Invent Penn State

Second episode of 'Dare to Disrupt' features alum and Karat co-founder Mo Bhende

Dare to Disrupt is a new Invent Penn State podcast sharing the stories of innovative alumni

Credit: Submitted by Mo BhendeAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — "Dare to Disrupt" is a new podcast from Invent Penn State about Penn State alumni who are innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders, and the stories behind their success. 

The podcast is hosted by alumnus Ryan Newman, a graduate of the Smeal College of Business and a Schreyer Scholar alumnus who is now a managing director at Goldman Sachs.  

In the second episode, Newman interviews Mo Bhende, a 2001 Schreyer Honors College graduate. With the encouragement and support of his advisors and mentors at Penn State, Bhende applied for and received the Gates Cambridge Scholarship to attend Cambridge University for his Master’s in economics. During his time at Cambridge, Bhende was inspired to launch his first business, Topic magazine. While selling issues door to door and collecting information on his customers, Bhende learned key business lessons he would eventually apply to growing his current company, Karat.

Inspired by his many often negative experiences with the hiring and interviewing process, in 2014, Bhende built Karat, which conducts highly predictive technical interviews for clients. In this episode of Dare to Disrupt, Bhende talks about his international travels, how he took advantage of Penn State resources, lessons learned while working for Microsoft and how all those experiences led him to creating a business that would turn the agonizing interview process into an enjoyable one. 

At the end of each episode, a current Penn State student is given the opportunity to speak with the successful Penn State alum and ask questions specific to the student’s startup and career goals. In this episode, Bubune Owusu, a College of Engineering senior and founder of the brand Be Your Best Clothing, joins the episode to talk to Bhende about how to lead with both courage and confidence while also managing your priorities as a founder.  

Students can apply or be nominated to be on the show here. 

New episodes of Dare to Disrupt release monthly. Learn more at and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Play

Invent Penn State is a Commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student career success. 

Last Updated November 04, 2021