The Room Podcast

Welcome to the Room. A series interviewing your favorite tech founders and funders. Our guests were in the room where it happened and they’re sharing their stories. 

Latest Episodes

4

February 08, 2022 00:31:06
S5E4: Kelly Graziadei and Joanna Lee Shevelenko of F7 Ventures Create an Inclusive Space for Women In Ventures

S5E4: Kelly Graziadei and Joanna Lee Shevelenko of F7 Ventures Create an Inclusive Space for Women In Ventures

In The Room with Kelly Graziadei and Joanna Lee Shevelenko, General Partners of F7.  For this episode of The Room, we chat with the women who lead the investments and operations of F7. F7 is a seed investment fund, composed of seven senior female operators. With their combined 16 years at Facebook, Kelly and Joanna explain what they learned from their time there and how they want to use their experience, relationships, and capital to make a difference. Kelly and Joanna manage F7 because they see a huge issue with the number of women that have “a seat at the table” in the investment industry and they want to encourage more women to be founders.  This conversation describes some of the barriers to entry as a woman in the investment world and the importance of giving everyone an equal starting place in the industry. Plus, Kelly and Joanna reveal some common mistakes that new founders make and explain how the women of F7 can be beneficial at any stage in the startup process. For The Room Podcast in your inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter.  3:55 - Joanna left Facebook after 9 years to pursue F7, how did her time there shape her career?5:57 - How did Kelly get involved with VCs, and why did she see the need for F7?7:32 - How did Kelly first make the transition into Venture? What was the aha moment that venture was next for her career?12:02 - What is the initial mission and investment thesis of F7?13:55 - What stage in a startup is the right ...

Listen

3

February 01, 2022 00:27:23
S5E3: How Faye Keegan of Dipsea is Empowering Women Using Audio-First Content with Sex-Positive Narratives

S5E3: How Faye Keegan of Dipsea is Empowering Women Using Audio-First Content with Sex-Positive Narratives

In The Room with Faye Keegan, Co-Founder, and CEO of Dipsea.  Consumers are leaning more and more into audio as their primary medium for receiving content. Faye describes how Dipsea is the first of its kind by using the new consumer love of personal audio to empower women. “Sexy audio stories and intimate wellness sessions to help you find joy and confidence in and out of the bedroom.” This episode covers concepts such as good practices when partnering on a startup with a friend, the current state of audio platforms creators, and advice for fundraising in a non-traditional space. Bonus in time for Valentine's Day, Faye explains why it’s so important to sexually empower women and create a safer environment for sexual education.  USE CODE: “THEROOM” on Dipsea's Website to get a free 30-day subscription to Dipsea and have access to over 500 stories, hot & heavy content, dreamy bedtime stories, wellness sessions, and an ad-free experience. Plus, you can cancel at any time. For The Room Podcast in your inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter.  0:08 - Where did Faye grow up and did she always want to be a founder? 1:06 - What did Faye think of her time at Bridgewater and how did it affect her leadership style?2:06 - What was a lesson that Faye learned at Bridgewater that she has taken with her into the Dipsea culture? 3:16 - What inspired Faye’s career shift from investing to software engineering?4:40 - What was the initial a-ha moment that sparked the creation of Dipsea?6:19 - How did Faye meet Gina?6:54 - What is ...

Listen

2

January 25, 2022 00:42:31
S5E2: Scaling & innovating on CPG with Graham Fortgang of MatchaBar

S5E2: Scaling & innovating on CPG with Graham Fortgang of MatchaBar

In The Room with Graham Fortgang, Founder of MatchaBar. Season 5 continues with Graham Fortgang, co-founder, and CEO of MatchaBar. Graham runs MatchaBar alongside his brother, Max, whom he’s worked with for over 7 years. We asked Graham why he and Max fell in love with matcha and, to break down their mission of bringing matcha to the mainstream whether through grocery stores, online shipping, or wholesale offerings. From guerrilla marketing in the busiest grocery stores to flying to Japan to study the origins of matcha, Graham has dedicated his life to his cause of bringing more attention to the benefits of matcha over your regular caffeinated drink. This week’s episode explores insights and themes such as the thousand-year-old origins of matcha, the power of hustle in building a business, and tactical tips on being an omnichannel retailer in 2022. Let’s open the door. For The Room Podcast in your inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter.  4:29 - What was Graham doing before MatchaBar?6:40 - What made Graham and his brother, Max, decide to take MatchaBar seriously?9:51 - What was it like owning and operating cafés?11:53 - How did guerrilla marketing become an integral part of the MatchaBar brand?13:08 - How did it benefit Graham to study the history of matcha?16:00 - Who were the early suppliers of matcha to MatchaBar?18:02 - How was the transition from real cafés to a CPG brand?20:37 - Who was the first retail partner that believed in MatchBar?22:30 -What brought the decision to capitalize MatchaBar?24:14 - What has been the added value of having household name celebrities as endorsers?25:14 - What is ...

Listen

1

January 18, 2022 00:41:03
S5E1: Jeremy Cai and Italic are Changing the Game for Manufacturers and Merchants

S5E1: Jeremy Cai and Italic are Changing the Game for Manufacturers and Merchants

In The Room with Jeremy Cai, Founder, and CEO of Italic.  We start off season 5 of The Room with Jeremy Cai, the Founder and CEO of Italic. Jeremy and Italic are changing what it means to be a manufacturer by connecting directly to customers and consumers, breaking from the traditional path of utilizing a middle-man distributor. Jeremy details the evolution of Italic, expanding on the changes they’ve made to the business model. Plus, we ask him about the future of the E-Commerce space and any predictions he may have. For The Room Podcast in your inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter.  3:21 - Who is Jeremy Cai and how has his family background influenced his interests?4:42 - Jeremy compares what he learned from his time as a Theil Fellow to his time running his two subsequent startups.8:02 - What inspired the start of Italic? 12:37 - Who was the first manufacturer to sign up with Italic? 15:41 - What was the first product Italic sold and how did Italic get consumers to join?18:01 - What is the design process of Italic’s product offering?22:45 - Was getting a VC the first step in getting Italic off the ground? 23:18 - Who was the first Venture that said yes to supporting Italic? 24:48 - What led Italic to step away from their original mandatory membership model?27:11 - What does Jeremy think the next innovation in E-Commerce is?30:24 - Italic is not a brand but, they can create an experience.32:56 - What is Jeremy’s favorite product on Italic?33:51 - How has the current supply ...

Listen

4

December 07, 2021 00:37:25
Movers & Shakers Ep 4: Ryan Mundy of Alkeme Health

Movers & Shakers Ep 4: Ryan Mundy of Alkeme Health

Welcome to the last episode of our four-part mini-series Movers & Shakers! This week, Madison and Claudia sit down with Ryan Mundy, Founder & CEO of Alkeme Health. Any football fans? You may also recognize Ryan as the Super Bowl-winning safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After eight seasons in the NFL and playing across three teams, Ryan retired at age 31 and embarked on a self-discovery journey to find his identity outside of football. This led him to spend time both on the investing side at Techlete Ventures and starting his first company SWZLE, a sustainable CPG brand. That year, Ryan and his family faced an unfortunate number of personal health crises, ultimately shedding light on healthcare inequalities that millions of Black Americans must face. From this personal experience came Alkeme Health, a digital health platform that features content from black practitioners and respected experts in wellness, including psychology and mindfulness to tackle the issues that are historically unaddressed by health tech, such as intergenerational trauma, systemic racism, anxiety and microaggressions. The platform is set to launch in January 2022.    This week’s episode of The Room Podcast explores insights and themes such as endurance on and off the field, building an ecosystem of culturally competent care, and healthcare's future in America. Let's open the door.   Movers & Shakers is proudly sponsored by our friends at Silicon Valley Bank and Cooley. ...

Listen

3

November 30, 2021 00:39:50
Movers & Shakers Ep 3: Paige Finn Doherty of Behind Genius Ventures

Movers & Shakers Ep 3: Paige Finn Doherty of Behind Genius Ventures

Welcome back to The Room- today’s conversation is another installment in our mini-series, Movers & Shakers where we sit down with early-stage entrepreneurs to hear about their stories.  Today we sit down with Paige Finn Doherty, Founding Partner of Behind Genius Ventures.  Behind Genius Ventures is an early-stage fund investing in product-led growth companies and play at the pre-seed/seed stage. They are backed by Bain Capital Ventures, Tribe Capital, Bonfire Ventures, and others. Behind Genius focuses on API-first products, wellness, creator economy,  and dev tools. Paige is also the author of Seed to Harvest: A Simple Explanation of Venture Capital. Today we chat about her passions, how she got into venture, and her take on future tech trends. Let’s open the door.  ...

Listen