Inc.'s Founders Project began, earlier this year, as a way to commemorate our 40th anniversary. But as you can tell from this issue, it has grown into something much bigger--into a kind of mission. By the end of the year, we will have matched 40 seasoned entrepreneurs with the founders of 40 companies that find themselves at a crossroads.
One of our Founders Project mentors is on the cover: Tilman Fertitta, the hard-driving CEO of Landry's, owner of the Houston Rockets, and star of CNBC's Billion Dollar Buyer. You can read his remarkable biography, written by Inc. editor-at-large Bill Saporito. But be sure to also check out the dialogue he has with his mentee, Megan Eddings of Accel Lifestyle. Her company, which makes sweat-absorbing and odor-free athletic wear, is looking for guidance about branding and marketing. Who could be better to help than Fertitta? You'll see more Founders Project dialogues: Kabbage's Rob Frohwein helps the founders of Lyfe Marketing address their biggest hiring challenge and longtime VC Anu Duggal helps Rhian Horgan of Kindur pitch her retire-well business. There are also testimonials from three mentees about how the project has helped their businesses.
We're proud to have taken on this matchmaking role as our calling--because we all know that, for you, your business is your calling. Increasingly, founders are seeking to formalize that calling for their employees, investors, and communities by becoming "benefit corporations." This type of mission has been central to Inc.'s coverage since the 1980s--like that of Ben & Jerry's and Patagonia.
The history of the B corporation movement is chronicled in a fascinating excerpt from the new book Organized Money, by Keith Mestrich and Mark A. Pinsky. You'll also notice in this issue the Pillars Project, produced by Synchrony, which honors businesses that are leaders in their community. It, too, ties into our belief that founders can learn best from other founders. And that Inc. is here to get those conversations started.