LESSONS FROM THE TRENCHES
Real stories from iconic startup founders.
Season 3 – Latest Episode
Alex Cruz | International DJ and Music Producer
Alex Cruz, International DJ, has produced music for almost 30 years. At the age of 18, Alex left his hometown of Amsterdam for life at the beach. He realized he had a passion for music and started making his own. He partnered with a childhood friend who bought a mixing console, and they started djing for friends. He was 22 when he released his first track on LP vinyl. After 7 years, the childhood friend’s paths separated, and Alex found himself on his own, free to find his signature sound. Read more.
Kara Goldin | Founder & CEO of Hint Water
Hint Water was born out of Kara’s curiosity to find answers. Answers about her health issues and why “diet” drinks were deceiving consumers into believing they were healthy when they were, in fact, detrimental.
“I mean, it was crazy because again, I think the challenge that people have is there are healthy perceptions versus healthy reality. And here I am, a smart person, a successful person, and I was fooled, right. It is really, really tricky.” Read more.
Lizzie Widhelm, SVP Ad Innovation, and B2B Marketing at Pandora is a witty and influential executive in media technology whose experiences as a mother have helped guide her career and vice-versa...Full Episode.
In this episode of the Superpowers podcast, Bill and Chris bring on Ian Rapoport, author of the Boston Herald blog, “The RapSheet” and National Insider at the NFL Network. …Full Episode.
About the host
Chris Cunningham is a 20-year media and tech veteran who is a serial entrepreneur turned early-stage venture capitalist. As an angel investor Chris invested in 18 tech start-ups, four have sold for cash, and others like Petal, Narrative, Advisr, Embrace and Bloom Credit continue to increase in value. Chris recently launched a $10M early-stage venture fund to scale the C2V brand and invest in more companies. C2V’s current portfolio includes Beam, Paladin, Kambr, Tarform, Somatic, Driver Technologies, Blutag, and Boostr. Chris is also an LP in both Bowery Capital and Tech Stars.
He also held executive and leadership roles at both Unacast and Ironsource, a now $2B privately held mobile technology company that recently sold a $500MM cash stake to private equity.
Chris was the CEO and Co-founder of Appssavvy a start-up he started from his Soho apartment back in 2006. Appssavvy was the industry’s first platform that monetized Facebook apps and games through native advertising with fortune 500 brand advertisers. Appssavvy drove over $80MM in revenue to the app ecosystem both on Facebook and on mobile devices.
Prior to Appssavvy, he was the SVP for Webs.com, which was acquired by VistaPrint for $117MM and is now a $1.5B company.
Over the span of his career, Chris and his team have been responsible for generating more than $250M in net new ad revenue through innovative new products, and he has succeeded in raising more than $100 million in venture capital while recruiting and growing numerous companies.
Chris has been named one of the “Most Important People in Mobile Advertising” by Business Insider, as well as being named an Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist” two years in a row.
Chris graduated from the University of North Carolina Greensboro in 1997 with an Economics degree. He has two sons, runs marathons and triathlons, and he’d rather be scuba diving.