I’ve been thinking about ways to highlight successful entrepreneurs based outside traditional tech hubs and share their unique journeys to help inspire others. I’m excited to launch a new series of short videos called “Founder Friday,” which spotlight the amazing innovation, tenacity and leadership of tech founders from across the American Heartland.

Why Founder Friday?

We’re creating opportunities for founders to share their stories, including the highs and lows, the breakthrough moments, and what they wished they had known. Our video series features companies in America’s Heartland–from Columbus to Austin to Pittsburgh and beyond–disrupting some of the biggest industries like finance, insurance, healthcare, enterprise software, and manufacturing.

I’m having conversations with VCs, CEOs, and founders on their biggest challenges and wins, tips on hiring, and why they chose their city to launch a business. They’ve also shared thoughtful advice for other founders and provided tips on building a Trust Network outside Silicon Valley.

Below, you’ll find information about the first two founders that we’re interviewing: Josh Sanchez, Co-Founder & CEO of FloatMe and Mike Taylor, Co-Founder & CPO of Duality Robotics. Josh’s video is below, and keep an eye out for Mike’s Founder Friday video launching across our social channels tomorrow! 

Contribute to Founder Friday

If you have a great story to share about a company you know or are building, I’d like others to hear it too. Please reply to this email and let me know.

2022 Year in Review

Josh Sanchez: Co-Founder & CEO of FloatMe
San Antonio – $50M raised

FloatMe is one of the leading subscription platforms for improving your finances. Their tools have already helped millions of members save over $200M in overdraft fees. Some might see a lack of access to capital and headquarters in Texas as deficiencies, but Josh has been able to turn these into assets for building a business. Josh and I talk about the advantages of launching FloatMe in San Antonio, how he connected with a network of former operators, and the importance of becoming obsessed with the problem–not the solution–in order to adapt to customer needs. Watch the interview here.

Mike Taylor: Co-Founder & CPO of Duality Robotics
Pittsburgh – $15M Raised

Duality is building a digital twins integration platform so that their customers can build, train, and certify AI Robotics systems. And it’s all happening in what many consider to be the robotics capital of the country, if not the world. Mike and I talk about breakthrough moments, raising money in places like Pittsburgh, the value of your network, and finding mentors early in your career that help you along the way. We also discuss the future of robotics and which innovations are going to be affecting our daily lives–or maybe that future is already here today.