Building Community & Comedy with Dani Zoldan
Building a comedy club in NYC is more than just having great comedians show up every night. It's about building a community. Dani is a Multi-preneur and has started many businesses. In 2008 he purchased Stand UP NY. Since then he has worked hard to build successful businesses not only in comedy but also podcasting. Recently he and the team at Stand UP NY launched Podcast Row brining together the world of comedy, entrepreneurship, and podcasting.
In today's episode we chat about entrepreneurship, comedy, pushing the limits, creating community, podcasting, and much more.
Today's episode is sponsored by:
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Penji: Get 15% off unlimited graphic design when you visit https://penji.co/ and use code 'JUMBLE'
About Dani Zoldan
An entrepreneur since 19 years old, Dani is most passionate and comfortable when navigating in uncharted waters and have applied that mindset to his numerous business ventures. While in college, he founded the online music company Eargazmic.com. Merging his love of music and computers (we called it computers back then, not technology), he created a website where independent bands and musicians can use the website to promote and sell their music. Each artist had their own web page which consisted of photos, a bio, upcoming tour dates and links to purchase MP3’s. He ended up dropping out of New York University to focus on the business full-time but ultimately closing the business in 2003.
In 2004, when phone carriers starting utilizing voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and routing their traffic over internet lines instead of phone lines, he decided to experiment with that technology and built an IP connection from his apartment closet (that’s closet, as in where you put clothes) to Trinidad & Tobago and successfully was able to make long distance phone calls but paying local (Trinidad) prices. This experiment launched Titan International, which ultimately became a big player in selling wholesale long distance services to phone companies. Verizon, China Telecom, TATA Communications and many phone companies around the world relied on their services.
Not stimulated by the telecom business so much anymore, in 2008 he purchased Stand Up NY, the famous comedy club on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Stand Up NY made its name in the 80’s and 90’s with many of the world’s best comics known to frequent the club including Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Robin Williams, Louis CK and Jon Stewart. Dani purchased the club with one of his best buddy’s Gabe Waldman (also an aspiring comic), hired Steve Lewis, (the infamous New York club operator/designer) and gave Stand Up NY a major makeover. Today, the club is home to many current A-listers including Amy Schumer, Michael Che, Pete Davidson and Judah Friedlander.
In 2013, with his co-founder Jon Fatigate, we created Stand Up NY Labs, a comedy incubator. They successfully launched several hit podcasts including Tuesdays with Stories, Race Wars, The Jtrain podcast and In the Conversation which can can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and SoundCloud. In 2015, Cadence13, an audio engagement company invested in their company and currently ad-rep their network.
At the end of 2016, Stand Up NY launched Skitish Media which creates short, funny, and shareable video content for brands and media agencies.
In 2018, Dani created Stand Up NY Education in partnership with Teachable and produced its first online course called The Tight Five which consists of a 20 video course curriculum taught by 7 professional comedians. The same year, Dani started LaughPass - the first annual subscription to comedy clubs. LaughPass holders receive unlimited access to comedy shows plus a bunch of amazing perks.
In 2019, Dani launched Podcast Row. The mission is to connect entrepreneurs to their favorite podcasters to help them share their story.
Dani currently reside on the Upper West Side with my wife Billie, an orthodontist and three children - Bradyn, Sydney, Ryder and their cat Lola.