Founders Unfound

Founders Unfound, hosted by Daniel Kihanya.

Basic Member

Latest Episodes

Megan Graham - Ries

Megan Graham - Ries

Megan Graham is the Founder and CEO of Ries, a new brand addressing single-use plastic waste in the beauty industry with refillable, reusable travel-size bottles designed for beauty.


Megan spent her formative years in Atlanta, where her father was an anchor for CNN. She attended Florida State University, choosing to major in Textile Science and Fashion Merchandising. Megan translated this into a career in media and fashion, ultimately helping to run beauty marketing at Vogue. Her roles over those years involved extensive travel. And it was this context that led to her insight around wasteful plastics in personal care items, particularly those used on-the-go. She would discover that 150 billion pieces of plastic are created by the beauty industry annually, and 30% of single use plastic ending up in the landfill comes from personal care and grooming products. So, as the saying goes, she thought there had to be a better way. And so Ries was born.


Megan was part of the inaugural cohort of the Sephora Accelerate. Ries has gone to be carried by Sephora and Goop, and be recognized by Glamour and Cosmopolitan magazines as one of the hottest innovations in the industry.


Megan has a great story. You’ll want to listen in.


In this episode Megan and Dan discussed:

  • The realization that she appreciated looking at fashion more than creating
  • The growth the comes from hard environments
  • How Ries ended up featured at Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop
  • Why success for her is defined by pushing the industry forward in sustainability
  • What a trend forecaster actually does



OUR SPONSORS FOR THIS EPISODE:

Founders Live

the global venue for entrepreneurs to experience events, content, and community.

Check out founderslive.com to join and to find a live event near you.


MORE on MEGAN and RIES

Megan:

linkedin.com/in/meganshaygraham

instagram.com/megansgraham


Ries:

ries-ries.com

linkedin.com/company/riesries

instagram.com/riesbeauty

twitter.com/RiesBeauty


Follow Founders Unfound: Like and share - help us grow!

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT


#blackfounders #founderstories #foundersafricandescent #travel #beauty



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Naza Shelley - CarpeDM

Naza Shelley - CarpeDM

Naza Shelley is Founder and CEO of CarpeDM, an exclusive member-only dating community, created for singles seeking meaningful relationships with professional Black women.


Naza is the daughter of military parents, so she lived in many places growing up. She eventually settled down in Virginia for high school, and then the University of Virginia for college. From a young age, she had aspirations to become an attorney. She pursued this journey, with a law degree from Howard University. Naza says it was a year post law school teaching in China that reinforced her desire to practice. And so she did when she returned to the US. As a successful black professional woman in DC, she still found something missing.


As she explored the various online dating experiences, she became more and more frustrated: why wasn’t there anything for her specifically? And so, the idea for CarpeDM was born. Fast forward through milestones, like landing a co-founder, going through Techstars, and launching a truly unique hybrid service that is part online dating and part matchmaker service. Naza has closed an oversubscribed pre-seed round, gaining her membership into the group of black women founders who’ve raised over $1M in venture capital.


Naza has a great story. You’ll want to listen in.


In this episode Naza and Dan discussed:

  • Growing up in a military family
  • The impact of spending a year in China after law school
  • How dozens of dates in a year left her exhausted, with no real connections
  • The power of 'friends and family' signals
  • Why $86,000 was the right amount for her first fundraise



OUR SPONSORS FOR THIS EPISODE:

BLCK VC

A focused community built for and by black investors.

If you ever thought about getting into Venture, you definitely want to connect up at blackvc.com or

follow @BLCKVC for more about their exceptional programs and events.


MORE on NAZA and CARPEDM

Naza:

linkedin.com/in/naza-shelley

twitter.com/Naza_Shelley


CarpeDM:

carpedmdating.com

linkedin.com/company/carpedmdating

instagram.com/carpedmdating

twitter.com/CarpeDMdating


Follow Founders Unfound: Like and share - help us grow!

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT


#blackfounders #founderstories #foundersafricandescent #onlinedating



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Juneteenth 2023: Flashback 2020 part 2 - Black Women Founders

Juneteenth 2023: Flashback 2020 part 2 - Black Women Founders

JUNETEENTH 2023 - Part II

In honor of Juneteenth and the 3rd anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, we thought we’d do something a little different this month. Back in June 2020, we did two episodes with black men and black women founders, capturing their raw thoughts, emotions, and insights at the time. These were two of our most popular episodes of all time. And the sentiments shared, and vulnerability shared are as powerful today as they were then.


This is part two, where we were honored to have Dr. Ivor Horn step in as guest host, moderating a panel of black women founders:

Helen Adeosun, Stella Ashaolu, Cherae Robinson, and Ashlee Wisdom


In some ways, that time in 2020 was a catalyst for progress. Unfortunately, though - with an extended pandemic, a tough economy, and frankly the passage of time – we have not seen enough continued focus, and a loss of priority. One thing that history teaches us…its that where society’s gaze lands, progress and achievement follow. The founders from these episodes certainly show a representative slice of the founder journey. Some have startups that are prospering with investment capital. Some have pivoted. And some have sunset. But all of these founders are still wise and fierce leaders today.


Take time to ponder on what you hear...


In this throwback episode from June 2020, we discussed:

  • How it feels to be a black woman in America
  • Moving between exhausted and determined
  • Honoring the moment: with voice, intention, and self-care
  • The desire to reach back and lift up
  • How office hours are a poor substitute for a check


Audience References:


Follow Founders Unfound : Like and share - help us grow.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Juneteenth 2023: Flashback 2020 Part 1 - Black Men Founders

Juneteenth 2023: Flashback 2020 Part 1 - Black Men Founders

JUNETEENTH 2023 - Part I

In honor of Juneteenth and the 3rd anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, we thought we’d do something a little different this month. Back in June 2020, we did two episodes with black men and black women founders, capturing their raw thoughts, emotions, and insights at the time. These were two of our most popular episodes of all time. And the sentiments shared, and vulnerability shared are as powerful today as they were then.


This is part I, with me moderating a panel of black men founders: Kahlil Ashanti, Bara Cola, AK Ikwuakor, and Claudius Mbemba


In some ways, that time in 2020 was a catalyst for progress. Unfortunately though - with an extended pandemic, a tough economy, and frankly the passage of time – we have not seen enough continued focus, and a loss of priority. One thing that history teaches us…its that where society’s gaze lands, progress and achievement follow. The founders from these episodes certainly show a representative slice of the founder journey. Some have startups that are prospering with investment capital. Some have pivoted. And some have sunset. But all of these founders remain wise and fierce.


Take time to ponder on what you hear...


In this throwback episode from June 2020, we discussed:

  • How it feels to be a black man in America (June 2020)
  • What it's like to be a black entrepreneur in the midst of two American crises
  • What steps are they taking, in light of the protests, George Floyd, and their own mental health
  • Recommendations for others, including allies


Audience References:



Follow Founders Unfound : Like and share - help us grow.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Kofi Gyekye - Lane

Kofi Gyekye - Lane

Kofi Gyekye is a serial entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Lane, the world's largest and most innovative workplace experience platform, connecting 300+ properties across 22 cities and 8 countries.


We are trying something a little different with this episode. Kofi along with his cofounder Clinton, has actually built and sold Lane, so not really still unfound.

But he was so interesting and the journey so compelling, I couldn’t resist sitting down with him as a guest.


Kofi grew up in Europe with African parents. He was good at school and realized that he loved the dual pursuit of creativity and analysis - the perfect foundations for his journey as product visionary. A serendipitous meeting at university party, resulted in Kofi’s partnership with his co-founder Clinton across 3 separate ventures. It was when Kofi was considering an RFP for a marketing campaign, for office buildings, that he decided to do something he had never done before in his career – see what’s like to work in a office. So, he spent a day exploring and observing at big skyscraper office. The epiphany hit him: why can’t the office environment be as convenient and seamless as home. And so Lane was born.


In the whirlwind that followed, the company did Techstars, grew from 10 to 200 people, landed clients all over the world, and then in late 2021, sold for $200M to unicorn Proptech company VTS.


Kofi has a great story. You’ll want to listen in.


In this episode Kofi and Dan discussed:

  • Growing up as an African in Italy
  • How the combination of analytical and creative make him great at product
  • The evolution of fulfillment and its connection to impact
  • The journey of selling your company
  • The future of work, and oh the way, real estate



OUR SPONSORS FOR THIS EPISODE:

 AfriBlocks

The global pan-African freelance marketplace and collaboration platform.

More at afriblocks.com


MORE on KOFI and LANE

Kofi:

linkedin.com/in/kofi-gyekye-3812044a

instagram.com/kof.g

twitter.com/Kofi_gyekye


Lane:

joinlane.com

linkedin.com/company/joinlane

twitter.com/joinlane

instagram.com/join_lane


Follow Founders Unfound: Like and share - help us grow!

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT


#blackfounders #founderstories #foundersafricandescent #b2b #proptech



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Melissa Brogdon - FourthParty

Melissa Brogdon - FourthParty

Melissa Brogdon is Co-Founder and CEO of FourthParty, a justice technology company that increases access to mediation services so that people can resolve legal conflicts outside of court.


Proud to hail from Oakland, Melissa was raised by an incredible role model - her great grandmother. Despite opportunities to stay local for college at Berkeley, she followed the urging of a mentor and went to Spelman, a premier HBCU in Atlanta. Emerging from undergrad with confidence and curiosity, Melissa was initially a teacher, but ultimately pursued a successful career in the nonprofit sector. But then came the opportunity to work with her partner and husband to build his law practice. It was there that Melissa saw firsthand the impact of mediation, AND the clear needs mediators had. And so FourthParty was born.


Melissa has a great story. You’ll want to listen in.


In this episode Melissa and Dan discussed:

  • Growing up in Oakland
  • Her journey from teaching to philanthropy to entrepreneurship
  • How the pandemic drove an explosion in the need for mediation
  • When she found out she was part of the first Google for Startups class
  • Why "first" isn't always best



OUR SPONSORS FOR THIS EPISODE:

Founders Live

the global venue for entrepreneurs to experience events, content, and community.

Check out founderslive.com to join and to find a live event near you.



MORE on MELISSA and FOURTHPARTY

Melissa:

linkedin.com/in/melissarebeccacampbell

instagram.com/itsmelissabrogdon


FourthParty:

fourthparty.app

linkedin.com/company/fourthparty

twitter.com/4thPartyApp

instagram.com/4thpartyapp


Follow Founders Unfound: Like and share - help us grow!

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT


#blackfounders #founderstories #foundersafricandescent #legaltech



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Chiko Chingaya - Talisman

Chiko Chingaya - Talisman

Chiko Chingaya, Co-Founder and CEO of Talisman, a company building the next generation of software management, offering companies a centralized overview of all their software and SaaS.


Born in post-colonial Zimbabwe, Chiko moved to the US when he was 7, growing up in and around Dallas. With parents always working, Chiko developed a sense of independence, pursuing early passions for writing and the arts. He entered college under the premise that he would pursue law potentially, But, a trip to his homeland midway through undergrad left him humbled and determined. What followed was a masterclass of career stints - product, marketing, sales, and client success. Then one evening, watching Shark tank with a glass on wine in hand, he had the epiphany that would become Talisman. Keep listening to hear how it happened.


Chiko and Talisman have a great story.


In this episode Chiko and Dan discussed:

  • What changed when he moved from Zimbabwe to the US
  • How a $500 trip to Costco landed Talisman its first investors
  • Is it me or is it my business? The black founder inner question
  • The power of relationships and your network
  • Why everyone should learn to code



OUR SPONSORS FOR THIS EPISODE:

 AfriBlocks

The global pan-African freelance marketplace and collaboration platform.

More at afriblocks.com


MORE on CHIKO and TALISMAN

Chiko:

linkedin.com/in/chikochingaya

twitter.com/chikochingaya


Talisman:

gettalisman.com

linkedin.com/company/talismanapp

twitter.com/gettalisman


Follow Founders Unfound: Like and share - help us grow!

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT


#blackfounders #founderstories #foundersafricandescent #b2b #saas



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Donald Boone - BoxedUp

Donald Boone - BoxedUp

Donald T Boone, Founder and CEO of BoxedUp, a B2B equipment rental marketplace, similar to the Airbnb for camera gear.


Growing up in Maryland, Donald came from humble beginnings and followed his older brother in pursuit of an engineering degree at the HBCU North Carolina A&T. Donald had distinguished roles at companies like Exxon and Amazon. But as a 3-time founder, the call of entrepreneurship has always been loud in his ear. And talk about conviction. He has borrowed against his 401k for a previous startup and taught himself how to code from scratch. And get this, in the middle of the pandemic, with an incredible compensation in Amazon in hand, he decided to take BoxedUp’s early insights and traction, quit his job and set out to make his company the success he knew it could be.


Donald has a great story. You’ll want to listen in.


In this episode Donald and Dan discussed:

  • Growing up in Maryland
  • How following his brother led to an HBCU education
  • The stark reality of giving up Amazon-level comp to be a founder
  • How COVID 19 changed his business almost instantly



OUR SPONSORS FOR THIS EPISODE:

Entrepreneur Struggle

A compelling podcast with host Chris Colbert from DCP Entertainment.

Listen anywhere you get podcasts or go to dcpofficial.com/entrepreneurstruggle


MORE on DONALD and BOXEDUP

Donald:

instagram.com/donaldtboone

linkedin.com/in/donaldboone

His Journey, Medium Article


BoxedUp:

tryboxedup.com

linkedin.com/company/boxedup

instagram.com/tryboxedup

twitter.com/tryboxedup


Follow Founders Unfound: Like and share - help us grow!

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT


#blackfounders #founderstories #foundersafricandescent #ecommerce



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

February Flashback Clips: Kistein Monkhouse

February Flashback Clips: Kistein Monkhouse

For the month of February, we are publishing flashback clips from some of our wonderful past episodes. Please a take some time enjoy (again) the full episodes from these founders.

Season 4 of Founders Unfound starts in March!

 

Kistein Monkhouse is Founder and CEO of Patient Orator, a startup that improves healthcare access and breaks down health inequities through an easy-to-use app.

 

Original Episode: No.16, July 2020

foundersunfound.com/patient-orator-founder-profile-podcast

 

MORE ON KISTEIN AND PATIENT ORATOR

Kistein:

@KisteinM

linkedin.com/in/kisteinmonk45/

vimeo.com/ondemand/humanizinghealthcare


Patient Orator:

patientorator.com

linkedin.com/company/patientorator/

twitter.com/PatientOrator

 

Follow Founders Unfound: Like and share - help us grow!

#blackfounders #founderstories #foundersafricandescent #bhm



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Bio of Founders Unfound

Founders Unfound, hosted by Daniel Kihanya, this podcast shares the stories of exceptional entrepreneurs and tech founders from underrepresented backgrounds, with a particular emphasis on founders of African descent. Through its regular podcast and complimentary blog, Founders Unfound aims to illuminate the diverse landscape of entrepreneurship and highlight the accomplishments of founders working on high-potential, game-changing ideas.

Recognizing that every founder team possesses a unique origin story, Founders Unfound is committed to boldly telling these narratives. By amplifying the voices and experiences of underrepresented entrepreneurs, the platform seeks to inspire and empower others who are embarking on their own entrepreneurial journeys.

Through its podcast episodes and blog posts, Founders Unfound provides a platform for entrepreneurs to share their triumphs, challenges, and key learnings. By showcasing the stories of these exceptional founders, the platform aims to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and foster a more inclusive and diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Similar Podcasts

Podcasts

United Kingdom

''The SaaS Sales Performance Podcast'' is a Uhubs podcast.

Podcasts

United States

Startup Selling: Talking Sales with Scott Sambucci is the real Advice for Startup Founders.

Real Estate for Breakfast, hosted by Phillip Coover of Clark Hill PLC.

Women Authors of Achievement (WAA) Podcast, hosted by Daria Suvorova.

Podcasts

United Kingdom

Financial Crime Insights is a podcast from RUSI’s Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies (CFCS).

Podcasts

Canada

Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Podcast, hosted by Aaron Cameron and Adam Powadiuk.

Embracing Human, hosted by Taryn Raine.

Everyday Sublime, hosted by Josh Summers.

Podcasts

United States

TheVoiceofJobSeekers.com: Empowering job seekers with insights, tips & free eGuide by Mark Dyson.

back-to-top