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From the Ground Up

387 episodes - English - Latest episode: 7 days ago - ★★★★ - 122 ratings

It takes audacity to start a company, grit to grow it, and community to survive the ordeal. Join Inc. Executive Editor Diana Ransom and Editor-at-Large Christine Lagorio-Chafkin as they host From the Ground Up, a new podcast from Inc. that features frank and unfiltered conversations—with some of the most successful founders in the world—about navigating the role of the founder, the tips and tricks entrepreneurs need to know to be successful, and the secrets that nobody really tells you before you start a business.

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Episodes

The Evolution of Social Mission

May 23, 2024 09:00 - 33 minutes

This week, we’re following up our discussion about how to make sure your mission fits your business with an interview with one of the most fascinating sustainability experts working today: Vincent Stanley, Patagonia’s director of philosophy. Patagonia has been one of the most notable brands in environmentally responsible business practices and production for decades, and Vincent has been with the company, evangelizing about what makes Patagonia unique, since even before it was called Patagoni...

Stress-Testing Your Mission

May 16, 2024 09:00 - 28 minutes

What happens when a company's giving back ... just isn't enough? In a special panel at this year’s SXSW festival, co-host and Inc. executive editor Diana Ransom led a discussion with Jacq and Scot Tatelman, the co-founders of State Bags, as well as Mandy Teefey, the CEO of Wondermind, which she co-founded with her daughter Selena Gomez. The conversation gets into the difficulties and successes of mission-driven businesses, and how these creative founders have adapted their missions to best se...

Nailing Product Market Fit

May 09, 2024 09:00 - 31 minutes

Which should come first, your killer idea or your ideal customer? So many questions about finding product-market fit were raised by our fascinating discussion with Michelle Cordeiro Grant of Gorgie, and Steven and Brittany Yeng of Skrewball. Christine Lagorio-Chafkin spoke with Jeff Bussgang, a venture capitalist and senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, where he teaches a revered class all about product-market fit called Launching Technology Ventures. He has fascinating thoughts on why...

Find Your Fans

May 02, 2024 09:00 - 45 minutes

Build it and they will come? It’s not so simple. Hosts Diana Ransom and Christine Lagorio-Chafkin spoke with founders who took two totally different approaches to a core business concept: finding product-market fit. They spoke with Michelle Cordeiro Grant, founder of the sugar-free energy drink Gorgie, and Brittany and Steven Yeng, founders of the peanut butter liquor brand Skrewball whiskey, about how they identified their markets, strategies they used to get their items on shelves, and how ...

Cracking the TikTok Code Part 2: How We Got Here

April 25, 2024 09:00 - 34 minutes

During her time at SXSW this year, Diana Ransom sat down with Shira Lazar, video blogger, personality, and founder/host of the web series “What’s Trending,” to discuss her journey in the creator economy space. Shira also gave Diana personal tips and strategies on how to capitalize on trends, using vlogging as a creative outlet, and how to be the face of a brand through social media outlets.

Cracking the TikTok Code

April 18, 2024 09:00 - 31 minutes

In the past couple of years, TikTok has provided a platform for budding entrepreneurs to connect with their consumers. But how effective is this method, and can it lead to a new level for success for founders? In a panel discussion for Inc.’s Founders House at SXSW, Diana Ransom posed this question to FYSH Foods founder Zoya Biglary, Hot Take co-founder Gabrielle Brulotte, and Bloom Nutrition founder and president Mari Llewellyn. They discuss the importance of putting a face on your brand, be...

Can You Start a Company While Grieving? Should You?

April 11, 2024 09:00 - 32 minutes

After our conversation with the co-founders of the Sloomoo Institute, co-host Christine Lagorio-Chafkin followed up with clinical psychologist, author, and professor Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, about the concept of grief--and how to navigate it, especially when you’re extremely busy, or a founder. She explained the complex range of responses humans have to grief, and the unique ability founders might have when it comes to coping through being able to envision a transformation in the future. She also...

Grief, Joy, and Giant Vats of Slime

April 04, 2024 09:00 - 42 minutes

Karen Robinovitz and Sara Schiller had each been through multiple traumas when they found reinvention and joy through the unlikeliest of substances: slime. Yes, slime. They explain to hosts Diana Ransom and Christine Lagorio-Chafkin how they channeled their newfound joy, and passion for sensory play, into a business, the Sloomoo Institute. Sloomoo is a growing slime-museum business with four locations that makes some 600 gallons of slime each day. This episode was recorded live on-site in SoH...

Welcome to From the Ground Up!

March 28, 2024 09:00 - 2 minutes

Join Inc. Executive Editor Diana Ransom and Editor-at-Large Christine Lagorio-Chafkin as they host From The Ground Up, a new podcast from Inc. that features frank and unfiltered conversations—with some of the most successful founders in the world—about navigating the role of the founder, the tips and tricks entrepreneurs need to know to be successful, and the secrets that nobody really tells you before you start a business. New episodes start April 4th, see you then! Website: https://www.inc....

Powering the Future - AI Bootcamp FROM INC STUDIO AND SAP

March 25, 2024 09:00 - 27 minutes

The impact of AI on finance departments will be huge.

Supply Ch(AI)n Strategy Session - AI Bootcamp FROM INC STUDIO AND SAP

March 11, 2024 09:00 - 19 minutes

How artificial intelligence is shaping the product journeys from procurement to end customers.

Janice Bryant Howroyd talks about acting up

March 05, 2024 10:00 - 39 minutes

At last year's Inc 5000, editor-at-large Christine Haughney Dare-Bryan spoke to The ActOne Group CEO Janice Bryant Howroyd about her new book, Acting Up: Winning in Business and Life Using Down-Home Wisdom. Janice touches on her life and the importance of self-care for entrepreneurs. We also have a special custom segment in partnership with Chase. A third-generation homebuilder, Jake Jorgensen built Jorgensen Builders, a residential and commercial construction and remodeling company, on his o...

Time for Growth - AI Bootcamp FROM INC STUDIO AND SAP

March 04, 2024 10:00 - 24 minutes

In this podcast, leaders in HR and AI reveal what it will take for businesses to get their staff on board.

Daniel Lubetzky on the future of Kind leadership

February 22, 2024 10:00 - 38 minutes

Inc. editor-at-large Christine Lagorio-Chafkin chatted with David Lubetzky about his journey starting Kind Snacks in Mexico City, and the lessons he learned from his father, who was also a business man. Then we have a special custom segment in partnership with Chase: Iceland offers up wintry landscapes, fiery volcanoes, and the descendants of Vikings. For Matt Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Under30Experiences, it also offered the start of an entrepreneurial journey. Wilson shares how he got th...

A Look Back at 2023

January 01, 2024 10:00 - 38 minutes

What the lifecycle of entrepreneurship looks like

December 21, 2023 10:00 - 55 minutes

At ‘Inc.,’ we focus a lot on how people become entrepreneurs, but what do you do after you’ve founded your company, turned it into a successful business, and then decided to move on? Stax founder and former CEO Suneera Madhani and Panera Bread founder and former CEO Ron Shaich describe their individual entrepreneurial journeys.

Deepak Chopra on how psychedelics could help leadership

December 14, 2023 10:00 - 29 minutes

Over recent years, the use of psychedelics, specifically psilocybin and LSD, has become more mainstream in discussions of mental health. While it is still premature to say anything definitive, there have been more studies, research, and experimentation done. But the discussion has not stopped at mental health—some in the business community have been touting the benefits of psychedelics in leadership development. Paul F. Austin of Third Wave and Deepak Chopra chatted about a wide-ranging slate...

FROM INC STUDIO AND META - The Secret Leads Goldmine: How Savvy Companies Capitalize on Q5

December 11, 2023 10:00 - 14 minutes

The so-called “fifth quarter” could be your opportunity to give your business a competitive edge. Hear directly from successful small business owners Lauren Petrullo, of Mongoose Media, and John Wai of John Wai Martial Arts Academy about how they use the post-holiday season to grow their businesses. In this podcast, the entrepreneurs are joined by Meta executive Becky Bui to explain how this so-called “fifth quarter”—a period often overlooked by businesses as a slow season—can be the key to u...

How the founders of Ample Hills lost their business a second time

December 07, 2023 10:00 - 1 hour

Ample Hills Creamery first came on the dessert and ice cream scene in 2011 when married cofounders Jackie Cuscuna and Brian Smith opened their first store in Brooklyn. The business expanded to 17 stores with an endorsement from Oprah, a partnership with Disney, and mentorship from Jerry of Ben & Jerry’s. But by 2020, the couple had to file for bankruptcy. After selling the company to Schmitt Industries for $1 million, they opened another dessert company called ‘The Social.’ In March of this y...

Alli Webb on entrepreneurship and parenting

November 16, 2023 10:00 - 34 minutes

There are a lot of frustrating, misogynistic tropes associated with being a career-focused woman—especially when you have kids. If your business is like another child, how do you balance that? Or is balance even the right word?  "The question bothers me, no offense. It's just like we shouldn't feel that way." Alli Webb is the cofounder of Drybar and has two children of her own. "There's guilt on both sides." Alli explains how running a business and being a parent doesn't require balance becau...

Entrepreneurship and Parenting

November 16, 2023 10:00 - 32 minutes

There are a lot of frustrating, misogynistic tropes associated with being a career-focused woman—especially when you have kids. If your business is like another child, how do you balance that? Or is balance even the right word?  "The question bothers me, no offense. It's just like we shouldn't feel that way." Alli Webb is the cofounder of Drybar and has two children of her own. "There's guilt on both sides." Alli explains how running a business and being a parent doesn't require balance becau...

Couples Counseling PART 2: How to argue

November 09, 2023 09:00 - 15 minutes

Couples Counseling with Baked by Melissa

November 02, 2023 09:00 - 43 minutes

Working together within a marriage can require give and take, but imagine working in the same company too. Melissa Ben-Ishay, co-founder and CEO of Baked by Melissa, and Adi Ben-Ishay, its director of technology and innovation, met by happenstance—to be honest, it was something out of a romance novel. Now, they're married with two kids and still running Baked by Melissa. How do they make this work? We sat down with them to discuss how they met, how they support each other, and how they iron o...

Couples Counseling

November 02, 2023 09:00 - 42 minutes

Working together within a marriage can require give and take, but imagine working in the same company too. Melissa Ben-Ishay, co-founder and CEO of Baked by Melissa, and Adi Ben-Ishay, its director of technology and innovation, met by happenstance—to be honest, it was something out of a romance novel. Now, they're married with two kids and still running Baked by Melissa. How do they make this work? We sat down with them to discuss how they met, how they support each other, and how they iron o...

Christene Barberich and Rebecca Minkoff on having control in a company

October 26, 2023 09:00 - 50 minutes

From the outside, founders seem to have so much freedom in running their own businesses. But how much control do they really have? When is it an advantage to retain control over decisions, and when is it time to let go? Christene Barberich, cofounder of Refinery 29 and author of the newsletter, A Tiny Apartment; and Rebecca Minkoff, founder of her own fashion brand, sat down to talk through the nuances of working with cofounders, selling a company, and watching it grown beyond a single person...

Control freaks

October 26, 2023 09:00 - 48 minutes

From the outside, founders seem to have so much freedom in running their own businesses. But how much control do they really have? When is it an advantage to retain control over decisions, and when is it time to let go? Christene Barberich, cofounder of Refinery 29 and author of the newsletter, A Tiny Apartment; and Rebecca Minkoff, founder of her own fashion brand, sat down to talk through the nuances of working with cofounders, selling a company, and watching it grown beyond a single person...

How founders should (and should NOT) navigate the media

October 19, 2023 09:00 - 51 minutes

Scott Omelianuk and Diana Ransom talk with Stacy Spikes, Kathryn Minshew and Taryn Langer about how founders should approach dealing with the media. Stacy Spikes is the co-founder and CEO of MoviePass. Kathryn Minshew is the co-founder and former CEO of The Muse. Taryn Langer is the founder and president of Moxie Communications Group.

Inc. Uncensored is Back!

October 12, 2023 14:00 - 1 minute

Inc. Executive Editor Diana Ransom and Editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk pull back the curtain on the world of entrepreneurship with some of the most successful founders in the world. Inc. Uncensored features frank and unfiltered conversations about what makes business leaders tick, the trends founders need to know to be successful, and the secrets that nobody really tells you before you start a business.

A Crisis During Fast Growth: Laura Modi of Bobbie

November 14, 2022 10:00 - 32 minutes

When the U.S. baby formula shortage hit, Bobbie was still a startup, scaling its own operations and customer-base. But it had to make its most important decision: How to answer that crisis for its own customers. It decided to stop growing, in favor of serving its existing subscribers. Turns out: It wasn’t the first crisis the young startup had overcome. Host Christine Lagorio-Chafkin interviewed Bobbie co-founder and CEO Laura Modi about how she made that extremely challenging decision–and ho...

Exceed Your Own Abilities: Nina Vaca of Pinnacle Group

October 31, 2022 09:00 - 20 minutes

Nina Vaca is the chairperson and CEO of Pinnacle Group, an IT and staffing firm based in Dallas, which has grown so fast it has made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies thirteen times. It was named the fastest-growing woman-owned business in the United States by the Women Presidents Organization in 2015–when her company crossed a billion dollars in revenue, and again in 2018. Nina founded it 25 years ago, when she was just out of college, with just $300. In part, it seemed natural...

Exceed Your Own Abilities: Nina Vaca of Pinnacle Group

October 31, 2022 09:00 - 20 minutes

Nina Vaca is the chairperson and CEO of Pinnacle Group, an IT and staffing firm based in Dallas, which has grown so fast it has made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies thirteen times. It was named the fastest-growing woman-owned business in the United States by the Women Presidents Organization in 2015–when her company crossed a billion dollars in revenue, and again in 2018. Nina founded it 25 years ago, when she was just out of college, with just $300. In part, it seemed natural...

The Accidental Entrepreneur: Bill Shufelt of Athletic Brewing

October 24, 2022 09:00 - 24 minutes

Bill Shufelt was a trader at a hedge fund who got tired of drinking. It was doing nothing for his performance at work–or while trail running. So he decided to start a non-alcoholic craft brewery. Not that anyone else believed in his mission. He tells host Christine Lagorio-Chafkin how he struggled for years to find a co-founder, and met with 120 investors before putting together enough money to start his own brewing facility–because no other brewery wanted to work with him. Now, his company, ...

A “Black Licorice” Culture, with Xiao Wang of Boundless Immigration

October 17, 2022 09:00 - 31 minutes

His company grew 1,131 percent over the past three years–and he realizes that kind of fast pace isn’t for everybody, even with an important mission in mind. Xiao Wang in 2017 had founded Boundless Immigration, a Seattle-based tech company that helps individuals and families navigate immigration paperwork and processes through data, and through its online platform. Today its process has a 99 percent success rate, and the company has helped more than 70,000 individuals file for green cards or c...

A Spiritual Mission to Change How Work Happens: Stephanie Nadi Olson of We Are Rosie

October 10, 2022 09:00 - 29 minutes

After the birth of her second daughter, she began feeling marginalized in the workplace–even though she was a seven-figure sales exec. Stephanie Nadi Olson felt the drive to create a legacy for herself and for her daughters–and named her new flexible-employment community We Are Rosie after her youngest. That was 2018, and since, the company has grown to a platform with 17,000 flexible workers signed up, more than 60 full time employees, and a three-year growth rate of 2,267 percent. We Are Ro...

The Secret Project and the Stand Up Comedian: Jesslyn Rollins of Biolyte, No. 605 on the 2022 Inc. 5000

October 03, 2022 09:00 - 35 minutes

Jesslyn Rollins’s dad created a product in secret. She brought it to the masses. What would it take for him to let her run the company? Christine Lagorio-Chafkin speaks to the CEO of the electrolyte beverage company, Biolyte, that saw a remarkable three-year growth rate of 1,052 percent. The first in our season series exploring the stories behind fascinating companies that made the 2022 Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing businesses.

Flashback: The Secret to 2244% Growth From Rosie Mattio, Publicist Turned 'Cannabis Queen'

September 26, 2022 09:00 - 47 minutes

In this flashback episode, Christine Lagorio-Chafkin talks with Rosie Mattio, founder and CEO of Mattio Communications, about saying yes and taking a risk on a burgeoning industry. (Original Air Date: Sept 13, 2021)

What I Don’t Know: Being The Face of It All, with Shivani Siroya, CEO of Tala

September 12, 2022 09:00 - 10 minutes

Being chief executive doesn’t mean doing everything–or, necessarily, being good at every little thing your company does. In “What I Don’t Know,” What I Know host Christine Lagorio-Chafkin asks founders to explain a skill or task they just aren’t good at. Maybe it’s the first thing they delegated once they hired staff–or something they would like to get off their plate. On this week’s bonus episode, Shivani Siroya, the founder and CEO of Tala, talks about her relationship with being the face o...

Take the First Risk, With Shivani Siroya of Tala

September 05, 2022 09:00 - 47 minutes

Shivani Siroya had worked in microfinance around the world for major banks–and saw a lot of structural issues with lending to unbanked or non-traditional entrepreneurs in small doses. Before launching her own company to fix those, she went back to school–and also worked in Kenya, for the UN Population Fund. It was there she began lending her own money to small-business owners–and learned firsthand how to establish trust in lending. When she founded Tala in 2013, she also learned the value of ...

What I Don’t Know: Keeping Up With the Algorithms, with Alex West Steinman of The Coven

August 29, 2022 09:00 - 9 minutes

Being chief executive doesn’t mean doing everything–or, necessarily, being good at every little thing your company does. In “What I Don’t Know,” What I Know host Christine Lagorio-Chafkin asks founders to explain a skill or task they just aren’t good at. Maybe it’s the first thing they delegated once they hired staff–or something they would like to get off their plate. On this week’s bonus episode, Alex West Steinman says: “People look at a business like ours or see the category of businesse...

Community Matters With Alex West Steinman of The Coven

August 22, 2022 09:00 - 46 minutes

The past few years have been catastrophic for many coworking spaces. WeWork’s dramatic crash was the most well known–but spaces created by and for women, too, hit walls due to pandemic lockdowns and leadership crises. But in Minneapolis, there was a holdout. It’s called The Coven, and it is a coworking space with virtual and in-person memberships, designed to be inclusive and welcoming to all types of entrepreneurs, creatives, and workers. Host Christine Lagorio-Chafkin spoke with The Coven’s...

Fighting for Every Customer, With Stuart Landesberg, co-founder and CEO of Grove Collaborative

July 18, 2022 09:00 - 45 minutes

Since he was a grade-schooler, Stu Landesberg dreamed–as odd as it sounds–of starting a sustainable home-products company. When he founded it, in 2012, he called it ePantry, and it didn’t exactly soar. Investors were lukewarm–and customers hard to come by. But with a rebrand and reshaped strategy in 2016, Grove Collaborative started finding lots of eco-minded consumers online and over social media. This year, as the San Francisco-based company turned 10 years old, it was valued at $1.5 billio...

Amy Errett of Madison Reed: How to See Around Corners

June 27, 2022 09:00 - 48 minutes

Amy Errett might be a natural leader, and an expert team-builder–but she wasn’t always a founder. She spent her early career in banking and investment companies, before turning to venture capital. But once she was at the table with startup founders, making decisions on who deserved funding infusions…she realized she wanted to be not in her seat…but rather, the CEO’s seat. She founded Madison Reed in 2013 out of San Francisco as a hair-color subscription brand. She’s grown it–even as the pande...

Michael Horvath of Strava: Take Care of Your People

June 13, 2022 09:00 - 45 minutes

When Michael Horvath, the co-founder and CEO of Strava, meets with employees, he doesn’t just start saying what he’s thinking. Instead, the first thing out of his mouth is: “what’s on your mind?” His company, Strava, is an app that serves 100 million athletes, to help motivate their movement, connect them with a community, and improve their safety. And these days, it’s a company of more than 400 people–which has both informed, and necessitated, Michael’s leadership style–which is a lot about ...

Ben Lamm of Colossal: Value Your Critics

May 30, 2022 09:00 - 51 minutes

By the time he teamed up with Harvard geneticist George Church to found Colossal Biosciences, Ben Lamm had founded, built, and sold five companies. This one would be the most audacious yet: Its goal is to create disruptive conservation technologies, including, to de-extinct the woolly mammoth. Yes, it is actively working to edit elephant genes to create a cold-hearty herbivore to help decelerate melting of the arctic permafrost, and, thus, prevent release of 600 tons of carbon a year. It’s al...

Tal Chitayat of Full Circle: People Want to Be Part of Something Bigger

May 16, 2022 09:00 - 44 minutes

He and his co-founder dreamed up their company over an unconventional Thanksgiving dinner in Shanghai. In 2009, they launched Full Circle, a line of sustainable household goods–and set out to change consumer perception about “eco” products. Today, they run three brands, including Full Circle, For Good, a line of household disposables, like compostable bags, and Soma, a line of filtration, pitchers, and bottles. He spoke with host Christine Lagorio-Chafkin about building a sustainable supply c...

What I Know Best: Toni Ko Does a Tiny Thing to Overhaul Her Outlook

May 09, 2022 04:00 - 8 minutes

If there was a super-simple way to tweak the whole way you think about an experience…would you do it? Serial entrepreneur Toni Ko, the woman behind NYX Cosmetics, Perverse Sunglasses, and, most recently, Bespoke Beauty Brands, explains to host Christine Lagorio-Chafkin how she changes her wording to change her perspective.

Toni Ko: The Way Out of Worry

May 02, 2022 09:00 - 46 minutes

Her family emigrated from Korea when she was 13 years old, and serial entrepreneur Toni Ko has since founded three different–each totally fascinating–companies. Her first, NYX Cosmetics, made $4 million in its first year, and, within a decade, was in beauty aisles of Target nationwide. But with growth, came some sacrifices–and, within years, she sold it to L’Oreal for a reported $500 million. A non-compete agreement meant Ko was locked out of the beauty industry for five years, a time during ...

Trinity Mouzon of Golde: Grow at Your Own Pace

April 18, 2022 09:00 - 42 minutes

There’s Silicon Valley’s playbook…and then there’s Trinity Mouzon Wofford’s radical bootstrapping. The founder of Golde, the maker of superfood powders that can be blended to make lattes or facemasks, and which is sold at Target and Goop, as well as direct-to-consumer. Trinity explains how she built her company herself, mixing turmeric lattes in her kitchen, and pounding the pavement of New York City trying to get her self-designed pouches of blends onto cafe shelves. As a super-small, scrapp...

Payal Kadakia of ClassPass: Bring Your Full Self

March 28, 2022 09:00 - 40 minutes

Growing up in New Jersey, Payal Kadakia found a passion for Indian dance. As an adult living in New York City, she founded her own dance troupe, Sa Dance. But when it came to finding fitness classes, she was at a loss. She created a boutique-class-search-engine–which went through many, many, iterations, before becoming the $1 billion company ClassPass. Christine Lagorio-Chafkin speaks with Payal about all the ups and downs along the way to building one of New York City’s unicorns–and her diff...

Kyle Vogt of Cruise: Seek Truth For Yourself

March 14, 2022 04:00 - 53 minutes

The founder and CEO of self-driving car company Cruise has finally done it: His company’s robo-taxis are picking up passengers in San Francisco. It’s been almost a decade since he founded his company with the audacious vision to take on Google and create autonomous driving vehicles. He and cofounder Dan Kan pursued that vision–one small step at a time. He spoke with host Christine Lagorio-Chafkin about his lifelong passion for robotics, the “leap of faith” he took when deciding to sell Cruise...

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George Zimmer
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