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NPR: Allbirds co-founder discusses UC's impact on his career

DAAP grad Tim Brown talks about his UC days on the NPR podcast, "How I Built This with Guy Raz"

Co-founders of billion-dollar sneaker startup Allbirds Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger recently appeared on NPR's "How I Built This with Guy Raz" to talk about their company, but the conversation soon turned to Brown's time at the University of Cincinnati.

Brown attended UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning and played soccer for the Bearcats from 2000 to 2005 before going on to play soccer professionally and eventually create a wool sneaker that would become Allbirds.

In the episode, Brown talks about the early days of his career, choosing to come to the United States from New Zealand and play soccer for an American university. Of the six scholarship offers he received, he says he chose UC because of DAAP’s design program.

Tim Brown poses on a ledge, showing off the Allbirds shoes he created.

Tim Brown returned to UC earlier this year. Photo/Lisa Ventre/UC Creative Services

“There was a fair amount of pressure, but I’d found something that I was in love with,” Brown says of the intense five-year program. 

“I found a place that was a catch-all for my curiosity.”

Listen to the full episode at, on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.

Brown returned the university this spring to accept an alumni award and speak at DAAP. Read more about his visit.