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Recruit Rockstars Podcast

Recruit Rockstars is the only podcast on the people part of PE & VC portfolio companies.
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Now displaying: August, 2020
Aug 30, 2020

There’s a whole new way to increase your customers’ loyalty, and it’s called product protection.

You know what this is. When you check out at Apple, they offer you AppleCare. When you buy something at Best Buy, same thing.

Well, now you too can add this to your website, increase revenues, and more importantly better serve your customers.

The company is Clyde (love the name!) and I tracked down the Founder & CEO Brandon Gell because he’s onto something big.

He started Clyde 3 years ago. Then raised $17M from top-tier VC’s like Spark Capital, Correlation Ventures, Starting Line, Red Sea Ventures, Knightsgate Ventures, RRE Ventures, and Techstars.

In this episode, Brandon reveals how he’s scaled a sharp team of 30 to turn an industry upside-down.

Aug 28, 2020

Geoff McFarlane is turning the $72B wine industry upside-down.

He’s CEO of Winc Wines, which he co-founded 8 years ago. Now, annual revenues exceed $40M

Geoff spent years in the hospitality industry, where he learned how to create experiences for people. Now, he’s brought that skill to the wine business to fundamentally change it.

Winc builds direct relationships with vineyards, farmers, and winemakers to make exceptional wines. Distributing directly means you get them at a great value.

In short, Winc tests wine concepts with consumers & then produces the ones they love. Instead of “pushing” what they can make (like most wineries,) they “pull” consumers in based on preference.

Winc has created a customized experience for its members & brings ease and exploration to buying & enjoying wine. Based on consumer insights, they’ve developed iconic brands like Summer Water and Folly of the Beast.

Now, Winc’s sought-after brands are available in Whole Foods, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, and restaurants.

Backed by Bessemer Venture Partners & Amplify.LA, Winc has landed on the Inc5000 list of fastest-growing companies.

In this 20-minute conversation, Geoff reveals how he’s scaled the 100-person team. And some of the mistakes he’s made along the way.

 

Aug 25, 2020

Founded in 2013, Raise changed the way the gift card marketplace worked, with a goal to help others give themselves a raise.

Based in Chicago, Raise has partnerships with over 500 national retailers including CVS, Chipotle, Subway, Macy’s, Domino’s, and Best Buy.

Now, Raise is the easiest way for its 2.5 million members to buy discounted gift cards & get cash back for everyday purchases while helping retailers drive traffic in-store.

CEO Jay Klauminzer joined the company in 2018 to add even more retailer partnerships & help customers give themselves a raise.

After a decade as a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company, Jay held a number of roles with e-commerce leaders Groupon & DoorDash.

HIs top-notch VC backers include Accel, NEA, and Bessemer Venture Partners.

In this 20-minute conversation, Jay shares how he’s upgraded the team, how to assess candidates for culture fit, and in-depth how he interviews a finalist.

Aug 22, 2020

You’ve likely met some Venture Capitalists.

But you haven’t met the Anti-VC. He’s Sammy Abdullah, who heads Dallas-based Blossom Street Ventures.

He considers himself the ‘Anti-VC’ because he moves fast on investment decisions (often in 3 weeks), is a straight shooter, and tells you Yes or No without leaving you hanging on an investment decision.

He’s already invested 22 portfolio companies - typically in Series A or B. Average check size is a cool million, and he usually leads the round.

Sammy’s investment portfolio includes: SpotHero, DivvyHQ, Take The Interview, Three Day Rule, Lovepop, and AppBuddy.

And in this 20-minute conversation, he reveals the 3 big things that CEO’s should spend their time on. (And what they shouldn’t.)

 

Aug 20, 2020

Hiten Shah has built a reputation as one of the nicest guys in tech.

But don’t be mistaken.

He’s competitive, successful, and insightful. You may not know Hiten, but you’ve likely used his SaaS products.

Hiten & his Co-Founder Neil Patel created Crazy Egg in 2005. The product creates a heatmap to show where people are clicking so you can get more insights about your website & improve it.

He’s also Co-Founder of the popular KISSmetrics and Quick Sprout.

And if that wasn’t enough, he’s also investor and advisor in 120 companies.

Now, Hiten is Co-Founder & CEO of FYI. Based in San Francisco, this new SaaS product helps you keep track of your countless documents.

In this 20-minute conversation, he reveals what he’s learned about the people part of growth-stage companies.

Aug 19, 2020

In just 3 years, Mike Schneider co-founded, funded, and sold First to the mega-real estate player ReMax.

In this 20 minute conversation, he reveals how.

Plus, how he scaled the team & perfected a unique culture along the way.

First is a tech company that leverages data science, machine learning, and human interaction to help real estate professionals better leverage the value of their network.

Its software is currently used by top real estate brokers at 200 companies nationally.

After raising $5M from leading VC's MATH Venture Partners and Nine Four Ventures, he had the rare opportunity to partner with ReMax, the household brand in real estate, to scale the business even faster.

Here's how he did it.

Aug 11, 2020

Ralph Dangelmaier has seen this movie before.

He’s CEO of fast-growing BlueSnap, the Inc5000 ranked company based in Waltham MA.

And he’s done it before.

So he’s successfully scaling this leading payments platform company. With access to 100 different payment types, BlueSnap lets merchants increase their sales online & thru marketplaces.

The product integrates fraud, chargeback, and reporting. And its deep tech stack delivers what matters most: higher payment authorization rates.

Not surprisingly, Ralph has attracted leading Private Equity investors: Great Hill Partners and Parthenon.

With approximately 200 people, Ralph is scaling the organization to keep up with the growth. In this 20-minute conversation, he reveals how.

Aug 2, 2020

It’s hard to imagine anyone more qualified to find & land top talent for a Venture Capital fund than Amanda Mulay.

She leads Talent Management for Lerer Hippeau, the New York-focused early stage fund. It’s invested in 250 companies such as Allbirds, Casper, Mirror, Warby Parker, and Axios.

After recruiting at 2 Silicon Valley rocketships Zynga & Twilio, she brought her talents to Venture Capital. Starting with First Round Capital and Andreesen Horowitz.

Now, she’s with Lerer Hippeau where she lead’s people & talent efforts for its fast-growing portfolio.

In this 20-minute conversation, she reveals the impact that top-performers can make in a startup. And how you can attract them to yours.

 

Aug 1, 2020

Just last week, Zach Coelius successfully announced his first Venture Capital fund, Coelius Capital with $45 million in new assets.

Based in San Francisco, Zach has been an angel investor for years, backing hot startups such as Cruise Automation (which was acquired by General Motors for $1 billion, Branch Metrics, and HelloSign. Plus two dozen other companies.

Earlier, Zach was Co-Founder of advertising technology startup Triggit.

Now, he invests across sectors such as SaaS and Consumer Technology.

In this 20-minute conversation, Zach shares how small companies can scale fast by putting a Rockstar in every seat.

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