How to Be Creative in Growing Your Business

How to Be Creative in Growing Your Business

Allen Gannett is the founder and CEO of TrackMaven, a marketing analytics platform whose clients have included Microsoft, Marriott, Saks Fifth Avenue, any many other well known names. He has been on the “30 Under 30” lists for both Inc. and Forbes. He is a contributor to and is … Continue reading

How To Have Customers Line Up At Your Door On Launch Day

How To Have Customers Line Up At Your Door On Launch Day

Melissa Biggins is the owner of Sweeter Hue, a popular bakery in Washington DC’s Shaw neighborhood. In this episode, Melissa talks about what it’s like to start a brick-and-mortar business in a very competitive industry, and what she did to make sure she had a successful launch day and beyond. … Continue reading

How to Build Your Business Brand Online And Offline

How to Build Your Business Brand Online And Offline

Elise Crawford is the founder of Ringlet Studio, a digital marketing agency in Washington DC that helps women entrepreneurs build their brand online. As an expert in online marketing, branding, and event hosting, Elise has a lot to teach entrepreneurs and small business owners about marketing. In this episode, she … Continue reading

How to Launch And Grow A Food Business

How to Launch And Grow A Food Business

Kim Bryden is the CEO and founder of Cureate, a company that helps emerging food and beverage businesses grow and scale, and also helps big brands and institutions connect with their target audiences through local food and drink. In this episode, Kim talked about how she started her consulting business … Continue reading

From Government Employee To Software Company Founder

From government employee to software company founder

Ahmad Ishaq is the founder and chief innovation officer of ByteCubed, an IT consulting firm in Arlington Virginia. In 2017, ByteCubed was ranked No 46 on the Inc magazine’s list of fastest growing companies. It was also voted one of the best places to work in DC by the Washington … Continue reading

How to get and keep customers for service-based businesses

How to get and keep customers for service-based businesses

Mina Fies is an award-winning designer, remodeler, and the founder and CEO of Synergy Design & Construction. She is also the author of the Renovation Roadmap system. In this episode, Mina told the story of how she started a business in an industry that she had little prior experience in, … Continue reading

How to Build, Launch, And Improve A Software Product

How to Build, Launch, And Improve A Software Product

PJ Taei is the founder of UScreen, a video platform that enables content creators launch their own video streaming service and build a profitable business selling their videos online In this episode, PJ talked about how he created UScreen from scratch, from building prototype and getting initial customers, to iterating … Continue reading

The Non-Linear Journey to Product-Market Fit

The Non-Linear Journey to Product-Market Fit

Ryan Croft is the co-founder and COO of TransitScreen, a technology company in DC that helps millions of people save commute time by providing real time display of local transportation information at different locations. In this episode, Ryan shared the story of how TransitScreen found its market sweet spot by … Continue reading

From One-Man Shop On eBay To DC’s Best Place For Work

From One-Man Shop On eBay To DC’s Best Place For Work

Joel Holland is the founder and executive chairman of Storyblocks, a subscription-based online platform for high quality stock media. Joel has won numerous awards for his work with StoryBlocks. His company has been listed on the Inc 5000 list six consecutive times and was named one of Washington. D.C.’s best … Continue reading

How to find your business’s unique positioning through continued experimentation

How to find your business’s unique positioning through continued experimentation

Alex Hastings and Mike Galyen are co-founders of Guerrilla Vending, a company that creates custom curated vending machines, in collaboration with local Washington DC businesses.   In this episode, Alex and Mike talked about how they started Guerrilla Vending with a refurnished vending machine they found online, and how they … Continue reading

How To Grow A Business Through Low-Cost, Grass-Root Marketing

How To Grow A Business Through Low-Cost, Grass-Root Marketing

Robert Kinsler is the founder of DC Fray, a company that’s on a mission to make living in DC more fun through organizing social sports leagues, special events, and scouting out the coolest things to do in the city. In this episode, Robert talks about how he started DC Fray … Continue reading

Why Investing In The Local Community Will Get You More Customers

Why Investing In The Local Community Will Get You More Customers

Lisa Wise is the founder of Nest DC, a boutique property management company that has a strong social mission. In this episode, Lisa talked about how she started Nest with little industry experience, acquired customers through engaging with the local community and relentlessly focusing on customer service, and why investing … Continue reading

Content Marketing Tips for Local Businesses

Content Marketing Tips for Local Businesses with Chris Marentis, Ep 48

Chris Marentis is the founder and CEO of Surefire Local, a software platform that helps local businesses generate new customer leads by getting discovered online. Chris originally started the company to provide consulting services to local businesses who want to strengthen their online presence. Their services got so popular that … Continue reading

How To Build An App Business That’s Positioned to Scale

How To Build An App Business That’s Positioned to Scale

Junaid Shams is the co-founder and CEO of Rooam, a mobile payment platform that lets users pay their bar tab or restaurant bill directly from their phone. He has received numerous national recognitions, including Businessweek’s “Top 25 entrepreneurs under 25” and Under30CEO’s “Top 30 Most Influential Entrepreneurs under 30.”   … Continue reading

How To Create Network Effect For Your Product

Param Jaggi

Param Jaggi is the founder and CEO of Hatch Technologies, a company working to democratize the software development industry. Param is an inventor and serial entrepreneur. At the age of 13, he invented the EcoTube, a patented device that reduces carbon emissions from cars. At the age of 18, he … Continue reading

From Freelancer To Hip Design Company Owner


Aaron Scales, owner and director of BroCoLoco, an architectural design company in DC that turns buildings into brand ambassadors. Aaron started his entrepreneurial journey as a freelancer working on ad hoc design jobs. Through a series of serendipitous events, his hobby projects gained community attention and before long, he was running … Continue reading

What To Do When Your Entrepreneurial Idea Didn’t Work Out First

Thomas Schneider

Thomas Schneider is the founder of Rooftop Roots, a non-profit organization that designs, builds, and maintains vegetable gardens and native landscapes in the DC area. When Thomas first started the organization, his idea was to build vegetable gardens on rooftops of buildings in DC. But after experimenting for a while, … Continue reading

Powering the Gig Economy with Mobile Technology

powering the gig economy with mobile technology

Jeff Tennery is the founder and CEO of Moonlighting, an online marketplace connecting freelancers with potential employers. Armed with decades of experience in mobile technology and media, Jeff was inspired to build a mobile platform enabling people to work on things they truly love, while enjoying career independence. In this … Continue reading

How to Change A Traditional Industry with New Technology


Erik Dreyer is the co-founder of Goodshuffle, an online event rental marketplace specializing in party and event supply rentals. Goodshuffle was originally launched as a peer–to-peer rental marketplace, but Erik and his co-founder Andrew Garcia quickly pivoted the business to focus on the event rental segment, when they discovered that … Continue reading

How to Turn Your Passion into A Thriving Business

Meredith Sheperd

Meredith Sheperd is the founder of Love & Carrots, a DC-based sustainable urban farming company specializing in custom vegetable garden installation and maintenance. When Meredith decided to move back to the city after wrapping up a farm management job, she found very limited urban agricultural job openings in the DC … Continue reading

How to Build A Membership-Based Business

how to build a membership based business

Peter Mellen is the founder and CEO of Netcito, a network of peer advisory groups for entrepreneurs and innovators. He is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in online business and commercial real estate and is an entrepreneur in residence (EiR) at Georgetown University, where he also … Continue reading

How to Start A Serious Business in College

how to start a serious business in college

David Patou is the founder and CEO of Campus Sherpa, a student-run company that offers personalized college tours by real college students. David started Campus Sherpa during his freshman year at Georgetown University. In this episode, he talked about the personal inspirations he had for starting this business, how to … Continue reading

How to Build A Social Networking Platform

how to build a social networking platform

Ian Kaine MacGregor is the founder and CEO of Hitcher, a social media platform that allows users to build more targeted networks and have more control over their online privacy compared to the mainstream social networks. During his time working in the design industry, Ian created tons of successful social … Continue reading

How to Juggle Multiple Businesses While Serving Your Community

Tien Wong

Tien Wong is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and super connector in the DC entrepreneurial community. He currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Tech2000, an IT firm that provides advanced technology training and mobile device software to the federal government and Fortune 500 companies, Chairman of Lore Systems, an … Continue reading

Building an E-commerce Platform Over Text Messaging

building an e commerce platform over text messaging

  Kate Myers and Kelly O’Malley are co-founders of Shop Or Not, an e-commerce platform that runs on text messaging. Both ladies worked in the entertainment industry. And they started the company with the desire to build a shopping platform that feels like an intimate relationship. Shop Or Not aspires … Continue reading

How to Succeed In the Real Estate Business

how to succeed in the real estate business

Donna Evers is the founder of Evers & Co. Real Estate and Twin Oaks Tavern Winery. Donna was a very successful real estate agent, before she started her own brokerage firm with 7 sales agents. Today the company has over 100 agents and is the largest woman-owned-and-run independent residential real … Continue reading

From Side Hustle to Thriving Business

from side hustle to thriving business

James Mccartney is the founding partner and CEO of Truvincio, a data security and privacy consulting firm whose mission is to make data security affordable for small businesses. Before becoming an entrepreneur, James was a data security consultant at a large consulting firm. In this work, he noticed that most existing … Continue reading

How to Become A Serial Entrepreneur in Your 20s

how to become serial entrepreneur in your 20s

Akobir Azamovich is the co-founder and CEO of, an online marketplace for student housing. Although Akobir is only in his twenties, he’s already started multiple companies. When Akobir immigrated to the US in high school, he quickly spotted a business opportunity matching foreign students like himself with American schools, and that eventually … Continue reading

How to Start A Two-Sided Marketplace

how to start a two-sided marketplace

Stephanie Cox is the founder and CEO of The Level Market, the world’s first online marketplace for humanitarian supply and disaster relief products. In this episode, Stephanie talked about her journey of starting her platform with the aspiration to be “Amazon for Aid”. She offered insights on the unique challenges … Continue reading

How to Get Venture Capital Investors Interested in Your Startup

how to get venture capital interested in your company

Dan Mindus is the founder and a managing partner of NextGen Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm. What’s unique about NextGen is that they are the first network-driven venture firm. The firm has a network of hundreds of “venture partners”, who are experienced founders, executives and investors, to help the … Continue reading

How to Create A Business Supported by An Online Community

how to build an online community

Craig Zelizer is the CEO and founder of the Peace and Collaborative Development Network (PCDN), a vibrant online hub for professionals, organizations and students in the fields of social change, peacebuilding, social entrepreneurship, and social development. Craig is a college professor turned entrepreneur. He started PCDN as a hobby in 2007. It … Continue reading

From Zero to A National Brand

from zero to a national brand

Agatha Achindu is the founder of Yummy Spoonfuls, an innovative company that makes flash-frozen baby food from fresh, organic and wholesome ingredients. In this episode, Agatha shared about how she went from making healthy baby food out of her own kitchen to starting a business borrowing money from her own 401(k), to … Continue reading

How to Build A Disruptive Product

how to build a disruptive product

Jonathon Perrelli is the CEO and co-founder of LifeFuels, a health technology company in Virginia. Their main product is smart water bottles with customized nutrition injections, which also allows you to track your consumption of water and nutrients with an app. In this episode, Jonathon shared how he brought LifeFuels from idea to prototype … Continue reading

How to Become More Resilient as An Entrepreneur


Tim Hwang is the founder and CEO of FiscalNote, a software company in Washington DC that helps organizations build and manage their relationships with all levels of government, through their analytics and machine learning tools. Tim started Fiscal Note at the ripe old age of 21. And in 2016, he … Continue reading

Startup Marketing Tips from the Trenches

startup marketing tips from the trenches - Kevin Alansky

Kevin Alansky is the Chief Marketing Officer of Logi Analytics, a software company in Northern Virginia. Kevin was one of the early employees at DC tech scene’s superstar, Blackboard Inc. He was also the cofounder of startup SocialRadar. In today’s interview, Kevin share his marketing insights, including how to develop … Continue reading

How to Validate Your Business Ideas with Minimal Cost

how to validate your business idea with minimum cost

Earlier this year, our host Natasha Che started Soundwise, a mobile marketplace for on-demand audio courses in business and personal development. She and her cofounders want to build the Netflix for learning-on-the-go. In today’s episode, Natasha and Founders Nextdoor producer, Xue Bai, sit down and chat about how Natasha got the idea for … Continue reading

Building A Business from Scratch as An Industry Outsider

building a business from scratch as industry outsider - Danielle Vogel

Danielle Vogel is the founder of Glen’s Garden Market. Glen’s is not your average grocery store. Almost all of what they sell are locally sourced. And they’re on a mission to combat climate change. In her pre-entrepreneur life, Danielle was a successful lawyer. She started Glen’s from scratch, with no … Continue reading

How Bree Ryback Turned A Hobby into A Thriving Business

How Bree Ryback Turned A Hobby into A Thriving Business

Bree Ryback is the founder of Capitol Romance, a wedding coordination and e-commerce business in DC. When Bree was getting married in 2010, she struggled to find local resources that would help her plan the wedding the way she wanted. So when the wedding was over, she decided to start blogging … Continue reading

How to Grow A Consulting Business


Cenk Sidar is the founder and CEO of Sidar Global Ventures (SGV), a global macro research and strategic advisory firm. After graduate school, Cenk started doing risk analysis research for the American-Turkish Council, where not only did he hone his expertise but also built a steady client base. Encouraged by … Continue reading

How to Bootstrap A Media Empire by Curating Shareable Content


Svetlana Legetic is the co-founder of Brightest Young Things, an online publishing, event production and marketing company. Svetlana moved to Washington DC for an architect job in 2003. She and her cofounders initially started BYT as a simple blog writing about events happening around town. But BYT quickly got so popular … Continue reading

Creative Strategies to Get Customers and Grow Your Brand

Melanie Spring is the Chief Inspiration Officer of Sisarina, a Washington DC-based brand strategy agency with purpose. Melanie had the entrepreneurial blood in her since she was a kid. She started out in the web-design and marketing business, and found her true passion in helping companies grow their brands and build … Continue reading

How to Leverage Your Brand’s Story in Marketing

How to Leverage Your Brand's Story in Marketing

Ann Yang and Phil Wong are the co-founders of MISFIT Juicery, a business with the social mission to reduce food waste by turning misshaped fruits and veggies into nutritious cold-pressed juices. Ann and Phil started Misfit while they were college students at Georgetown University. They’ve quickly developed a network of distributors and … Continue reading

How to Create A Viable Business with Tangible Social Impact

Colin Hartman is the co-founder and CEO of Harper Macaw, a fine chocolate factory in Washington DC that is turning delicious cocoa into a force of social good for rainforest restoration. Colin is a Marine Corps officer turned MBA turned food entrepreneur. In this interview, he talked about how to create a business … Continue reading

How to Get the First Customers for Your Fitness Business

how to get first customers for your fitness business, Mariska Breland

Mariska Breland is the founder and creative director of Fuse Pilates®, a pilates studio and fitness brand in NW DC that offers mat, reformer and chair classes using their unique “Fuse” method. In today’s interview, Mariska talked about how she went from being a part-time pilates teacher to starting her own studio. As an … Continue reading

How to Grow Your Creative Design Business Organically

Rachel Pfeffer is the founder of Rachel Pfeffer Designs and also the co-founder of Stitchta (formerly Stitchtagram). She designs beautiful and quirky handmade jewelry in addition to running a creative business making pillows and bags with photos from Instagram and elsewhere. In today’s interview, Rachel shared her journey from making jewelry … Continue reading

How to Test Your Restaurant Concept with Minimal Cost

Suzanne Simon and Bettina Stern

Suzanne Simon and Bettina Stern are the co-founders of Chaia, a very popular, fast-casual vegetarian restaurant in Georgetown, DC that features delicious plant-based tacos. Despite their different professional backgrounds, a common passion for food brought the two lady bosses together. In this interview, Suzanne and Bettina shared their story from food blogging to … Continue reading

How to Find A Market Niche for Your Business by Being You

My guest today, Geoff Woliner, is Founder and CEO of Winning Wit, a company that specializes in writing and presentation coaching for roasts, wedding speeches, and custom workshops for corporate team-building. With a team of award-winning comedians, Winning Wit helps clients incorporate well-timed humor and storytelling into their communication. In … Continue reading

How Creativity Can Help You Become A Happier and More Productive Entrepreneur

Monica Kang is the founder and CEO of InnovatorsBox®, a company that offers creative educational workshops, services, and products for professionals to learn why creativity is critical, how to integrate and hone it in work and life. Before starting the company, she had a steady job specializing in nuclear nonproliferation … Continue reading

How to Master the Startup Pivot

Lou Aronson, Startup pivot

Lou Aronson is the cofounder and CEO of Discourse Analytics. Lou has an interesting career path. He was originally a lawyer and at one point had his own law firm, before he completely changed career and started a company in the data analysis industry. Despite having a group of early … Continue reading

How to Run A Successful Food Business while Keeping Your Sanity

Today on the show, I interview Kirk Francis, who is the Captain of Captain Cookie and the Milkman, a mobile bakery and dessert shop in Washington DC. By popular votes, they have the best ice cream sandwiches in town, and Kirk has an inspiring entrepreneurial story to tell. In this … Continue reading