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Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs Invites

Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs Invites is a podcast featuring inspirational conversations with exceptional entrepreneurs and innovators about the strategies they used, lessons they learned, and what makes them stand out.


CTO Insights for Founders
IN THIS EPISODE:  In this episode, Nuno Godinho joins our host, Denise Silber, to share his perspective on why CEO’s would benefit from gaining the CTO’s ability to understand how to quickly test and revise new products and maneuver rapidly. As Founder and CEO of Diisruptance, a strategic business and technology consultancy, Nuno shares lessons for CEOs, CTOs, and everyone in between, that will help your venture keep up with the rapid pace of innovation in the technology landscape.  Tune in to learn  how to manage risk within a software company, how to approach crypto, and key strategies for keeping a balanced and sustainable work life in our stressful environment.   GUEST BIO:  An Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs, Nuno Godinho is Founder & CEO of Diisruptance, a strategic business and technology consultancy. He’s an accomplished Board Member and CxO with deep business & technology background, and expertise in areas such as governance, strategic growth, funding strategies and technology. Passionate, globally minded visionary and entrepreneur, he has a proven track record of more than 25 years delivering high quality results. He has worked with world leading organizations such as Microsoft, GE, SAGE and many others, varying in size and complexity, and stretching the globe in industries from healthcare, to pharma, to finance, and beyond.
28:09 09/14/2022
Behavioral Insights: A Must Have for Founders
IN THIS EPISODE:  Behavioral insights have the power to predict, shape, and propel the future of a business or even an entire industry. With them, companies can grow their sales, improve quality control, retain staff. But what are they and how do they work? In this episode, Denise Silber is joined by Darren Frey, founder of Ensemble Insight, whose consulting business integrates machine learning to help founders identify new, relevant data and make more informed decisions.   With his extensive professional experience at the intersection of behavioral and data sciences, Darren Frey  explains how business owners, when faced with a challenge that is not responding to usual methods, can find new solutions from either existing data or new data that is easy to acquire. In this episode, they cover everything from internal decision making to customer acquisition and retention, all through the lens of behavioral insights. Whether you're a new founder, or a long time entrepreneur, this episode promises to provide new perspectives to business strategies.   GUEST BIO: Darren Frey is the Director of Ensemble Insight, an applied decision science consultancy, as well as a lecturer at Science Po’s School of Management and Innovation in Paris.  He works at the intersection of the behavioral and data sciences in order to help organizations make evidence supported and behaviorally informed decisions.   An American raised in Mexico City, Darren Frey has a Masters in Theological Studies from the Harvard Divinity School, a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh; a Masters in Economics and Psychology (Paris I & Paris V), and a PhD  in Cognitive Science from the University of Paris. After working at both UNESCO and  Sanofi, first as a Senior Data Scientist and then as Director of the Analytics and Data Science Engine,  Darren Frey created Ensemble Insight consultancy to provide tailored, behavioral and data scientific expertise to companies from early stage start-ups to the Fortune 500.
21:13 06/21/2022
Purposehood: Unleashing Human Potential
IN THIS EPISODE: Purpose. Why is it crucial not just to entrepreneurs but for humanity? Here to discuss his journey, why purpose is inextricably linked to success, and the transformative power of living purposefully is author, thought-leader and entrepreneur Ammar Charani.    Our host, Philip Guarino, sits down with Ammar as he recounts his near-death experience and how it led him to find purpose in all aspects of life. They discuss the purpose-to-productivity pipeline and the dangers of living by a “work-life balance” mentality. This episode provides perspective and advice for any busy entrepreneur working to build a meaningful and socially conscious venture. Tune in to learn how you can find and build purpose within yourself, family, work, community, and your environment.   GUEST BIO: Ammar sought fulfillment and spent ten years with Sufi masters and religious scholars, studying, teaching, and subsequently serving as a cleric. Later, he focused on entrepreneurship, starting and seed-investing in over thirty businesses with thousands of employees. After a near-death experience, today Ammar is focused on growing Purposehood® University, a non-profit that trains coaches, therapists, business leaders, and professionals to help others live their purpose and unleash their potentiality. Ammar teaches “Engineering Your Life” course based on his Amazon #1 new release: "Purposehood: Transform Your Life, Transform the World”. Ammar holds an engineering degree from the University of Central Florida, and he is a graduate of HBS' "The President's Program in Leadership."
35:41 06/07/2022
Unicorn Hunting with Rotem Shacham
In this exciting episode our host, Denise Silber, is joined by Rotem Shacham, Principal at Viola Ventures, Israel’s leading tech investing group, as they explore unicorn hunting! Together they zero in on the challenges of identifying a future unicorn and what it takes to succeed for both a start-up and the investing group building its portfolio.  An experienced investor with an international perspective, Rotem digs deep into the key characteristics of a promising  start-up and explains why an outlier investment strategy can make the difference for an investment group. Rotem also provides an update on the competitive advantages Israel provides.
27:35 05/23/2022
The Blockchain Technology Driving Innovation
IN THIS EPISODE:  In this episode our host, Philip Guarino, is joined by Tom Sylvester, General Counsel for Hedera Hashgraph. As an expert in Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Tom demystifies Hedera’s DLT process and dives into the benefits of building a public ledger for the decentralized economy. From transparency to autonomy to security, the two discuss how the crypto landscape has been leading innovation in the global technology sector, from its transition from Blockchain to Hedera, and everything in between. Tom gives an honest account of the challenges and potential drawbacks to a crypto-forward future, and highlights the new opportunities that await in a world that puts the power of data back into the hands of individuals. Don’t miss the chance to learn about the blockchain technology paving the path to a greener, more secure future.   GUEST BIO:  Tom Sylvester is the General Counsel for Hedera Hashgraph, a sustainable, enterprise-grade public ledger for the decentralized economy. He also serves as the Board chair for Braver Angels, a national nonprofit that brings liberals and conservatives together to reduce polarization. Before joining Hedera, Tom worked in Abu Dhabi as the Senior Director of Policy & Strategy for Tamkeen, the Abu Dhabi government partner to New York University Abu Dhabi, a highly selective liberal arts college with a globally diverse student body. He also worked in New York as an associate at the international law firm Cleary Gottlieb. Tom grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and received a BA in Social Studies from Harvard and a JD from Yale Law School.
20:33 05/11/2022
How COVID Changed Customer Experience
In this episode our host, Denise Silber, is joined by Christophe Caïs, founder and CEO of CXG. Together they explore the sea change sparked by COVID and the new customer experience expectations for retail brands that have both physical and digital channels. In a word, customer experience must be the same in person and online. After working with over 200 brands, Christophe Caïs explains how and why companies must reorganize their teams and re-invent their marketing, eliminating the traditional silos separating the in-store and on-line strategy and execution. This episode provides actionable recommendations for any entrepreneur seeking to improve their customers’ experience and is not to be missed!
29:45 04/27/2022
The Power of Digital Identity
As the world becomes more virtual, the digital identity sector continues to grow rapidly. But what is digital identity, and how can it change the way we live our lives? In this episode of the HAE Invites podcast, our host, Philip Guarino, sits down with Jackie Shoback to answer these questions. As the Co-Founder of 1414 Ventures, Jackie is committed to investing in the digital identity industry in areas such as cybersecurity and blockchain. Tune in to hear how this impressive female founder is investing in the next generation of cutting edge technology, and overcoming obstacles along the way.
29:12 04/13/2022
She's Rewriting the Beauty Playbook
IN THIS EPISODE:  Join our host, Denise Silber, as she interviews Aisha Dozie, an ex-global capital markets executive who is turning the cosmetics industry on its head. Aisha’s company, Bossy Cosmetics, is inventing products and a brand for a previously unacknowledged customer, the ambitious woman of any age. Learn how Aisha went from burnout in finance to stardom in marketing and social media, even landing her products on Oprah’s Favorite Things list.  Together they discuss how Aisha used design thinking philosophy and listening to her future customers to identify  an unaddressed pain point in the beauty market.  This episode is a must-listen for managers targeting a crowded market. GUEST BIO:  Aisha Dozie is a global citizen who has worked/lived in New York, London, South Africa, Nigeria, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America. While Aisha holds an MBA from HBS and is an experienced global finance and capital markets executive who has worked on over $130B in deals and led multi-jurisdictional businesses within large international corporations, her current entrepreneurial pursuit is Bossy Cosmetics. Bossy is a digitally-native beauty brand that designs exclusively for ambitious women. In the 3 years since its founding, Bossy Cosmetics has redefined the way beauty companies delight and inspire professional women. When Oprah Winfrey discovered this new brand, guess who was featured on her Favorite Things list!
25:57 03/29/2022
Building a Cult Brand
IN THIS EPISODE:  The fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to climate change, and concerns around sustainability and the environment are growing among conscientious consumers. Join our host, Philip Guarino, as he interviews Andrea Baldo, the fashion CEO with a steadfast commitment to social and environmental responsibility. As the CEO of Ganni, Andrea and his team have cultivated a creative and innovative brand through transparent and authentic customer communication. The result? Ganni has built a cult following, a community which has driven its explosive growth. From its humble roots as a Danish company, it is now one of the hottest brands on the international stage. But just how did they do it? Listen and find out.   GUEST BIO: Andrea Baldo is CEO of GANNI, the Danish contemporary fashion brand which has developed exponentially over recent years with its Scandi 2.0 sense of style full of personality and contrasts. Andrea received his degree magna cum laude in Economics from the University of Verona and he is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s General Management Program. He has over 20 years of experience in the Fashion and Luxury Goods industry: initially as strategic consultant at Bain & Company and then holding top Management positions at brands including Diesel, Marni, Maison Margiela. Since 2013 Andrea is also Executive Fellow of the Strategic Management Department at IESE Business School in Barcelona where he annually teaches in the MBA program and for which he writes business cases and technical notes on Fashion and Luxury Goods industry.
30:53 03/08/2022
De-Risking Your Start-Up
IN THIS EPISODE: In this episode our host, Denise Silber, is joined by Jon Hu and Samantha Dale Strasser, PhD, co-founders of Pepper Bio, a Boston-based life sciences start-up expanding the potential for successful drug discovery. By combining their knowledge of industries from venture capital to electrical engineering, Jon and Samantha share lessons that are applicable to almost any start-up. Using transomics technologies, these founders are operating at the cutting edge of the intersection of technology and biology. Jon and Samantha share an honest account of how they have worked to de-risk the building blocks of their company: the product offering, the science behind it, their  management team, branding, and more. This episode is not to be missed by any entrepreneur looking to pave a smooth path to success. GUEST BIOS: Jon Hu, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pepper Bio. At Pepper, Jon leads recruitment, partnerships, and investor relations to build the company and achieve its mission to treat the untreatable. Hu is experienced in pharmaceutical research and development (Shire Pharmaceuticals), private equity (Bain & Company), and venture capital (Guild Capital). Jon earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Economics from Northwestern University. Samantha Dale Strasser, Ph.D., Co-founder of and Chief Science Officer of Pepper Bio. At Pepper, Strasser leads the science team and the advancement of transomics for drug development. Strasser developed the foundation of Pepper Bio’s technology during her time as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at MIT, where she earned her PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Strasser’s  PhD co-advisor was Pr Kevin Haigis of Harvard Medical School and the research lab was at HMS Teaching Hospital Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Strasser  earned her M.Phil in Physics at the University of Cambridge, as a Churchill Scholar, and her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mathematics from Northwestern University.     
22:43 02/22/2022
The No Code That Raised $100M in Series A
IN THIS EPISODE:  In this episode our host, Denise Silber, is joined by Emmanuel Straschnov, HBS MBA and co-founder of, a pioneering no-code platform that is redefining  code-free technology. Bubble raised an impressive $100M in Series A and their clients have generated over a  billion dollars in revenue thanks to the businesses they’ve built on Bubble.  Tune in to learn fundraising, management, and founding advice from this successful  entrepreneur who created his business straight out of HBS. You may just change the way your company  approaches website and app building. Emmanuel Straschnov  shares how he and his partner identified a gap in the market and turned it into an opportunity for a new venture. He discusses the benefits of eliminating reliance on coding, how to make the jump from founder to operational manager, and the mistakes he made along the way. This episode is a must-listen for any entrepreneur looking to digitize their venture and grow their customer base. GUEST BIO:  Emmanuel Straschnov, the cofounder of Bubble, was born in Paris. He studied computer science and mathematics at the prestigious French engineering school, Ecole Polytechnique and received his MBA at Harvard Business School. Emmanuel is committed to breaking the economic limits of technology and devising solutions that enable innovation and product development without coding software. He has spoken extensively about visual programming and the democratization of technology and worked across Asia, Europe and the Americas.
28:07 01/24/2022
Eating Our Way to a Healthier Planet
IN THIS EPISODE:  What we eat impacts our health--and the health of our environment. As Co-Founder and CEO of Eat the Change, Co-Founder of PLNT Burger, and Chair of the Board at Beyond Meat, Seth Goldman is a leader in the climate-friendly food revolution. Join our host, Philip Guarino as he speaks with this inspiring entrepreneur and activist about his mission-based businesses that aim to nourish our bodies and the planet.  In this episode, Seth highlights the importance of maintaining a sustainable diet. As not only a CEO, but also an activist, he discusses his efforts to support non-profits through Eat the Change, and how his passions are what have driven him to the place he is now. Tune in to hear how Seth approaches sustainability with purpose, and created environmentally efficient food alternatives without sacrificing nutrition or flavor.   GUEST BIO: Seth Goldman is Co-Founder of Eat the Change™, a snack brand that offers chef-crafted, nutrient-dense planet-friendly foods. Eat the Change™ recently launched a line of organic mushroom jerky and will be launching a kid-friendly snack line in late 2021. Seth and his co-Founder, Celebrity Chef Spike Mendelsohn are also co-founders of PLNT Burger, a plant-based quick-serve restaurant that offers delicious burgers, sandwiches, fries, and soft-serve. Seth is also the Co-founder of Honest Tea and Chair of the board of Beyond Meat. He has been widely recognized for his entrepreneurial success and impact. He is a graduate of Harvard College (1987) and the Yale School of Management (1995) and is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.
24:28 01/11/2022
Confidence and the Entrepreneur
IN THIS EPISODE: In this episode our host, Denise Silber, is joined by  Eric McNulty,  a lifelong student of confidence and Associate Director of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard. With concrete examples and practical tips, they discuss: how to spot the overconfident entrepreneur, why it is essential to cultivate the right balance of confidence and humility,  where to find confidence, and how to maintain it in times of turbulence. As an author, researcher, and entrepreneur himself, Eric provides not only unique insights but the confidence checklist for entrepreneurs and observes that a confident entrepreneur will wait for the investors that her start-up deserves. GUEST BIO: Eric McNulty is Associate Director of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard. His work centers on leading in high stakes, high pressure situations. He is the principal author of case studies on the Boston Marathon bombing response, super storm Sandy, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He is the co-author of the book, You’re It: Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When it Matters Most and others. He is a contributing editor at strategy+business and has written many times for Harvard Business Review. Previously, he worked at Harvard Business Publishing (HBP). He was an intrapreneur at HBP and has worked with several startups.
26:12 11/30/2021
Women in Fintech: Sustainability, Impact Investing, and Beyond
IN THIS EPISODE:  In this episode our host, Philip Guarino, is joined by Stefania di Bartolomeo, Founder and CEO of Physis Investment. As a female founder in a male-dominated industry, Stefania joins us to discuss what it takes to be a woman in fintech, and how she grew her business from a passion to a fund that has inspired many.  As an impact investing platform, Physis is committed to leveraging data to track, measure, and promote sustainable investment. Stefania shares the motives that lead her to build the fund, and what she hopes to see in the future of sustainable fintech. With the business world moving toward a more socially conscious future, this episode is a must for any entrepreneur hoping to bring their mission to life.   GUEST BIO: Stefania founded Physis with the vision to bring greater transparency to the financial industry and empower investors to measure and track the impact of their investments. As CEO, Stefania has developed Physis from an idea to a comprehensive data-hub platform. She is a skilled portfolio manager with extensive global experience. She was the youngest impact investing fund manager in Europe and has published two e-books on sustainable finance. Stefania is a university lecturer and board member.
22:34 11/17/2021
Build, Sell, Go Global
IN THIS EPISODE In this episode our host, Denise Silber, is joined by Sridevi Raghavan, an  entrepreneur from India who developed her business concept, a revolutionary idea in India at the time,  for a business plan contest at HBS.  They discuss her entrepreneurial journey from HBS student to building the real thing in India, and selling it to allow it to grow globally. Sridevi paved her own path as a trailblazer in India’s childcare industry and successfully made the transition from an entrepreneur to a global manager. Tune in to hear this inspiring businesswoman detail how she overcame cultural and societal hurdles to build the business of her dreams, one that would allow Indian mothers to pursue a career. GUEST BIO Sridevi  Raghavan is today Senior Vice President – Education, Quality & Sustainability at Babilou Family, a global French company that is among the largest daycare and early education networks in the world. Babilou Family serves over 50,000 children across 12 countries.  An entrepreneur, Sridevi joined the company in 2018, when they acquired her own daycare chain in India and she became Country Manager of India operations. In 2020, Sridevi took on her current headquarters role, thus moving to Paris from India with her family.  Building a daycare chain in India, a revolutionary idea at the time, was Sridevi’s business plan proposal at HBS. After completing her MBA, Sridevi Raghavan returned to India with that plan, to start the country’s first corporate onsite daycares in 2008. She grew the operation through several rounds of funding, until the sale in 2018.  A trained Bharatanatyam dancer, Sridevi has performed in India and abroad.  
24:01 11/03/2021
Building Successful Boards Post-Pandemic
IN THIS EPISODE:  What are boards and why are they a powerful tool for successful businesses? Mark Hamill joins host Philip Guarino to look at best practices for startups, post-pandemic board trends, and the skills required for top performing boards. Together they discuss the keys to landing board positions, the benefits of virtual board meetings, and the increased demand for board diversity. Whether you are a seasoned board member, looking for your first board spot, or an entrepreneur on the hunt for advisors, this episode is not to be missed! GUEST BIO:  Mark has 20 years experience in Global Executive Search, having built an EMEA Search firm which he sold to Private Equity in 2017. He has since then launched The Naked Headhunter which focuses on Succession Search and Executive Transition and the Virtual Advisory Board, a global talent pool of “Board Advisory” global executives who can help CEOs and Owners with any insight they might need on the above topics across all worldwide markets.   While also chairing Ackermann International, the largest European Executive Search firm in Latin America, Mark has dedicated the last 3 years since his exit to identifying and understanding the pain and lifecycle of executive career transition. He has created tools (Visibility Quotient) and know-how, and now he helps navigate Executives through this period.
24:11 10/19/2021
Make Strategy your SuperPower with Mark Chussil
IN THIS EPISODE: In this episode our host, Denise Silber, is joined by Mark Chussil, Founder of Advanced Competitive Strategies Inc., and business wargaming expert. They discuss  the worrisome fact that the vast majority of entrepreneurs still execute on untested strategies, only to discover that the market did not react as predicted.  Mark then shares some of his most impactful experiences with companies across a range of industries who now identify major strategic  blindspots through testing and simulation.   So how can testing your strategy add billions to your bottom line? And how can you find blindspots in your plan before your competitors do? Mark Chussil recommends that you combine humans and computers and make strategy your business’s super power. And he even invites you to try out his pricing tournament simulation game. Listen and find out how. GUEST BIO:  Mark Chussil is Founder of Advanced Competitive Strategies, Inc. A pioneer in business war gaming and computer-based strategy simulation, Mark has helped companies add billions to their bottom lines. He has written/co-written three books, chapters for others, and numerous articles for Harvard Business Review and other publications. His current work on strategy tournaments combines humans and computers to simulate strategy options when it helps most: before committing real money and real careers. His favorite story is when his simulations showed him how wrong he was. Mark has an MBA from Harvard and a BA from Yale.
38:45 10/05/2021
Scaling Up: Best Practices for Growth
IN THIS EPISODE:  As a business grows, the opportunities - and challenges - are many. Finances, consistent product delivery, leadership and team-building, and pursuing a strategy while remaining nimble are just a few of the many things leaders must keep an eye on. To discuss some of these challenges and best practices for ensuring success during times of growth is Elizabeth Coleon, Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer at Qonto. In this episode, host Philip Guarino sits down with Elizabeth Coleon to break down what it takes to bring a company to the international stage. They discuss all things scaling from how to balance central and local operations, to how to manage constant change and integration. Tune in to learn how to successfully grow your next venture. GUEST BIO: Elizabeth Coleon is the Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer at Qonto. She is responsible for leading the Growth team at Qonto composed of 70 talents driving Brand & Communications, Acquisition & Revenue Growth, Sales, Growth Engineering and International (Italy, Spain & Germany). Elizabeth holds degrees from Georgetown University, Sciences Po Paris and Harvard Business School. She began her career at Goldman Sachs in mergers & acquisitions advisory and then spent 10 years at the investment firm, Paul Capital Partners, ultimately serving as a Managing Director. Prior to Qonto, Elizabeth was at PayPal for five years, where she most recently served as Director, Global Consumer Growth.
22:08 09/21/2021
The Mentoring Mindset with Shirley Liu
IN THIS EPISODE:  In this episode our host, Denise Silber, is joined by Shirley Liu, Global Vice-President  at L’Oreal who is passionate about mentoring and psychology. Together, they discuss how building trusting relationships in business is facilitated by mentoring and being mentored and potentially curating a set of mentors. Shirley shares some of her most impactful experiences as a mentor, and the tools she uses to be an effective leader,  teammate, and global citizen. So why do mentors live longer? And how can you ensure that you are operating at the best version of yourself? Listen and find out how. GUEST BIO: Shirley Liu is a Global Vice President at L'Oréal. She’s a member of the British Psychological Society and trains at King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN). She advocates the astounding cause-and-effect of psychology and leadership in team environments; to find out more please see her TEDx talk “Why psychology (and neuroscience) will make you a better leader.” Shirley is an alumna of Harvard Business School GMP 2017. She serves as the co-president of Harvard Women France, board of ANHW France and a mentor of Harvard Kennedy School Women in Defense, Diplomacy and Development (W3D).
42:46 09/07/2021
The Entrepreneur's Guide to Happiness and Well-Being
IN THIS EPISODE: Stress, anxiety, and uncertainty have all become part of daily life. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we find ways around these negative obstacles. In this episode, Professor Daniela Pittman, positive psychology expert, joins our host, Philip Guarino, to discuss some of the attitudes, practices, and habits we can all adopt to increase our well-being and overall happiness. Professor Pittman details her five healthiest habits, the psychological tools that helped her through COVID, and her tips for living in the moment. She also opens up about the struggles that lead her to rely on psychology, and how crises can often highlight the best in people. This crash course on happiness and well-being is sure to leave you with the tools and secrets you never knew you needed. So what does it really take to form new habits and protect your well-being in the face of uncertainty? Listen and find out. GUEST BIO: Professor Daniela Pittman is a University Associate Professor at IE University in Madrid. Daniela specializes in training executives and students  in Leadership Techniques, Team Building and Well-being at Work. Since 2013 she has been an associate professor at IE University imparting courses and seminars to Law, Business, Communication and Psychology students on positive leadership, effective communication and interpersonal skills and  public speaking as well as a pioneer program in Spain, “Happiness in Yourself and in the Workplace”. Daniela has a Master's Degree in Psychology from Harvard and received her undergraduate degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.
32:01 06/29/2021
How Purpose Unlocks Your Value with Diane Primo
IN THIS EPISODE: In this episode our host, Denise Silber, is joined by Diane Primo, CEO of Purpose Brands and Co-Founder of the Primo Center, a not for profit. Together, they take a deep dive into the critical importance of building a business ensuring that a business is built with purpose, the lessons Diane has learned in applying the fundamentals of business analysis to solving homelessness, and how entrepreneurs can help accelerate the cultural transition sparked by the killing of George Floyd.  Branding with purpose is essential  in today’s social climate. Diane Primo shares the keys to aligning your business with your values, and how to turn a positive social impact into a positive financial one. She also details her experience as Co-Founder of the Primo Center, taking on the challenge of homelessness and working to create a business model that targets root causes rather than short-term solutions.  How can we as entrepreneurs channel these lessons and create businesses that allow us to live our purpose? Listen and find out. GUEST BIO: Diane Primo is CEO of Purpose Brand Agency, an award-winning, Chicago-based public relations, branding and digital marketing firm. She is the only African American female CEO of a purpose-driven communications agency. Diane was recognized by Ragan Communications’ 2020 Top Women in Communications Trailblazer Award. Diane’s personal public service record reflects her personal commitments to eradicating homelessness.  She is a recipient of the Hassenfeld Family Humanitarian Award and was a presenter at the G8 UK Deauville Partnership Summit.  She is currently co-chairman of the nationally recognized Primo Center. Diane Primo is a Harvard MBA.
39:55 06/22/2021
Smart Cities: Innovation Changing our Landscape
IN THIS EPISODE: In this episode, Professor David Ricketts joins host Philip Guarino to pull back the curtain on the Smart City movement. Now an Innovation Fellow at Harvard, David Ricketts has provided research and insights for the most innovative cities in the world. David examines the cities at the forefront of the movement, describes the importance of innovating across an entire organization and shares how to make the leap from digitizing to true innovation. Tune in to go behind the scenes on some of David’s favorite projects, and hear what it takes for a city to stay one step ahead, and best serve its citizens. GUEST BIO: Dr. David S. Ricketts is an award-winning innovator and global thought leader in the theory and practice of innovation. He has helped boost creative thinking and bring cutting-edge ideas to reality in top companies such as Mastercard, Disney, and General Motors. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he is an Innovation Fellow researching how organizations transform ideas into innovation. His breakthrough research and innovations have been featured in worldwide news outlets such as Popular Science, Smithsonian, NBC, CBS, and Fox News. His teaching and insights leverage his over 20 years of corporate R&D and academic research. Dr. Ricketts helps organizations drive success through innovation with his dynamic keynotes, executive consulting, and innovation masterclasses.
21:05 05/18/2021
From Failure to $14B, with Quintin E. Primo III
IN THIS EPISODE: Tune in to hear the intimate thoughts of an inspiring and articulate entrepreneur, as he examines a life spent building a multi-billion dollar real estate enterprise and creating social change. In this episode, our host, Denise Silber, takes a deep dive into Quintin E. Primo III’s life in business, from his success as a young HBS grad at Citibank to the collapse of his first entrepreneurial venture and finally to executing $14 billion in real estate transactions. Quintin Primo provides an honest account of what went wrong in his first venture, shares his secret to staying on the right path as a decision-maker, and discusses how his faith led him to build the business of his dreams. After three decades as CEO of Capri Capital, Quintin Primo credits creativity, service, and a sense of community as playing a large role in his greatest successes. But how exactly did he combine these different facets of his life in such a productive way? Listen and find out. GUEST BIO: Quintin E Primo III serves as Chairman and Chief Executive of Capri Investment Group, a real estate investment and development firm that he co-founded in 1992. Over his many years in the industry, Quintin has challenged conventional wisdom in developing new markets for investment. He was an early investor in underserved urban property markets among other groundbreaking strategies. He serves as co-chairman of the Primo Center for Women and Children and was a founding chairman of the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard University and a B.S. in Finance with honors from Indiana University.
51:01 05/04/2021
Impact Investing: How to Make a Difference While Making Money
In recent years, our world has become increasingly concerned with the social and environmental effects of the global economy. As a result, the Impact Investing industry has begun to spread to all corners of the financial sector. In this episode, our host Philip Guarino, sits down with Carlos Vargas, Professor of Finance at EGADE Business School, to fully unpack the positive and negative implications of sustainable finance, and to discuss the international trends and possibilities created by impact investing. They will cover regional investing trends across Europe, the US, and Latin America, and explain the challenges that can often accompany this delicate balance of investing and social impact. GUEST BIO: Carlos Vargas is a Professor of Finance at EGADE Business School at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico and Lecturer of Sustainable Finance at Harvard Extension School. He has experience in sustainable finance, renewable energy, financial analysis, and real estate finance. Vargas was formerly CFO for New Evolution Ventures Mexico, a subsidiary of an investment fund that manages fitness facilities worldwide. He also managed the real estate investment portfolio at BBVA Asset Management, Mexico. Vargas holds a Master's Degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. in Sustainable Finance from the University of Zurich. He has been published internationally and been invited to lecture at universities across the US, Europe, and Latin America.
37:51 04/21/2021
Unique Insights on Leadership and Search with Helene Reltgen, Egon Zehnder
Helen Reltgen is a Senior Partner at Egon Zehnder where she leads the Technology & Communications Practice and founded the Global Digital Practice. She is also a core member of the Global Board and CEO Succession practices.  Previously with McKinsey & Company in Paris and Morgan Stanley International in London, Helene has served on the board of AlphaMOS and is engaged in pro bono causes including diversity and art. A graduate of the French business school ESSEC and an HBS MBA, Helene also has various certifications in coaching and individual development (Hogan, PF16, MBTI, Immunity to Change, Moebius Green Belt) and is the Chairwoman of the HBS Club of France. IN THIS EPISODE: “In a world of startups and change, what can top entrepreneurial minds learn from executive search?” To answer this question, our host Denise Silber interviewed senior partner, Helene Reltgen, at the world’s largest privately-held search firm. With her experience in digital transformation, board advisory, leadership strategy, and diversity and inclusion, Helene Reltgen provides unique, inspirational insights on how today’s entrepreneurs lead their companies to success.
35:10 03/03/2021
How to Lead and Thrive in Challenging Times
HBS alumna Cveti Yotova has a strong international practice in business development, strategy execution, and change management in many Fortune 500 companies. She has extensive experience having led over 150+ projects in the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. After completing her studies at HBS, she focused her efforts on clients in diverse industries most of which operate, manage, or have valuation of above $1 billion. Her services also include pre-and-post-M&A consulting on strategic alignment. Having a zest for helping early-stage companies, Cveti has served as a Co-chair of HBS Alumni Angels of Southern California and on the Global Board of the HBS Angels community. IN THIS EPISODE: The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed our lives over the past year. In particular, the way we work has dramatically shifted in a very short period of time. With a massive move toward telecommuting, businesses face critical strategic challenges that have a direct impact on the bottom line. In a time of anxiety and uncertainty, how can businesses best engage and motivate their employees remotely? How can they ensure productivity and thrive during this time of crisis?
38:41 02/17/2021
How to Turn a Winning Business School Pitch Into a Unicorn, with Dr. Lissy Hu, HBS MBA
Dr. Lissy Hu is the CEO and Founder of CarePort, where she works with leading health systems, payers, and accountable care organizations to optimize post-acute care outcomes. Dr. Hu brings over 15 years of experience working in the healthcare technology space. In 2012, she founded CarePort to provide care coordination software solutions to manage patient transitions across the continuum. CarePort's end-to-end platform bridges acute and post-acute EHRs — providing visibility for providers, payers, and ACOs into the care that patients receive across care settings. Dr. Hu earned her Doctor of Medicine from Harvard Medical School. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in pre-medical studies and sociology from Columbia University. IN THIS EPISODE: Before creating Careport, a web-based healthcare software startup, Dr. Hu observed that “Consumers needing to reserve a restaurant could read 300 reviews prior to making their decision but could find no information before choosing a post-hospitalization facility for a loved one.” In this episode, host Denise Silber, interviews Dr. Hu, Harvard MD MBA, whose startup pitch won an HBS student venture competition and put her on the path of launching a highly successful healthcare service company that was acquired for $1.35B in 2020. Dr. Hu’s experience running a beta test, raising funds, and developing a world-class team, all for the first time, apply to any industry, although it’s even more impressive that she did all this in healthcare!
44:56 02/03/2021
On Leadership with CEO, 4 Term US Governor, and People-Lover, John Lynch.
John Lynch’s business career included serving as director of admissions at Harvard Business School, as president of The Lynch Group, a business consulting firm in Manchester, and as CEO of Knoll Inc., an American furniture manufacturer, where he transformed the company from a losing enterprise to a highly profitable one. In 2004, John was elected governor of New Hampshire and served four terms through 2012, becoming the most popular governor in the history of the state. Currently a clinical professor at Tuck Business School, John was honored in 2020, with the NH Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of New Hampshire, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. IN THIS EPISODE: How did a former CEO win the New Hampshire governorship four times and  become the most popular governor in the state’s history? In this episode, host Denise Silber interviews Harvard MBA and classmate, John Lynch, who did all of the above, and had the occasion to get to know President Joe Biden along the way. What is John’s secret sauce? A self-described people lover, John will spare no effort to meet the people who serve on the front lines, to learn the facts, and to set an example as a leader who does the right thing. 
31:03 01/20/2021
Big Wisdom on Small Business from Amazing Aussie, Bill Lang
From founding a hot dog start-up at Melbourne University,  to graduating from Harvard Business School’s MBA as a Baker Scholar, Bill Lang’s experience has been formed over a 30-year career in working with business owners and leaders across multiple industries and countries, and from his own entrepreneurial journey. By the time Bill had graduated from Harvard Business School, he had co-founded businesses in Australia and Silicon Valley that culminated in a $120 million global alliance with AT&T and British Telecom. For the last 20 years, Bill has leveraged his experience in China to help western businesses develop skills, strategies and relationships to engage with Chinese consumers and business partners at home and abroad. IN THIS EPISODE: Would you like to pick the brain of a McKinsey consultant turned entrepreneur who has advised countless business owners in the US and globally? In this episode, host Denise Silber speaks to our first Australian guest, Bill Lang. A Harvard MBA and Baker Scholar, Bill helps business owners raise money and grow, expand to and from China, or simply survive the pandemic. A life-long learner, Bill is a coach, an educator, a government advisor, a passionate advocate for small business, and one efficient person!
32:27 12/07/2020
Elevated Economics: The Societal Shifts Forcing Business to Change
Richard Steel is an entrepreneur, investor, author and business consultant. He has run private and public companies, served on nonprofit boards and advised the White House Business Council. Richard is an alumnus of Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management program. He is an advisor to large and mid-size companies, governments, startups and nonprofits. Currently, Richard is the CEO of the venture firm Parsec Ventures and chairs a philanthropic fund. IN THIS EPISODE: We are in the midst of monumental change. Consumers have already become more conscious of environmental, social, and governmental issues. As greater importance is given to businesses that do good, we are witnessing a massive $68 trillion transfer of wealth to future generations. Businesses, investors, employers and politicians will have no choice but to adapt. In this episode, Richard Steel, CEO of Parsec Ventures, discusses what these shifts are and what implications they have.  
31:08 11/11/2020