CEO Stories Podcast: A Serial Entrepreneur’s Drive for Success
Marc Gorlin, Founder and CEO of Roadie, discusses his disruptive package delivery system that relies on communities of people to do the job typically done by major parcel companies.
What prompts a journalism student to become a serial entrepreneur? In the case of Marc Gorlin it was Dad’s advice. His father, a biotech entrepreneur, told him that instead of working for companies Gorlin should build them. In 1996 Gorlin co-founded his first startup, the cybersecurity company PGP, which he followed up with another tech firm called VerticalOne then the small business lender Kabbage. His newest enterprise, Roadie, arose by accident.
Gorlin, who lives in Atlanta, needed to fix a bathroom shower in a condo he also owned on the Gulf Coast of Florida. It was February 2014 and he was in the middle of driving down when his repairman told him the proper shipment of tiles would take days to arrive. Watching vehicles speed by gave him a jarring insight. Roads are filled with drivers who could get paid to transport packages on their way to wherever they were already headed. From that moment, Gorlin knew he ought to create a firm in the mold of Uber and Airbnb.
Roadie began in January 2015 with $10 million in series A funding. Gorlin says his education as a journalist came in handy with telling the new firm’s story to investors. Although powered by technology and data science, its heart is people helping people. Gorlin recognizes early-stage investors are at least as concerned with management’s story. He’s been a good enough storyteller to persuade UPS to invest in Roadie, which now has 40,000 drivers across all 50 states.
About the Series: Featured stories from the intersection of the free market and entrepreneurial success. Here we speak with leading CEOs, academics, philanthropists and up and comers on their contributions and perspectives on the American economy.
About Ray Hoffman: Ray Hoffman, a veteran business journalist, is highly-regarded for his news and analysis features and insightful CEO interviews. Representing BusinessWeek on air for twenty-one years, Mr. Hoffman was the morning business news voice on the ABC Radio Networks from 1995 to 2006. Mr. Hoffman also represented The Wall Street Journal, on air, for eleven years. His daily WCBS CEO Radio feature was recognized by the New York Press Club as best radio business news report in both 2012 and 2015. In this podcast, Mr. Hoffman invites some of America’s most dynamic CEOs to share their stories as business builders and perspectives on free enterprise.