6 Inspiring Podcasts and Books to Help You Turn Your Ideas Into Action

Want to learn how to lead innovation, build thriving startups, create winning teams, strong communities, and better lives? Dr. Kylie King, Assistant Professor of Business and Entrepreneurship, recommends six of her favorite podcasts and books to help you start developing an entrepreneurial mindset.

You don’t need to have launched a company to possess an entrepreneurial mindset. Entrepreneurial thinking can be applied far beyond business and into most things we do. It involves creativity, risk taking, planning for failure, managing resources, and confidence. It means you can see and create opportunities, activate ideas, and become a collaborative leader. In the Stiller School of Business, we teach our students how to develop these skills so they can take their vision and ambition to create anything—from a startup to a thriving new division in an existing company. Our students graduate ready to play an integral role in any organization—or to build their own.

Check out the following podcasts and books, and start developing your own entrepreneurial mindset.


Start Here
Start Here is a great podcast that shines a light on Vermont’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. It’s fascinating to hear about all of the cool things being developed right here in our own backyard. Many podcast guests have direct ties to Champlain, including Assistant Professor of Game Design, Kel Bachus, founder and CEO of Rad Magpie, a local nonprofit game studio that supports underrepresented creators.

Vermont Center for Emerging TechnologiesStart Here features the stories of Vermont entrepreneurs.

How I Built This
Hosted by Guy Raz and streamed by NPR, this well-produced podcast dives into the stories of both classic and up-and-coming companies. It’s fun to get a “behind the scenes” look at the founding stories of organizations that are now household names. (Did you know Teach for America began as Wendy Kopp’s college senior thesis?) How I Built This recently republished their 2017 interview with the late Jake Burton Carpenter, the visionary Vermonter who elevated the sport of snowboarding and convinced the world to stand sideways.

You might know Guy Raz as the host of NPR’s TED Radio Hour. His latest podcast, How I Built This, tells the stories behind some of the world’s most famous businesses and organizations.

Should This Exist?
Business can be a powerful force for positive change at the local, industry, and global levels. It can also have unforeseen and even harmful effects. That’s why in the Stiller School of Business we emphasize social responsibility and positive organizational development. We teach our students from day one to explore and define their personal and professional values and strengths. Each episode of Should This Exist introduces an emerging technology and explores arguments for and against its development and deployment. It provides a much-needed and thought-provoking look at where technology may be taking us as individuals and as a society. A recent episode tackled what went wrong with the the world wide web and how we can fix it.

Hosted by Caterina Fake (founder of Flickr, Partner at Yes VC), Should This Exist? explores what the latest technology might do for us…and to us.


What’s The Future
Tim O’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly Media—the pioneering tech company that transformed publishing, online learning, and conferences—provides an overview of past innovations and a framework for thinking about the technologies that are disrupting business and creating the future.

The Lean Startup
Eric Ries’s foundational bestseller is a must-read for entrepreneurs. It shows how crucial it is to focus on what’s really important when building a business. Wired calls it “a bracing slap in the face to would-be tech moguls…the perfect philosophy for an era of limited resources, when the noun optimism is necessarily preceded by the adjective cautious.” It covers essential lean start-up principles like starting small, testing ideas, watching what customers do, and remaining flexible through a build-measure-learn feedback loop.

A Whole New Mind
Daniel Pink’s perennial bestseller is more than a decade old, but manages to stay relevant by providing a compelling account of how the business landscape is shifting. Pink believes professional success and personal satisfaction depend on six essential aptitudes or senses: design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning. Mastering these fundamentally human abilities (which he teaches us how to do) will allow us to adapt and stay relevant in the future. Oprah Winfrey was such a fan of this book, she gave away copies to Stanford’s entire graduating class when she was their commencement speaker.

See the entrepreneurial mindset in action at Champlain’s Elevator Pitch competition.

David Merritt ’19 // Management of Creative Media (now Game Production Management) pitches a big idea to Dr. Rosalynne Whitaker-Heck at last year’s Elevator Pitch.

2020 Elevator Pitch
Come and be inspired by our students as they pitch their big ideas next spring at our annual Elevator Pitch competition. Open to budding entrepreneurs, job and internship seekers, game developers, and nonprofit and social advocates, the contest asks students to give their 90-second “pitch” to an executive (dubbed the “suit”) as they ride together in a fictional elevator. During an evening as entertaining as the best episode of Shark Tank, students learn essential communications and networking skills, gain self-confidence, and have a chance to win some serious cash. The 2020 Elevator Pitch takes place March 4, 2020. Add it to your calendar!

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