59 minutes | Sep 4th 2019

Episode 33: Entrepreneurial Freedom and Community Building, with Niles Heron

Niles Heron is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Popdog, a technology and services company focused on fixing core problems in the esports and live streaming industry. He firmly believes that entrepreneurship is about building good systems (solving problems at scale). Niles left esports in late 2007, and worked for the better part of 10 years across corporate, creative, and entrepreneurial settings helping design and implement systems to drive growth, productivity, and value. This work took him from Detroit to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and back to Detroit with companies in BioTech, Automotive, Aerospace, Technology, and Entertainment.

He’s been a part of a number of startups — a few exits, a few exciting failures — and has invested heavily in trying to make paths like the one he took more accessible to the under- represented spaces he came from. He’s taught and mentored at incubators and accelerators (TechStars, Gener8tor, Detroit’s TechTown), spoken across the country at events about the value of entrepreneurship and startups to founders and the communities they live in, and is a respected voice in the Detroit Startup ecosystem. He was honored by Crain’s Detroit Business as a 20 in their 20s award winner in 2015.

What You Will Learn:

  • How Niles Heron’s company, Popdog, is changing the landscape of esports and live streaming
  • The significance of freedom and the ability to control your destiny as an entrepreneur
  • Heron’s background as a consultant for startups
  • Fundamental challenges that startups face
  • Doing deals vs. adding value. What’s the difference?
  • How the pursuit of authenticity influences Heron’s business decisions and personal life
  • The importance of entrepreneurship in transforming disenfranchised communities

How to connect with Niles Heron:


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