“We were actually sitting in Patrick’s garage, and we were talking about how we had met all of these awesome people, and we wished we had documented those conversations,” said, Nerses Aposhian, a USC alumnus and co-host of “The Founder Hour” podcast. “So that’s when we came up with the idea — why don’t we just start a podcast?”
“The Founder Hour” is a podcast that features conversations with L.A.-based entrepreneurs about their backstories and how they built their businesses. The show was created by Aposhian and fellow USC alumnus Patrick Tanahan. Both graduated in 2014.
The cofounders chose to pursue a podcast to tell these stories because of its growing popularity as a medium, and because of its convenience.
“A lot of people just don’t have the time to sit down and visually look at something, but when they’re at the gym, or when they’re driving in traffic, or they’re cooking something at home for their kids, or whatever it may be, they can just throw [the podcast] on and listen to it,” Tanahan said.
The first podcast of “The Founder Hour” debuted on Nov. 6 with an episode featuring USC alumnus Dee Murthy, who founded the apparel brands Five Four and Young and Reckless. Since then, the podcast has released a total of five episodes, and it currently has about 1,000 regular listeners.
Although similar podcasts that interview entrepreneurs exist, the co-hosts say that “The Founder Hour” sets itself apart from others stories of people who are still in the process of building their businesses, rather than stories of founders whose companies have already become large and successful.
“Some are companies that people have heard of, some are probably not, but they’re companies that you will eventually hear about,” Aposhian said. “And for us, that’s awesome because we’re interviewing people that are doing it right now. So that maybe in 10 years, when you look back, you’ll be like, “Oh yeah, I heard about that company on ‘The Founder Hour.’”
The podcast focuses specifically on L.A.-based businesses, an important feature to Tanahan and Aposhian, both of whom grew up in the area.
“There’s just so much going on in L.A.,” Aposhian said. “Just by itself, it’s like its own country.”
Because they feature local startups Aposhian and Tanahan are able to interview the subjects in their own offices. By visiting interviewees in their environments, the co-hosts can personalize the podcast.
“There’s something special about being able to physically sit down with them,” Tanahan said. “I hear a lot of podcasts that are done over the phone, and the authenticity sometimes isn’t there. [With ‘The Founder Hour,’] it’s raw conversations — nothing is scripted, nothing is manufactured.”
Ultimately, the pair hope their podcast helps listeners realize that pursuing their ideas isn’t as hard as it might first seem.
“When you graduate from USC, it doesn’t matter what major you are or what you want to do. It’s very hard sometimes to see that light at the end of the tunnel,” Aposhian said. “But when you hear these stories, and when we sit down with these folks, they’re very human, they’re just like me and you. They didn’t do much differently besides being passionate and being motivated.”
Tanahan and Aposhian have aspirations to grow the podcast beyond its digital audio form. In the future, Tanahan said that they hope to have gatherings and host community building events to bring people together around a unified spirit of entrepreneurship.
Aposhian said he wants to draw in more USC students, especially those who are interested in founding their own businesses, to the podcast. Since the show puts listeners into the shoes of these founders, they are able to get a better perspective of what their future could be like, he said.
“I feel like if I had listened to these stories, or knew about these stories or these founders while I was at USC, I might’ve taken a different path right after USC,” Aposhian said. “I think it’s just very eye opening, and that the information is now readily available, I think that’s a huge benefit.”