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The VentureFizz Podcast
66 minutes | Jun 7, 2021
Episode 222: John Gannon - Co-Founder & General Partner, GoingVC
Landing a job in venture capital is challenging and one of the main reasons why is based on the scarcity of positions available. This stat might be a bit old, but at one point, the number of professional athletes in the US was about equal to the number of VC positions. Pretty crazy when you paint the picture that way. To top it off, there’s no defined career path on how to get there and oftentimes the jobs are not advertised. However, this has changed in recent years due to the availability of information and John was one of the first to really provide a deep level of insight into how to land a job in venture capital and he also started aggregating the positions available. If you type the search term venture capital jobs or something related in Google, John’s blog - which started in 2008 - appears on the first page of the search results. Fast forward, John and his co-founder, Arno Niazi, have taken this expertise to build GoingVC, a VC education and career acceleration program to help you land that ideal job in the industry. The program already has hundreds of members & alumni. Oh… and one would think this is a full time job, but believe it or not, John also has a very successful career in product management for tech companies. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * Tips and advice on time management, which is something that he needs to be very good at. * John’s background growing up and a look at how he was able to break into the VC industry. * A deep dive into his professional career at companies like Turbonomic, AWS, and DigitalOcean. * The full background story on how John started his blog and started aggregating jobs in venture capital. * How he went on to start GoingVC, the impact it has made, plus what people can expect by going through the program. * How a VC firm is structured by each role. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
63 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
Episode 221: Jon Hirschtick - EVP, PTC & Founder, Onshape
Successful serial entrepreneurs are unique in their ability to see transformational shifts before they happen and then they ultimately build a company to meet this future demand. In Jon’s case, it started during his time at MIT when he saw an opportunity in the CAD industry to automate an engineer’s sketchbook. It led him to start his first company called Premise which was later acquired. The next shift was recognizing the difficulty of using CAD software for product designers and thinking there has to be a better way. This led to the launch of SolidWorks and they built their software to run on Microsoft Windows, which was groundbreaking at the time. The company scaled rapidly and it led to another successful acquisition. As technology evolved to more of a SaaS business model and cloud based architecture, this opened the door for his latest company called Onshape. It changed the game for product designers in many ways, but especially for team based product development collaboration. The company also scaled aggressively and another amazing acquisition, this time by PTC in 2019. Oh, and not only is Jon a great entrepreneur, but he was also part of the famous MIT Blackjack Team, which we discuss in lots of detail about this experience and also his interest in magic. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * His experience using a computer for the first time at his high school which includes a very precious fun fact about a popular movie from the 80’s. * Why he chose to study Mechanical Engineering at MIT and how he got involved in the CAD software industry. * A journey through Jon’s entrepreneurial career including lots of stories around the companies he’s built. * All the details about the launch of Onshape, its acquisition by PTC, including the growing popularity of the platform as well as their focus on making a meaningful impact on important initiatives like education where over 1M educators and students have free access to their software. * Advice for founders on building out their core foundational team. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
50 minutes | May 24, 2021
Episode 220: Daniel Chait - CEO & Co-Founder, Greenhouse
2016 was a pivotal moment for VentureFizz and it was Greenhouse that helped us get to where we are today. We saw lots of companies adopting its ATS to help out with their recruiting initiatives and it was their open APIs which allowed us to scale our job board by pulling in jobs automatically through a feed. It was game changing for us. Historically, companies had to manually add their jobs to our site which was easy but let’s face it, incredibly inefficient and time consuming. Needless to say, I was excited to speak to Daniel and learn more about the history of the company. Yes, I’m always fascinated by the entrepreneurial journey, but this one was unique based on its impact the company had on our business. I actually looked at some stats and over 40% of our customers are users of Greenhouse. Daniel is a serial entrepreneur and now an author, as he and his co-founder, Jon Stross, wrote a book that was recently published called TALENT MAKERS. It’s a step by step guide for implementing a structured hiring process and it captures their experiences at working with more than 4,000 companies. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * The details and what you can expect from reading TALENT MAKERS. * His journey into entrepreneurship and how Lab49 opened his eyes to the world of talent acquisition and how challenging it is yet if you do it right, it’s a competitive advantage. * What led him and Jon down the path of starting Greenhouse and the full story of how it built a market leading product and scaled. * The future ahead for the company including it’s recently reported $500M investment to further their mission of helping every company become great at hiring. * Advice on how companies can build a more diverse pipeline of candidates. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
49 minutes | May 17, 2021
Episode 219: Florian Otto - Co-Founder & CEO, Cedar
The world of medical billing is incredibly complex and let’s face it, most times it’s a mystery from the consumer’s point of view. The descriptions of service provided are in codes and how to make payment is not simple. It was through a challenging medical billing experience with his wife where Florian saw firsthand how the process was broken. As a serial entrepreneur and former physician, the light bulbs went off where he saw an opportunity to radically transform this industry. Not only was it a situation where you could digitize the process and make it more consumer friendly, but it was an opportunity to fundamentally redefine the patient experience. Thus, Cedar was born. Cedar has been scaling aggressively and has tremendous momentum. The company recently announced a $200M Series D round of funding at a $3.2B valuation and they also announced a definitive agreement to acquire OODA Health, where the combined companies will offer the only complete financial technology platform in the healthcare industry. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * How ideas are easy to come by, but his advice on the hard part, how to execute. * Florian’s background story in terms of his early career in medicine to his transition to McKinsey's healthcare practice and what this experience taught him. * Launching a daily deals site in Brazil, which was acquired by Groupon. * The full story behind Cedar and all the details on the company’s platform and growth ahead. * Why building a diverse workforce is such a competitive advantage. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
42 minutes | May 10, 2021
Episode 218: Phil Edmundson - Founder & CEO, Corvus Insurance
It was time. The insurance industry had been lagging in terms of its digital transformation. But, in recent years, lots of startups have accelerated a change in this market through the use of technology and innovative business models. Investors have certainly noticed the opportunity, as well. Crunchbase recently reported that VC firms have invested over $20B in Insurtech companies over the last three years. It’s perfect timing for an entrepreneur like Phil. He gained critical domain experience and insights about the commercial insurance industry through the success of his prior company and his current startup is scaling at a massive rate. Corvus Insurance is the leading provider of smart commercial insurance products powered by AI-driven risk data. The company recently announced a $100M Series C round of funding. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * Phil’s background story and his experience in the insurance industry, including scaling his own insurance brokerage firm which was acquired. * What led him down the path of starting Corvus Insurance and how they are transforming commercial insurance by leveraging advanced data science, with an AI-driven approach to empower brokers and policyholders to better predict and prevent loss. * The details on their latest round of funding and growth plans ahead. * Phil’s experience as an investor in the Insurtech industry and the areas that he believes are still ripe for disruption. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
55 minutes | May 3, 2021
Episode 217: Ryan Denehy - Founder & CEO, Electric
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but for some people… they were just born with the ability to recognize opportunities in the market that are ripe for disruption and let’s face it, some were just born with that plain old hustle and desire to succeed. Take Ryan, a successful 3X entrepreneur who started his first company at the age of 17, an action sports video production company that was acquired by USA Today while he was still in college. His second company, Swarm Mobile, was acquired by Groupon and it was his experience running this company where he witnessed the frustration and problems with IT for companies. Someone had to wear the IT support hat internally for a small to mid-sized company and in some cases, it’s the founder (as was the case at Swarm), which triggered the aha moment… there has to be a better way. Electric was launched to solve this problem and the company recently closed a $40M Series C round of funding to revolutionize IT by making it simple, accessible, and cost-effective for businesses everywhere. The company provides real-time IT support to 25,000 users and centralized IT management to over 400 customers. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * Advice for founders on figuring out your ideal customer profile before leaping into a business 100% of your time. * Some great stories around building his first company and how starting a company as a teenager benefited him… think “no fear.” * The details on Swarm Mobile and the lessons learned from this experience. * What led Ryan down the path of starting Electric and the incredible value they are providing companies. * A discussion around branding and how he wanted to make the Electric brand bold and memorable. * What founders should be thinking about as it relates to building the company’s culture. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
32 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
Episode 216: Scott Greenberg - Co-Founder & CEO, StarStock Inc.
Ahhh… this episode takes me back. It takes me back to my childhood years in Hooksett, New Hampshire, hanging out with my buddies in the neighborhood trading baseball cards. I was a Red Sox fan and would collect cards of Jim Rice, Carl Yastremski, Dwight Evans, and lots of other Boston greats. I also collected baseball cards and memorabilia for Steve Garvey, the first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers. I have a cousin who lives in LA, so that was the connection there. It was fun and all of my friends thought our treasures would appreciate in value and we would be set for life! Yet, the baseball card industry hit rough times, as the market ended up being flooded with cards that ultimately become worthless. I’m sure my friends who bought complete sets every year were crushed. Well, what’s old is new again and trading cards are hot! This time the card issuers are much smarter in their releases by having a scarce supply to drive up demand. It’s very similar to what the sneaker industry has experienced. To capitalize on this trend, StarStock has built a marketplace that essentially operates like a stock market for sports cards. Fans and card hobbyists can buy, sell, and invest in their favorite athletes while the sports cards are stored in a centralized vault, so there is no actual exchange of the cards. The company recently announced its $8M Series A round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * A deep discussion on the sports trading cards industry and how it has come full circle. * Scott’s background story including his entrepreneurial roots and building a company with his sister, Lynn, a recent Forbes Next 1000 recipient. * What led him down the path of starting StarStock and working with Nigel Eccles, a Co-Founder of FanDuel, who helped get the company started along with StarStock Co-Founder Mike Kuchera. * All the details on StarStock and how the business works. * The challenges of building a two-sided marketplace. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
52 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
Episode 215: Senofer Mendoza - Founder & General partner, Mendoza Ventures
You hear about lots of venture firms who are working hard to build a strategy and network that will yield more investments with diverse founders. But for a firm like Mendoza Ventures, it’s rooted in their DNA… like literally, as it is both minority & woman owned and it’s the first LatinX founded venture fund on the east coast. As you would think, their portfolio has impressive diversity numbers. As of the beginning of this year, 67% of the portfolio included investments in minority, female, and immigrant founders. Needless to say, we were able to talk in detail about the venture industry and what other investors can do to back more diverse founders. Mendoza Ventures was launched five years ago by Senofer and her husband, Adrian. The firm is focused on making pre-seed investments in FinTech, AI, and Cybersecurity. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * Senofer’s background in interior design and what she learned as an operator. * How Senofer and Adrian got involved in tech investing. * All of the details on Mendoza Ventures and the types of companies they are backing. * Advice on how to build a career path into the VC industry. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
78 minutes | Apr 12, 2021
Episode 214: Bob Mason & Any Feinberg - Co-Founders & Managing Partners, Argon Ventures
Early to market… it can sometimes mean the kiss of death for a company. However, if you get it the timing right, it’s a competitive advantage and an opportunity to build a massive company. In this episode, we’ve got a great story about a company that was in this exact scenario, yet they executed, scaled and remain a pillar tech company in the industry. The company I’m talking about is Brightcove and in today’s interview we discuss the company’s full lifecycle journey. Brightcove was founded by Bob and serial entrepreneur, Jeremy Allaire. They were early pioneers in the world of online video back in 2004. Andy also joined the company early on as an executive and eventually served as its CEO. Thus, in this interview, we are able to get into all the weeds from the early days of the company to its IPO. And as a bonus,Bob provided a really cool video that shares the very first prototype of Brightcove's concept back in 2004. So, how much did they get right for online video? It’s pretty cool to see how a lot of their concepts still hold true close to 20 years later: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxaOpsSoHp8 Bob and Andy are now running Argon Ventures, a pre-seed venture fund, which is leading investments in Intelligent Industry Solutions. In this episode of our podcast, we also cover lots of other great topics like: * Their background stories, including some great details from Bob’s time at ATG and Andy’s experience at Lycos. * How Bob got into investing and his experience with Project 11 and as a mentor at Techstars. * All the details on Argon Ventures and the types of companies and investments they are targeting. * What it’s like being a CEO of a publicly traded company. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
52 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
Episode 213: Corey Thomas - Chairman & CEO, Rapid7
Corey has an impressive background in terms of his career path and his many accomplishments as a leader, which we discuss in detail. But that is only part of the story. I was also very excited to talk with Corey about Rapid7’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives. The company has been very open about their goals and progress. In 2018, Rapid7 set a goal to have 50% of their workforce to be women and people of color. The company published a DEI Annual Report for 2020 which shared their results. They achieve 49.7% of their goal and one would think they would just round up and say mission accomplished, but as noted from a recent blog post on VentureFizz from Christina Luconi, Rapid7’s Chief People Officer, they are immensely proud of their progress to date, but they know they still have so much more to do. Thus, we talk at length about how Rapid7 has gone about building a more diverse & inclusive workforce and Corey shared lots of advice on how other companies can follow. In this episode of our podcast, we also cover: * Corey’s background growing up and his decision to study Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt. * His experience at AT&T during college and working at Deloitte after graduating, then attending business school at HBS. * His time working at Microsoft as a Group Product Manager, where he worked on one of the largest releases of SQL Server back in the day. * The details on Rapid7, plus his career progression to CEO and the company’s IPO. * Advice on building a career path to a CEO position. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
46 minutes | Mar 29, 2021
Episode 212: Ed Boyajian - President & CEO, EDB
Much like cloud computing, open source technologies have changed the game. When I think about it, it’s unlikely that VentureFizz would exist if it wasn’t for open source software. There’s no way I could have gotten it off the ground if I had to purchase an expensive content management system. It took many years for open source to become commonplace and especially to the point where you could build a successful tech company around an open source project. Ed has been involved in the open source technology industry for 20 years, so he’s witnessed firsthand how things have evolved and how open source has propelled technology forward, which we discuss in detail. He’s currently leading EDB, which provides products, services, and support to over 5,000 customers who are using PostgreSQL, an open source database. The company is headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts and has 16 offices worldwide. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * Ed’s background studying business at Boston University on an ROTC scholarship and how his experience in the Army helped him as a leader. * How he got into the tech industry and the rapid growth years at Red Hat. * All the details on EDB, including their record growth from last year and what the culture is like working there. * Advice on building out pricing and go-to-market models in the tech industry. * When is the right time to bring in a Chief Revenue Officer and how the position is different from a VP of Sales. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
57 minutes | Mar 22, 2021
Episode 211: Carol Meyers - Venture Partner, Board Member & CMO
When you think of the greatest athletes, like Serena Williams or Tom Brady, you are in awe of their success and the number of championships that they have won. In the business world, success is often measured by an exit - either an acquisition or an IPO and one could also argue that the IPO is many times the harder hill to climb. Well… when you look at Carol’s track record, it is extraordinary. She has been part of 4 companies (yes 4) that have all gone public: Shiva Corporation, Unica, LogMeIn, and Rapid7. In addition to her success as an executive, Carol has also made a major impact as a member of the Board of Directors at several startups and as an advisor to many entrepreneurs. And, on top of all of this… Carol recently joined Glasswing Ventures as a Venture Partner. Needless to say, we had a lot to talk about - not only about all the stories from her professional career, but it was an exciting opportunity to do a deep dive into the world of marketing. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * Advice on how to build your personal brand. * Carol’s background growing up and how she pivoted her career from finance to sales to marketing. * Her professional journey including lots of great stories from scaling companies. * How marketing has evolved through the years and her thoughts on the current state of B2B marketing. * Lots of great advice on how to hire marketers and how to shape your own career path to a CMO position. * And so much more.
50 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
Episode 210: Payal Agrawal Divakaran and Kathryn Taylor Reddy - .406 Ventures
Payal is a Partner at .406 Ventures. She joined the firm almost 6 years ago and co-leads the digital health practice. Karthyn joined .406 Ventures this year as a Vice President and she is also aligned with the digital health sector. Needless to say, the healthcare industry has gone through radical transformation due to the pandemic and a lot of the technologies that support the industry have been accelerated, so we had a lot to talk about in this space. Named after the legendary baseball player, Ted Williams, .406 Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm that has raised over $1B across four core funds and two opportunity funds. The firm invests in innovative IT and services companies in data & cloud, digital health, and cybersecurity. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * Payal and Kathryn’s background and how they ended up breaking into the VC industry. * All the details on .406 Ventures including their investment area of focus, stage of investing, and portfolio examples. * A look into the trends across the digital health industry. * Thoughts on helping to improve the diversity numbers in the VC industry and career advice on how to land a job as a Venture Capitalist. * What makes the position as a VC so difficult. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
60 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
Episode 209: Chris Wysopal - Founder & CTO, Veracode
Many successful entrepreneurs disrupt industries with innovative ideas, but how many can say their disruption actually helped create and jumpstart a whole industry that is massive. Chris has been involved in the cybersecurity industry since the beginning as a member of the elite hacker think tank in the 90’s called the L0pht, which went on to testify before the U.S. Senate about cybersecurity and vulnerabilities of the internet. 20 years later, the cybersecurity industry is only growing by the day with new threats popping up and new technologies being developed to help companies and consumers play defense. Veracode is one of the anchor companies and Chris is one of its co-founders. Veracode is the largest global provider of application security testing (AST) solutions serving more than 2,500 customers worldwide across a wide range of industries. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * The story of the L0pht, which has the makings for a great Netflix show as it reminds me of the series Halt and Catch Fire. * @ Stake’s acquisition of the L0pht and the early days of the cybersecurity industry. * The full story of Veracode in terms of starting the company, scaling to an acquisition, and spinning back out as an independent company. * Advice for technical founders on starting a company. * Lessons learned on scaling. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
47 minutes | Mar 1, 2021
Episode 208: Shanel Fields - Founder & CEO, MD Ally
A sign of a great entrepreneur is someone who has the drive, the hustle, and that unique ability to not only recognize opportunities where things can improve, but also the ability to follow through and take action to create something. This entrepreneurial trait for Shanel started at a young age, as she remembers selling her art work at family BBQs and it only continued to build from there. She later took the initiative, while working at athenahealth, by founding the company’s first ethnic diversity business resource group, which was well ahead of its time and it grew to 775 members globally. Now, she is the founder of a company called MD Ally, a public safety telehealth company that is working to ensure the appropriate use of emergency resources and improve patient outcomes, which is a game-changer. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * Advice for landing media coverage and public speaking opportunities * Shanel’s background growing up and the foundation of her professional career at AT&T and athenahealth. * All the details on MD Ally and how they are using telehealth to optimize the system for 911 and EMS resources. * Her experience participating in MassChallenge and Techstars, plus what she is hoping to accomplish with her new role as a board member at Techstars. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
50 minutes | Feb 22, 2021
Episode 207: Rob Simmelkjaer - Founder & CEO, Persona
What do these three things have in common: ESPN, the Olympics, and ABC News? Rob was an on-air contributor for all three. As you’ll learn from our interview, he has a very unique background in the media industry. Not only was he on-air, but he also worked in business development and in the investment arm of media companies as well, which is very rare in terms of working on both sides of the equation. This well rounded experience has now set him up to start his own company and entrepreneurial pursuit with Persona, a video Q&A marketplace where you can get personalized video answers or shout-outs from influencers and experts. Think of it like a business version of Cameo matched up with Quora. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * Advice on storytelling and why it matters for entrepreneurs. * Rob’s background growing up and his passion for the media industry and how practicing law helped him get started. * What it was like being an on-air personality, plus the details on his roles on the business side of the media industry. * What led him down the path of starting Persona and why now is the ideal time for this startup. * Advice for diverse founders on raising capital. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
52 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
Episode 206: Peter McKay - CEO, Snyk
Peter has a tremendous track record of success as a CEO for fast growing tech companies and scaling them to a successful exit. He’s done it several times and Snyk is on pace to become another anchor tech company in the area. What’s interesting to note about Peter is the fact that it was a career pivot from a role as a Controller into tech sales that helped catapult his career into an executive leadership role. Snyk is a developer-first security company that helps software-driven businesses develop fast and stay secure. The company announced $200M in funding last September at a valuation that is greater than $2.6B. This is fresh off the heels of announcing $150M just 9 months prior. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * The 3 basic principles Peter follows as a leader. * The story of Peter’s career transition to tech sales and his quick ramp into a leadership role. * A journey through all the companies that Peter had the opportunity to lead like eCredit, Watchfire, Desktone, & Veeam Software. * All the details on Snyk and the massive market opportunity for the company, plus growth plans ahead. * Advice on advancing your career towards a CEO position. * How to get on the radar for Board of Director positions. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
44 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
Episode 205: Grant Deken - CEO & Co-Founder, Unstack
Grant’s entrepreneurial experience started as a paperboy. He noticed that the real business model of newspaper companies was the ads. This triggered an idea that he could help small businesses with advertising too. Through the encouragement of his dad, Grant started cold calling and learned the great business lesson of what it’s like to get a bunch of “no’s” but when you finally land on that “yes” - it’s the magical word and it is all you need to get started. Unstack is his latest startup and the company just announced $3.1M in funding. The company provides a no-code marketing platform that gives marketers and entrepreneurs the fastest way to launch and scale a business. They already have significant traction and some really exciting plans ahead. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * How to crush your launch on Product Hunt. * Grant’s background story including how he learned online marketing. * All the details on his prior company, Grapevine, an early to market influencer marketing platform that was acquired. * A deep dive into Unstack and how they are competing against the massive incumbents. * Advice on getting involved in angel investing. * And so much more. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
54 minutes | Jan 25, 2021
Episode 204: Ty Harris - CEO & Co-Founder, Openly
Imagine that you’ve worked your way into an executive leadership position with one of the top insurance companies where you are overseeing an organization of hundreds of people generating billions of dollars, yet you realize that you are a builder and there’s an opportunity to build a company around an idea. So what do you do? Do you stay at the safety net of the Fortune 500 company or do you take the risk and start something from scratch? If Ty is a guest on our podcast, you probably know the decision he made and it is a decision that is taking off. Openly is reinventing home insurance with a different approach with an emphasis on tech, an improved customer service experience, and a very smart sales model where they are partnering with independent insurance agents. The company announced $40M in funding back in December and this is fresh off the heels of announcing $15M just 6 months prior. In this episode of our podcast, we cover: * Ty’s experience at MIT and how he got involved in competitive ballroom dancing. * His career progression at Liberty Mutual where he was most recently EVP and Chief Product Officer. * How he thought through the decision to move on and start a company. * All of the details on Openly and how they are disrupting the insurance industry. * What the future holds for Openly, including their growth and hiring plans. * Advice for senior level executives on the decision of taking a risk to start a company. * And so much more If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
48 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
Episode 203: Paul English- Co-Founder & CTO, Lola.com; Serial Entrepreneur
This is an exciting episode because Paul is my first repeat guest on the podcast! I interviewed him about 2.5 years ago for Episode 37 where we spent a lot of time talking about his background and all the details around KAYAK and Lola.com. This time around, we took a slightly different approach. We of course caught up on Lola.com, which as you may remember is focused on helping companies with business travel. We talk about the effects of the pandemic where business trips booked on Lola.com were down 97%. But the real story here is the resiliency of the team. Not only did the team fight against an incredibly tough situation, but they launched a major new product called Lola Spend and expanded their product offering and value for finance teams at companies. We also talk about his latest side product that he’s been working on called Moonbeam which is a new podcast player. Moonbeam is the easiest way to discover great new podcast content. It’s almost like a TikTok for podcasts, plus it has additional features that make it unique in terms of growing an audience, monetization, and other cool features. But then, we spend a lot of time talking about hiring. I was particularly excited about this part because Paul is well known for his hiring practices, as he’s a master in this field. For hiring, we discuss: * His 7 Day Rule - which has been written about many times. It is the timeframe and speed of his process from when he first hears about a candidate to making an offer. * How to qualify and hire talent for remote teams. * His thoughts on building out initial teams within engineering and design. * What job seekers should be thinking about before joining a company. * When is the right time to bring in a company’s first recruiter. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
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