30 Young Entrepreneur Interviews You May Have Missed in 2012

by / ⠀Entrepreneur Interviews / January 18, 2013

young-entrepreneurSocial Enterprise Law in Beta – A Conversation With Kyle Westaway

Social enterprise: an organization that uses the forces of the market to do good in a socially or environmentally conscious context. Although it can be structured as a for-profit business or non-profit organization, it is distinct in that its social aims are primary, and profits are secondary. Different from companies who may raise money for charity in service of or as an adjunct to their for-profit mission, the chief focus of a social enterprise is to change the world for the common good. Read more

Aaron Greenwald: Enabling Pizza Eaters Everywhere with Bold Organics

There are few things in this world that make me geek out as much as pizza. So when I interviewed Aaron Greenwald, President of Bold Organics, it wasn’t hard to get me excited about his company and his product. Aaron and his partner, award-winning St. Louis chef Eric Brenner, have developed a line of gluten-free, dairy-free, organic non-GMO pizzas with their brand, Bold Organics. Read more

Brandon Craft Gets Innovative at Clinvue

Brandon Craft is the Head of Research and Design for Clinvue, a medical device innovation company based out of Westminster, MD. Trained at Virginia Tech as an industrial designer, he founded the consultancy firm in 2010 along with his two partners, fellow industrial designer and mechanical engineer, Paul Fearis and surgeon Dr. Jonathan Sackier. Informed by their combined expertise at identifying the needs of all stakeholders in the design and implementation process, they provide research and development services for cutting edge medical technologies. Read more

Keeping it Simple and Dominating Social Media with Laura Roeder

Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to be successful. Just ask Laura Roeder, founder of Roeder Studios, and the popular website LKR Social Media. She has made a career of selling social media training courses to small businesses looking to grow and develop their online presence, and with nearly 38,000 subscribers, I’d say she has locked onto her own formula for success. Read more

Bassam Tarazi’s Wisdom Goes Viral

My recent interview with Bassam Tarazi was unlike any other before it in the history of my work for this site. Having met at a fundraising event, he and I had originally connected over our mutual history as writers and creative seekers. At our subsequent meeting for this article, we easily fell into casual conversation, which slowly evolved and naturally flowed to the topic at hand. Read more

Why is Logan Lee Slinging Wine All Over the Internet?

There’s something funny going on in Charleston, South Carolina. Somebody’s producing awesome parties to raise money for international charities AND branding a kickass wine and culture website AND trying to shake up the US wine distribution system, all at the same time. Are you serious, you ask? Well, check out Wine Awesomeness and see for yourself… Read more

Fam Mirza and Mirza Minds – Changing the World 1-Face at a Time

Fam Mirza is the Founder and Creative Director at Mirza Minds, a product branding and marketing firm based in Chicago. With a number of successful celebrity related projects under his belt, Mirza is now hard at work on launching the 1Face Watch campaign, which marks his entry into the charity space. I recently caught up with Fam to talk to him about this latest development in his career. Read more

Elchonon Hellinger and Thrifty Computer – The Rocky Road to Success

Sometimes entrepreneurs face extreme challenges that do not have their origins in the business world, but still manage to impact their business greatly. I’m talking about health problems. I recently had the pleasure of getting to know a 27-yr-old entrepreneur based out of Miami, Florida, named Elchonon Hellinger. The owner of a successful online company known as Thrifty Computer, Elchonon was born with a rare and troublesome condition known as Neurofibromatosis Type II, or MISME Syndrome. Read more

Slava Rubin and Indiegogo – “Go Fund Yourself”

“Indiegogo is the world’s funding platform, where anybody can raise money for absolutely any idea,” says Co-Founder and CEO, Slava Rubin. This vision of democratizing the fundraising process is what drives indiegogo, one of the earliest and most well known leaders in what has become a very active field of crowd sourced funders on the internet. Read more

What They Did For Love: Minglie Chen, Tyler Smutz and Killstress Designs

There are many reasons people start their own companies. Sometimes it’s because they are extremely passionate about making a difference; other times it’s because they just need to be in charge. Then there are those opportunities to make big bucks. And once in awhile, there is this crazy notion that a better life is possible. This is the story of Minglie Chen and Tyler Smutz, CEO and President/Master Craftsman of a full service design and fabrication company called Killstress Designs. Read more

Viraj Puri and Gotham Greens – The Great Taste of Urban Agriculture

Did you know that the first commercial scale hydroponic rooftop farm in the country is located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn? Gotham Greens is the brainchild of CEO Viraj Puri and Co-Founder Eric Haley along with Greenhouse Director Jennifer Nelkin. With 20 full-time employees, this 15,000 sq foot state-of-the-art, climate controlled greenhouse facility produces over 100 tons of premium quality greens and herbs for sale annually to the local NYC restaurant and retail market. Read more

Jay Shek and Centzy – Bringing Local Businesses to the Internet

Did you know that less than 25% of all local businesses have websites, and less than 10% of them post their pricing anywhere on the internet? Well say hello to Centzy, the local search engine that offers pricing and store hours alongside basic contact information, ratings and reviews for the local businesses you use on a regular basis. Dry cleaners, nail salons, oil change stations and yoga studios are among the 15 services you can research on this unique and useful site that went live earlier this year, with more services already in the works. Read more

Olivier Lasry and Wingsplay – Leveraging the Advertising Power of Social Media

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Olivier Lasry, the Founder and CEO of Wingsplay, a new and innovative network for advertisers seeking to distribute their viral videos through influential social media users. These influencers are given the opportunity to earn money by leveraging the power of their networks on Facebook and Twitter and through their blogs. Read more

Jordan Edelson and Appetizer Mobile’s Unique Recipe for Success

Pop quiz. What company started out with the idea to create a few simple little apps and has developed into a successful software developer and tech incubator with an impressive list of clients across the spectrum of private industry and government? That would be Appetizer Mobile. Read more

“I Work Harder, I Stress More. I Wouldn’t Trade it for Anything” – Derek Webster of LocalBonus

Does anyone out there remember S&H Green Stamps? Well, back in the day, people would earn these stamps from grocery stores and other local merchants every time they bought something, and paste them into books, and once you filled up a certain number of books, you could win a toaster, or other sorts of prizes. It was fun, it was easy, and it really made you want to buy your stuff from participating stores… Read more

Inspiration From a Serial Entrepreneur – Gina Mancuso and LoveThatFit

Gina Mancuso is the owner of LoveThatFit, a new online, virtual fit technology that is set to revolutionize the way we go shopping for clothing. Currently in private beta, the company is looking towards a beta launch this summer, with a wide release slated for the fall, in time to showcase winter fashions. Read more

Did You Know People With Mentors Make More Money? Interview with Bert Gervais

Mentors are more than a nice thing to have; they are essential if you want to accelerate your career. Mentors make the difference between people who simply advance up the corporate ladder one rung at a time and those who skip rungs.

Recently, I had the honor of “innerviewing” Bert Gervais, The Mentor Guy and author of bestseller Who Is In Your Top Hive? Below is a transcript of our conversation about finding and developing great mentoring relationships. Read more

Turning Fun Into a Business – Avi Millman and Stray Boots

A few years ago, Avi Millman was on a family trip in Rome, his face buried in a guidebook, shuttling from one historical site to another, thinking to himself, “Wow, this could be so much more interactive.” That glimmer of an idea would eventually grow to become Stray Boots, which Avi describes as “your own private ‘Amazing Race’ on your cell phone.” Participants receive clues, learn facts and earn points as they complete the challenge of an urban adventure. Read more

Mikhail Naumov and the GREEN Team – Creating a Global Clean Tech Workforce

The Global Renewal Renewal Energy Education Network (GREEN) is an innovative program that exposes students and young professionals to renewable energy technologies in Costa Rica. It was created in 2009 by three Rutgers University students, Mikhail Naumov, Melissa Lee and Ben Lapidus, together with a visionary sustainable architecture engineer from that country. Read more

Balazs Alexa and DateMySchool.com – Helping Students Find the Right Dates

What do you get when two Columbia Business School grad students apply their tech and business savvy to the age old problem of finding the right girl to date? You get DateMySchool.com. Co-founders Balazs Alexa and Jean Meyer got the idea for this innovative online dating service for college students and alumni, when they realized that they weren’t the only ones frustrated by how difficult it was to meet potential romantic partners in their overwhelmingly male department. Young women from the mostly female Teacher’s College felt the same way. Read more

Alex Torrenegra’s Secret to Success – Surround Yourself with Amazing People

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Alex Torrenegra, the founder of Torrenegra Labs, a suite of online marketplaces and companies. Part development laboratory, part accelerator, Torrenegra Labs has overseen the creation and or development of 16 different companies, in fields ranging from travel and booking to voice-over talent and translation services. Read more

Lily Liu and PublicStuff: Transforming How We Talk to Local Governments

Sometimes a new technology has the power to transform an entire sector. This is what co-founders Lily Liu and Vincent Polidoro are working to do with their company, PublicStuff. Their powerful product uses internet and mobile phone technology to facilitate local and state government’s ability to respond efficiently to citizen issues and concerns ranging from potholes to wild animals. By automating both reporting and response functions, they have created a viable alternative to the traditional 311 non-emergency complaint hotline that is both cost saving and efficient, and best of all, it’s being greeted enthusiastically by government offices. Read more

Learning How to Code to Build Your Business with Tim Raybould of Capography

Tim Raybould is the CFO of TicketLeap, a venture capital backed startup that provides ticketing and box office solutions for event hosts, and recently founded Capography with the objective of replacing Excel as the standard tool that startups use to maintain their capitalization table. Capography saves companies time and money by making maintaining a capitalization table extremely easy. With no previous programming experience, Tim learned Ruby, built Capography himself and launched the company, all while working a full-time job! Read more

David McCoy and Global Alliance for Community Development – A Series of Tiny Wins

How do you create a non-profit organization from scratch? According to David McCoy, co-founder and executive director of the Global Alliance for Community Development (GACD), you start with vision and commitment, and build on it, one small step at a time. After he and co-founder Christina Perelli worked on a graduate school development project in Ghana, they found that they wanted to stay connected to the communities where they had created significant relationships. Read more

Building Business and Raising Consciousness: foodtoeat.com’s Deepti Sharma Kapur

One of my favorite parts of doing these interviews is learning about a hidden gem buried in what seems like an otherwise straightforward business concept. In the case of Deepti Sharma Kapur, 25-year-old founder and CEO of foodtoeat.com, her business plan contains within it the seeds of a progressive social movement. Her company provides an online service that allows people to order food from restaurants, foodtrucks and food carts in NYC. But it’s more than that. It also provides tangible business support to scores of family businesses, many run by immigrants, by teaching them how to use technology to further the success of their business. In so doing, she’s providing a bridge of social interaction – reshaping awareness of immigrants as being capable of so much more than just selling you your chicken and rice or hot dogs. Read more

You’re Never Too Young to Succeed: Trevor Mauch of Automize

Special guest here today is Trevor Mauch, founder of Automize and Mach One Media, serial entrepreneur and founder of a few multimillion dollar businesses. Today he’s going to be speaking with us about how to discover your passions, keys to starting businesses without funds, and how to get over your fear and other motivational things that young entrepreneurs are going to benefit from. Read more

Taking a Risk on the Glamorous Life: Nikki Robinson of Gloss and Glam

What do you get when you cross a professional makeup artist with business savvy and a vision of creative freedom for top quality makeup artists? You get Gloss and Glam.

In 2010, when she was only 24 years old, former makeup artist Nikki Robinson decided to create her own company. Already a beauty and fashion industry veteran, Nikki had also worked in marketing, product and brand development in such notable companies as LVMH, Avon and Bath & Body Works. Out of her accumulated experience, she decided to fill what she saw as a huge industry void. Read more

“You Just Have to Go For It” with Gauri Manglik of Fondu

Sometimes you just have to go for it. That’s the main thing I learned from my conversation with recent NYU grad Gauri Manglik, 23-year-old CEO and co-founder of the popular app, fondu. Built on top of the Foursquare platform, the program allows users to give personalized recommendations for any restaurant, bar or coffee shop in their database. It’s twitter meets yelp for foodies, or as Gauri says, “bite sized reviews from people you actually care about.” Read more

Creating One Million Jobs Worldwide: Becky Straw and The Adventure Project

In 2010, Becky Straw was 29 years old. She had just spent three years working to develop charity: water, a non-profit organization that brings clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Directing funding in Africa, South Asia and Haiti, she exchanged with many people living in difficult conditions, listening and learning from them. Along the way she met Jody Landers, a mother of six from the state of Washington who was actively raising funds for the organization’s work in Liberia. The two began to compare notes, and realized that in order to make the most social impact, they would need to assist people in being able to take care of themselves and their families. The Adventure Project was born out of that idea. Read more

Ranking Your Music Taste: Jason Fiedler of Splash.FM

Today we had the chance to talk with Jason Fiedler who is one of the founder of Splash.FM. Splash.FM is a new music discovery tool that is based on music from people you trust. The company is aiming to grade your music taste and selection similar to how Klout grades your social influence.

The founders, Jason Fiedler, UPenn ’11 and Alex Gatof, University of Michigan ’12 have raised a friends and family round of funding. Check out Jason’s answers below to learn more about how he started and what he sees for Splash.FM. Read more

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