The Beyond Silicon Valley Podcast is live! This podcast is for anyone who wants to learn how to better support the growth of entrepreneurship in their communities. You can listen to our first podcast here.
For this pilot podcast, I focus on Macedonia, a small country near Greece and Albania. People interested in starting a business in Macedonia face huge obstacles such as lack of access to capital. A small but passionate group of my former MOOC students were determined to improve the climate for entrepreneurs in Macedonia. They've made impressive progress in a short time with innovative ideas that I think can be replicated in other parts of the world. Listen to the podcast to learn about it!
Now, the backstory. I downloaded a podcast onto my phone for the first time while living in Hanoi in 2012. I don't remember the topic of that first podcast, but within a week my wife and I became addicts. Since then, we've spent hundreds of hours listening to, being entertained by, and (importantly) learning from podcasts. My 30 minute walk to the office zips by when I'm listening to This American Life, Planet Money, or Serial. If I encounter a friend who is uninitiated to the world of podcasts, I comandeer his or her phone, download the podcast app, and load it up with episodes.
I created a free Massive Open Online Course ("MOOC") for Case Western Reserve University in 2014 to share ideas on how to support entrepreneurial ecosystems. It's called Beyond Silicon Valley. 100,000 students from 190 countries have enrolled in my course to date. The most thrilling and humbling outcome of teaching my MOOC has been discovering how my students put what they've learned into action in their own communities to support entrepreneurs.
I decided to share my students' stories. I wanted to try it through podcasting, but I had no idea how to create one. The first step was (of course!) listening to a podcast about how to create a podcast. In one episode of Startup (a fantastic podcast produced by Gimlet Media), the hosts walk listeners through the "secret formula" of how to produce a podcast. Making a great podcast didn't sound easy, but I decided to give it a shot. I hope you enjoy it and learn something new.
A hearty thanks to my students, Jovan Stalevski, Elena Stojanovska and Vladimir Robevski, who spent a lot of time on Skype for this podcast. I also want to thank my friend Steven Koltai, a Guest Scholar the Brookings Institution and the author of the soon to be released book called World Peace Through Entrepreneurship, who added additional perspectives and reflections on the Macedonia story. And on the technical side, I am grateful to my team of knowledgeable colleagues at Case Western Reserve University who helped with recording, editing, and production. And the terrific music you'll hear is by the talented Macedonian band, Stihovno Vojuvanje.
I am already looking for ideas for my next podcast. If you're doing something to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in your community and you would like to share your ideas with others, please reach out to me at email@example.com.