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12 Podcasts Every Entrepreneur Should Be Listening To

Podcasts are a great medium for learning about, well, almost anything — but they’re especially useful for learning about starting and leading a company. After all, most future entrepreneurs are super busy, so you need a way to digest information that’s easy, flexible, and accessible.

To help you get started, we’ve put together the entrepreneur’s podcast starter set.

These shows each meet the following criteria:

Actionable: Although theories are good, concrete tips you can implement right away are better.

Engaging: Unfortunately, it’s hard to pay attention to even the most fascinating interviews and conversations if they’re presented poorly. Each podcast on this list has high-quality audio and dynamic hosts.

Innovative: None of these podcasts will cover things you already know. You’re listening to learn, not to rehash the same tired lessons.

Focused: As previously mentioned, your time is valuable. If you’re listening to an hour-long podcast, it should have six times the information as a 10-minute one — not just six times the talking.

1. To learn how to start a startup…

How to Start a Startup

How to Start a Startup

Listen to How to Start a Startup. Sam Altman, the president of Y Combinator, originally taught this 20-part series as a Stanford class. He starts with the basics, like how to create a team and build a product, and ends with advice for after you’ve achieved product-market fit. Altman is brilliant — and he also brings in many startup heavyweights, including Reid Hoffman, Marc Andreesen, Aaron Levie, and more.

You’ll learn:

  • How to develop a great idea
  • How to build a high-quality product
  • How to put together a winning team
  • How to execute on the first three

Start with:

Episode #1, in which Sam Altman gives an overview of the course.

2. To learn how to pitch to venture capitalists (VCs)…

The Pitch

Listen to The Pitch. This podcast is essentially an audio version of Shark Tank: Each episode, a different startup comes on to give their elevator pitch to a panel of investors and answer their follow-up questions.

After the investors have quizzed the founders, they’ll discuss whether or not they’d invest and why.

You’ll learn:

  • What goes into a good pitch
  • What types of questions VCs ask (and how to answer them)
  • What makes or breaks their decision to invest

Start with:

Episode #10, in which Dollar Beard Club founder Chris Stoikos pitches his startup to Marvin Liao, Howie Diamond, and Ryan Hoover.

3. To learn how to get traction…

Traction

Listen to Traction. Coming to you from NextView ventures, this show delves into the weird, inspiring, unexpected, and ultimately genius ways startup founders have made progress in the very early days of their companies. It’s a great antidote when you’re in the “startup trough of sorrow,” which is what entrepreneurs go into when they have a major failure.

You’ll learn:

  • How to pivot
  • How to ignore the disbelievers
  • How to forge on through the worst times

Start with:

Episode #7, in which Jay Acunzo talks to Kathryn Minshew, co-founder and CEO of The Muse.

4. To learn how to grow your business from an idea to an 45-person company…

StartUp Podcast

Listen to StartUp. In 2014, public radio veteran Alex Blumberg decided to start a new podcasting company. He also decided to record his entrepreneurship journey and produce it… as a podcast. (Very meta.) StartUp is now heading into its third season, and Gimlet Media — Blumberg’s company — has six podcasts in its roster, $7.5 million in funding, and 45 people on its staff.

You’ll learn:

  • How to write (and rewrite) your business plan
  • How to handle inter-company conflict
  • How to figure out equity, organization, responsibility, and more

Start with:

Episode #1, in which Blumberg pitches famous Silicon Valley investor Chris Sacca.

5. To learn more about the startup world…

This Week in Startups

Listen to This Week in Startups. Once a week, host Jason Calacanis and a rotating group of guest experts sit down to talk about their experiences, their future plans, and of course, the latest news in entrepreneurship. Calacanis has a blunt, straight-forward style, which means the conversations are usually extremely interesting and sometimes controversial.

You’ll learn:

  • What’s happening in Silicon Valley
  • How insanely smart people see the world
  • How to be more innovative

Start with:

Episode #423, in which Calacanis talks to Mark Cuban about which startups he’s excited about and why he still invests in new companies (despite having billions in the bank).

6. To learn how to be more creative and grow faster…

Seeking Wisdom

Listen to Seeking Wisdom. This show comes from David Cancel, a five-time entrepreneur and former Chief Product Officer of HubSpot. Cancel is a highly respected fixture of the tech community, and you’ll understand why once you hear his innovative leadership and learning techniques.

You’ll learn:

  • How to hire the right people
  • How to organize your teams
  • How to find awesome mentors

Start with:

Episode #4, in which Cancel discusses why you should give your employees more autonomy.

7. To learn what goes into an ultra-successful company…

Collective Wisdom for Tech Startups

Listen to Collective Wisdom for Tech Startups. Founder Collective is a well-known venture capital fund that’s invested in Uber, Buzzfeed, HotelTonight, and SeatGeek, among others. In this podcast, Founder Collective’s leaders talk to founders whose names you’ll definitely recognize: Phillip Crim, the founder of Casper; Sam Yagan, the CEO of OkCupid; Stephen Kaufer, the cofounder and CEO of TripAdvisor, and many more.

The wisdom is definitely useful, but this show also stands out for its digestible format. Each interview is available both as a full-length show and in roughly one-minute clips.

You’ll learn:

  • How to get tech reporters to cover your startup
  • How to set your own salary
  • How to build a culture that survives an IPO

Start with:

Episode #4, in which Scott Belsky talks about founding and growing Behance.

8. To learn how to be a stronger leader…

The Growth Show

Listen to the Growth Show. As you can tell from the name, this show is focused on growth — and because growth is such a broad topic, you’ll get suggestions on everything from designing a happier life to balancing innovation and competition.

The guests are equally varied. Although founders feature pretty heavily, authors, speakers, executives, and even a violinist have all appeared on the show.

You’ll learn:

  • How to grow almost anything (your team, your abilities, your brand, your idea, your business, etc.)

Start with:

Episode #52, in which HubSpot CMO Kipp Bodnar talks to Canva’s co-founder, Cliff Obrecht, and its head of growth, Andre Pinantoan.

9. To learn about design and product management…

Inside Intercom Podcast

Listen to Inside Intercom. In a unique twist, the guest and the host change every episode. The two things you can count on? The host will be an Intercom employee, and the guest will be a leader in product management, design, marketing, or startups.

When you’re fairly new to any (or all) of these worlds, it’s really beneficial to get first-hand insight into from some of the best, most experienced practitioners.

You’ll learn:

  • How the design process works
  • How to start and scale a marketing team
  • How to sell before you have sales reps

Start with:

Episode #12, in which Emmet Connolly, Intercom Director of Product Design, talks to Mike Davidson, former VP of Design at Twitter

10. To learn how to start, scale, and fund your startup…

Startup School

Listen to Startup School Radio. Every week, host and Y Combinator partner Aaron Harris talks to two guests to get their practical advice on running an early-stage company. His guests are always fascinating, intelligent, and wildly successful; for example, past guests include Peter Reinhardt, CEO of Segment; Suhail Doshi, CEO and co-founder of Mixpanel; and Solomon Hykes, CTO and founder of Docker.

You’ll learn:

  • How to launch a startup
  • How to overcome major obstacles
  • How some of the most successful entrepreneurs think

Start with:

Episode #35, in which Aaron Harris interviews Paul Graham, author and co-founder of Y Combinator.

11. To learn how to build an amazing culture…

Mission & Values

Listen to Mission & Values. Host Bryan Landers explores, as he puts it, “the ‘why’ behind startup work, and the ‘how’ behind their decisions.” In practical terms, that means asking CEOs questions like, “Do your employees have a shared characteristic — something that makes them a good cultural fit?” and “Can you tell me about your transparency value?”

You’ll learn:

  • How values impact the day-to-day of your startup
  • How to assess cultural fit
  • How to scale your values

Start with:

Episode #1, in which Landers talks to Zapier CEO Wade Foster.

12. To learn the best startup advice and latest tech trends…

a16z

Listen to a16z. You might not’ve heard of this podcast, but you’ve probably heard of Andreessen Horowitz, the VC firm that produces it. Some of the episodes cover tech news, others delve into trends, and the rest (and frankly, the most useful) provide how-tos. There are three to four episodes per week; we recommend only listening to the ones most relevant to you.

You’ll learn:

  • The most important industry news
  • Where the software world is headed (and how to prepare)
  • How to run a startup

8 Entrepreneur Podcasts to Get Hooked On

You’re on a long flight with your smartphone in hand, and some ear buds wedged into your ears. What should you do? Listen to a podcast, of course.

Podcasts offer a great way to consume information, especially for people who love to multitask and take advantage of every minute in an already busy day. You can listen while you’re driving, sitting on the subway, or lying in bed.

The challenge is finding the best podcasts to listen to. Which ones will provide you the most value? Which ones ask the best questions, and bring in the most knowledgeable and entertaining personalities?

We scoured the podcast world to find the best entrepreneur podcasts, and found eight business podcasts that will keep you in the loop and feeling inspired.

Traction: How Startups Start

Traction, produced by Next View Ventures, a Boston-based venture capital firm, features entrepreneurs telling stories of how their products took off. The show details the creative, clever, and unusual ways entrepreneurs scrape their way to early results with a roster that includes the founders of DraftKing, LinkedIn, and many more. If you’re looking for ideas on how to get the word out about your startup, you’ll be inspired by the stories told on Traction.

Listen to Traction if:

  • You’re looking for creative ways to get the word out about your products and services.

StartUp

From the producers of Planet Money comes StartUp, a podcast about what it means to build your own business. StartUp’s production value can’t be beat, and the stories are rich, engaging, and authentic. It doesn’t cover the nuts and bolts of business, but dives deep into the emotional ramifications of building your own thing. StartUp is a podcast for anyone interesting in business, whether you’ve built one yourself or prefer to watch from the sidelines.

Listen to StartUp if:

  • You feel lonely on the emotional roller coaster of entrepreneurship.

The Pitch

Pitching your startup to investors? Then check out The Pitch, a podcast that showcases founders pitching their early stage startups. On the show, founders give their pitch to hosts Josh Muccio and Sheel Mohnot, who then help the founders raise money from an audience of angel investors. Startups have included Dollar Beard Club, Chameleon, and Havenly.

Listen to The Pitch if:

  • You love Shark Tank, The Profit, and other TV shows on CNBC.

Re/code Decode

Kara Swisher is one of tech’s most revered journalists, and she brings her straightforward style to Re/code Decode, her own podcast. Swisher interviews various business leaders and personalities and isn’t afraid to examine how business, media, politics and culture collide. Swisher tackles such topics as the NFL media, whether hoverboards are worth buying, and how Airbnb envisions the future of hospitality.

Listen to Re/code Decode if:

  • You’re interested in the latest trends and how technology connects to pop culture.

How to Start a Startup

Y Combinator and Stanford University now have their own podcast — How to Start a Startup. In this podcast, Sam Altman and the folks from Y Combinator, one of Silicon Valley’s most elite accelerators, offer up an incredible lecture in each podcast. Some recent lectures have included How to Run a User Interview and Legal and Accounting Basics for Startups. You can choose which lectures will help you out, and listen to world-renowned speakers such as Peter Thiel and Marissa Meyer dole out advice.

Listen to How to Start a Startup if:

  • You want actionable, real-word advice about how to run your company.

a16z

Andreesen Horowitz is one of the most famous venture capital firms, and now they’re producing an amazing podcast. A16z focuses on technical topics, addressing how startups, technology, and data fit into the world’s culture. The podcast addresses how to improve processes, closed vs. open approaches, and how to scale ideas across the globe. Knowledgeable guest speakers from around the world come on the show to hone in on specific topics.

Listen to a16z if:

  • You want insights and advice from the world’s most knowledge and experienced venture capitalists.

The Critical Path

The Critical Path focuses on mobile technology, specifically focusing on Apple, and is a must-listen for anyone who’s remotely interested in mobile. Hosts Anders Brownsworth and Horace Dedieu are mesmerizing, and are able to situate technical developments within historical context. This podcast will expand your view of how technology fits into the world as a whole.

Listen to The Critical Path if:

  • You’re working on a truly innovative product and want to be at the forefront of mobile development.

Mixery Startup Stories

Every startup has a story that’s unique and special, and each story is full of lessons entrepreneurs can learn from. Mixergy Startup Stories tells these stories in interviews with business leaders and founders, resulting in an enjoyable podcast that profiles companies of all sizes and industries.

Listen to Mixergy Startup Stories if:

  • You love a good story and like listening to founders talk about their journeys.

What podcasts are you keeping up with? Feel free to share you best finds below!