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Interviews with entrepreneurs
Personal lessons and insights from accomplished entrepreneurs are the basis of this interview series produced by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Khan Academy.
All content in “Interviews with entrepreneurs”

Richard Branson - Chairman of the Virgin Group

Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group, shares his story as a successful entrepreneur with a diverse portfolio.

Marc Ecko - Founder of Ecko Unlimited

Marc Ecko, Founder of Ecko Unlimited, discusses his origins as an entrepreneur and the entrepreneurial culture of Hip Hop. Describing graffiti as the extreme sport of art, Marc talks about how this form of artistic expression was his gateway to entrepreneurship and offers advice to young people.

Philip Rosedale - Founder and Chairman of Second Life

Philip Rosedale, Founder of Coffee and Power, discusses his recent venture and how a student’s education today can lead to a career tomorrow.

Zach Kaplan - CEO of Inventables

Zach Kaplan, CEO of Inventables, discusses how the revolution of digital manufacturing and desktop publishing can impact a new generation of entrepreneurs.

T.A. McCann - Founder and CEO of Gist

T.A. McCann, Founder and CEO of Gist, talks about his entrepreneurial journey, including how he joined the America’s Cup sailing team. T.A. discusses how entrepreneurs need to show initiative and chart their own course, advising other founders to always ask questions and make progress.

Ben Milne - CEO of Dwolla

Ben Milne, CEO of Dwolla, discusses his motivation in founding his company and the excitement of starting something new. Ben advocates for the idea that failure, which can happen in big and small ways, does not have to be your legacy.

Giles Shih - President and CEO of BioResource International

Giles Shih, President and CEO of BioResource International, describes his company and explains how producing "big green chickens" will help feed the world.

Danny O'Neill - President of The Roasterie

Danny O’Neill, President of The Roasterie, describes the journey that led him to starting his own company as well as some of the key attributes of an entrepreneur.

Lara Morgan - Founder of Pacific Direct

Lara Morgan, Founder of Pacific Direct, shares her entrepreneurial story and describes her motivations in founding companies. Lara describes how understanding the mechanisms of money, along with a fearlessness of asking questionshelped her company grow.

Dave Smith - CEO & Founder of TekScape IT

When Dave Smith came to the harsh realization and he alone was in charge of his future, he took a resourceful route to become an expert in his field. Mixing the desire to make it with the imagination to fake it, he went to great lengths to connect with TekScape IT customers and make them believe that his tiny organization was big enough to solve their trickiest problems.

Renaud Laplanche - Founder of Lending Club

Renaud Laplanche was opening his mail when the idea for Lending Club came to him. He tells the story of seeing the opportunity and creating the online Lending Club to fill the gap in the financial industries market. Laplache’s competitive nature extends to one-man sailboat racing and he compares the risks and rewards of racing with setting the pace as an entrepreneur.

Jason Christiansen - President & CEO of Rigid Industries

Jason Christiansen has heard all the familiar comparisons between running a business and being a team player, but as a former major league baseball player, he steps to the plate with a unique perspective. Christiansen talks about building Rigid Industries and how the company deals with imitation product lines and compares the pressure of standing on the mound to standing before his team of employees.

Linda Jeschofnig - Co-founder of Hands-On Labs

A passion for science education led Linda Jeschognig from her life in accounting to a second act as an entrepreneur. She talks about the inspiration behind Hands-on Labs and overcoming the obstacles with a company created to send kits containing hydrochloric acid, cobalt nitrate and other hazardous elements to college chemistry students. Along the way, Jeschofnig has gained support and reached out to guide other women on the entrepreneurial path.

LaKeshia Grant - CEO & Founder of Virtual Enterprise Architects

LaKeskia Grant founded Virtual Enterprise Architects as a place where she would have a voice and create an environment where others could be heard. She discusses her industry and encourages would-be entrepreneurs to incorporate their core values in their business. Grant’s mother may not know exactly what the information technology business does, but she instilled a strong work ethic and the spirit of entrepreneurship in her daughter.