How To Build A Startup In College: Givebutter’s Max Friedman


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How do you build a startup from scratch while still in college? How do you get your first customer? This week, I am joined by Max Friedman for the show’s first fireside chat. Max is the CEO and co-founder of Givebutter, a social giving platform used by over 300 college campuses and brand name nonprofits like the Red Cross and Americares.

In this fireside chat, Max will share why he started Givebutter and how he approached feedback bias in the early days of the company. In our signature Lightning Round, Max will also break down his daily habits, from his morning ritual to his favorite productivity resources. Afterward, Max will reveal this week’s #BeInfinity challenge. Stay until the end of the show to see if you were featured in this week’s #BeInfinity Community Highlights!

Max Friedman

  • Max Friedman is a self-taught developer and designer, recent college grad, and the CEO and Co-Founder of Givebutter
  • Max also enjoys writing, and his work has been featured in national news sources such as Fast Company, and The Washington Post. He is originally from New Hampshire and lives in Washington, DC


  • Givebutter is a social crowdfunding platform used on over 300 college campuses and by nonprofits such as It’s On Us, the Red Cross, Americares, and more

Long Form Questions

  • Max’s background (0:57)
  • What is Givebutter and how was company first started (2:08)
  • Max’s Zero to Infinity moment (03:48)
  • How to get your first customer (6:52)
  • Feedback bias and the three types of feedback to be aware of (9:15)
  • How can young people take a more active role in giving (11:26)

Lightning Round

  • Describe entrepreneurship in one or two words
  • What is your most favorite book?
  • What is your most favorite app for productivity?
  • Where do you get your news?
  • Are you a night owl or an early bird?
  • What’s your morning rituals? Name three things you do when you first get up
  • What is your zone of inspiration? Where and who do you drive inspiration from?
  • What is something you wish you knew five years ago as an entrepreneur?


  • By the end of this week, do an act of kindness – whether it is giving to a cause, mentoring someone, or volunteering!

Links Mentioned

This Week’s Partner

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Questions & Feedback

6 episodes