Home Feature A Startup Founder’s Bookshelf: 5 Books From Local Leaders You Should Know

A Startup Founder’s Bookshelf: 5 Books From Local Leaders You Should Know

by Maija Ehlinger

Google “books about startups” and you’ll be inundated with novels, help books, and autobiographies from those who have built successful tech ventures. Titles like The Lean Startup, Creativity Inc., and The Startup Owner’s Manual are often suggested to those ready to dive into their own founder’s journey.

Startup founders across the Southeast have been busy publishing new titles with their own insights into the startup journey. We’ve got a round up of a few of the books you might want to add to your bookshelf here in 2023. Happy Reading! 


Finding The Way

By Cap Treeger 

Writing under a pseudonym, a local entrepreneur and investor has penned a unique account of the ups and downs of entrepreneurial life. While fictional, the experiences of main character, Ren, will feel very real to anybody who has launched a startup, pitched a concept, been told no, or found themselves at the helm of a growing business venture.

Finding The Way centers on Ren’s experience with several key mentors who come into his life while he is launching his first startup. Readers get a front-row seat to the difficult yet helpful conversations that prepare Ren to move his idea forward. This accessible book gives practical insights and will leave you energized and ready to find your own path through the entrepreneurial world. 

Alongside the book, Finding The Way’s website is a growing library of thoughts on different business topics that will help startup founders at any stage prepare for their next step.  

Level Up: Rise Above The Hidden Forces Holding Your Business Back 

By Stacey Abrams & Lara Hodgson with Heather Cabot 

Lara Hodgson and Stacey Abrams have been busy building Now Financial up as a fintech startup designed to improve the B2B payments space. They also managed to publish a book in 2022 with approachable, practical business development tips. 

Level Up highlights the ups and downs and entrepreneurship over Hodgson and Abrams’ 15 years of experience building businesses together. But it goes a step further by providing key takeaways that any small business owner or entrepreneur can use. Readers will want to keep their highlighters handy – each chapter ends with cohesive lessons on everything from hiring to business management to navigating power dynamics, making it a business book you’ll want to come back to long after reading. 



Small By Design: The Entrepreneur’s Guide For Growing Big While Staying Small

By David Feldman 

It’s a common narrative to hear early-stage entrepreneurs plan for “unicorn-style” growth. That might not be the best path, something that is explored by Atlanta-based David Feldman in his book Small By Design. The book outlines tangible steps founders can take to sustainably, authentically grow a business. 

Feldman is founder and president of Atlanta-based 3 Owl, a creative agency with clients including local favorites like Mellow Mushroom and Taco Mac. 

Diving Deeper…

These books dive further into specific startup verticals: 

Data Reimagined: Building Trust One Byte at a Time Kindle Edition

From Jodi Daniels and Justin Daniels 

Hypepotamus readers might recognize the byline Jodi Daniels, who previously penned an article for us about digital security laws. As data privacy and cybersecurity experts, Jodi and her husband Justin have published Data Reimagined as a book on what it takes to build out a businesses’ privacy and security plans. 


The Future of Automotive Retail 

From Steve Greenfield 

On top of running an Atlanta VC firm, Steve Greenfield is a leader in the automotive technology space. His thoughts on where the industry is moving next is thoughtfully explored in The Future of Automotive Retail, which looks at areas for innovation within vehicle production, autonomy, ownership, and much more.



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