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Ideas Elevated

Author: Comcast NBCUniversal Lift Labs

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From Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs, it's Ideas Elevated: the podcast that elevates innovative products to their full potential.

Join host Danielle Cohn as she explores the tools and tactics that successful entrepreneurs, industry experts, and up-and-coming CEOs use to take their ideas, products, and startups to the next level.

Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs gives talented entrepreneurs access to Comcast NBCUniversal’s renowned network of partners, brands and mentors to foster rapid breakthroughs in connectivity, media, and entertainment.

16 Episodes
John Maeda is one of the world's preeminent interdisciplinary thinkers on technology and design. In How to Speak Machine, he offers a set of simple laws that govern not only the computers of today, but the unimaginable machines of the future.In this episode, John chats with our producer Kevin Chemidlin about the incredible benefits of growing computation. You’ll hear his advice on how to grasp concepts like AI and exponential growth, even if you’re a technological novice. And if you’re a tech startup, how long should you take before pitching an idea or product? John has some thoughts on that, too. 
Ben Nemtin is a TV producer, motivational speaker, and New York Times bestselling author.He co-founded and produced The Buried Life, an MTV documentary series that explores the art of fulfilling your wildest dreams in unconventional ways. Ben is a motivational speaker and an advocate for mental health awareness. In this episode, Ben discusses his own struggles with mental health, and how he learned to adopt a lifestyle devoid of fear. You’ll hear his advice on how entrepreneurs can change their mindset to accomplish feats they may have never imagined possible.
Josh Kopelman co-founded First Round Capital in 2004 to reinvent seed-stage investing. Since that time, the firm has invested in over 300 emerging technology startups – becoming one of the most active venture capital firms in the country. Josh has consistently made the Forbes “Midas List” which ranks the top 100 tech investors, earning the number four spot in 2014.Early in his career, in 1992, Josh co-founded Infonautics Corporation – and took it public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 1996. Josh founded in July of 1999, and led it to become one of the largest sellers of used books, movies and music in the world. was acquired by eBay in July 2000.In this episode, Danielle and Luke chat with Josh about which founders catch his attention, and how he selects startups for investment. You’ll hear his advice on pitching your company, how to stay honest with your investors, and how to create your own roadmap as a founder. 
Tobias Peggs is CEO of Square Roots Urban Growers, hyper-local indoor farms spread across the boroughs of New York City and Grand Rapids. Tobias has been involved in the creation and growth of early-stage internet companies since the mid-90s.Before Square Roots, Tobias was CEO of Boulder-based OneRiot. Tobias led OneRiot through its transition from consumer-facing search engine to socially-targeted mobile advertising platform – ultimately leading to acquisition by Walmart.In this episode, Tobias chats with Luke Butler about how he plans to change the urban farming game across North America. You’ll hear about the latest advancements in the food industry, advice on partnering with the right companies, and tips on scaling your company, while making an impact on your community.
Marc Randolph is a veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur, advisor, and investor. As co-founder and founding CEO of Netflix, he laid much of the groundwork for a service that’s grown to 150 million subscribers, and fundamentally altered how the world experiences media. He also served on the Netflix board of directors until retiring from the company in 2003.In this episode, Marc chats with Danielle and Luke about the story behind Netflix. You’ll hear about “That Will Never Work,” Marc’s appropriately titled story about how he made Netflix happen, grow, and eventually thrive. And, you’ll hear Marc’s thoughts on the dangers of glorifying entrepreneurship.
Earlier this year, we were inspired by our community to launch a female founder and funder meetup group for women to ask each other off-the-record questions.It’s become a popular place for insights on everything from founding to fundraising. Today, we’re giving you a seat at that table, in a roundtable discussion moderated by Danielle Cohn.We’ll talk about the access and funding gap, what’s being done to overcome it, and lessons for all women in starting and growing a business.You’ll hear from University Professor who runs an angel investment group, an CEO and expert on unconscious bias, and a bootstrapping entrepreneur.
Danish’s Dhamani's vision is to empower people around the world to overcome their fear of public speaking and to become a better communicator.As a first-generation immigrant, for whom English is a second language, the fear of public speaking haunted Danish throughout his early life. By constant practicing and coaching, he soon realized that people are not born public speakers; instead, public speaking is a learnable skill.This is what inspired Danish to create Orai, a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to improve your speaking ability.In this episode, you'll hear his story firsthand, and learn about his experience taking Orai through the 2018 Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator powered by Techstars.
Erica Williams Simon is an award-winning host, social critic, entrepreneur and author focused on exploring the truth of who we are and how we want to live. The self-described “professional question asker” and former Head of The Creator’s Lab at Snapchat is the founder and CEO of Sage House, a company that creates spaces, both in-person and online, for a new generation to ask critical questions, share stories and develop wisdom. She is also host of the popular podcast “The Call with Erica” and author of You Deserve the Truth: Change the Stories that Shaped Your World & Live a World-Changing Life.In this episode, Erica chats with Luke Butler about how growing up as a preacher’s daughter helped her grasp the power of storytelling.
Scott Kupor is the Managing Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. There, he is responsible for all operational aspects of running the firm. He has been with the firm since its inception in 2009, and has overseen its rapid growth, from three employees to 150+, and from $300 million in assets under management to more than $10 billion.In this episode, you’ll hear Scott’s best advice on how to obtain venture capital for your startup. He'll also delve a bit into the question of whether you should seek out Venture Capital. Danielle and Scott will also chat about unconscious bias, and how underrepresented founders can access resources and capital.
Even though it’s 2019, the gender gap in the tech industry is still huge. So at Philly Startup Leaders Entrepreneur Expo, a flagship event of Philly Tech Week, we sat down with two women who are beating the odds in the tech world.Jennifer Maher is the CEO over at 1776, a business incubator that has roots in Pennsylvania, DC, and Virginia. Kiera Smalls founded City Fit Girls: a citywide fitness club for women in Philadelphia. Both Jennifer and Kiera have their hands in Philly Startup Leaders: the largest network of tech startups in Philadelphia. Jennifer is the President of PSL, and Kiera is the Executive Director.In this conversation, Danielle and Luke chat with Kiera and Jennifer about their journey as women of tech, the challenges and successes they see in underrepresented entrepreneurs, and about how to build a thriving tech ecosystem.
Philly Tech Week brings together hundreds of innovators and entrepreneurs from the Philly startup community. It’s one big adrenaline rush for Philadelphia’s tech scene. And it’s impossible to imagine a Philly Tech Week without Christopher Wink, CEO and co-founder of Technically Media.Chris has been heading Technically Philly for the past decade. He actually co-founded it during the recession ten years ago, and ever since, it has served as a trailblazer for Philly’s tech and journalism communities. Live from Philly Startup Leaders Entrepreneur Expo, we’re going to be hearing about Chris’s own professional journey: from a young journalist to a first-time CEO. We’ll be talking about what distinguishes a good CEO from a bad one, and how you can present yourself as an entrepreneur. And, you’ll hear about Chris’s day-to-day: he absorbs a lot of information, from YouTube videos to excel spreadsheets. Because sometimes, you can find inspiration for your startup in the most unexpected places.
Todd Bonin is a Senior Executive Producer over CNBC. He produces two live shows—Squawk on the Street and Squawk Alley—right on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. For years, he’s been covering up-and-coming companies and technology in the midst of all the action on Wall Street. Today, Todd’s going to give us some of the do’s and don'ts of pitching YOUR product to national media. He'll also share a little bit about what his team looks for when selecting which startups and entrepreneurs to feature on their program.
Kevin O'Leary is an investor, businessman, and author best known as one of the Sharks on Shark Tank.In this episode, you’ll hear what Shark Tank investors are looking for when they’re pitched.He'll share lessons in success that he’s learned from his portfolio companies.And, you’ll even hear how, in its early seasons, he used data to improve and elevate Shark Tank itself.This discussion was recorded live at Lift Labs in Philadelphia, PA. It is lead by Sam Schwartz, the Chief Business Development Officer at Comcast.Follow Comcast NBCUniversal Lift Labs online:Join the Newsletter! on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
Alex Banayan is a 26-year-old who has spent the past 7 years interviewing some of the most successful people in the world, including Lady Gaga, Larry King, and Bill Gates.The common theme: every successful person has found a "Third Door," or an alternative path to massive breakthroughs in success.In this episode, he shares how every entrepreneur can get into the right room, with the right people, who can elevate their idea.Follow Comcast NBCUniversal Lift Labs online:Join the Newsletter! on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
Michelle Caffrey is a reporter who covers technology and education for the Philadelphia Business Journal.In this conversation, she’ll share tips and advice for entrepreneurs who are looking to have their company or product featured in the press.She'll suggest specific ways to really make your product’s story worth telling, she’ll talk about some common mistakes that first time founders make when working with the media.Follow Comcast NBCUniversal Lift Labs online:Join the Newsletter! on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
Nolan Bushnell is best known as the creator of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, though he has founded over 20 companies.In this episode, you’ll hear the story of how Nolan launched the consumer video game industry with his invention of Pong.He’ll also provide actionable insight on product iteration and early customer feedback.This discussion was recorded live at LIFT Labs in Philadelphia, PA. It's lead by Sam Schwartz, the Chief Business Development Officer at Comcast.Follow Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs online:Join the Newsletter! on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
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