fit into the mold of South Korea. She decided to explore the idea of going into the beauty industry and released her first YouTube video. Not too long later, Liah Yoo is now a beauty guru and has amassed a following of over 1 million. But she wouldn't stop there. In 2017, Liah had a “lightbulb moment” and realized that the skincare market was overwhelming and oversaturated with products that created new skin problems rather than making skin healthier. She decided to launch Krave Beauty, a sustainable brand with a simple array of products designed with only the consumer in mind. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
January 10, 2022
#102: Marnie Gustavson - Falling for Afghanistan Before the Fall | The Afghanistan Series
What does it mean to fall in love with a place? In this episode, we explore this question by talking to Marnie Gustavson, the executive director of PARSA Afghanistan and leader of the Afghan Scouts revival movement. Though her journey actually began in Washington, Marnie was introduced to Afghanistan at 9 years old when her father relocated the family for his new job. Growing up in a foreign country, she struggled against cultural gender roles but eventually found her passion for leadership and directing through bargaining in Afghan markets. After returning to the US, Marnie realized how much she missed Afghanistan and decided she wanted it to be her permanent home. It was there she got her unlikely start at PARSA that led to the creation of her own program Sisters for Sisters and Brothers for Brothers. When the Afghan government unexpectedly collapsed during the 2021 Taliban Offensive, Marnie’s organization was faced with sudden social upheaval. In the face of great adversity, Marnie shares stories of resilience from Afghan citizens and reflects on her duty to the country she loves. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
January 07, 2022
How to Get Rich Without Being Lucky: Founder Wisdom #066 - Eric Jorgenson
So today's guest I specifically sought out after reading his book “The Almanack of Naval Ravikant.” I was floored by essentially every sentence and thought the book was so incredible that I had to talk to the person who wrote it. That person is Eric Jorgenson. After working at a startup for a decade and technically being unemployed, he decided to delve into a myriad of projects including podcasts, blogs, and a self-paced course on leverage. His recent, and most successful book, is a guide to wealth and happiness curated and distilled entirely from Naval’s spoken and written words. If you haven't heard of Naval, he's semi famous within certain silicon valley circles. He's founder of AngelList, an angel investor, and a modern day philosopher. The wisdom inside this book is near unparalleled, and if you haven't read it already, I highly recommend you do. You can buy Eric's book, The Almanack of Naval Ravikant, right now on Amazon. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
January 04, 2022
#101 David Pulcifer - A Castle in a Forest: A Dream in Progress | Alternative Communities
So when I talked to today's guests it was during the Halloween Haunt, an event took place in the same village as my LARPing adventure with John Basset (episode #96). But this interview would be extra special because I would be talking to the head honcho of the LARPs in that area... David Pulcifer. David Pulcifer is the President of the LARP City Project, an organization with the goal of creating the best Live Action Role Play (LARP) sites across the United States. David has over 20 years of experience, and the LARP City Project is currently pursuing an ambitious goal to build 6 permanent LARP sites across the country over the next 2 decades. David believes in the positive impact of Live Action Role Play, and that it can improve the lives of gamers’ through the encouragement of creativity, positive social interaction, and physical health. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
December 30, 2021
Antarctica, Zoom Interviews, & Dropping Everything: Founder Wisdom #065 - Andrew Warner
This is a follow up interview with Andrew Warner (episode 48)-- we told his life story back in November of 2020. Quick recap on Andrew. Shortly after college, Andrew was handling millions of dollars and taking on massive risk. Only a few years later, he’d resign from that frantic lifestyle, jump ship and head for a respite in the Caribbean. It was here he reflected on his life and returned to his youth, a childhood filled with libraries, books, and learning. He realized that his own life with all the peaks and valleys of the entrepreneurial journey, mirrors that of his initial mentors who lived within the pages of those books. He took those lessons, founded a few companies, and now continues to learn from entrepreneurs with his show Mixergy, asking the question: What do startup founders know that you don’t? Since our initial interview, we've stayed in touch and he's been giving me great advice. In this episode of founder wisdom we're going to dive into his new book, we're going to learn how to focus on the big vision and ignore noise, and finally he's going to detail how he uses his interview skills to create better relationships and business opportunities.  Towards the end of the episode I'll ask him some advice on the projects I've been working on! You can buy Andrew's new book, Stop Asking Questions, right now on Amazon. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
December 27, 2021
#100 Joe Saavedra: NFTs, $69M jpgs, & Infinite objects
How do you make digital art physical? How can you print video? Infinite Objects founder and CEO, Joe Saavedra is answering these questions. Growing up in a small town, Joe tapped into artistic self expression with the saxophone. He took this artistic interest to college as he discovered how he could create art using technology which would spark a life's mission to combine these interests. This journey has lead him to play a leading role in the creation of so many cool products, including the Google Talking Shoe and a wearable personal pollution monitor egg. Most recently, he has become the founder and CEO of Infinite Objects, a company at the forefront of NFT tech that essentially “prints” videos in physical form. However, a journey of passion always has its trials and tribulations. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
December 23, 2021
Foraging for Fungi in Firepower Filled Forests: Founder Wisdom #064 - Giuliana Furci
Giuliana Furci was born in London but her family returned to Chile when she was 15 years old. At 19, she stumbled across a bright orange mushroom which caught her eye while doing field work in the forest. This moment inspired Giuliana to devote her life to addressing the lack of information on fungi. Starting her career as a self-taught amateur, she became the first female field mycologist in Chile and started the Fungi Foundation, the first NGO dedicated to fungi in the world. Under her leadership, Chile became the first country in the world to include the Fungi kingdom in its environmental legislation. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
December 21, 2021
#99 Lori Kay: A Weekend at a Nudist Lodge | Alternative Communities
In this episode, we sit down with Lori Kay, a sculptor, business woman, mother, naturist, and owner of Lupin Lodge. As a kid, Lori learned to adapt and have an open mind as her family moved around due to her father’s military service. When Lori was a young adult she studied abroad in Switzerland, where she experienced first hand a different approach to nudity. When weekly trips to a sauna meant wearing nothing but a towel in a coed room, Lori was not judgmental but rather embraced the cultural difference. When she returned to the U.S. Lori was introduced to Lupin’s community (a nudist retreat) and quickly became a regular member. This led to her falling in love with the owner and eventually becoming an owner herself. Find out how her determination would build a community of body positivity and self discovery. Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
December 18, 2021
21st Century Students & The Classrooms of the Future: Founder Wisdom #063 - Elyse Burden
Elyse Burden founded Real World Scholars (2014), where she works to give students the opportunity and resources needed to become change makers and social entrepreneurs in their communities – not one day, but right now. She provides money for the students to help pursue their business, pay it forward, and invest in the greater good. She believes in creative solutions and recognizes that young people are brilliant, creative, and angry enough to help the world find solutions to some of our scariest challenges. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
December 13, 2021
#98: Forrest Garvin - How To Survive Anything: Y2K, Financial Crises, & Pandemics | Alternative Communities
In today’s episode, we’ll get to hear from Forrest Garvin, former U.S. Air Force NCO, creator of several technology startups, and founder of the PrepperNet community. Forrest had a front row seat during the Y2K crisis, working with computers that were expected to crash at the turn of the century. Even though he couldn’t understand why it was a big problem at the time, it was the initiation of his prepper lifestyle. With a desire to learn and protect his family, Forrest honed in on his survival skills. And although he faced isolation and embarrassment for his wish to prepare for the unknown, those skills would come in handy when the world was faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. In a journey that takes us from North Carolina to Greece, and projects us from the year 2000 to 2020, Forrest teaches us how basic human survival can not only help a lot of people, but also forge a fearless community. Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
December 09, 2021
Finding Your Ice Cream Sundae: Founder Wisdom #062 - Eric Molinsky
Eric Molinsky is the creator and host of Imaginary Worlds, a podcast exploring fictional worlds and works, the non-fiction stories behind them, and the communities around those stories. Born in Boston, Eric moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in animation for several years, thinking it was what he wanted. Eventually, he came to realize that his true passion was in crafting stories and “pieces of time.” Eric moved back to the East coast and started working for New York public radio and began finding his footing in the audio storytelling industry. Frustrated with public radio’s tongue in cheek attitude toward covering science fiction and fantasy, Eric became a freelancer to tell stories he wanted to tell, and eventually started his own podcast to do just that. Since then, he’s taught classes at NYU in podcasting and audio storytelling, and through his podcast, he’s discovered whole new imaginary worlds to fall in love with. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
December 06, 2021
#97 Daisy Luther - Preparing for the Worst, Freezing to Death, & Dumpster Groceries | Alternative Communities
Daisy Luther has learned the hard way how important preparation is. From debilitating poverty, to losing her father, to becoming a single mother, we follow Daisy on her story of suffering through extreme hardship. But we’ll also understand how she managed to survive and thrive in spite of it. Facing loss after loss Daisy never gave up, and now she is a successful author, the founder of and, websites that gets millions of views and teach us how we can be more prepared when things go wrong. Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
December 02, 2021
Work From Anywhere, Skydiving Midday, & The Importance of Free Time: Founder Wisdom #061 - Chris Bello
After graduating from college and getting a corporate job, Chris Bello found himself unmotivated and looking for a new pursuit. Seeking inspiration, he read  Rich Dad, Poor Dad and The Four-Hour Work Week, which led Bello to quit his job and take a one month hiatus to Asia. Afterwards, he returned and began working on his personal brand, working on a mailing list, website, and podcast simultaneously. Along the way, he also ended up working in real estate wholesale. Nowadays, he continues his mantra of “less dreaming, more doing” by continuing to work on all of these things and remaining consistent. With over 50,000 monthly downloads as well as one million total downloads on his Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast, Bello hopes to interview increasingly popular guests in order to expand his reach and inspires others to stay motivated while facing their fears. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
November 29, 2021
#96: John Basset - Elves, Knights, and Gnomes: How Fantasy Shapes Our Reality | Alternative Communities
In this episode we sit down with John Basset, founder of Twin Mask and an avid LARPer. Live Action Role Play, or LARP, has been part of John's identity ever since he was in high school, but what is LARP? Well, it's a role-playing game where the participants physically portray their characters. The players enter a fictional world but interact with real objects, all while in character. I'll admit even that explanation confused me, so I traveled down to the LARP event to see what it was all about. I learned how a break from reality can help you find your community, understand yourself, and bring the world a bit closer together. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
November 25, 2021
Bullying in Africa, The Nobel Peace Prize, & Turning down $400k: Founder Wisdom #060 - Christina Catalano
Christina Catalano is a noted human rights leader and founder of RISE. Although it started small, the RISE Anti-Bullying Initiative has grown to become one of the largest anti-bullying initiatives in the world. And Christina's influence doesn't stop there, in fact, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020. But before the awards and accolades, her experience with bullying was personal. Growing up on the Jersey Shore, school was a place she felt isolated and attacked. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
November 22, 2021
#95 Hala Taha - Hot 97, The MTV Show that Never Was, and Accidentally Making $2 Million
In this episode of Finding Founders, we hear from Hala Taha, a leading podcast entrepreneur, founder, and CEO. Hala’s story shows a journey to realizing your self-worth in the face of post-9/11 obstacles, working without compensation, and failing time and time again. Hala started with a pretty “blessed childhood”, going with her father to work at the hospital, and was a bit of a tomboy. But, after 9/11 her life changed dramatically. In high school, she experienced a feeling of isolation and being shut out of those activities she used to love. It wasn't until college that she really found her stride. She soon found a career in entertainment, working at Hot 97, then blogging with, and eventually starting YAP and hosting the Young and Profiting Podcast. But her journey was far from smooth. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
November 18, 2021
How to Start a 6-Figure Coaching Business From Scratch: Founder Wisdom #059 - Maxwell Nee
This is a followup episode with Maxwell Nee from High-Performing Coach. He teaches us how to make our businesses pandemic proof, how he's scaled his business, and the tools and strategies you need to start your own coaching business. If you'd like to grow your own podcast check out our coaching cohort --> The Pod30 A bit about Maxwell: Maxwell Née spent the majority of his life pursuing a stable career, which left him listless. After 5 years at his corporate banking job, Maxwell had a moment of realization, he didn't like what his life was becoming. To combat his current life path, he picked up and moved across the world from Australia to Canada. He decided to finally start over and pursue what excited him most. This would lead to High-Performing Coach, an online coaching service that has seen amazing growth and success in the past year. In fact, Maxwell has been recognized by BRAINZ 500 Global Honoree for his work and continues to thrive in a career path he built for himself. Check out our full episode with Maxwell Nee. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
November 16, 2021
#94: Erick Brimen - Founding a City, Arrest Threats, and Solving Poverty | Alternative Communities
How can private cities use entrepreneurship to create social good? In this episode, we meet Erick Brimen, businessman, entrepreneur, and founder of the special economic zone, Próspera. At an early age, Erick came face-to-face with the social and financial disadvantages that most people face. And that experience would eventually lead to the visionary project of prosperity districts, where entrepreneurship is used to achieve common good. But Erick’s journey was not all glitz and glamour. From not having enough money to buy groceries, to nearly getting arrested over rumors, Erick knows what it's like to experience failure. But through it all, his passion to help others prosper has guided him on a path of success, trust, and purpose. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
November 13, 2021
The Battle Against "Big Pasta" Takes Shape: Founder Wisdom #058 - Dan Pashman
In June of 2018, Dan was involved in “The Bucatini Dialogues: A Debate About Pasta Shapes”, a live event in which his controversial opinions about spaghetti would lead to a journey in creating his own pasta shape. From learning about the different types of flour to finding a factory which would take a chance on “the little guy”, Pashman’s 3 year journey would eventually lead to success and 'cascatelli,' a pasta which would beat day 1 expectations and go on to sell over 15,000 pounds in the first day! As for now, Pashman’s pasta story is still being written as he decides on how to pursue the Sporkful brand. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
November 09, 2021
#93: My Grandma - The Co-Founder of My Family
Today’s interview is, well, a bit different. This isn’t any guest, actually this is a pretty personal story. Today we’re talking to the co founder of my family, my grandmother, Dorothy Donner. This is my dad’s mom but she’s not just my dad’s mom. In fact my dad is one of ten kids, a frikin handful to deal with. She’s raised 10 kids, has lived through the great depression, numerous wars, and a global pandemic. She definitely knows a thing or two about life’s challenges. As we progress through her story—and run into some of our own challenges along the way—I am reminded of the importance of capturing these stories while we still can. And that understanding your family’s history helps you better understand yourself. My grandparents were visiting my family home, so after finishing up some scrambled eggs, Grandma Donner hopped into a quiet room to walk me through some of the stories that made her who she is today. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
November 06, 2021
Education in Afghanistan is a Human Right: Founder Wisdom #057 - Navid Seyedali
Navid Seyedali was born in Iran and eventually began living around the world in places such as the US, Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia. These travels developed within him an exceptional sense of empathy, which, over 25 years ago, led Navid to help establish and further the Child Foundation. The organization's mission is to educate children around the world. Initially Navid began as a volunteer, but became increasingly more active which culminated in his current position where he serves as an advisor to the board of directors. Two of his major accomplishments include the creation of an Afghanistan sponsorship program during his first term of presidency, as well as the creation of the Afghanistan Crisis Fund during his time as an advisor. The ACF has distributed food to hundreds of families and continues to work tirelessly to educate children around the world.
November 01, 2021
#92: Jay Clue - How Escaping Jail Time and Dropping a Ph.D. Led to Baja Conservation | The Cabo Series
How many chances do we have in life, and what do we do with them? In this episode of Finding Founders, we answer this question with Jay Clue, an accomplished conservationist, explorer, and photographer. Jay began his life as a troublemaker and a bit of an outcast, narrowly escaping jail time on a couple of occasions. He turned things around, studying graphic design in college, working as an art director on ad campaigns, and going to London to get a master’s and Ph.D.  Jay eventually fell in love with scuba diving and found his way to Baja. He then started Dive Ninja Expeditions in 2017 to use an ecotourism platform to combine diving, research, and tourism to promote conservation. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
October 29, 2021
How a Gambling Lesson Won the Game of Debt Management: Founder Wisdom #056 - Jason Saltzman
For many Americans, debt is a serious issue. A recent study found that the average American holds $53,897 in personal debt. Jason is trying to destroy debt with his new company, Relief. But he didn't always start with these altruistic intentions. His first entrepreneurial endeavor at 12 was hustling kids at lunch with three card monte. Eventually he'd enter the sales world realizing he had the gift of gab, but he soon realized that he was in that world for the wrong reasons. He didn't want his life to just be about making money for himself, he wanted to solve a larger issues. He wanted to help people outside of himself. With his new company, Relief, he's helping others in debt win at the game of debt management. Check out the relief app today! --> Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
October 25, 2021
#91: Karen Bradfield - How a Ruptured Appendix and a Dead Man On a Plane Turned an Engineer into a Divemaster | The Cabo Series
How much do we value stability? We discuss the answer with Karen Bradfield, a former engineer for Procter & Gamble turn founder of Adventures in Baja. Karen was born in England, and though the ocean was freezing, she still felt drawn to it, constantly swimming or sailing. After finishing her studies she worked a few conventional jobs, but always felt like something was missing. She wanted to dedicate more time to the ocean. Throughout her journey Karen has lived in Australia, Southeast Asia, Panama, Ecuador and finally Cabo. She shares with us the importance of seizing opportunities and confronting our fears. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
October 21, 2021
Accidentally Insulting Mark Cuban: Founder Wisdom #055 - Samuel Donner
Hey this episode is going to be a bit different. I’m usually the one doing the interviewing, but this time I’m on the other end of the mic. A former Finding Founders editor, Nathan Tower, invited me on his podcast, the Phasey Wave show. He did a great job of bringing my story to life! We talk about my weirdest experiences with guests, my founding philosophy, building teams, insulting high profile podcasters, and the future of Finding Founders. Subscribe to the Phasey Wave show here!
October 19, 2021
#90: Philipp Moser - Surviving a Tsunami and Finding New Life in the Ocean | The Cabo Series
How do we discover our purpose and find work that fulfills it? In this episode of Finding Founders we discuss the answer to this question and more with Philipp Moser. He is an established tour guide, diver, and owner of Cabo Trek. Philipp was born in Austria and always loved nature, the ocean specifically. Following the conventional path, he studied to be a mechanical engineer and worked in product development. But he wasn’t happy. So Philipp quit his job and moved to Australia, working side jobs and pursuing diving. After traveling the world and surviving a tsunami, Philipp wound up in Cabo. With Cabo Trek, he shares incredible experiences with tourists while educating them about the importance of protecting and preserving the environment and marine ecosystems. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
October 14, 2021
Using Her Last $3000 to Buy Turmeric: Founder Wisdom #054 - Sana Javeri Kadri
After Sana Javeri Kadri earned their IB diploma from UWC Adriatic, she worked as a Documentary Filmmaker for P.R.I.D.E India in Maharashtra, India and was a freelance photographer for Kadri Consultants Pvt. Ltd in Mumbai, India before attending Pomona College. While pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts, she accumulated an array of experiences during college. At 23 years old in 2017, Sana Javeri Kadri used $3,000 from her tax refund to start sourcing and selling ethically farmed turmeric. Today Diaspora Co. works with nearly a dozen small family farms across India, paying an average of six times more than the commodity price, and sells seven spices including coriander and cardamom. Kadri has bootstrapped the entire operation while going beyond the norm, like paying for healthcare to farm laborers on some of its farms, with the goal of growing enough to be able to provide it to all workers on its partner farms. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
October 12, 2021
#89: Enrique Bascon - Finding Artistic Expression in Life and Death | The Cabo Series
Is there a relationship between visual arts and discipline? For today’s episode we had the chance to spend the whole day with Enrique Bascón, a multidisciplinary artist based in Cabo San Lucas where he has his art studio and gallery. Born and raised in the Basque country in Spain, Enrique’s journey was not always about art. From wanting to follow his own rules and making his own path as a kid, to seeking financial stability, Enrique has always wanted freedom. Throughout his journey he’s studied law, been a policeman, bodyguard, SWAT agent and is now an artist. Enrique’s story explores how ambition and perseverance can get you to amazing places. There is no one path to being an artist. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
October 07, 2021
Refugees, Kid Translators, and Teach for Senegal: Founder Wisdom #053 - Raby Gueye
Raby Gueye emigrated from Senegal at the age of 7 to the United States. Her early childhood emphasized the importance of education, primarily due to the necessity to translate for her family. Her experience translating to teachers, doctors, and even cable/utility companies all reinforced the necessity to pursue an education and eventually lead her to become the first woman to graduate from college in her family.  During this time, she once again learned about the college process (applications, fees, tuition, etc.) all on her own as she went on to study international/global studies at Arizona State University. Eventually, she was given experiences to teach in both India and low-income schools in Arizona which eventually led her to create Teach for Senegal. In doing so, she hopes to address inequality while also encouraging children to be proud of where they come from. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
October 05, 2021
#88: How His Darkest Moment Sparked a Culinary Empire 10 Million Strong - Andrew Rea | The Food, Conflict, and Unity Series
In this episode, we hear from Andrew Rea, the creative mastermind behind the Babish Culinary Universe. He’s amassed over 9 million subscribers on YouTube alone, but the scale of his community is far from what’s most interesting about this interview. With his humor and piercing honesty, Andrew shares a story of continuous self-improvement. Losing his mother at age 11 and enduring secondary school with no friends, he was dealt a handful of painful challenges early on in life. Upon graduating film school with flying colors and a crew of good friends, early adulthood slammed him with another set of roadblocks. Grinding endlessly to make a living, broken to his core by an emotionally abusive director and stuck in a failing marriage, Andrew spiraled into his darkest days of depression. Through every overwhelming bout of failure, loss, pain, and doubt, we learn how Andrew is able to pick himself up, grow into a better person and discover a more fulfilling life. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG:
October 01, 2021
The Origin of Graffiti: Mexican Blackletter: Founder Wisdom #052 - Jay Clue
I’m here with Jay Clue, a conservationist here in Cabo San Lucas and today we’re going to talk about something a little different. Graffiti, specifically how Medieval Blackletter, a type of font, became a part of Mexican culture and how it became the building block of modern graffiti style. I know what you’re thinking. Medieval font? Modern graffiti style? How do those two have any connection at all, especially being centuries apart? I was perplexed as well, but I’ll let Jay explain it all from here. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Further Reading: 
September 28, 2021
#87: First Nations, Drag Kings, and Bacon - Heat Laliberte | The Food, Conflict, and Unity Series
Who doesn’t love bacon? Today we sat down with Heat Laliberte, the owner and founder of One Arrow Meats, a Vancouver based, small-batch, hand-cured, naturally smoked, hormone-free bacon company. One Arrow is more than just bacon. It represents Heat’s indigenous heritage, his goals, and his ability to overcome obstacles. Spending his childhood in Saskatchewan, the Cree-Metis Chef has called Vancouver home since 2002. After a youth that consisted of running away, racism, and struggling with his identity as a trans man, Heat found a strong sense of family amongst the LGTBQ+ community in Davie Village. Starting as a linecook, Heat would go onto working in the kitchen of top hotels and starting his own business venture. Throughout his life, Heat has been on a journey to find himself, come to terms with his identity, achieve more and cook delicious food. One Arrow opened the door to reconnect with his heritage and his family. Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG: Links From the Episode Heat’s Instagram Heat’s LinkedIn One Arrow’s Website One Arrow’s Instagram VICE Article The Residential School System - Erin Hanson, September, 2020: Residential Schools and the effects on Indigenous health and well-being in Canada - Piotr Wilk, Alana Maltby, & Martin Cooke, 03/02/2017:
September 24, 2021
Camel Cigarettes, $117B+ in Revenue, and Premature Ejaculation: Founder Wisdom #051 - Jay Clue
When was the last time you saw an advertisement for cigarettes? Was it good? Today’s founder wisdom is a snippet of an upcoming episode with Jay Clue, photographer, scuba diver and founder of Dive Ninja Expeditions. Before discovering his passion for the ocean, Jay worked as a freelance creative director for massive companies and tells us his experience working for the Tobacco industry. Links From the Episode Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG: Further Reading New Camel Brand Contains Crushable Capsule - Winston Salem Journa,(05/05/2008) Camel Cigarettes: A Long History of Targeting Kids - Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (06/18/2013) FDA Orders Maker of Camel Cigarettes to End Sales of 4 Products - TIME, (08/15/2015) African Americans and Tobacco Use
September 20, 2021
#86: The Horrific Living Conditions of Migrant Workers, NY During the AIDS Epidemic, and Fighting Food Insecurity - Rick Nahmias | The Food, Conflict, and Unity Series
How is it possible that the people who are feeding us cannot afford food? That is one of the questions that pushed this week's founder to tackle food insecurity and look for solutions. In today’s episode of Finding Founders, join us and Rick Nahmias in exploring where our food comes from and who is responsible for the food on our tables. Rick Nahmias is an LA native who, after working as a documentary photographer, decided to pursue his interest in food and cooking. He soon recognized the abundance of waste around him. From working on “The Migrant Project,” a book which highlighted the poor treatment of migrant farmworkers, to bringing attention to excess produce in his neighborhood through Craigslist ads, Rick is at the forefront of social justice and fighting food insecurity. His organization Food Forward combats food insecurity, food wastefulness and climate change. We joined Rick early one morning in Glendale, harvested lemons off a tree, and came back to the roots of Food Forward. Links From the Episode Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founders IG: Rick’s Linked-In: Food Forward’s Website: The Migrant Project: Rick Nahmias TED Talk: Food Forward Results:
September 16, 2021
The Hard Part About Hard Seltzers: Founder Wisdom #050 - Holly Paul & Chris Tran
Financial manager Chris Tran always knew he’d create something; however, despite her obvious creativity, data analyst Holly Paul never thought she’d be a founder. Working at a serial founder’s startup ignited Holly’s nascent entrepreneurial spirit and she decided to let one of her many ideas take flight. Business partners Holly and Chris wanted their product to incorporate classic Asian flavors from their childhoods, but struggled to find their ideal niche in the capital heavy food and beverage industry. Tired of hitting dead ends they decided to unwind with some alcoholic sodas, then inspiration struck. After cold calling contract packagers, crunching data and making huge personal investments they launched their hard seltzer line, Mizo. They’re on a journey to carve out a place for their vision in a saturated market and diversify mainstream American food and culture. Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founder IG: Additional Links : Target Selects 30 + startups to join it’s accelerator program - Sam Danley, (08/02/2021) : The Hard Seltzer Market is Getting More Crowded - Hudson Lindenberger, (01/12/2021) :
September 13, 2021
#85: Gail Simmons - Top Chef, The First to Reality TV, and Decaying Meat | The Food, Conflict, and Unity Series
What does it take to make your dreams a reality, especially as a woman in the restaurant industry? In this episode of Finding Founders, join us in exploring the entertainment side of the food industry with Gail Simmons, a food writer, author, cook, and judge on Top Chef. Gail grew up in a melting pot of both the city of Toronto and her Canadian, South African, and Jewish background. Her mother taught cooking classes and wrote a food column and Gail was a food enthusiast growing up, but Gail never saw her career going in that same direction until college. In pursuing food writing after college, Gail realized culinary school was the next step in pursuing this dream. After school and some brutal restaurant experience, Gail was ready to enter the world of food writing. She began as an assistant for Jeffrey Steingartern, a renowned food critic at Vogue Magazine. She continued to work as an event director at Food & Wine and eventually a judge on Top Chef. But this success was took time, listen to learn more! Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founder IG:
September 09, 2021
How a Ruptured Intestine Led to a $150k Card Game: Founder Wisdom #049 - Eric Chen
When ideas are cheap, what does it take to make an idea come to life and become a thriving business? Today we answer this question in our conversation with Eric Chen, a marketing and sales whiz, boba aficionado and board game creator. Throughout his journey, Eric has been in a car accident, had a ruptured intestine but this has not slowed him down. What could have been considered sabotage for some, he turned into Sabobatage. Website: Follow Sam: Follow Finding Founder IG:
September 06, 2021
#84: Barbara Massaad - Soup for Syrian Refugees, War in Lebanon, and the Power of the Cookbook | The Food, Conflict, and Unity Series
Food can serve as a means to bridge culture and conflict. This episode starts our Food Conflict and Unity series, so join us in exploring the power of food with Barbara Massaad, a Lebanese-American cookbook author, photographer, food consultant, and TV host. Barbara Massaad spent the first 10 years of her life in Lebanon and moved to Florida as a result of war. Her lifelong relationship with food began with Lebanese culture and at 15, she started helping her father in the family-owned Lebanese restaurant. In 1988, her family returned to Lebanon. Flashing forward, after getting an advertising and marketing degree in college and taking 7 years away from work to start a family, Massaad embarked on a new journey in the restaurant business. Determined to pursue this dream, she trained with several renowned chefs at Lebanese, Italian, and French restaurants. Driven by her love of using cooking and photography to tell stories, Massaad began the journey of creating her first cookbook called Man'oushé: Inside the Street Corner Lebanese Bakery. She continues to use her love for cooking to heal and break barriers, whether it was during the Syrian Civil War and today when faced with conflict in Lebanon. Links From the Episode Barbara Massaad Website: Barbara Massaad Facebook: First Book (Man'oushe: Inside the Street Corner Lebanese Bakery):
September 02, 2021
How a Commercial Led to Cooking in Africa & the Value of Rice: Founder Wisdom #048 - JJ Johnson
How does an ingredient like rice help better a community? Today we sit down with JJ Johnson, renowned chef on the African diaspora, and founder of the rice bowl restaurant, FIELDTRIP. Growing up in Harlem, surrounded by his grandmother’s cooking and international flavors, food has long formed part of JJ’s DNA. But as we follow his journey of becoming a chef, traveling to Africa, and establishing his own business, JJ’s story teaches us how food can actually break barriers, bring communities together, and celebrate cultural diversity.
August 30, 2021
From Grandma’s Dumplings to Co-hosting with Gordon Ramsey: Founder Wisdom #47 - Nyesha Arrington
How does a girl from SoCal go from making dumplings with her grandmother to co-hosting a TV show with Gordon Ramsey ? Today we sit with Nyesha Arrington, a former Top Chef contestant, professional chef and business owner. Growing up in a Afro-Korean household, surrounded by her grandmother, Nyesha had an early exposure to cooking and a variety of ingredients. As we discover her journey in the world of high class restaurants and TV, Nyesha’s story reminds us of the importance of mentorship and how dedication and attention to detail can take you far.
August 26, 2021
How "Yes" Led an Accountant to a Parisian Catwalk, Top Chef, and Her Own Show: Founder Wisdom #46 - Carla Hall
Before Carla Hall was a Top Chef legend, she was an accountant miserable at accounting. One day she got a chance to move to Paris and pursue modeling full time. Desperate for a change, she said yes, abandoning her dull yet stable career for the notoriously competitive and fickle fashion industry. Despite her lack of language skills and threadbare safety net, she transformed herself into a successful Parisian runway model. During her modeling journey, Carla discovered her passion for cooking. When she returned to the U.S., she dove into the culinary world, first as an executive chef at high-end D.C. restaurants and then as the head of her own catering company. Then Carla said yes to another risky opportunity and joined Top Chef season 5. The chaos and public scrutiny of reality T.V. challenged her culinary skills and business acumen, but it also led her on an adventure with countless possibilities. Saying yes ultimately gave Carla the freedom to express herself across disciplines and mediums as a chef, T.V. Host, actress, children’s book author, and much more. Links The Contagious Optimism of Carla Hall- Jessica B. Harris, (August/September 2018): The Untold Truth of Carla Hall -  Brent Furdyk (02/20/2020): Everything you need to know about Carla Hall, the former Co-Host of ‘The Chew’ - Tess Koman, (06/06/2018): Carla Hall - Chicago Gourmet: Carla and The Christmas Cornbread -  Simon & Schuster :
August 23, 2021
Reclaiming Stolen Recipes and Lost Palestinian History: Founder Wisdom #45 - Mirna Bamieh
How do we recover history that has been deliberately erased? And how does that past impact the present? Today we answer those questions in conversation with Mirna Bamieh a Palestinian artist focused on the politics of disappearance. Mirna was born in Ramallah, Palestine in 1983. Throughout her life she expressed and explored her identity through food and art. In 2017 she started the Palestine Hosting Society, to rediscover and share Palestinian recipes and cultural identity as a way of reclaiming Palestinian identity in the form of performance art.
August 20, 2021
A Palestinian Chef, Israeli Fighter Jets, A Wall, and the Big Other: Founder Wisdom #044 - Fadi Kattan
In times of persecution, how do the persecuted keep their culture alive? We speak with Franco-Palestinian chef Fadi Kattan who enlightens us on what it is like to run his boutique Hosh Al Syrain and its Fawda Cafe in the heart of Bethlehem. As part of one of the “oldest Christian families in Bethlehem,” Fadi provides us with a unique perspective on his experiences as a Palestinian chef and how he wishes to revitalize Palestinian cuisine by returning it to its roots. History Shows What’s Wrong With the Idea That War Is ‘Normal’ in the Middle East.  Stephanie Mulder. January 20, 2020. Ussama Makdisi, Age of Coexistence: The Ecumenical Frame and the Making of the Modern Arab World.  Ussama Makdisi. December 20, 2019. In Blind Pursuit of Racial Equality?  Evan P. Apfelbaum, Kristin Pauker, Samuel R. Sommers, Nalini Ambady. September 28, 2010. Israel-Gaza violence: The conflict explained. June 16, 2021.
August 17, 2021
#57 Building a Bulletproof Empire | Dave Asprey on Biohacking, Nepalese Coffee, and the Code to Unlocking Your Inner Superhuman
Subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive interviews and behind the scenes! When asking people what they put in their coffee, butter probably wouldn’t seem like the most popular response. For health aficionados like Dave Asprey, however, it’s the key ingredient. Founder and CEO of the multi-million dollar Bulletproof empire, Dave Asprey is creator of revolutionary energy drink, Bulletproof Coffee, and 5-time New York Times bestselling author of the Bulletproof health-book series. He is renowned as the Father of Biohacking, which uses science and technology to devise dietary and lifestyle changes for improved physical and cognitive functions. Today, Dave will map out the story of his Bulletproof Empire, starting from the roots of his family’s scientific legacy, all the way to his life-changing journey to Tibet, where the concept for  Bulletproof Coffee was born. Since its inception, Bulletproof Coffee has taken the world by storm, publicly endorsed by celebrities like Jimmy Fallon, Shailene Woodley, Ed Sheeran, and Maya Rudolph. Dave currently awaits the release of his new book, Fast This Way: Burn Fat, Heal Inflammation, and Eat Like the High-Performing Human You Were Meant to Be, which will be released on January 19th, 2021 and is now available for pre-order on Amazon.
August 13, 2021
Graffiti, Music, and the Ace of Cakes: Founder Wisdom #043 - Duff Goldman
Today we talk to Duff Goldman. He is the founder and executive chef of Charm City Cakes which has been featured on the Food Network, Iron Chef America, Oprah, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and a whole bunch more. And this business is successful because Duff is a rebel.  Starting from his graffiti days, he has defied the normal path and found a success that's uniquely him. Charm City Cakes
August 09, 2021
#82: Amanda Slavin - Meditating in Taxis, Night Life Daily Drinking, and the Search for Meaningful Connection
Today we sit down with Amanda Slavin, co-founder of CatalystCreativ; a platform where people and brands become connected through meaningful experiences. Amanda grew up in a small town where she knew everyone, she tried to optimize for popularity. Although the initial need to be popular was misguided, it led her to focus more on human connection, something she continued to pursue throughout her life. She kept this interest through a broken education system, night life, a psychedelic experience, yoga in India, her current work with CatalystCreativ, and her book “The Seventh Level.” Links From the Episode Amanda's Website CatalystCreativ Website Summit Series Website Seventh Level Website: Tony Hsieh Richard Branson Gary Vaynerchuk Good Teaching Is Not Just About the Right Practices - Sarah Gonser, 11/17/2020 Evaluating ‘No Child Left Behind’ - Linda Darling-Hammond Why It’s Harder For Women To Say ‘No’ To Extra Work - Jenna Goudreau, 12/17/2014 Do Work That Matters - Ramsey Solutions, 02/25/2021 How to Learn to Be Alone and Happy About It - Jacqueline T. Hill, 01/25/2021
August 06, 2021
How to Escape the Cambodian Civil War and Build the Most Popular Donut Shop in LA: Founder Wisdom #042 - Mayly Tao
The Donut Princess of Los Angeles, Mayly Tao was born with entrepreneurial spirit in her DNA. Born to Cambodian immigrants who fled after surviving the Khmer Rouge, family has always been the most important thing in her life. And family was also the thing that got her started. Her great-uncle is Ted Ngoy, known as the ‘Donut King.’ He helped Cambodian refugees survive and prosper in America by creating donut shops all over Southern California. This would eventually lead through generations to Mayly's innovative work at her family donut shop, DK’s Donut Bakery. Mayly and her donut shop have been an influential and transformative force in LA’s food scene, creating incredible trends and culinary creations.
August 02, 2021
#81: Marcus Bullock - Solitary Confinement, Life After Incarceration, and How a Letter Can Save a Life
Today we discover the story of Marcus Bullock: TED speaker, entrepreneur, justice reform advocate, and founder of Flikshop, a software company aimed towards helping incarcerated people connect with their families and the outside world. Growing up in Washington DC with his mother and sister, Marcus is no stranger to the shortage of resources and social capital surrounding many neighborhoods today. His early life was encapsulated by the pursuit of a single dream: the outer appearance of success. Having the means to buy a car and nice shoes was Marcus’ early vision of what success looked like, and he tried to achieve that vision through selling drugs and stealing cars. But luxury cars and nice shoes came with ramifications that Marcus didn’t expect. At 15, Marcus was arrested for carjacking and sent to prison. After two years of denial, Marcus began to imagine ending his days surrounded by cinder block walls and metal gates, until his mother’s letters ended up saving his life. Once released after an 8 year sentence, Marcus embarked on an entrepreneurial journey filled with connection, empathy, and the breaking of barriers far tougher than a prison’s walls. Links From the Episode Flikshop: Marcus’ Website: TED Talk: Discrimination Against Formerly Incarcerated People - Greg Lorentzen: Why Are Jail Phone Calls So Expensive? - Tyler Kendall, 10/13/2020: Why We Must Rethink Solitary Confinement - Barack Obama, 01/25/2016:
July 30, 2021
The Worst Pick Up Line in Silicon Valley: Founder Wisdom #041 - Myles Hunter
It's a phrase programmers around the world fear... "I'll handle the business side." But today we'll talk to Myles Hunter, founder of TutorMe, who turns that phrase on its head.  Myles is a non-technical cofounder, i.e. he doesn't know how to code, but his business was growing, and growing unsustainably. He needed someone who understood tech, but he could find anyone... until he started looking in Russia.
July 26, 2021
#80: Imani Ellis - Hosting Thousands from a Harlem Apartment, Channeling Ambition, Creating Community, and Founding CultureCon in NYC
In today’s hyper-individualistic culture, creating community is more important than ever. In this episode, we dive into the idea of creating community with Imani Ellis, founder of The Creative Collective NYC which hosts CultureCon. Imani Ellis was driven by her competitive nature and ambition as a ballerina for 14 years, becoming the first black ballerina in the Atlanta Ballet in 75 years. After quitting ballet, track took her on a full ride to Vanderbilt University where she realized her dream of pursuing work in entertainment. Through that same tenacity that drove her athletic pursuits, Ellis started work at NBC Universal in New York City, but she struggled to find her community in the bustling city. She decided to create her own space that grew into the Creative Collective and eventually CultureCon. Links From the Episode Imani Ellis Website: Instagram: Twitter: The Creative Collective NYC Website: The Creative Collective NYC Instagram: The Creative Collective NYC Facebook: The Creative Collective NYC Twitter: CultureCon Website:
July 22, 2021
How the California Roll was Stolen from Canada: Founder Wisdom #040 - Hidekazu Tojo
Hidekazu Tojo invented the California Roll, but no one knows it. Tojo was in Vancouver when he thought of an idea to attract customers. Little did he know that this idea would spread across the entire world like wildfire.
July 19, 2021
#79: Rahaf Harfoush - Burnout, the Burden of Syrian Immigration, and a Solution in the Perfect Calendar
Rahaf Harfoush is a thought leader in productivity and burnout. Immigrating from Syria as a kid, Rahaf  developed a strong work-ethic. As she developed her career, and more and more opportunity arose, she felt obligated to seize that opportunity. That's why her family came to North America! But this pursuit led to a breakdown. A fogginess that could not be slept away. Burnout. Rahaf has authored three books looking into the way technology affects us. Rahaf is a renowned digital anthropologist who knows what the rock bottom of mental burnout feels like. She's pulled herself out, and with her she's brought wisdom that she wants to share with the rest of the world. Rahaf wants to adjust modern work into something that is more symbiotic, efficient, and ultimately, better for our mental and physical well-being Links From the Episode Rahaf Harfoush: Books: The Artist’s Way: Julia Cameron: .
July 16, 2021
A World Renowned Restaurant... In a Gas Station: Founder Wisdom #039 - Hiram Mac
How does a gas station become known for the best Indian food in Los Angeles? We ask that questions to Hiram Mac, the cofounder of the Bombay Frankie Company. He gives us the story of how a world renowned restaurant can arise from anywhere. And to quote my favorite movie, "anyone can cook, but only the fearless can be great..." boy is Hiram fearless! Also if you liked this episode, email me and let me know what you think!
July 12, 2021
#78: Iz Harris - Storytelling at Scale, Processing Abuse in a Mormon Family, and Understanding an Impossible Diagnosis
Iz Harris is a D.C. based filmmaker and co-founder of Bright Trip, a video-based educational platform. In the midst of processing childhood trauma, Iz started developing her filmmaking skills while running a wedding photography and videography business with her husband, Johnny. At the same time she was confronted with her son's regressive autism when doctor's didn't even understand the term. As she searched for an answer she found that she was taking on more responsibility with childcare and that there wasn't an equal partnership in her marriage. Through many conversations, she once again found her creative drive but it wasn’t satisfied by making wedding videos and branding stories. After bingeing Casey Neistat videos, she decided to become a vlogger. In a year, she went from not knowing the difference between a blog and a vlog to having a YouTube channel with 10,000 subscribers. This channel allowed Iz Harris to develop her creative voice, and her videos covered everything from travel to mental health. After working as a producer on Vox Media’s Travel, Eat, Repeat,  Iz co-founded Bright Trip with her husband. With this new venture, Iz Harris is creating a community centered on learning and curiosity. External links: Bright Trip Website: Iz Harris personal website Iz Harris Youtube Channel Travel Eat Repeat RAINN, Rape Abuse & Incest National Network National Sexual Violence Resource Center Autistic Self Advocacy Network Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
July 08, 2021
How PETA Raided a Monkey Lab and Became a Global Sensation: Founder Wisdom #038 - Ingrid Newkirk
We talk with the founder of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, about how the organization gained global attention after infiltrating a laboratory. This lab was conducting unregulated primate testing and she exposed the horrid conditions that these animals were undergoing. She tells that story along with explaining the mission behind PETA, her life's goal, and the topic of her new book. Buy Animalkind More about Ingrid
July 05, 2021
#77: Albert Garcia-Romeu - Priests on Psychedelics, Transcendent Experiences, and the Search for Meaning | The Psychedelic Series (5/5)
Today, we’re visited by Albert Garcia-Romeu, one of the key members of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Coming from Miami, Albert grew up with a thirst for knowledge and a boundless intellectual capacity to improve. He read everything he could, and developed love for poetry and philosophy from a very early age. Those intellectual pursuits took him through a college career at Tulane University before working for the Forest Service in Montana. Venturing out into the wilderness,  Albert had meditative experiences with nature that profoundly moved him. Albert began to try and study what he called Transcendent Experiences in order to merge his love of psychology and philosophy with this moving experience he had with nature. That quest took him to California, where he started to conduct his research on these seemingly mystical events. From there, he followed his results and began to work in the realm of psychedelic drugs which had him move across the country, change his perspective, and set him on a path into the unknown world of psychedelic therapy. Links From the Episode Michael Pollan-How to Change Your Mind: Ken Wilber: Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit: Links to presentations by Albert:
July 01, 2021
How Inflatable Tanks Defeated the Nazis: Founder Wisdom #037 - Dennis Morrison
In World War II, the allies didn't have enough troops to combat the Nazis... So they came up with a weird way to scare them before they even thought of approaching. Dennis and I talk about this story and compare it to the fake it till you make it mantra common in entrepreneurial circles. We ask the question: how do we tell a compelling story while still being authentic. Check out more of Dennis on his website:
June 28, 2021
#76: Matthew Johnson - The Benefits of Losing Your Mind | The Psychedelic Series (4/5)
In this episode, we discover the story of Matthew Johnson, a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at John Hopkins University, and one of the first scientists to publish extensive research on the effect of psychedelic drugs on the brain. Specifically, how compounds like psilocybin can help cure mental illness. He is also the Associate Center Director of the Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research which recently received $17 million dollars of funding from private donors including Tim Ferriss. As a disillusioned engineering major and in the middle of a midlife crisis, Matthew’s drive to help others led him to the study of behavioral psychology. Then, as a graduate student at Hopkins, Matthew’s research took a pivotal turn towards the study of LSDs and other drugs, and to the discovery of how these chemical compounds may be the key to solving addiction and even help patients combating cancer. Now, Matthew tells us more about his scientific journey, and clues us in on how psychedelics can potentially help shape the future of mental health.
June 24, 2021
How to Avoid Jail and Tax Fraud: Founder Wisdom #036 - Charles Read
Today I ask Charles Read, founder of Get Payroll and a certified public accountant, about how to avoid tax fraud. He gives us insight into the weird world of taxes and some tips on how to navigate that world.
June 22, 2021
#75: Katie Longmyer - Standing In Front of 80,000 People, New York Night Life, and How to Curate a Vibe
This is Finding Founders, I’m Samuel Donner, and today we’re exploring the story of Katie Longmyer--a young cello player who went from nightclub doorkeeper to producing a Made in America festival with a crowd of over 80,000 people. Katie’s story is a whirlwind, taking us through her ascent in the D.C. nightlife scene to landing a gig at Warner Media, to producing events as massive as Brooklyn Electronics Music Festival. But as much as it’s a story about her, it’s also a story about her community, the people who supported her, and the people who she sought to uplift. Today’s episode is jam-packed, but before we step into the big leagues we’re going to wind back to humbler beginnings, to Katie’s traditional Southern home just outside of Washington D.C. DM me on Instagram: @samueldonner or @findingfounderspodcast
June 17, 2021
How A Bad Tinder Relationship Started Bumble: Founder Wisdom #035 - Diane Prince
Today I tell Diane the story of how a bad founder relationship at Tinder, led to one of the founders leaving to start her own company. That company would later become Bumble. Diane joins me in this conversation with years of business and coaching experience. She co-founded a business in the back of a house, grew it to $50 Million in 6 yrs and sold it to a public company and she tells us how to have great relationships with our founders and the people around us. If you are interested in finding out more about Diane, go to her website:
June 14, 2021
#74: James Andrews - Surviving Hip Hop Shootouts, Being Black In Palo Alto, and the Future of Community
In this episode, we discover the story of James Andrews, a successful NYC record label exec and entrepreneur who was integral in hip hop's rise and currently forming novel creator communities. From wayward beginnings growing up in Palo Alto to learning how to network the Hollywood scene, James’ career spans a myriad of successes. From meeting Whitney Houston and Beyonce, to the founder of Uber, James knows what it’s like to be surrounded by fame and recognition. Yet, he’s also familiar with the setbacks of being an entrepreneur, and teaches us how to persevere by placing family first, having confidence in one’s passions amidst doubts, and how to possess a keen, independent mind towards the future through the power of community. Audio Collective: The Authenticated: Recommended documentary The Black Godfather:
June 10, 2021
The First Person to Ever Try LSD: Founder Wisdom #034 - Clancey Hilkene
Today I tell the story of Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist who was the first person to ever synthesize and ingest LSD. Clancey gives his own perspective on the substances and how we can integrate intense experiences to positively affect our lives.
June 07, 2021
#73: Jonathan Moreno - Growing Up in a Psychiatric Hospital, the Bioethics of Military Experiments, and the History of Psychedelics | The Psychedelic Series (3/5)
When it comes to emerging psychedelic therapies, how did we get here and where we are going? In this episode, we dive into the historical context of neuroscience and ethical implications of psychedelic experimentation, in conversation with author and bioethicist Jonathan Moreno. Jonathan Moreno grew up on the frontier of psychotherapy. The first 20 years of his life were spent as the center of a “laboratory of ideas” surrounded by psychiatric patients and psychotherapists at his parent’s institute. His fascination with studying consciousness in treatment began there and took him on the journey to receiving his Ph.D. in philosophy, studying bioethics and military experiments, and eventually psychedelics. You will learn about the unlikely interaction of psychedelics and national security, as well as how the historical context of human military experiments contributes to our current understanding of consciousness. Just press play.
June 04, 2021
#72: Julie Holland: Psychedelics, Psychotic Breaks, and the Psych Ward | The Psychedelic Series (2/5)
Today we hear the story of Julie Holland and her road to redefine psychedelics and psychotherapy. Julie grew up a tomboy, and was super bright for her age. Her intelligence led to curiosity, and she began experimenting with drugs and alcohol at 12. This only fed her interest in the psychology of psychedelics. Through her own research, she learned how the altered mind can change how one perceives the world. She speaks of how her experiences with PCP made her realize the importance of drug policy and harm reduction. This leads up to her college years where she dove into the science of these drugs. After school, Julie worked at Bellevue and her book, “Weekends at Bellevue” is based on her experiences of working at this psychiatric ward for nine years. She saw people who were in permanently altered states and empathized with them. Since leaving Bellevue, Julie joined the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and has continued her research on Psychedelics. So join us and hear this story of how the future of psychedelics in medicine may be closer than we ever imagined. Links From the Episode Twitter: Instagram: Facebook: Audible for Weekends at Bellevue: MAPS Website:
May 27, 2021
How to Lead like Alexander the Great: Founder Wisdom #033 - Tom Kereszti
Today we tell Tom Kereszti a story about how Alexander the Great motivated his men to cross a hostile desert landscape using servant leadership. Tom is the perfect person to tell this story to because his approach to leadership comes from a lifetime of international experience. He has built and led executive teams in Fortune 500 companies in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the United States. His accomplishments include establishing global alliances, acquiring companies, leading successful start-ups, and creating brands. He also recently released a book called C-Suite and Beyond, that you can buy now on Amazon. Follow us on instagram @findingfounderspodcast
May 25, 2021
#71: Douglas George - The First To Mass Distribute LSD in America | The Psychedelic Series (1/5)
Today, we sit down and hear from Douglas George, who was one of the first producers and distributors of LSD in the US. Coming from humble beginnings in Iowa, George attended college as a physicist in Riverside before deciding he wanted to change the way that people thought about existence. Developing an interest in hallucinogenic drugs, George pushed aside his physics backgrounds and focused on producing a compound that was new to the world. Living in Hermosa Beach in Southern California, he tapped into the counterculture wave of the psychedelic experience by traveling up and down the coast handing out his own LSD. George did everything in the vain of scientific discovery as well as opening the public’s mind about the reality they lived in. Meeting Owsley Stanley in the early 1960s, George’s LSD was one of the main causes of the famed counterculture movement that sprouted up in San Francisco. George’s motivations were always scientific, but that didn’t stop him from meeting and interacting with some of the icons of the Counterculture Movement on his journey. A journey that took him to new horizons, brought existential discoveries, and changed his brain in a way he never could have imagined. Links From the Episode Paul Bindrim: Owsley Stanley: The Psychedelic Timeline: Methedrine (Methamphetamine): LSD Dendrite Connection : Grateful Dead: Alan Watts:
May 21, 2021
#70: Jacob Peters - LEGO Empires, Fake ID Rings, Tulum Mansions, and Discovering Community
Today, we’ll sit down and hear from Jacob Peters, co-founder of Launch House and Commsor, two community-led and data-driven startups. As a frequently uprooted army brat, Jacob prioritized fitting in with his peers. So, he dumbed himself down and hid his genuine interests, including math and LEGOs. He led a double life playing the part of a “cool kid” at school while secretly running a LEGO empire with the help of his family. After suffering a traumatic brain injury, Jacob finally dropped the facade and followed his authentic passions. Jacob immersed himself in the world of data science and started creating internal incubators at JP Morgan. In his role, he used the networking skills he’d developed as a LEGO mogul and the emotional intelligence he’d gained as an undercover nerd to build an authentic data science community. This authentic community served as rocket fuel for Jacob’s entrepreneurial endeavors and would ultimately lead to his startup today: Launch House. Relevant Links Community Club Commsor Commsor Twitter Launch House article on TechCrunch Launch House Twitter Brain Injury Association of America Brainline LEGO’s Adult Fandom LEGO – Turning Your Customers into Your Community LEGO and Community Building
May 13, 2021
#69: Johnny Harris - Himalayan Borders, Making Maps, Traveling with Purpose
Today, we sit down with Johnny Harris, an international multimedia generalist based in Washington DC. Johnny was born in Ashland, Oregon in 1988 and attained a BA degree from BYU. His passion and career focus aims at connecting high quality media arts with foreign affairs. He utilizes media in making complex world issues more relatable and easier to understand. Johnny’s work with in reporting on interesting trends and domestic and global stories pioneered their series, Vox Borders. He is the co-founder of Bright Trip, a video-based educational platform. Johnny is an Emmy-nominated video journalist who has spent the last 5 years reporting on and sharing human centered stories of borders around the globe. He has a passion for taking the overwhelming and the complex – and using his visual style of motion graphics and cinematic visuals to distill it into a comprehensive, relatable, and understandable message. This is an exposé on self-discovery, feeling — but not seeking validation, and exploring ones unapologetic experimental creativity.
May 07, 2021
How Dollar Shave Club Turned a Viral Video into $1B+ Company: Founder Wisdom #032 - Joseph Wilkins
Today we tell a story of how Dollar Shave Club turned a viral video into a billion dollar company. This video would usher in a new era of businesses built off of engaging sales videos. And to figure out a little more of how it all works, we talk to Jospeh Wilkins, founder of He tells us how viral videos have changed, and how we can create a viral video today.
May 03, 2021
#68: Maxwell Nee - Immigrant Pressure, Couch Surfing in Canada, and Coaching the World
Many founders love the feeling of being able to work for themselves. Today, we sit down with Maxwell Nee, founder of online coaching service High-Performing Coach, who felt that working for himself was the only option. With Malaysian Chinese parents, Maxwell recalls that high standards for himself were always present, whether he achieved them or not. After suppressing his dreams for the sake of a stable career, Maxwell came face to face with the realization that he had to take the steps to do what he loves. Join us as we learn how Maxwell explored what he truly needed from his career, and networked with people around the world to make what he wanted a reality. High-Performing Coach Website: Socials: Instagram: @maxwellnee LinkedIn: Facebook: Twitter:
April 29, 2021
How To Decrease Procrastination by 80%: Founder Wisdom #031 - Eric Twiggs
Today I talk with Eric Twiggs about procrastination and a simple trick to combat it. Eric Twiggs, is your procrastination prevention expert. He's conducted 20,000+ hours of procrastination consulting, and in that time has learned the tricks of the trade. In this episode of Founder Wisdom we give you the tools you need to get more done and be more successful.
April 26, 2021
Finding Founders (Trailer)
Let's face it, you aren't inspired when you hear about success. Real inspiration, comes from hearing someone's lowest moments, the point where they almost broke, and then rising with their success. I'm your host Samuel Donner, and on each episode of Finding Founders we interview the founders behind companies, movements, and even drug cartels. We tell their whole life story to reveal vulnerability so you can learn from victory.
April 25, 2021
#50 In the Eye of the Storm - The Puerto Rico Series (Part 1 of 3) | Nelson Colón on Disaster Recovery and Building Strength Through Community [Rebroadcast]
Update: So last week, we finished our drug dealer series and wow what an incredible experience. It was so interesting to dive into this underground world and it was awesome to see so many new listeners come to the podcast. Finding Founders is growing more and more every day and if you’d like to support us, just share with a friend or post a screenshot to your socials. It really helps. Anyway, finishing up this series reminded me of first one that we ever did. I actually traveled over to Puerto Rico to interview leaders in the community and hear how the entrepreneurial community recovered after the 2017 hurricanes. Today I wanted to do a rebroadcast of the 1st episode in a three part series on Puerto Rico. I hope you enjoy. Puerto Rico Series Part 2 Puerto Rico Series Part 3 When all is smooth sailing, community is something that we often take for granted. But when the waves get rocky, there’s truth in the saying “it takes a village” -- after all, difficult times are made easier when we know we have others to lean on. Today, we sit down with Nelson Colón, CEO of the Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Community Foundation) and Honorary Recipient of the 2014 Martin Luther King and Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” Awards for his work in social responsibility and justice. In his 20-year role as President of the Puerto Rico Community Foundation, Nelson has effectively spearheaded disaster-relief strategies throughout Puerto Rico, from community restoration in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and María, to providing critical medical response during COVID-19. Tune in now as we have a candid conversation with Nelson about the racial and socio-economic challenges he faced growing up as a black Puerto-Rican; how his upbringing in a protective, tight-knit family inspired a lifelong dedication towards helping others in need; the experiences that continue to mold his passion for community-service-oriented projects in afflicted, at-risk areas of Puerto Rico; and personal advice on how we can each foster stronger communities in times of trial through continual provisions of compassion, support, and hope.
April 22, 2021
How To Make Sure Bill Gates Doesn't Steal Your Company: Founder Wisdom #030 - Lawyer Asha Wilkerson
Today we tell a story of a battle between Microsoft and Apple. This incident would start a war between the two computer giants that would rage for years to come. After the story, I'll ask business lawyer, Asha Wilkerson, what we can learn from this and how we can apply these lessons.
April 19, 2021
#67: Frederick Hutson - How a $22M Drug Operation 🍁 Started with the Air Force 🎖️ and Led to a Venture Backed Startup 💰 | The Drug Dealers Series 💊 (Part 4 of 4)
In the last episode of the drug dealer series, we sit down with Frederick Hutson, founder of Pigeonly, a platform that helps people connect with incarcerated loved ones. Of course, such an idea was not created without due experience. Growing up around the world of drugs, Frederick knew that the biggest money makers in town were drug dealers. However, Frederick did not turn out to be your average "small town hero" drug dealer. After working in the Air Force, he grew an underground marijuana operation that would move $22 million dollars of product a year. His knack for fine-tuning and calibrating a business ended up taking him much farther than he ever anticipated. Join us as we learn how Frederick’s journey through culture shock, intense contemplation, and a desire to problem-solve led him to founding Pigeonly. Links From the Episode Pigeonly Site: Socials: Twitter: @IAMFastFreddy Instagram: @iamfastfreddy LinkedIn: Long-Term Recidivism Studies Show High Arrest Rates (Prison Legal News, 05/2019):,over%20an%20eight%2Dyear%20period. The Social Order of the Underworld by David Skarbek:'s%20The%20Social%20Order%20of%20the%20Underworld%3A%20How%20Prison,tapestry%20of%20first%2Dhand%20accounts.
April 15, 2021
You've Been Giving Criticism Wrong: Founder Wisdom #001 - Masterclass: David Rogier [Rebroadcast w/ Update!]
This episode has a little update on the Finding Founders community and then goes straight into a rebroadcast of Founder Wisdom #001 -- You’ve probably been giving your team the wrong criticism. This is the Founder Wisdom. Where we’ll answer that question by distilling advice from our founders and the books they recommend. I asked MasterClass founder David Rogier what book I should read if I’m trying to manage people more effectively. He recommended “The Man Who Lied to His Laptop" by Clifford Nas.
April 12, 2021
#66: Juan Bedoya - Trafficking $150M of Cocaine a Year, Falling to Greed, and Surrendering to Faith | The Drug Dealers Series (Part 3 of 4)
Today, we hear the story of Juan Bedoya, who grew up working on the sugarcane fields of Guatemala. Growing up in poverty, Juan was determined to never return to a life with nothing. To make this happen, he traveled to the US and turned to the drug business, which dazzled him with promises of immense riches and a carefree life. At his peak in the drug business, Juan was moving about $150 million of drugs per year. Undoubtedly, he achieved his goal of living a lavish lifestyle, but his ambition prevented him from realizing he had more than enough. Juan shares with us a story of flying too close to the sun, but while falling down receiving the chance to grow a new pair of wings. So sit down with us as Juan reveals how motivation, faith, and reflection allow for a true success story, where money is not the hallmark of a meaningful life. 1976 Guatemala Earthquake:
April 08, 2021
How To Make Sure Billionaires Don't Live Forever: Founder Wisdom #029 - Mike Kiamanesh
Today we reconnect with Mike Kiamanesh, founder of, a company creating a life extension pod. A few weeks ago, Finding Founders hosted a virtual summit on Biohacking and Mike was one of our panelists. In his panel he talked about a lot of interesting stuff, (click here for the entire live virtual summit), and he touched briefly on a really interesting part of his business: the company structure. Today we look at how a decentralized company can make sure the power of life extension technology isn't just for the elite.
April 05, 2021
#65: David Norman - From Hustling Heroin in Harlem to Graduating Columbia | The Drug Dealers Series (Part 2 of 4)
Growing up in the streets of Harlem, David Norman faced childhood trauma, drug addiction, and incarceration. He dealt heroin and even killed a man. After years of imprisonment, David never thought he would be challenging his mind and graduating from one of the world’s most prestigious universities -- until he did. David kicks off part two of our Drug Dealer series—a compilation of stories about a different kind of entrepreneur—one who demonstrates the same independence, hustle, and perseverance of our previous founders, but whose attributes evolved under different circumstances.  Sonia Sanchez poem:  Columbia Article:  Learned Helplessness:  Harlem in the 60s and 70s (in pictures):
April 01, 2021
How Pixar Deleted Toy Story 2 | A Finding Founders Mini-Episode [Rebroadcast]
Pixar had sunk millions of dollars into Toy Story 2 and it was almost deleted... Today on the show we analyze how Pixar failed and the steps they took towards recovery.
March 31, 2021
Augmented Reality, Super Nintendo World, and an Update from Mira: Founder Wisdom #028 - Mira: Ben Taft
Today we reconnect with Ben Taft, founder of Mira Labs. I first talked to Ben in the summer of 2020 right as the pandemic was getting underway. We talked about the music business, about fish bowl lenses, about crazy investments... take a listen here its full interview #29. In this update episode we cover some developments with Mira, how Ben thinks augmented reality is placed for the future, and what the story is behind his massive success with Universal and the Super Nintendo World.
March 30, 2021
#64: Ryan Longmuir - The Depression of Ecstasy, Rave Culture, Drug Dealing, Arrest, and Starting a Multi-Million Dollar Catering Company | The Drug Dealers Series (Part 1 of 4)
In this episode, we sit down with Ryan Longmuir, founder of Regis Banqueting, a catering service that raked in 1.3 million euros back in 2016. But for Ryan, business and catering go far beyond bringing in money, which was his main aspiration when he sold thousands of pounds worth of drugs at 20 years old. How did Ryan flip from selling ecstasy pills to providing a renowned catering service? It took some moments of deep reckoning, a new commitment to faith, and definitely a huge leap of faith as well. Such moments also drove him to help others improve their own lives. Ryan shares how passion and goodwill intertwined to get him out of a tumultuous and cyclical life and into one filled with meaning and love. Join us as we learn how kindness motivates entrepreneurship and can lead to triumphs over many challenges, in both life and business. Social Media Twitter: @RegisBanqueting Instagram: @RegisBanqueting Facebook: @regisbanquetingltd Regis Banqueting Site: Chasing the Dragon by Jackie Pullinger and Adrew Quicke:
March 25, 2021
How To Understand Anything... Even Bitcoin: Founder Wisdom #027 - Matthew Fernandez
Today we explain and employ the Feynman technique to try to understand complex topics. I'm joined by Matthew Fernandez, a senior editor at Finding Founders, and we try to test our knowledge of bitcoin and see, how much do we actually know and how can we improve and expand that knowledge.
March 22, 2021
#63: Keith Leimbach - A Public Firing, The Corporate Ladder, Diversifying Income, and Scratching Your Itch
What does it mean to be an entrepreneur? Is it focusing on growing one company after the other? Is it a rejection of the corporate world? After climbing the corporate ladder and serving as the CEO of several companies, Keith Leimbach sits down with us today to share what running a business means to him-- and why he chooses to run several businesses ranging from laundromats to small companies. Links From the Episode Good to Great by Jim Collins - Keith’s Podcast - Social Media Twitter: @keith_leimbach
March 18, 2021
How To Sell Out An Event Without Ads?: Founder Wisdom #026 - Maxwell Nee
Today we talk to Maxwell Nee, he built a $1M+ events-based, online coaching business that grew 300% during the COVID-19. He tells us how he did by breaking down 10 key principles. Read more on how he did it below! 10 Steps to Filling an Online Event – Without Paid Advertising
March 15, 2021
#62 Raising Millions and Trying to Keep It | Kevin Gibbon on Scaling Companies the Right Way | Airhouse
How do you make your company bigger, stronger, and more notable? Or, perhaps, that isn’t the right question to ask. After burning through millions of dollars of funding with his first company Shyp, Kevin Gibbon learned that company growth is not necessarily growth through funding or massive scaling. After working as a developer for companies like Raytheon and Boeing, Kevin Gibbon ventured into founding his own companies and currently runs Airhouse, which helps other entrepreneurs bring their creations to the forefront. Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race -- Kevin’s success has been a result of learning from massive trial and error, while maintaining the vigor to continuously forge ahead. Join us as we talk about his entrepreneurial journey of finding balance between unbounded optimism and incisive problem-solving. AngelList Venture: Airhouse Website: Kevin Gibbon Social Media: Linkedin -- Instagram -- Twitter -- Crunchbase Profile:
March 11, 2021
The Secrets of Immortality: Biohacking Virtual Summit 🧬- (LIVE EVENT 🔴)
Last week, Finding Founders partnered with expert biohackers ☕️to share all the secrets of longevity… and maybe even lead you to the fountain of youth! ⛲️Who wants to live forever? 🙋‍♀️ Time Codes ⏰0:00-0:05m — Welcome & Introductions by Samuel Donner, Host of Finding Founders ⏰0:05-0:30m — Dalton Combs, Temper Founder & CEO Topic: Behavioral Artificial Intelligence in Biohacking ⏰0:30-0:55m — Michael Kiamanesh, Founder & CEO Topic: Open Source Wellness and the Democratization of Health ⏰0:55-1:20m — Mac Davis, Minicircle Founder & CEO Topic: DIY Biohacking and Decentralized Production of Gene Therapies ⏰1:20-1:45m — Liz Parrish, BioViva Founder & CEO Topic: Longevity In Medical Tourism ⏰1:45-2:10m — Dr. Michel Poulain, Blue Zones Founder Topic: The Effects of Location on Longevity: Discovering Blue Zones ⏰2:10-2:30m — Q&A, All Panelists & Closing Remarks
March 08, 2021
#61 Finding Purpose, Giving Love | Rachel Bell on Life and Business Coaching | Pay Day with Ray Ray
Living a life defined by self discovery, personal development, and putting out positive energy, Rachel Bell fulfilled her longtime dream of helping others by becoming a life coach. While she took a fascinating route through entrepreneurship, art, and social media marketing to reach her position helping those around her, she learned how to empathetically share her philosophy with those around her. As a podcaster, hosting Pay Day with Ray Ray, and running her wildly successful business coaching course Vortex, she helps aspiring leaders take important steps towards loving themselves and others in order to get what they actually want out of life. Informed by her eclectic life experiences, from a farm in Colorado to independence across the Pacific, Rachel shares insights from her most intense memories and role models. Join us as we talk about her unique journey to her even more unique position as she shares insightful advice on everything from business management, to marketing, to living a fulfilling life.
March 04, 2021
What Does It Feel Like To Sell Your Company?: Founder Wisdom #025 - Dalton Combs
Today we are catching up with friend of the show Dalton Combs of BoundlessMind. Last time we talked to him, BoundlessMind was on the verge of being acquired, although we didn't know that at the time of the interview. Since then, Dalton has been searching for his next company, and he's been inspired Dalton to start Temper. For all those interested here's a link to his old episode...
March 01, 2021
#60 Revolutionizing Romance: Natalie Frangi & Dani Fankhauser on Religion, Sex, and the Secret to Finding Love in Cyberspace
Valentine’s Day. For couples, it’s an event defined by romantic tropes of chocolates, sunsets, and candle-lit dinners. For singles, however, it’s another reminder that those constant “swipe- lefts and -rights” have been in vain. But according to today’s featured founders, Dani Fankhauser and Natalie Frangi, finding romance shouldn’t have to be so agonizing. This episode will have two stories linked by the theme of dating. One story will follow Dani Fankhauser, someone who initially let religion lead her dating life, but after a years-long exploration of self, she recognized the areas where modern dating falls short and founded XO, a revolutionary dating app that gamifies user-matching. As we forge ahead into Dani’s story, we’ll explore the parallels between her journey to XO, and Natalie’s to NUiT. Natalie Frangi, a woman who fought her way from Lebanon back to Texas to pursue a career in Chemistry, has faced challenges in her life, and was even once held up at gunpoint. However, all of this served to strengthen her resolve. A tumultuous career would eventually lead her to found NUiT with the mission of finding intimate connections across the stars. So don’t just sit and wait! Go ahead and press play.
February 25, 2021
Why You Should Quit Books: Founder Wisdom #024 - Elise Caldwell
It's not about the books you finish, it's about the books you quit. On Founder Wisdom today, we have one of our scriptwriters, Elise Caldwell, talking about how to read more effectively. We discuss the different types of reading, and when to apply each!
February 22, 2021
#59 A Splash of Color: Jennifer Allwood on the Power of Creativity, Faith, and Marketing
Today, we sit down with creative business coach Jennifer Allwood, who aims to empower aspiring creative entrepreneurs. She has not only made a living with interior design; but she also tells intimate stories through her decor, breathing life into seemingly inanimate objects. This work goes deeper than just herself. She’s intensely religious, and views Christianity as a philosophy that not only establishes personal success, but allows her to engage and uplift a great community. As the founder of The Magic Brush, the host of the Jennifer Allwood Show, and a Christian business coach, she has taken her passion for decorating and turned it into a personal brand, reaching countless others to help them unlock their creative potential. Relevant Links Jennifer’s Website Jennifer’s Facebook Jennifer’s Instagram Jennifer’s Instagram Jennifer’s LinkedIn Fear is Not The Boss of You by Jennifer Alwood Free Resources Mentioned: → Guide to help discover what you’re gifted at → Starter pack to help turn your hobby into a business
February 18, 2021
Adapting During Covid for a $120M Reward: Founder Wisdom #023 - Ordermark: Alex Canter
Today we chat with Alex Canter, founder of Ordermark. Alex's company works to make online ordering easier for restaurants which has been sorely needed in the midst of the COVID pandemic. In this episode we cover some updates on the business since I last talked to him almost 2 years ago, and we talk about the future of the restaurant industry. If you want to check out Alex's episode just tap here!
February 15, 2021
#58 The Price Goes Up: How Andy Paul Went from Aimless Teenager to Working With Steve Jobs and Becoming a World-Renowned Sales Educator
Today, we sit down with Andy Paul, Global Sales Expert and CEO of Zero-Time Selling Incorporated. Through his two bestselling books and his Sales Enablement podcast, Andy aims to share his sales expertise with small business salespeople and through a long storied career we talk about how he went from growing up in Japan, to working with Steve Jobs, to selling $100M satellites, to eventually becoming a best selling author! Andy Paul’s Website Andy Paul’s LinkedIn Sales Enablement Podcast With Andy Paul Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps to Accelerate Every Company’s Sales by Andy Paul
February 11, 2021
How To Give Praise: Founder Wisdom #022 - Vince Del Monte
Today I talk to Vince Del Monte about the book Shoe Dog by Nike Founder Phil Knight, and ask how do we give appropriate praise? Vince Del Monte is a best-selling author, former WBFF Pro Fitness Model, and an online fitness business coach. For the past 12 years, he’s helped thousands of men transform their physiques through his coaching and online programs, while founding the M5 Movement where he teaches men how to Maximize all 5 M’s of Manhood (Muscle, Mindset, Money, Mission, Marriage).  Today, Vince is known as one of the world’s leading sales and marketing fitness authorities. Working with online entrepreneurs and business thought-leaders in his high-level 7-Figure Mastermind, Vince coaches his clients to quickly scale their businesses and take a quantum leap, both mentally and financially.
February 08, 2021
#57 Building a Bulletproof Empire | Dave Asprey on Biohacking, Nepalese Coffee, and the Code to Unlocking Your Inner Superhuman
When asking people what they put in their coffee, butter probably wouldn’t seem like the most popular response. For health aficionados like Dave Asprey, however, it’s the key ingredient. Founder and CEO of the multi-million dollar Bulletproof empire, Dave Asprey is creator of revolutionary energy drink, Bulletproof Coffee, and 5-time New York Times bestselling author of the Bulletproof health-book series. He is renowned as the Father of Biohacking, which uses science and technology to devise dietary and lifestyle changes for improved physical and cognitive functions. Today, Dave will map out the story of his Bulletproof Empire, starting from the roots of his family’s scientific legacy, all the way to his life-changing journey to Tibet, where the concept for  Bulletproof Coffee was born. Since its inception, Bulletproof Coffee has taken the world by storm, publicly endorsed by celebrities like Jimmy Fallon, Shailene Woodley, Ed Sheeran, and Maya Rudolph. Dave currently awaits the release of his new book, Fast This Way: Burn Fat, Heal Inflammation, and Eat Like the High-Performing Human You Were Meant to Be, which will be released on January 19th, 2021 and is now available for pre-order on Amazon. External Links Biohacking Definition  Bulletproof 360 LinkedIn Dave Asprey LinkedIn Bulletproof Official Website About Bulletproof Bulletproof Coffee Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel Amen, 11/3/2015 Dave Asprey Website Bulletproof Executive Press Room Celebrity Endorsements/News Coverage Compilation for Bulletproof Coffee, 1/2/2016 The Better Baby Book by Dave and Lana Asprey, 12/18/2012 The Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey, 12/2/2014 Headstrong by Dave Asprey, 4/4/2017 Fast This Way by Dave Asprey, 1/19/2021 Tibetan Yak Butter Tea, 5/24/2017
February 04, 2021
How To Set Goals & an Update: Founder Wisdom #021 - Warren James: Kevin Ramsey
Today we chat with Kevin Ramsey, founder of Warren James. Kevin's company creates merchandise for digital celebrities and he has actually seen a ton of success in the midst of the COVID pandemic. In this episode we cover some updates on the business since I last talked to him over a year ago, and we talk about the difference between lag / lead goals and how to be an effective goal setter. If you want to check out Kevin's episode just tap here!
February 01, 2021
#56 Feeding the Soul | How Melissa Urban Overcame Trauma and Drug Addiction to Help Others Live Their Healthiest Lives - Whole30
Today, we sit down with Melissa Urban, co-founder and CEO of Whole30, a movement that promotes healthy dieting  through a 30-day program cutting out foods such as grains, soy, legumes, and dairy.  A 6 -time New York Times bestselling author, Melissa has been featured in the New York Times, People, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Dr. Oz, and Good Morning America. She was also ranked #19 on Greatist’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness. After spending most of her 20s as an addict, Melissa turned her life around at 26.   With the help of her personal trainer, she went on a 30-day diet which later inspired the start of Whole30. Since then, Melissa has been working to serve the needs of her community,  focusing on helping people sustain their health for the long-term.. [trigger warning: sexual assault, drug addiction, self-harm] Relevant Links Melissa Urban’s Linkedin Melissa Urban’s Instagram Whole30 Website Whole30 Instagram Whole30 Linkedin Whole30 Facebook The Paleo Diet: How It Works, What to Eat, and the Risks - Everyday Health (Beth W. Orenstein, 12/19/2019) National Sexual Assault Hotline National Substance Abuse Hotline
January 28, 2021
Remember Anything Faster: Founder Wisdom #020 - Jim Kwik: Limitless
Today I welcome Spencer Kahn, a Finding Founders editor, on the show to talk about how to remember things more easily. I put him through a series of tests that effectively increases the amount of information he can remember! The base rule of this lesson? Tell a crazy story!
January 25, 2021
#55 Family Photo | Motherhood, Marketing, and Becoming the Most Profitable Photographer in America - The Joy of Marketing: Sarah Petty
Today, we sit down with Sarah Petty, founder of Sarah Petty Photography, a successful photography business specializing in portraiture and Joy of Marketing, which teaches photographers how to increase their profitability. She has also co-authored Worth Every Penny: Build a Business That Thrills Your Customers and Still Charge What You’re Worth and hosts the Worth Every Penny Podcast. Sarah grew up in Illinois with a love for sports and eventually played division-one volleyball at the University of Memphis, where she majored in marketing. It was during a tumultuous time in Sarah’s pregnancy that she realized the importance of freedom and flexibility to pursue motherhood alongside her professional goals. This realization drew her towards her entrepreneurial lifestyle today. Relevant Links Sarah Petty’s LinkedIn Sarah Petty’s Facebook Sarah Petty’s Instagram Joy of Marketing Website Joy of Marketing Facebook Page Sarah Petty Photography Book - Worth Every Penny: Build a Business That Thrills Your Customers and Still Charge What You’re Worth by Sarah Petty and Erin Verbeck Worth Every Penny Podcast The University of Memphis University of Memphis Women’s Volleyball For Further Study Inside Coca-Cola’s Marketing Strategy - Forbes, Paul Talbott (4/26/2019) Why Coca-Cola’s ‘New Coke’ Flopped -, Christopher Klein (3/13/2020)  September 11 Attacks - (9/11/2020)