Welcome to The Room

The Room Podcast
3 min readNov 17, 2020


New episodes released every Tuesday at 7 am PT.

Everyone wants to be in the room where “it” happened. However, these conversations and the creation stories historically happen behind doors closed to groups across age, gender, and race. What if we could talk to the visionary founders and funders who built our favorite app, brand, or technology experience about what it was really like in the early days?

Enter, The Room.

Why are we starting The Room now?

It is important to bring to life the stories behind the products that shape our world in an inclusive way. Did you know that 2 out of every 10 podcasts today are moderated by women, but 5 out of 10 podcast listeners are female? More broadly in technology, female-founded venture-backed start-ups hit an “all-time high” in 2019 at 2.8% of overall capital deployment. Yikes. These numbers get even smaller for racial minorities. For example, black entrepreneurs account for less than 1% of over venture allotment. We can do better. Even if you relate to the founders on the front page of Forbes, it’s hard to get a true sense of the ups and downs their journey to worldly success took. In an effort to open the door, the Room is bringing together men and women across ages and races into the conversation on inspiring founding stories.

Who is in The Room?

We’re Claudia Laurie and Madison McIlwain, your co-hosts and co-founders! Friends for two years, we bonded over a shared love of product management, retail innovation, and matcha. Our perspectives and vantage point as digital natives living in the heart of Silicon Valley will enable us to lead a differentiated conversation within the podcast ecosystem. When we’re not interviewing our fabulous guests, Claudia is a product manager at Uber. Madison is an at associate and Defy VC.

What will you find in The Room?

The Room will consist of interview-style discussions with leaders, founders, and funders. These are questions Claudia and Madison are asking themselves or have been asked by their friends on their own founding journeys. We will explore themes such as scaling a company and culture well, the saga of securing your first outside check, being a servant leader, the work/life balance myth and many more! Our discussions run 30–45 minutes, the perfect length for your daily walk/run/nap routine.

Where is The Room?

Anywhere you like! While Claudia and I are in San Francisco, our guests are all over. You can listen to the Room on your favorite podcast platforms in whatever room you choose. Follow us on:

Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin where we share pics and quotes from our episodes. We’d love for you to comment below on guests you think we should interview and questions you’d like answered on your own founding journey.

See you in The Room!

Claudia and Madison