The Startup Story

Hear the startup story that most people had no idea about.

About the show

As we hear The Startup Story of some of the most successful companies in the world our focus is singular…

To give you the belief and courage to Start Your Story.

Every successful startup began with a single decision. It’s not about the dream, it’s not about the vision, it’s about having the courage to take that very first step -- to start.

How did UBER grow to $50 billion? How did Spanx become massively successful without one dime of venture capital? The stories are out there. But The Startup Story goes even deeper. What exactly did they do to go from idea to launch? What was that first step and how did they decide to take it?

Each week, hear from the courageous founders behind some of the most successful brands in the world as they share their Startup Story. We’ll unpack the early beginnings, and uncover those first steps that ultimately led them to where they are today.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur who’s in the thick of it and not making much progress, or feeling stuck in the fear of failure, not sure if you have what it takes, this podcast was created for you.

The Startup Story on social media


  • James McKinney, founder of The Startup Story

    December 10th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  1 hr 15 mins

    This is a very unique episode of The Startup Story because this week I am sharing my story. Listeners reach out to me often, wanting to know more about my story and why I am passionate about what I am doing with this podcast. The hard part for me has been finding the right person to interview me. One of the aspects of The Startup Story that I love so much is the conversational side of the show. I soon realized the perfect interviewer was right in front of me. This week, my wife, Melissa McKinney, helps me unpack my entrepreneurial journey for you.

  • Ashley Borden, founder of Ashley Borden Fitness

    December 3rd, 2019  |  Season 1  |  1 hr 7 mins

    This week we are featuring Ashley Borden founder of Ashley Borden Fitness. Ashley is one of the most sought-after experts in her field. She has helped transform some of the biggest names in Hollywood, like Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, and World Series Champions Nick Swisher and Brian Wilson. She is a featured trainer on programs like Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body, as well as, The Today Show. Ashley is a true expert in her field.

  • Ryan Hogan, co-founder of Hunt A Killer

    November 26th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  1 hr 3 mins

    This week Ryan Hogan, co-founder and CEO of Hunt A Killer, joins me on The Startup Story. Let’s be clear, Ryan is not a bounty hunter that lives a high adrenaline lifestyle. Instead, Hunt A Killer is an entertainment and media platform that has leveraged the incredibly popular box subscription format as one way to distribute their content.

  • Daniel Alarik, founder of Grunt Style

    November 19th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  57 mins 51 secs

    This week’s featured founder is Daniel Alarik, Founder of Grunt Style. Grunt Style is a brand for Patriots; a brand that has reached incredible heights at unbelievable speeds. For the month of November, we have been focusing on Founders who are Veterans. Daniel served in the United States Army for 8 years and left after a tour as a Drill Instructor.

  • Andy Mackensen, co-founder of SnackNation

    November 12th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  1 hr 3 mins

    This week I’d like you to meet Andy Mackensen, co-founder of SnackNation. SnackNation is a healthy snack delivery service for businesses. In 2018, SnackNation was recognized at #24 on the INC 5000 list of fastest growing companies. They were founded in 2014, and after just four full years they hit $24 million in revenue. Andy and his business partner Sean Kelly are killing it!

  • Jim Hogan, co-founder of Socks for Heroes

    November 5th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  45 mins 46 secs

    This week’s featured founder is Jim Hogan, co-founder of a program called Socks for Heroes. Jim and his wife Carla started Socks for Heroes after their son, Donald, heroically gave his life in service to his country while deployed to Afghanistan.

  • John Wilson, founder of STANCE

    October 29th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  1 hr 4 mins

    Meet John Wilson, co-founder of STANCE. STANCE has turned socks into one of the world's most exciting accessories in less than five years.

    If you think about denim you instantly think of the brand Levi’s. If I were to ask you to think of an iconic brand for sunglasses you would probably say Oakley. And, if I were to ask you to name a major brand of socks, you would probably be stumped. Until today, that it is. That is the significance of STANCE. The global market for socks is $20 billion and STANCE entered the game a few years ago.

  • Chris Brownridge, founder of GawkBox

    October 22nd, 2019  |  Season 1  |  1 hr 11 mins

    This week I’d like to introduce you to Chris Brownridge, co-founder and CEO of GawkBox. GawkBox was a third party platform that allowed people to tip their favorite live streamers without having to pay anything. They did this through various incentivized actions like installing an app, for example. Unlike some of our past founders, Chris’s startup, GawkBox, is no longer around. He had to shutter his business in July 2019. Chris and his team raised $4.4 million during their three-year run and just could not solve some key challenges.

  • Scott Paul, founder of Wooly

    October 15th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  1 hr 2 mins

    This week’s featured founder is Scott Paul, founder of Wooly. Wooly allows brands to see who their fans are, what their social reach is, and then reach out to them directly as potential brand ambassadors. It is a startup created to bring authenticity to the influencer marketspace; created by the guy who helped build the influencer marketspace to the heights that it has become today.

  • Nick Justicz, founder of Gazpacho

    October 8th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  58 mins 7 secs

    This week I’d like to introduce you to Nick Justicz, Founder of Gazpacho. No, not the cold soup, a mobile app that “serves up the best of the internet based on your tastes.” The app is what happens if you merge Pandora and Tinder together - swiping action while building up a database of your likes and dislikes, all based on memes. It’s a unique app and incredibly entertaining.

  • Marika Meeks, founder of IncredibullStella

    October 1st, 2019  |  Season 1  |  1 hr 8 mins

    I’d like to introduce you to Marika Meeks, founder of IncredibullStella, a nonprofit whose mission is to help rescue dogs (with an affinity towards Pit Bulls) and place them in their forever homes. With a name like IncredibullStella, you may be wondering who Stella is, right? Well, Stella is a Pit Bull that came into Marika’s life when she was recovering from Stage 3 Breast Cancer.

  • Nick Alexander, co-founder of Yoshi

    September 24th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  1 hr 48 secs

    This week’s featured founder is Nick Alexander, co-founder of Yoshi. Yoshi is disrupting an industry that I am sure NONE of you ever thought about disrupting: gas stations and auto maintenance. Did you ever say to yourself, “You know, gas distribution really needs to be revamped?” Well, Nick and his co-founders did and are making significant waves in eight major markets.

  • Alina Vandenberghe, founder of Chili Piper & GipsyBot

    September 17th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  47 mins 50 secs

    I’d like you to meet Alina Vandenberghe, co-founder of Chili Piper and Gipsybot. You read that correctly, she has co-founded TWO startups at the same time. Chili Piper is an incredibly powerful sales tool for enterprises. Her second startup, Gipsybot, is a productivity tool to help you prioritize what is important to you, not what others delegate to you.

  • Anna Victoria, founder of Fit Body App

    September 10th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  59 mins 9 secs

    This week I would like you to meet featured founder, Anna Victoria. She is the founder of Fit Body App. The health and fitness app launched in January 2018; then in 2019, Apple featured it in their “Apps We Love” section. Since then it has become one of 2019’s best fitness apps. Just because numbers are impressive…when Apple featured the Fit Body App in the “Apps We Love” section it generated over 1 million impressions within 24 hours!

  • John Paul Taylor, founder of Real Life Poets

    September 3rd, 2019  |  Season 1  |  52 mins 8 secs

    I’d like you to meet John Paul Taylor, founder of Real Life Poets. Real Life Poets is a nonprofit that leverages the creative process of poetry and spoken word as a means to empower youth, that otherwise might find themselves in prison or on the streets. John Paul started Real Life Poets because writing saved him and he wanted to do the same for youth in situations similar to his.

  • Larry Namer, founder of E! Entertainment Television (replay)

    August 27th, 2019  |  Season 1  |  54 mins 2 secs

    This episode marks our 35th episode since we launched in January 2019. When The Startup Story launched we had no audience. Yet, even with not having an audience, Larry Namer, founder of E! Entertainment Television, was gracious enough to share his Startup Story for our launch.

    There is a high chance that you have not heard our first few episodes. For that reason, we are going to bring our first two episodes off the shelf to ensure they make your podcast queue. This week is the first of those two episodes. I hope you enjoy this episode as it originally aired on our launch date of January 15, 2019.