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Dec. 22, 2023

E38: Holiday Special: Request for Startups

E38: Holiday Special: Request for Startups

This week, in a departure from Upstream's usual format, Erik sits downs with friends Nick DeWilde, Sean Linehan, and Justin Mares to exchange startup ideas in a new format called "Request for Startups." Please note that this episode contains some vulgar humor and won't be for everyone. Make informed decision for high impact donations with GiveWell, which is offering Upstream listeners donation matching up to $100. To claim your match, go to ➡️ pick “Podcast” and enter "Upstream with Erik Torenberg" at checkout.


RECOMMENDED PODCAST: Live Players with Samo Burja

Join host Samo Burja and Erik Torenberg as they analyze the mindsets of today's most intriguing business leaders, investors, and innovators through the lens of their bold actions and contrarian worldviews. You'll come away with a deeper understanding of the development of technology, business, political power, culture and more. Listen to Live Players:


SPONSORS: Shopify | GiveWell

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Have you ever wondered where your donation could have the most impact? GiveWell has now spent over 15 years researching charitable organizations and only directs funding to the HIGHEST-IMPACT opportunities they’ve found in global health and poverty alleviation. Make informed decisions about high-impact giving. If you’ve never donated through GiveWell before, you can have your donation matched up to $100 before the end of the year, or as long as matching funds last. To claim your match, go to and pick “Podcast” and enter "Upstream with Erik Torenberg" at checkout.



@jwmares (Justin)

@seanlinehan (Sean)

@nick_dewilde (Nick)

@eriktorenberg (Erik)





(00:00) Preview

(01:25) Intro

(02:03) Fake jobs for rich families

(06:59) Ending San Fransisco burglaries

(10:50) Better prenups

(13:13) Brunch x Benihana

(15:44) Sponsors: Shopify | Givewell

(19:20) Fit Club

(24:20) Justin's story from being a janitor at LA Fitness

(26:29) Generative AI applications

(37:06) Holistic fertility treatment

(42:11) Combining workspaces with other services

(44:38) Retraining software engineers

(46:55) Quora for people

(49:37) Wrap


Upstream is a production from Turpentine

Producer: Sam Kaufman

Editor: Graham Bessellieu

For guest or sponsorship inquiries please contact