"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest"

Written by Matt Aaron / August 10th, 2017


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Sam Lillie is the founder/CEO of Vinder, a peer-to-peer marketplace for homegrown produce that connects home gardeners who hate seeing their excess veggies go to waste, with fellow community members looking to buy local produce. Sam graduated from San Jose State in 2015 then solo-hiked from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail (2,658 miles) which took 5 months to complete. While hiking, Sam faced extreme weather conditions from 105+ degree heat in the desert with 20-30 miles distances between water sources to snow storms and lightening storms.

After 3 months he figured he’d put his degree to good use and applied to 106 jobs across 4 states but only received one offer. He turned it down, moved to the small town of Port Townsend, Washington and launched Vinder. I am so excited about this startup and cannot wait to follow this over the years.

This episode talks about how developing personal strength can assist in startup perseverance and much more:

  • Sam’s 5 month journey on the Pacific Crest Trail
  • Adapting to “real life” post hike
  • How to deal with challenges that come your way
  • Conceiving the idea and starting Vinder
  • Creating the AirBnB of homegrown produce
  • Pivoting an idea and winning the Silicon Valley business plan competition
  • The viral coefficient for your startup
  • Community building via Vinder
  • Plans for expansion across the United Statse
  • The disaster relief program