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My friendship with Andy Dunn started 10 years at a conference in Hawaii. Even though we have been in each other’s lives for a long time, I had no idea he is a life-long sufferer of depression. When we think about incredible entrepreneurs, like Andy, it is hard to believe that they can be so successful while battling such dark times. Today, on the show, we hear about the human behind the entrepreneur. Andy shares his tumultuous journey and how his mental illness has shaped the way he creates his future businesses.
We discuss how new startup founders may struggle with focus and have grandiose ideas about what they think their company is versus what it actually is. How do founders determine the distinction between the fantasy and reality of the business and when it’s time to accept reality?
He also tells us about the incredible women in his life that have shown him how resilience and perseverance are the cornerstones of continual growth. Through these lessons, he has focused on using his company, Red Swan, to help back minority entrepreneurs and give them an opportunity to grab a piece of the investment pie.
I am humbled and thankful to call Andy Dunn my friend, and I hope you enjoy his life story as much I enjoyed sharing it with you.
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Biography Andy Dunn
Andy co-founded the menswear brand Bonobos in 2007 and served as the company’s first CEO for ten years. Bonobos pioneered the digitally native, direct-to-consumer brand model. In 2017, Walmart acquired Bonobos for $310 million.
Andy is co-founder and chairman at Monica + Andy, a leading organic children’s clothier where his sister Monica Royer is founder and CEO. The company is now building the leading community and marketplace for parents who care about organic and sustainable baby products.
An angel investor and venture capitalist through the seed fund he co-founded, Red Swan, Andy has backed eighty startups. Notable investments include Coinbase, Scopely, Warby Parker, Dia & Co, Blueland, Ethena, and Modern Meadow.
Andy’s book with Penguin Random House on the intersection of entrepreneurship and mental illness is due out in May of 2022.
His next company is currently in stealth mode. All we know is it is called Whipped Cream, so stay tuned…
Andy has been recognized as Fortune’s 40 under 40, Crain’s 30 under 30, and chairman emeritus of education nonprofit the Blue Engine. He was a guest on NPR’s How I Built This with Guy Raz in 2019.
He received his B.A. at Northwestern and MBA from Stanford. Andy and his wife Manuela Zoninsein live with their baby boy Isaiah in Chicago.