How do you build a healthy, vibrant culture from the very start?
My guest today, Steven Collens, has done it. He’s CEO of Matter, a Chicago-based community of entrepreneurs & innovators working together to harness technology to improve healthcare.
After successful careers in industry (Abbott) & private investing (Pritzker Group Venture Capital), Steven has assembled 130 healthcare tech startups under the Matter masthead.
In this 20-minute interview, Steven reveals how he formulated the values & culture from day one, how to recruit rockstars, and what to do after a hiring mistake.
Not many PE’s hang up their investment hat & switch sides to start a business from scratch.
But Cameron Smith did it. And here’s how.
With a decade of Private Equity experience & Kellogg MBA in-hand, Cameron had a big idea: Create an innovative way to educate students.
And he’s done it with Bennett Day School, one of Chicago’s premier private schools.
In this 20-minute interview, Cameron reveals why he made the switch, the things he’s learned about recruiting & building a team, and the mistakes he’s made.
There’s perhaps no greater mystery than the world of Private Equity investors, and how they decide to write the check or walk away.
Much of it comes down to Talent.
My guest today, Shoshana Vernick, is Managing Director of the Education Opportunity Fund at Sterling Partners, with billions under management.
In this 20-minute discussion, Shoshana walks thru how she evaluates Talent before deciding whether to make an investment. And how she works with leadership teams after writing the check.
How'd you like to go instead the Boardroom of venture capital-funded company? To see how the Board of Directors really works?
Today's guest is Jason Heltzer, Partner at Origin Ventures, a leading Chicago VC fund with $60M under management.
Jason is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth, where he teaches the venture capital and private equity lab class.
He's worked with dozens of VC portfolio companies & sat in many hundreds of Board meetings. In this 20-minute discussion, Jason reveals:
- what really happens in the Boardroom
- the personalities & dynamics
- the value of independent board members
- how the ideal Board meeting is structured
My guest Adam Robinson is Chief Hireologist & CEO of Hireology, one of Chicago’s fastest-growing companies. They’ve raised millions in venture capital to crack the recruiting code.
Adam has made a science of the recruiting process, by creating a software product that focuses on the most-predictive elements of the recruiting process.
In this 20-minute interview, Adam reveals the FOUR factors that are most-predictive of candidate success. If you don’t nail these four, you’re wasting your time. Regardless of industry, level, or job, these are the ones that matter most.
Everything else is just noise.
What must you do after the interview to ensure that you hire a rockstar every time?
My guest today is Mary Beth Wynn, SVP of People at Jellyvision. They’ve been recognized as having one of the most unique & healthy cultures in the tech industry.
In this 20-minute segment, Mary Beth walks through the 3 key things you must get right even after the interview
(1) Doing reference checks the right way
(2) Using a job audition to “test drive” the candidate before extending an offer
(3) Crafting an offer letter that gets the “Yes” every time
Building a winning culture is hard... But combining two cultures into one is nearly impossible.
My guest today, Matt Moog, has done it.
As CEO of PowerReviews, Matt combined his company with a competitor. Merging brands & technologies was simple, compared to the challenge of combining cultures.
In this 20-minute interview, Matt reveals step-by-step how he did it. What to do before, during, and after an acquisition. Everything you must do to ensure the corporate culture is unstoppable after the deal. And the mistakes you must avoid.
If you've ever been curious about how cultures survive a merger, you can't afford to miss this conversation.
The war for talent is ON. So, how do you compete with the likes of Google, Facebook, and Uber to attract Rockstars to your fledgling company? Especially when you can't pay top dollar.
My guest today is Kevin Willer. He's uniquely-qualified to show us how.
Kevin is Partner at Chicago Ventures, the fund with $100M under management & dozens of upstart portfolio companies.
And before that, Kevin was the very First employee of Google in Chicago. Back in 2000 - when nobody had heard of Google - he built a Rockstar team of hundreds & put them on the map.
In this 20-minute interview, Kevin shows us how to compete for talent with the big names. The mistakes to avoid. And why talent should be your #1 priority in 2017.