Show cover of Impact Hustlers - Entrepreneurs with Social Impact

Impact Hustlers - Entrepreneurs with Social Impact

Impact Hustlers features entrepreneurs and changemakers solving the world's biggest problems and creating massive social impact. Hosted by Maiko Schaffrath this podcast shares the stories of those who connect impact with profit and build businesses and solutions that solve problems such as climate change and poverty. Learn how entrepreneurship can be the solution to the world's biggest environmental and social problems.Learn more: www.impacthustlers.com

Tracks

Climate Intelligence For Superior Business Decision-Making - Iggy Bassi of Cervest
With the increasing severity of the climate problem, thankfully, there are organizations like Cervest that offer their climate intelligence program to empower companies and individuals to analyze their climate risk and make climate-informed decisions. For this reason, Cervest’s Founder and CEO Iggy Bassi joins us today to educate us on why we need to quantify and act on climate risks. Some of the highlights of this episode include the extremely useful advice that Iggy shares on building a mission-driving business, hiring the right people, finding the right investors, cultivating great relationships with both your staff and investors, and getting through the dark days. He also talks about why you need to marry method with conviction, which he emphasizes a lot, as it has a big role to play for founders when building a company. This is an episode you won’t want to miss.Iggy’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“Conviction needs to be high on mission, but also needs to marry with method as well, because the real impact you're looking to make has to be scalable.” (27:17)“There'll always be dark days… The question is, who do you want around your board when times get dark, and do they believe in the same thing that you believe?” (27:52)“You may be very strong on vision, but you've got to surround yourself with the right talent, and you have to build the right culture, because [...] for every power you have, you have a corresponding weakness as well.” (31:43)In this episode, we also talked about:Cervest and how it works (6:32)Why people use Cervest (17:54)Iggy’s hardest lessons learned (26:47)Finding mission-aligned investors (34:55)Support the show
47:53 06/27/2022
Backing Up Startups To Generate Impactful Solutions For Global Issues - Alex Farcet of Rainmaking
Alex Farcet is Founder of Rainmaking and Startupbootcamp, and these are just two of the many hats he wears. Rainmaking harnesses the power of entrepreneurship to help corporate companies implement innovation and impact initiatives, and Startupbootcamp is currently the largest industry-focused startup accelerator in the world. In this episode, Alex shares what led him to starting these companies and what drives him to keep them going. As someone with tons of entrepreneurial experience, he shares his advice and experiences for founders on fundraising, startups, the impact space, and the like. He even talks about the shift from corporate to startup, and why he works with both. Whether you’re a first-time founder or serial entrepreneur, you’ll want to listen to what Alex has to say.Alex’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“There's no secret sauce. You have to be extremely adaptive and aware… There's no formulaic approach. We've evolved over time.” (18:33)“We have to work on these problems. We're talking about my kids' well-being here, the planet's well-being.” (40:23)“The number one difference I see between a doing well Startupbootcamp alumni and not is how well they know their customer… It's, again, customer discovery, customer discovery, customer discovery. There is nothing else.” (48:42)In this episode, we also talked about:Alex’s entrepreneurial journey (9:51)How to make startup and corporate collaboration work (18:29)Mainstream funding for impact-driven startups (35:27)How to secure the right investors (46:57)Support the show
55:06 06/21/2022
Cultivating Carbon Negative Food Ingredients For A Better Planet - Marcela Flores & Angela Newton of Tierra Foods
Today, we were joined by not just one but two co-founders: Marcela Flores and Angela Newtons, who are the brains behind Tierra Foods, a startup with a mission to change the way we feed the planet. Through agroforestry and regenerative farming, Tierra Foods develops carbon-negative ingredients that help restore the planet. So, not only do these plants and ingredients help sequester carbon, but they taste good too!In this episode, Marcela and Angela share how the Carbon13 program was vital in making their paths cross but also in teaching them tips and tricks on how to successfully build their business. Apart from giving their insights into the agroforestry impact space, they also shared their advice for entrepreneurs on things like differentiating opportunities from distractions, how to find the right investors for your business, and so much more. This is an episode you won’t want to miss. Marcela and Angela’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“It's so vital to be clear on the North Star and recognize that opportunities and distractions will come all the time. There's a real art in being able to navigate that and recognize the difference between a pivot and a distraction.” (29:45)“There are a lot of investors out there. There's arguably a lot of money out there, but I think it's really important to find investors who really get who you are and what you want to do and what you're trying to achieve.” (36:44)In this episode, we also talked about:The Carbon13 program and what inspired Marcela and Angela to create Tierra Foods (6:41)How Tierra Foods brings the innovation to agroforestry (22:52)Entrepreneurial lessons the co-founders learned (28:59)Finding investors who are truly aligned with your mission (34:03) The world in 10 years according to Marcela and Angela (40:19)Support the show
47:51 06/13/2022
Restoring The Health Of The Planet And Its People Through Climate Candy - Amy Keller of FAVES
Think of candy, but in this case, it’s made out of upcycled fruits and vegetables (yes, you read that right) and it helps the environment, so it’s not only good for you but it’s good for the planet too! That’s what FAVES by Climate Candy is, and its co-founder and CEO, Amy Keller, is here to school us on food waste, climate change, candy manufacturing, and so much more. Amy is also the CEO of Pureplus, which works with farmers to turn their unwanted produce into plant-based powders, which ties into FAVES and Climate Candy. Fun fact: FAVES actually stands for Fruit And Vegetable Sweets. See what they did there? In this episode, Amy talks about what inspired her to address multiple problems, such as climate change, poor nutrition, unhealthy food, and food waste, to name a few, through candy. It’s really worth listening to her share her entrepreneurial journey in founding Pureplus, Climate Candy, and FAVES, obstacles she overcame, and lessons she learned to make her the successful impact-driven entrepreneur and advisor she is today. Press play on this episode now!Amy’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“When I look at that capability to share this dream of ours to teach millions of citizens how easy it is to affect change, it's high time people realize and seize their full power that it's really what we choose to eat, and that includes all of us.” (11:20)“As an entrepreneur, you're exposed to new insights, transformational experiences, really unique opportunities to make a positive impact in the world.” (28:33)“One of the things that you learn as an entrepreneur is that you have to take action and rise from some of these setbacks and understand that they're not setbacks. They're all learnings.” (29:41)In this episode, we also talked about:All about Climate Candy (7:56)Incumbents vs. startups (16:40)Entrepreneurial lessons from Amy (28:32)Amy’s great advice for early stage founders in the candy space (36:47)The world in 10 years according to Amy (42:28)Support the show
47:59 06/06/2022
Personalized Vitamins For Better Health & Wellness - Melissa Snover of Nourished
Tailor-made nutrition. That is the tagline of Nourished, a company dedicated to personalized nutrition supplements that are vegan, friendly, not to mention, delectable, and are made through patented 3D printing techniques and sophisticated encapsulation gel technology. Its CEO and founder is Melissa Snover, a seasoned entrepreneur who has founded multiple companies. In fact, in 2019, she raised the highest female founder seed round in the history of the UK, so there is definitely a lot that can be learned from her. In today’s episode, Melissa talks about why she was set on solving a problem that she herself experienced, the world of 3D printing and nutrition, how she’s made her businesses stand out from the rest, and key advice for early stage founders on having the right mindset when facing problems, choosing investors, and building a support system. Listen to this episode to find out Melissa’s investor horror story that will make you think twice before accepting money from just any investor!Melissa’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“All good entrepreneurs have a highly developed sense of empathy, because only when you have that can you actually develop solutions that are going to be fit for purpose and actually create meaningful value add and solve problems for people.” (6:41)“Every difficult thing that happens is really an education that prepares you for the next step, and I've really adjusted my perception to view it that way. The sooner you do that, the better you will be for the rest of your life.” (26:04)“99% of your life is the ride, not the destination, and you have to find ways of getting comfortable with that failure, and the eventualities of what the impact of that might be.” (28:09“The easy way and the right way are never the same way.” (34:04)In this episode, we also talked about:How Melissa ‘accidentally’ became an entrepreneur (3:22)How Nourished adds value to their customers (16:14)Crucial lessons Melissa learned on her entrepreneurial journey (25:58)Finding the right investors for your business (35:22)Support the show
46:53 05/30/2022
Scaling Impact Through Zero Waste Packaging System - Safia Qureshi of CLUBZERØ
Reusable packaging has been around for a while already as an alternative to single-use plastic or disposable packaging, but if there was a way to level this sustainable experience up? That’s where CLUBZERØ, formerly known as CupClub, comes in through innovatively combining sustainability and technology. Safia Qureshi of CLUBZERØ’s joins us today to share how she went from being an architect to a startup CEO and founder and why their reusable packaging experience is better than the rest. Safia shares how her background in architecture has helped them develop CLUBZERØ as the most scalable and best quality setup in the market, why user experience or UX is a big deal, improving the customer journey, and more. She also gives her insights and advice for entrepreneurs on the qualities you need to survive, addressing customers’ needs, and partnering up with the right businesses, among others. Tune in to this episode! With the likes of Just Eat, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Nestle, and more companies promoting the use of CLUBZERØ, we’re proudly on the way to lessening or eradicating single-use or disposable packaging. Say no to disposable packaging and sign up to join CLUBZERØ here! https://www.clubzero.coSafia’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“Fundamentally, it's about finding your purpose. I think you're answering your inner brief, which leads you to do what you do.” (7:59)“There's always value in selling your product if it's creating impact.” (51:25)In this episode, we also talked about:Finding your purpose (3:57)CLUBZERØ for consumers (17:17)How to gain customers (33:47)Overcoming COVID and other challenges (44:09)Support the show
60:49 05/23/2022
Collectivizing Our Climate Change Actions Through Sustainable Investing - Zach Stein of Carbon Collective
What if you could invest your retirement fund into companies that are sustainable and working towards solving climate change? That’s hitting two birds with one stone and exactly what Carbon Collective does. One of Carbon Collective’s founders, Zach Stein, joins us today to educate us on the world of sustainable investing and why this matters so much in the world we live in.In this episode, Zach shares his entrepreneurial journey creating Carbon Collective with his co-founder, James, with whom they’ve known each other since they were four year old. This is one of the main reasons they’ve cultivated a strong co-founder relationship, and he gives great advice on how to make this happen for you and your co-founder(s). He also talks about the importance of being vulnerable with your team along with sharing his highly suggested book recommendations for entrepreneurs and early stage founders. There is so much to be learned from Zach, so listen to this episode to hear what he has to say.   Zach’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“How does the world change? How does the status quo change?," and the only answer I've really found out is when enough people say, "I'm going to break from the status quo." When enough people do that, that's when the world starts to change.” (27:14)“Talk is cheap. And often, that's seen as a bad thing, but it means talk is the cheapest place to ideate on something. Make sure you've thoroughly talked through something before you actually start building.” (36:51)“An effective co-founder relationship and just an effective team, it is not tension-free. Tension is actually really important. You just never want to let it sit.” (38:43)“A small effective team can do so much more than a large ineffective one.” (43:36)In this episode, we also talked about:The impact of sustainable investing in addressing climate change  (9:06)How Carbon Collective works (19:23)Important entrepreneurial lessons Zach learned (34:29)Finding the right co-founder (38:22)Vulnerability and team culture (45:59)Support the show
56:09 05/16/2022
Learning The Art And Science Of Serendipity For Impact Driven Entrepreneurs - Dr. Christian Busch of New York University & London School of Economics
Serendipity doesn’t equate to luck, but it can be considered smart luck, and this is something Dr. Christian Busch explains to us today. Christian is a renowned author, professor, researcher, and co-founder of Leaders on Purpose and Sandbox Network, two well-known communities for impact-driven leaders. As an authority in purpose-driven leadership and impact entrepreneurship, Christian shares his insights on serendipity, finding the meaning of life, and how anyone, including entrepreneurs, can leverage their knowledge and serendipity to make an even bigger impact in this world.The main focus of this episode is Christian’s book, The Serendipity Mindset, which offers practical advice for entrepreneurs and changemakers to use science and serendipity to change the way they live and see the world, and it’s definitely worth a read. It was a great conversation with Christian, and he asked thought-provoking questions and gave helpful tips that may guide you on your entrepreneurial journey or simply in your journey through life. You won’t want to miss this episode.Christians’ key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“The most purpose-driven inspiring people, they seem to have something in common, which is that they somehow intuitively cultivate serendipity… how can we develop communities, mindsets, and companies that allow us to have more of this unexpected good luck?” (5:19)“Serendipity is about smart luck. It's about the luck we create ourselves through our own actions in how we react to the unexpected or how we create the unexpected. It's either making accidents meaningful or creating meaningful accidents.” (8:09)“Do you let the situation define you, or do you try to define the situation? In terms of this whole idea that, yes, we cannot always pick the situation we're in, but we can always pick our response to it.” (46:10)“How do you bring the best out of people and out of yourself so that when you are on your deathbed, you're saying, "Okay, well, it was worth it"?” (53:30)In this episode, we also talked about:What is serendipity? (7:57)The intersection between serendipity and impact (17:20)The importance of having a North Star (23:38)The government’s role is pushing society towards more serendipity (30:41)Victor Frankl’s lessons that Christian has taken to heart (46:04)Support the show
57:02 05/09/2022
Advancing Diversity Through End-To-End Human Resources Solution - Arthur Woods of Mathison
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. These three are an often overlooked yet crucial component in any company or organization. That is why Arthur Woods created Mathison, the first tech platform offering tools for companies to increase, measure, and manage Diversity, Equity, or Inclusion in a whopping 12 different dimensions. With the likes of Accenture, 23andMe, TripAdvisor, and many more companies using their product, the path to a more inclusive and diverse workforce is hopefully getting clearer with the help of Mathison.Driven by his own experience of not feeling safe in his workplace, Arthur founded Mathison with the goal of helping employees feel included, safe, and empowered. In this episode, Arthur shares his entrepreneurial journey, the ups, the downs, and the in-betweens, and how he powers through, including a neat tip on how to end everyday on a good note and his perspective as both an experienced founder and investor. Listen to this episode to find out more.Arthur’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“That sense of urgency and that sense of rush and impatience as entrepreneurs is sometimes really a strength, and other times, you have to eat your own medicine in terms of knowing when to slow down.” (24:29)“As entrepreneurs, we're constantly charting a new path. We're going into territory no one's explored before. And by the nature of doing that, we're making progress.” (28:02)“Even in the days where it feels like we're going three steps forward and four steps backward, those three steps, we still need to celebrate.” (30:27)In this episode, we also talked about:A rundown on DEI in the workplace (6:02)Arthur’s advice for founders hoping to build a culture of DEI in their company (17:15)The most painful lesson Arthur learned (24:12)The role of investors in promoting DEI (35:25)Support the show
42:09 05/03/2022
Reducing Pollution Through Innovative Reusable Diaper Solution - Alon Cohen of Pika Diapers
Alon Cohen is the founder and CEO of Pika Diapers, an impact-driven startup focused on changing the world one diaper at a time. Born from Alon’s own struggles as a parent constantly needing to buy and change diapers, Pika offers a machine that cleans and dries reusable diapers, making this a great alternative to using roughly 6,500 disposable diapers per baby that will simply end up in landfills.Not only does Pika Diapers address the financial aspect of having to shell out money for diapers regularly, of which the costs for this expense alone can pile up, but it also lessens the environmental impact through reusable diapers. And so, in this episode, Alon shares with us his entire entrepreneurial journey, from Pika’s inception, to the obstacles he faced like his stuttering, and then onto his goals and his vision for Pika as they soldier on in their mission to clean up babies’ sh*t. Oh, and we have exciting updates for the Impact Hustlers community. Listen to this episode to find out what we have in store for you!Alon’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“Figure out each feature if it is the right solution for the customers. If not, don't waste time adding features that the customer does not have any value [for].” (21:09)“Look, to be a founder, it is not the obvious thing to do. I think it's not recommended for everyone… You need a lot of inner strength.” (35:50)“The perspective is to change the way that we consume, to consume less, to consume without disposables.” (40;26)In this episode, we also talked about:An overview of Pika Diapers (7:08)How Pika came to be (12:33)Bootstrapping the business (23:49)Overcoming challenges in his entrepreneurial journey (29:02)How the world looks like in 10 years if Pika Diapers succeeds (40:24)Support the show
46:01 04/25/2022
Accelerating Impact Through Inclusivity In Access To Capital - Jasiel Martin-Odoom of Unreasonable
Reasonable items seldom change anything. This is why the aim of the Unreasonable Group, a private equity firm, is to re-purpose capitalism and support impact-driven entrepreneurs and companies who are trying to solve major global problems. To date, the Unreasonable Collective has over 300 ventures in more than 180 countries, and these ventures have collectively made more than $7 billion in revenue, nearly $9 million in financing, and are making a difference in the lives of 800 million people across the world.Impact Hustlers speaks to a lot of founders, but today, it’s time to hear what it’s like from the other side of the field. Jasiel Martin Odoom, Senior Investment Associate at the Unreasonable Group, joins us to share some insights on what it’s like partnering with impactful companies led by underrepresented or minority founders and raising funds. In this episode, Jasiel gives great advice and nuggets of wisdom for aspiring or early stage founders on how to pitch, how to select investors, how to raise funding, and so much more. We were even joined by a former guest on Impact Hustlers, Joel Tasche, the founder of Clean Hub! Again, you won’t want to miss this episode.Jasiel’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“If you can tell a very clear value proposition within the pitch deck you're sharing with the investors is always helpful.” (11:40)“You have to explain why your solution is better than anybody else in basic terms, but being able to craft a story around that thing often helps as well.” (17:34)“As you're starting out, the feeling might be to rush for the first VC to validate your product… but it's less about the money and more of what you're building. Especially as a founder, you're looking to build something that lasts, so think it through.” (23:33)“We should include diversity in this space and diversity of the team, who is in the team. That should be a metric for us to go out and find companies, because we will find that it will force us to source in different places.” (35:22)“Always start to fundraise before you need to close a round.” (45:43)In this episode, we also talked about:The type of companies the Unreasonable Group invests in (6:56)Do’s and don’ts when it comes to raising (11:16)The key to choosing investors (21:42)Pitching and helping investors understand a niche industry (37:56)Joel’s top tips on the overall fundraising process (45:25)Support the show
51:25 04/18/2022
Improving Lives Through Advancements In The Science of Aging - Victor Bustos of Refoxy Pharma
Imagine living a long and healthy life. Imagine not getting sick at all at 80 years old, or who knows, maybe 100 years old. The possibilities are endless thanks to today’s advancements in science and technology, and today, Victor Bustos joins us as the COO and Co-Founder of Refoxy Pharma. Refoxy is a biotech startup whose goal is not to extend the human lifespan but primarily to extend health. Basically, Refoxy aims to keep people healthy for as long as possible, which is both noble and challenging in itself, right?Initially, Victor was working in academia, but then he was motivated by the fact that life seemed too short coupled with him having read studies on how it was possible to change how long and how healthy people could live. Thus, Refoxy Pharma was born. Pivoting from the academe to creating a startup, however, was no easy feat, so Victor had some amazing insights and lessons to share with us about his journey from PhD student to startup founder. You won’t want to miss what he has to say. Victor’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“What is a scientist if not an entrepreneur?” (26:44)“It is important to not sell yourself short as a scientist, because there is a lot that one can bring as a scientist into any endeavor. And so, just having this open mind of being able to learn anything and try to learn anything, that's going to give you a lot of ground.” (27:29)“In the end, it's just a matter of asking the right questions and trying to find the right tools to answer those questions.” (29:17)In this episode, we also talked about:Refoxy Pharma and what it’s like working with Apollo Health Ventures (9:11)Academia vs. entrepreneurship (22:10)Why scientists and entrepreneurs are more similar than you think (28:53)Risk mitigation (36:01)Support the show
44:43 04/11/2022
Enabling Resilient Energy Grids - Thomas Folker of Leap
Thomas Folker is the co-founder and CEO of Leap, a climate tech startup that helps balance the energy grid and begin the transition to renewable energies, all through a single API. With the goal of running an energy grid that is decreasingly carbon-intensive, Leap hopes to pave the way for better and cleaner energy alternatives through their software. In today’s episode, aside from sharing how energy grids in general and, in particular, Leap work, Thomas also shares how he and his team made the most out of the pandemic. With a team of 80, he sings praises about the beauty of going fully remote and the advantages that came with it, such as being able to hire the perfect people regardless of where they are in the world plus how having a Director of People made a huge impact in their company culture and so much more. This is an episode you won’t want to miss. Thomas’ key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“We are a startup with a mission, a climate tech-driven mission. So, everyone that works at Leap has the drive to do something good for the world, so that's been a real big magnet for us to acquire real talent.” (36:51)“For everyone, impact is different, and we are not the small startup anymore where everyone knows exactly what's happening in everyone's private life. So, processes break as well.” (38:47)“Technology got us where we are right now, but it can also get us in a situation where we make sure that we are not on a pathway to destruction. Clean energy is the future.” (42:53)In this episode, we also talked about:Electric vs. solar vs. wind (10:53)How Leap works (17:24)Leap’s business model and how they make money (26:52)Lessons Thomas learned during the pandemic (35:27)Support the show
44:38 04/04/2022
Impact By Ensuring Legal Compliance - Garth Watson of Libryo
Libryo co-founder Garth Watson joins us today to share how Libryo helps companies comply with regulations on environment, health, and safety all over the world. Initially beginning his career as a lawyer, Garth pivoted when he and his co-founders, Malcolm and Pete, saw a problem that needed to be solved regarding regulation and compliance.In this episode, Garth shares how Libryo came to be and his advice to early stage entrepreneurs when it comes to overcoming challenges. It was no easy feat to get Libryo to what it is today, having raised nearly £4 million in funding and operating in more than 80 countries and over 500,000 sub-national jurisdictions, so there is definitely much to be learned from Garth and Libryo. Listen to this episode to find out more. Garth’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“We've been very deliberate about building a company culture that's full of honor and encouragement and calling out the greatness in people.” (21:57)“There's no such thing as a peacetime CEO and a wartime CEO. In running a startup, there's always a blend of both, so it's just a level adjustment.” (28:24)“You don't want to mute your highs, you want to express the joy as best you can.” (31:46)In this episode, we also talked about:How Libryo works (6:10)Surviving 2021 and why is the most challenging year for them (18:46)How entrepreneurs make good decisions (25:03)One of Garth’s most useful pieces of advice (31:36)Garth’s vision for Libryo and the world (40:51)Support the show
48:34 03/28/2022
The Rise of Carbon Accounting: What Does Good Look Like? - Kristian Rönn of Normative
In the race to net-zero emissions, one of the leaders in the carbon accounting space that helps companies calculate and reduce their emissions is Normative. Today, we have Normative’s CEO and co-founder, Kristian Rönn, here to share the lessons he has learned in the past eight years since creating Normative with his friends and what progress they’ve made on the path to sustainability.Being a startup founder is definitely no easy job, and Kristian said that sometimes, you need to take a step back in order to reflect and recalibrate what the best way forward is for the company and your team. This is Kristian’s advice based on his experience, and he offers many more nuggets of wisdom, such as how to avoid hitting a wall or  what to do when you do hit a wall, so listen to this episode and find out more.Kristian’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“You need a different type of personality when you start a company than when you grow with the company.” (33:24)“What you need to be in the end is humble.” (37:40)“You don't have to be the CEO just because you're a founder. I think it takes humility either way, but where startups fail is when you don't have that humility.” (38:17)“What is the way forward? How will we have the biggest impact in 10 years, 20 years, or whatever it might be?” (40:36)In this episode, we also talked about:The history of carbon accounting and how Normative works (9:48)The difference between ‘net zero’ and ‘carbon neutral’ (16:51)The three scopes of emissions and how to prevent double accounting (20:58)Kristian’s core lessons in his entrepreneurial journey (33:14)An important startup that Kristian experienced and wants you to avoid (41:28)Support the show
48:50 03/22/2022
Reducing Food Waste Through Effective Storage - Manik Suri of Therma
Did you know that there are 90 million refrigerators in the business world and 1.4 billion in the consumer world? Imagine the effects of that on our environment. That’s why Manik Suri co-founded Therma, a tech startup driven to prevent food, product, and energy waste, which are three major drivers of climate change, through temperature monitoring and analytics. On his journey to founding Therma, Manik shares the many insights he uncovered, some of which were discovered the hard way, such as the significance of finding the right people to work with, how to sell the dream but also stay true to yourself, tips on prioritization and avoiding burnout, plus a useful framework to keep in mind when crafting a product, among others. Listen to this episode to find out more!Manik’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“The journey is always somewhat different than we expect when we get started, at least I've never seen the path to be linear.” (3:03)“We need so many people to be working on socially impactful problems like sustainability and the climate crisis that there's literally no better time to get started than today.” (26:28)“The talent and the quality of the team matter more than anything else… The ability to work with people who are better than you in whatever it is you're not best at is key.” (35:13)“The best entrepreneurs and the best strategists are really good at knowing exactly what they need at any given time and quickly changing when that changes.” (40:45)In this episode, we also talked about:Addressing the food waste problem to address climate change (8:41)How Therma works (16:09)Bringing out the entrepreneur in you (26:27)The most important lessons Manik’s learned on his entrepreneurial journey (34:02)Finding the perfect balance in life (43:25)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
49:12 03/15/2022
A Non-Profit with a Sustainable Business Model - Adam McCurdie of Humanitix
Imagine Eventbrite and Ticketmaster but with lower booking fees, highly competitive technology, an incredible customer service team, and not to mention, has an amazing cause. That’s Humanitix, a ticketing registration platform that donates 100% of its profits to education programs around the world, and Humanitix CEO and co-founder Adam McCurdie is here today to talk to us about how Humanitix creates a meaningful impact and why Humanitix is one of the frontrunners, if not the frontrunner, in the events ticketing space.Something interesting about the Humanitix co-founders Adam and Josh is that they actually shared Josh’s salary while bootstrapping and building Humanitix. Adam shares that this definitely required a lot of trust in each other and included setting some rules and boundaries in their friendship in order to make it work. Apart from having a great partner, he also told us how integral having a good team is. A testament to this is the fact that despite not being able to provide equity, they have zero churn with their engineering team, which is one reason they’re able to constantly innovate and offer the best quality product in their field.So much was discussed in this episode, including how they raised initial funding from philanthropists and what they promised them in exchange for their money, how they convinced event hosts to make the switch to Humanitix, why people use their product not just because it’s impactful but also because their technology is exceptional, and so much more. You won’t want to miss this episode.Adam’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“We've created the biggest no-brainer in events ticketing, and I think that's the main reason for our success and growth to date.” (7:51)“To get an event host to switch to Humanitix, particularly the bigger, more complex, sophisticated events that have more booking fees as a result, we have to come to the party with a very compelling piece of technology, not just a far more ethical model.” (9:22)“You can, as we've proven, run a beautiful company that creates phenomenally high-quality products, that produces a lot of profit, and as a result, achieves all this impact and funds the organization itself.” (18:34)“How important are shareholder values and wealth in the grand scheme of things? It's not the be all and end all of the capitalist engine. It's just one aspect, but it doesn't have to be everything.” (44:49)In this episode, we also talked about:How Humanitix works (5:27)Why they choose the 501(c)(3) nonprofit model for Humanitix (16:21)The most important lessons Adam learned on his journey to creating Humanitix (23:05)Battling COVID (38:30)Compassionate capitalism: How Adam sees the world in 10 years (43:51)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
72:28 03/08/2022
Reimagining Sustainable Interior Design - Miguel Reynolds Brandão of CORKBRICK EUROPE
Miguel Reynolds Brandão is the CEO and founder of CORKBRICK, a furniture company that aims to provide people with sustainable dynamic structures or furniture solutions. One of the best things about CORKBRICKs is that it's as easy to build and take down as Legos!Despite facing many setbacks and delays to their launch such as having to move factories, a fire in the factory, and not to mention COVID, Miguel was able to successfully launch CORKBRICK with his daughter Catarina. He shares with us that although they didn’t initially plan on creating this company, they are proud of how far they have come with CORKBRICK already and how far they have yet to go. Also, it enables Catarina, who is an architect by profession, to develop the architectural aspect of the company. Talk about a great father-daughter duo!Another interesting thing about CORKBRICK is how they are able to merge the digital world with real-life with a game similar to Minecraft, except that with their offering, you could potentially earn royalties for life. Basically, it’s a combination of gaming, digital and physical creativity, and economic value. Now, doesn't that sound enticing? Listen to this episode to find out more.Miguel’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“What motivates me is to solve real problems, not just making money.” (4:46)“What is common to all of us is the passion for creating a sustainable solution that can really change people's lives.” (13:19)“The problem in our world is that people think that money is everything. It's people.” (27:01)“We need to change our attitude. We need to change the way we build things to more clever ways, and CORKBRICK is one example of that.” (42:13)“We need to leave an inheritance to the next generation that is at least as good as the one that we got.” (43:12)In this episode, we also talked about:Miguel’s entrepreneurial journey and what led to the creation of CORKBRICK (3:06)Choosing the right investors (19:07)CORKBRICK today (29:26)Use cases of CORKBRICK (38:11)The world in 10 years if CORKBRICK succeeds (42:40)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
46:53 03/01/2022
The Role of Social Innovation in the 21st Century - Neil Malhotra of Stanford Graduate School of Business
Social innovation is all about designing and applying solutions to improve people’s lives, and this is something Stanford Political Economy professor, Neil Malhotra, teaches and knows extremely well. As the Director of the Graduate School of Business' Center for Social Innovation, Neil begins with an introduction of what they do at Stanford in terms of social innovation and Stanford’s connection with Silicon Valley as the startup scene. Neil talks about a book he co-authored with his colleagues entitled Frontiers in Social Innovation. He tells us what inspired them to write this book and the valuable insights that they share with their readers. Whether you’re a seasoned businessperson or early stage entrepreneur, Neil and his co-authors provide advice that will equip you with the skills and tools you need to create and scale your impact-driven business. Neil explains how you can carry out impact measurement in the right way, analyzing the correct metrics, and he also highlights the fields are already oversaturated with businesses and which ones need more attention. One important concept he talks about is the theory of change and how to apply it so that your business model translates into impact. There are some nuggets of wisdom in this episode, so listen to find out more.Neil’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“Having a good theory of change is a really good starting point.” (14:40)“Don't be intimidated. Don't immediately go to lean approaches. A lot of these more rigorous approaches are in the hands of your toolkit that you might not realize.” (17:03)“The more skepticism you can decrease, it's not only the right thing to do, but it's going to be the most effective in growing your enterprise.” (24:38)“If there's not a trade-off, then there's no such thing as social entrepreneurship. It's just entrepreneurship. There is no such thing as impact investing. It's just investing.” (33:51)In this episode, we also talked about:Neil’s book Frontiers in Social Innovation (5:46)Neil’s advice on how to effectively measure impact (14:28)Standardization in the impact space (26:04)What to do and what not to do when creating an impact-driven business (30:22)The future of social innovation according to Neil (40:11)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
44:28 02/22/2022
Tracing Impact Through Supply Chain Transparency - Katharina Davids of seedtrace GmbH
With consumers becoming more conscious and aware of the sustainability and overall impact of the products they buy, one major area under inspection is the supply chain process. And so, armed with the goal of sustainable consumption, Seedtrace CEO and co-founder Katharina Davids shares how their software empowers both businesses and consumers through product transparency.On the one hand, Seedtrace enables companies to manage supply chain data, prove it, and then communicate it. On the other hand, Seedtrace also allows consumers to trace products back to their roots and ensure that environmental, ethical, or sustainable standards are met. Their software is actually blockchain-based, which Katharina herself deliberately doesn’t mention immediately nor is it mentioned on their website, because though blockchain does help them verify claims, it doesn’t help them prove where data is coming from. So, their focus is really more on providing transparency for sustainable consumption and production.One case study Katharina gives is a cacao fruit pulp producer, Koa, and how they use Seedtrace to prove that their farmers are being paid fair wages. Apart from this, she also talks about the struggles she and her co-founder faced being two female founders, the challenges when it came to finding investors, especially female-led VCs, and the lessons they learned from these experiences. Listen to this episode to find out more.Katharina’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“50% of consumers often don't know which is the better choice, because there's so much confusion and information lack and greenwashing that is happening around us as well.” (14:46)“Do we rather go that route to grow faster and maybe don't really stay true to ourselves? Or do we go the route where we might grow a bit slower and lose some clients on the way, or potential clients, but really do what we believe in?” (30:51)“We have the goal for ourselves that transparency in supply chains is the norm rather than the exception.” (38:54)In this episode, we also talked about:Katharina’s background and what led her to creating Seedtrace (2:53)Current supply chain processes and regulations (9:24)The three main offerings of Seedtrace (17:46)Seedtrace’s two main stakeholders (26:58)The biggest challenge for Katharina in building Seedtrace (33:40)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
52:38 02/15/2022
Funding Schools Of The Future - Brian Greenberg of Silicon Schools Fund
What changes can be done in the educational system to adapt to being in the 21st century? That is what Brian Greenberg asked himself, and so the Silicon Schools Fund was created. It is a nonprofit organization that supports a new generation of schools and innovative education models, and Brian is here to share what they do, how they do it, and why they do it.Beginning his career dabbling in politics, it was Brian’s later experiences working as a teacher that motivated him to want to improve the learning system. Through hard work and a bit of luck, he was able to start a venture fund that supports a new kind of learning. Not all children learn as quickly or as effectively from the traditional education system, and so the Silicon Schools Fund envisions a more personalized learning program that leverages technology and innovation. As it turns out, there were many wealthy investors who found this to be a meaningful and impactful proposition. Since its inception 10 years ago, they now have worked with over 75 schools in California. Brian explains the three types of schools in the American education system, how they select and fund schools, and what it takes for that school to actually open, teach students, and break even. He also talks about the long road ahead to truly make an impact in the way kids are being taught. If you’re an entrepreneur who is interested in the education space and seeking advice on how to go about it, you’ll want to listen to this episode.Brian’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“The difference is, whereas venture capitals [are] raising money from limited partners and investing it for profit, we are raising money from limited partners and investing it for social impact.” (11:24)“What if we unlocked this amazing potential of the kids really caring about what they were doing and having a chance to have a little more control over the speed or topics that they were covering?” (23:28)“Anyone who says this will be easy, you should just walk away from them. Anyone who says it's impossible, you should run away from them.” (33:24)“If we don't solve making education more equitable and more effective for everybody, we will never have the kind of society we want.” (33:38)“Get closer to the action, so you can understand what the real problem is, and try to build solutions that matter.” (39:13)In this episode, we also talked about:What led Brian to founding Silicon Schools Fund and the kind of schools they support (3:47)How the Silicon Schools Fund operates (11:11)How they select schools (18:30)Entrepreneurship in the education space (27:26)How Brian sees the world in 10 years if Silicon Schools Fund succeeds (39:36)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
43:50 02/08/2022
Reliable Cough Data for COVID19 and Tuberculosis Research - Iulian Circo of Hyfe
One of the most common symptoms associated with COVID-19 is probably the cough. Now, what if you could quantify that more than giving a simple description about it? Well, that’s what the cough tracking app Hyfe does, and co-founder Iulian Circo is here to tell us what it’s all about. Initially working in the humanitarian sector in various countries, Iulian shared his experiences working in war zones and high-intensity environments and how he was drawn to making a similar impact, but this time in a different sector. Now, he’s founded and currently advises many organizations and startups that are geared on making an impact in the world in so many different ways. Iulian also talks about his entrepreneurial journey, Hyfe’s use cases, and the significance of technology, especially in healthcare and new fields like acoustic epidemiology. Apart from that, Iulian said that this generation is ready to make an impact, and so now is the best time to turn your idea into a reality.With Hyfe, it is an artificial intelligence algorithm that tracks cough in real-time. To date, they have over 140 million samples collected from all parts of the world. Now, that’s impressive. They are undoubtedly and proudly the market leader in this space thanks to the wide range of their user demographics which has resulted in an extremely diverse and unbiased data set. It’s a really interesting episode you won’t want to miss.Iulian’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“In critical environments and extreme environments, technology is a lifesaver, and it's definitely a multiplier for people trying to get things done.” (5:42)“Humanity will always prevail.” (14:19)“Where we are, there's no playbook. So, what we do is we have to discover basically where the market is and where the value is.” (28:21)“Running a business, and running a startup… that's a very healthy attitude to have, to always be very rigorous in deciding, what is the metric that moves my needle?” (37:07)“I don't think there's been ever a better time to do it, and anybody who is thinking about doing that should absolutely do it right away.” (44:33)In this episode, we also talked about:The nonlinear evolution of Iulian’s career (3:01)The lessons Iulian learned from his time in the humanitarian sector (11:35)Hyfe and how it works (15:41)The cough tracking space with and without Hyfe (29:09)Iulian’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs (39:11)Mistakes Iulian’s made that he wants you to avoid (45:04)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
50:58 02/01/2022
Enabling Impact with Every Transaction - Ronny Sage of ShoppingGives
If every time you bought clothes and shoes, you would also be donating to nonprofits, wouldn’t you want to spend more? Well, that’s exactly what ShoppingGives aims to do through their social impact commerce platform. By enabling e-commerce retailers to donate a share of their revenue to a cause of their customers’ choice, social impact is created and this has always been the vision according to ShoppingGives CEO and founder Ronny Sage. Ronny shares how he first started working for a digital agency but saw a problem that needed to be addressed, and so ShoppingGives was born. Founded by the belief that doing well equals doing good, ShoppingGives hopes to create an impact with every purchase or transaction. Consumers and businesses these days are becoming more and more conscious of where their money is going, and so this has allowed ShoppingGives and the nonprofits it supports to thrive.Ronny talks about their business model, the dynamics, the pillars, and the great retail reset that has put social impact at the forefront of consumers’, retailers’, and organizations’ decisions and actions. Ronny also shares how he was able to bootstrap his business while still working full-time and his advice for first-time founders on how to do the same. He emphasizes the importance of having conviction and explains how his own conviction led ShoppingGives to where it is today, with thousands of direct-to-consumer partner brands that support nearly 2 million charities around the world. Listen to this episode to find out more about ShoppingGives and the impact it creates.Ronny’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“If a business doesn't have a bottom line to do well, they don't have a bottom line to do good.” (4:13)“We are the generation of impact.” (5:28)“Any founder who has the opportunity to learn on somebody else's dollar and to grow their arsenal of skills and ability to level up while making money and to learn on somebody else's dollar, cease that as much as you can.” (22:00)“The difference between a dream and a vision is the actions in between.” (24:03)“The path least expected results in outcomes unimaginable.” (31:08)In this episode, we also talked about:Ronny’s background and how ShoppingGives came to be (1:34)The ShoppingGives business model (11:12)How ShoppingGives fares against its competitors (16:18)Ronny’s advice on how to raise funding (26:24)Pivoting the business but staying true to your vision (34:13)The world in 10 years according to Ronnie (36:42)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
41:28 01/25/2022
Genetics Testing for Personalized Health - Dr. Yael Joffe of 3X4 Genetics
Has it ever occurred to you how your diet and genetics could be studied to give you more personalized medical advice? Well, that’s exactly what 3X4 Genetics is all about and founder Yael Joffe tells us all about the world of nutrigenomics and how 3X4 Genetics is changing the way healthcare professionals treat patients. Initially starting out in architecture, Yael pivoted to the health sciences, specifically in dietetics and then later on to genetics. After discovering her love for genetics and nutrition and being upset with how little advancements she felt took place back then, she went on the path of hoping to redefine the industry of genetics. Hence, 3X4 Genetics was born. Yael gives us a rundown on the basics of genetics and what their product is, who it is for, their four main pillars, and how these pillars ultimately contribute to all the advancements they are achieving. She explains the difference between their product and the rest of the direct-to-consumer products out there in this same space. Yael also shares the struggles she faced as she tried to raise funding and how she almost gave up but soldiered on until she found the right investors. More importantly, she shares her advice to early stage entrepreneurs like yourself and emphasizes the importance of courage and boldness. Yael’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“That was really my vision for 3X4, that we would change the gold standard for how genetics was offered.” (11:34)“If we can understand how your body works differently from mine, then we can personalize everything for you. We can personalize your nutrition, your supplements, your exercise plans, your stress management, your lifestyle choices, everything about you.” (14:12)“You don't actually choose to be an entrepreneur. It chooses you.” (32:32)“The big acceptance is never to be attached to the wealth of entrepreneurship, because it's an illusion. If you're going to be an entrepreneur, how much money you have will flow in and out for the rest of your life.” (35:09)“We believe that we will become the genetic company that powers other health companies and that won't have a geographic limitation or boundary to it in the way that what we're doing currently does.” (45:56)In this episode, we also talked about:Yael’s interesting career changes and how she ended up in nutrigenomics (1:54)How nutrition and genetics are related and the current state of nutrigenomics (12:27)What sets 3X4 apart (19:21)Yael’s entrepreneurial journey in starting 3X4 Genetics (24:12)Branching out from South Africa to the US (38:03)Yael’s vision of the world in 10 years if 3X4 Genetics succeeds(44:50)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
47:24 01/18/2022
Sustainable Business With Social And Environmental Impact - Amelia Gammon of Bide
Bide is a sustainable company founded by Amelia Gammon that produces eco-cleaning products. Created at the start of the pandemic, Bide uniquely combines the social, environmental, and economical impact all into one. Interested in how they managed to achieve that? Listen to this episode to find out more.Bide addresses the issue of underutilization of unskilled labor by providing jobs to a heavily marginalized sector of women. Not only that, these women get to work from the comfort of their own homes as they create sustainable and environmentally friendly cleaning products that are crafted to a high standard. Through Bide, these women are able to earn money by making these products and by selling them as well to their friends and family. This then helps people invest money into their local communities. Amelia believes that sustainability shouldn’t be a privilege afforded to only those with money, so another good thing is that Bide products are reasonably priced. She also talks about how she bootstrapped the business, started a crowdfunding campaign, and exceeded their target, and how she eventually found investors. Being a first-time founder and having to initially do everything herself was no easy feat, but she managed to get Bide to where it is today, and she shares the lessons she learned from her experiences.Amelia’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“How much energy is going into and how many carbon emissions are being produced in the production of something that we are then telling consumers is good for the planet?” (6:42)“The vision for Bide is actually to be the future of work for unskilled labor.” (10:06)(16:50)“Having multiple roles was definitely a challenge, and I think you just need to remember that actually, everybody's in the same boat.” (20:00)“Not only are we helping from an environmental footprint, because we're keeping the production and consumption in a really tight circle, from an economical point of view, we're helping to reinvest money into local communities.” (31:58)“In 10 years' time, look for Bide on the back of packaging, and you'll know that it's been made in the best possible way.” (33:40)In this episode, we also talked about:How Bide came to be (3:28)The Bide business model and the women behind Bide (10:00)Crowdfunding and finding investors (20:39) How Bide is doing today and exciting future plans for the business (28:41)How their home manufacturers make and sell their own goods (31:13)What the world looks like in 10 years if Bide succeeds (33:19)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
34:34 01/11/2022
The Vicious Cycle Of Debt - Christian Zimmerman of Qoins
Imagine a debt-free world where you’ve fully paid off your student loans, auto loans, credit card debt, and mortgage. That’s how Christian Zimmerman, one of the co-founders of Qoins, envisions the world will be with the help of their app. Qoins is a debt-free financial app that helps people achieve financial freedom by starting a habit of saving money. The beauty of this app is that everything is fully automated too. Now, who wouldn’t want to use this? Christian shares his own experience with student loans and how creating Qoins wasn’t initially part of his plan. He simply wanted a solution to his personal problem. After reaching a low point in his life dealing with a health condition, Christian soldiered on. One thing led to another and serendipitously, Qoins was born. He talks about the validation they received that became their impetus to building Qoins, the process of raising funds and finding investors, what sets them apart from other financial apps, as well as how him being Latino and his co-founder Nate being black somehow played a role in all this. Christian also walks us through the Qoins journey and how exactly their product works both for setting money aside and paying off debt. Financial debt is something that plagues pretty much all adults, so what Qoins does truly creates an impact, because just like maintaining physical health, our financial wealth and financial health are important aspects of our lives too. Christian’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“I never really told myself I couldn't do something. And so, I think that was one of the biggest things that I took when I started my own company was that, I have to have that type of mentality, otherwise, it's not going to work.” (15:36)“The win is when we're able to say that we've successfully exited. We're able to create impact and again that goal, hitting that 100 million dollars in total debt paid off or a billion dollars, whatever we can to make sure that we did create a positive impact in our customers' lives.” (23:58)“By automating this habit, we build education. By educating the customer, we then create impact, and then it's a full circle.” (34:29)“Personal finance has three big pillars: automation, education, and recommendation.” (34:42)“We're in the business of putting ourselves out of business… if we've done a good job of helping everyone become debt-free, then we've probably put ourselves out of business.” (36:09)In this episode, we also talked about:Christian’s personal problem with debt and the debt issue as a whole (2:00)Bootstrapping Qoins and how they raised funding (9:47)Dealing with health issues and the entrepreneurial mindset (14:31)Christian and his co-founder Nate’s experience as minority startup founders (21:59)Challenges they faced and how they overcame it (26:48)The Qoins experience (29:23)How Christian sees the world in 10 years if Qoins succeeds (36:09)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
39:25 01/04/2022
Promoting Transparency To Monetize Impact with Sir Ronald Cohen of Global Steering Group for Impact Investment
Impact Hustlers proudly welcomes one of the pioneers of venture capital and impact investing, Sir Ronald Cohen, or Sir Ronnie. Having been in the finance industry for decades, he now has the well-deserved distinction of being known as the Father of British Venture Capital. He has also founded investment firms and companies that are regarded as leaders in the social impact space.Sir Ronnie had an interesting childhood, leaving Egypt as a refugee at age 11 and moving to the UK. From his humble beginnings, his dedication and hard work landed him in Oxford and, later on, Harvard Business School. Interestingly, at age 53, he one day sat down with the management of Apax Partners, the investment firm he founded that now has over 50 billion dollars under management, and announced he would be leaving after seven years to focus on social issues. He was then tapped by the British Treasury to lead a task force on poverty, which led him on the path of impact. He shares how luck played a major role in his life, the valuable insights he learned throughout the years, what drove him to impact investing, and more. He also shares snippets from his book, Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change, which is a worthwhile read, by the way, as well as the three major forces that are working to make the world a better place. This is truly an episode you won’t want to miss.Sir Ronnie’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“Our success or our failure, the types of challenges we have to go through are not all within our control. And once you understand that, you become a lot stronger in meeting the challenges that come your way.” (11:27)“There's a greater purpose to your being on earth than just continuing to make more money.” (17:50)“The profit motive needs to be guided by impact. Making money and not worrying about the harm you do is no longer possible.” (24:51)“Mandatory reporting, use of accounting to measure impact, and measuring both social and environmental impact. If we do that, it will be a historical frontier for capitalism and for society.” (31:06)“Bring impact into your thinking. It's the future. You will do better financially, and you will improve the world.” (35:41)“Those who refuse to understand the importance of impact for the future of their businesses will once again be left behind.” (37:40)In this episode, we also talked about:An overview of Sir Ronnie’s journey, his childhood, and education (2:52)Luck and how it helped Sir Ronnie get to where he is today (10:52)Why 1998 was a memorable year for Sir Ronnie (16:06)Integrating impact into the core of every business model (24:41)Sir Ronnie’s book and social impact bonds (32:39)The world in 10 years according to Sir Ronnie (36:13)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
38:28 12/28/2021
Changing The Lives Of Artisans - Roberto Milk of Novica
In this world of mass-produced items and fashion, here is Novica, an impact marketplace dedicated to showcasing unique home decor, jewelry, clothing, and gifts handmade by some of the most skilled artisans all over the world. Founded in 1999 by Roberto Milk, his then-girlfriend and now-wife, and his mother-in-law, Novica empowers artisans by keeping their tradition and culture alive.Inspired by Robert’s childhood where he loved watching National Geographic and got to travel and see the arts and crafts made by artisans in the places he visited, Novica was created. And eventually, companies like National Geographic themselves, the World Bank, and Scripps Ventures saw the positive impact of what Novica were doing and decided to fund them. Despite industry experts telling them they wouldn’t be successful, they managed to prove those people wrong.  Fast forward to the present, Roberto shares the many challenges they faced working as a dot-com startup at a time when e-commerce wasn’t even a thing yet and how they overcame those and managed to rake in $111 million dollars in sales purely for their artisans. Roberto shares that they owe the success of Novica to the fact that they are, first and foremost, artisan-focused and customer-focused. Ultimately, there are many takeaways from this interview with Roberto.Roberto’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“The whole import/export for artisans is broken. It doesn't work. We have to reinvent it.” (17:48)“This is a mission-driven company at the very root. Artisans can charge more. Customers pay less. We cut out all the middlemen.” (18:16)“We're just thinking about customer first, like how do we provide an amazing experience for the customer and yet make it amazing for the artisan?” (24:11)“We want the artisan to feel like a king or queen.” (28:13)“Happy artisans, happy customers, and spreading global happiness” (29:24)“The purer the business, the less friction, the less touch, the better.” (41:11)“There is so much of a reduction in individual culture, language, traditions… part of the role that we want to play is keeping those traditions alive around the world, celebrating the master women and men that make these items, the time-honored techniques.” (48:49)In this episode, we also talked about:How Novica was created (3:40)The partnership with National Geographic (12:03)Choosing the right business model for Novica (16:19)Lessons learned in 20+ years of being in business (19:45)How Novica remains mission-driven yet profitable (30:12)Artisans are in control (35:47)Novica as a family business (44:05)The world in 10 years if Novica succeeds in their mission (47:06)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
50:50 12/21/2021
Connecting Charities Together - Tom Neill of Time to Spare
Did you know that the UK government allots 16 billion pounds every year to charities? That’s seven billion pounds more than private donations made to these same charities. With that, Time to Spare founder Tom Neill shares what it’s like providing data that helps charities manage their projects and volunteers as well as collect information that, in the end, not only keeps charities transparent and organized but also allows the government to decide on local projects and organizations that would benefit most from being funded.After quitting his job at Oliver Wyman and taking a sabbatical in China, Tom realized there was a problem that needed to be solved, which was the lack of data on what charities were doing and the impact they were having on people’s lives. And so, Time to Spare was created. With their software that records all the information on charities and their projects, they help charities provide support to the people that really need it.Having to pivot during the pandemic was one of their main challenges, among others, and along with that, Tom also shares the story behind their business model, how they figured out how to make it sustainable, other challenges they faced and overcame, their competition, what it is like working with the government, and more. Tom’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“I think the main source of motivation really is a lot of the organizations, especially the charities that we work with, are really quite underserved by software tools in general.” (24:46)“You go to a local community center and their activities they're putting on for people, the support they're providing to people who just have no other way of getting that support is really inspiring.” (25:49)“The only way you can do it, or at least the way we managed to do it, was to do something on the cheap.” (30:35)In this episode, we also talked about:Tom’s journey from Oliver Wyman to Time to Spare (1:32)The world of Time to Spare, charities, and government (7:57)The lessons Tom’s learned from his journey with Time to Spare (20:17)Why Tom and his team do what they do (24:46)Tom’s advice to startup founders (30:23)How the volunteer space will be in 10 years’ time according to Tom (35:30)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
37:04 12/14/2021
Hierarchy of Social Impact - Brant Cooper of Moves the Needle
As the CEO and founder of Moves the Needle, as a New York Times bestselling author of The Lean Entrepreneur, and as one of the pioneers of the lean startup movement, Brant Cooper shares his advice and lessons learned from his decades of experience helping entrepreneurs digitally transform their businesses.Brant shares what propelled him to go from the corporate world to the startup environment in the early years of his career, how to go from talking about solving the world’s biggest problems to actually turning those ideas into a reality, and how to become successful in doing so. He talks about the importance of understanding your audience and translating your mission into a purpose that is also meaningful for them as well as how charities or businesses and governments can not only learn from entrepreneurs but also work hand in hand so that impact-driven businesses, whether it’s small businesses or the huge corporate companies, thrive. And of course, Brant paints a beautiful picture of how he hopes to see the world in 10 years.Brant’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:“I didn't want to do what other people wanted me to do. I wanted to do what I thought was best, so that sort of mindset kind of belongs more in a startup environment than it does in traditional companies.” (5:18)“People are inspired by, whether they realize it or not, they're inspired by needs that they see out in the world that they want solved.” (8:11)“If you're asking for investment or you're talking about startup investment, you don't say, ‘You're investing in the business,’ or, ‘You're investing in me, the founder.’ You're investing in the mission.” (17:18)“Foundations and people that are giving money to the foundations need to demand the impact reports, and they need to demand a higher impact for their dollar spent, and maybe that starts creating the culture of improving the practices.” (28:40)“As long as we have choices as consumers, there's pressure on the companies to actually do the right thing… I do think that individuals actually have more power than they think, both as shareholders and as consumers.” (33:22)In this episode, we also talked about:The beginning of Brant’s career (2:13)Changes that need to happen in the startup ecosystem (7:43)Brant’s advice to entrepreneurs and startup founders (16:48)Common mistakes made my impact entrepreneurs (23:24)How charities and governments could learn from entrepreneurs (27:14)How digital transformation can turn corporations into positively impactful businesses (31:21)Brant Cooper’s view of the world in 10 years (37:42)Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/impacthustlers)
42:47 12/07/2021