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Preview: From Scratch

From Scratch

A Show about the Entrepreneurial Life

Last Build Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2018 02:15:55 +0000


Tristan Walker

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 22:00:28 +0000

Walker & Company makes beauty and health products for people of color. Prior, Tristan was the first African American entrepreneur in residence at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He is also the founder of Code2040, a program that connects Black and Latino coders with Silicon Valley startups for summer internships. Tristan speaks with Jessica […]

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Peter Manning

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 16:00:12 +0000

Peter Manning launched his eponymous clothing company to focus on men 5’8″ and under. Prior to starting the company in 2012, Peter was a Tony Award winning theatrical producer. Peter speaks with Jessica about his career shift– and the sartorial needs of this segment of the male population— from scratch. Listen to the interview

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Jason Ackerman

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 22:00:17 +0000

Fresh Direct is an online grocer that disrupted the traditional food supply chain by sourcing food where it’s produced and delivering it to consumers without going through additional retailers. Fresh Direct launched in 2002 from its headquarters in a former paper plant in Long Island City, Queens. Jason speaks with Jessica about how he launched […]

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Coss Marte

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 16:00:40 +0000

ConBody is an exercise program that Coss developed while he was in prison for selling drugs. Coss lost 70 pounds in six months by working out in his 9’x6′ cell. Con body is located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and also offers classes online for those who want prison-style workouts from the solitary […]

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Dan Widmaier

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 22:00:04 +0000

Bolt Threads is a materials innovation company. Using proprietary technology and revolutionary bio-engineering concepts, Bolt Threads seeks to deliver high-performance materials focused on sustainability. Their first project is spider silk, using the DNA of a spider’s silk to manufacture clothes. Dan speaks with Jessica about how he is innovating new materials from nature, from scratch. […]

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Essie Weingarten

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 21:00:36 +0000

Essie started her eponymous brand in 1981 with $10,000 after working in the hosiery business. When Essie launched, there were very few companies making nail polish, and nail salons were rare. Essie nail polish is now available in roughly 25,000 salons in more than 100 countries. The company was bought by L’Oreal in 2010. Essie […]

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Andrew Rosen

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 22:00:47 +0000

Andrew launched Theory, a contemporary clothing company, in 1997 with co-founder Eli Tahari. Theory used the stretchy fabric lycra to create a more modern, slender look initially for young professional women. Theory was sold in 2003 to the Japanese company Fast Retailing and IPO’ed in 2005. In addition to his role at Theory, Andrew has […]

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Jon Oringer

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 16:00:19 +0000

Shutterstock is an online marketplace for photos, graphic images, video clips and music. The content is crowdsourced, with photographers, artists and other contributors uploading their content in exchange for a percent of revenue when their work is purchased. Jon started Shutterstock in 2003, and the company went public in 2012. Jon speaks to Jessica about […]

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Mike Krieger

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 22:00:44 +0000

Instagram is a photo sharing app that was released through the Apple App Store in October, 2010 and reached one million users in just three months. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for one billion dollars. Mike and his partner, Kevin Systrom, are both graduates of Stanford University. Mike speaks with Jessica about how he launched […]

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Jessamyn Rodriguez

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 16:00:58 +0000

Hot Bread Kitchen is an organization that teaches immigrant women to bake artisanal breads from their home country. HBK provides culinary and management training and english classes to these women who have come to New York City from countries including Bangladesh, Mexico, and Morocco, among others. HBK’s breads are available at select grocery stores including […]

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Fred Bass

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 22:00:13 +0000

Strand Book Store in New York City was founded by Fred’s father Benjamin in 1927. Fred was born in 1928 and has been working in the family business since he was thirteen years old. The Strand has roughly 2.5 million used, rare, and new books—the equivalent of roughly 18 miles of books. Fred spoke to […]

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Mark Ramadan

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:00:34 +0000

Sir Kensington’s is a condiment company that sells ketchup, mayo, mustard, etc. Mark and his partner Scott tried to create a gourmet alternative to Heinz and started tinkering with recipes in their off-campus apartment while they were students at Brown University. Unilever acquired the company in April, 2017. Mark speaks with Jessica about how he […]

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Luis von Ahn

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 22:00:54 +0000

Luis is an inventor and computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon. He is one of the creators of CAPTCHA, a system that allows websites to determine whether you’re a human or a computer. CAPTCHAs are wavy, distorted words that people need to type out when they’re submitting a form to a website. Luis’ company ReCAPTCHA […]

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Jonathan Cedar

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 16:00:25 +0000

Biolite is a company that produces clean, portable stoves for cooking off the grid in developing countries as well as for camping. The stove reduces toxic smoke emissions by 90 percent by using its own heat waste to generate energy. Biolite is targeting a global public health challenge of smoke pollution caused by cooking over […]

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Fabrice Penot

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 22:00:41 +0000

Le Labo is a perfume company that launched on Elizabeth Street in New York City in 2006. Le Labo perfumes are prepared on the spot for the client in each store, and the brand is appreciated for its minimalist peeled-back aesthetic. Le Labo was bought by Estee Lauder in 2010. Fabrice speaks with Jessica about […]

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Sam Goldman

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 16:00:28 +0000

One third of the world population does not have access to reliable electricity. D.light sells solar lighting and power to consumers in developing countries. The company’s lamps are healthier, cleaner, and cheaper than the traditional kerosene lamp alternatives. Sam speaks with Jessica about how he launched d.light, from scratch. Listen to the interview

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Mark Morris

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 22:00:53 +0000

Mark started the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) in 1980. Headquartered in Fort Green, Brooklyn, the company is on tour more than 20 weeks per year. MMDG collaborates with leading artists, including the cellist Yo Yo Ma, the pianist Emanuel Ax, the designer Isaac Mizrahi, and the dancer Baryshnikov. Mark speaks with Jessica about how […]

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Chris Barton

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 16:00:01 +0000

Shazam is an app that identifies the music or TV show around you simply by holding up your phone to the sound. Shazam was one of the first apps available in the Apple app store in 2008. Now, a hundred million people per month use the service. Chris speaks with Jessica about how he launched […]

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Andrew Cherng

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:00:17 +0000

Panda Express is an American Chinese food chain with 2,000 restaurants located in airports, malls, universities, military bases, amusement parks, among other locations. Andrew started Panda Express with his wife Peggy in 1983. Panda’s first restaurant was located in a mall in Glendale, California. Andrew speaks with Jessica about how he built Panda Express, from […]

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Fadi Ghandour

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:00:58 +0000

Fadi Ghandour is one of the leading entrepreneurs of the Middle East. Fadi and his family moved from Lebanon to Jordan where his father eventually became head of Royal Jordanian Airlines. Adopting his father’s business sense and knowledge of the aviation space, Fadi recognized and filled the need for dependable logistics transportation and delivery services […]

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Scott Harrison

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:00:26 +0000

charity: water provides clean water to communities in developing countries. Scott launched charity: water in 2006 after raising $15,000 from his friends at his 31st birthday party. Prior to launching charity: water, Scott was a night club promoter, of course. Scott speaks with Jessica about how he launched charity: water, from scratch. Listen to the […]

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Philip Krim

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:00:19 +0000

Casper is a company focused on sleep. Casper’s leading product is its mattress, which can be ordered online and delivered in a box, sometimes within hours if you live in New York City. Casper makes one type of mattress for all consumers, believing that more choice does not mean more comfort. Philip speaks with Jessica […]

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Jo Malone

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 22:00:14 +0000

Jo Malone is a fragrance entrepreneur. She launched Jo Malone London in a retail shop in London in 1994. The company was bought by Estee Lauder in 1999. Jo launched her next company, Jo Loves, in 2011 after a five year hiatus from the fragrance industry. Jo is the author of Jo Malone: My Story. […]

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Orion Hindawi

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 16:00:42 +0000

Tanium is a cybersecurity company that focuses on providing internet safety for the US government and Fortune 500 companies. Clients include Amazon, Target, Best Buy and the Department of Defense. Orion started Tanium with his father David. Orion speaks with Jessica about how he launched Tanium, from scratch. Listen to the interview

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John Zimmer

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:00:43 +0000

Lyft is a transportation network company with a peer-to-peer mobile app that enables passengers to request rides with their smartphones. Prior to starting Lyft, John co-founded Zimride in 2007, a carpooling ride-share company available predominantly in college communities. Zimride was sold to Enterprise Rent-A-Car in 2013. Lyft is available across the United States and through […]

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Ayah Bdeir

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 16:00:54 +0000

littleBits is a hardware company that aims to put the power of electronics in everyone’s hands. The company sells electronic modules that snap together with magnets, making them accessible to both adults and children. Ayah earned a degree in computer engineering from the American University in Beirut, Lebanon and has a Masters from the MIT […]

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Brendan Kennedy

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 22:00:43 +0000

Privateer is a private equity firm focused on making investments in the cannabis industry as the legalization of marijuana continues throughout the United States. Some of Privateer’s portfolio companies include Leafly, a user-generated reviews website for all things cannabis related; Tilray, a producer of medical cannabis in British Columbia, Canada; and Marley Natural, a global […]

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Ethan Brown

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:00:21 +0000

Beyond Meat makes meat using plant protein instead of animal protein. The goal is to make a healthier product that looks, tastes, feels, and smells like chicken or beef using fewer natural resources. Ethan speaks with Jessica about how he launched Beyond Meat, from scratch. Listen to the interview

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Michael Dubin

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 16:00:34 +0000

Dollar Shave Club is a membership club for men’s grooming products. The company started delivering razors in 2011 for less than $10 per month. DSC now offers a range of bathroom products from hair gel to body cleanser. Michael speaks with Jessica about how he started DSC, from scratch. Listen to the interview

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Patrick Collison

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 22:00:05 +0000

Stripe is a financial software company that helps businesses manage their online and mobile transactions. Patrick started Stripe in 2009 when he was 21 years old with his younger brother, John. He is originally from Dromineer, Ireland, which has a population of roughly 70 people. Patrick speaks with Jessica about how he launched Stripe, from […]

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Scott Moody

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 16:00:46 +0000

AuthenTec makes fingerprint sensors that could unlock mobile phones and computers. AuthenTec was sold to Apple in 2012 for $356 million, and the fingerprint sensor first appeared on the iPhone 5s in 2013. Scott speaks with Jessica about how he launched AuthenTec, from scratch. Listen to the interview

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Bertha González Nieves

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 16:00:27 +0000

Casa Dragones is a luxury sipping tequila, made from 100% blue agave. Bob Pittman, founder of MTV, is Bertha’s partner. Madonna, Martha Stewart, Oprah, and Le Bernadin Chef Eric Ripert are among Casa Dragones’ celebrity fans. The first batch of Casa Dragones, about 12,000 bottles, was launched in 2009. Bertha speaks with Jessica about how […]

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Neil Blumenthal

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 22:00:05 +0000

Warby Parker is an online eyeglass retailer that sells low cost vintage inspired glasses.  For each pair sold, Warby Parker provides a pair of glasses to low income people in more than 36 countries through non-profit partners like VisionSpring.  VisionSpring trains female entrepreneurs to give eye exams and sell glasses in their communities.  Neil co-founded […]

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Dr. Robert Langer

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 21:00:22 +0000

Dr. Langer is a chemical engineer who has pioneered the fields of drug delivery and tissue engineering. His lab at MIT receives roughly $10 Million in annual grants and has 100 researchers. Dr. Langer has helped to launch close to 30 start-ups, and his lab’s innovations have been licensed or sublicensed by 250 companies. Dr. […]

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AB Short

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 16:00:00 +0000

MedShare is an organization that redistributes surplus medical equipment to hospitals in the developing world. These supplies include surgical instruments, gloves, stethoscopes, sutures, x-ray machines, wheelchairs, etc. AB started MedShare in 1998 in Atlanta, Georgia. He is originally from Mississippi. AB speaks with Jessica about how he built MedShare, from scratch. Listen to the interview

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Emily Weiss

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 16:00:11 +0000

Glossier is an online beauty company that launched on Instagram in 2014. Emily is also the founder of Into the Gloss, an online community dedicated to beauty. Visitors get tips on skin, hair, makeup, and learn the beauty routines of leading members of the cosmetic and fashion industries. Emily speaks with Jessica about how she […]

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Gary Goldberg

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 22:00:00 +0000

Gary Goldberg was a producer and writer for television and film. His TV sitcoms included the 1982 hit show Family Ties, starring Michael Fox, as well as Brooklyn Bridge and Spin City. Gary was the author of the memoir Sit Ubu Sit. Ubu Productions, founded in 1981, was named after his black labrador retriever Ubu. […]

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Uri Levine

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 22:00:56 +0000

Waze is a crowd sourced traffic navigation app. Drivers share real-time traffic and road information to help other users on the same route. Uri founded Waze in Israel in 2007 and the company was sold to Google in 2013 for $1.1 Billion. Uri is also the founder of FeeX, which also uses crowd sourced information— […]

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David Kelley

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:00:18 +0000

IDEO is a global design firm that takes a human-centered approach to innovation. IDEO has helped to innovate products including Apple’s first computer mouse in 1980, the first stand-up toothpaste for Procter and Gamble, surgical tools for Medtronic, and furniture for Steelcase. The company also helps governments and social organizations innovate internationally. David is the […]

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Andy Dunn

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 22:00:06 +0000

Bonobos is an e-commerce company that sells men’s clothing. Bonobos started off with the goal of selling better fitting pants for men in 2007 and has expanded to include all type’s of men’s apparel. Bonobos was acquired by Walmart in 2017, after this interview was recorded. Andy speaks with Jessica about how he built Bonobos, […]

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Mick Mountz

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 22:00:54 +0000

Kiva Systems is a mobile robotics company that automates the warehouse fulfillment process.  Kiva robots deliver inventory shelves to stationary human operators who then pick and pack the product. Mick started Kiva Systems in 2003, and the company was acquired by Amazon for $775 Million in Spring, 2012. Customers include and Zappos (both owned […]

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Greg Lambrecht

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 22:00:10 +0000

Coravin produces a device that accesses wine without removing the cork. Through a medical grade needle, the Coravin System extracts a portion of the wine and replaces it with argon gas. Greg is also a medical device inventor who founded Intrinsic Therapeutics, a company focused on spinal disorders. Greg is a graduate of MIT and […]

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Jay Kimmelman

Thu, 25 May 2017 22:00:22 +0000

Bridge International Academies is a private network of nursery and primary schools educating the poorest students in developing countries including Kenya, Uganda and India. Bridge charges families roughly six dollars per month for a pupil to attend school and uses economies of scale to keep costs low across its more than 400 academies. Jay speaks […]

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Jonathan Bush

Thu, 18 May 2017 22:00:09 +0000

athenahealth is helping to build the internet architecture for the healthcare industry. It is a cloud based software enabled company that helps physicians manage patients’ electronic medical records, among other services. The company was initially focused on childbirth services in San Diego before transitioning into a digital management company for the healthcare industry. Jonathan speaks […]

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Nolan Bushnell

Thu, 04 May 2017 22:00:15 +0000

Nolan is considered one of the pioneers of the video game industry.  Nolan developed the first coin operated game (Computer Space), as well as Atari’s popular debut game, Pong.  Nolan also founded Chuck E. Cheese’s, a game centric restaurant chain.  He is the author of Finding the Next Steve Jobs.  He and his partner Al […]

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Skip Bennett

Thu, 04 May 2017 16:00:14 +0000

Island Creek Oysters supplies oysters to more than 400 chefs across the United States. Restaurants that serve its oysters include Thomas Keller’s Per Se and French Laundry, the Eastern Standard in Boston, and the Oyster Bar in New York’s Grand Central Station. The company sells roughly 120,000 oysters per week, and close to 6 million […]

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Jake Wood

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 22:00:53 +0000

Team Rubicon is an organization comprised of former veterans who apply their military experience to emergency situations, working as first responders internationally. Jake served in the military, in Iraq and Afghanistan, before returning to civilian life. He started Team Rubicon initially in response to the earthquake in Haiti. Jake speaks with Jessica about how he […]

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Brian Liu

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:00:29 +0000

LegalZoom is an online service that provides legal documents and solutions for consumers and small businesses. The company helps visitors form corporations, file patents, trademark a name, create a living trust, etc. without the fees associated with hiring a lawyer. Brian speaks with Jessica about how he launched Legal Zoom, from scratch. Listen to the […]

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Charles Best

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 22:00:55 +0000

DonorsChoose is an online philanthropic marketplace that connects citizen philanthropists— members of the public– to public school teachers who request supplies for their classroom projects across the United States. Charles started DonorsChoose in 2000 while he was a public school teacher in the Bronx facing his own shortage of supplies for the projects he wanted […]

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Daniel Lubetzky

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 22:00:45 +0000

KIND is a food company that produces sweet and savory bars with whole nuts, spices, and fruit, among other products. KIND is sold in a diverse array of locations including Whole Foods, Walmart, convenience stores and newspaper stands. Daniel launched KIND in 2003. Daniel is also the founder of PeaceWorks, which sells Mediterranean spreads. PeaceWorks […]

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Robert Hammond

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 22:00:24 +0000

Friends of the High Line is the organization that pioneered the transformation of an abandoned elevated train line into a public space about 1.5 miles long on Manhattan’s west side in New York City. Robert and his Co-Founder Joshua David started the organization after attending a community board meeting to protest the High Line’s demolition […]

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Peter Diamandis

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 22:00:33 +0000

The XPrize Foundation drives innovation through competitions with the hopes of improving the human experience. Its prizes are focused on bold yet achievable projects, ranging from space exploration to the human genome. The first prize of $10 Million was awarded in 2004 to creators of the first piloted space craft. Peter is the co-author of […]

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Drew Houston

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 22:00:25 +0000

Dropbox is a file sharing and personal data storage company that allows users to access their content (Microsoft Word documents, photos, videos, etc.) from any of their devices. Prior to starting Dropbox, Drew started an online SAT prep company called Accolade (and yes, he scored 1600 on his SAT). Drew speaks with Jessica about how […]

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Mario Schlosser

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 16:00:42 +0000

Oscar Health is focused on keeping health insurance simple. The company helps users connect directly to doctors, get prescriptions, and find insurance plans that are easier to navigate. Mario speaks with Jessica about how he is bringing innovation to health insurance, from scratch. Listen to the interview

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Martine Rothblatt

Thu, 29 Dec 2016 22:00:29 +0000

Martine is a pioneer in the satellite industry, launching companies including Geostar, PanAmSat, and Sirius Satellite Radio. She also founded United Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company focused on cardiopulmonary disorders. In 2013, she became the highest paid female CEO in America. Martine is a helicopter pilot and a parent of four children. She also used to […]

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Gary Kremen

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 21:00:08 +0000

Gary is a serial entrepreneur who launched, the online dating service, in 1993. A host of other online matchmaking personals companies have hatched as a result of Gary’s innovation. Gary also registered a number of lucrative domain names in the early days of the internet including,, and He was also the […]

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Naif Al-Mutawa

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:00:45 +0000

Naif is the creator of The 99, a comic series that features superheroes based on Islamic archetypes. Coming from a background in clinical psychology, Naif earned his PhD and aided war victims with post traumatic stress disorder. Deciding to take a different path, Naif went to business school and developed an idea that would eventually […]

Joan Ganz Cooney

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 22:00:17 +0000

Since the 1970s, The Children’s Television Workshop—now called the Sesame Workshop—intended to help low-income children become better prepared for school by using television as a tool. The Sesame Workshop’s shows—including Sesame Street, The Electric Company, 3-2-1 Contact—ended up being much more far reaching, teaching and entertaining children from all backgrounds, internationally. Jessica speaks with television […]

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Ian Falconer

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 22:00:37 +0000

Ian is the author and illustrator of Olivia, a children’s book series about a pig. His first book, initially a gift for his niece Olivia, was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 2000. Ian is a set and costumer designer for opera and dance, as well as the creator of more than 30 covers for The […]

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Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 16:00:24 +0000

From joining gyms to taking Yoga classes, finding a workout that was both effective and satisfying did not come easily to Elizabeth and Julie. Unable to discover a cardio program that motivated and inspired (as well as burned calories), Julie and Elizabeth set out to create a new kind of routine. Fusing elements of indoor […]

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Dwight Merriman

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 16:00:59 +0000

MongoDB—an open source database company that focuses on helping companies manage their data—is just one of the several companies that Dwight has successfully launched. He is also the co-founder of Doubleclick, the ad serving platform (acquired by Google for $3.1Bn); Gilt Groupe, the online fashion company; Business Insider, the news web platform, among others. Dwight […]

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Maguy Le Coze

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 22:00:05 +0000

As a teenager, Maguy Le Coze and her brother Gilbert were introduced to the culinary life while helping their parents in their hotel restaurant in Brittany, France. But staying in the French countryside was not for her. Maguy and Gilbert opened Le Bernardin first in Paris, and later in New York City in 1986. Le […]

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Daphne Koller

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 22:05:39 +0000

Coursera offers online courses to the public through partnerships with leading universities internationally. Coursera was launched in 2012 and reached its first one million users faster than Facebook or Twitter. Coursera is one of a number of companies offering massive open online courses– or MOOCs– to address a growing global population and the rising costs […]

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Arianna Huffington

Thu, 14 Jul 2016 16:00:13 +0000

Arianna launched the Huffington Post, the online media platform, in 2005. The company was acquired by AOL in 2011 and was the first online-only news organization to win the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2012. Arianna has written more than a dozen books on topics including feminism, Maria Callas, Picasso, and Greek mythology. Her […]

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Lyndon Rive

Thu, 07 Jul 2016 16:00:52 +0000

SolarCity is a clean energy company that sells solar energy to consumers.  SolarCity has installed solar panels for companies including Walmart, Intel, and eBay, among others. Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind PayPal, Tesla electric cars and SpaceX, is Lyndon’s cousin and the company’s chairman.  Lyndon founded the company with his brother, Pete, in 2006. SolarCty went […]

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Dan Yates

Thu, 30 Jun 2016 16:00:39 +0000

Opower is a software company focused on energy efficiency. Opower works with utilities to monitor how much energy a consumer uses and gives households and businesses incentives to lower their consumption. The idea is that through the use of behavioral science techniques such as peer proof, people will feel compelled to consume energy more responsibly. […]

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Bunker Roy

Thu, 02 Jun 2016 16:00:12 +0000

Despite his elite background in India, Bunker Roy chose an unconventional path dedicating his life to educating India’s impoverished population. Influenced by Ghandi’s approach toward self reliance at the village level, the Barefoot College is an organization that teaches practical skills including solar engineering, architecture and water purification, to mostly illiterate women and men. Upon […]

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Zainab Salbi

Thu, 19 May 2016 22:00:04 +0000

Zainab Salbi grew up in Iraq with close ties to Saddam Hussein. Her father was Saddam’s personal pilot, causing her family to be victims of psychological abuse by the dictator. When Zainab was living in the United States as a young adult, she was again involved in an abusive relationship. Her understanding of women in […]

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Fred Swaniker

Thu, 12 May 2016 16:00:06 +0000

African Leadership Academy (ALA) is an institution focused on developing Africa’s next generation of leaders. ALA provides practical leadership education, networking and mentoring opportunities for its students, as well as financial incentives to remain on the African continent. Fred started ALA when he was 27 years old. Fred speaks with Jessica about how he launched […]

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Jack Dorsey

Thu, 14 Apr 2016 22:00:29 +0000

Jack is a serial entrepreneur who has started two companies — Twitter and Square — that, on the face of it, seem entirely different. Twitter is a social networking service; Square is a mobile payments company. But Jack believes that their shared purpose is to make each of their related tasks — communicating and transacting […]

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Tony Fadell

Thu, 31 Mar 2016 20:00:09 +0000

Nest Labs is focused on helping to create the next-generation home by making energy-saving smart digital assistants. Tony calls Nest’s first product, the Nest Learning Thermostat, “a smartphone in disguise.” Prior to launching Nest, Tony worked at Apple where he led the team that developed the iPod and iPhone. He was a special advisor to […]

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Vinnie Bharara and Marc Lore

Thu, 03 Mar 2016 22:00:22 +0000

Marc and Vinnie have been close friends since they were elementary school classmates in New Jersey. Mark and Vinnie spent their earlier careers in finance and law respectively, before becoming business partners in their late twenties. In addition to, the online retail site specializing in baby products, they have started a number of other […]

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Brad Katsuyama

Thu, 11 Feb 2016 22:00:45 +0000

IEX is an alternate trading platform whose mission is to ensure fair trading in the US equity capital market system. IEX was launched specifically to counter the behavior of high frequency traders who take advantage of the information arbitrage made possible by electronic trading. Prior to starting IEX, Brad worked at Royal Bank of Canada […]

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Thomas Keller

Thu, 21 Jan 2016 22:00:57 +0000

Chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller bought the French Laundry, a restaurant in Napa Valley California, and turned it into one of the leading fine dining establishments in the world.  The French Laundry and Per Se, located in the Time Warner Center in New York City, have both been awarded three Michelin Stars.  Thomas has won […]

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Yancey Strickler

Thu, 05 Nov 2015 22:00:07 +0000

Have you ever had a creative project you were eager to get off the ground but you didn’t have the funding to make it happen? Yancey Strickler, co-founder of Kickstarter, has helped to develop an online solution that involves the crowd’s participation. Kickstarter connects artists and innovators with potential funders who simply learn about projects […]

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Devi Shetty

Thu, 13 Aug 2015 22:01:42 +0000

“Hands which help are better than the lips that pray” are the words that hang in Dr. Devi Shetty’s office with a picture of Mother Theresa, a former patient of his. Dr. Shetty is a cardiac surgeon who pioneered low cost cardiac surgery for India’s poor population. Dr. Shetty founded the Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital in […]

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Bre Pettis

Thu, 09 Jul 2015 22:00:07 +0000

Bre co-founded Makerbot Industries in 2009 after working as a public school teacher in Seattle, Washington. Makerbot makes 3-D printers that make actual objects. Instead of producing ink on paper, a Makerbot makes items ranging from bottle openers and toys to homes for hermit crabs(!). Bre talks to Jessica about how he launched Makerbot Industries, […]

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Jeremy Stoppelman

Thu, 18 Jun 2015 22:00:43 +0000

Yelp provides user-generated reviews of local businesses through its website and mobile app. Its contributors provide their opinions on a variety of businesses, ranging from clothing stores to restaurants. Prior to launching Yelp, Jeremy worked at Paypal. Yelp went public in 2012. Jeremy speaks with Jessica about how he launched Yelp, from scratch. Listen to […]

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Rob Kalin

Thu, 11 Jun 2015 22:00:39 +0000

Rob Kalin initially started Etsy—the online marketplace for handmade goods—as a way to sell his own furniture in 2005. The company has become a vehicle for more than one million artisans who sell their products—ranging from knit-wear to musical instruments to clocks—through the site. Rob speaks with Jessica about how he built Etsy, from scratch. […]

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Rodney Brooks

Thu, 28 May 2015 22:00:21 +0000

Dr. Rodney Brooks is the co-founder of Rethink Robotics, a company that makes robots for the manufacturing industry. Rethink’s first robot, Baxter, was introduced in October 2012 with the goal of increasing US manufacturing productivity. Prior to Rethink, Dr. Brooks co-founded iRobot, which makes robots for the consumer and defense industries. iRobot’s first consumer product […]

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Darrell Cavens

Thu, 28 May 2015 16:00:14 +0000

Zulily is an e-commerce company focused on products for mothers and their children. The company offers daily flash sales of boutique and leading brands at discounted prices. Darrell launched Zulily in 2009 with Mark Vadon, the founder of the online diamond merchant Blue Nile. Darrell speaks with Jessica about how he launched Zulily, from scratch. […]

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David Karp

Thu, 07 May 2015 22:00:09 +0000

David developed an interest in computer programming when he was 11 years old. Instead of finishing high school he started working, and innovating, in the online community. Tumblr is a leading micro blogging and social media tool where creators can upload images, video, audio clips and bursts of text. The site– with more than 50 […]

Media Files:

Jeffrey Hollender

Thu, 05 Feb 2015 22:00:11 +0000

Jeffrey Hollender set out to build a company that was both profitable and environmentally sustainable. Seventh Generation makes cleaning and sanitary products that focus on resource conservation and eco-friendly business practices.  Jeffrey is the author of several books and an advocate of corporate and environmental responsibility. Jeffrey discusses with Jessica how he has helped to […]

Media Files:

Valentin Abe

Wed, 04 Feb 2015 16:00:34 +0000

The Caribbean Harvest Foundation is helping to revitalize the commercial farming industry in Haiti. The organization uses solar powered hatcheries to produce tilapia fingerlings, which are then raised in cages by villagers around the nearby lake. CHF is alleviating poverty by employing locals and providing social services in the health and education sectors. Valentin speaks […]

Andy Goldsworthy

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:00:16 +0000

Some sculptors work with materials like bronze or marble, which last forever; but others build sculptures made of ice or snow, which last only a few moments. Who are some of the sculptors producing ephemeral art? Jessica speaks with one such pioneer, Andy Goldsworthy. Andy’s outdoor sculptures have been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of […]

Media Files:

Israel Ganot

Thu, 27 Nov 2014 16:00:35 +0000

Gazelle is a company that resells used electronic equipment including iPhones, BlackBerries, iPads, and recent Apple computers, among other items. Prior to starting Gazelle, Israel was at eBay where he helped to build the international business and worked with eBay’s M&A team to acquire PayPal, which he subsequently joined. He was formerly a research analyst […]

Media Files:

Marc DaCosta

Thu, 11 Sep 2014 16:00:36 +0000

Enigma is a company that uses the internet to make public data available and understandable to users. Enigma links across various databases to uncover relevant facts that a user might not notice by looking at a single data set. The universe of data sources to choose among includes SEC filings, public health records, government spending […]

Media Files:

Jim Barton

Thu, 04 Sep 2014 16:00:03 +0000

Jessica speaks with Jim Barton, co-founder of Tivo, a product that allows users to digitally record television to a hard drive that can be recalled and watched at anytime. Through the invention of the Digital Video Recorder, or DVR, Tivo effectively changed the business model of television, handing over control from the TV executives to […]

Bertrand & Roy Sosa

Wed, 18 Jun 2014 16:00:49 +0000

Netspend was the first prepaid debit card company focused on the “underbanked” population in the United States. Launched in 1999, Netspend targets people who do not have access to credit cards or hold bank accounts. Bertrand and Roy started the company out of their one bedroom apartment in Austin, Texas with $750. They later raised […]

Media Files:

Michael Brown

Thu, 22 May 2014 16:00:02 +0000

City Year is an organization focused on addressing the national dropout rate; one million American students drop out of high school annually. City Year’s corps members serve as tutors, mentors, and role models in America’s most challenging schools. City Year also played a role in the national service movement, helping to establish youth service programs, […]

Media Files:

Alexa Hirschfeld

Thu, 08 May 2014 16:00:10 +0000

The idea for Paperless Post developed while Alexa was an assistant to Katie Couric at CBS and her brother and co-founder James was still a student at Harvard College. Paperless Post allows people to send digital cards that have the look of actual stationary. Users can customize around various design elements including font, color, size, […]

Nandan Nilekani

Sat, 26 Apr 2014 22:00:50 +0000

Infosys is a leading global information, technology and consulting company with more than 150,000 employees and $7 Billion in revenue. Nandan started Infosys in 1981 in Bangalore, India with 6 colleagues. Nandan then served as the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which through its project Aadhaar is seeking to provide unique […]

Media Files:

Jessica Rolph and Shazi Visram

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:00:57 +0000

Babies are discriminating about the food they eat. Peas and carrots out of a jar don’t taste as good as the ‘real thing.’ Organic baby food companies are emerging to offer more tasty and nutritious options for babies. HappyBaby, founded by Jessica Rolph and Shazi Visram, is one such company. Jessica and Shazi explain how […]

Fadi Jaber

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:00:52 +0000

Since growing up on an American compound in Saudi Arabia, Fadi Jaber developed a sweet tooth for American desserts. He later moved to New York City where he enjoyed gourmet cupcakes from shops such as Magnolia Bakery and Crumbs. Fadi opened his first American-inspired cupcake shop in Jordan, his home country, and has since expanded […]

Thomas Moser

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:00:52 +0000

Some people might look at a wooden chair as a functional piece of furniture, but others might see it as a work of art, the result of careful craftsmanship. Who are some of the country’s leading woodworkers who emphasize form as well as function? Jessica speaks with one such entrepreneur, Thomas Moser. Tom is the […]

Dennis Crowley

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:00:51 +0000

“Turning life into a game” has always been of interest to Dennis Crowley. Dennis applies game dynamics to Foursquare, a popular social networking application that helps users get to know their city better. Foursquare was launched at South by Southwest in 2009 and has a following of approximately 10 million users. Dennis speaks to Jessica […]

Eliza Gaynor Minden

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:00:49 +0000

Ballerinas started wearing point shoes in the late 19th century. Despite advancements in the dance world, the construction of toe shoes has remained pretty much unchanged. The same materials– paste, cardboard, paper and leather– are still used today, and the result is a dancer prone to excess pain and injury. Eliza Gaynor Minden, a former […]

Jules Kroll

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:00:45 +0000

Jules is the founder of Kroll, the leading risk consulting firm. Jules is considered one of the pioneers of the modern day corporate investigative and security industry, investigating individuals, governments and corporations. Kroll’s work includes restructuring Enron after its bankruptcy and uncovering Ferdinand Marcos’ secret wealth in the mid 1980s. Jessica speaks with Jules about […]

Jake Burton

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:00:37 +0000

Some entrepreneurs start companies, but others pioneer whole industries. Jake Burton, founder of Burton Snowboards, both built an international snowboard company and helped to turn snowboarding from an underground activity to a more widely acceptable sport. He convinced ski resorts one by one to allow snowboarders on the mountains, and, with his help, snowboarding became […]

Raegan Moya-Jones

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:00:35 +0000

The ancient practice of swaddling, or wrapping a baby in a tight blanket, proves to have benefits for a baby’s health and development. Growing up in Australia, Raegan Moya-Jones was exposed to mothers swaddling their babies with muslin, a type of cotton. Years later, after a move to the United States and the birth of […]