Our Future

Our Future is the go-to business podcast and media brand for Gen Z. Three times a week, get exclusive industry insights and career advice from iconic founders, legendary CEO's, and the most ambitious Gen Z founders to unlock your future in short, high-energy episodes hosted by 21 year-old University of Michigan student Michael Sikand. Join the vision at www.ourfuturehq.com.

About the show

Our Future is the go-to business podcast and media brand for Gen Z. Every week, futurists get exclusive industry insights and career advice from iconic founders, legendary CEO's, and the most ambitious Gen Z founders to unlock your future in short, high-energy episodes hosted by 21 year-old University of Michigan student Michael Sikand. Learn more at www.ourfuturehq.com or email Michael at [email protected].

Episodes

  • #149 Two Edtech Startup Exits at Age 16?! w/ Calix Huang, Founder of Hours, Product Lead at Fiveable, and CEO at Launch Tech

    June 18th, 2021  |  18 mins 1 sec

    In #149, Michael Sikand interviews Calix Huang, a 16-year-old entrepreneur, high school student, and engineer who has built and sold two startups in the edtech space! His most recent startup, Hours, was a virtual study tool that allowed students to join rooms and do school work together in real-time, setting timers for different work sprints and exchanging messages. Through a crazy user acquisition strategy, Calix grew the platform to over 20k users from high schools and universities around the world, and in 2021, Hours was acquired by venture-backed edtech company Fiveable, where he currently serves as a lead of product. In this podcast, Calix inspires you with his startup story, from idea to sale, and will help you think about building your own exciting product that people will love. No matter what you want to build, this interview will fuel your ambition, so don't miss it.

    Connect with Calix on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/calix-huang/

    You Can Now Watch Interviews on YouTube: https://bit.ly/3hAS9IE

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  • #148 Raising $6M at Age 21 to Revolutionize Personal Finance w/ Sheridan Clayborne, co-founder of Lendtable (YC S20)

    June 9th, 2021  |  19 mins

    In #148, futurists learn from Sheridan Clayborne, a 21-year-old entrepreneurial sensation and the co-founder of Lendtable, a YC backed fintech startup tackling the retirement savings crisis that's raised over $6M from investors like Josh Richards, Bryce Hall, and SoftBank. The mission of Lendtable is simple: make everyone a millionaire, regardless of income level. They do this by giving no-interest loans to employees across America to help them take FULL advantage of their 401(k) match (or ESPP pools). In exchange, they take a small (5-10%) cut of the match. Some background on Sheridan: he was the youngest person to get into Northwestern at age 15, started his first million-dollar company when he was was 17, has worked at Dropbx and Goldman Sachs, and has done over $10mil in sales across his startups. I think Lendtable is the next unicorn and it's obvious that Sheridan is extremely passionate about the massive problem they're solving: people are not taking advantage of free money! Lendtable is a genius idea and an awesome interview, don't miss this crazy Gen Z founder story.

    Connect with Sherdian on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheridan-clayborne-77723a119/

    You Can Now Watch Interviews on YouTube: https://bit.ly/3hAS9IE

    Subscribe to Our Future Newsletter: http://bit.ly/ourfuturenewsletter

    Purchase Our Future Merch: http://bit.ly/ourfuturemerch

    Attend Our Weekly Entrepreneurship Events: http://bit.ly/ourfuturecommunity

    Follow us on IG: http://bit.ly/ourfutureig

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  • #147 The High School Startup Making $500K!? w/ Sims Wilson and Daniel Greenberg, co-founders of ViralLEDS

    June 1st, 2021  |  11 mins 23 secs
    business, entrepreneurship, howto, startup

    In #147 futurists tune into a conversation with high school students and soon to be graduates Sims Wilson and Daniel Greenberg, the co-founders of ViralLEDS, a startup they founded in 2020 which sells an array of in-home lighting products through social media. After Sims posted a TikTok showing how he made LED light strips for his bedroom and it went viral, he and Daniel decided to turn a hobby into a business that to date has cleared more than $500,000 in revenue, with almost 100% of their sales coming through TikTok! It's insane to see entrepreneurs building businesses out of the immense reach afforded by TikTok's platform, and Daniel and Sims share an awesome story about how they built their business, how Addison Rae discovered and reposted their product, how they both got into Ivy league schools (Sims is going to Cornell and Daniel is going to Brown), and their career advice to young entrepreneurs.

    Go buy some ViralLEDS: https://viralleds.com/

    You Can Now Watch Interviews on YouTube: https://bit.ly/3hAS9IE

    Subscribe to Our Future Newsletter: http://bit.ly/ourfuturenewsletter

    Purchase Our Future Merch: http://bit.ly/ourfuturemerch

    Attend Our Weekly Entrepreneurship Events: http://bit.ly/ourfuturecommunity

    Follow us on IG: http://bit.ly/ourfutureig

    Follow us on TikTok: http://bit.ly/ourfuturetiktok

  • #146 The Nike of Skincare!! w/ Matthias Metternich, Co-Founder & CEO of Art of Sport

    May 26th, 2021  |  23 mins 12 secs

    In #146, futurists learn from Matthias Metternich, Co-Founder & CEO of Art of Sport, a CPG skincare brand he co-founded alongside the late Kobe Bryant and Brian Lee in 2018. Art of Sport produces a range of daily essentials from body wash to deodorant to soap optimized for the lifestyles of athletes and has consistently ranked as the fastest growing men's skincare brand in the country since it was founded. In just three years, Matthias and the team have scaled Art of Sport from 0 to 15,000 retail locations and have partnered with some of the world's biggest and best athletes including: James Harden, Juju Smith-Schuster, Javi Bayez, Sage Erickson, and Ken Roczen. In this podcast, Matthias breaks down the company's vision to be the "Nike of Skincare", his learnings as a business builder (this is his 5th business), how he convinced Kobe Bryant to help start the company, the truth about working with influencers, and his career advice to the young and hungry. Don't miss this one!

    You Can Now Watch These Interviews on YouTube: https://bit.ly/3hAS9IE

    Subscribe to Our Future Newsletter: http://bit.ly/ourfuturenewsletter

    Purchase Our Future Merch: http://bit.ly/ourfuturemerch

    Attend Our Weekly Entrepreneurship Events: http://bit.ly/ourfuturecommunity

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  • #145 The Student Startup Acquired in 7 Months?! w/ Kenan Saleh, Co-Founder of Halo Cars and Head of Product at Lyft Media

    May 20th, 2021  |  29 mins 3 secs

    In #145, futurists learn from Kenan Saleh, co-founder of Halo Cars (acq. Lyft) and Head of Product at Lyft Media. As a 19 year-old at UPenn, Kenan and his co-founders set out to create a digitally connected, rooftop display for rideshare drivers to capture a massive outdoor advertising opportunity and provide drivers with supplemental income. Within 7 months of launching the product, the company was acquired by Lyft and became the basis for what is now the rideshare giant's advertising division–which Kenan now leads. Kenan shared some amazing insights about entrepreneurship, his love for "The Social Network" movie, how he found his first supplier in China, the story of the Lyft acquisition, and why we will see more and more of advertising-subsidized-transportation in the future. This one is epic don't miss it!

    Follow Kenan on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenansaleh/

    You Can Now Watch Interviews on YouTube: https://bit.ly/3hAS9IE

    Subscribe to Our Future Newsletter: http://bit.ly/ourfuturenewsletter

    Purchase Our Future Merch: http://bit.ly/ourfuturemerch

    Attend Our Weekly Entrepreneurship Events: http://bit.ly/ourfuturecommunity

    Follow us on IG: http://bit.ly/ourfutureig

    Follow us on TikTok: http://bit.ly/ourfuturetiktok

  • #144 Hollywood Legend Takes Us Behind The Scenes?! w/ Jon Glickman, Former President of MGM Studios, Founder & CEO at Glickmania

    May 14th, 2021  |  39 mins 6 secs

    In #144 futurists tune into an EPIC podcast diving deep into the film industry with Hollywood legend, producer, and entrepreneur Jon Glickman, who is making his second appearance on Our Future since first coming on the show last summer. Glickman is the former President of MGM Studios, where he guided a bankrupt company into a thriving studio amd oversaw production on Eon’s Skyfall and Spectre, the two highest grossing installments of the James Bond franchise, as well as the forthcoming No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing in the series. Other notable highlights of his tenure include overseeing the production of the Rocky spinoff Creed, and the sequel Creed 2, starring Sylvester Stallone and Michael B Jordan, as well as the 2019 animated hit recreation of The Addams Family. Notably, during Glickman’s term at MGM, he was ahead of the industry’s diversity hiring initiatives, with 24% of his slate featuring female filmmakers and 27% featuring directors of color, far exceeding the industry average.

    Jon is now the Founder & CEO of Glickmania, where he is on a quest to build out a formidable library of IP in the entertainment world through myriad forms of content. He describes his current company as a next generation incubator focussing on established and emerging storytellers across all platforms – including franchise films, television, music, podcasts, comics and new media – in order to make high quality productions while creating an IP rights library.

    DO not miss this episode–it's full of gleaming takeaways like when Jon convinced Joe Roth to give him an internship in an elevator when he was at USC Film School. He talks everything from nearly getting blown up on the set of James Bond to how young people can break into entertainment.

    Follow Jon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/glickmania?lang=en

    Check out Glickmania: https://glickmania.com/#about

    Get 50% off Verb Energy's caffeinated energy bars, which have just 90 calories and pack the same punch as a cup of coffee, coming in delicious flavors like Vanilla Latte, Double Chocolate, and Peppermint Mocha. You, the Our Future listener, can get 16 Verb energy bars for just $12 by purchasing through our unique link here: https://www.verbenergy.com/ourfuture

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  • #143 The $1.6B Dog Subscription Box SPAC?! w/ Henrik Werdelin, Co-Founder of BarkBox (BARK)

    May 6th, 2021  |  28 mins 33 secs

    In #143, futurists learn from Henrik Werdelin, Co-Founder of BarkBox (now referred to as BARK), the $1.6 billion dog subscription service company that recently announced its plans to go public via SPAC with Northern Star Acquisition (STIC). In the past pandemic year, people have spent over $99B on their pets, a trend that has powered BARK to historic heights, with over 1.7M paying subscribers and FY2020 revenues of nearly $400M. The company maintains several monthly dog product shipments, ranging from toys and treats to food and even health/wellness products, all of which contribute to a 60% gross margin. BARK is a fascinating business and there is so much to learn from Henrik on this podcast–he discusses everything from how breaking the law at MTV resulted in him getting a promotion to how he and his co-founder met on a cruise while sharing the same bed. Henrik dives into why young entrepreneurs should ask for money to test products, how to be confident as a young person in business, why BarkBox was able to succeed, his advice to young entrepreneurs, and so much more.

    Get 50% off Verb Energy's caffeinated energy bars, which have just 90 calories and pack the same punch as a cup of coffee, coming in delicious flavors like Vanilla Latte, Double Chocolate, and Peppermint Mocha. You, the Our Future listener, can get 16 Verb energy bars for just $12 by purchasing through our unique link here: https://www.verbenergy.com/ourfuture

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2htIc3-njRI5BKTJ2QqNfA

    Subscribe to Our Future Newsletter: https://www.ourfuturehq.com/

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  • #142 SPECIAL: Our Future's One Year Anniversary - Reflecting on The Journey of This Podcast!

    April 30th, 2021  |  24 mins 12 secs

    In #142 futurists celebrate Our Future's 1 year anniversary and join a group of Michael’s closest friends, family, and team members to reflect on an idea that went from quarantine podcast to a full-scale media brand producing business content for young people.

    A huge thanks to all of you who come out and listen to Our Future every week, you mean the world to me and this brand.

    Here are the guests on this episode in order that they appear:

    1. Catherine Dunne, Michael’s Mom, reflects on seeing her son find his passion and build something from nothing during COVID-19
    2. Shiv Sikand, Michael’s Dad, reflects on what he enjoys most about Our Future and the second-ever episode of the podcast he recorded with Michael
    3. Jonah Rubin reflects on when Michael first told him about his podcast idea and being the first and only producer of the show.
    4. Matt Kocsis, remembers when Michael first started running with the idea and how he has seen him grow as a person building up Our Future
    5. Peyton Cahn, discusses the inspiration of seeing Michael do something different and how when you find something you love it doesn’t have to feel like work
    6. Sia Anand, Head of Communications at Our Future reflects on sending Michael a DM to join the team in the fall and what she sees for the future of the platform
    7. Jimmy Sikorovsky, Digital Product Manager at Our Future reflects on how his skills have grown working for a startup and why flexibility is key

    At the end of this episode, everyone shares their favorite episode of the pod, so stay tuned for those recommendations! Here's to one year everybody!

    Get 50% off Verb Energy's caffeinated energy bars, which have just 90 calories and pack the same punch as a cup of coffee, coming in delicious flavors like Vanilla Latte, Double Chocolate, and Peppermint Mocha. You, the Our Future listener, can get 16 Verb energy bars for just $12 by purchasing through our unique link here: https://www.verbenergy.com/ourfuture

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2htIc3-njRI5BKTJ2QqNfA

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  • #141 Raising $4 Million and Managing a Team of 30 at Age 23 w/ Swish Goswami, CEO & Co-founder of Trufan

    April 21st, 2021  |  17 mins 59 secs

    In #141, futurists hear from Swish Goswami, CEO & Co-founder of Trufan, an audience engagement platform that helps brands and influencers generate segmented first and third party data. Basically, it's a social intelligence platform that helps identify one's valuable followers by going through the world's largest database of social profiles: Social Rank. Trufan services businesses of all sizes, many of which you've heard of, such as VaynerMedia, NBA, Sony Music, Now This, FC Dallas, and more! By teaming up with large brands, Trufan offers a value exchange to users for their data, such as the ultimate gaming experience from Bud Light or free G Fuel for a year. Swish believes people should be compensated for their data and that Google, Opera, and Mozilla should take note of the way Trufan's customers are being rewarded.

    Check out Trufan: https://www.trufan.io/

    Get 50% off Verb Energy's caffeinated energy bars, which have just 90 calories and pack the same punch as a cup of coffee, coming in delicious flavors like Vanilla Latte, Double Chocolate, and Peppermint Mocha. You, the Our Future listener, can get 16 Verb energy bars for just $12 by purchasing through our unique link here: https://www.verbenergy.com/ourfuture

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2htIc3-njRI5BKTJ2QqNfA

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  • #139 Making Millions Selling Sports Cards at Age 21 w/ Luke Breon, Founder of Banger Sports Cards

    April 14th, 2021  |  20 mins 49 secs

    in #139, futurists hear from Luke Breon, a 20-year-old Nebraska-based entrepreneur who has built a multi-million dollar business flipping sports card packs through social media. Luke, who's been an entrepreneur since he was 11, previously ran a marketing agency which he started in his junior year of high school, helping local Nebraskan businesses target customers and understand social media. In this podcast, Luke discusses why sports cards have made a massive resurgence, unpacking the alternate investments trend, and explains how he makes money on collectibles. He's also expanding his warehouse and plans to recruit a team. Don't miss this one!

    Check out Luke's website: https://bangersportscards.com/

    Get 50% off Verb Energy's caffeinated energy bars, which have just 90 calories and pack the same punch as a cup of coffee, coming in delicious flavors like Vanilla Latte, Double Chocolate, and Peppermint Mocha. You, the Our Future listener, can get 16 Verb energy bars for just $12 by purchasing through our unique link here: https://www.verbenergy.com/ourfuture

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2htIc3-njRI5BKTJ2QqNfA

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  • #138 From Fighter Pilot to Founding JetBlue, Dr. Mike Barger, Co-Founder of JetBlue Airways, Former Chief Instructor at Navy TOPGUN, Professor at Michigan Ross

    April 12th, 2021  |  18 mins 53 secs

    In #138, futurists tune into an epic conversation with Dr. Mike Barger, a former fighter jet pilot, co-founder of JetBlue Airways, and a professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Dr. Barger began his career in the military, recieving his commission as an Officer in the United States Navy and serving for thirteen years, completing three, six-month deployments as a pilot and TOPGUN flight instructor flying the F/A-18 Hornet aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Dwight David Eisenhower. Dr. Barger left the US Navy in 1999 to be founding member of JetBlue Airways. He created JetBlue University, the award-winning corporate training function that provides learning and development to all members of the JetBlue workforce. He received his Master’s Degree in Learning Leadership in 2008 and his Doctor of Education degree in 2009. In this conversation, Mike and I discuss his learnings from flying fighter jets and how they apply to business, his experience helping to start JetBlue and explaining why the airline startup was able to succeed in a crowded market, and his career advice to young people. Don't miss this one!

    Get 50% off Verb Energy's caffeinated energy bars, which have just 90 calories and pack the same punch as a cup of coffee, coming in delicious flavors like Vanilla Latte, Double Chocolate, and Peppermint Mocha. You, the Our Future listener, can get 16 Verb energy bars for just $12 by purchasing through our unique link here: https://www.verbenergy.com/ourfuture

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2htIc3-njRI5BKTJ2QqNfA

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  • #137 $5M UCLA Startup is Revolutionizing Delivery w/ Rob Dong, CMO of Duffl

    April 9th, 2021  |  19 mins 12 secs

    In #137, futurists learn from Rob Dong, a UCLA junior and the CMO of Duffl, a Y Combinator backed e-scooter delivery company that claims to be the world's fastest delivery service. On college campus, e-scooter riding "racers" deliver their fellow college students everything from gatorades to snacks to vapes in less than ten minutes. Since starting in 2019, Duffl now serves two college campuses (UCLA) and is quickly expanding to a third, leveraging a unique model where the company buys wholesale products and owns a warehouse to delivver them around the local area through their network of racers. Rob and the CEO of Duffl, David Lin, have raised over $1.3 million since starting the business and are now gearing up for another round of funding to beat out the competition. Listen to learn about this crazy student startup, don't miss it

    Get 50% off Verb Energy's caffeinated energy bars, which have just 90 calories and pack the same punch as a cup of coffee, coming in delicious flavors like Vanilla Latte, Double Chocolate, and Peppermint Mocha. You, the Our Future listener, can get 16 Verb energy bars for just $12 by purchasing through our unique link here: https://www.verbenergy.com/ourfuture

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2htIc3-njRI5BKTJ2QqNfA

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  • #136 16-year-old Climate Activist w/ Sarah Goody, Founder of Climate Now

    April 7th, 2021  |  16 mins 35 secs

    In #136 futurists tune into an Our Future social impact episode, co-hosted with Jess Schmitt, featuring Sarah Goody, a 16-year-old climate activist and the founder of Climate Now. Sarah gained national attention from outlets like NBC, LA Times, and Good Morning America when in 8th grade, she protested in front of San Francisco City Hall for 50 consecutive Fridays to raise awareness for climate change. Since her initial campaign, Sarah has founded Climate Now, an organization focused on providing young people an introductory experience into the issue of climate change and the ways in which they can participate in reversing the planet's trajectory toward increased temperatures and natural disasters. Jess and I were blown away by Sarah's poise, professionalism, and incredible confidence as just a 16-year-old, and it's absolutley unreal the work she's doing to raise awareness for an issue she couldn't be more committed to solving. Don't miss this powerful and inspirational episode.

    Check out Climate Now's website: https://www.climatenow.solutions/

    Get 50% off Verb Energy's caffeinated energy bars, which have just 90 calories and pack the same punch as a cup of coffee, coming in delicious flavors like Vanilla Latte, Double Chocolate, and Peppermint Mocha. You the Our Future listener can get 16 Verb energy bars for just $12 by purchasing through our unique link here: https://www.verbenergy.com/ourfuture

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2htIc3-njRI5BKTJ2QqNfA

    Subscribe to Our Future Newsletter: https://www.ourfuturehq.com/

    Follow us on IG: https://www.instagram.com/ourfuturehq/

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  • #135 The Netflix Story w/ Marc Randolph, Co-Founder of Netflix

    April 5th, 2021  |  27 mins 40 secs

    In #135, futurists tune into an epic conversation with legendary entrepreneur, Marc Randolph, the co-founder and first CEO of Netflix who walks us through the origin story of one of the most legendary startup stories in Silicon Valley history. When Marc and his co-founder, Reed Hastings, wanted to start a business in the late 90's they didn't have a clue where to start, and even thought they might do a shampoo or dog food company! In fact, Netflix's first name was Kibble.com (not kidding) until five months in, the team knew they would need a better name, with Randolph selecting the moniker that now defines modern entertainment. Marc scaled Netflix from a crazy idea into one of the most disruptive businesses in history, being responsible for the company's early user interface, branding, and data analytics system. After guiding the company through its 2002 IPO, Marc left the company, claiming to have been more interested in the startup phase. Since then, he's founded several successful companies, one of which is Looker, a multi-billion dollar data analytics company that was acquired by Google. In this podcast, Marc shares some incredible startup advice, participates in an underrated/overrated segment on hot business topics, and laughs remembering that Blockbuster rejected their offer to merge with the company for a mere $50M. Don't miss this crazy episode.

    Get 50% off Verb Energy's caffeinated energy bars, which have just 90 calories and pack the same punch as a cup of coffee, coming in delicious flavors like Vanilla Latte, Double Chocolate, and Peppermint Mocha. You the Our Future listener can get 16 Verb energy bars for just $12 by purchasing through our unique link here: https://www.verbenergy.com/ourfuture

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2htIc3-njRI5BKTJ2QqNfA

    Subscribe to Our Future Newsletter: https://www.ourfuturehq.com/

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  • #134 Managing Celebrity Startups & Retiring at Age 26 w/ Arvid Ali, Former President of Jordan Belfort, Former Global Managing Director at Shaun White Inc.

    April 2nd, 2021  |  19 mins 3 secs

    In #134, futurists learn from Arvid Ali, a 27-year-old entrepreneur and celebrity startup advisor, who claims to be financially retired at the age of 26. In middle school, Arvid was a coding prodigy, and in high school, he took college classes alongside his schoolwork, graduating at age 17 and going onto UCLA to study math and getting his bachelor's degree at age 19. After college, Arvid worked at several Fortune 500 companies before starting a recruiting consulting firm, helping venture-backed startups hire the right talent to their business, and in his early twenties, he served as Global Head of Talent for unicorn pharmacy startup: Alto. Arvid's next professional adventure was in the celebrity startup management space, and he landed his first celebrity management role with Olympic gold-medalist Shaun White, and later with Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street. In this podcast, Arvid drops some insane networking advice and some fascinating information about trends towards celebrity startups, as well as his financial advice for young professionals.

    Get 50% off Verb Energy's Starter Pack: https://www.verbenergy.com/ourfuture

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2htIc3-njRI5BKTJ2QqNfA

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