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*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 51: Christina Sass, Andela

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -How Andela’s cofounders, Christina and Jeremy Johnson, came together over shared values and vision about the opportunity in Africa -What it was like pitching to early stage investors, and why it was critical that they accompanied them to Africa to see the magic firsthand -The company’s headquarters in Lagos and New York, and why both cities have benefitted Andela thus far -Christina’s father, who emigrated from Germany, and how her parents instilled in...


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 47: May Habib, Qordoba

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -How May’s travels to Asia while living in Abu Dhabi inspired the creation of Qordoba, in addition to growing up as a non-native English speaker -Why the company is named after the historic Spanish city Cordoba during the time of the Enlightenment, and examples of how language has continually unified people -How being the oldest of eight children prepared May for being a CEO and allowed her to embrace her feminine leadership traits -Moving from Lebanon...


Episode 45: Pete Janes, ShieldPay

Episode 45: Pete Janes, ShieldPay by Crissy Costa


Episode 44: Ben Gilbert, Pioneer Square Labs

Episode 44: Ben Gilbert, Pioneer Square Labs 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 42: Carolyn Witte, Tia

In this episode, you’ll hear about: -The opportunity Tia sees in the market for women’s health, and why the company is focused on millennial women -Carolyn’s perspective on raising funding as a female founder of a women’s healthcare company -How Tia is a hybrid of both her parents, particularly her mother, whom she grew up attending Planned Parenthood meetings with -Where the name “Tia” comes from, and how Carolyn and her team thought of the entire persona behind “her” -The grand vision...


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 40 - Jack Altman, Lattice

Episode 40 - Jack Altman, Lattice by Crissy Costa


Episode 39: Mantas Gribulis, Accelerated Dynamics

Episode 39: Mantas Gribulis, Accelerated Dynamics by Crissy Costa


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...


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