Podcast Series:
On the Heels of Innovation


How is it that some people are successful in pushing their ideas further and faster than the rest of the world? What characteristics do they share? Which skills did they work to hone? And what lessons have they uncovered through each step forward and back that can inspire you to accelerate your own idea for a business or venture? This podcast explores the perspectives, insights and journeys of innovators and entrepreneurs who combined creative thinking and hard work to go beyond the expected.

You’ll hear from entrepreneurial trailblazers with strong Carolina ties along with other renown experts who embody the spirit of Tar Heel entrepreneurship. The podcast is powered by the Entrepreneurs Genome Project, which consists of research conducted by the Entrepreneurs Lab class taught by Ted Zoller, T.W. Lewis Clinical Professor and director of the Entrepreneurship Center at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. The project aims to unveil the DNA that makes up successful entrepreneurs. On the Heels of Innovation is an iniaitive

Latest Episodes


Baristas and Builders: The Launch of UNC's Student-Run Coffee Shop

With Lauren Eaves and Scott Diekema, Co-Founders of The Meantime Coffee Co.

When a small group of UNC students set out to launch a full-service, student-run coffee shop on campus, there were a lot of days they thought it would never happen. Hear about the entrepreneurial path these students traveled to get their idea off the ground. What was hardest about learning to operate a business? Why are they are big believers in organizational values? And how are they handling change management?

Fashion Magazine Founders Talk Team Culture

With Alexandra Hehlen and Remington Remmel of Coulture Magazine

Coulture Magazine, the premier fashion lifestyle publication at UNC-Chapel Hill, has taken campus by storm. What began as a lunch conversation between Alexandra Hehlen and Remington Remmel — both recent Carolina alumni — blossomed into a full-fledged operation with 180 staff members. Created by students for students, the magazine offers hands-on opportunities for students in modeling, photography, writing, design and other areas. Learn about the ups and downs the team went through to bring the magazine to where it is today.

How Entrepreneurial Builders Energize the Economy

With Jim Clifton and Sangeeta Badal of Gallup

What’s the difference between a builder and an entrepreneur? How can a builder’s mentality help you create a business, nonprofit or initiative that makes an impact? Listen as Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup, and Dr. Sangeeta Badal, a principal scientist with the Entrepreneurship & Job Creation Initiative at Gallup, discuss tools that can help you identify your best approach to building something of your own. Based on findings from their book Born to Build, Clifton and Badal discuss why a focus on building will power the future economy.

The Power of Teams, Tech and Work Ethic

With Taylor Rhodes, UNC alumnus and CEO of SMS Assist

Tune in to a conversation with Taylor Rhodes, an alumnus of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business MBA program and CEO of SMS Assist. Find out what he’s learned leading this company, which works at the intersection of the cloud and facilities management. He shares his story and discusses the importance of teams and mentorship to the entrepreneurial process. From serving in the U.S. Marine Corps to building great teams in the business world, Rhodes talks about why a focus on team culture, an eagerness to learn and a passion for hard work are ingredients for success.

Why Entrepreneurship Knows No Age

With Ritwik Pavan, UNC-Chapel Hill student and CEO of Linker Logic Technologies

Learn how UNC-Chapel Hill student Ritwik Pavan is blazing a trail in entrepreneurship. Not only is Ritwik majoring in business administration and computer science, he’s also CEO and founder of Linker Logic Technologies, a tech firm specializing in IT services. Ritwik discusses why failure isn’t always a bad thing and shares lessons from his innovation path that began when he started working on mobile apps in high school.

Entrepreneurial Lessons from the Hardwood

With Bill Aulet, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and MIT Sloan School of Management

Hear from serial entrepreneur Bill Aulet of MIT as he discusses how the lessons he learned growing up on the basketball court taught him the basics of entrepreneurship. Find out how fundamentals like collaboration, practice, and recruiting the right teammates that he honed as a player now help him as he works to change the way entrepreneurship is understood, taught and practiced around the world.

Elements of the Entrepreneurial Adventure: Ideas, Timing and Technology

With Drew Sechrist, UNC alumnus and early executive at Salesforce

In the final episode of this three-part series, hear from Drew Sechrist, a UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus and early executive at Salesforce. Drew shares how a motorcycle ride through Mexico gave him an idea for an entrepreneurial project that he’d pursue during his post-Salesforce career. What did Drew learn about the timing of an idea, market readiness and technology development? And what connection does he see between adventure and entrepreneurship. 

Turning the Dot-Com Bust into a Business Boon

With Drew Sechrist, UNC alumnus and early executive at Salesforce

In the second of this three-part series, hear from Drew Sechrist, a UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus and early executive at Salesforce. In this episode, Drew discusses the journey of a serial entrepreneur and his post-Sales Force adventures. Find out how Drew and the Salesforce team turned the volatile period after the burst of the dot-com bubble turned into an lucrative new market opportunity that the company rode to new heights. 

An Insider's Look: When Salesforce Was a Startup

With Drew Sechrist, UNC alumnus and early executive at Salesforce

In the first of this three-part series, hear from Drew Sechrist, a UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus and early executive at Salesforce. Drew shares his amazing ride building Salesforce’s stratospheric sales engine, his perspective on recognizing opportunities and how he’s learned to find passion and meaning in his work.