On the Cusp of Going to Market, This Founder Gets Crucial Advice: Wheyward Spirit Ep. 2

Emily Darchuk, the founder of Wheyward Spirit, meets with her mentor, Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm, who helps her make a pivotal decision.


The heroes of the Founders Project: the star entrepreneurs offering their hard-won wisdom to the next generation of founders they’re mentoring.

If you are a founder and would like to be considered as a mentee in our Founders Project, here’s how to apply.


Inc. Founders Project
with Alexa von Tobel

New Episodes Every Wednesday


Inc. Founders Project with Alexa von Tobel

New Episodes Every Wednesday


Episode 9

Zola’s Shan-Lyn Ma: How to Achieve Product Market Fit

Co-founder Shan-Lyn Ma was Gilt’s first product person. She went on to transform the competitive wedding planning industry through her fast-growing startup, Zola.

Episode 5

Danny Meyer, Union Square Hospitality Group

Chances are, you’ve experienced Danny Meyer’s brilliance. He’s the founder behind Union Square Hospitality Group, which holds a remarkable 28 James Beard awards and is responsible for Shake Shack, which now has over 250 locations worldwide. Meyer opens up about what he looks for in new hires, how he took the leap into the food world, and shares his scariest moment to date (spoiler: getting punched in the face by a diner).

Episode 4

Brynn Putnam, MIRROR

Brynn Putnam is no stranger to building businesses. In 2010, she started Refine Method, the award-winning boutique fitness studio. Now, she’s the Founder & CEO of MIRROR,  tapping into the $14 billion dollar home fitness market with a connected fitness system that streams classes to users in-home, all via (you guessed it) a mirror. Putnam shares how she came up with the idea and built her first prototype, the surprising range of users who love the platform, and how her professional dancing career makes her a stronger CEO.

Episode 3

Howie Liu, Airtable

Editor’s note: Airtable is a sponsor of the Founders Project with Alexa Von Tobel podcast and of Inc.com.

Howie Liu built his first company at age 20 and sold it to Salesforce just a year later. The second time around, he built Airtable. It’s already valued at over a billion dollars, which puts in the rarified group of unicorn tech companies. Liu shares how he’s found success via a slow and steady approach, his aspirations to become the next great tech company, and why he prefers farming metaphors to the wartime ones so often used by entrepreneurs.

Episode 2

Jimmy Chen, Propel

Founder of Propel, Jimmy Chen, is working to build anti-poverty software. With their first product Fresh EBT, Propel is using technology to transform the experience of using food stamps for millions of Americans. Chen explains how he’s building Propel at the intersection of social good and profit, his above-and-beyond approach to gathering user feedback, and how he plans to expand his team.

Episode 1

Jenny Fleiss, Jetblack

Co-Founder of Rent the Runway, Jenny Fleiss shares when she had her “aha moment” for her new venture Jetblack, what it’s like to start a company under the umbrella of Walmart, and why shopping via text is so sticky for consumers. Plus, learn what motivates her for the week ahead.