14 minutes | Nov 9, 2018
The secrets of influencer marketing!
Have you ever wondered how much influencer marketing costs? I can see your hand. Or how to work with an influencer? What to expect and how to make sure influencer marketing brings profit? Well, Sylvia and Alexa are discussing something that is often a Wild West to many marketers – influencer marketing! Sylvia’s guest is Alexa Tonner, co-founder of Collectively Inc. – a pioneering influencer marketing agency based in SF and New York connecting brands with the most creative voices on social media. They’ve been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in 2018 and have run campaigns for brands like Old Navy, HP, Uber, and Pandora. – Is influencer marketing for everyone? – How much does it cost? – What to expect from working with an influencer? – How to make sure the collaboration will be profitable? – Should we hire an agency or talk to an influencer on our own? Listen to the new fun episode! Aaaand, this is the last episode of Season 3! No worries though, we will be back soon with awesome stuff! The show is proudly brought to you by Denim Video www.denimvideo.com. As always, huge thanks to DocuSign www.docusign.com for hosting us in their fabulous space.
12 minutes | Oct 19, 2018
The do’s and don’ts in blockchain marketing!
Although blockchain has existed for several years, only recently it has become a widely popular technology. Some companies have adopted it really well, some have tried and gave up, some have only pretended to. There is still definitely a lot to be done in terms of education as well as creating a sense of familiarity with the blockchain concept. My today’s guest, Jesse Ratner, is a founder of San Francisco–based The Blockchain Agency and a nearly 25-year veteran creative director and writer. He began his career writing taglines for Hollywood blockbusters and later he was leading creative copies for brands like Google, Uber, eBay, LinkedIn, Logitech and others. Today, Jesse is helping high growth blockchain companies properly navigate their stories. – What should blockchain companies remember about in the first place in their marketing? – How to stand out in the crowd while almost all blockchain companies market themselves as ‘decentralized’? – How to gain the audience’s trust and be well understood? – Why all blockchain explainer videos are so similar and how to make sure to differentiate the video assets? Listen to the new episode! The show is brought to you by Denim Video www.denimvideo.com. Huge thanks to DocuSign www.docusign.com for hosting us in their fabulous space.
12 minutes | Sep 27, 2018
How to pitch your startup to press? Storytelling hacks with Hayley Leibson, Forbes contributor
Pitching your business to media is one of the very important steps when building your brand’s awareness or promoting your product. You want to come up with a story that will be compelling to press, will make them want to know more about you and ideally – write a narrative that will be in line with how you’re hoping to be presented. What are the best practices when pitching press? Sylvia is sitting down with Hayley Leibson, founder of Lady in Tech, an award-winning platform for female tech leaders and entrepreneurs, and contributor at Forbes. Listen to the episode! Huge thanks to DocuSign www.docusign.com for hosting us in their fabulous space. The show is brought to you by Denim Video www.denimvideo.com.
12 minutes | Sep 6, 2018
Choosing positive vs. negative marketing when fighting fake news – Nicolas Maquaire launches Kloop after a successful exit to Salesforce
Kloop [Knowledge Loop] is a news curation app that allows digging deeper into articles to get a full picture on a topic of interest. With Klopp, users get automated suggestions of what to read next and they can easily share their curated channels with friends and family. It launched in 2017 and earlier this year it became an app of the week by Forbes! The startup is co-founded by Nicolas Maquaire – serial entrepreneur with major success of selling his prior startup to Salesforce. Sylvia and Nicolas worked closely on Kloop’s launch commercials – watch them at www.valleytalks.com! — Why did Nicolas decide to go for positive vs. negative marketing? — How important is video storytelling in forming a brand? — How to choose the most important facts for the launch campaign? — How to navigate messaging when you’re targeting different audiences? Listen to the episode! Huge thanks to DocuSign www.docusign.com for hosting us in their fabulous space. The show is brought to you by Denim Video www.denimvideo.com.
20 minutes | Aug 16, 2018
How to use the brand’s full potential? – Shift transitions military veterans into civilian roles
80% of veterans don’t have a full-time job upon leaving the military. Shift uses technology to match military veterans to leadership jobs in companies like Uber, Symantec, Major League Baseball, Affirm and others. Shift raised a $4.5M seed round from top Silicon Valley VCs like Andreessen Horowitz, Structure Capital, Expa and Tim Ferris. Upon launching, Shift asked me to produce films portraying the incredible stories of transitioning veterans and how they thrive in the new, tech environment. I was so honored to be a part of this excellent mission! — How did Shift gain trust from the U.S. military members as well as big companies at such an early stage? — How to make a choice between the human and the technology aspect when promoting a brand? — How did they know how to tell their own story and why they decided to go for plenty of high-quality video content? Listen to the episode! Big thanks to DocuSign www.docusign.com for hosting us in their fabulous space. The show is brought to you by Denim Video www.denimvideo.com.
13 minutes | Jul 26, 2018
“Be willing to listen to feedback” – How does Sumo Logic navigate targeting different B2B audiences?
If you're not a DevOps engineer or a Data Security Analyst, you may not have heard about Sumo Logic. However, they are the leading data analytics software — a cloud-native service for monitoring and securing applications. Companies like Airbnb, Adobe, Samsung, Toyota and many others from Fortune 500 are using their services for real-time data analytics and insights. They launched in 2010 in Silicon Valley and have raised over $230M in Series F. They doubled in size in 2018 alone! In their recent campaign, they chose to use fun cartoons to attract their technical audiences (such as DevOps engineers and Security Analysts) working at these high-growth companies. How cool is that! Promoting a SAS product with fun cartoons is definitely a bold move, one that you don’t see much on the B2B market. In this episode, there is a fun new touch — snippets from Sumo Logic's cartoons, which our host Sylvia and her team at Denim Video produced together with Sumo Logic. You won't obviously see them in the podcast, so if you'd like to take a look at some fun animated snippets and cool characters, check out the video version at www.valleytalks.com! — How does Sumo Logic navigate branding in huge B2B cloud space? — What branding hacks do they use so as to grab attention and differentiate themselves in the crowded market? — What are some of the golden rules they go by in creating marketing content? — How do they make sure all of their messaging sticks to the core brand values? Listen to the ep and get the awesome insights! Big thanks to DocuSign www.docusign.com for hosting us in their fabulous space. Thanks to Denim Video www.denimvideo.com for the show's production!
27 minutes | Jul 5, 2018
The roots of Apple brand with Daniel Kottke - Steve Jobs' friend and early Apple employee
New Season is out! In this first episode of season 3 on STARTUP BRANDING, we travel in time to a place where computer history was made and the idea of innovative was born. Hold tight, as Daniel Kottke – Steve Jobs’ college friend and the first employee to work in Apple’s garage, takes us way back to an apple farm in 1975 where the genesis of the Apple brand was first imagined! He shares unbelievable stories from the early days of Apple I and Macintosh while divulging insights into his humble beginnings in Jobs’ family garage in Los Altos. How did Apple become the most reliable and recognizable brand? How come Daniel was the only one working in a garage? In what ways did the Macintosh brand evolution set standards in marketing and branding? What is Daniel’s takeaway from his early days with Apple? What is his tried and true advice for start-up entrepreneurs looking to sell a product? Thank you to DocuSign www.docusign.com for hosting us in their fabulous space. Kudos to Denim Video www.denimvideo.com for the show's production.
21 minutes | Aug 24, 2017
What’s up with immigration visas for entrepreneurs?
The immigration system is giving you a headache? What are the current visa options for founders, entrepreneurs, and scientists? What happened to the Startup Visa? Watch this episode and fear no more - Joshua Bratter, a killer immigration attorney, has all the answers. Mr. Bratter specializes in immigration visas for business, entertainment, science and athletics. He has successfully secured visas for Oscar and Grammy winners, artists, and the best entrepreneurs in tech. We at Valley Talks have seen him in action and no joke – he IS just KILLING it. In PART I, we discuss obstacles and challenges in acquiring a business visa. What are the current visa options for entrepreneurs? Which one is the easiest? What are the ‘must-haves’ to be eligible for a visa? What are the dos and don’ts on B1/B2 visa? Will Startup Visa be back? Is it harder now to get a visa? Stay tuned for PART II about nuances in working with an immigration firm. Thank you to DocuSign www.docusign.com for hosting us in their fabulous space. The show is produced by Denim Video www.denimvideo.com. Gorgeous hair: Nicole McKay www.instagram.com/nico_de_ms.
21 minutes | Jul 14, 2017
How to win SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event? Co-founder of fashion AI assistant 'Lily' has mastered it all
We got a winner! Purva Gupta, founder of Lily App, just won the coveted SXSW Accelerator Pitch competition in the Social and Culture category, while her fashion app is only few months into the public! Not to mention, that she just won several other pitch events, including The Startup Conference pitch competition. Lily connects emotionally with customers by matching clothes and styles with their moods and feelings. We talk about how Purva founded Lily, how she boarded her first users, her partnership with big retailers, her success at UNICEF, her immigration struggles that wouldn't stop her, and much much more! The show is produced by Denim Video. Fabulous styling: Kate Leonard www.k8leonard.com. Gorgeous hair: Nicole McKay www.instagram.com/nico_de_ms. Location: Polish Hub Sun Francisco www.paih.gov.pl
26 minutes | Jun 17, 2017
From almost failed startup to a successful acquisition by Shopify
A few years back Michael founded KIT – a virtual marketing assistant that helps small businesses with marketing their products on social media. Before KIT, he also worked on a few startups but as he admits, each time he was solving the wrong problem. And even when he was at the forefront of bot technology, he couldn’t sell the vision and get funding. He struggled for several years to the point that his electricity was shut off. His wife worked two jobs as a research for UCSF and a waitress to support them. The pressure was so high, but they both wouldn’t give up. Finally, the aha moment came after he got an inspiration from… his grandmother! KIT’s user base skyrocketed and it didn’t take long until KIT was acquired by Shopify. How did it all happen? How do you get successfully acquired by e-commerce giant while a second ago your business was barely on the surface? Listen to find out! Want to hear Michael’s advice on negotiating with the acquirers? Subscribe to Valley Talks to get the unreleased footage! www.valleytalks.com The show is produced by Denim Video www.denimvideo.com
16 minutes | May 27, 2017
[Expert] Content marketing tips from HuffPost contributor
How important is great content marketing for a growing business? The answer is simple: VERY important! Rachel Wolfson, content strategist and HuffPost contributor, is no stranger to the intricate and dynamic art of marketing. She’s produced content for Venture Beat, O’Reilly Media, Elite Daily, Huffington Post and countless other media outlets and businesses. In this special episode, Rachel explains how to generate the best content for your company, how to create and promote a catchy blog post, and pretty much how to become an awesome content writer. She’ll show you what it means to write tech-content with a human element! HEY! Curious to know the most common mistakes in content marketing? Join our mailing list to see the exclusive footage. Also, get the special code for 15% off consultations with Rachel. www.valleytalks.com The show is produced by Denim Video. Fabulous styling: Kate Leonard www.k8leonard.com. Gorgeous hair: Nicole McKay www.instagram.com/nico_de_ms. Location: Polish Hub Sun Francisco www.paih.gov.pl
32 minutes | May 11, 2017
Insights on growing Whale – the hot video Q&A app
What seems like an overnight success was not! Ranidu Lankage and Justin Kan’s new video Q&A app, Whale, has received massive popularity since its late October launch on Product Hunt. Recognizing that Snapchat’s format for Q&A left a lot of problems for social media followers, Justin Kan started his own library of recorded answers and sessions. Soon, he realized there’s a whole market of influencers and experts that could use this kind of technology! In today’s episode, I speak with Ranidu Lankage, CEO of Whale. Ranidu shares stories about their early business ventures, his relationship with Justin in college, and their exciting plans for the future. Are you ready to jump into the minds of serial entrepreneurs? Well, get ready to work because these guys are not messing around! BONUS! Curious about how Whale was changing before the launch? Join our mailing list and watch the unreleased footage! www.valleytalks.com The show is produced by Denim Video. Partner: G-Startup Worldwide. Styling: Kate Leonard. Location: Polish Hub Sun Francisco
21 minutes | Apr 3, 2017
[Expert] How to pitch to investors?
Ryan Baird manages startup pitch competition in 10 countries across the globe. In this episode he shares a great deal of practical advice on how to impress investors with your pitch. Highlights from the interview: - What investors look for in a startup pitch? - How investors do their research to follow trends? - Criteria of evaluating the founding team - Does graduating top universities really matter? - Dos and don'ts in a startup pitch - Must haves when pitching to investors - Challenges of raising A round after seed - How to pitch press? - How startups are different across countries - Why often SV investors focus on SV only? You can also watch us at www.valleytalks.com. The show is produced by Denim Video in fabulous co-working space SOMAcentral. Thank you to our partner G-Startup Worldwide. Styling by SV Creatives.
25 minutes | Feb 27, 2017
Getting hired through playing games. Here is why Mark Cuban invested in Scoutible!
Angela Antony took up the mission of disrupting the recruiting processes and built Scoutible – a next-generation hiring platform using immersive video games to source and match perfect-fit candidates to jobs. Mark Cuban was the first investor in Scoutible. Before the product was even launched, Angela and her team got invited to TechCrunch Disrupt. A few months later, they won the G-Startup Worldwide competition, defeating 700 companies from 10 countries! Highlights from the interview: - How playing games may speak for the candidate’s skills? - Working at the White House - The story of Mark Cuban investing in Scoutible - How studying on Harvard helps in starting own business? - First steps - Building the team - Perfecting your pitch and speaking in public - Raising venture funding - Angela’s best advice to startup founders - What’s coming up for Scoutible? You can also watch us at www.valleytalks.com. The show is produced by Denim Video in fabulous co-working space SOMAcentral. Thank you to our partner G-Startup Worldwide. Sylvia’s wearing a dress by Kamila Dmowska and was styled by SV Creatives.
35 minutes | Oct 5, 2016
Not Yet Another Dating App – What’s All The Controversy About ‘The League’?
Amanda Bradford is a CEO of The League – a dating app for smart, ambitious people. The League aims to gather a selective community of amazing people, and its selectiveness approach caused a lot of media controversy in the very early days of the startup. Despite the disturbing media attention and the fact that the dating market is incredibly crowded, Amanda managed to start with a 25k check and highlighted her product beyond the rest! Things we talk about: – Where does all the controversy about The League really come from? – What are the main lessons learned while at Stanford Business School? – What was Amanda’s launch strategy and why it was so unique and successful? – What were the first steps to grow a community within The League? – What was Amanda’s first funding strategy? – Why and when Amanda turned down a role at a VC fund? – Why hiring engineers occurred to be the biggest challenge? You can also watch us at www.valleytalks.com. This episode is brought to you by UnStock www.unstock.io — mobile first marketplace for authentic video. Big thank you to our Partner Kamila Dmowska www.kamiladmowska.com for the fabulous dress and styling!
36 minutes | Aug 31, 2016
Getting acquired by Facebook and raising $8M on a new startup!
Russ Heddleston, CEO of DocSend – an analytics tool that tracks viewership data after sending documents, is taking Silicon Valley by the storm! His first startup Pursuit – a social referral program – got acquired by Facebook within the first year! He worked for Facebook for over a year as a Product Manager for Pages. It didn’t take him long until he started another business. To keep the ball rolling, he partnered with August Capital and raised 8 million dollars for DocSend! Sounds like a dream, huh? So how did he do this? What are his strategies? Fortunately for us, Russ speaks about every detail that went into Pursuit and DocSend’s continued success. – How did his first startup get acquired by Facebook in under a year? – Does he have any regrets on the acquisition? – What are his best investment raising strategies? – What are Russ’s best growth strategies? – How did it feel to work at Facebook in the acquired team? – What are the most important startup lessons from comparing the two startups? – How did Russ and his team get first paying customers for DocSend? You can also watch us talk at www.valleytalks.com. This episode is brought to you by UnStock www.unstock.io — mobile first marketplace for authentic video. Big thank you to our Partner Kamila Dmowska www.kamiladmowska.com for the fabulous dress and styling!
43 minutes | Jul 27, 2016
From drug addict in Wisconsin to tech entrepreneur in Silicon Valley
Tim Schwab, founder of several startups and Chief Sales Officer at KnKt’d, is not the stereotypical Silicon Valley entrepreneur. However, though he doesn’t fit in the typical startup founder image, his story of drug addiction, mental illness and being fired from own company is not that uncommon. It’s just much less often told and it’s easy to guess why. Here is the outline: After years of drug addiction and living an aimless life in Wisconsin with some criminal record, Tim created a travel insurance startup. He was acquired and found himself in the ritzy, celeb town of Tiburon, California. Despite being the poorest guy around Tiburon, he went through the 500 Startup Program, raised over $1M, and connected to a vast network of the who’s who in Silicon Valley. Eventually, because of extreme stress and lack of sleep, he developed a mental illness. Oh, and he got fired from his own company. How did Tim’s startup in Wisconsin get acquired by a Silicon Valley company? How did Tim find himself in Tiburon, California? How did he get accepted to the 500 Startups Program? What happened between him and his former company that led to his termination? When did his issues with mental illness start? Why is Tim Schwab proclaimed as Portland’s least favorite startup founder? In one of our most personal and honest interviews, Tim Schwab does not hold back when it comes to telling his Silicon Valley story! You can also watch us talk at www.valleytalks.com. This episode is brought to you by UnStock — mobile first marketplace for authentic video.
35 minutes | Jun 23, 2016
[Expert] Here is what you really need to know about patents
A brand new startup can’t have everything. First they got to build the idea, develop a team… yadda, yadda, yadda. So, when can they start filing for patents and etch their name in their intellectual property forever? Because, god-forbid, someone else can or has already claim that idea first! Jeff Schox, patent attorney and founder of Schox Patent Group, thoroughly explains the process of filing for patents. Jeff works with top startup accelerators such as YC and AngelPad. In the interview he reminds start-ups not to rush when thinking about patents. He also denies the common thinking that the purpose of patents is to sue the competitors. Why? When is the best time to file patents? Why do we really need patents? How much does it cost to file for a patent? What areas are not really patentable nowadays? How to talk about patent strategies with investors? How to talk to investors about solutions that aren’t really patentable? How to protect my own inventions while working at another company? Listen to the interview to find out! You can also watch us talk at www.valleytalks.com. This episode is brought to you by UnStock — mobile first marketplace for authentic video.
39 minutes | Jun 11, 2016
Over 100K daily subscribers under a year! How TheHustle.co became a powerful voice to millennials
The Hustle is a daily newsletter that delivers the latest and trending topics to young millennials. Originally a sub-product of Sam Parr’s Hustle Con, an annual business conference, The Hustle has rapidly become one of the fastest growing newsletters in USA. We discuss practical tactics that Sam uses regarding growth, virality, early acquistion, monetization, funding, cold emailing, meeting expectations and more! What is the recipe for The Hustle’s growth? What type of articles are shared the most? What is the current monthly reach of TheHustle.co? How did Sam and his co-founder know that the conversational tone is the right to catch a large audience? What did Sam learn from his roommate matching company? Why did he hate to work there after it got acquired? How does he select the writers and chooses the topics for the platform? How is he monetizing it? Watch the interview and learn how to hustle! You can also watch us talk at www.valleytalks.com. A lovely shout out to our partners: StyleBee for fabulous styling (use a special promo code VALLEYTALKS for $25 OFF of your first styling by StyleBee!) and UnStock — mobile first marketplace for authentic video.
21 minutes | May 30, 2016
"If you're too desperate, you may end up with a wrong co-founder"
Kristy Kim is a CEO and Co-founder of DearMissJ – e-commerce store that sells in-house designed and manufactured jewelry. Kristy came to USA from Korea when she was 11 years old. In order to start her own business, she made the decision to quit her job at a Venture Capital fund. Before quitting, she was looking for a technical co-founder and that actually took her 2 years. 6 months into her startup, she and her team had to change the company's business model. Today, DearMissJ's jewelry pieces are sold in the brand's online store as well as at 40 other brand's retail stores across the country. Why and when Kristy decided to give up her convenient job at a Venture Fund? How is she producing the jewelry? How did she finally find her co-founders? Why did she have to change DearMissJ’s business model? Listen to the interview and learn about Kristy's story! You can also watch our talk at www.valleytalks.com. A lovely shout out to our partners: Runway Incubator for providing amazing space and to StyleBee for fabulous styling (use a special promo code VALLEYTALKS for $25 OFF of your first styling by StyleBee!) A BIG thank you to our sponsor UnStock — mobile-first marketplace for video clips.