In the VC and startup world, people love to talk, but listening is when you really learn something. Hence, the rise of the startup podcast.
But now that everyone from Andreessen Horowitz to ZenFounder is vying for your time, it can be easy to come down with analysis paralysis. Worry not. We’ve got your back with a rundown of 19 currently running startup and VC podcasts that we think are worth your time. They range from hard-hitting tête–à–têtes about investing and entrepreneurship to casual conversations over drinks to self-help for workaholics. Read on to see who you should be listening to and why.
Andreessen Horowitz is one of the biggest and most successful VC firms, so it’s not surprising that their podcast is required listening. This wide-ranging program covers investments, startups, and new tech, but isn’t limited to the usual Silicon Valley buzzwords and heavy hitters. Expect informed, compelling conversation about science, politics, trends, and more with a wide variety of experts, business leaders, investors, and founders.
Ben Gilbert, David Rosenthal
We might have called the death of the acquihire back in 2016, but there’s still a lot to be learned from the phenomenon of acquisitions. This podcast delves into famous and important acquisitions and IPOs, how they happened, and what long-lasting impact they’ve had. If you’re interested in mergers, acquisitions, and exits, this podcast is for you.
Ask Gary Vee Show
After helping turn his family’s liquor store into a $50M/year business, Gary Vee (Vaynerchuk) founded VaynerMedia and then venture firm Vayner RSE. Now he uses his entrepreneurial and investment acumen to talk about startups, social media, and running a family business on #AskGaryVee, which can also be watched on YouTube, all with Gary’s trademark straight-talking style.
Every startup is focused on growth and no two companies do it the exact same way. Don’t waste time muddling through indecisively. Let host Eric Siu and his guests, a range of entrepreneurs and marketers, give you the lowdown on their successes, failures, and key learnings on the road towards growth.
Hack to Start
Franco Varriano, Tyler Copeland
Everyone has to hack their own way to success. The Hack to Start startup podcast brings you the stories of founders, entrepreneurs, designers, and marketers from places like Shopify, Uber, Facebook, and tons of other startups poised to become the next big thing. Whatever your dream is, there’s something for you to learn from this diverse crew.
Andrew Warner, Matthew Smith
You can’t beat Mixergy’s startup interviews for sheer volume and ease of use. Silicon Valley is home to countless founders, and you can learn something from each of them, but Mixergy’s unique offering is how conveniently they’re sorted: you’ll find 1,000+ hard-hitting interviews from women founders, bootstrappers, sales experts, and more, sorted into more than 20 categories.
Re/code Decode Podcast
Kara Swisher’s weekly podcast delves into the biggest news stories in the tech realm and beyond. If you’re looking for a fast way to stay on top of what’s happening in the world with commentary and insights from industry experts, political figures, and others, you’ve found it.
Matt Goldman, Joelle Goldman, Michael Sacca
Rocketship’s tagline is “The podcast that inspires tens of thousands of entrepreneurs each week.” It’s kind of like your one-stop startup podcast for everything you need to build a company from the ground up: marketing, growth, sales, culture, hustling, and more are covered in over 200 interviews with world-class entrepreneurs.
She Did It Her Way
It’s not easy being a founder and lady founders have it tougher than many. Amanda Boleyn’s “She Did It Her Way” program challenges women to follow their dreams and start their own businesses and offers coaching and guidance to help them get it done. Her podcast collects the stories of countless lady founders who worked hard and built companies they’re proud of. Learn from the likes of Sarena Bahad, Giovanna Silvestre, and Renee Diresta.
Alex Blumberg, Lisa Chow
Another startup podcast that looks into the nitty gritty of what it takes to start a business and keep it going, StartUp hosts Lisa Chow (former senior editor at FiveThirtyEight) and Alex Blumberg (co-founder of Planet Money) talk to entrepreneurs of all stripes about the lessons they’ve learned on their business journeys.
Story in a Bottle
What better way to hear about a founder’s journey than to ask them out for a drink. But with so many founders running around, it can be hard to pin each one down individually to pick their brain. Media guru Dan Maccarone feels your pain and has gathered up some of the biggest names in the tech world, sat them down with a drink, and created this podcast that you too can enjoy with the beverage of your choice.
The App Guy Podcast
Everything today is packaged in an app it seems, so what better way for an enterprising founder, entrepreneur, or enthusiast to stay up on the state of the industry than with the App Guy Podcast? Paul Kemp sits down with leading app company founders and the writers who cover these apps and distills their stories, successes, and failures.
The James Altucher Show
James Altucher has been all over and done a little of everything: investing, starting companies, and writing bestsellers. Whatever you want your path through life to be, he has insights and interviews to help you get there. Guests include founders, investors, writers, life coaches, and anyone with an interesting story to tell.
Sheel Mohnot, Josh Muccio, Sophie Masure
The Pitch’s premise is as simple as its name: you listen to actual founders pitch actual VCs for funding. Hear from a wide array of founders as they pitch a diverse selection of VCs, including 500 Startups, Trinity Ventures, Pear Ventures, Core Innovation Capital, and many others. If you’re gearing up for a pitch yourself or just like hearing about how real deals get made, The Pitch is for you.
The Startup Chat
Steli & Hiten
Interviews with individual founders, VCs, and entrepreneurs are great, but there’s nothing like listening to two startup vets tear into really meaty concepts and get to the heart of what it takes to run a company. Steli Efti (Close.io) and Hiten Shah (Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics) delve into tough situations like “how to make decisions when all options suck” and kick around hard truths like “your startup is not your baby.”
The Twenty Minute VC
Harry Stebbings made headlines recently by becoming one of the VC world’s youngest players. Inspired by the Facebook movie, The Social Network, Stebbings started podcasting unceasingly about the world of venture capital. Grasping early the startup world’s need for brevity, Stebbings limited his interviews with VCs to just 20 minutes. Today, Stebbings produces maybe the most important 20 minutes (about VC) you’ll listen to in a week and is entrepreneur-in-residence at Atomico.
This Week in Startups
Can’t get enough startup stories? Podcasting pioneer Jason Calacanis has eight years of interviews with startup and investing big names like Chris Sacca, Aaron Levie, Gary Vaynerchuk, and countless others. They’re also organized into categories like healthcare, transportation, startup basics, and more to make it easy to find the insightful discussions you care about most.
Jay Acunzo, Tim Devane
No one knows more about how startups get off the ground than an early-stage VC. NextView Ventures has made investments in Joshua Topolsky’s The Outline, TaskRabbit, and countless other startups. Traction details the unconventional methods that scrappy startups have used to get off the ground, with stories from founders, execs, journalists, and investors.
Sherry Walling, Rob Walling
Words like “work-life balance” and “flow” get bandied about by efficiency and culture experts as necessary ingredients to achieving maximum output and happiness, but what do they really mean? Join a clinical psychologist and a successful founder as they delve into how to build your dreams and keep your sanity in the hustle-obsessed, 18-hour-day startup world.
That’s our rundown of all our favorite podcasts for your listening enjoyment and edification. Be sure to tell us yours in the comments and log in to CB Insights or sign up for a free trial to dig into the companies and investors mentioned here and chronicled in these podcasts.
This report was created with data from CB Insights’ emerging technology insights platform, which offers clarity into emerging tech and new business strategies through tools like:
- Earnings Transcripts Search Engine & Analytics to get an information edge on competitors’ and incumbents’ strategies
- Patent Analytics to see where innovation is happening next
- Company Mosaic Scores to evaluate startup health, based on our National Science Foundation-backed algorithm
- Business Relationships to quickly see a company’s competitors, partners, and more
- Market Sizing Tools to visualize market growth and spot the next big opportunity