Breaking Down Forbes’ 12 Best Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

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Recently Forbes featured a column by staff writer Brian Solomon on his picks for the 12 best podcasts for entrepreneurs.  It’s great to see Forbes recognize some of the good work being done by podcasters.  To us here at PodcastMotor it means a few things:

  1. Podcasting is really reaching the mainstream of conventional media
  2. Business owners are actively looking to alternative media to contribute to their ongoing education
  3. The content that we are all creating is in fact changing the landscape of all businesses, not just the ones that we’re directly in contact with

These are all very exciting realizations, and this should be a giant boost to all podcasters out there in the Business space.  In fact the content that we’re creating is shaping many large, influential businesses.  Podcasting is not just for hobbyist anymore, it is an influential content medium that should be taken seriously in many organizations.

This should be evident by the influx of funded startups and even some publicly traded companies that are creating regular podcasts of their own.  Yes HubSpot, I’m thinking of you.  

Reading this list of the 12 podcasts that startup founders should be listening to a few things struck me.  Below is a quick dialogue about what each of these shows is all about to us, and why we agree that you should be listening to them as a startup founder.

Here’s a look at their list:


Hosts Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow     

StartUp is an entrepreneurial podcast series that looks at the process of getting a business going.  StartUp was hugely disruptive in Season One in which it documented the process of Gimlet Media, host Alex Bloomberg’s own media startup, going through the process of getting funding and growing their very own podcasting network.  Very Meta, if you will.  

Season Two of StartUp featured a dating company called Dating Ring and the challenges they faced in getting their business up and moving.

Each season is compact and finite (about 12 episodes), and StartUp really sent the new benchmark in both content format with their original style, along with an entirely new way of formatting advertisements.  Dubbed by some to be the “conversational advertisements” these more closely resemble product placement spots instead of regular advertisements.  This model has been mimicked repeatedly by other shows since then.

BuBuilt to Sellilt To Sell Radio

Host John Warrillow

Adding a new content medium on top of his bestselling book, John Warrilow is continuing to build to his body of work around how to build your company so that it can be sold easily, and for top valuations.

Built to Sell Radio focuses on entrepreneurs who have sold their businesses in the last five years.  Guests discuss the things they discovered as they went through the sales process and provides details on the they lessons learned in selling their business.

Each selling experience is different, and we find it fascinating to hear the different paths that business owners take to finally arrive at the closing table.  If you are a business owner with an exit in mind down the road this this should be on your list.  There are many things you can do today to set yourself up for that time, even if it’s a few years from now.

Stary combinatortup School Radio     

Host Aaron Harris

Startup School Radio comes from Y Combinator which provides seed funding for startups. YC, as it’s short for in the tech space, partner Aaron Harris features weekly interviews with startup founders as they document their journey through the accelerator program and into the world of funded startups.  

Y Combinator has served as an accelerator for such companies as Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe.  The podcast is a weekly extension of their startup school and details stories and advice from founders and investors.  

The PitchThe Pitch Podcast        

 Host Josh Muccio

The Pitch Podcast features startups in the early stages who pitch their companies to investors who then give feedback and help them raise money from The Pitch’s audience of angel investors.  A different startup and different investor groups are featured every few weeks.

Even though The Pitch is just a few episodes in, it definitely claims a spot on this Must Listen To list because of the creative nature of their content.  The PItch is The Shark Tank coming to podcasting where startup founders and potential investors have a chance to meet live on the air and hash out their Pitch.  

Great concept and something that could really take podcasting to a whole new level. More of these types of two way conversations with podcasting will be a big feature as it moves more mainstream in the future.   

Collectivecollective wisdom Wisdom For Tech Startups     

Host- Micah Rosenbloom

Collective Wisdom For Tech Startups comes from Founder Collective, a seed-stage venture capital fund that has invested in companies like Uber and Buzzfeed.  This is quickly becoming the epicenter of Venture Capital insights, news, and connection.

The podcast highlights what makes companies exceptional and provides listeners with strategies and techniques they can apply to their own startups or companies. With a nice change of pace, episodes are also broken up into smaller snippets of show highlights.

The tagline for the show says it all “Startup Founders aren’t born, they’re Made”.  This really instills the ongoing learning, adapting, and optimizing nature of what so many startup founders experience as they traverse their growing businesses.

She Dishe did it her wayd It Her Way Podcast     

Host – Amanda Boleyn, Tess Wicks, and Molly Rose

In a field unfortunately dominated by male founders this is a welcome change.  She Did It Her Way podcast takes a look at female entrepreneurs from across the country.  

These women share stories, insights and the business models they are using to pave their way, and do it in a way that their audience can uniquely connect with.  

Overcoming the gender bias is a huge challenge facing all tech companies, and seeing this team addressing the problem head on, and in a proactive way is a very welcome addition to our podcasting rolodex.  

reboot The Reboot Podcast        

Host – Jerry Colonna

Jerry Colonna interviews entrepreneurs on the ups and downs of what they’re going through in their startups.  The nuts and bolts of business are sometimes the easiest to understand.  It’s the more ambiguous, hard to define emotional and psychological aspects that often evade us.    

The Reboot Podcast looks at the emotional and physical side of the challenges of running a business.  Host Jerry Colonna pulls on his experience as a partner with JP Morgan’s Private Equity group to bring some perspective to what startup founders are going through, and how we can all best cope with these same issues.  

Zezen foundernFounder                   

Hosts – Rob and Sherry Walling

Rob an entrepreneur and Sherry a psychologist team up for ZenFounder.  

Oh, and they’re Married.  

This group joins forces to explore the emotional side of being an entrepreneur, as well as taking care of your family and many other aspects involved with being a founder.  

Their series on Origin Stories featured several well know Silicon Valley founders and what unique aspects of their upbringing have impacted the trajectory of their business lives now as founders.  They’ve also tackled some tough topics such as the good and bad of co-founders.  

Rocketship          rocketship         

Hosts Matt and Joelle Goldman and Michael Sacca

Rocketship’s three hosts interview successful startup, product and entrepreneurial leaders about strategy, growth, actionable advice and insight.  

Building on some of the other very successful interview shows of years past, this one focuses solely on high growth startup founders.  Each episode Matt, Joelle, and Michael delve deep into the mechanics of these companies, what special attributes the founders bring to the table, and what exactly is making the companies so successful.

This podcast features the business leaders of today and potential leaders of tomorrow in twice-weekly 30 minute episodes.


Host Andreessen Horowitz

The a16z Podcast takes a look at trends, news, and technology while featuring industry experts, business leaders, and other entrepreneurs. Host Andreessen Horowitz leads one of the valey’s largest venture capital firms.  

Andreessen Horowitz is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm with $4.2 billion under management. The firm invests in entrepreneurs building companies at every stage – from seed to growth.

recode decodere/code decode                             

Host  –  Kara Swisher

Tech reporting powerhouse Kara Swisher hosts this interview podcast about what’s going on in the tech world.  It features guests from business leaders to outspoken individuals the media, politics and more.

This is a welcome change in the lineup in that Kara addresses not only tech focused topics, but also news, politics, econ, and other tangentially related aspects of the tech world.  This all encompassing view is really refreshing and actually tells a lot about what the overall landscape looks like.


Host –  Jay Acunzo

Traction, as the name implies, looks at how startups get going.  The focus of this podcast is the things that founders did at the earliest stages before they had resources.  

Those first few steps of customer engagement is often the hardest to achieve, and founders looking for that foothold can look here to get some insights, methods, and inspiration.  On the show guests provide insight on ways to think differently about approaching the challenges of building from the early stages.

What Are You Subscribed To?

So how does this list compare to what you’re currently subscribed to?  For me, this encompasses a good majority of the Business shows that I listen to on a regular basis, but there are a few missing.  I listen to a couple of shows focused just on marketing, a few that cater to non-VC backed startups, and a few general business shows as well.

Leave a comment below with shows that you would want added to this list.  We’re compiling a list for an upcoming post with our nomination for what we think are the best podcasts for entrepreneurs to listen to.