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Josh Kopelman: Founder of First Round Capital & Early Investor in Uber, Blue Apron, and Mint

Josh Kopelman has been an active entrepreneur and investor in the Internet industry since its commercialization. In 1992, while he was a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Josh co-founded Infonautics Corporation – and took it public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 1996. July of 1999, Josh co-founded, and led it to become one of the largest sellers of used books, movies and music in the world. was acquired by eBay in July 2000. In late 2003,...


Governor Ed Rendell: Rescuing Philly from Bankruptcy as Mayor

Governor Ed Rendell is a lawyer, author, and politician. From 1992 until 2000, he served as the Mayor of Philadelphia. Shortly after that, in 2001, he was elected 45th Governor of Pennsylvania, and would go on to serve two terms. In this episode, we’ll hear how he got his start in public service as Philadelphia District Attorney in the early 80s. He'll share how representing everyday Philadelphians inspired him to devote his career to Philly. We’ll talk about his time as mayor, when he...


Max Tuttleman: Fighting the Opioid Epidemic through Philanthropy and CBD Oil

Max Tuttleman is an investor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who’s focused on studying and developing cannabis products. He’s currently a fellow at Thomas Jefferson University, where he studies how cannabis can be used to treat withdrawal symptoms from opiates and alcohol, and his brand Bouquet CBD recently released hemp oil ice cream. In this episode, for the first time publicly, Max shares his story as a former opiate addict, and how a simple painkiller prescription thrust him into...


Jesse Ito: 30 Under 30 Sushi Chef of Royal Izakaya & Sushi

Jesse Ito is the Co-owner and chef of Royal Izakaya and Royal Sushi, a 2-in-one restaurant combo in Queen Village. Jesse’s claim to fame is his exclusive 10-seat omakase sushi bar, which is one of the very few restaurant experiences in Philly to get a 4-bell rating from the Inquirer. In 2017, Jesse was honored by Eater as a Young Guns Award Winner and made Zagat's 30 Under 30 list. In this episode you’ll hear how Jesse got his start as a sushi chef working at Fuji, his father’s restaurant...


Nisiar Smith: Empowering Philly Through Free Financial Literacy Education

Nisiar Smith is the CEO and Founder of The People’s Innovation Movement, a nonprofit that provides free financial literacy classes to Philadelphians. Nisiar also founded Philly Phinancial Literacy Week, which recently received a resolution from City Council making it an official annual city event. Nisiar got his start in finance by walking into a bank when he was 18 and asking for a job. He worked his way up to being a credit analyst, and when he saw the data on Philly credit scores, he was...


Lyonzo Vargas: Bringing Wellness to Urban Communities via the Global Village

Lyonzo Vargas is the CEO of GLBL VLLG (pronounced "Global Village"), an entertainment and wellness company whose mission is to redefine urban wellness by bringing wellness to minority and underserved urban communities. GLBL VLLG’s flagship event is the VLLG JAM, a monthly jam concert where the headliner is the audience. The first VLLG JAM featured only 5 people in 2016, but today, they draw hundreds monthly in Philly, DC, Brooklyn, Austin, Houston, and London. In this episode, you’ll hear...


Nicole Purvy: How She Became Better Than Success

Nicole Purvy is the founder of Better Than Success, a multi-faceted business which includes a digital marketing agency, a real estate investment league, and a podcast. She’s also the founder of Philly Real Estate Week, an annual citywide summit that celebrates real estate planning, development, and wealth building. Before founding Better Than Success, Nicole was a rising star investment banker. But she felt restless in the corporate world, and when she started a YouTube channel making...


Emily Smith: Showcasing and Preserving Isaiah Zagar's Art at Philly Magic Gardens

Emily Smith is the Executive Director of Philly’s Magic Gardens, an immersive art environment on South Street that receives over 150,00 visitors per year and showcases the mosaic work of Isaiah Zagar. After spending her early 20s as an artist in New York, Emily came to Philadelphia in 2009 just one year after the Magic Gardens opened to the public. She would get a job there working the front desk, stay for about a year, then move on to North Carolina. But, it wasn’t too long until Philly and...


Michael Lerman: Curating Film Festivals in Philly, Palm Springs, and Toronto

Michael Lerman is the Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Film Festival, and has been for the last 8 years. He’s also the Artistic Director of the Palm Springs Film Festival, and is a Programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). In this episode, you’ll hear how Michael, who was born and raised in Philly, got his start in film curation as a college student who just really loved movies. He’ll share the story of how he worked his way into programming at the world’s biggest...


Keith Wallace: Creating The Wine School of Philadelphia

Keith Wallace is the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, which for almost 20 years has offered wine education courses for casual drinkers and seasoned sommeliers alike. In this episode, you’ll hear how Keith started his adult life as a journalist in Baltimore, but one seemingly average morning commute with his fiancee would change his life forever. After spending a few years recovering, he decided to abandon journalism and move to Napa to pursue his passion of winemaking, all while...


Judy Wicks: Pioneering Farm-to-Table at White Dog Cafe

Judy Wicks is the founder of the White Dog Cafe, a restaurant in University City that she started in the first floor of her house in 1983. What started as a muffin shop quickly grew into a renowned 200-seat restaurant that was among the first to feature farm-to-table local food. In this episode, Judy will share how before starting White Dog, she and her then-husband opened Free People, a general store specifically for people under 30. The store would find quick success, but, as a woman,...


Steven Grasse: Inventor of Hendrick’s Gin and Sailor Jerry Rum

Steven Grasse is the founder of Quaker City Mercantile, a Philly branding agency that focuses on spirits. He and his company have invented tons of products and brands, including Hendrick’s Gin, and Sailor Jerry Rum, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. In this episode, you’ll hear how before settling down in Philadelphia, Steve started out in the advertisement industry by creating ad campaigns while living all over the globe. Not long after that, he would create Gyro Worldwide, an ad...


Nick Stuccio: Creating the Philly Fringe Festival and FringeArts

Nick Stuccio is the President and Producing Director of FringeArts, and the creator of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, an annual city-wide celebration of thought-provoking progressive performance arts. In this episode, you’ll hear how Nick started his performance career as a ballet dancer, and how despite the fact that he didn’t take ballet seriously until he was 18, he quickly found himself thrust into a dance career. He’ll share the moment his perspective on performance was totally...


Christopher Wink: Technically, Journalism Isn't an Industry

Christopher Wink is the Publisher and CEO of Technically Media, which publishes local tech news network and nonprofit news site He’s a lead organizer of Philly Tech Week and Baltimore Innovation Week, and in 2017 Folio magazine listed him as one of the 100 most innovative media leaders in the country. In this episode, you’ll hear how in 2008, right as the economy collapsed, Technically started as a tech blog between 3 friends who were looking to get experience...


Chrisotomos Argerakis: The Real Life “School of Rock” at Andrew Jackson Elementary

Chrisostomos Argerakis is the head of the music program at Andrew Jackson Elementary school, a K-8 public school in South Philly. With no curriculum and no funding in place when he took the job, Chris managed to crowdfund enough money to purchase 30 guitars. The kids loved it so much that some started coming to school early to play. It wasn’t too long until this group started to evolve into something bigger. That group would become a real-life School of Rock band, which plays shows...


William Tyrone Toms: Giving Resources to Every Creator at REC Philly

William Tyrone Toms is the Founder and Head of Strategy at REC Philly, a creative agency and incubator for local artists and creative entrepreneurs. In this episode, you’ll hear how Will and his cofounder, Dave Silver, would make a name for themselves throwing concerts as Broad Street Music Group. That is, until Will started to see a bigger need: artists could put on a great show, but had no idea how to network and market themselves. What follows is the story of how REC Philly would be...


Brendan Lowry: Creator of Peopledelphia and Social Media Influencer

Brendan Lowry is the founder of Rory Creative and one of the biggest social media influencers in Philadelphia. He is best-known for the Instagram account he created, Peopledelphia, which has over 85 thousand followers. He is also a part of the founding team of Curalate, one of Philly ’s fastest growing startups. In this episode, we’ll chat about his beginnings at Curalate, which originally was an “AirBnb for parking and storage” called Storably. But after that idea failed, Brendan and the...


Alex Hillman: A Founding Father of Coworking at Independents Hall

Alex Hillman is the cofounder of Indy Hall, one of Philly's first ever coworking spaces. Indy Hall today features around 350 independent entrepreneurs and freelancers. But, back in 2006, when Alex was a freelancer himself, freelancing wasn’t so common and could be pretty lonely. Alex loved the independent life, but he missed the camaraderie found in the workplace. So, he set out to find his peers. In this episode, you’ll hear how his group of fellow independents grew, and how they had the...


Lindsey Scannapieco: Repurposing Bok into South Philly's Creative Hub

Lindsey Scannapieco is the Managing Partner of Scout, an urban design collective that specializes in repurposing vacant and underutilized spaces. Their claim to fame so far is the Bok building, a giant, 8-story vocational school that takes up an entire city block in South Philly. The Bok School was closed in 2012, but in 2014 Lindsey bought the building with a grand vision - she would lease pieces of it to creatives, who would use the building’s maker spaces for their original purpose,...


Thomas Dixon: The Man with External Memory

Thomas Dixon was born-and-raised in Philadelphia, and would go on to receive a bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience at Ursinus. One day in 2010 , while he was working at CHOP towards becoming a Youth Psychiatrist, an unexpected accident would change his life forever. Thomas would suffer a brain injury and develop Episodic Memory Loss, meaning that he could no longer reliably remember specific details of things that happened before a given day. He originally turned to...