Today’s entrepreneur story is with someone with whom SunCast faithful listeners are already familiar. Chuck Swoboda has graced the podcast a couple of times: recently as both Tactical Tuesday guest and a keynote for the SunCast Clean Energy Summit in April.

His legacy and impact at CREE, Inc. are legendary, and he’s put many of his fabled stories and lessons learned into his recently launched book, The Innovator’s Spirit, and his fantastic podcast Innovator’s on Tap. But I was not satisfied with just getting the deets on his book, and suspected, as I tend to do, that there were still some stories held back. Chuck didn’t disappoint, so hold on to your hats as Chuck Swoboda and I take a fascinating look at his career leading up to and through Cree’s meteoric rise in the LED world. 

From hilarious family stories to heartbreaking life lessons about the reality of leading a fast-growth company, Chuck let us peer into the career of one of the most intriguing stories I’ve chronicled on SunCast yet. Did you know that CREE wasn’t even created to take on LED lighting? If that surprises you, you’re in for a treat.

I am honored to be able to provide you with this Part One of the interview, and we’ll be following the Part Two on Episode 269.

Remember you can always find the resources and learn more about today’s guest, recommendations, book links and more than 260 other founder stories and startup advice at

Gain access to all the show notes & resources from this episode here

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