Ben Chesler has been a social entrepreneur since before he really knew what the words meant. He just liked solving problems. While in high school he co-founded a non-profit that went on to raise $100,000+ to combat the child sex trade. In college, he started the Food Recovery Network to bridge the gap and recover food and donate it to food banks and shelters in the community. Over the next 4 years, they scaled Food Recovery Network to 200 colleges across the country, and it became the largest student movement against hunger in the US.
Ben kicks off our discussion by answering my question to force rank Customers, Employees, Planet and Investors. Listen how our answers differ. Ben also talks about starting Imperfect Foods and some of the mistakes that were made and the benefits of not always knowing the “proper” way of starting a business. He shares how the press was helpful to their launch and it was not customer acquisition. Ben shares why they chose to register as a B-corporation. He also discusses his different roles within the company and the one that he has settled on now.
“I think that I really believe in the power of, you know, young people with ideas to change the world. And I don't believe that, you know, you have to be an expert to solve a problem.” - Ben Chesler
Today on Startups for Good we cover:
Starting a business while still in college
How to hire the right people and how to know they are right
Raising money from venture capitalists
The differences from impact investors vs traditional investors
Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of Startups For Good with your host, Miles Lasater. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on your favorite podcast listening app.