From The Trenches

The mission of 'From The Trenches' is to introduce our readers to doers and thinkers whose ideas and stories are so powerful that just reading them will change you. We want to show our readers that the best way to grow is to learn from a mix of smart people who are willing to share their expertise and experiences. We want to encourage YOU to have a mission, not just a startup, not just a company, but a calling.

From The Trenches: Interview with Rebecca Beam, CEO at Zavikon

Zavikon pioneers recruitment services that support employers to hire individuals with disabilities and those who are neurodivergent as part of their D&I initiatives. Zavikon, founded by Milestones Visionary Employer Award winner Rebecca Beam, has launched placement and staffing services to match individuals with visible and invisible disabilities and those who are neurodivergent with employers who want to recruit extraordinary talent. Because Zavikon believes successful employment relationships begin with education, ongoing...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Aadhar Jain, CEO at Microlit USA

As research costs continue to grow in the coming years, the need to provide effective solutions that can keep pace with technology, while minimizing expenses has never been greater.  Strong R&D and cost optimization at instrument manufacturing companies has brought about significant improvements. Still, finding the sweet spot between high precision and reasonable costs for lab equipment is the desired outcome for laboratories across the country.  We spoke to Aadhar...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Ramin Schultz, Founder at Keebos

You know you’re onto a great product when frontline healthcare workers contact you out of the blue to say ‘thanks’. That’s what happened to Ramin Schultz and his company Keebos, which makes it easy to carry your phone hands-free, something that is incredibly useful to nurses, doctors, and others in healthcare. During the insurgence of COVID-19, this became even more critical to the work they do.  Meet Ramin Schultz, Founder...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Ashley Sumner, CEO at Quilt

Even if you’ve been asleep, you most likely know that audio is exploding in the tech and social space. From Alexa and Siri to podcasts and Clubhouse, audio is proven because it often provides the least amount of friction to learn, buy, or connect.  But sometimes, even this innovation falls short. Enter Quilt, the audio social network for real-time, supportive conversations. The tagline is ‘just like hopping on the phone...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Audra Gold, CEO at Vurbl

Vurbl, is reimagining an all-in-one audio platform, where content creators can upload, grow their audience, and monetize their audio creations. Vurbl provides listeners looking to connect with voices and information of all types with new and personalized playlists and stations so they can easily put in their earbuds, click play, lean back and enjoy. With audio snippets, listeners and creators alike can take their favorite part of any of the...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Terry Lin, Co-Founder at Outer

When you think of innovation and cutting-edge tech, you may not immediately think about outdoor furniture. But that’s going to change when we tell you this story about Outer,  an outdoor furniture company focused on providing a seamless direct-to-consumer (DTC) experience.  Sure, high-quality products are a given, but their success is a result of focusing on what matters most: the little things.  Meet Terry Lin, Co-Founder of Outer, an All...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Josh Rasmussen, CMO at MONDAY Motorbikes

In today's growing urban environment, we are seeing the growth of megacities around the world where population densities and pollution are becoming problematic. With population densities increasing, traffic becomes worse making driving a car, or even taking a public bus, inconvenient. Not only is the gridlock time-consuming, but it also becomes mentally frustrating with the stress of stop-and-go traffic and wondering if you are going to make it on time....

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From The Trenches: Interview with Howard Brown, CEO at ringDNA

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Los Angeles, ringDNA is is an AI-powered sales enablement platform.  Through their proprietary algorithm, they assist in businesses’ efforts in scaling growth with the help of AI, enabled over a billion customer interactions for customers like Twilio, AWS, and HPE.  They offer different solutions based on the industry and segment and they also provide services based on functions and need. As its name might...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Diana Jarrar-Solomon, CEO of MAGICdATES

Hearing the name MAGICdATES might conjure up images of candle-lit dinners that may result in finding your soulmate. While that’s a seductive idea, the “date” we’re referring to here is the sweet and ancient fruit that grows on palm trees. We caught up with Diana Jarrar-Solomon, the founder of MAGICdATES and she confirmed that this association was ubiquitous and especially fun around Valentine’s Day. Diana is the maker of this...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Rachel Trindade, CMO at 3PL Central

Everyone in the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or another. The effects have changed your personal life and the way businesses operate in huge ways. As people are working from home (WFH) and businesses have adapted to the ever-changing rules, consumers have also changed their behavior. This has resulted in a rapidly evolving business environment where decisions are made by the day or week....

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From The Trenches: Interview with Shamin Walsh, Managing Director at BAM Ventures

There is no playbook. That’s the sober observation of Shamin Rostami Walsh in this age of COVID-19. No matter who you are or what your experience is, there’s little that can prepare you for a full-blown global pandemic.  The same might be said for starting a business from scratch. Sure, there is a myriad of resources you can tap into for entrepreneurial advice, but at the end of the day,...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Alison Diamond, CEO of Jybe

Talk about a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG for those of you who love biz acronyms): Alison Diamond, CEO of Jybe, wants to help solve the single-use plastic crisis by encouraging consumers to order from restaurants using eco-friendly packaging. Is this even a problem, you ask?  Our single-use plastic addiction is literally burying us in harmful waste - like in the movie Wall*E. Each year, 11 million tons of plastic...

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From The Trenches: Inside Scoop on Swoop’s $3.2 Million VC Raise

From the Trenches interviewed Ruben Schwartz, cofounder of Swoop, back in June here. Since then, his company has secured a $3.2 million VC Raise led by Signia Ventures. This is pretty awesome stuff for an idea that literally started in a garage with other founders Peter Evenson and Amir Ghorbani.  So we thought we’d check-in and see what the journey was like, and what advice Ruben has for people looking...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Suze Yalof Schwartz, CEO at Unplug

Just breathe. In these challenging times, sometimes you just have to hit ‘pause’, take a moment to reflect, and inhale deeply. Something as simple as this could be the difference between success and failure.  In 2012, Suze Yalof Schwartz learned a three-minute breathing exercise that sent her on the journey of a lifetime. It was the ‘A-Ha’ moment that inspired her to start Unplug, a meditation studio for the rest...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Lena Strothe, CEO at Wrangle

We’ve all worked a gig we didn’t like or burned the midnight oil for something we didn’t truly believe in.  We’ve cashed paychecks without passion, keeping our eyes open for a way out. For some of us, if we’re not careful, this becomes a way of life.  Others get up one morning and say ‘enough is enough’.  It’s that moment of giving into inspiration, to think new ideas, and starting...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Alex Canter, CEO at Ordermark

The unprecedented of a global pandemic has left people scared. It seems like the whole world has been brought to its knees, from the rapid and destructive spread of the COVID-19 to the recent protests in response to the murders of George Floyd. The food industry isn't exempt. So as things develop, we've asked service providers in the food industry, to share how they've been affected, and how they're responding. ...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Jeff Ponchick, VP at SoundCloud

When Billie Eilish uploaded her song ‘Ocean Eyes’ to SoundCloud at the ripe old age of 13, she had no idea it would ignite her career. Now, she sits atop the charts and is considered music royalty.  But as Jeff Ponchick, VP and Head of Repost at SoundCloud will tell you, the service is more than just another uploading platform. With a mission to help artists quit their day jobs...

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From The Trenches: How this Startup Dad is Teaching his Kids About Entrepreneurship this Summer 

Summer 2020 is going to be different for most of us and, most importantly, our kids. Most IRL (in real life) activities are canceled or have gone virtual. Your kids won’t be hitting up the public pool, going to the library, or packing their bags for summer camp. Instead, they will be camping in your backyard, shooting hoops in the driveaway, and, hopefully, not spending every waking moment on their...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Erik Huberman, CEO at Hawke Media

Erik Huberman is sick of your bullshit. If you’re one of those guys taking selfies in front of a Bentley, or posing on the beach somewhere, he doesn’t want to hear it. Because, chances are, you’re not going to last.  What lasts is providing value. Day in and day out. Year after year. Through dips in the market, changes in innovation, even through global pandemics. Because if you provide value,...

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From The Trenches: Interview with Dave Herman, Former Director of Data at, Carey Ransom from OC4 Venture Studio

Don’t be a sucker for dumb money. Dumb money will eat your startup alive.  What is dumb money? Dumb money tends to be solely transactional. You provide equity, and the dumb money provides the cash. The deal is done.  Smart money is relational. Smart money provides value beyond just the dollars and cents. You want to find a venture partner that will provide a cash investment, of course. But you...

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