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Startups 4 Good

A podcast exploring the intersection of high-growth ventures with impact investing and social entrepreneurship. If you believe that startups can be a force for good, or want to learn more about For Benefit or B Corporations in action, this is the show for you. Guests include entrepreneurs and founders of high-growth purpose-driven ventures, their investors and VCs and other thinkers and doers. Your host is serial entrepreneur, angel investor and Lecturer at Yale School of Management, Miles Lasater. Enjoy Startups for Good!
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Startups 4 Good:  A podcast exploring the intersection of high-growth ventures with impact investing and social entrepreneurship. If you believe that startups can be a force for good, or want to learn more about For Benefit or B Corporations in action, this is the show for you. Guests include entrepreneurs and founders of high-growth purpose-driven ventures, their investors and VCs and other thinkers and doers. Your host is serial entrepreneur, angel investor and Lecturer at Yale School of Management, Miles Lasater.  Enjoy Startups for Good!

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Jun 18, 2015

Patrick Struebi, Founder of Fairtrasa

Born and raised in Zurich, Patrick studied business administration and accounting in Switzerland where he subsequently earned a B.Acc. and CPA degree. He started his business career with the global consultancy firm Deloitte and was hired in 1999 by one of his clients, Glencore, the largest commodities trading firm in the world, where he quickly established himself as a Department Head. Traveling broadly, mostly in emerging markets, Patrick brokered deals in numerous industries and sat on the boards of diverse Group companies. The experience deepened Patrick’s knowledge of international markets, but also showed him the detrimental effects that market dynamics and business practices can have on vulnerable communities and ecologies. This realization inspired Patrick to leave his corporate career in 2004 and explore other avenues for utilizing his passion for international trade while creating a positive social impact.

 

In 2005, after traveling through Latin America, Patrick founded the social enterprise Fairtrasa to give small-holder farmers profitable and impactful exposure to international markets while supporting sustainable farming practices and providing high-quality produce and wine to European markets. Building the company from scratch in a country, culture, language, and industry that were all essentially foreign to him, Patrick quickly succeeded in pioneering fairtrade avocados in Mexico and (under his award-winning Soluna brand) Argentina’s first fair trade wine. He grew the company with funds from friends and its own profits, replicating its sustainable business model in other developing countries, including Peru, Chile, and the Dominican Republic. At the heart of Fairtrasa’s success was its unique 3-tier farmer development model, which improved on the fair trade norm by providing training, resources, and market exposure to farmers according their specific skill levels. The results were transformational for thousands of farmers and their communities.

 

To make the Group economically self sufficient, Patrick established his own import companies in Europe—and partnered with another in the U.S.—in order to consolidate a global and vertically integrated supply chain. High-level food industry executives joined the Fairtrasa team, attracted by Patrick’s vision and devotion to fair trade principles and organic, sustainable production. In 2014, the Clinton Global Initiative forged a partnership with Patrick to bring Fairtrasa to farmers in Colombia. Today, Fairtrasa represents over 6,500 small-scale farmers and is one of the largest fair trade and organic fruit exporter from Latin America.

 

In 2008, Patrick was elected an Ashoka Fellow for his work as a social entrepreneur. At Ashoka, he was one of the first Fellows with a strong background in the for-profit corporate sector, and one of the first to have scaled a for-profit social enterprise globally. More recognition soon followed: He was named an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2011 and Social Entrepreneur of the Year by UBS (2009), the abc* Foundation (2012), Univision (2012), and the Schwab Foundation (2014). In 2014, Patrick was honored by the World Economic Forum as a New Champion, and was invited by the Huffington Post to write a regular column on social entrepreneurship. He is currently a Yale World Fellow and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute.

Jun 2, 2015

Brian Robertson of HolacracyOne

Brian Robertson is an experienced entrepreneur, CEO, and organizational pioneer.  He is most well-known for his work developing Holacracy™, a comprehensive “operating system” for governing and running purpose-driven, responsive companies.   Its dynamic approach integrates the collective wisdom of people throughout the company, without the tyranny of consensus – it allows anything, sensed by anyone, anywhere in the organization, to get rapidly and reliably processed into organizational evolution.  The result is dramatically increased agility, transparency, innovation, and accountability - a conscious organization operating with presence, in flow.

Mr. Robertson's initial work that led to Holacracy™ took place within a software development company he founded and led for seven years.  The firm won numerous awards for both fast business growth and innovative people practices, and its novel organizational approach gleaned media attention, including a prominent article in the Wall Street Journal.  The Holacracy™ system developed there has continued to evolve and spread in the years since under the stewardship of HolacracyOne, an organization Mr. Robertson co-founded to further catalyze its development and use in the world.

In addition, he is author of the book Holacracy that comes out today June 2nd!

May 27, 2015

Davis Smith

Founder/CEO of Cotopaxi

 

Davis is the CEO of Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear brand with a social mission at its core.

 

He was previously the Co-CEO of Baby.com.br and Dinda.com.br, Brazil’s Startup of the Year in 2012, which raised over $40M in venture capital. In 2004, he also founded, and later sold, PoolTables.com, America’s largest pool table retailer.

 

Davis holds an MBA from the Wharton School, an MA in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute, and a BA from Brigham Young University.

May 21, 2015

Yoav Lurie

CEO/Founder Simple Energy

 

Yoav is the Founder and CEO of Simple Energy and is responsible for the company’s overall strategy and direction. Simple Energy is changing how millions of people consume energy by changing how utilities engage customers.  The Simple Energy Customer Engagement Platform leverages the power of game mechanics and the social web to change how consumers think about and act on saving energy.

Prior to founding Simple Energy, Yoav helped to build Synteractive, an IT services firm based in Washington, D.C., the city in which he also led the effort to rebuild Recovery.gov, an official U.S. Government website for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board.  Yoav has also worked as a Managing Director for Teach For America, as well as with Crisis Commons, a global community of volunteers, to build crowd-sourced disaster relief applications.  As an undergraduate at Duke University, Yoav helped to start Camp Kesem, a free residential summer camp for children of cancer patients, now with over 54 active chapters in 27 states.

May 12, 2015

Nathan Sigworth, Founder

A graduate of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Sigworth was recognized by Inc Magazine as one of the 30 top entrepreneurs under the age of 30. He is the winner of a Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award and is a Poptech and Echoing Green fellow. 

 

Apr 16, 2015

Gene Wade, Founder & Chairman of University Now

 

Gene has spent most of his adult life focused on helping to ensure that everyone has access to high quality education. He believes education is the solution to many of the biggest challenges facing people and societies around the world.

 

Prior to founding UniversityNow, he was co-founder & CEO of Platform Learning, a tutoring company that served tens of thousands of low-income students throughout the United States. He was also co-founder & CEO of LearnNow, a school management company that was sold to Edison Schools where he was an Executive Vice President. Prior to becoming an education entrepreneur, he was a corporate bankruptcy attorney. Gene has an MBA from The Wharton School, a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Morehouse College.

 

Note: I am an investor in University Now.

Apr 8, 2015

Jason Panda - Founder & CEO of B Condoms

B Holding Group, LLC / b condoms is the only minority-owned, socially responsible condom company. b condoms reduces teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection rates, including HIV/AIDS by marketing premium, chic and socially responsible condoms directly to at-risk ethnic communities. b condoms leverages condom sales to fund prevention initiatives, including events, seminars, and health and wellness tours in underserved communities to educate and test the most impacted populations.

Jason Panda is CEO of B Holding Group, LLC / b condoms, a premium condom company with a social mission. b condoms leverages condom sales to decrease teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDS rates by funding awareness and prevention initiatives within underserved communities. Jason was recently recognized as one of the "Top 40 Leaders Under 40" by the New Leaders Council and one of the "Ten Young Entrepreneurs to Watch" by Black Enterprise.

He is a member of the Strategic Leadership Council for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Jason has also been honored by the New York City Department of Health, the National Action Network and BET for his work in New York City.

Mr. Panda is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College, where he was an Oprah Winfrey Scholar. He also graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, where he served on the Moot Court Team.

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Please note this episode contains references to the fact of sex and sexual transmited diseases.

Apr 1, 2015

Collin Gutman is the CEO and Co-Founder of WorkAmerica. In this role, he leads fundraising efforts (having raised >$1M to date) and provides strategic vision for the company. Collin's background in recruiting technology sales led to the formulation of WorkAmerica and its current ideas around the most efficient ways to interface between students and employers. Collin also leads WorkAmerica's government contracting efforts, drawing on his own experience in both sales and working with political campaigns. 

In addition, Collin serves as a Partner at Acceleprise, a DC based venture capital accelerator focused on enterprise technology, giving him deep knowledge and expertise in startup operations. Prior to founding WorkAmerica, Collin was the first non-technical hire at EmployInsight and later became Chief Strategy Officer where he spearheaded EmployInsight's enterprise sales effort. Previously, he worked at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), a leading venture fund, and Challenge Games, which was acquired by Zynga. He holds a BA in Political Science from Yale and was a member of the Yale Entrepreneurial Society.

Mar 26, 2015

Jonas Clark and Amanda Rinderle, Tuckerman & Co.

Jonas and Amanda are co-founders of Tuckerman & Co.—a mission-driven brand that provides great-fitting, professional clothing that is sustainably sourced and manufactured. Their first product is an organic cotton dress shirtmade from premium Italian fabric and manufactured in Fall River, Massachusetts. Each Tuckerman shirt saves ¾ of a pound of pesticides from being used. They raised more than 150% of their Kickstarter goal and are in the process of completing their first production run. Tuckerman & Co is also the first Benefit Corporation launched out of Yale.


Jonas and Amanda are both students at Yale School of Management and will be graduating in May. Previously, Jonas worked as a Dean at Harvard College. He received his M.Div. from Harvard University and B.A. from Haverford College. Amanda was previously a social impact consultant at FSG and life sciences consultant at Trinity Partners. She received her A.B. from Princeton University.

Mar 20, 2015

Nancy E. Pfund is Founder and Man­ag­ing Part­ner of DBLInvestors, a ven­ture cap­i­tal firm located in San Fran­cisco, whose goal is to com­bine top-‚Äč‚Äčtier finan­cial returns with mean­ing­ful social, eco­nomic and envi­ron­men­tal returns in the regions and sec­tors in which it invests.  As a lead­ing player in the grow­ing field of “impact invest­ing”, DBL has helped to reveal the power of ven­ture cap­i­tal to pro­mote social change and envi­ron­men­tal improve­ment, and Ms. Pfund writes and speaks fre­quently on this topic. Ms. Pfund cur­rently spon­sors or sits on the board of direc­tors of sev­eral com­pa­nies, includ­ing; SolarCity (NASDAQSCTY) on both the audit and com­pen­sa­tion com­mit­tees, Bright­Source Energy, Primus Power, Eco.logic Brands, Eco­Scraps, OPx Biotech­nolo­gies, Pow­er­genix and, prior to their pub­lic offer­ings, Tesla Motors and Pan­dora Media.  Prior to found­ing DBL, Ms. Pfund was a Man­ag­ing Direc­tor in Ven­ture Cap­i­tal at JPMor­gan, hav­ing started her invest­ment career at Ham­brecht & Quist in 1984. Pre­vi­ously, Ms. Pfund worked at Intel Cor­po­ra­tion, the State of Cal­i­for­nia, Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity and the Sierra Club.

Mar 11, 2015
Bart Houlahan co-founded B Lab the nonprofit organization behind Certified B Corp.
 

 

B Lab is dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems, in 2006. B Lab drives systemic change through three interrelated initiatives: building a community of certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between good companies and those with good marketing; accelerating the growth of the impactinvesting asset class through use of B Lab’s Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS); and promoting legislation in creating a new corporate form: the Benefit Corporation.

 

 

Previously he was the President of AND1, a basketball footwear, apparel, and entertainment company. Scaled the business over 11 years to $250 million in brand revenues with distribution in 85 countries.
Mar 4, 2015

Seth and Barry are the authors of the New York Times bestseller Mission in a Bottle, a business book told in comic book form, which was published in September 2013.

 

Barry Nalebuff is the Milton Steinbach Professor at the Yale School of Management. An expert on game theory, he has written extensively on its application to business strategy. He is the coauthor of five prior books: Thinking Strategically and The Art of Strategy are two popular books on game theory. Co-opetition looks beyond zero-sum games to emphasize the potential for cooperating as well as competing. Why Not? provides a framework for problem solving and ingenuity. And Lifecycle Investing introduces a new strategy for retirement investing. In addition to his academic work, Barry has extensive experience consulting with multinational firms. He serves on the board of Nationwide Insurance and advised the NBA in their negotiations with the Players Association. A graduate of MIT, a Rhodes Scholar, and Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, Barry earned his doctorate at Oxford University.

 

 

But really he is the  founder of Honest Tea.

 

 

Seth Goldman co-founded Honest Tea out of his home in 1998 with Barry Nalebuff of the Yale School of Management. Today, Honest Tea is the nation’s top selling organic bottled tea, and is carried in more than 100,000 outlets. Under Seth’s leadership, Honest Tea has developed innovative partnerships with its organic and Fair Trade Certified™ suppliers. Seth graduated from Harvard College (1987) and the Yale School of Management (1995), and is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. In addition to running Honest Tea on a day-to-day basis, he currently sits on the board of several companies including Beyond Meat.

 

 

Feb 28, 2015

Professor Lynn Stout of Cornell Law School joins us for Episode 6.

Professor Stout is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of corporate governance, securities regulation, financial derivatives, law and economics, and moral behavior. She is the author of numerous articles and books on these topics and lectures widely. Her most recent book is The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations and the Public (Berrerr Koehler 2012), which was named 2012 Governance Book of the Year. 

Professor Stout serves on the Board of Governors of the CFA Institute, on the Financial Research Advisory Committee to the U.S. Treasury, as a member of the Board of Advisors for the Aspen Institute’s Business & Society Program, as Executive Advisor to the Brookings Institution Project on Corporate Purpose, and as a Research Fellow for the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research. 

She holds a B.A. summa cum laude and a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University and a J.D. from the Yale Law School.

Feb 18, 2015

Kanyi Maqubela, Partner at Collaborative Fund, joins us for this episode.

Originally from Johannesburg South Africa, Kanyi Maqubela was a founding employee at Doostang, a venture-backed peer-to-peer career marketplace, and a field director at One Block Off the Grid, a renewable energy sales company.

Kanyi holds a B.A. in Philosophy and has done graduate work in philosophy and design at Stanford University.

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Collaborative Fund:

We are an investment fund focused on supporting and investing in the shared future. The fund centers around two macro themes which I think will be driving business innovation in the coming years: the growth of the creative class and the concept of collaborative consumption.

Specifically, we will focus on the increasing importance of creativity and values (like happiness or transparency) and how that relates to which businesses consumers choose to buy from; as well as the shift from an ownership based economy to an access or sharing based economy.

These two forces present a significant opportunity for new technologies, products, and services to transform how we do business and the way we live our lives.

Feb 12, 2015

 

Julie Lien, Co-Founder and President of Tumml, joins us for Episode 4.
 
Tumml is an urban ventures accelerator with a mission to empower entrepreneurs to solve urban problems. With a hands-on approach, Tumml provides entrepreneurs with the tools to help scale their impact and enhance quality of life in cities everywhere.
 
Julie Lien is Co-Founder and President of Tumml, managing operations and working closely with the organization's portfolio companies. Prior to founding Tumml, she worked in polling and political consulting at Tulchin Research and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. Julie earned her MBA from MIT Sloan and her BA from Stanford. Her work in urban innovation has been featured in CNN, Forbes, The San Francisco Chronicle, and smart city conferences around the globe.
 
Jan 30, 2015

Andrew Yang Founder and CEO of Venture for America joins us for Episode 3.

Andrew  is the Founder and CEO of Venture for America, and has worked in startups and early-stage growth companies as a founder or executive for more than twelve years. He was the CEO and President of Manhattan GMAT, a test prep company that was acquired by the Washington Post/Kaplan in 2009. He has also served as the co-founder of an Internet company and an executive at a health care software startup. Andrew was named a Champion of Change by the White House for his work with Venture for America and one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” among other awards. He is the author of “Smart People Should Build Things,” published by Harper Business about the ideas behind VFA (excerpts here and at Amazon). He’s appeared on CNBC, Morning Joe, Fox News, TIME, Techcrunch, the Wall St. Journal, and many other media outlets. He is a graduate of Columbia Law and Brown University and lives in New York City with his wife, son and little white fluffy dog.

Andrew is also author of the book Smart People Should Build Things.

Andrew Yang

Please note: I am on the board of Venture for America.

Jan 30, 2015

Ben Berkowitz Co-Founder and CEO of SeeClickFix joins us for Episode 2.  Ben is a proud resident of New Haven, CT. The inspiration for SeeClickFix came from a desire to improve his own community with his neighbors and his government.

Ben Headshot

Ben and I both are co-founders of SeeClickFix.

 

Jan 30, 2015

Max Ventilla Founder and CEO of Altschool joins for Episode #1.

Max Ventilla

Max's career has focused on creatively using technology to enrich daily life. He founded Krypteian Systems (acquired in 2001) and the social search company Aardvark (acquired by Google in 2010). At Google, he was part of the founding team of Google+ and then served as the Head of Personalization across Google products. Max earned a bachelor’s degree in Math and Physics and an MBA from Yale University.

Please note, I am an investor in and former board member of Altschool.

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