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Found

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How do you build a company from scratch? How do you take an idea and turn yourself into a founder? Find out from those who’ve already taken the plunge and are in the weeds of entrepreneurship.

Every Tuesday, hosts Becca Szuktak and Dominic-Madori Davis interview founders on their origins, product roadmaps, funding efforts — and how they grow from failures. Found is produced by Maggie Stamets
173 Episodes
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This week on Found, we have an interview from TechCrunch's Strictly VC event in DC. Becca sat down with Steve Case, the founder of AOL to discuss policy, innovation, and AI. Case, now the founder of Revolution Ventures, told the live audience that open access not only helped his company back in the 90s but is also why the internet was able to progress in the way that it did. Regulators should aim for the same goal with AI policy despite the potential risks. He  argues that opening  up access to horizontal AI players like OpenAI and Google would also help expand AI away from being concentrated on the coasts. (0:00) Introduction(1:29) AI regulation compared to the internet’s early days(6:20) Supporting AI startups outside the traditional hugs(11:49) AI Policy and the innovation economy(16:40) Entrepreneurship and job creation in the US Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
Many pots and pans on the market are coated in teflon, a poisonous chemical that can be harmful when it gets too hot. Luckily, there is an answer on the market — Caraway, a home goods brand that touts itself as being non-toxic but still high quality. Jordan Nathan founded the company after his own experience with Teflon poisoning that left him searching for a better — and healthier option. On this week’s episode of Found, Dom and Becca are joined by Nathan to discuss how he built a brand around aesthetically pleasing non-toxic home goods as we continue to dive into DTC companies. In this conversation they discussed:Why being the last brand to fundraise can be a benefit to the companySticking to the plan to bring Caraway to retailThe product launch failure that almost killed the company before it started(0:00) Introduction(3:36) Creating non-toxic cookware(7:31) Launching the brand(13:05) Caraway Brand Strategy(16:44) Expanding to new categories(20:49) Influencer marketing(25:25) Product launch failures(29:20) Host discussion Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
There is estimated to be 40 million acres of lawn or turf grass in the U.S., making the grass in people's backyards one of the largest crops in the U.S. and yet lawn care products are full of harmful chemicals. So Coulter Lewis decided to start a sustainable lawn care company that will help people learn how to care for their grass in a way that’s good for the planet. Sunday is a DTC that allows consumers to sign up and send in a sample of the dirt from their lawn that is used to pick out what products someone needs and tell them how much and when they need them.In this conversation they cover:How Coulters previous experience starting Quinn Snacks with his wife informed how he leads at SundayThe challenges and perks of building with family membersEvolving the products from bespoke DTC offerings to general consumer in-store goods(0:00) Introduction(4:28) Creating personalize law care plans(9:34) Launching DTC in this climate(14:55) Expanding into new categories(20:50) using data to improve products(23:13) Building businesses with family(28:06) Building the right team(31:27) Regulation and expansion(36:15) Host conversation Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
When someone starts two incredibly successful enterprise companies, they must really understand the issues enterprises face and how to solve them. This week on Found, Becca and Dom talk with Arvind Jain, the CEO and co-founder of Glean, an AI-powered work assistant that connects and understands enterprise knowledge. The idea for Glean was born out of Jain’s experience at his previous startup Rubrik.In this conversation they cover: How Jain knew it was time to start a new company and why it didn’t make sense to build Glean inside of RubrikThe importance of building a self-sufficient leadership team and the downside of micromanagingWhy cybersecurity is top of mind when working with enterprise data at an AI company Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
Food is medicine. This week’s guest on Found is Ashely Tyrner, the CEO and founder of  FarmboxRx which helps their customers manage their chronic diseases through bespoke grocery boxes  In this episode, Becca, Dom, and Ashley get into the logistics  of delivering fresh produce to their member and how they have become profitable while accepting SNAP/EBT and partnering with health plans. In this conversation they cover:How Ashley’s experience living in a food desert inspired this companyThe struggle to fundraise despite growing and increasing revenueHow the company is using behavioral science to help their members take actions that will improve their health.(0:00) Introduction(2:12) Food as medicine(7:07) Grocery logistics with fresh produce(9:27) Working with health plans(15:13) Bootstrapping a capital-heavy business(20:48) Distribution and logistics(22:48) Ashley’s leadership style(28:15) COvid’s impact on online grocery(31:49) Fundraising challenges(35:48) Host discussion Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
This week we're bringing you a conversation from our friends over at Equity. Alex Wilhelm caught up with EarlyDay’s two former CEOs, Emma Harris and Melissa Tran, and their new boss, Chris Bennett at Wonderschool, to chat through the deal, what’s ahead for their sector, and more. Wonderschool is a startup that works with individuals and local governments to spin up more childcare businesses by providing software and other support and they have acquired EarlyDay. EarlyDay, another venture-backed startup, operates a early childhood educator marketplace. Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
Clinical trials are ongoing for the first long-lasting, reversible male birth control which is the first innovation in male birth control since the vasectomy hit the scene in 1897. This week’s Found guest is Kevin Eisenfrats, the co-founder and CEO of Contraline, a biotech company developing innovative methods to use hydrogel as a contraceptive. Contraline’s first product, ADAM, is what some are calling the first male IUD. The company will begin clinical trials in the U.S. very soon.In this conversation they cover:The process of fundraising when you’re creating a completely new categoryWhy the overturning of Roe V. Wade has led to increased interest in ADAM by men in the USThe future of Contraline and other innovations that use hydrogels(0:00) Introduction(2:26) The challenges to male birth control(6:53) Why hydrogel works(9:35) Developing ADAM(15:08) Cultural reaction to ADAM(20:18) Entrepreneurship in medicine(22:39) FDA approval process(28:09) What’s next for Contraline(34:23) Host conversation Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
Most OBGYNs are not specifically trained in menopause, which means that women are left to suffer through their symptoms on their own. This week’s guest on Found is looking to change that. Joanna Strober is the CEO and founder of Midi, a virtual healthcare platform built specifically for women in midlife staffed with healthcare providers specifically trained to care for people going through perimenopause and menopause.In this conversation they cover:Why there is such a wide gap in care for women’s health and the negligent studies that are partly to blameWorking with employers and insurance companies to make sure that their services are covered under insuranceHow the Midi team has raised $100 million despite many investors not understanding the potential market for care for women in midlife(0:00) Introduction(1:27) Midi and Joanna’s background(4:38) The care gap(7:12) Building out research-based care protocols(10:00) Demand for menopause care(13:28) Joanna’s previous founder experience(17:04) Learnings from starting in VC(19:33) Building out the Midi team(22:56) Working with employers and insurance companies(24:50) Launching in 50 states(28:59) Fundraising experience Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
Most skyscrapers have sky-high carbon footprints due mostly to inefficient methods of heating and cooling. Today’s guest, Joselyn Lai is the co-founder and CEO of Bedrock Energy, a company that works with buildings to install geothermal systems. They have developed a system to drill the exact amount of boreholes at the precise depth needed to create the most efficient system per building.Today Dom is joined by a special guest host, TechCrunch Climate reporter Tim De Chant.In this conversation they cover:How the company has built up a customer base of urban buildersWhy it's easy to fundraise when the technology has been proven to be so effectiveCreating clean energy jobs for people who work in oil and gas(0:00) Introduction(1:51) Starting Bedrock Energy(3:59) Closed loop vs open loop systems(8:16) Building a customer base(12:50) Working with and around utility companies(17:08) Clean jobs for oil and gas workers(21:24) Decarbonizing the built environment(26:30) Fundraising(34:58) Host discussion Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
In order to get drivers to convert from gas-powered cars to electric, there needs to be reliable charging infrastructure. Today on Found, Dom and Becca are joined by Louis Tremblay, the CEO and founder of FLO, a company that manufactures electric vehicle charging stations and has been creating charging infrastructure in the US and Canada for the last 15 years. Tremblay also talked about how he intentionally built this company to be a rewarding and fun place to work and what advice he has for new founders trying to do the same. In this conversation they cover:The components that go into creating superchargers for public use and why these isn’t just one kind of EV plugThe process of working with cities to design charging stations that reflect the character of the cityThe importance of developing the hardware alongside the software to create the best customer experience possible Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
If you’re not in construction or in the middle of a renovation, you might not think much about wood waste but in 2018 alone landfills in the US received 12.2 million tons of wood. Most of this is useful material that could be reused, but the lack of infrastructure means the wasted wood can't always reach the developers, woodworkers, and creators who need it. This week on Found, we're talking to a founder who has a SaaS solution for this broken supply chain. Ben Christensen is the founder and CEO of Cambium, a company that is reimagining the wood supply chain and reallocating previously wasted wood to be used in new building projects. In this conversation they cover:Learning to navigate the logistics of sourcing, selling, and shipping wood to customersBuilding a team culture based on the individual and avoiding a one size fits all approachOnboarding customers who may be adverse to technological solutionsHow AI can help create a more efficient lumber supply chain(0:00) Introduction(1:42) What Cambium is all about(5:01) Climate change and wood recycling(11:36) Developing the software(15:54) Sourcing sustainable wood(18:41) Going from grad school to founder(20:01) Fundraising journey(23:59) AI and supply chains(25:49) Building the team(30:15) Learning from logistics mistakes(32:30) Staying grounded while building climate solutions(36:40) Host conversation Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
Between the rising cost of groceries and the all too common food desert, access to healthy and affordable food in America is getting harder to find. Today’s guest, Nick Green is the co-founder and CEO of Thrive Market, a membership-based online grocery store that focuses on natural and organic food and household products. Thrive Market isn’t just focused on offering healthy options, they want to ensure everyone has access to them so they’ve become the first online grocer to accept SNAP and EBT benefits. In this episode, Green discusses how it’s possible to build a business that is a shareholder-driven business and a business that cares about the stakeholders.They also talked about:The logistics of running a grocery company sustainably from the beginningTheir unusual path to fundingHow they organized the leadership team with four co-founders Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
Every wildfire season seems to be getting more intense than the last but today’s guest is here to tell us that wildfires actually have a good side. Today on Found, we’re joined by Allison Wolff, the co-founder and CEO of Vibrant Planet, a cloud-based planning and monitoring tool for adaptive land management. Wolff discusses why the wildfires we’re seeing today are hotter and spreading more quickly than we can contain and how proper land management can help create the environment needed for the lower, slower burning fires forrest need. They also talked about:How Wolff’s previous experience working with leaders at tech giants like Facebook and Netflix helped shape her leadership styleThe importance of working with indigenous groups to learn how people have been managing the land for centuriesThe key role AI places when it comes to monitoring land management and creating adaptive planning (0:00) Introduction(2:07) Vibrant Planet is modernizing land management(11:31) Adapting land management to climate change(16:45) Scaling nature-based climate solutions(20:16) The benefits of a for profit company(30:00) The importance of Indigenous knowledge in land management(35:01) Host discussion Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
Of all the work tasks you could automate with AI, submitting expenses would probably be high on the list. Today on Found, we’re talking to Eric Glyman, the CEO and cofounder of Ramp, a spend management platform that is building AI tools to make financial workflows easier for employees and employers. In this episode they talk about what Glyman and his co-founder learned from their first startup and how they see AI changing fintech forever.They also talked about:What Glyman and his co-founder learned from their first startup and from their time working at Capital OneThe white space that still exists in fintechHow Ramp is implementing security measures while ramping up their use of AI(0:00) intro(2:20) SImplifying financial processes(8:41) Automation expense management(13:46) AI could take over tedious work tasks(19:10) Security and privacy with financial data and AI(23:45) Taking a lower valuation(31:54) What's next for Ramp and fintech Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
Recycling is one facet to solving the climate crisis, but most of us are doing it wrong. Today on Found, Becca and Dom are talking with Rebeca Hu, the CEO and cofounder of Glacier, an AI robotics company that is building robots to accurately sort recycling. They talk about how many of us are wish-cylers who hopefully throw non-recyclables into the bin and how Glacier’s robots are sorting the recycling and making sure all of our recycling mistakes are corrected.They also talked about:What it takes to train an AI-powered sorting robotWhat the reception has been like in recycling facilitiesHow the robots are tracking the kind of waste we’re creating as they sortHow Rebecca told this story to fundraisers who have very likely never stepped foot in a recycling center.  Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
Applying for government benefits is a slow, tedious process that often leaves applicants in limbo for several months.  Advocate looks to help. Today on Found Becca and Dom are talking with Advocate’s founder Emilie Poteat, the company that helps Americans engage with federal benefits programs through its technology-enabled services platform. In this episode they discuss how the Advocate team is using AI to automate advocacy and get the wait time for people seeking aid to nearly nothing.They also talked about: Where Poteat ultimately found fundraising successHow the government has reacted to a small startup seeking to automate such an embedded bureaucratic processWhy AI is the best tool in the technological shed to work with the mass amounts of rules and data required to navigate the social security systemHow the team is implementing the security measures needed when dealing with such sensitive information(0:00) Introduction(4:16) the status quo of applying for government aid(8:56) Automating government services(13:13) using AI to automate advocacy(18:29) Finding the right investor fit(24:13) Hiring for a social impact company(30:00) Collaborating with government agencies(32:00) Host discussion Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
Do you know what brand your bedsheets are? Probably not. Today’s guest Ariel Kaye has been working to change that with Parachute, a DTC bedding and home goods company. Kaye started Parachute in 2013—the hayday of DTC brands. She joins Dom to talk about what it was like building as a solo founder while she’s established a well-known brand and expanded beyond bedding. They also talked about:Why parachute hasn’t raised as much capital as you might thinkHow Kaye’s branding expertise has driven the company’s identityKay’s best advice to avoid burnout and be the best leader possible as a solo founder Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
This episodes dives into the massive web of the wedding industry with Shan-Lyn Ma, the co-founder and CEO of Zola. Ma talked about why she decided to launch the business after trying to buy a gift for a friend and realizing that wedding registries were still living in the past. Ma spoke about how the company navigated changes in the digital and competitive landscapes over the last decade and how the company powered through the pandemic's impacts on the industry.(0:00) Introduction(3:33) Creating a better wedding planning experience(8:45) Building in the wedding industry(13:45) Inclusivity in the wedding space(18:35) Personalizing wedding planning(23:11) Adapting to the pandemic(33:08) AI-generated thank you notes(43:00) What's next Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
Is it time for the resume’s reign to come to an end? Tigran Sloyan is the co-founder and CEO of CodeSignal, a skills assessment platform used by many tech companies to hire engineers based on their engineering chops rather than their keyword-packed resumes. In this episode, Becca, Dom, and Tigran talk about how traditional resume-based hiring perpetuates biases and limits opportunities for individuals without extensive networks or prestigious credentials and how skills assessment lead to more equitable hiring. They also get into the CodeSignal team’s plans to go beyond assessment to skills development, how AI will play a role in building out these courses, and the way Tigran thinks about equitable hiring on his own team. (1:32) Solving the "talent problem" in hiring and skill development(4:55) Math competitions to MIT(10:42) Resumes, skills assessment, and AI in the job market(14:50) AI's impact on jobs and learning(20:05) Personalized learning with AI tutoring(24:47) AI tutoring platform for education and career development(28:57) Personal growth as an entrepreneur(32:42) Strategic hiring (37:08) Company culture, transparency, and AI development(40:35) AI tutoring platform and its potential impact on job requirements(42:34) Tech industry skills training and apprenticeships(44:16) AI-powered tutoring and personalized learning Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
Not many businesses start with a seemingly incurable case of Bacterial Vaginosis but today’s guest, Beatrice Dixon, found a company and a cure all in one. The Honey Pot is a plant-based vaginal wellness brand that was co-founded by Beatrice after she launched by selling her products at hair shows. On today’s episode, she tells Becca and Dom how those hair shows lead to the Honey Pot hitting shelves in Target.They also talked about:How Beatrice knew it was time to stop bootstrappingThe importance of finding investors who understand your mission and the intentional culture of your companyThe downside to having a fiercely loyal customer baseTrusting the process and making decisions with the your consumers in mind Found posts every Tuesday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be alerted when new episodes drop. Check out the other TechCrunch podcast: Equity . Subscribe to Found to hear more stories from founders each Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: found@techcrunch.com
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Comments (2)

zahraa afsari

loved it. keep rocking Amanda

Aug 24th
Reply

zahraa afsari

I loved it. it was so so so inspiring

Aug 3rd
Reply