Subscribe to Inc. This Morning, a daily news digest curated for those interested in entrepreneurship.
Let's say you're an entrepreneurial food scientist. Your company makes liquor from fermented cheese byproducts--it's tasty, you swear--and you need a mentor. Who do you ask?
If your name is Emily Darchuk and your company is Wheyward Spirit, the answer is obvious: Gary Hirshberg, founder of pioneering organic yogurt brand Stonyfield Organic. After all, dairy is dairy, whether you're eating it for breakfast or drinking it at a bar on a Friday night.
Hirshberg started their first mentoring session with a blunt question: What are you living on? "Hopes and dreams and laughter and, sometimes, fumes," Darchuk replied. "I want to look at funding--but I want to personally remove as much risk as possible." Hirshberg approved: "Good for you. I wish even just 10 percent of the companies I work with thought like this."
For Inc.'s 40th anniversary this year, we're launching the Founders Project, which will match 40 aspiring founders with 40 of America's most accomplished entrepreneurs--starting with Darchuk and Hirshberg. Throughout the year, the interactions of all 40 pairs will play out in the magazine, on the website, in videos, and at live events. (If you're attending South by Southwest next month, request an invite to our Founders House and come by to say hi.)
As my colleague Leigh Buchanan writes: "You'll see [everything] in real time: the blocking and tackling, the strategizing and hedging, and the occasional tear or fist bump."
The hope is that by the end of 2019, those emerging founders will know what they need to thrive--this year, next year, and for many years to come. If you follow along and learn from their journeys, you should be able to do the same.
Here's what else I'm reading today:
- Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is running for president. His announcement video featured clips on income inequality and his tussles with Amazon over wage increases. --Business Insider
- Watch out, Elon Musk. Amazon just led a $700 million investment round for Rivian, a Tesla rival. --The New York Times
- Your guide to LinkedIn's latest update: live video. --Inc.
- New data reveals that more women founders are finally getting in on first rounds of venture capital. --Inc.
- As Uber prepares for an IPO, its losses are starting to pile up. --The New York Times
- Slashing hours and expansion plans, New York City's small businesses are scrambling after Amazon pulled its HQ2 plans. --Inc.
- The rise and tragic fall of Colin Kroll, the tech wunderkind behind Vine and HQ Trivia. --The Wall Street Journal
- On the latest episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast: Reddit, the solar industry, and thriving startups in Atlanta. --Inc.
- Your office chair has probably looked the same for the past 25 years, and there's a reason why. --Wired
- Valentine's Day didn't go as planned? This post-breakup concierge startup can handle your, um, exit strategy. --Fast Company