By Startup HandMeDowns
A show by up and coming entrepreneur Philip Kasumu from London sits down with investors, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders every week to find out what made them a success and how they got to where they are in today. But what makes this show different from any other business/entrepreneurial podcast is how each guest tells their story in detail allowing you to learn step by step how they did it what they did and in some cases why certain things didn't work.
Startup HandMeDownsOct 16, 2019
Episode 96: A Different Approach to Saving the Planet and Why Plastic Water Bottles are the New Cigarettes with Rich ‘Raz’ Razgaitis - CEO of FloWater
Today Philip Kasumu had the pleasure of speaking with Raz who's vision is fueled by wanting to leave a better environment for his children and the next generation, Rich ‘Raz’ Razgaitis is tackling a problem most people don’t even know they have: toxic drinking water.
As Co-Founder & CEO of FloWater, which is the world’s most advanced water refill station and member of the Inc. 500 list, Raz is combining this vision with his 20+ years of leadership & tech experience to deliver a product that keeps 5.5 plastic water bottles from reaching our landfills and oceans every second (230+ million to date).
Episode 95: It's Not Enough to Build Something You Have Think About Distribution with Amir Salihefendić of Doist
Today's interview was with Amir Salihefendić the CEO and Founder of Doist and Twist. Amir has viewed life a little differently ever since his family fled war-torn Bosnia for Denmark. He began to see the world becoming borderless and that worldview has influenced his mission to shape the future of work as Founder and CEO of Doist, a fully distributed, bootstrapped company that creates productivity tools used by over 25 million people globally.
Amir has always believed that the future of work is remote way before covid 19 and that innovation doesn’t only happen in offices. From day one, when Amir began working on his first productivity app (Todoist) from his dorm room, the Doist team has been fully distributed. It’s now made up of over 70 employees across 30 countries around the world, building tools like Todoist and Twist - an anti-Slack, asynchronous communication tool made for the modern workplace. Having bootstrapped Doist to profitability from the beginning, Amir has zero plans of ever seeking outside investment or exiting the company.
Episode 94: Creating a New Way to Shop Online with Girish Ramachandra Co-founder & CEO, Shopalyst
In this episode, Philip spoke with Girish the co-founder & CEO at Shopalyst. Prior to Shopalyst, he was a Vice President at Infosys where he was responsible for their Retail Industry Solutions Business.
An author of four patents that he helped commercialize, he is passionate about how data and technology are shaping our world. Besides adoption by global customers, his work is featured in MIT Tech Review, Businessweek, and Fast Company, among others.
Girish is a Mechanical Engineer from UVCE Bangalore, and a management graduate from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B).
We talk all things; product, early upbringing and more.
Episode 93: Why you Need to Build your MVP End to End with Serial Entrepreneur Peter Yared CEO of InCountry
Peter Yared is the founder and CEO of InCountry, a regulatory technology company that is providing data residency-as-a-service worldwide. Peter is also a 7x founder with more than $500M in exits, A Silicon Valley veteran, Peter founded six enterprise software companies that were acquired by Sun, Oracle, Citrix, VMware and more. Previously, Peter was the CTO/CIO of CBS Interactive, where he was responsible for bringing CBS into the cloud with the end-to-end replatform of its Comscore #7 group of Internet properties. At Sun, Peter was the CTO of the Application Server Division and the CTO of the Liberty federated identity consortium that designed SAML 2.
Episode 92: How I Sold a Company Before I Went to College and Building Amazing Consumer Focused Startups - Kal Vepuri - Founder of Hero and Serial Angel Investor
In this episode, Philip speaks with Kal Vepuri, serial investor and founder and CEO of Hero, the IoT-connected device that automatically dispenses medication when you need it, was inspired to build his company after his mother, who's an M.D., admitted herself to the hospital for quadruple bypass surgery.
The surgery was successful, but it was what came next for his mother that opened her son's eyes to the difficulties millions of Americans face every day. Dr. Vepuri, herself a nationally renowned physician, underwent two readmissions that could have been prevented if she managed her medication as prescribed. Kal talks about the creation of Hero and the work that went into it before they had one customer. In addition to that, we talk about Kal's early success as a founder before he went to college and how he's managed to become a stellar angel investor as well as investing in some household names such as ClassPass, Sweetgreen, Warby Parker, Harry's and more.
Episode 91: We Were Selling One Car Per Month When I Joined Tesla - JOhn ROkos - Angel Investor and Entrepreneur
John is the Founder, CEO, & Product Architect of Enemy Tree, a California, USA based technology startup whose products are wide-reaching experiments in hardware, software, and services that positively impact peoples lives.
Previously, John spent nearly 6 years at Tesla Motors leading teams and internally innovating in areas like operations, sales, delivery, customer service, and marketing. This created an even deeper passion for startups that was already so strong it pulled JOhn to the West Coast. It gave him a profound appreciation for the incredible people who sacrifice so much to make a product and company great.
Prior to that, JOhn not only built a very strong business and operations foundation by working at BIC Consumer Products and learned the roots of quality, systems, process, and execution but also dove deep into the practical and theoretical details of business
In addition to building products now, John is also an active Angel Investor, as well as a mentor and advisor to several startups and entrepreneurs.
John was an early investor in Gimlet Media which sold to Spotify for $200m.
Episode 90: Austen Allred Founder and CEO of Lambda School - Transforming Education and How We Learn
(Rerun) This week we sat down with Austen Allred of Lambda School, Fit Marketing, Grasswire, and Lendup. On this episode we discuss: - Growth marketing galore - The free upfront model - When to invest Austen Allred has a super interesting origin story, having dropped out of university himself, he went on to co-found his own school and pushing the envelope for the future of education. For those of you who are out of the loop, Austen created Lambda School, a coding school that asks for no money up front in an exchange for a percentage of your salary after you get a job making more than 50k. Austen got his start in the business world at Stubtopia, a ticket brokering company that he started with his brother at 18. After handing over the reins to his brother, he went on to complete an LDS mission in Ukraine which ended up setting a tone of dedication and perseverance for his whole career. If you’re an entrepreneur trying to make your move, I suggest listening to what Austen has to say as he gives honest advice about growth, product market fit, fundraising, and how to take the right advice. Listen on Spotify, iTunes and anywhere else you listen to podcasts!
Episode 89: Marketing Mistakes Startups Make with Gaston Tourn - CMO Appear Here, Ex-Googler, Ex-Badoo
(Re-run) This week on Startup Handmedowns, we sat down with Gaston Tourn, CMO of Badoo which for those of you who don’t know is a dating app that is most popular in Europe and South America. Gaston describes himself as a writer and a poet, creating the narrative of the customer and integrating their stories into the product in question. Like many of us, Gaston once had the belief that marketers go out and trick people, that it’s more of a "slimy job", which makes his journey to marketing even more interesting. Hear how he didn’t set out to become a marketer at all, and how he was actually convinced by Google to try it out. I mean, if Google told me what job I’m meant for, I’d believe them too. Gaston talks about his time working on projects such as Google Adwords and Youtube before joining Badoo as CMO. The work he’s doing at Badoo is pretty impressive, and from the way he describes it in the interview, it totally makes sense that he sees himself as a writer and a poet. Gaston is working to fix online dating, on the whole, adding safety measures within the app and features to rid some of the common online dating problems and ultimately, get the users on more dates. As well as trying to mend online dating’s failures, he is focusing on the stories of couples who have found each other on Badoo and telling their stories. Gaston is super interesting and has a lot of great tips, especially if you’re marketing a new startup with a limited budget.
Episode 88: How to crowdfund £1million in 4 days with Alex Stefani CEO of Beam
In this repeat episode, Philip speaks with Alex about how you should approach investors or attempt to raise money from the crowd? We talk to the founder of Beam and JustPark's Ex-Ceo Alex Stefani about what it took to raise the largest Crowdfunding campaign of its time and to lead JustPark to become a household name. We discuss 1. Tips and tricks to a successful crowdfunding campaign 2. How to make it easier to launch projects when starting out 3. Why focus groups are dangerous and reliable alternatives for collecting data.
Episode 87: You Don't Need More Processes with Ryan Walsh Chief Product Officer at Splice and Formally Beat by Dre and Floodgate VC
(Re-upload) In this week’s episode of Startup Handmedowns, we sit down with Ryan Walsh who is currently a partner at Floodgate. Ryan has had a very rich career history, from starting out as a performing DJ in San Francisco to co-founding his own startup, and working as the VP of product at Beats by Dre. His origin story is wild, as Ryan got his start as a raver in Pittsburg, taking pictures of the polished DJ’s equipment with a disposable camera to figure out how to emulate that sound. After figuring out that the party life of a DJ was not for him, Ryan went on to found a company called Pulselocker, which was meant as a DJ tool to cooperate with streaming services. If you’ve ever talked to a musician who has been playing pre-Napster, you’ve heard all about how much the music business has changed and how rapidly the way we buy and sell music shifts. Well, the way music was being consumed and DJ’d changed even faster than his company could develop a product, and he eventually left Pulselocker.
Episode 86: Hope is Not a Strategy - With Ian Chambers CEO of Mind Candy and Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness
Ian the CEO of Mind Candy the creators of Moshi Monsters and more recently Moshi Sleeps. Ian's wealth of entertainment experience comes from his time at Ubisoft and Electronic Arts, which led to his role as International Managing Director at IGN where he was responsible for its global expansion and making IGN the #1 video games and entertainment media network in the world. A father of two, Ian’s inspiration for Moshi comes from his vision of helping millions of families around the world become happier and healthier by helping kids sleep.
Episode 85: Does Money Buy Happiness and Effective Content Writing with - Morgan Housel, Partner at The Collaborative Fund
Morgan Housel is a partner at Collaborative VC an investment fund focused on supporting and investing in the shared future. The fund centers around two macro themes which are the growth of the creative class and the concept of collaborative consumption. Now, Morgan has a unique role at the fund because he's not actually an investing partner, he's a writer. He produces all the written content for the fund which was why I wanted to talk with him. In this episode, we talk about content marketing, whether money can buy happiness and his new book, The psychology of money.
The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness Paperback: Pre-order: https://amzn.to/3fR3cZC
Episode 84: The Importance of Having a Startup Mindset within Multinationals - with Zack Weisfeld General Manager and Head of Ignite, Intel's Startup Mentorship Program
Tzahi (Zack) Weisfeld is a seasoned executive and a serial entrepreneur, with 25+ years of experience in tech consumer and enterprise markets. General manager and head of Ignite, Intel's Startup Mentorship Program. President of ASN (Accelerating Startup Nations), Zack was one of the founders of Microsoft Israel R&D site as well as a member of its management team for 8 years where he created Microsoft for startups which has gone on to be one of the most successful programmes in the world.
Episode 83: Build a Team of Curious People to Achieve Success with Haymo Meran - Serial Entrepreneur and Investor
In this episode Philip spoke with serial entrepreneur and investor Haymo Meran. Haymo is currently the head of product at Usersnap which provides SaaS companies with feedback collection tools so that they can become more customer-centric and truly make use of the voice of the customer to improve their service.
But before this, Haymo built and sold 2 companies and that is what we spent of our time discussing. How to build meaningful products and what the production process should look like. We also discussed how he thinks about angel investing and how he got involved with Tier the Berlin-based unicorn e-scooter company.
Episode 82: Why All Founders Have to be Great Sales People with Dan Bowyer - Co-Founder and Partner at SuperSeed VC
Dan Bowyer co-founder and invest at Superseed VC. Dan invests in technical founders building smart B2B tech startups (SaaS/health/data), with a mission to help them to find global market fit.
It's Dan's job to help them get out of startup mode using scalable, repeatable and profitable sales models. Ensuring they get the right people on the bus, create the right energy, infrastructure & activity to get to their first £1m in recurring revenue - which is definitely the most exciting and precarious stage for any tech startup. Before Dan was a VC he was a Tech entrepreneur, operator, and investor with 20 years experience building businesses and implementing digital. Having enjoyed some spectacular failures and some delightful successes.
Dan has probably been one of the most interesting VCs I've met having started out his career in a boy band managed by Simon Cowell, I kid you not. In this episode talk all things from venture investing to COVID-19 and more.
Episode 81: Not All Businesses Need Venture Capital Funding with Andrea Hippeau Principal Investor at Lerer Hippeau VC
In this episode Philip spoke with Andrea Hippeau is a Principal on our investment team. Prior to joining Lerer Hippeau, she held management and business development roles at portfolio companies. Andrea worked in corporate development while at Advance Publications and managed client relationships for Thomson Reuters. After studying French and business management at Skidmore College, she went on to get her MBA from Columbia Business School.
In this episode, Philip and Andrea talk all things venture capital, COVID-19, deal flow, and more.
Episode 80: Creating the right culture starts with leadership - Melissa Daimler Founder of Daimler Partners
Melissa has been an executive at high-growth companies for over twenty years. She is now Principal of Daimler Partners, working as an advisor, facilitator, and executive coach. Her primary focus is on helping leaders define and operationalize culture.
Prior to starting Daimler Partners, Melissa was an executive who experienced multiple leadership viewpoints throughout her career. She led HR for a fast-growing venture-funded startup. She created and built Learning & Organizational Development functions for Adobe, Twitter, and WeWork. She built a coaching company while also the first employee of Coach University, one of the first leaders in the coaching field. Her experience as an executive and now as a consultant includes coaching executives, helping teams work more effectively, and building scale-proof organizational processes.
Episode 79: Angel investor by day world-class DJ by night with Mick Batyske Investor and DJ
Mick is a Brooklyn-based multi-talented creative with influential footprints internationally – from New York to LA, London to Tokyo. He is a DJ, style influencer, tech investor, inspirational speaker, music curator and brand consultant. He's also a pretty cool dad from what I hear also!
In this episode, we talk about Mick's approach to becoming the go-to DJ for many celebrities and how he's the ability to network and add value afforded him many opportunities. Many of these opportunities included giggs, sponsorship deals, and angel investment opportunities. One deal, in particular, was with podcast hosting platform Anchor which was recently acquired by Spotify for a reported $200m which isn't bad at all.
Episode 78: Peter Rojas - Partner at Betaworks Ventures - How We Built Multiple Media Brands Without Paying for Traffic, Acquisitions, Venture Capital and More.
Peter Rojas is a founding partner at Betaworks Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund based in New York and San Francisco. He is also the co-founder of several startups, including Weblogs Inc. (acquired by AOL in 2005), where he created and was editor-in-chief of both Engadget and Joystiq; Gizmodo (formerly Gawker Media, now part of Univision); music discovery service RCRD LBL; and gdgt, a social commerce platform (acquired by AOL in 2013). Prior to Betaworks Ventures, he worked at AOL as VP of Strategy and later as Co-director of Alpha, the company's experimental products group. I really enjoyed this episode because I got to talk with Peter not only as an entrepreneur and founder but also as a venture capitalist which is always great as you get both perspectives on things.
Episode 77: What's your startups moat? Branding Isn't enough with Hadley Harris - Founding Partner at Eniac Ventures
Hadley has done a little bit of everything on the path to co-founding Eniac. Starting as an engineer and development team lead at Pegasystems, he later took on roles as a product manager at Microsoft and strategist at Samsung, where it became clear that big companies were not for him.
In 2007 he was very fortunate to join a very talented AI team out of MIT at Vlingo where he ran a few aspects of the business across product, strategy, and marketing until it was sold to Nuance for $225M. He rolled his experience building a successful startup into Thumb whereas CBO he helped the real-time recommendation app reach user engagement levels second only to Facebook before being acquired.
In this episode, Philip and Hadley discuss product development, startups, consumer startups and the effects of Covid-19 on the ecosystems.
Episode 76: I lost everything in 2008 so I was more prepared for COVID-19 with George McGehrin - Founder of The McGehrin Group
For close to 20 years, George has run a national executive search firm mostly dealing with executive search and leadership at the C-Suite level such as CEO, CFO, CTO roles throughout the US, Europe, and South America. He's worked with small startups to some household named organizations.
Besides managing his recruiting firm, he also works with similar executives by helping them take control of their careers and branding themselves appropriately when looking for their next move. In this episode, George talks about losing everything in 2008 and having to restart and reinvent himself. We also talk about the importance of creating a strong personal brand, pricing, COVID-19, and more!
Episode 75: From Drug Addiction to Successful Tech CEO and Leadership Coach with Michael Brody-Waite Co-Founder of InQuicker
Michael Brody-Waite is an award-winning CEO, tech-startup entrepreneur, and recovering drug addict. In 2009, Brody-Waite left a Fortune 50 company to co-found and lead InQuicker, a healthcare SaaS company that allows patients to self-schedule appointments. His leadership grew the organization from two employees to 50 employees and 20,000% revenue growth in less than six years. This exceptional growth landed InQuicker a spot on the Inc. 500 list of Fastest-Growing Private Companies. In 2015, InQuicker was sold to a publicly-traded company.
In the time since InQuicker went public, Brody-Waite has made a name for himself as an untraditional leadership coach. He credits his success to the tools he learned in the 12-step program, and now teaches others how to lead through rigorous authenticity, surrendering the outcome, and doing uncomfortable work. His unique views are captured in his TEDx Talk, “Great Leaders Do What Drug Addicts Do,” which has been viewed more than one million times. Brody-Waite’s first book, Great Leaders Like Drug Addicts will be available for purchase on May 5, 2020.
Episode 74: The Worse Thing You Can Do is Live With Regret - Patrick Drake Co-Founder and Former Head Chef - HelloFresh UK
Rebroadcast: This week we sit down with Patrick, founder/CEO at HelloFresh. An all-around foodie, Patrick talks us through his road to success and the difficulties of bringing a new product to market. For those who haven’t tried it yet, HelloFresh is a meal kit service that brings portioned packages of food to your door with easy recipes to follow, and it’s actually the first meal kit service of its kind. Being the first of your kind in any sphere is tough, and Patrick really brings to light the process of educating the public about your product, which can be a real struggle when your product fills a need that people don’t yet realize they have. Patrick’s origin story is also quite interesting and pretty entertaining, as he started his career as a lawyer in a buttoned-up law firm. He would literally sneak out of his office to cook at various restaurants downtown and he basically kept up a double life until he resigned to be a full-time foodie.
This episode was sponsored by Blinkist
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Episode 73: Self Awareness Helped Us Grow Our Direct to Consumer Business - Abhi Lokesh CEO of Fracture (Rebroadcast)
This week in Startup Handmedowns, we chat with Abhi Lokesh, founder CEO of Fracture and down-to-earth world traveler. Fracture is a glass printing company that emerged out of Abhi’s university passion project, an e-commerce art business that donated all of its profits to charity, as well as a trip to Swaziland with his classmate, Alex. A major lesson in this week’s episode, is patience. Abhi talks about refreshing his order intake page and projecting the typical hockey stick growth curve in a naivié way that I’m sure a lot of us can relate too. His dreams for Fracture were pretty idealistic, but the steps to get there actualized in slogging through Facebook marketing campaigns, trying to get on Techcrunch, and really just trying stuff out and seeing what worked. Additionally, Abhi did not take the traditional fundraising route with venture capitalists, advisors, and a bunch of fundraising rounds. He believed in his product and its ability to grow on its own.
Startup Handmedowns: startuphandmedowns.co
Episode 72: What I've Learned as An Investor For The last 11 Years with Rodney Appiah Founder and Chairman of Cornerstone Partners and Director at Foresight Private Equity
In today’s episode I had the pleasure of interviewing Rodney Appiah founder and chairman of Cornerstone partners, an angel investment group focused on investing in predominantly black founders. They not only invest in the business but they also provide debt financing to businesses already in operation and generating significant revenues. Rodney is also a Director and venture capital investor at Foresight Private Equity, a leading investment firm focusing on earlier stage UK businesses. He has worked with several entrepreneurial companies over the last 11 years and currently sits on the board of a number of high growth businesses. In this episode, we discuss growing up in Mitcham and working in investment banking straight out of university. We also discuss the funding process when and how startups should be approaching this.
Episode 71: How I Sold My Startup for $45m and Why I Started my Next Startup the Following Day with Jude Gomila Founder of Golden
Jude Gomila is a serial entrepreneur and a serial angel investor. He's invested in over 180+ companies including Airtable. In this episode, Philip talks with Jude about early life and "failed" projects to moving to San Francisco and starting Heyzap with his childhood friend which they went on to sell for $45m. We also discuss getting into Y-combinator and the conversation with Paul Graham (PG) on the sidewall.
Episode 70: Lo Toney Founding Managing Partner of Plexo Capital. Formerly eBay, Zynga Google Venture Partners
Lo Toney is an investor and founding managing partner of Plexo Capital a fund that invests in women and people from minority backgrounds.
Plexo Capital, the fund founded by the former GV partner recently closed its first fund of $42.5 million. The plan is to invest in both startups and emerging VC funds, with 60% of the capital going toward venture capital funds as a limited partner, and 40% going directly to startups.
Lo has had an incredible career to date and on this episode, we discuss the work he’s done over the years with the likes of eBay, to the gaming giant Zynga to transitioning into a venture role at Google Venture Partners which led him to create Plexo Capital. Not only do we get all the gems of what an elaborate career such as Lo’s would produce but, we also get super detailed on marketing, consumer brands and more importantly how marketing should be viewed as maths and science and anything else.
This episode was sponsored by Blinkist
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Episode 69: Your Life Should Have a Theme, Don't Just Do One Thing with Anthony Frasier Entrepreneur and Strategist
Anthony Frasier is a digital strategist, tech entrepreneur, author, and public speaker. A Newark, NJ native, Anthony has a long history of mentoring, advising startups & community infrastructures, to solve real problems and build solutions. Before joining Newark Venture Partners as their entrepreneur in residence, Anthony was one of the founders behind The Phat Startup. With well over a decade of experience in tech, media, speaking and coaching aspiring entrepreneurs and students from underserved groups, he has developed a thoroughly different worldview. A published author, Anthony believes that success isn’t something external, it comes from within. You can create your own luck, no matter your background or lack of experience. startuphandmedowns.co
Episode 68: Building B2B Products and Why You Shouldn't Get Sucked into The B2C Game with Andrew MacGill, VP of Product at Pager
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew MacGill who’s an entrepreneur and product director. Andrews has been through 2 exits where the ideas have been in their early stages of development so he knows a thing or two about building meaningful products. Andrew is currently the VP of product at Pager, a New York-based startup that’s transforming the way consumers interact with their healthcare. Pager has raised over $34m to date. They allow you to interact with your doctor or carer through your phone, at any time from anywhere. It’s super easy.
This episode is sponsored by Blinkist. Click the link below to start your 7-day free trial and get 25% off
Episode 67: How I Grew Traffic to Millions of Views and Sold My Blog for $9m with Serial Entrepreneur Ramon Van Meer
Ramon is a serial entrepreneur and in my opinion a serial hustler. He’s a different kind of entrepreneur, not a tech startup tech-savvy kind of guy but more of a methodical "how do I drive traffic and monetize" it kind of guy. In this episode we discuss how to create engaging content and drive huge amounts of traffic to your site and also, how Ramon started a soap opera blog which he went on to sell for $9m without ever watching a single soap opera show. Learn how to pick a topic, start testing content ideas, grow traffic and monetize your content all on this episode.
Episode 66: Why Startups Need to Get Good at Telling Stories With Tammy Nam COO of PicsArt
Re-run - This week we're sharing our interview with Tammy Nam, COO of PicsArt, a photo-editing platform with over 100 million monthly users. Tammy has worked at tons of cool companies such as Slide, Scribd, and Viki, and has earned quite a name in the consumer-facing tech world. In this episode we discuss: How to deal with different founders The attributes of virally successful companies The role of culture in startups Full of helpful startup marketing tips, this episode is for all non-technical entrepreneurs out there. Voted one of the top 25 women to watch in tech by AlwaysOn, Tammy has a ton of expert advice to share, from how to bring out the best in different founders to navigating the challenges of being a woman in tech. Our favorite part of this episode is her strategic, purposeful marketing and growth strategies. Marketing is often boiled down to storytelling or hacking, but Tammy shows us how you can approach marketing in any stage of your company in a thoughtful, future-focused way. Don't miss this episode if you really want to get into the client-focused side of a product, it is an expert crash course in UX/UI.
Episode 65: How I Built the App Vivino to 36 million Users and Raised over $57m with Heini Zachariassen Founder of Vivino Wine App
In today's episode, Philip spoke with serial entrepreneur Heini Zachariassen Founder of Vivino. Vivino is currently the world's largest online wine marketplace with over 36 million users and attracting 20 thousand new users per day. Boosting a very impressive database of over 10 million wines from over 200 thousand producers around the world Heni knows a thing or two about how to build a tech company. To date, VIVINO has raised around $57 million dollars in funding in venture funding.
Before founding Vivino he also played a key role in the success of BullGuard an antivirus startup that went on to generate $20m in revenue.
In this episode be prepared to learn everything you need to know about building a successful app, building a startup the right way and when and how to leverage strategic partnerships and more.
This episode is sponsored by Blinkist. Click the link to start your 7-day free trial.
Episode 64: Stop Taking Programmatic Approaches to Systemic Issues with Ben Hecht President & CEO at Living Cities
This was a slightly different type of interview as I did not interview a serial entrepreneur who’s built multiple tech companies and sold it for millions or a venture capitalist but instead, I spoke with a different type of entrepreneur. Ben Hecht, Ben is an unusual type of entrepreneur because he actually focuses on philanthropy and more specifically on shortening the race pay gap and the racial wealth gap. I don’t think based on his work he’d call himself an entrepreneur but his approach to solving this problem is nothing short of entrepreneurial and it’s been he’s life’s work for over 20 years. From creating a site in the early 2000s allowing people from economically challenged backgrounds to improve their skills to today where he’s the CEO of Living Cities which is collaborating with large corporations and local governments to help achieve dramatically better results for low-income people through investment, research, networks. We talk about everything from systemic issues surrounding low-income households to what can be done to change things over the next 100 years. We also discuss his latest book Reclaiming the American Dream: Proven Solutions for Creating Economic Opportunity for All.
Episode 63: How to Build Successful Tech Companies and Market Them with Dan Sutera, Serial Entrepreneur, Startup Advisor and Investor
In this episode, Philip had the pleasure of speaking with serial entrepreneur, advisor, and investor Dan Sutera. Dan Sutera has started a number of tech companies which he’s either sold or, has created so much meaningful value that it'll eventually sell at some point. When you have a look at Dan Sutera's entrepreneurial resume it looks as if everything he touches literally turns into gold. Amongst his many successes, Dan was the co-founder of Futurism which is a technology-focused media company that boasts over 5m monthly views–– the company was recently acquired by Singularity University. His most recent project is Parallel Markets which brings liquidity to private investors in the cryptocurrency market which is great if you’re sitting on some crypto.
In this episode, Philip and Dan talk all things product from ideation to execution to process which Dan seems to have down to a tee.
Episode 62: From raising over £200m to becoming a VC and trying to solve the "pipeline" problem with Ezechi Britton Principal at Impact X Capital and Co-founder of Neyber
In this episode Philip sat down with Ezechi Britton Principal at Impact X Capital and Co-founder of Neyber to talk about his journey so far. From growing up in Lewisham with his parents who were teachers to finding his way into investment banking and later as a co-founder to a startup that would go on to raise £200m. Ezechi touches on moonlighting Neyber while still working as an engineer at an investment bank and why he believes entrepreneurs should keep cashflow coming at all costs until they can transition out and work on a project full time.
Episode 61: Why The Best Way to Learn is by Doing with Kai Bond, Serial Entrepreneur and VC at Courtside VC
Re-run: This episode originally aired in March 2018 but Kai's lessons in entrepreneurship are timeless. In this episode Philip spoke with serial entrepreneur and now venture capitalist Kai Bond. Kai is the lead investor at Catalyst Fund which is a seed fund based in New York City. Catalyst Fund is an extension of Comcast Ventures and it serves as a unique investment vehicle to elevate minority entrepreneurship by matching capital and resources with underrepresented minority entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Catalyst Fund Kai has had a truly remarkable career as an entrepreneur. He’s had some painful failures and tells Phil about his lowest point where he didn’t even have enough money for a subway ride. Kai talks about building his third startup within 60 days (Pixie Tv) which he would then go on to sell to Samsung within a year. Kai was also the General Manager of Samsung's accelerator and Hatch Labs where the dating app Tinder was incubated during his tenure as GM.
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Episode 60: Investing in Diverse Founders with Eric Collins Founder and CEO of Impact X Capital
Sticking with the theme of Black History Month, Philip sat down with Eric Collins who's the founder and CEO of Impact X Capital which is a venture capital firm based in the UK. They invest in diverse, underserved –– or what Philip likes to say "underestimated"–– founders in the UK and across Europe.
On this longer than usual episode, Eric talks about him growing up in the South and his career as a consultant where he worked on M&A deals. Eric talks about the importance of key partnerships to enable growth, raising capital and why he and his stellar founding members decided to start Impact X Capital.
Skip to 1:00:00 if you want to get straight into the Impact X Capital conversation.
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Episode 59: The Importance of a Strong Brand and How to Create One with Alain Sylvain Founder of Sylvain Labs
Alain Sylvain is the founder and CEO of Sylvain Labs, an innovation and brand design consultancy. They have offices in New York, Amsterdam and Richmond, VA. The company serves as a strategic planning resource for product developers and marketers. They have some of the biggest names as clients including Google, Airbnb, Spotify, General Motors, Samsung, Facebook, Nike, Uniqlo, PepsiCo, Bloomberg, and others.
Alain is co-founder and investor of several ventures including: Master + Dynamic, a design-driven, premium audio brand. Lílo, the first-of-its-kind refrigerator-stable açai bowl, and Waynesaw, a mobile game.
On the show, we unpack what it takes to get branding right and he gives us an insight into the creative process without giving away too much.
If you haven't already please subscribe and leave a review on the show wherever you listen to podcasts!
Sponsor: DesignCrowd. A website that helps entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses outsource or ‘CROWDSOURCE’ design. Get $100 off your first project with this link designcrowd.com/hmd
Episode 58: Why I wouldn't want to be a startup founder again with Charles Hudson Managing Partner and Founder of Precursor VC
On this episode, Philip spoke with Charles Hudson. Charles is a serial entrepreneur and is the Managing Partner and Founder of Precursor Ventures. Precursor is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on investing in the first institutional round of investment for the most promising software and hardware companies. They recently closed their second fund at $31m, doubling their first fund which was $15m. Prior to founding Precursor Ventures, Charles was a Partner at SoftTech VC. In this role, he focused on identifying investment opportunities in mobile infrastructure.
Before joining the world of venture capital Charles was a budding entrepreneur in the events industry and then the gaming industry.
In this episode, they talk startups, diversity in tech and more.
This is a rebroadcast to celebrate black history month.
Episode 57: We Raised $1m and Sold our App for $48m in Less Than 2 years with Jordan Fliegel MD of TechStars Sports and Serial Entrepreneur
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Jordan Fliegel who’s an early-stage investor and serial entrepreneur with a focus on sports tech. Before Jordan started investing he co-founded a number of successful startups, including Draft, a fantasy league app which he started with his best friend and went on to be acquired by Paddy Power. At the time of the acquisition, they had a team of fewer than 15 employees. Jordan also co-founded CoachUp which he raised $15m for with the likes of Steph Curry from the Golden State Warriors later investing in the company. A calm and humble entrepreneur Jordan talks nothing but facts about what it actually takes to start and run a company and how marketing is really about maths. These days, Jordan Fliegel heads up TechStars as the MD of their first-ever sports tech-focused accelerator based out in Indiana.
We recorded the show at BetaWorks studios in meatpacking New York.
Episode 56: (Re-run) Why you don't need to burn the ship to be an entrepreneur - Tom Bilyeu Co- Founder of Quest Nutrition and Impact Theory
This was one of my first interviews when I was still getting into podcasting. This interview was first aired in 2017 and you can hear just how bad of an interviewer I was! But luckily, I was interviewing an OG! Tom Bilyeu brought that fire regardless of my poor interviewing skills! SO many great insights and killer pieces of advise for startup founders that he drops here. If you haven’t already checked out Impact Theory–– Tom’s Youtube and podcast–– make sure you do, he has some of the best interviews and with some of the highest performers in the world.
Quick background on Tom, Tom was one of the co-founders of Quest Nutrition which was recently acquired $1bn in cash and is now the founder and host of Impact Theory. Before Quest Nutrition he ran a successful tech company for 7 years before he started working on Quest on evenings and weekends.
What’s crazy is that at the time of this Quest was only valued at a billion dollars so for them to have actually recently sold for a billion dollars is incredible.
Episode 55: Sales Masterclass with Adam Liebman - VP of Sales at Seated
Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Adam Liebman who's currently VP of Sales at Seated who is known in New York City as one of the top sales executives in the tech ecosystem. Adam has built and grown sales teams for some of the largest tech startups in New York City such as Yext (YEXT) which is now a publicly traded company where Adam was sales hire number one and SinglePlatform where he also played an integral role in craft the sales experience before rapidly growing the team. Adam started out wanting to be a journalist before getting into sales which turns out to be a pretty interesting story.
This is definitely a sales 101 episode as Adam drops some serious bombs on this one so make sure you got your notes app at the ready.
Episode 54: Nathalie Molina Niño- Founder of BRAVA Investments and Author of Leapfrog: The New Revolution For Women Entrepreneurs
Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Nathalie Molina Nino.
Nathalie is an impact investor targeting high-growth businesses that economically benefit women and the planet. A confessed but recovering serial entrepreneur, Nathalie launched her first tech startup at the age of twenty and like most of us got hooked. She's the co-founder of Entrepreneurs@Athena at the Athena Center for Leadership Studies of Barnard College at Columbia University, where the idea for LEAPFROG was first born. Before that, she spent over a decade sharing her no-BS, opinionated flavor of business advice and growth strategy with folks like Disney, Microsoft, MTV, Mattel, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Everyone needs to hear this episode and if you know a vc then share this with them.
Just prior to launching her last venture, BRAVA Investments, Molina Niño led the launch of Nely Galán’s New York Times bestselling book and online education venture, Self-Made, and stepped in as CRO of PowerToFly, the fastest growing hiring platform for women in tech and beyond.
Leapfrog Book: http://bit.ly/NathalieLeapfrog
Episode 53: Why You Don't Need Another Book with Angel Gambino
Angel Gambino is a WIRED Top 100 executive who has built companies on three continents. She's also an urban regeneration pioneer, a visionary investor, a passionate environmental lawyer, and a dedicated and loving mother. The technology phase of her career has included co-founding investment partnership Prehype Partners, senior roles at the BBC and MTV Networks, and leading the pioneering UK social network Bebo. She has also played pro soccer, and she ran logistics for the USWNT at the Olympics. Raised in Detroit, she recently returned to San Francisco as founder-CEO of a social artificial intelligence startup called Sensai.
This is fitting as it’s Women’s Month and Gambino is nothing short of an incredible entrepreneur and investor. Her background should inspire you to take more risks, pursue your goals and do whatever you feel passionate and compelled to do.
Check out our site: Startuphandmedowns.com
Episode 52: (Re-run) How to build amazing products - with Ian White of Business Insider and Co-founder of Sailthru
On this episode, we discuss:
- How to build a product
- The importance of talking with users
- Speed to market
Ian White was the CTO and Co-Founder of email service provider Sailthru. They’ve raised over $48m and now staff over 200 people in New York City. He also helped build Silicon Valley Insider which later grew to become Business Insider. He’s known for building the famous slideshows feature in Business Insider articles.
Ian is now the Founder of Stardog which is his consultancy business for startups.
In this episode of Startup Handmedowns Philip and Ian talk about the early days of Business Insider and building Sailthru whilst still at Business Insider. They talk about product managers, CTO’s and more
Listen on Spotify, iTunes and anywhere else you listen to podcasts!
Episode 51: Transforming Education and How We Learn with Austen Allred Founder and CEO of Lambda School
On this episode we discuss:
- Growth marketing galore
- The free upfront model
- When to invest
Austen Allred has a super interesting origin story, having dropped out of university himself, he went on to co-found his own school and pushing the envelope for the future of education. For those of you who are out of the loop, Austen created Lambda School, a coding school that asks for no money up front in an exchange for a percentage of your salary after you get a job making more than 50k. Austen got his start in the business world at Stubtopia, a ticket brokering company that he started with his brother at 18. After handing over the reins to his brother, he went on to complete an LDS mission in Ukraine which ended up setting a tone of dedication and perseverance for his whole career. If you’re an entrepreneur trying to make your move, I suggest listening to what Austen has to say as he gives honest advice about growth, product market fit, fundraising, and how to take the right advice.
Listen on Spotify, iTunes and anywhere else you listen to podcasts!
Episode 50: Tony Conrad - Serial Entrepreneur and Partner at True Ventures with over $2bn AUM
This week we're interviewing Tony Conrad of True Ventures, Sphere, about.me, Wordpress and many other great startups. On this episode we discuss: - The turning point of modern startup culture - Expert level networking - The emotional intelligence necessary to excel in the startup landscape The theme of this episode is networking, networking, networking! And no, you aren't just going to hear the obvious "just get out there and meet people!", Tony has some concrete advice for how to surround yourself with people that will guide you along your journey as an entrepreneur. Coming from a tiny midwestern farming town, Tony was not set up for the life as an entrepreneur that he went on to lead. His startup experience more or less fell into place after a decision to move to California after working in the corporate world for 8 years, and he's been killing the game ever since which is why we call him the Godfather of Silicon Valley. Having invested in companies such as Blue Bottle Coffee, Bandcamp, Fitbit, Peloton and more, Tony seriously knows what he's doing and you won't want to miss out on the expert advice on this episode. Visit our site: startuphandmedowns.co
Episode 49: The One Thing All Successful Startups Have in Common With Tammy Nam COO of PicsArt
On this episode we discuss:
How to deal with different founders
The attributes of virally successful companies
The role of culture in startups
Full of helpful startup marketing tips, this episode is for all non-technical entrepreneurs out there. Voted one of the top 25 women to watch in tech by AlwaysOn, Tammy has a ton of expert advice to share, from how to bring out the best in different founders to navigating the challenges of being a woman in tech.
Our favorite part of this episode is her strategic, purposeful marketing and growth strategies. Marketing is often boiled down to storytelling or hacking, but Tammy shows us how you can approach marketing in any stage of your company in a thoughtful, future-focused way. Don't miss this episode if you really want to get into the client-focused side of a product, it is an expert crash course in UX/UI.
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Episode 48: Just Do What You Love and It'll Work Out with David Jamilly Co-Founder of Theme Traders
On this episode we discuss:
The social aspect of doing business
Setting client expectations
Kindness (both the not-for-profit organization David founded and just kindness in general)
David is just a super nice guy who has figured out how to make millions off of having fun. You know when people tell you "just do what you love and it'll work out" and you don't believe them? Well, it actually worked out for David! He founded an event production business with his sister called Theme Traders which has worked on events such as Pride London 2018, album launches for Island Records, and much more. David is equally as dedicated to his philanthropic work, which has led to him founding Pod Children's Charity, The Good Deeds Organization, and Kindness Day UK.
If you are disheartened by the cold nature of a business or just having an off day, give this episode a listen, because David "DJ" Jamilly will seriously restore your faith in humanity.
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Episode 47: (Re-run) Why Brands Need Personality with Mat Braddy Former CMO of Just Eat and Founder of Updraft
On this episode we discuss:
- Why Mat Braddy ran for office
- Eating the Big Fish by Adam Morgan
- The importance of bold marketing as a brand competitor
- Some marketing tips and tricks (read: how to not waste your whole marketing budget on an ineffective ad)
Mat is a pretty funny guy which is why 30% of this episode is Phil laughing, and it's also why Just Eat got to be one of the biggest takeaway brands ever! From ads such as "give hunger the finger" and bold marketing stunts such as kidnapping celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson, Mat Braddy could be described as a marketing genius. My favourite bit of advice in this episode is to consciously try and take in every ad you see on your walk home, and in the morning, ask yourself which ones you remember because those are the ads that made you think.