52 Founders-logo

52 Founders

Business & Economics Podcasts >

More Information


*FINALE* Episode 52: Mickey Costa, Atlas

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -How Atlas operates on the ground, and how Mickey, who’s from New York, discovered this opportunity halfway across the globe -The challenges to building a company in West Africa, and why it was critical that the team lived there when they first were getting started -Mickey’s childhood growing up in Westchester, and why he originally aspired to become a marine biologist -His earlier forays into entrepreneurship, including a TV show entitled "The...


Episode 50: Ryan Denehy, Electric

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -How Electric was born from Ryan’s own frustrations with IT in his previous company, and why he was on the look out for hardships during that time -Why Ryan decided to start his next company in NYC vs SF, where his former company Swarm was headquartered, and the big takeaways he learned from running his past startups -Ryan’s first childhood career aspiration (which draw chuckles from me) and how filmmaking eventually inspired his interest in...


Episode 49: Ro Gupta, Carmera

Episode 49: Ro Gupta, Carmera by Crissy Costa


Episode 48: Yifan Zhang, Loftium

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -How Loftium was inspired by Yifan’s own experience when she and her husband moved to Seattle and started renting out a spare bedroom -The new market Loftium has created for home buyers, and the company’s initial traction since its recent launch -The pros and cons to growing a real estate, and fintech, focused start up in Seattle -Yifan’s parents' emigration from China, and her memories of when they purchased their first home -What Yifan’s first venture,...


Episode 45: Pete Janes, ShieldPay

Episode 45: Pete Janes, ShieldPay by Crissy Costa


Episode 43: David Rabie, Tovala

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -How Tovala controls the entire end-to-end experience of each meal, from sourcing the ingredients to creating unique recipes with its in-house chefs -David’s background in the food industry, and how he found himself creating Tovala shortly after arriving at Chicago Booth -How the advice David received from the founders of Airbnb helped him go after such a bold idea -The decision to go through Y Combinator after winning Booth’s New Venture Challenge, and...


Episode 41: Jonathan Baker, Simudyne

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -Why simulations have advanced in recent years, and why enterprises should utilize them for more scenarios than ever before -How Simudyne plans to first go after the financial services market while other sectors’ technology catches up -Why London has the best ecosystem for startups with a financial focus, even over New York, and why it’s not just due to the close proximity to banks -Jonathan’s experience teaching math after attending Cambridge, and why...


Episode 38: Mostafa ElSayed, Automata Technologies

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -Automata’s product progression and the early surprises Mostafa and his cofounder uncovered when Eva was first introduced -The most common use cases Automata sees and how companies evaluate whether a robot could be useful for its business -Why London is the ideal location to create a company, particularly for highly technical startups -Mostafa’s experience growing up in Dubai, and how living there inspired him to pursue architecture -The software...


Episode 37: Fred Stevens-Smith, Rainforest QA

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -Why Fred and his cofounder Russell decided to leave Europe and come to San Francisco to create their company -Fred’s family tradition that inspired him to think creatively about problems, even when he was a child -How Rainforest tries to incorporate diversity in its culture, and why it’s important not to reward office politics -Why working weekends doesn’t translate to more success, and why you have to always believe in your own approach -Why the main...


Episode 36: Kim & Ale, Ezza

Episode 36: Kim & Ale, Ezza by Crissy Costa


Episode 35: Charlie Osborn, Merlin Guides

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -How Charlie’s own experience trying to put in vacation time at Google inspired Merlin Guides -The value Charlie sees in the New York startup scene, and why the American market is extremely attractive to founders -How Charlie is really the perfect blend of both of his parents’ backgrounds, and why he always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur -Why Clark Kent, the journalist, not necessarily as Superman, was one of Charlie’s heroes growing up -Why...


Episode 34: Alexandr Wang, Scale API

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -The opportunity Alex saw for humans to amplify the results of machines, and how Scale API plans to act on it -Growing up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, the birthplace of the Atomic bomb, and how its emphasis on science impacted Alex’s childhood -How working at Addepar and Quora before college influenced Alex’s career, and how that led to his taking a leave of absence from MIT -The thought process behind starting Scale API, and why Alex and his cofounder...


Episode 33: Katherine Power, CMG

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -CMG’s evolution from its initial site, Who What Wear, to the conglomerate it’s become today -How Katherine ensures CMG remains close to the consumer, and why its critical to the company’s success in light of fashion’s globalization -Katherine’s early entrepreneurial endeavors that included putting on (paid) shows for the neighborhood and creating faux restaurants with her toy kitchen -Her previous aspiration to be a film producer, and why she doesn’t...


Episode 32: Sean Chou, Catalytic

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -The state of innovation in Chicago, and how the startup ecosystem has changed since Sean built his first company -Sean’s transient childhood, and the hardships he saw his parents endure as Taiwanese immigrants who tried to be restauranteurs -Why hard work is not enough to be successful, and why it’s important to spend time thinking about business dynamics in any industry -How Sean views mentorship, and the relationship that guided him to a career in...


Episode 30: Kevin Wang, Fossa

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -Who the ideal Fossa customer is, and why enterprise companies are not the only ones who care about code quality and security -The evolution from TLDRLegal to Fossa, and the opportunity Kevin saw to create a sustainable business -How attending the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy boarding school shaped Kevin’s childhood and led to his early independence -How Kevin’s parents, who emigrated from China, were the driving force behind his technical...


Episode 29: Erica Brescia, Bitnami

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -How Bitnami evolved from a side project in 2008 to become a full fledged company in 2013 when the founders saw an opportunity surrounding the deployment experience -The pros and cons to raising outside funding, and why the Bitnami team choose to wait until the point where not raising would impede the business -Growing up in the Bay area, and how having an entrepreneurial father inspired Erica’s own ventures from a young age -How Erica views the idea of...


Episode 28: Scott Norton, Sir Kensington's

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -Critical advice on how to bring new products to market, and how to find your ideal customer -Why business is fundamentally creative versus competitive -The strategy and decision making process as to why Sir Kensington’s is headquartered in New York City -How Scott’s childhood growing up in the Bay area influenced his idea of entrepreneurship -How living in Japan shaped Scott’s thinking on Sir Kensington’s flavor profiles, brand marketing, packaging, and...


Episode 27: Luke Bonney, Redox

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -100 State, the largest coworking space in Wisconsin, and how it aims to be the center of gravity for the budding Madison entrepreneurial scene -How creating seven healthcare startups made the founders realize the need for Redox, and how the team solved the classic “chicken-and-egg” platform problem -Why his parents’ jobs instilled a deep ethical compass for Luke, and why you have to do what’s right even when it’s hard -Luke’s experience bringing iSAC ,...


Episode 26: Max Lynch & Ben Sperry, Ionic

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -The beginnings of Ionic, which originated from Codiqa, a drag-and-drop tool for jQuery mobile that stemmed from the desire (and frustration) to quickly build great apps -Why the pair feels so strongly about building Ionic from Madison, and the cabin (aka garage) phase of the company -The private messaging forum / blog they created among their friends in high school (before the days of Facebook) to share poetry, stories, and updates (and gossip) -The...


Episode 25: Chieh Huang, Boxed

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -Why Boxed surprisingly has very little customer overlap with the traditional brick-and-mortar discount clubs -Why seasoned entrepreneurs go after different markets than first-timers, and how to look beyond just solving a problem -The culture behind Boxed that has made it such a publicly lauded company (see here and here), and why these values actually do positively affect your bottom line -How Chieh’s parents, who emigrated from Taiwan, managed to...