Thrive Market's Nick Green On Building Better Access to Low-Cost Health & Wellness Goods
32:53This episode features Nick Green, co-founder of Los Angeles-based ecommerce startup Thrive Market in conversation with Spencer. Nick speaks about selling his first company, a college test prep startup which was purchased by Revolution Prep, in his early twenties after graduating from Harvard. From there, his involvement with Launchpad LA helped him connect with Thrive co-founder Gunnar Lovelace. Nick saw firsthand the challenges of eating healthy while growing up in the Midwest. He says sticking with the core mission of solving America’s food access problem and mitigating "lifestyle diseases" has helped Thrive stay on track to scale their online marketplace concept. Thrive Market is an online health foods shop that offers its products at a lower cost from other retailers due its "Costco-styled" membership model. Thrive offers its own lineup of products, in addition to the many health and wellness brands that are found at other stores. Since its launch in 2014, Thrive Market has grown to more than 1 million paying members and become a case study of how mission-driven companies can scale through approaches that include carbon-neutral shipping, a focus on "zero waste" practices and getting certified as a B Corp.
Why the Angel Investor Space Needs to Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, a Conversation with David Beatty, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Gaingels
22:28On this episode of Office Hours, Spencer speaks with entrepreneur and venture investor David Beatty. David is a managing partner and co-founder of Gaingels, an LGBTQ investment syndicate. Started in 2014, Gaingels' mission is to foster social change through their investment portfolios by creating a more diverse, inclusive and accessible venture capital ecosystem. Their network does this by working with accredited investors interested in diversifying the startup world by building leadership among startup founders from traditionally underrepresented groups. David is also co-founder of Digital Irish Angels, a nonprofit organization investing in innovative companies in Ireland. This episode was recorded at the The Milken Institute Global Conference on May 2, 2022.
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In the Boardroom: A Fireside Chat with John Chambers of JC2 Ventures from The Montgomery Summit 2022
31:39On this episode, Spencer speaks with iconic global business leader John Chambers in a live conversation that was recorded at the Montgomery Summit on May 24. Chambers, the former chairman and CEO of Cisco, currently serves as the founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures. The firm is focused on helping build and scale disruptive startups from around the world, largely by investing in companies that are leading market transitions. The Montgomery Summit is an exclusive, annual gathering of over 1,000 senior-level investors, thought leaders, corporate development teams, technology executives and top private company CEOs at the iconic Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica.
City Talk: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez on How Municipalities Can Grow Tech Hubs
19:58Spencer speaks to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez on this episode of Office Hours. In this conversation he talks about his broad based views on the city’s tech economy, why he supports cryptocurrency, and took his salary in crypto (the city even has its own MiamiCoin). Mayor Suarez talks about the evolution of the local technology ecosystem through Venture Miami and its growing fintech, medtech, and greentech sectors. He is the son of former Miami Mayor, Xavier Suarez and is the first Miami-born mayor, and currently also serves as the president of the US Conference of Mayors.
Rep. Derek Kilmer On How To Fix Congress By Doing Things Different
35:02In this episode of Office Hours, Spencer speaks with Congressman Derek Kilmer who serves as the United States Representative of Washington’s 6th Congressional District. Rep. Kilmer started his career as a business consultant for McKinsey & Company, then moved on to work for the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. He then began a career in local government in Olympia, serving in the Washington State House from 2005 to 2007 and the state Senate from 2007 until he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. Rep. Kilmer is now serving his fifth term in the U.S. House and is a member of the Appropriations Committee. He currently serves as the Chair for the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress—which in this interview he dubs “The Fix Congress Committee.” The Committee was formed to develop recommendations to make Congress more effective, efficient and transparent. It looks at potential technology solutions, along with other ways to increase civility and collaboration. Kilmer was ranked the 33rd most bipartisan member of the House of Representatives during the 114th Congress by The Lugar Center's "Bipartisan Index."
ZipRecruiter CEO Ian Siegel on How Employers Are Facing in The Most Competitive Job Market in Years
29:34Host Spencer Rascoff speaks with Ian Siegel, CEO and co-founder of ZipRecruiter on this episode of Office Hours. ZipRecruiter is an online employment marketplace that uses artificial intelligence to match businesses with job candidates in every industry. More than 1.8 million employers have used ZipRecruiter since its founding in 2010. Ian previously held leadership roles at CitySearch, Stamps.com and Rent.com. He received his B.A. in sociology from Oberlin College. He's now based in Santa Monica, California. His book “Get Hired Now!” is a Wall Street Journal bestseller.
City Talk: A Conversation with Mayor Stephen Adler of Austin, TX
22:55Spencer caught up with Mayor Stephen Adler at the Milken Institute Global Conference on May 2. Mayor Adler is the 58th mayor of Austin, Texas—a city that, along with L.A., has grown into a thriving hub of tech startups over the past two decades. Mayor Adler has received praise for his administration’s focus on innovation while staying true to the city’s slogan: “Keep Austin Weird.” Mayor Adler was born in Washington, D.C. and attended Princeton and the University of Texas Law School.
From Space Camp to CEO, Aero’s Uma Subramanian Speaks About How Her Career in the Aviation Industry Has Taken Flight
29:40Aero CEO Uma Subramanian speaks to Spencer on this episode of Office Hours about her love of everything that flies. Her appreciation of flight was sparked by her visit to Space Camp as a child which led her on the path to study aerospace engineering. Uma got her start in the aviation industry working at Northrop Grumman under contract to NASA. After receiving her MBA at Harvard Business School, Subramanian went into consulting, then returned to aerospace. After a brief stint as the director of European operations for TaskRabbit, her career pivoted towards innovation in the aviation world. Uma was the founding CEO of Voom, an Airbus company, which built the world’s first urban air transportation system in São Paulo and Mexico City using helicopters–effectively creating one of the world’s first vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) networks. Uma shares the strategies that Aero has used to build its luxury air travel brand by offering private flights at a lower price point.
Fascinated by the Future of Metaverse and Web 3.0? Philip Rosedale, One of the Original Leaders in Virtual Worlds and VR-Devices, Shares His Thoughts on What Our Online Collaborative Future Will Look Like
49:53On this episode of Office Hours, Spencer speaks to Philip Rosedale, CEO and cofounder of High Fidelity and founder of Linden Lab, for a wide-ranging conversation about Web 3.0 and the future of the metaverse. Rosedale, who recently rejoined Second Life as a strategic advisor, speaks about his vision on what the future of metaverse holds, and how startups can prepare to innovate around it. As a true pioneer in the early iterations of the metaverse and virtual reality, Rosedale shares what he’s learned about the challenges and opportunities that face the growth of what has become the biggest new buzzword in tech. This talk was originally broadcast as a live online discussion on Zoom that took place as part of Madrona Venture Labs “Launchable: Web3 Startups” event on March 18, 2022.
Hello Sunshine's Liz Jenkins on Producing Stories with Women at the Center of the Narrative
45:11Liz Jenkins, the COO of Hello Sunshine talks about how the media company looks to put women at the center of the narrative. The L.A.-based company was founded by actor Reese Witherspoon and dedicated to female authorship. Their stories aspire to be both fun and informative and to spread contagious joy through the women at the heart of their storytelling. Liz, who joined the company as its CFO in 2018, talks about the career path that took her from investment banking to the entertainment industry. During her time at Hello Sunshine, she’s helped grow the company’s business, including their scripted, unscripted and kids & animation studios, plus Reese’s Book Club. Previously, Liz served as the head of strategic ventures for Sony PlayStation and senior vice president of corporate development and strategy at Media Rights Capital (MRC) where she developed and implemented innovative distribution models, strategic partnerships and new businesses across film and television. Liz serves on the board and audit committee of Snap Inc. and is a board member and the Treasurer of GLAAD. Liz received her M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from Stanford University.