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Ready For Launch

Ready For Launch

By Ian Black
Insights into hidden challenges of launching new businesses into the world. We chat with founders before they've made it big, to hear what it's really like getting an idea off the ground.
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026 - Launching a Customer Retention SaaS Platform, with Maruti Agarwal CEO of ShopAgain
Hello and, welcome to Ready For Launch. I’m your host Ian Black. This is a show where I talk to early-stage founders about how they launched their businesses into the world. This week my guest is Maruti Agarwal, co-founder, and CEO of ShopAgain, a software company that helps e-commerce brands running on Shopify improve their customer retention through machine learning. If you’re a business finding your social media ad spending has suddenly shot through the roof in the last few years, this episode is the one for you. Among many things, we discuss: What customer retention looks like for online brands What most businesses get wrong about retention How Maruti came up with the idea for the business Listening to customers Sales tips for people who non-salespeople Finding mentors, and many more things So sit back and enjoy the show. Links Website - Twitter - Linkedin -
June 27, 2022
025 - Launching an Album, with Jake Brewer, Songwriter for Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear
Welcome to Ready For Launch. I’m your host Ian Black. This is a show where I talk to founders about how they launched their business into the world. We’re stepping away from our usual startup focus today, and entering the world of music. My guest is songwriter Jake Brewer, who has just released his first album into the world. Among many things, we discuss: The imposter syndrome of being a musician What it means to define success for yourself The role of the producer in music creation Giving up control of your art The feeling of performing on stage Making money as an artist So sit back and enjoy the show. Links Jake Brewer - Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear - Album on Spotify: Jake's Media company: Jake Brewer on  Instagram:
June 13, 2022
024 - Founding A Marketing Media Mix Modeling Platform, with Robert Palumbo and Erika Fabian of OutPoint App
Welcome to Ready For Launch. This is a show where I, Ian Black, talk to founders of early-stage companies about how they launched their business into the world, going from zero to one, and beyond. This week I’m talking with two guests - Rob Palumbo, and Erika Fabian, CEO and Head of Sales respectively at OutPoint App. OutPoint is a SaaS platform built to enable the effective allocation of paid media budgets through automated media mix modelling. We discuss: How OutPoint empowers marketing leaders to make more predictable and sustainable decisions about their ad spend What Predictive Mix Modelling is in relation to advertising Trends in digital and offline advertising Finding their first customer, and how their sales strategy will change as they grow Mistakes they’ve made along the way What the future looks like for OutPoint Site Link Email Recommended Twitter Account Dr. Julie Gurner’s Twitter -
May 30, 2022
023 - Founding a smart nutrition company, with Ari Tulla CEO and co-founder of Elo
This week I’m talking with Ari Tulla, CEO and co-founder of Elo. A brand that believes that our diet is making us unhealthy, and wants to turn your food back into medicine. We discuss: The modern obsession with Finnish names for brands Why health tech is so important in the US The impact of wearables on health The importance of dietary changes versus supplement use Testing and changing their business model Building trust as an online brands The problem with food nutrition today Find out more at:
April 25, 2022
022 - Launching the Modern MBA for Independent workers with Sam Lee, founder of IndeCollective
This week I’m talking to Sam Lee, founder of IndeCollective, a community + learning platform where independent workers can learn to translate their specialized skills into personally fulfilling careers. We talk about: The move from Full-time employment to consulting Why Sam started a second business How he developed his product through research The curriculum of the IndeCollective course How he grew his customer base Plans for scaling the product offering Enjoy the show! Linkedin Website Twitter Instagram Modern Independent Podcast
April 11, 2022
021 - Launching a cannabinoid wellness brand with Tahira Rehmatullah, CEO and co-founder of Commons
This week I’m talking to Tahira Rehmatullah, co-founder & CEO of Commons - a natural wellness brand that offers products, education, and a community of coaches around CBD usage. If you’re interested in learning more about using cannabis for health, and the growth of the legal cannabis industry, this is the show for you. We talk about: The difference between the two major cannabinoid players - THC and CBD The ever-growing world of lesser know cannabinoids How a family illness led Tahira down the path of exploring the Cannabis industry The social injustice prevalent in the growth of the legal cannabis industry The need for consumer education around cannabinoids Understanding the different types of products on offer from Commons How brand ambassadors play a crucial role in the education of customers, and the development of new products Find out more at:
March 28, 2022
020 - Launching a delicious (and healthy) Mac and Cheese brand, with Jen Zeszut, co-founder of Goodles
This week I’m talking to Jen Zeszut, co-founder of Goodles, a fantastic new Mac and Cheese brand that is all about great taste, great nutrition, great fun, and sillyness. Please enjoy this uplifting conversation about the beginnings of brand that brings joy to the world, by playing by its own rules, through my favorite food - pasta. We talk about: How to decide if you should marry your husband When to move jobs Why Mac and Cheese needed reinventing Sneaky Nutrition The pizzle of noodles and cheese Having a celebrity founding partner (Gal Godot, of Wonder Woman fame) Joy
March 14, 2022
019 - Launching a cold brew coffee business with Olivia VonNieda, founder of Kavnia.
Kavnia is sustainable cold drip coffee powered by women. Did you know that cold brew coffee is experiencing 40% year over year growth in America? No? Well, If you love coffee, this is the episode for you. I’m chatting to Olivia VonNieda about the launch of her cold brew coffee concentrate that’s recently arrived in stores in Chicago. We chat about coffee brewing techniques, the benefits of bootstrapping your startup, sustainability in coffee manufacturing, the importance of gender equity, and much more.
February 28, 2022
018 - Rebranding design studio Woke to Card79, with founder and designer Afshin Mehin
This week I’m in conversation with Afshin Mehin, founder of design agency Card79 about their recent renaming. We talk about blurring the lines between the digital and physical realms, the old and the new, his family of fortune tellers, and the creation of their beautiful NFT artwork series - the Kintsugi Upgrades. Links Email: Rough Show Notes
February 14, 2022
017 - Ian Black - Launching this podcast, Ready For Launch
We're kicking off the new season with a chance for you to get to know your podcast host Ian Black as he shares stories about how Ready For Launch came to life.
January 31, 2022
016 - Zach Laberge - The 16-year old Founder of Frenter, the SaaS Platform for Rental Businesses.
This week I have Zach Laberge on the show - a young Canadian entrepreneur with dreams of revolutionizing the way rental businesses operate. We talk about: Joining the movement of the sharing economy How he got into dropshipping at the age of 10 The key to successful instagram marketing for your pet. Finding the right team Consistently developing your network What it's like building venture backed business while you're still meant to be in school The 51% rule for getting investment And so much more. Reach our for investment opportunities or partnerships
November 29, 2021
015 - Justin Clegg - Founder of mobile commerce platform Allset
This week my guest is Justin Clegg, Founder of Allset ( We dive into why home services is an area ripe for technological innovation, and how he wants to bring the power of AI and automation to the 5 million home services businesses through their mobile commerce platform. Show notes:
November 15, 2021
014 - Launching a Direct-to-Consumer Period Care Company, with Nick Jain, Co-Founder of August
Today we're going to talk about Periods! If you've never stopped to think about why they are still considered a taboo topic of conversation, then this episode is just for you. We've got Nick Jain on the show. Nick is one half of the founding team of August, a modern period care company built for Gen Z, that's ready to redefine how the world talks about periods, and truly have an impact on a new generation of consumers. We dig into a bunch of important topics like: What Period Poverty and the Tampon Tax are, and how they negatively affect menstruators What August wants brands to do about it What the word Impact means for a new brand like August As well as diving into the research process August used to create a truly consumer-built brand, and why this process is something every business should be doing. So listen up and enjoy the show! Web - Instagram - TikTok -
September 20, 2021
013 - Launching a Digital Talent Advisory Company, with Matt Walsh, CEO of Morel and Green Stone
This week I have Matt Walsh in the house, founder of distributed experience design agency Green Stone, and newly formed digital talent advisory company Morel.  We discuss: the difference between distributed work and working from home the future of hybrid working models why businesses should treat freelancers just like full-time employees how the role of CEO changes as a company matures and why starting a business definitely isn't fun at first! Enjoy the show!
August 30, 2021
012 - Launching a Custom Footwear Company, with Braden Parker, co-founder and CEO of Casca
This week I'm chatting to Braden Parker, co-founder, and CEO of custom footwear company Casca. We had a great conversation where we dove into how Casca are working to revolutionize the shoe manufacturing process that hasn't really changed in a century. We also discuss the difficulties of hiring a team that will take your business to the next level, how to focus your product messaging for the right consumers, the ways in which phone technology will impact custom footwear, and, surprisingly, the pitfalls of trying to launch a cricket pasta business!
August 09, 2021
011 - Launching a Headless Commerce Company, with Bryan Mahoney, Co-Founder and CEO at Chord Commerce
This week we're taking a trip down memory lane with Byran Mahoney, CEO of Chord Commerce (formerly CTO at Glossier, and Co-founder of Dynamo). We discuss his journey launching multiple businesses over the course of his career, and what he's learned along the way. From his first job scrubbing toilets and cutting grass at age 13, through to the launch of his latest endeavour Chord, a commerce-as-a-service company. As well as many great throwback stories from Byran's life, we discuss: What headless commerce means The importance of business partners, The benefits of side projects Advice on pursuing venture capital Why wine is so important
July 19, 2021
010 - Launching an online community for Designers, with Danielle Thompson, founder of Design Club
This week I'm learning from the wonderful Danielle Thompson about how she's transforming her existing online community Design Club into a more focussed service called Design Match. We discuss : What it takes to become a confident designer Tips and tricks for managing your time Creating an online community that people want to engage in Avoiding the busy trap The benefits of fear, and the power of vulnerability Also mentioned on the show:
July 05, 2021
009 - Launching a #1 Bestselling book, with Charlotte Cramer, author of The Purpose Myth
This week I had a wonderful conversation with the author of the number 1 bestselling book The Purpose Myth, Charlotte Cramer.  We dive into the world of vulnerable storytelling, self publishing, and plagiarism, and the effects of ego on decision making. Listen to learn about: The three fundamental needs of humans for their careers, How to feel more purpose in your life. The importance of honesty in your writing. Keyword advice for Amazon's algorithms The value of accountability in communal pursuits
June 21, 2021
008 - Launching a London-based Design Studio, with founder Andrew Burton
This week I'm talking to Andrew Burton, founder of Creative agency Shoreditch design studio. We get into the pros and cons of running a product business versus a service business, the importance of picking the right business partners, tips for hiring outside your area of expertise, and how to approach sales. Andrew is the Creative Director & Founder of Shoreditch Design Studio. Creative agency for your next big thing. Before launching Shoreditch Design Studio, he co-founded a fitness app called Tona, which was then acquired by another company.
June 14, 2021
007 - Launching a Healthy Kids Lunch Delivery Business, with Ryan McKee, Founder of Elemeno
This week I'm talking with Ryan McKee, founder of Elemeno, a company that delivers healthy hassle-free kids lunches to Vancouver parents. We discuss what it's like to try and completely reinvent yourself and your career, while also building up a business from nothing. Topics: The benefits of an MBA Failed side hustles Benefits of customer research Reinventing yourself The slow pace of launching Having self-belief Staying nimble for the future.
June 07, 2021
006 - Launching a Luxury Watch Shopping Product, with JP Holecka, co-founder of Luxxee
My guest this week is a veteran in the Vancouver agency world. JP Holecka, founder of PowerShifter. After 12 years building digital product for clients with his team. Now he's taken the plunge to become a product founder in the luxury watch space with his new business venture, Luxxee. We discuss what it takes to find product-market fit, attract a diverse audience, and how company culture keeps talent from walking out the door.
May 10, 2021
005 - Launching a Direct-To-Consumer Wine Company, with Kendra Kawala, Co-founder of Maker Wines
My guest this week is Kendra Kawala, the delightful co-founder and COO of Maker Wines, the first Direct to consumer canned wine company, and leading premium canned wine company in the US. We discuss how it feels like to be somewhat of an outsider to the typical founder profile...developing episodic balance in your life... and the importance of making art out of scraps of yarn.
May 03, 2021
004 - Launching an agency, and turning crazy ideas into a reality, with Alexis Nicolas, founder of Brit Klik
This week I'm chatting with someone I have a huge amount of respect for as a friend, and a founder of Montreal-based agency Brit Klik - Alexis Nicolas. Brit Klik is a specialist in the Google platform Search Ads 360. He has a real passion for business, but uniquely uses that as a way to create the freedom to pursue the other aspects of his life outside of work in incredible ways. We talk about how the process of building a business really helps you believe that through hard work and process, you truly can turn your crazy ideas into a reality.
April 26, 2021
003 - Launching a Design Agency, with Allegra Poschmann, co-founder of Pact
This week I chat with the fantastically talented Allegra Poschmann about how losing the best job she ever when her company was acquired by Glossier, led her slowly down the path of creating her own agency that specialized in Direct to Consumer eCommerce. We talk about the insecurity that comes with going out on your own, the skills required to lead a team, and the important traits to look for in a business partner.
April 19, 2021
002 - How to Launch a Privacy-first Tech Company, with Pascal Barry, co-founder at Akord
This week I'm talking to designer-turned tech-founder Pascal Barry about how becoming aware of digital privacy issues snowballed into launching a business for secure, privacy-focused messaging, cloud storage and collaboration. We discuss what it's like to leave your job when you have no ideas what you're building, the importance of testing your team, hiring great people, and why no matter what happens, the business will never be a failure in his eyes.
April 12, 2021
001 - How to launch a podcast, with Tinah Ogalo, host at In Your Twentys
We chat with Podcast Host Tinah Ogalo about her journey to becoming a podcast host and getting to her 50th episode launch.
April 05, 2021