The Makers Podcast show

The Makers Podcast

Summary: How did the most successful founders screw up?

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  • Artist: Ollie Forsyth
  • Copyright: Copyright 2018 All rights reserved.


 Charlotte Yarkoni: Microsoft | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:02

Charlotte Yarkoni is the Vice President at Microsoft for Growth and Ecosystems. Hosted by Ollie Forsyth. 

 Lara Morgan: Pacific Direct | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:49

Lara Morgan is a British entrepreneur and the founder and former CEO of Pacific Direct. Having sold her share in Pacific Direct she is now involved in several UK startups. Her first business, Pacific Direct was founded in 1991 at the age of 23. Having arrived in the UK with little or no hotel experience, Lara quickly grew Pacific Direct into a specialist global supplier of luxury high end brands to five star hotels, which she has become world renowned for. Lara sold this business after 17 years for £20 million having acquired battles scars and experience spanning extremely large organizations to small start-ups. She has been involved in multiple disciplines, including, luxury brand licensing, marketing and retail operations to commercial and private label development. She has also managed and owned factories in Czech and China. Lara’s investment strategy is pinned to improving life’s journey, she invests in the fantastic British brands, dryrobe, the ultimate change robe, Gate8 lightweight time-saving functional business luggage and KitBrix, modular sports kit bags. ActiveBod and Global Amenities Direct are two other companies that Lara has built in line with her portfolio strategy. We talk about:   Growing up in Hong Kong Early stages of starting and growing a business The importance of spotting innovating and declining markets Managing 400+ employees Turning down an acquisition offer (then selling for £20m) The many challenges for founders and how to pick yourself back up Letting go of 34% of the team Setbacks as a female founder The future of the high street The 5 year BHAG So much more   Hosted by Ollie Forsyth.

 Christopher Mirabile: Launchpad Venture Group | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:50

Christopher Mirabile is the Chair Emeritus and Public Policy Chair of the Angel Capital Association and the co-founder of portfolio management tool He is also co-Managing Director of Launchpad Venture Group, a venture investment group focused on seed and early-stage investments in technology-oriented companies. Launchpad is the largest angel group in New England and top-three ranked group in the U.S. As a full-time angel investor and an active member of the Boston-area angel investing community, Christopher has personally made more than 60 investments in start-up companies. He was named one of the "Top Angel Investors in New England" by Xconomy. Christopher is a columnist for, an adjunct lecturer in the MBA program at Babson's Olin School of Business, a regular advisor and mentor to start-ups, and a frequent panelist and speaker. He is a member of the Board of Directors or Board of Advisors of numerous start-up companies and non-profits. Christopher has served as a public company CFO and General Counsel with IONA Technologies PLC, a corporate and securities lawyer with Testa Hurwitz & Thibeault and as a management consultant with Price Waterhouse's Strategic Consulting Group. Hosted by Ollie Forsyth 

 Rand Fishkin: Moz | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 34:31

In 2001, Rand Fishkin dropped out of college to start a company with his mom, Gillian. Over the next 17 years, that company, Moz, became one of the most high profile and high growth businesses in the marketing software world. In this transparent, vulnerable talk, Rand will walk through some of the biggest regrets, lessons learns, and things he'd do differently based on his experience. From management and hiring to marketing tactics to product strategy, self-awareness, and more, this presentation will help anyone who's starting or joining a new company avoid some big pitfalls, and feel less alone. We talk about:   How to pick yourself back up when you hit a wall How Moz grew to almost $50m in yearly revenue Replacing your business with a new CEO Picking yourself back up when you hit rock bottom Turning down an acquisition offer Balancing a good work-life balance Rand’s BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) The next venture & Rand’s new epic book Plus so much more! Hosted by Ollie Forsyth.  

 Hendrik Brandis: Earlybird Ventures | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 28:19

''Hendrik Brandis is a Co-Founder & Partner of Earlybird. Hendrik's current domain focus is web-enabled services. Hendrik is a Board Member of EVCA (European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association) and past Chairman of the EVCA Venture Capital Platform Council. Hendrik brings together long standing investment, operational and entrepreneurial experience. Hendrik was a Board Member of element 5 AG, where he was a driving force behind the sale to Digital River (NASDAQ:DRIV), AG (Berlin) which was sold to S.A and Dianoema S.p.A., which listed on the Borsa Italiana (Milan: NOE.MI). Hendrik currently serves on the boards of Earlybird portfolio companies B2X Care Solutions GmbH (Munich), GmbH (Munich), Simfy AG (Cologne) and nfon (Munich). Hendrik gained his entrepreneurial experience as a Co-Founder of GMM, a group of private investors focusing on buy-outs of mid-sized companies and gained his operational experience as Project Manager in the Technology Department of Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm (now Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace) focusing on the design and innovative manufacturing processes of composite aircraft structures. Previously, Hendrik was a Partner with McKinsey & Co., in their Munich and Madrid offices where he led McKinsey's small and mid-sized company initiative and participated in creating McKinsey New Venture. Hendrik attended the Technical University of Munich and holds a Dipl.-Ing. (M.Sc. equivalent) and Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering.'' Hosted by Ollie Forsyth 

 Ricky Knox: Tandem | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 24:59

Ricky is a serial investor and entrepreuner. He has built five technology disruptors in fintech and telecoms, each of which also does a bit of good for the world. Before Tandem he founded Azimo and Small World, two remittance businesses, and is managing partner of Hexagon Partners, a private equity firm. He built Tandem to be a digital bank that helps improve customers' lives with money. Ricky has a first class degree from Bristol University and an MBA from INSEAD. Hosted by Ollie Forsyth. 

 Jason Stockwood: Simply Business | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 40:14

Jason Stockwood, CEO at Simply Business.  Jason joined Simply Business from global dating website, where he was International Managing Director. He’s also spent time as Managing Director at Travelocity Business, and held roles at Trailfinders,, Skyscanner and The Drinkaware Trust. In 2016, Jason won overall Best Leader at the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For awards, completing our Best Companies hat-trick. We’d already picked up the Best Company to Work For award, two years running.

 Tom Blomfield: Monzo | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:52

Tom Blomfield is a British entrepreneur. After studying for a law degree at Oxford University, he founded the UK-based company GoCardless and challenger bank Monzo. In 2013, he was recognised as one of the top five entrepreneurs under 30 by the European Commission. Hosted by Ollie Forsyth. 

 Simon Woodroffe: YO! Sushi | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 34:56

Simon Woodroffe OBE is an English motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He started the sushi chain YO! Sushi in 1997, and appeared as a "Dragon" on the first UK series of Dragons' Den. Woodroffe conceived and launched YO! Sushi after an early spell in television. Hosted by Ollie Forsyth  

 Christian Faes: LendInvest | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 27:11

In late 2008, as global financial markets crashed, our founders, Christian Faes and Ian Thomas, saw an opportunity to fill a critical gap in short-term property finance. They set up a mortgage lending business (then called Montello Bridging Finance), which quickly became one of the leading short-term finance lenders in the UK. By 2012, we had launched two regulated funds to finance our loans, and were managing £30m of investors’ capital. As demand  grew, we looked for ways to help our customers invest more efficiently. In 2013, we brought the investment experience online – LendInvest was born. We launched our online investment platform, allowing our investors to build their own tailored portfolios of property-backed loan investments. We then brought fintech’s first retail bond programme to the public markets, listing the first tranche of a £500m retail bond programme on the London Stock Exchange in August 2017. Later that year, we launched into the buy-to-let market, with a product tailored to professional portfolio landlords, taking us into the longer-term and more mainstream mortgage market. And in September 2018 we completed our Series C funding round, raising £30.5m from investors including Atomico, GP Bullhound and Tiger Management, and pushing our fundraising total well over £1bn. We’re a well-capitalised, profitable business, delivering value as one of the fastest-growing fintechs in the country, and we’ve got the backing to continue investing in our technology and providing property finance that is fast, online and for all. Hosted by Ollie Forsyth 

 Simon Beckerman: Depop | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:13

Simon Beckerman is the founder of Depop, a peer-to-peer social shopping app based in London, with additional offices in Milan and New York City. Depop was incorporated in 2011 and to date, they have raised $43.6m backed by VC's such as Balderton & Octopus.  Hosted by Ollie Forsyth. 

 Viktor Calabro: Coople | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 22:26

Viktor Calabro has worked within the on-demand staffing industry for over five years. A well-known and well-respected entrepreneur, Viktor launched Staff Finder, the world’s first on-demand staffing marketplace in 2011 now called Coople, (which is backed by Goldman Sachs), and coined the term ‘just in time staff management’. With offices in London and Zurich operating across multiple sectors including hospitality, retail, events and commercial services, Coople enables businesses to find temporary workers to immediately fill their hourly and daily staffing needs around the clock. Growing fast, Coople currently brokers thousands of temporary jobs across 300,000+ employees with over 14,000 employers. Current clients include Deliveroo, Intercontinental Hotel Group and many more. A shrewd, hands-on businessman, Viktor was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young (2014) and was nominated as a finalist in the Swiss Economic Awards (2015) where over 300 start-ups participated. For his thought leadership, in 2018, Viktor was awarded a place on Staffing Industry Analysts European Staffing 100. With a keen interest in IT and all things technology, Viktor started his career as a programmer for management tools at UBS based in Zurich, before working as a Consultant for Trivadis, a Swiss IT company, where he focused on process optimisation. From here he realised his first entrepreneurial dream and launched ‘La Folie’, a Zurich based events promotions agency in 2003. In fact, it was whilst working at Trivadis, prior to launching ‘La Folie’, that he identified the challenge of recruiting good, quality staff at short notice, and discovered his inspiration to revolutionise the world of work for personnel on-demand staffing solutions, hence the launch of Staff Finder, and more recently Coople in the UK in 2016. Hosted by Ollie Forsyth, founder of TBE Club  

 Ben Tompkins: Draper Esprit | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 21:32

Ben Tompkins is a managing partner at Draper Esprit.  Draper Esprit is one of the most active venture capital firms in Europe, developing and investing in disruptive, high growth technology companies. We believe the best entrepreneurs in Europe are capable of building the global businesses of the future. We fuel their growth with long- term capital, access to international networks and decades of experience building businesses. We back ambitious teams including Revolut, Trustpilot, Graze, Ledger, Transferwise and Graphcore. In order to provide entrepreneurs with a more flexible approach to funding and to back them for longer, we re-invented the traditional venture capital by ourselves going public in 2016.

 Boris Wertz: Version One VC | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:18

My latest guest on The TBE Podcast is Boris Wertz, founder of Version One Ventures. Boris is founding partner of Version One and one of the top tech early-stage investors in North America. Born in Germany and based in Vancouver, Boris takes a wide-angle view to find great companies all across North America: from New York and Toronto to Seattle and LA. He is a board partner with Andreessen Horowitz and is well-respected for his uncanny ability to find the next generation of leaders. Today, Boris is focused on crypto/blockchain, marketplaces and SaaS, looking for the best teams who solve big problems in a unique way. As an investor and former entrepreneur, Boris knows when to push and when to ease off, while always remembering that he is an advisor, not a player. Before becoming an investor, Boris built an online marketplace for used and out-of-print books in 1999, selling the business to where he became COO and led a team of 60 people. After was sold to Amazon, he moved into investing, first as an angel and now with Version One. Boris finished his PhD at the Graduate School of Management (WHU), Koblenz, majoring in Business Economics & Business Management. In 2005, he was named the Pacific Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year. Boris is passionate about science, technology, and entrepreneurship and sits on the boards of Science World and Canada Learning Code. He is also involved as a mentor with the Creative Destruction Lab in Toronto and Vancouver.

 Sir Vince Cable: The Liberal Democrats | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 23:28

Sir John Vincent Cable is a British politician serving as Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Member of Parliament for Twickenham since 2017. He was the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills from 2010 to 2015. Hosted by Ollie Forsyth 


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