Dare to Disrupt


Dare to Disrupt is a podcast about Penn State alumni, who are innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders, and the stories behind their success. During each episode, host Ryan Newman will talk with a different trailblazing individual about how he or she started on his or her path to disrupting the way things work. Subscribe to Dare to Disrupt on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Episode 6: Disrupting the Mattress Industry with JT Marino

JT Marino is the Chief Disruption Officer at Serta Simmons Bedding and the co-founder of Tuft & Needle, which merged with Serta Simmons in 2018. He studied math and computer science at Penn State. 

Episode 5: Building Weebly with Founder David Rusenko

David is the Head of eCommerce at Square and founder of Weebly. He talks about how we went from writing code for 16 hours straight at a time to having his website building platform acquired by Square in 2018 for $365M. He graduated from Penn State in 2007 with a degree in Information Sciences & Technology.

Episode 4: Connecting Consumers and Local Businesses with Bruce Aronow

Bruce Aronow graduated from Penn State in 1987 with a degree in accounting. He talks about how he built eLocal, a performance-based advertising company whose mission is to connect consumers with local businesses, specializing in the home services, legal, medical, financial, and insurance verticals.

Episode 3: Shaping Cultural Change with Jess Weiner

Jess Weiner graduated from Penn State in 1995 with degrees in theater, women’s studies and classics. She talks about how she built her brand consultancy Talk to Jess, through which she has been a strategic partner in culture-changing moments such as Dove’s campaign for “Real Beauty” and the evolution of Barbie.

Episode 2: A Pioneer in Tech: Building the Interviewing Cloud with Mo Bhende

Mo Bhende graduated from Penn State with honors in 2001 with degrees in math and economics. He talks about how he built Karat, which conducts highly predictive technical interviews for clients.

Episode 1: Riding the Founder’s Wave With Matt Brezina

Matt Brezina, a 2003 Schreyer and College of Engineering grad, shares the stories behind starting software company Xobni and greeting card company Sincerely.

Season 1 Teaser

Catch the season 1 teaser for the brand new Dare to Disrupt podcast.

You don’t want to make a wave, you want to ride one. That’s a founder’s job.

Matt Brezina, ’03
Founder, Xobni and Sincerely

Do you know a current Penn State student who’d be an awesome guest?