From Zero with Adam Schwab
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    From Zero with Adam Schwab

From Zero with Adam Schwab

Luxury Escapes co-founder and financial journalist Adam Schwab speaks with business founders to get the real stories behind their successes and setbacks.


Season 1


How Chris Lucas became the King of the Australian Restaurant Scene

When you think hospitality…you necessarily think of a billion dollar empire. But restaurateur Chris Lucas has reinvented what it means to create a successful hospitality kingdom his group Lucas Restaurants. Chris' resume includes some of Australia's most popular and successful restaurants, including Chin Chin, Hawker Hall, Society, The Botanical and One Fitzroy Street. In this episode, Chris talks about learning his trade working in his Dad's pubs, a successful corporate career at IBM, building and selling the telecommunications company Primus before pivoting to hospitality and bringing life back to Melbourne after COVID lockdowns.

How Chris Lucas became the King of the Australian Restaurant Scene

When you think hospitality…you necessarily think of a billion dollar empire. But restaurateur Chris Lucas has reinvented what it means to create a successful hospitality kingdom his group Lucas Restaurants. Chris' resume includes some of Australia's most popular and successful restaurants, including Chin Chin, Hawker Hall, Society, The Botanical and One Fitzroy Street. In this episode, Chris talks about learning his trade working in his Dad's pubs, a successful corporate career at IBM, building and selling the telecommunications company Primus before pivoting to hospitality and bringing life back to Melbourne after COVID lockdowns.

45:59

EP16 - S1

29 Nov 21

Gabby Leibovich took a chance on Catch Of The Day...and it paid off

How do you learn how sell stuff online when it hasn't been done before? And then how do you convince people to buy your products? Gabby Leibovich did just that – and in the process, with his brother Hezi, became one of Australia's best online retailers. Gabby and Hezi separately started selling products on eBay in the early 2000s, before joining forces to create Catch Of The Day – fifteen years later, and the eCommerce giant has become a multi-billion dollar business. In this episode, Gabby talks about growing up in a war zone, how raising $80 million from Tiger Global and James Packer changed his life and how he became the master of PR.

Gabby Leibovich took a chance on Catch Of The Day...and it paid off

How do you learn how sell stuff online when it hasn't been done before? And then how do you convince people to buy your products? Gabby Leibovich did just that – and in the process, with his brother Hezi, became one of Australia's best online retailers. Gabby and Hezi separately started selling products on eBay in the early 2000s, before joining forces to create Catch Of The Day – fifteen years later, and the eCommerce giant has become a multi-billion dollar business. In this episode, Gabby talks about growing up in a war zone, how raising $80 million from Tiger Global and James Packer changed his life and how he became the master of PR.

51:29

EP15 - S1

22 Nov 21

Investing in Australia's hottest businesses with Blackbird’s Niki Scevak

When new businesses are created every day, how do you know which ones will become world beaters? Niki Scevak is one of Australia’s most successful venture capitalists. Niki founded Australia’s best incubator, Startmate, in 2010, and two years later, created VC giant, Blackbird. Blackbird has been at the forefront of Australia’s venture sector for a decade, investing in Canva, Culture Amp and Safety Culture. In this episode Niki shares with host Adam Schwab about being college roommates with Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, his own incredible entrepreneurial journey through three start-ups across two continents, and why it's more meaningful for him to see other entrepreneurs succeed than to make money.

Investing in Australia's hottest businesses with Blackbird’s Niki Scevak

When new businesses are created every day, how do you know which ones will become world beaters? Niki Scevak is one of Australia’s most successful venture capitalists. Niki founded Australia’s best incubator, Startmate, in 2010, and two years later, created VC giant, Blackbird. Blackbird has been at the forefront of Australia’s venture sector for a decade, investing in Canva, Culture Amp and Safety Culture. In this episode Niki shares with host Adam Schwab about being college roommates with Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, his own incredible entrepreneurial journey through three start-ups across two continents, and why it's more meaningful for him to see other entrepreneurs succeed than to make money.

51:15

EP14 - S1

15 Nov 21

Graham 'Skroo' Turner built Flight Centre into a multi-billion dollar business

How do you go from working on your family's apple orchard in regional Queensland, to working as a veterinary surgeon, to becoming one of Australia's greatest founders? Graham 'Skroo' Turner co-founded Flight Centre in the early 1980's and has seen it become one of Australia's most successful businesses, turning over more than 20 billion of dollars annually  In this episode, hear how Skroo founded his first business, the group travel company Topdeck in the UK before returning to Australia and building Flight Centre from just one store into the juggernaut it is today and how he survived COVID.

Graham 'Skroo' Turner built Flight Centre into a multi-billion dollar business

How do you go from working on your family's apple orchard in regional Queensland, to working as a veterinary surgeon, to becoming one of Australia's greatest founders? Graham 'Skroo' Turner co-founded Flight Centre in the early 1980's and has seen it become one of Australia's most successful businesses, turning over more than 20 billion of dollars annually  In this episode, hear how Skroo founded his first business, the group travel company Topdeck in the UK before returning to Australia and building Flight Centre from just one store into the juggernaut it is today and how he survived COVID.

38:15

EP13 - S1

8 Nov 21

Simon Griffiths spent 50 hours on a toilet to crowdfund Who Gives A Crap

How do you get people to notice your crowdfunding campaign when the thing you're raising money for is toilet paper? Simon Griffiths has created one of Australia’s fastest growing and most exciting companies by selling on of most boring products - toilet paper. Not only has Simon, along with his two co-founders created what could soon be a unicorn, they have also donated more than ten million dollars to build critical sanitation facilities in the developing world. Hear how Simon, Jehan and Danny built Who Gives a Crap into a global giant, from a $50,000 crowd funding campaign in 2012 to businesses across three continents, and how they balance making a difference and creating a sustainable businesses.

Simon Griffiths spent 50 hours on a toilet to crowdfund Who Gives A Crap

How do you get people to notice your crowdfunding campaign when the thing you're raising money for is toilet paper? Simon Griffiths has created one of Australia’s fastest growing and most exciting companies by selling on of most boring products - toilet paper. Not only has Simon, along with his two co-founders created what could soon be a unicorn, they have also donated more than ten million dollars to build critical sanitation facilities in the developing world. Hear how Simon, Jehan and Danny built Who Gives a Crap into a global giant, from a $50,000 crowd funding campaign in 2012 to businesses across three continents, and how they balance making a difference and creating a sustainable businesses.

49:40

EP12 - S1

1 Nov 21

Darrell Wade turned backpacking into a million-dollar career with Intrepid

What do you get when you take two mates who love traveling, $20,000 and a goal to make adventure holidays easier for people? Intrepid Group, now the world's largest adventure travel company. Darrell spent his early career working for big businesses when he wasn’t traveling the world. That was until an epic trip across Africa in a converted truck convinced him to start what would become the Intrepid Group, one of the world’s most loved travel businesses. In this episode Darrell shares the exclusive story of how he met his lifelong business partner Geoff (Manch) Manchester, their first backpacking trips, guiding Intrepid through SARS and COVID and balancing a successful business with altruism.

Darrell Wade turned backpacking into a million-dollar career with Intrepid

What do you get when you take two mates who love traveling, $20,000 and a goal to make adventure holidays easier for people? Intrepid Group, now the world's largest adventure travel company. Darrell spent his early career working for big businesses when he wasn’t traveling the world. That was until an epic trip across Africa in a converted truck convinced him to start what would become the Intrepid Group, one of the world’s most loved travel businesses. In this episode Darrell shares the exclusive story of how he met his lifelong business partner Geoff (Manch) Manchester, their first backpacking trips, guiding Intrepid through SARS and COVID and balancing a successful business with altruism.

56:34

EP11 - S1

25 Oct 21

Fred Schebesta went from sleeping on floors to Finder.com and the AFR Young Rich List

What does it take to build a multi-million-dollar business? Fred grew up playing video games and managed to teach himself how to build websites. He turned his web design and marketing business into the international giant comparison site Finder.com. In this episode Fred shares with Adam about surviving on tinned pasta during the early days of the business, how he grew as a leader, pivoting the business and becoming one of the earliest adopters of cryptocurrency in Australia and a global phenomenon.   

Fred Schebesta went from sleeping on floors to Finder.com and the AFR Young Rich List

What does it take to build a multi-million-dollar business? Fred grew up playing video games and managed to teach himself how to build websites. He turned his web design and marketing business into the international giant comparison site Finder.com. In this episode Fred shares with Adam about surviving on tinned pasta during the early days of the business, how he grew as a leader, pivoting the business and becoming one of the earliest adopters of cryptocurrency in Australia and a global phenomenon.   

39:25

EP10 - S1

18 Oct 21

Carolyn Creswell bought Carman’s for $1,000

How do you go from selling muesli to a few cafes in your neighbourhood to over 30 countries around the world? Carolyn bought Carman's for $1,000 when she was 18. In the past 20 years she's built it into one of Australia's most well-known and well-loved gourmet food brands. In this episode Carolyn shares with Adam about what she learned from working on the Coles checkout as a teenager, building Carman's from the ground up without a cent of external funding and how she's learned to become a leader of an incredibly successful team.

Carolyn Creswell bought Carman’s for $1,000

How do you go from selling muesli to a few cafes in your neighbourhood to over 30 countries around the world? Carolyn bought Carman's for $1,000 when she was 18. In the past 20 years she's built it into one of Australia's most well-known and well-loved gourmet food brands. In this episode Carolyn shares with Adam about what she learned from working on the Coles checkout as a teenager, building Carman's from the ground up without a cent of external funding and how she's learned to become a leader of an incredibly successful team.

47:04

EP09 - S1

11 Oct 21

Pete Cleary made 100 million for Zinc Group by selling PPE during COVID

What do you do when your business makes cinema merchandise…and cinemas close around the world overnight? You make something else. Pete Cleary created Zinc Group and built it from a dream in a business plan to a workplace consistently voted as one of the best in Australia. In this episode Pete speaks to Adam Schwab about standing up for what he believes in, building a business that people love to work for and remaining in business (and thriving) through worldwide COVID-19 shutdowns.

Pete Cleary made 100 million for Zinc Group by selling PPE during COVID

What do you do when your business makes cinema merchandise…and cinemas close around the world overnight? You make something else. Pete Cleary created Zinc Group and built it from a dream in a business plan to a workplace consistently voted as one of the best in Australia. In this episode Pete speaks to Adam Schwab about standing up for what he believes in, building a business that people love to work for and remaining in business (and thriving) through worldwide COVID-19 shutdowns.

49:08

EP08 - S1

5 Jul 21

Marcus Tan from Health Engine is the king of Australian health marketplaces

How do you combine a background in medicine with a deep curiosity about technology? Marcus Tan has done just that with Australia’s largest health marketplace, Health Engine. In the space of a decade, Marcus grew Health Engine from tiny start-up to an online giant, with one in four Australians regularly booking their doctor, dentist or physio through Health Engine. In this episode Marcus shares the challenges of building an online marketplace from his own savings, pivoting the business from medical directory to booking site and then somehow convincing thousands of GPs to accept online bookings. And just when the business was flying, Marcus had to deal with an existential threat and grow as a leader and founder through the most difficult period in the business’ existence.

Marcus Tan from Health Engine is the king of Australian health marketplaces

How do you combine a background in medicine with a deep curiosity about technology? Marcus Tan has done just that with Australia’s largest health marketplace, Health Engine. In the space of a decade, Marcus grew Health Engine from tiny start-up to an online giant, with one in four Australians regularly booking their doctor, dentist or physio through Health Engine. In this episode Marcus shares the challenges of building an online marketplace from his own savings, pivoting the business from medical directory to booking site and then somehow convincing thousands of GPs to accept online bookings. And just when the business was flying, Marcus had to deal with an existential threat and grow as a leader and founder through the most difficult period in the business’ existence.

45:06

EP07 - S1

28 Jun 21

Greg Roebuck built Carsales.com into a multi-billion business

How do you create an online trading site in the early days of the internet and then convince people to sell their cars on it? Greg spent twenty years running Carsales.com from a tiny start-up to one the world’s leading automotive marketplaces, worth almost $6 billion. Host Adam Schwab talks to Greg about going from playing with computers as a kid to working on one of the first digital accounting systems to building Carsales.com. Hear how Greg mortgaged his home, brought on James Packer as a major investor and how he has coped with life after Carsales.

Greg Roebuck built Carsales.com into a multi-billion business

How do you create an online trading site in the early days of the internet and then convince people to sell their cars on it? Greg spent twenty years running Carsales.com from a tiny start-up to one the world’s leading automotive marketplaces, worth almost $6 billion. Host Adam Schwab talks to Greg about going from playing with computers as a kid to working on one of the first digital accounting systems to building Carsales.com. Hear how Greg mortgaged his home, brought on James Packer as a major investor and how he has coped with life after Carsales.

40:21

EP06 - S1

21 Jun 21

David Shafer and Kogan: 1 in 5 Aussies visit the site every month

What does it take to create and maintain Australia’s largest online retailer? David Shafer is co-founder, COO and CFO of Kogan.com, Australia’s largest home-grown ecommerce business. Kogan.com grew from nothing, to be worth more than a billion dollars in little more than a decade with more than three million Australians purchasing something from Kogan in the last year. Hear how David Shafer and school friend, Ruslan Kogan, survived a near death experience and made a bunch of bold bets to create Australia’s largest online retailer. And why David and Ruslan prefer to focus on the business fundamentals than the company’s rampaging share price.

David Shafer and Kogan: 1 in 5 Aussies visit the site every month

What does it take to create and maintain Australia’s largest online retailer? David Shafer is co-founder, COO and CFO of Kogan.com, Australia’s largest home-grown ecommerce business. Kogan.com grew from nothing, to be worth more than a billion dollars in little more than a decade with more than three million Australians purchasing something from Kogan in the last year. Hear how David Shafer and school friend, Ruslan Kogan, survived a near death experience and made a bunch of bold bets to create Australia’s largest online retailer. And why David and Ruslan prefer to focus on the business fundamentals than the company’s rampaging share price.

46:44

EP05 - S1

14 Jun 21

Jane Martino went from working in retail to co-founding Smiling Mind

How do you balance success in business with your passion for helping people? It’s hard enough to create one successful start-up. Jane Martino has created three: Undertow, Shout and Smiling Mind. Jane joins host Adam Schwab to talk about how she started her first business before she was 25, how she co-founded Smiling Mind before turning it into Australia’s number one wellness app and how she built and sold Shout to one of Australia’s largest banks. Hear her inspirational journey to becoming one of Australia’s favourite founders and angel investors.

Jane Martino went from working in retail to co-founding Smiling Mind

How do you balance success in business with your passion for helping people? It’s hard enough to create one successful start-up. Jane Martino has created three: Undertow, Shout and Smiling Mind. Jane joins host Adam Schwab to talk about how she started her first business before she was 25, how she co-founded Smiling Mind before turning it into Australia’s number one wellness app and how she built and sold Shout to one of Australia’s largest banks. Hear her inspirational journey to becoming one of Australia’s favourite founders and angel investors.

46:24

EP04 - S1

7 Jun 21

Adir Shiffman grew Catapult Sports from start-up to global giant

How do you get your business noticed by the biggest names in sport around the world? A born entrepreneur, Adir has been launching incredible businesses since he was a kid. He also found time to study medicine, work as an ER doctor, found and sell successful businesses including Global Reviews and Help Me Choose and join a fledgling sports data business and help turn it into the ASX-listed global giant: Catapult Sports.   Adir tells Adam Schwab how he went from saving lives to becoming one of the world’s top people in sport business, almost losing everything during the Global Financial Crisis and bouncing back from the brink.

Adir Shiffman grew Catapult Sports from start-up to global giant

How do you get your business noticed by the biggest names in sport around the world? A born entrepreneur, Adir has been launching incredible businesses since he was a kid. He also found time to study medicine, work as an ER doctor, found and sell successful businesses including Global Reviews and Help Me Choose and join a fledgling sports data business and help turn it into the ASX-listed global giant: Catapult Sports.   Adir tells Adam Schwab how he went from saving lives to becoming one of the world’s top people in sport business, almost losing everything during the Global Financial Crisis and bouncing back from the brink.

42:50

EP03 - S1

31 May 21

Ido Leffler was making organic beauty products with Yes To before it was cool

How do you get your brand-new beauty products stocked in America? And when it’s there, how do you convince people to buy it? In 2006, Ido co-founded the organic beauty brand Yes To Carrots and then in 2014, co-founded the huge school and office supply business, Yoobi which donates an item for every item purchase. Not long after, Ido co-founded Beach House Group which collaborates with huge stars like Mille Bobbie Brown, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kendell Jenner and Shay Mitchell. Ido is also one of Australia’s most successful angels, investing in five ‘unicorns’. Ido joins host Adam Schwab to share how his parents influenced his business ambitions, his near business death experiences and giving back.

Ido Leffler was making organic beauty products with Yes To before it was cool

How do you get your brand-new beauty products stocked in America? And when it’s there, how do you convince people to buy it? In 2006, Ido co-founded the organic beauty brand Yes To Carrots and then in 2014, co-founded the huge school and office supply business, Yoobi which donates an item for every item purchase. Not long after, Ido co-founded Beach House Group which collaborates with huge stars like Mille Bobbie Brown, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kendell Jenner and Shay Mitchell. Ido is also one of Australia’s most successful angels, investing in five ‘unicorns’. Ido joins host Adam Schwab to share how his parents influenced his business ambitions, his near business death experiences and giving back.

39:35

EP02 - S1

24 May 21

From Zero with Adam Schwab - Trailer

Luxury Escapes co-founder and financial journalist Adam Schwab speaks with business founders to get the real stories behind their successes and setbacks.

From Zero with Adam Schwab - Trailer

Luxury Escapes co-founder and financial journalist Adam Schwab speaks with business founders to get the real stories behind their successes and setbacks.

02:29

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8 Apr 21

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