Aero 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.
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Blackstone Growth's Jon Korngold On How The Market Downturn Is Affecting Startups
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42:44Blackstone Growth's Jon Korngold joins Spencer on this episode of Office Hours for a conversation about how the recent stock market downturn is affecting the tech sector and whether a market correction lies ahead. Korngold is Senior Managing Director and Head of Blackstone’s global growth equity investing platform, where he focuses on funding growth-stage companies. Prior to joining Blackstone in 2019, Korngold was on the Management Committee of General Atlantic, leading both the global financial services and health care sectors. Korngold also worked at Goldman Sachs and is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations. He's also active with Harvard University, where he serves on the Harvard College Fund’s Executive Committee.
Navigating the Seas of Technology Innovation, a Conversation with Zoolatech Founder Roman Kaplun
33:39Roman Kaplun is the CEO and Co-founder of Zoolatech, a custom software development company specializing in high-end software engineering based in the San Francisco area. Born in Leningrad in the former Soviet Union, his family moved to the United States as Jewish refugees in 1988, right after he completed High School. Zoolatech has workers in the U.S., Ukraine, Mexico, and Poland. The startup was able to evacuate, relocate, and resettle many of its employees from Kiyv after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Prior to Zoolatech, Roman held a number of Engineering Management and QA roles for Hotwire, Expedia, and IAC. Roman's career began in the maritime sector where he spent a few years at sea, mostly in commercial fishing. Roman has more than 20 years of experience overseeing critical information technology deployments for leaders in the e-commerce, Travel, Media, and Mobile space. Kaplun holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Transportation, Logistics, and Business Administration from California State University Maritime Academy.
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Serial Entrepreneur and Founder, John Shegerian Talks About How to Do Good Through Doing Business
36:56On this episode of Office Hours, Spencer speaks with John Shegerian, CEO and chairman of ERI, the largest cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction and electronic waste recycling company in the United States. Shegerian is a serial entrepreneur who helped found FinancialAid.com, Addicted.com and Engage, LLC, a speaker-booking platform, among other organizations. In the early '90s, Shegerian co-founded Homeboy Tortillas and Homeboy Industries, led by Father Greg Boyle, to help improve the lives of former gang members in East Los Angeles. The organization has since evolved into the largest gang-intervention, rehab and re-entry program in the world. John is co-author of "The Insecurity of Everything" and "101 Tips from the Marketing Masters: Ways to Supercharge Your Marketing & Exponentially Grow Your Business." He also hosts "Impact with John Shegerian," a weekly podcast featuring conversations with some of the greatest business minds and thought leaders known today.
Syndio CEO Maria Colacurcio On How Persistence Pays Off When Pitching, and Why Pay Equity Is Valuable to Businesses
38:11Spencer speaks with Maria Colacurcio, the CEO of Syndio Solutions on this episode of Office Hours. Syndio is a software startup helping companies around the world create an equitable workplace for all employees, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity. Syndio’s workplace equity platform helps companies close pay and opportunity gaps, mitigate legal risk and turn diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals into tangible results. Prior to joining Syndio, Colacurcio co-founded Smartsheet.com, which went public in 2018, and spent three years at Starbucks, one of the first Fortune 50 companies to make their pay equity results public. Colacurcio serves on the board of the nonprofit Fair Pay Workplace and has been named one of the 100 most intriguing entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs' Builders and Innovators Summit. As a CEO and a mom of seven, Colacurcio is walking the walk on eradicating workplace inequities; she was able to raise a $17.1 million Series B investment in January 2021 while eight months pregnant.
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.
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.