The past few years have seen an explosion of podcasts — it seems like everyone wants to get in on the audio. And startup founders (many of whom have probably been listening to podcasts since they started in the early aughts) are no exception! But how do you know what to listen to in this vast sea of startup podcasts?
Don’t worry — we have you covered. Here are the top 20 best startup podcasts as we head into 2020. Grab your noise cancelling earphones — and get listening.
Hosted by Startups.com founders and serial entrepreneurs Wil Schroter and Ryan Rutan, Startup Therapy is an inside perspective on issues startup founders really care about. From what to expect in your first year after launching to how to deal with the emotional parts of being a startup founder, Wil and Ryan cover it all.
StartUp was the podcast that launched Gimlet, which just sold to Spotify for a pretty penny. In the first season, listeners get to hear Gimlet founder Alex Blumberg bumble his way through a pitch with Chris Sacca, among many other cringeworthy and heartfelt moments. Subsequent seasons follow a range of founders as they launch their own startups. It’s good listening — and will make any founder feel a little less alone in their journey.
Jason Calcanis is an OG tech entrepreneur, investor, blogger, and one of the first to truly jump on the podcasting train. Join him and a group of rotating guests to talk about “the best, worst, most outrageous and interesting stories from the world of entrepreneurship” every week on This Week in Startups. It’s like a news commentary show, but for nerds like us!
The Pitch is another startups podcast from Gimlet. But while StartUp is about the whole process of launching a startup, The Pitch is about one moment: Pitching to investors. Listen in behind doors that are normally closed to outsiders as real entrepreneurs pitch to real venture capitalists. This is a must listen for anyone who is currently or plans on raising series funding.
If you’re in startups, you’ve certainly heard of Tim Ferris. If you liked what he had to say in 4-Hour Workweek, check out The Tim Ferris Show, where he speaks with “world-class” professionals and does a deep dive to uncover the “tools, tactics, and tricks” they use — that you can use too.
While How To Start A Startup isn’t putting out new episodes anymore, it’s a great resource for new entrepreneurs looking for tips from people who have been there — a lot. The podcast is from Sam Altman and his team at Y Combinator and it covers the “How To Startup A Startup” class at Stanford. Guest lectures include Sam Altman, Dustin Moskovitz, Paul Graham, Adora Cheung, Peter Thiel, Alex Schultz, Kevin Hale, Marc Andreessen, Ron Conway, Ben Silbermann, Alfred Lin, Patrick and John Collison, Aaron Levie, Reid Hoffman, Keith Rabois, Ben Horowitz, Marissa Mayer, Hosian Rahman, Kirsty Nathoo, and Carolynn Levy, among others.
In the earliest years of this latest tech boom, everyone was “crushing it” all the time — and talking about your mental health felt scary at best, and like you could lose your funding at worst. These days there’s more transparency about the emotional and personal costs of being a founder, thank goodness. Zen Founder is one way for startup founders who are looking for a little guidance in the mental health department to make sure they’re on the right track.
It’s no secret that women are outnumbered by men — by a lot — in the tech industry. Check out the #womenintech podcast for an inside look at what it’s like to be a woman in the tech world today. This startup podcast is hosted by WeAreLATech's Espree Devora and features women engineers, female founders, investors, UX and UI designers, and journalists.
The pivot is another important inflection point for startup founders. How do you know when it’s time? How do you know the right way to go? Pivot examines the times is hosted by Jenny Blake, career and business strategist and former career development program manager at Google. She and her guests explore what it’s like to take that next step.
If you’re looking for a startup podcast that covers all the bases, Rocketship.fm has you covered. The show takes on big ideas but also offers practical, usable techniques for everything from “product management to growth, culture to sales, and everything in between.”
Sometimes a startup founder just needs a little bit of inspiration — and that’s where She Did It Her Way comes in. With a combination of Instagram-worthy affirmations and practical stuff like how to manage your finances, host, entrepreneur, and coach Amanda Boleyn guides you through it all.
In addition to winning the (non-existent) award for most SEO-friendly title, The Twenty Minute VC brings the in-depth look at venture capital that most founders need. Host Harry Stebbings talks to big name VCs like Ben Horowitz, founders like Steve Huffman (reddit), and also gives tips for people who are interested in becoming venture capitalists themselves.
Women Who Startup is all about women founders, coders, women in tech, and women entrepreneurs. Their three seasons highlight cool women running awesome startups, many in the Denver, Colorado, area — a burgeoning startup hub where the podcast is based.
Mixergy Startup Stories host Andrew Warner is the type of interviewer who makes other interviewers jealous. On his podcast, Warner digs deep “into the success and failures of the most successful business founders and thought leaders.”
Software engineers love efficiency. So how smart is it to create a podcast that fits into a “tea break,” i.e. the time it takes to make (and maybe drink) a cup of tea? That’s what the double entre-d Developer Tea offers: Bite sized podcasts designed to enhance the lives and work of developers, efficiently.
Startup founders wear many hats — and one of them may be design. But even if you’re not a designer yourself, it’s important to keep up on the latest and greatest in the field. Add Design Details to your podcast playlist for A weekly conversation about design process and culture, perfect for designers and designer-adjacent startup founders.
Listeners of Gimlet’s StartUp will recognize the voice of Jerry Colonna, host of the Reboot podcast. Colonna was featured on an episode of StartUp in his role as executive coach to co-founder Alex Blumberg and Matthew Lieber. On his own podcast, he explores the “the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership” with startup founders from a variety of backgrounds.
And speaking of Gimlet, here’s another one from that team! Without Fail is hosted by Gimlet founder Alex Blumberg. He explores an issue startup founders are all too familiar with: Failure. But the show isn’t just about getting knocked down — it’s about what happens after. With famous entrepreneurs, athletes, actors, and more, Alex goes down the rabbit hole of what failure means in a person’s life narrative arch.
Wanna learn from the big guns? Then tune in to Masters of Scale, hosted by Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and investor at Greylock. Hoffman talks to the giants behind the companies you use every day: Mailchimp, 23andMe, Uber, Bumble, and more.
While new startups pop up every day, the people at NPR are the old-school pros at audio. That holds true for the How I Built This podcast, on which host Guy Raz “dives into the stories behind some of the world's best known companies” and “weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists — and the movements they built.” Is your interest piqued? Ours too.