The Final Ingredient to Your Startup’s Success? Education

a close up of a sign: The Final Ingredient to Your Startup's Success? Education

© Montse Fernandez
The Final Ingredient to Your Startup’s Success? Education

Yieldstreet founder and CEO Milind Mehere already had the idea for his startup. A book helped him realize how to make it way more attractive.


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Note: This page will be continually updated as new episodes of Inc.‘s Book Smart podcast are released.

A year after launching digital investment platform Yieldstreet, Milind Mehere picked up a book that immediately changed his approach to his startup.

The book itself was perhaps unsurprising: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance, was a New York Times bestseller and one of the business world’s most-discussed books when it was published in 2016. Vance’s descriptions of the socioeconomic barriers faced by many rural Americans resonated with Mehere. After all, Yieldstreet–which ranked No. 46 on this year’s Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America–was built on the idea of diversifying and expanding opportunities for average American investors.

The book made Mehere realize none of that was possible without a huge leap in financial awareness or literacy. “If you really focus on education and educating people, you can open up more access to them,” he says.

On Tuesday, Mehere joined me on the latest episode of Inc.‘s Book Smart podcast, where we explore the books beloved by prominent entrepreneurs, founders, and notable figures across the spectrum of industry. Shortly after Mehere finished Hillbilly Elegy, his team started compiling and publishing an online library of educational content around investing. Sure enough, Mehere says, the median age of a Yieldstreet investor has since dropped from the industry average of 65-plus to roughly 42 years old.

To learn more–including how the book affected Mehere’s approach to startup missions, entrepreneurial empathy, and the post-Covid small-business landscape–listen in the player below, or wherever you get your podcasts. Check out our archive of previous episodes, too–and if you like what you hear, subscribe to Book Smart and leave us a review.

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