James Ledbetter firstname.lastname@example.org
nc.’s Founders Project began,
earlier this year, as a way to
commemorate our 40th anniversary. But as you can tell from
this issue, it has grown into
something much bigger—into
a kind of mission.
By the end of the year, we
will have matched 40 seasoned
entrepreneurs with the founders
of 40 companies that find them-
selves at a crossroads. One of our
Founders Project mentors is on
the cover: Tilman Fertitta, the
hard-driving CEO of Landry’s,
owner of the Houston Rockets,
and star of CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer. You can
read his remarkable biography, written by Inc.
editor-at-large Bill Saporito, starting on page 26.
But be sure to also check out the dialogue he has
with his mentee, Megan Eddings of Accel Lifestyle, on page 30. Her company, which makes
sweat-absorbing and odor-free athletic wear, is
looking for guidance about branding and marketing. Who could be better to help than Fertitta?
You’ll see more Founders Project dialogues on
pages 35 and 44, as well as testimonials from three
mentees about how the project has helped their
businesses (page 41).
We’re proud to have taken on this matchmak-
ing role as our calling—because we all know that,
for you, your business is your calling. Increasingly,
founders are seeking to formalize that calling for
their employees, investors, and communities by
becoming “benefit corporations.” This type of
mission has been central to Inc.’s coverage since
the 1980s—like that of Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia.
The history of the B corporation movement is
chronicled in a fascinating excerpt from the new
book Organized Money, by Keith Mestrich and
Mark A. Pinsky, starting on page 70.
You’ll also notice in this issue the Pillars
Project, produced by Synchrony, which honors
businesses that are leaders in their community.
It, too, ties into our belief that founders can
learn best from other founders. And that Inc. is
here to get those conversations started.
You’ve heard about 3-D-printed chocolates and plastic. But 3-D-printed houses?
They’re here. Learn all about Icon, the ambitious Texas company making this
happen—as with the house seen above— and its inspirational founder, Jason Ballard,
on page 102.