NeedEnergy: Leroy Nyangani and Desire Masunda

Nearly 600 million people in Africa don’t have access to energy; NeedEnergy is looking to change that. NeedEnergy is the Energy Architecture of the future. As an energy-tech start-up company, NeedEnergy energy allows consumers to use Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning and AI to Provide Smart and Clean Energy Solutions.

On today’s episode, we chat with NeedEnergy founders Leroy Nyangani and Desire Masunda about Africa’s energy crisis, and how they’re aiming to solve it. Interested in learning more about NeedEnergy’s mission?

Check out their website for more information!

E25: Brit Beil: Attn All

Growing up in Kansas City, Brit had her sights set on moving to New York. But after she earned her first job in her dream city, she realized the job she landed wasn’t a great fit, and knew she wanted a change. It was through the application process that Brit learned getting a job isn’t just luck; it takes strategy. On this week’s episode, Brit shares her story of how she came to found her job application jumpstart program, Attn: All. 

Be sure to check out @attn_all on Instagram for job application do’s and don’ts!

E24: Kat Norton: Miss Excel

When describing Excel, the first adjective to come to mind probably isn’t fun, but Kat Norton might just change people’s minds.

Kat Norton, also known as Ms. Excel, is truly one of a kind. Somehow, she’s made Excel tips and tricks incredibly engaging and accessible through social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. On this week’s episode of Yuptown, Kat and I discuss her career journey and founding story of Ms. Excel. Plus, she’ll share how removing barriers and limiting beliefs can help anyone achieve personal and professional goals.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Ms. Excel on TikTok (@miss.excel) and Instagram (@miss.excel)!

E22: Tim Herman: UpEquity

Tim Herman’s career has been dedicated to serving the American Dream, first as a fighter pilot in the US Navy, and today, in the world of business. While on duty to duty service, Tim and his family moved often, and experienced the challenges that come with buying a home. It was during his time as an MBA student at Harvard that Tim decided to confront these challenges, and build a wider, better, path towards wealth creation. On this week’s episode, Tim shares the founding story UpEquity, a tech-enabled mortgage platform disrupting the U.S. mortgage loan market and empowering buyers and realtors alike.

E21: Andie Aronov: Women That Rock

Andie Aronov is the OG Woman that rocks! Growing up, Andie always had a passion for music, and has turned that passion into a platform for female musicians. What started as a profile on Instagram has evolved into an entire community that lifts up lady artists through features, articles, and events. On this week’s episode, Andie and I discuss the industry, her founding story, PLUS she’ll share who she’s currently listening to.

Be sure to tune into Women That Rock’s virtual event, The ROAD SHOW on June 24th! For more info and updates, check out the Women That Rock on Instagram @womenthatrock.

E19: Paul Akande a.k.a. Ponyboy Pol: Pol and Pals Podcast

Although he majored in mechanical engineering, and is currently a software engineer, Paul Akande has always been interested in engaging with people. But in this year of quarantine, he was limited from doing just that. Luckily, Paul was able to reconnect with friends through a creative digital platform, Pol and Pals. Nearly 1 year and over 20 episodes later, Paul has found his footing in the world of podcasting. On this week’s episode, Paul and I discuss navigating creating PLUS all things podcasting!

Check out Pol and Pals on the sites below, and be sure to subscribe to his newsletter for episode summaries at .

Instagram @polandpals

YouTube: Pol and Pals

Spotify: Pol and Pals

E18: Josh Kaplan: Morning Brew to Thinking Is Cool

Early in his career, Josh Kaplan took a chance on a budding media company with a mission to deliver digestible business news to subscribers’ inboxes every morning. Fast forward a few years and a few million subscribers, the Morning Brew has established itself as a leading source of business headlines, valued at $75 million by now majority stakeholder Insider Inc.

After an incredible journey with the Brew, Josh decided to pursue his own new venture, Thinking Is Cool. On this week’s episode, Josh shares some thoughts on thinking plus his take on the creator economy.

E16: Emma Hartley: Today’s Twenties

Emma Hartley has always been interested in a lot of things, and has pursued those interests with incredible drive. From theater to politics, medicine to marketing, Emma has had a variety of valuable experiences early in life, all in the pursuit of finding her passion.

On this week’s episode, we’ll talk to Emma about her career journey, and her latest interest in podcasting about career development! For more information about Emma’s show, be sure check out today’s twenties wherever you get your podcasts, or follow her Instagram @todaystwenties.

E13: Erin Hartman: From Nursing to Public Policy

We all may have made plans for last year, and for the one ahead, but the global pandemic changed everything. For one determined New York City nurse, it hasn’t stopped her from pursuing her educational and career goals.

Erin Hartman is a Penn Graduate in Nursing with a passion for public policy work. After spending a year on the ground working in a New York City Emergency Department, Erin felt called to pursue a career in public policy with a focus on health. Erin hopes to tackle health crises from all angles, from the forefront in the ER, to the decisions shaping health policy.

While working her demanding, high-stress job as a nurse, Erin applied and was accepted to a Master’s program with University of York in York, England While there are plenty of challenges to online schooling, Erin has found the benefits to virtual not only in the classroom, but in medical research. On this week’s episode, we’ll discuss Erin’s experiences as an ER nurse, her interest in and transition to public policy, plus the challenges and opportunities of going virtual.

E12: Ashwini Aburajan: 22x Fund

From campaign coverage to cryptocurrency, Ashwini Anburajan has done it all. Her wide array of impressive experiences include public policy work, a fellowship with NBC News, and an MBA at Cambridge University. 

From Cambridge, Ashwini pivoted into the business side of media. Eventually, she joined a small company of 90 employees called Buzzfeed and after experiencing the company’s explosive growth, Ashwini “caught the startup bug,” and sought to pursue her own venture.

On this week’s episode of Yuptown, Ashwini shares the story of her incredibly exciting career, of starting her own venture, of being a founding partner of the 22x Fund. 

E11: Sam Cooper: Mt. Joy

If you’re like me, or, I think I can safely say any other person in the working world, you’ve day dreamed about quitting your job to move to a new city or pursue an ambitious dream.

Sam Cooper was brave enough to do just that when he quit his job as a lawyer, moved from Philadelphia to LA, and pursued a new career entirely. The result was a band called Mt. Joy, and a hit single that received over a million downloads within its first month of release.

With what’s been called a “fast and furious 21st-century success story,” Mt. Joy has since exploded in popularity, with a monthly listener count now totaling over 2 million on Spotify.

On this week’s episode, I had the honor of speaking with Sam about his major career transition, what it was like to build a brand for a band, and Sam’s Spotify Wrapped playlist!

E10: Omri Stern: Jones

Who’s the customer, what’s the problem, how do we solve it? This is the line of thinking that brought Omri Stern to build a company addressing a major problem in the “dusty” space of commercial real estate insurance management.

I first met Omri in 2019, when I attended a founder’s panel at a WeWork Labs event. He discussed the many challenges of launching a company. In tech specifically, many founders run the risk of failure by building products that fail to address a users’ true needs. In this week’s episode, we’ll talk about Omri’s problem-centric approach, how he employed this method in building Jones, and the importance of shifting from a “product and technology first” mentality to “business and problem first.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Jones might be a solution for your property management needs, check out for more info today!

E9: Mariah Morales: Amtrak

What role does transportation take in shaping our cities? And, most importantly, how can transportation connect us in more ways than one? 

The incredible Mariah Morales faces these questions, and many more, every day in her work as a Government Affairs manager for Amtrak. After an internship experience in urban planning, Mariah couldn’t stop thinking about the intersection between public policy, city planning, and transportation, so when she found an opportunity with Amtrak, she knew she had to pursue it. I first met Mariah in 2017, when I interned for the Rail Passenger’s Association as a Summer by Rail intern. You may be wondering – what is the relationship between Mariah’s role at Amtrak and the Summer by Rail Internship that I experienced? As an intern for a rail advocacy group, I was able to partner closely with Amtrak in promoting the organization’s rail services on Capitol Hill – she even walked the walk and joined in on a leg of the Summer by Rail journey! I’m so excited to have Mariah as a guest on the program to share a little more about her career path and the challenges and opportunities facing long distance rail travel today. Be sure to tune in to this week’s episode of Yuptown!

E8: Elise Crawford: RINGLET

Elise Crawford Gallagher is the CEO and founder of RINGLET, an integrated marketing agency with a mission to empower female entrepreneurs and small business owners to dream big.

Many owners, female entrepreneurs in particular, voiced to Elise that they needed a marketing agency with inclusive, cohesive services to achieve their goals for growth. Elise quickly realized the importance of a strategic integrated marketing plan for small businesses, and slowly started to build a team committed to serving female owners in the D.C. area.

After learning that just 2% of women-owned businesses earned over $1 million dollars in annual revenue, Elise knew she had to continue to expand her reach in the female entrepreneur community. In response to this statistic, Elise and her business partner, Claire Conway, established RINGLET Resources, a digital subscription offering stock photos, prompts, and even short classes that enable female entrepreneurs to authentically connect with customers, and effectively scale their businesses. Tune in to this week’s episode to hear Elise share her RINGLET story!

E7: Shannon Saldutti: Foundations by Shannon

To say that COVID-19 has impacted our lives would be an understatement – this pandemic has changed the world as we know it. And at the center of those most affected, may also be the ones who might not fully understand it. While children have shown incredible resilience, the pandemic has posed unique challenges for adolescents growing up during this time, especially when it comes to education. With countless disruptions to a child’s standard education, how can we ensure children will stay on track developmentally? 

At the start of the pandemic, Shannon Saldutti asked herself that very question, and answered with a solution. This spring, she founded Foundations by Shannon, her very own tutoring and educational assistance service. Students receive specialized and focused tutoring services, designed to reiterate what students have learned in their virtual classrooms. In addition, Shannon develops tailored educational programming for students with Special Education needs. Although the pandemic has led to endless challenges for students and teachers alike, Shannon says she’s continuing to learn while evolving to this new environment. She shares her story of being an educator and adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic on this week’s episode of Yuptown.

For more information, visit!

E5: Kristin Martin, The Magic Schoolbus

Kristin Martin is an Emmy-nominated writer and executive producer of the shows filling any Yuppie’s childhood. From All My Children to The Magic Schoolbus, Kristin has had a wide array of experiences in the production industry. Although she studied English during her undergraduate years, and obtained her Master’s degree in Shakespearean Studies, Kristin eventually decided the world of academia wasn’t for her. Once she broke into the production industry, she fell in love with the creative world of television production, and has been imagining new concepts ever since. Over the years, Kristin has built an incredible career, with her creative mind and determined work ethic to thank. She shares the story of her experience navigating the television production industry here, on this week’s episode of Yuptown.

E1: Julia Coney

Welcome to Yuptown, a career development and business insight broadcast designed with young urban professionals in mind. Navigating the workforce can be incredibly challenging and confusing at times, but speaking with and learning from experienced professionals (no matter the industry) can provide some clarity as us yuppies try to find our respective ways.

The wonderful Julia Coney is a wine journalist, speaker, and founder with a mission of amplifying black voices in wine. Check out our conversation about Julia’s career journey from office desk to tasting table PLUS professional advice on navigating any company happy hour with finesse.

Be sure to check out Julia’s work at and, and follow her on Instagram @juliaconey!