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EP 17: Every Minute Counts for This CEO

Michael Martin and the team at RapidSOS are building technology that will soon be integrated into the iPhone. When that happens, having the latest iOS upgrade could literally save your life. (Listen) Episode Summary: When Michael Martin got mugged in New York City, he gained instant and first-hand knowledge of the inadequacies of our current 911 Emergency Response System. Unable to easily dial his phone, give an accurate description of his location, or ask his attacker to pause so he could...


EP 16: What Legacy Will You Leave Behind?

The entrepreneur Sanjay Gupta made a bold career move after realizing he’d earned a great education but almost no real-world experience. Now he’s a prolific inventor and a mentor to the next generation of consumer electronics developers in the Penn and MIT networks and beyond. (Listen) Episode Summary: Sanjay Gupta spent several years getting advanced degrees (B.S., M.S. and Ph.D.) and had his work and research published more than 40 times in academic journals. Despite his renown, however,...


EP 15: Reinventing an Overly Processed Category–One Scoop at a Time

Frustrated that ice cream manufacturers valued shelf life more than taste and quality, this Stanford MBA graduate set out to freshen up an overly industrialized category. Nearly a decade later, she figured it out. (Listen) Episode Summary: Robyn Sue Fisher, CEO and Founder of Smitten Ice Cream, is on a crusade to create the "best ice cream in the world with the touch of one or two buttons." Using her love of ice cream and head for technology, this woman whom Silicon Valley Magazine called...


EP 14: Why Founders Should Avoid Outside Money for as Long as Possible

Listen to this interview before you take venture capital, angel investments, or anything more than "friends and family" money. Mike Collins, experienced founder and VC, says there's only one good reason to take institutional money for your business. (Listen) Episode Summary: Mike Collins, CEO and Founder of Alumni Ventures Group (AVG), discusses business owners and outside capital — when they should consider taking institutional money and when they should reject it. Born from his own...


EP 13: The Most Important Class You Didn’t Take

This experienced venture capitalist says you must be good at sales to succeed in any type of business. Here's TK's advice on how to become an effective salesperson and why that skill relates to VC. (Listen) Episode Summary: While many of his 15-year-old peers worked at fast food restaurants and mowed lawns to make a little money, Tom "TK" Kuegler started a landscaping company that he sold for a quarter of a million dollars during his senior year in high school. Though TK has since started...


EP 12: How an MIT Grad Is Using Old Science to Build Futuristic Technology

His product has been compared to a sci-fi device, but the founder of Consumer Physics says the technology he's using has been around for years. Now he's using VC to make it accessible to everyone. (Listen) Episode Summary: Though the product Dror Sharon developed is so innovative that it has been compared to the tricorder on Star Trek, this former farm boy says the underlying technology has been around for at least half a century — Sharon even studied it at MIT years ago. He calls his new...


EP 11: How Penn Alumni Are Profiting from Venture Capital

For this venture capitalist, connecting with former Penn classmates is more than just a social occasion. She helps Penn alumni invest in great businesses founded by fellow Penn graduates. (Listen) Episode Summary: When Gail Gilbert Ball enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania, she didn't know which field of study would hold her interest. She tried a few different areas before finding her passion in a newly introduced major called "econometrics." Now, years later, she is on the forefront...


EP 10: Finding a Recipe for Success in Business and VC

When she hit a roadblock in her career, this future VC enrolled in Kellogg’s top-tier Executive MBA Program and ended up with a successful business and a career in an entirely new industry. (Listen) Episode Summary: Mellie Chow hit her limit as a successful IT consultant and wanted a change. Unsure if she needed to develop new skills or just get into a new environment, she enrolled in an EMBA program that gave her both. Now, a few years later, Mellie is an angel investor, venture...


EP 9: Wildcat Wide Receiver Has a New Goal for Northwestern Alums

Former football player turned venture capitalist believes alumni should use their capital to build entrepreneurial ecosystems at their universities. (Listen) Episode Summary: Many graduates recall their college experiences fondly, but few strive to give back to their alma maters as much as David Beazley does. Once a Wildcat wide receiver — credited with making one of the most memorable touchdown catches in Northwestern University (NU) history) — Beazley has a new playbook to follow. He is...


EP 8: VC with “Midas Touch” Shares His Success Story

If you're interested in becoming a venture capitalist or seeking to raise venture funding, then this interview with Jeff Crowe, a Dartmouth grad and a world-renowned investor, should be required listening. (Listen) Episode Summary: Though Jeff Crowe has achieved world-class recognition for venture investing in startup companies like Lending Club, Spotify, and Uber, he didn't start investing in or advising companies until he had successfully launched and exited a business of his own. In...


EP 7: Yale Alum Exits Wall St. to Change How We Hire

When Porter Braswell heard his father deliver the tough love message that Porter would never play in the NBA, this eventual entrepreneur shifted his focus from having a basketball career to getting the best education possible. After a few years of working on Wall Street, something didn't feel right. Learn more about this Yale alum and the genesis of Jopwell, the company he co-founded. (Listen) Episode Summary: Porter Braswell, a 2011 graduate of Yale University, shares his story of how he...


EP 6: The Easiest (and Newest!) Way to Break into VC

Until now, there has been no clear path for individuals wanting a career in venture capital. Learn how this Stanford alum and VC expert is part of a mission to make both venture investing and venture careers more accessible. (Listen) Episode Summary: Spike Ventures is the ninth fund created by Alumni Ventures Group (AVG) and it is centered around the Stanford alumni network. If you're new to AVG, that means the capital comes from Stanford alumni and that the deals that the fund invests in...


EP 5: When Being an Outsider Is Good for VC

You don't have to be an expert in a field to know how to make good investment decisions around it. Bruce Cahan shares how successfully funding any pioneer economy often requires knowledge from other fields. (Listen) Episode Summary: Though Bruce Cahan has been involved in a wide range of activities throughout his career, he says that one of the most unlikely pivots he’s made is to look at how we're going to bank and finance space exploration. Given that space is a 70-year-old industry, you...


EP 4: Blockchain or Bust? The Safest Way to Invest in the Riskiest Sector

Learn how Shyam Kamadolli is making blockchain investing an accessible and easy-to-understand option for venture capital investors who want a stake in this revolutionary technology that is upending businesses like never before. (Listen) Episode Summary: Shyam Kamadolli, Managing Partner of Alumni Venture Group's (AVG) Blockchain Fund, is in a unique and specialized position. Through a series of career moves, he picked up a background in cryptography before becoming a venture capital...


EP 3: A Founder on a Crusade to Change Big Pharma

When the specialty drug prescription process delayed access to medication that her little brother desperately needed, Zoe Barry took on the system with a "bet the farm" move that could affect millions. (Listen) Episode Summary: Zoe Barry’s founder story is a vivid example of how a life experience can make a future founder uniquely qualified to tackle and solve a particular problem. When her younger brother was diagnosed with severe epilepsy and needed a specialty drug (fast), Zoe could not...


EP 2: Companies Focused on the Triple Bottom Line Get Rewarded

John Replogle, Partner at One Better Ventures, explains how customers and shareholders reward companies that are purpose-driven and focused on the "triple bottom line." (Listen) Episode Summary: John Replogle has built a career on the notion that if you care for people and the planet, the profits will take care of themselves. With a keen focus on innovative consumer goods and a resume stacked with experience leading mission-driven companies like Burt’s Bees and Seventh Generation, John...


EP 1: The Genesis (and Ripple Effect) of Alumni Ventures Group

How one Dartmouth grad is enlisting alumni to change everything you know about Venture Capital for investors, entrepreneurs, and young professionals. (Listen) Welcome to the inaugural episode of the Founders and Funders podcast by Alumni Ventures Group (AVG). This is a forum where we discuss how entrepreneurs and investors work together to build great new companies. Mike Collins, CEO and Founder of AVG, shares how he came up with the idea to start the business and how it is unlocking...