Welcome to the 235th episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted by Inc.'s editor in chief, James Ledbetter.

First, in his Uncensored debut, editor-at-large Tom Foster explains the driving factors behind the success of Freestar, the No. 1 company on this year's Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. The Phoenix-based tech startup helps publishers sell ads more effectively--and its story starts with a printed wall calendar of Arizona State University co-eds in bikinis. An unconventional beginning, to say the least.

Next, staff writer  Emily Canal delves into Austin-based Cece's Veggie Co., No. 3 on this year's Inc. 5000 list. When doctors told founder Mason Arnold that he and his children should adopt a gluten-free diet, Arnold started experimenting with veggie-based versions of popular dishes. Now, his startup--which makes noodle and rice alternatives out of fresh vegetables--sells in roughly 3,500 Whole Foods, Kroger, and Costco stores across the U.S.

Finally, I tell the origin story of Wilmington, North Carolina-based Untappd, the Foursquare-style check-in app for beer that ranked No. 221 on this year's Inc. 5000 list. Founded in 2010, the company has millions of users, most of whom likely had no idea the business was just a side-gig for two guys on opposite sides of the country. Despite Untappd's popularity, co-founders Greg Avola and Tim Mather refused to quit their day jobs--until finally finding an unconventional way to devote themselves to their company.

Check out the full episode in the player below, in iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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