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.

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.
3:20
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.

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.
3:41
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.
3:40
Developing Value for the Product
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.
3:40
Engineering a Solution to Every Problem
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.
2:53
Shifting from Loyalty to Accountability
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.
3:15
Top of the World, Ma
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.
3:17
Finding an Idea in the Mail
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.  
3:17
Building Trust and Confidence
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.
2:40
Sailing the Seas of Entrepreneurship
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.
2:58
Turning a Hobby into a Bright Business
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.
3:12
The World of Copy Cat Companies
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.
2:53
Baseball is Just a Game
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.

Dave Gilboa & Neil Blumenthal - Co-founders & Co-CEOs of Warby Parker

The visionaries who founded Warby Parker were friends and classmates at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania who challenged convention, disrupted an industry and created an organization that did something good in the world. Dave Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal, along with Andrew Hunt and Jeffrey Raider, set ambitious targets for themselves and committed to have fun along the way.
3:00
A fix for a broken industry
2:21
It was just mayhem
2:57
Starting and staying in business with friends

Calvin Carter - Founder of Bottle Rocket Apps

The day after Steve Jobs announced that Apple was opening its platform to third party developers Calvin Carter bought pencils and a pad of paper and began sketching applications. Today developers at Bottle Rocket Apps still use pencil and paper as they begin the process of producing custom, high-end mobil apps for some the world’s leading brands. Along the way they hold on to their passion and stay focused on their mission.
2:38
A 2 a.m. wake up call
1:51
Living the company’s values
3:03
The excitement of making something
1:56
Making money making apps

Beth Schmidt - Founder of Wishbone.org

Beth Schmidt was a Teach for America Corps Member teaching 10th Grade English at Locke High School in South Central, Los Angeles, when she asked her class to write about their passion and an after-school and summer program they wanted to attend. Their essays prompted her to find a way to make these life-changing opportunities available to her students. She started Wishbone to send students to programs that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.
3:13
Students wishes come true
2:29
There better be an authentic need
2:50
An invitation for innovation

Toby Rush - CEO & Founder of EyeVerify

Toby Rush looks for hard problems to solve and ways to apply simple solutions for bringing products to market. He teamed with university scientist to develop EyeVerify Inc., which uses EyePrint ID, a highly accurate biometric technology that uses existing cameras on mobile devices to image and pattern match the blood vessels in the whites of the eye.
2:56
University scientist meets entrepreneur
2:44
Staying grounded