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The Successful Pitch with John Livesay

The Successful Pitch interviews successful startups who share their secrets in raising funding, as well as investors who share their criteria, so that you become an insider into the world of getting funded. Join your host, author and funding strategist John Livesay as he provides insights on how to make your pitch compelling, easy to understand and inspiring. You will learn the 5 Cs needed to get funded fast: Confidence, Connection, Commitment, Collaboration and Check List. You can download the FREE PDF "3 Mistakes To Avoid When Pitching" at sellingsecretsforfunding.com
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Sep 26, 2016

Kurt Theobald Interview

Episode Summary

Kurt Theobald is the CEO of Classy Llama, a full-service ecommerce agency. He has failed countless times, but has always gotten back up to try again. Failure doesn't define you and the journey to entrepreneurship is often a journey of self-discovery as well. Kurt discusses company culture, the importance of people, and so much more on this episode!

What Was Covered

  • 04:00 - What has Kurt learned from his failures?
  • 05:05 - What is a cool thing vs. an uncool thing when it comes to finding your business niche?
  • 07:45 - What makes Classy Llama so successful?
  • 09:45 - Failure doesn't define you.
  • 11:30 - You don't have to know everything, you just have to be willing to learn and let others teach you.
  • 13:45 - You have to figure out how to be happy during your journey as a struggling entrepreneur.
  • 15:15 - What does Kurt mean by 'soft skills'?
  • 16:45 - You need to set expectations early on for your team.
  • 17:40 - What makes Classy Llama's culture so unique?
  • 21:20 - Kurt loves working with millennials because they thrive on authenticity and being independent.
  • 27:40 - Who are Nucleus and Classy Llama's ideal clients?
  • 29:10 - Kurt recommends two books: Good to Great and Finding Truth At the Bottom.

 

Tweetables

Failure to plan is planning to fail.
Success happens when it's ready, you just gotta keep moving.
Be careful who you take wisdom and money from.
Become a vessel of success.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Classy Llama Website
Nucleus Commerce Website
@kurttheobaldon on Twitter
Kurt Theobald on Linkedin
Finding Truth At the Bottom by Kurt Theobald
Good to Great by Jim Collins

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Sep 19, 2016

Mark Bidwell Interview

Episode Summary

Mark Bidwell helps traditional organizations become more innovative and entrepreneurial in the digital economy. He helps to lead intrapreneurial change in market-leading companies such as BP Oil, the Hay Group, Syngenta, and more. Mark is also the co-host of the Innovation Ecosystem podcast, where he interviews thought leaders who are disrupting out-of-date methods, turning them into experiential growth. Mark talks about his work with Syngenta as well as how to get on the investor's 'good side' on this episode.

What Was Covered

  • 04:10 - How did Mark get started?
  • 07:20 - Mark talks about his work with Syngenta and how he was able to innovate within their industry.
  • 09:20 - What problem was Mark trying to solve while working for Syngenta?
  • 11:25 - Mark successfully closed a $15 million series B round for one of his clients recently.
  • 14:45 - Aiming to get the lead investor isn't always easy, but when you do, other investors will want to join in and not miss out.
  • 15:20 - How can an entrepreneur get the attention of a lead investor?
  • 17:40 - Get into the mindset of helping the investor, even if your company isn't the one who can help them.
  • 21:45 - Why did Mark start his podcast?
  • 25:10 - Mark helps leaders come to the realization that their old thinking might not be the best way to approach a digital economy.
  • 26:10 - Mark loves reading biographies.
  • 27:15 - We're simply not wired for multitasking.

 

Tweetables

Investing is a human business
Be resilient when you pitch
Give investors a glimpse of the future with you
The why is more important than the what

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Mark Bidwell Website
Syngenta - United States Website
Made in America by Sam Walton
Deep Work by Cal Newport

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Sep 12, 2016

Dan Weinfurter

Episode Summary

Dan Weinfurter is a serial entrepreneur and the author of Second Stage Entrepreneurship. He is the founder of GrowthPlay, a company that helps drive profitable revenue growth by improving overall sales effectiveness. Dan dives into the hiring process and believes it's better to hire no one than hire the wrong one. After all, hiring the right person is often a multi-million dollar decision. So, how can an entrepreneur hire the right person? Listen in to today's interview for more information.

What Was Covered

  • 04:15 - How did Dan get started?
  • 06:55 - How did Dan come up with the title for his book, Second Stage Entrepreneurship?
  • 08:20 - How can an entrepreneur navigate through the hiring process?
  • 08:45 - A sales person is a million dollar decision. A manager is at least a 15 million dollar decision.
  • 10:25 - Ask your interviewee, 'What are you reading today?'
  • 11:30 - It's better to have no one in the position than to have the wrong person.
  • 16:10 - What makes an effective sales person?
  • 20:45 - You should live your life everyday like you're building your personal brand. People watch what you do.
  • 24:45 - How do you keep great talent?
  • 26:05 - Good sales people are often times not good sales leaders.
  • 29:00 - It pays to be good at sales.

 

Tweetables

Cost of hiring the wrong person is higher than not hiring a person.
How are you different and better?
Build credibility and trust through storytelling.
Brand is what your customers say about you.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Dan Weinfurter Website
Growth Play Website
Dan on Twitter
Dan on LinkedIn
Second Stage Entrepreneurship by Daniel J. Weinfurter

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Sep 6, 2016

Lylan Masterman Interview

Episode Summary

Lylan Masterman is a Venture Capital Investor at White Star Capital and a Kauffman Fellow. Lylan shares helpful tips for selecting good board members as well as being a good board member yourself. At White Star Capital, Lylan focuses primarily on late Seed and Series A investments, but he does offer advice on how an entrepreneur can successfully navigate between Series A to Series B rounds. Listen in for more!

What Was Covered

  • 04:05 - How did Lylan get started?
  • 08:45 - You have to do your homework about the investors that you're pitching.
  • 13:00 - How did Lylan become a Kauffman Fellow?
  • 14:20 - Does Lylan have any advice on how to be a good board member?
  • 19:00 - At Kauffman, Lylan learned how to best define your personal brand vs. your firm's brand.
  • 21:10 - A nice person who isn't helpful is simply not all that valuable.
  • 23:15 - What is White Star Capital?
  • 24:15 - What are some of the differences about being a VC based in New York vs. San Francisco?
  • 26:05 - How did Lylan get involved with the Dollar Shave Club?
  • 28:25 - What makes a good pitch? The story behind the company.
  • 30:25 - What are some of the thing that help someone get from Series A to Series B?
  • 32:10 - What has your board of directors done for you lately?
  • 33:35 - Lylan shares the formula for trust.

 

Tweetables

Be nice and helpful.
Time, effort and mental energy.
Have a personal brand that is memorable.
Quality of team more important the more money you raise.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Lylan Masterman Website
Lylan on LinkedIn
Dollar Shave Club Website
The Trusted Advisor by David Maister and Robert M. Galform

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Aug 29, 2016

Laura Rittenhouse Interview

Episode Summary

Laura Rittenhouse is a trust and valuation expert, as well as a financial strategist and innovation coach to fortune 500 and small cap companies. She is also the founder of Rittenhouse Rankings, Inc. and the author of Investing Between the Lines. On this episode, Laura explains the importance of candor within an organization. She believes candor is what makes a company and its team succeed against the toughest of odds.

What Was Covered

  • 04:30 - How did Laura get started?
  • 06:00 - Laura talks about Clowns Without Borders.
  • 10:00 - What does Laura currently do?
  • 12:00 - What makes people trustworthy?
  • 13:00 - In order to be effective leaders, you need a compelling story.
  • 13:35 - Person-to-person conversations are much more powerful than digital conversations.
  • 17:10 - What does Laura look for when she reads the shareholder letters?
  • 20:05 - How important is the connection between candor and vision?
  • 24:10 - If you lie to other people, you'll eventually begin to lie to yourself.
  • 27:40 - How do you create a 'candor enterprise'?
  • 31:25 - How can we contribute to a bigger purpose?

 

Tweetables

Without candor, there is no trust.
What is your purpose?
Humility leads to innovation.
Words are the clothes for our souls.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Rittenhouse Rankings Website
Investing Between the Lines by Laura Rittenhouse
Clowns Without Borders Website

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Aug 22, 2016

Lee Caraher Interview

Episode Summary

Lee Caraher is a CEO and an acclaimed communications strategist, known for her practical solutions to big problems. She started Double Forte as a new kind of communications firm, designed to work with good people and tell their stories. She is the author of Millennials & Management and discusses on today's show how the older generation can connect with a millennial team member or investor.

What Was Covered

  • 04:40 - How did Lee start her career?
  • 07:00 - Lee has always been intrapreneurial, not entrepreneurial.
  • 07:55 - Lee created her company out of necessity.
  • 08:50 - Since the start of Lee's company in 2002, she and her team have reinvented themselves four times.
  • 09:45 - How do you craft a masterful story?
  • 11:45 - Lee has never seen a plan executed 100%. You just can't control everything.
  • 13:10 - What are the age ranges of millennials? Lee breaks it down into three categories.
  • 16:10 - Lee spoke at the White House about this subject.
  • 18:50 - How did Lee get the title of 'Millennial Whisperer'?
  • 19:20 - Lee wrote her book because she failed miserably at keeping her millennial team.
  • 20:40 - How can entrepreneurs hire millennials and prevent high-turn over?
  • 21:50 - What is the culture of your company? What do you expect from your team?
  • 23:10 - Give a lot of feedback!
  • 24:00 - How do you pitch to millennials?
  • 25:40 - You have to stay relevant to the younger generation.
  • 29:00 - It boils down to three simple concepts. What are you doing, who are you doing it for, and what difference are you going to make?

 

Tweetables

A plan is in sand and goals should be in concrete.
Scale comes from innovation, not efficiency.
Communication is currency.
Good money supports the passion of the founder.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Lee Caraher Website
Millennials & Management by Lee Caraher
Double Forte Website

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Aug 15, 2016

Tom Scott Interview

Episode Summary

Tom Scott emerged as an entrepreneur at a young age when he started selling provisions to people stuck at gas lines in Maryland. When Scott and his college pal, Tom First, tried mixing peach juice and water in a blender in 1989, they did not imagine their little experiment would result in the creation of a multi-million dollar company. Tom discusses his success with Nantucket Nectars and his latest project, The Nantucket Project.

What Was Covered

  • 04:05 - How did Tom come up with the idea for Nantucket Nectars?
  • 07:15 - Tom attributes his success to naivety.
  • 08:50 - When Tom first got called an entrepreneur, he thought that person was a jerk.
  • 11:00 - What does Tom look for in a team?
  • 13:25 - What did Tom decide to sell Nantucket Nectars?
  • 18:10 - The odds of making your idea perfect the first time around are incredibly low.
  • 18:25 - You can't skip time, commitment, and trial and error.
  • 19:05 - So many people want to tell the story before they've even made it.
  • 19:45 - Rarely is anything an overnight success.
  • 20:15 - What is The Nantucket Project?
  • 23:00 - What was it like to interview Richard Saul Wurman, the creator of TED?
  • 25:40 - For Tom, it's more about learning than it is about knowing.
  • 26:35 - Give yourself permission not to know everything all the time.
  • 26:55 - Tom recommends two books.

 

Tweetables

Make Your Product Something for Yourself So Your Passion Is Authentic.
Energy gives you courage to try new things.
Can't skip the trial and error time it takes to make something great.
Pitch is a concise telling of new things.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Nan Tucket Project Website
Nantucket Project on Facebook
Nantucket Project on Twitter
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Creativity, Inc by Edwin Catmull

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Aug 8, 2016

William Green Interview

Episode Summary

William Green is the author of The Great Minds of Investing, a book that features profiles of famous investors. William interviewed 33 investors for his book, including Warren Buffett, and breaks down what makes them truly unique and different people from the rest. There are so many great qualities you can take away from these brilliant investors who have made tremendous mistakes both throughout their lifetime and in their career.

What Was Covered

  • 04:00 - How did William get started?
  • 06:10 - William's passion for investing came out of pure laziness to do any 'real' work.
  • 07:05 - What do these great investors have that other people don't have?
  • 08:10 - What can you learn from these investors and how can it help you in life?
  • 09:30 - Why do people love Warren Buffett so much?
  • 11:00 - You can't do a good deal with a bad person.
  • 11:30 - What can you learn from Warren Buffett?
  • 12:15 - Being a good and decent person becomes very powerful in a world filled with snake-oil salesmen.
  • 14:35 - When you look at yourself in the mirror every morning, are you okay with who you are?
  • 15:25 - There's a different way to do business. You don't need to be cruel.
  • 19:35 - Want to get better at something? Hang out with people who are better than you.
  • 20:25 - We don't have to be in our 80’s to let go of what other people may think about us.
  • 21:15 - The ability to make mistakes and not be crushed by them is key to some of these great investors.
  • 24:50 - People want the truth. People will stick with you because you're honest.
  • 27:05 - People can sense when you're holding something back.
  • 31:50 - Mason Hawkins once told William that he and his business partner haven't argued in over 30 years.
  • 33:00 - Mason Hawkins looks for generosity in his team.
  • 34:00 - Great investors understand what money buys them, and what it does not.
  • 35:35 - What's the secret to having a very profitable life? Family and relationships.

 

Tweetables

Predicting rain doesn't count. Building an ark does.
You can't do a great deal with a bad person.
Live your life by your inner scorecard.
Superpower in life is being authentic.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
William Green Website
The Great Minds of Investing by William Green
I've Followed Warren Buffett For Decades – LinkedIn Post by William Green
William on LinkedIn
Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins

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Aug 1, 2016

Matthew Pollard Interview

Episode Summary

Matthew Pollard has five multi-million-dollar business success stories under his name and is the founder of the Rapid Growth Coach. Matthew grew up with a disability and felt like he would never, ever fit in. Despite being extremely introverted at the time, he took a door-to-door sales opportunity and excelled in it by teaching himself the ropes through YouTube videos. Matthew's story is nothing short of amazing and this is definitely an episode you won't want to miss.

What Was Covered

  • 05:35 - How did Matthew get started?
  • 06:25 - Matthew really struggled in school when he was growing up.
  • 08:25 - Getting a job before Christmas in Australia is virtually impossible to do.
  • 09:05 - The only job that was available to Matthew during that time of year was door-to-door sales.
  • 10:05 - Matthew trained himself how to sell using YouTube videos.
  • 12:05 - Because Matthew had to work harder than anybody else, he was able to develop grit and determination.
  • 12:30 - Everybody tells stories and stories are everywhere.
  • 12:55 - Natural salesmen rely on their personality, not so much on their skills.
  • 17:50 - Once you have a clear message of what your business is, then you can build stories around it.
  • 18:05 - If you start from a sales perspective, you've already lost.
  • 18:40 - A couple of years ago, Matthew was doing his business all wrong. He explains further.
  • 20:50 - Matthew goes through the five steps you need to create a unified message.
  • 21:45 - You need to wear more than one hat as an entrepreneur.
  • 30:00 - Matthew helps people attain rapid growth. His message is simple and easy to understand.
  • 32:05 - John does a recap of the five steps to creating a unified message.
  • 38:05 - People are able to understand the severity of the problem through the art of storytelling.
  • 43:45 - Engage your investors emotionally and then back the idea up with logic.

 

Tweetables

Craft a message that is authentic to who you are.
If you start with sales you've already lost.
Don't hide behind your functional skills.
Where there is one ideal customer, there will be many more.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Matthew Pollard Website
Matthew on LinkedIn
Matthew on Twitter

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Jul 25, 2016

John Shumate Interview

Episode Summary

John Shumate is the CEO of Venture First, a financial services group with a strong focus on empowering entrepreneurs. Venture First helps companies by providing the financial and strategic tools necessary to succeed. John dives into how entrepreneurs can structure their funding, how to build a better connection with investors, and shares a client case study. Tune in to hear more about John and Venture First.

What Was Covered

  • 04:15 - How did John get started?
  • 06:15 - What does John look for in a pitch?
  • 06:55 - VCs are betting on the person, not the idea.
  • 07:35 - Aim to really connect with your investors on a personal level.
  • 08:00 - Sell yourself first before you sell your product or service to the investors.
  • 08:35 - There's no such thing as having the perfect pitch, so aim to have a collaborative conversation with your investors.
  • 09:25 - Why do startups fail? They run out of cash!
  • 10:20 - Raise about 20% more money than you think you need.
  • 10:40 - Plan for 18 months worth of funding. This gives you a full year to focus on executing.
  • 11:55 - Are we experiencing a startup evaluation bubble? Yes and no.
  • 15:55 - How does John think about and handle the barrier to entry, and an entrepreneur's competitors?
  • 18:20 - John talks about his investment criteria.
  • 19:25 - John shares a case study about Edumedics.
  • 23:40 - What kind of services does John offer?
  • 24:45 - How does John and his company stay so organized? He recommends Asana.
  • 26:30 - John believes entrepreneurs should read The Hard Thing About Hard Things.

Tweetables

Have a collaborative conversation with investors.
Sell yourself first before you sell anything.
No stigma to failing.
Raise 20% more than you think you need.

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Venture First Website
Edumedics Website
Asana Website
Mixmax Website
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
John on Twitter

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Jul 18, 2016

Ramphis Castro Interview

Episode Summary

Ramphis Castro is the co-founder of ScienceVest and is a Kauffman Fellow, a community of over 400 innovation investors worldwide. He is also the managing director of The Founder Institute, which is one of the world's largest idea-stage accelerators. Today, Ramphis sits down with John to discuss some of the potential entrepreneurial paths in Cuba and Puerto Rico as well as some of the benefits of being a Kauffman Fellow.

What Was Covered

  • 04:10 - How did Ramphis get started in the investing world?
  • 06:35 - The best way to start is to start small.
  • 07:15 - Make sure you have a good partner when you're first starting out. Make sure to reference check them.
  • 08:20 - What does Ramphis look for in a pitch?
  • 08:55 - Why is your team the right team?
  • 10:00 - How did Ramphis become a Kauffman Fellow?
  • 12:35 - What has Ramphis learned now that he is a Kauffman Fellow?
  • 13:50 - What is The Founder Institute?
  • 19:30 - Entrepreneurs believe you only have to pitch investors. But in reality, you have to pitch everybody.
  • 21:10 - There's no right way to pitch, so The Founder Institute teaches you different ways to approach a pitch.
  • 22:20 - What is Mindchemy?
  • 24:30 - Ramphis talks about Cuba and the entrepreneurial potential over there.
  • 29:40 - What is P18 and how does it affect Puerto Rico?
  • 32:45 - Puerto Rico is the biggest startup you have never heard of.
  • 33:05 - Ramphis recommends to read Venture Deals and Early Exits.

Tweetables

Best way to start is to start small.
Puerto Rico is the biggest startup hub you have never heard of.
Check your team's references before you partner.
What qualifies you to be a founder for this startup?

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Ramphis on Twitter
Venture Deals by Brad Feld
Early Exits by Basil Peters

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Jul 11, 2016

Jason Shuman Interview

Episode Summary

Jason Shuman is an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist who has been involved with startups since he was 17 years old, and has always had a deep passion for the industry. He is currently an associate at Corigin Ventures, where he is responsible for sourcing and analyzing deals. Jason discusses the charity foundation he is a part of, why there are so many young VCs these days, branding, and so much more on today's show.

What Was Covered

  • 03:50 - How did Jason get started?
  • 06:25 - Jason was born with a primary immunodeficiency, which causes him to get blood infusions every three weeks.
  • 07:10 - Jason talks about the charity he is involved with, the Jeffrey Modell Foundation.
  • 08:35 - Corigin Ventures does both early stage seed and series A - why do both?
  • 10:15 - There are a lot of young VCs these days and Jason believes this is due to the younger generation growing up with technology.
  • 11:15 - How does Jason brand himself?
  • 15:00 - You need to have an intense focus and passion for what you want.
  • 16:35 - What does Jason look for in a good pitch?
  • 19:05 - Don't just wing a pitch!!
  • 21:00 - Do people need to live in the New York area in order to pitch Jason? No.
  • 23:10 - What is 'Platformation'?
  • 26:20 - The one theme Jason speaks about the most is focus. People lack focus.
  • 28:25 - Final pieces of advice - Fundraising is difficult and not for everybody. Startups are not easy.

Tweetables

You can’t boil the ocean.
Focus is the key to getting funded.
A bad pitch deck will kill your chances of getting funded.
Read the investors’ blogs.

Links Mentioned

JRobinett Website
Selling Secrets For Funding
Corigin Ventures
Jeffrey Modell Foundation
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Platformation Today
Jason Shuman Twitter

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Jul 4, 2016

Eitan Chitayat Interview

Episode Summary

Eitan Chitayat is a creative director, copywriter, brand-builder, and founder of Natie. Eitan has overseen and played a part in award-winning work on integrated campaigns across all mediums, most notably for Google, Apple, Facebook, YouTube, and more. Eitan discusses the power of storytelling and how to hone in on these skills by finding who you are and what your brand represents.

What Was Covered

  • 03:50 - Who is Eitan?
  • 05:25 - What did Eitan learn when he was working with Google as a freelancer?
  • 07:25 - Why did Eitan decide to start his own company?
  • 10:00 - How can you find the right people/team?
  • 12:30 - What was it like working with Facebook?
  • 14:00 - Your strategy is only as good as your first step.
  • 14:35 - Eitan talks about the marketing his team did for Valtech, which sold for $900 million.
  • 21:40 - Being an entrepreneur is the loneliest job on the planet.
  • 24:20 - One of the most important things as an entrepreneur is to get your startup story right.
  • 25:30 - Eitan talks about the viral video he created, 'I'm That Jew'.
  • 28:50 - You have to be who you are and you can't be afraid of that.
  • 30:00 - What is The 5 Percent Club?

 

Tweetables

Stay in touch for potential magic.
Being a startup is the loneliest job on the planet.
Tell the truth of who you are.
Be authentic and relevant.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Eitan Chitayat Website
I'm That Jew on YouTube
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Jun 28, 2016

Michael Parrish DuDell Interview

Episode Summary

Michael Parrish DuDell is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and the bestselling author of Shark Tank Jump Start Your Business, the official book from ABC's hit show Shark Tank. Michael was given a 30-day deadline to finish the book and was on the set of Shark Tank frequently getting to know the investors. Listen in for some key Shark Tank insights and get a behind-the-scenes look at how to pitch the Sharks.

What Was Covered

  • 03:35 - How did Michael become a Millennial generation expert?
  • 05:00 - There are more Millennials than baby boomers currently.
  • 05:50 - Michael talks about Seth Godin and the project they worked on together.
  • 06:50 - Why did Seth pick Michael?
  • 08:00 - A warm introduction and showing your personally really makes you stand out from the crowd.
  • 08:40 - How did Michael get selected to write the Shark Tank book?
  • 11:50 - What are some of the biggest challenges people have when pitching to the sharks?
  • 14:10 - The minute you leave your home, you have to be 'on'.
  • 14:35 - Don't get defensive when you get asked questions by the investors. They want coachable people.
  • 15:50 - Best piece of advice? Do as much research as you possibly can on your investors.
  • 17:10 - We take risks every day. We don't know if anything will work.
  • 19:05 - Michael talks about the co-founders of Pipsnacks and shares their personal stories.
  • 20:15 - What's next for Michael?
  • 21:15 - How do you build a great team? He disagrees with Barbara Corcoran on this.
  • 22:40 - Michael talks about Mark Cuban and Kevin O'Leary.
  • 25:40 - Show as many 'proof points' as possible that your idea is going to work.
  • 26:20 - The most important thing you need to know? Just be a human being! Michael explains further.
  •  

Tweetables

Be A Human When You Pitch. Don’t be Boring.
Do research on what the investors care about before you pitch.
Self-awareness is the secret to success.
Build a team that has different skill sets.

Links Mentioned

jRobinett Website
Selling Secrets For Funding
Michael Parrish DuDell Website
Michael Parrish DuDell Twitter
The Domino Project
Personal MBA
Shark Tank Jump Start Your Business by Michael Parrish DuDell.
Shark Tank Secrets to Success by Michael Parrish DuDell.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

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Jun 27, 2016

Stephen Hall Interview

Episode Summary

Stephen Hall is the co-founder of ORock Cloud, an industry leader in cloud computing security. His main target audience is the Department of Defense and he discusses what it takes to pitch to that caliber. He is also a member of the Pasadena Angels and talks on why this particular angel group is different from the rest.

What Was Covered

  • 03:30 - Did Stephen always know he was going to become an angel investor?
  • 06:00 - Make sure you're passionate about the problem you're solving.
  • 07:20 - A great team prevents burnout.
  • 07:40 - What makes Pasadena Angels different from other angel investing groups?
  • 10:10 - What is the financial range the Pasadena Angels like to invest in?
  • 11:50 - What does Stephen look for in a pitch?
  • 12:45 - The Pasadena Angels will mentor an entrepreneur, even if their idea doesn't meet their criteria.
  • 13:55 - Stephen talks about his company, ORock Cloud.
  • 17:15 - Stephen had to rework his product three times before he was happy with it.
  • 18:05 - If you're a founder who can express empathy to the founders, and that sets you apart from 90% of the pitches they will hear.
  • 19:20 - ORock Cloud has three locations – L.A, NY, and London.
  • 20:10 - What makes ORock Cloud unique? Who’s the competition?
  • 23:10 - John mentions how Stephen is an excellent story teller. Stephen recommends getting a mentor to help you with this skill.
  • 23:40 - Being coachable is a key trait investors and entrepreneurs look for.
  • 24:25 - Stephen recommends Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.
  • 25:55 - Final thoughts? Have a great team.

 

Tweetables

A great team helps prevent burnout.
Laser focus is a competitive advantage.
If you are not coachable you will not get funded.
How to help Department of Defense with security.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
ORock Cloud Website
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

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Jun 20, 2016

Nisa Amoils Interview

Episode Summary

Nisa Amoils has a background in law, entertainment, and beauty tech. Nisa is an advisor on four boards and discusses the importance of entrepreneurs utilizing their advisory board's expertise, on today’s show. She started investing when she went through the 37 Angels boot camp and, through her unique experiences in law, has a ton of helpful advice to share with our listeners.

What Was Covered

  • 02:50 - How did Nisa get started?
  • 06:50 - How did Nisa become an entertainment lawyer?
  • 08:25 - Why did Nisa leave the entertainment industry to become an investor?
  • 10:25 - John does a recap of the 37 Angels and what they're about.
  • 11:30 - What should a good pitch contain? Nisa says to go through the standard checklist - team, market size, product, go-to market strategy, existing investors, etc.
  • 12:10 - What makes a good pitch is how entrepreneurs present the information and how concise they are about getting their message across to investors.
  • 13:00 - Nisa talks about a company she invested in called Refresh, a woman's only club.
  • 15:15 - What did Nisa like about Refresh's pitch?
  • 19:15 - When it comes to investing, Nisa travels between New York and Silicon Valley.
  • 19:35 - Nisa is currently on four advisory boards for companies she's invested in.
  • 20:25 - A strong advisory board is critical, especially for first time entrepreneurs.
  • 21:10 - You often don't know whether an entrepreneur is coachable until you're working with them.
  • 22:40 - What should entrepreneurs look out for when they're selling their company?
  • 24:15 - Nisa recommends The Creator's Code and The Startup Playbook
  • 25:30 - Nisa tries to answer every email she gets.
  • 26:05 - It's a lot harder being the entrepreneur than it is being the investor.

 

Tweetables

Why now is key when you pitch.
Be passionate, concise and authentic.
Show investors how you think.
Have an exit strategy to show ROI.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
37 Angels Website
The Creator's Code by Amy Wilkinson
The Startup Playbook by David Kidder
Nisa on LinkedIn
Nisa on Twitter

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Jun 13, 2016

Guy Spier Interview

Episode Summary

Guy Spier is a Zurich-based investor and the author of, "The Education of a Value Investor". In June 2007 he made headlines by bidding US$650,100 with Mohnish Pabrai for a charity lunch with Warren Buffett. Guy talks to John on some of the key lessons he learned from that three hour lunch with Warren Buffett and how he helps founders get funded.

What Was Covered

  • 04:30 - How did Guy get started?
  • 07:00 - Guy worked for an investment bank that ruined his reputation. When he left, no one wanted to hire him.
  • 08:10 - His father encouraged him to go into business for himself.
  • 10:30 - What did Guy learn when he met Warren Buffet?
  • 16:25 - Always be humble and always try to give value to others.
  • 18:15 - Focus on being interested in someone vs. being interesting to them. You'll have a better conversation.
  • 19:15 - It's not about how you feel, it's about how you make other people feel.
  • 20:00 - What kinds of questions did Guy ask Warren Buffet?
  • 26:10 - The more you understand yourself, the better of an investor you become. Guy explains further.
  • 29:05 - Left brain and right brain are members of a team. Don't fight yourself. work with yourself instead.
  • 31:15 - Emotions are a call to action. If we don't feel them, then we won't take the actions we need to take.
  • 32:15 - How does Guy help founders get funded?
  • 37:55 - Last piece of advice? Always generate more value than you take.

 

Tweetables

Generate more value than you take.
Emotions are a call to action.
Be humble and helpful to everyone you meet.
Accept help from people close to you.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Aquamarine Fund Website
Guy on Twitter
Guy's LinkedIn Group
The Education of a Value Investor by Guy Spier
TED Talk - The Power of Vulnerability

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Jun 6, 2016

Linda Kaplan Thaler Interview

Episode Summary

Linda Kaplan has helped create fantastic advertising campaigns throughout the industry, including the Aflac Duck, and she has composed famous jingles such as “Kodak Moments” and “I'm a Toys 'R' Us Kid.” Linda is also the co-author of Grit to Great and discusses with John how any entrepreneur can become extraordinary with these four characteristics – Guts, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity.

What Was Covered

  • 04:10 - What lessons did Linda learn from growing up in the Bronx?
  • 08:10 - Linda talks about James Patterson's grit.
  • 09:45 - Why did Linda and Robin write Grit to Great?
  • 10:20 - Only 2% of prodigies become somebody or do something with their lives.
  • 11:55 - So many successful people grew up ordinary and did not have the “IT” factor. However, they did have the GRIT factor.
  • 12:10 - GRIT stands for Guts, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity.
  • 15:25 - None of you are special.
  • 15:45 - The only reason why Linda made it was because she was resilient.
  • 16:15 - How can somebody become resilient?
  • 16:45 - It took James Dyson 15 years to create a better vacuum.
  • 18:55 - Pivot, pivot, pivot until you find something that works.
  • 20:35 - Linda shares a story on how her small advertising agency was able to win the Wendy's account.
  • 26:00 - The most important thing you can do is make your bed in the morning.
  • 26:50 - Break your problems into smaller problems and tackle the smaller pieces one by one.

 

Tweetables

Fail forward.
Finish what you start.
None of you are special.
Pivot, pivot, pivot until you find something that works.
GRIT stands for Guts, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Grit to Great Website
Linda Kaplan Thaler Twitter

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May 30, 2016

Kim Kaselionis Interview

Episode Summary

Angela Lee is the CEO and Founder of 37 Angels, a community of woman investors who are passionate about investing in early stage companies. Angela's goal is to bring the number of women investors up from 13% to 37% and provides a ton of helpful resources through her website on how woman interested in this space can get into investing. She shares her criteria for what she looks for in a founder and what she likes to see in a pitch on the show.

What Was Covered

  • 05:00 - Angela became an investor by accident.
  • 06:40 - What kind of qualities does Angela look for?
  • 09:50 - You have to fundraise in an organized way.
  • 11:30 - Why did Angela create 37 Angels, 3 years ago?
  • 13:40 - Investors do not have all the power. The power is shared equally because both the entrepreneur and the investor want the same thing.
  • 14:15 - Who is Angela's ideal founder?
  • 15:10 - Angela talks about the various industries she and her team likes to invest in.
  • 18:10 - How should someone pitch Angela?
  • 18:25 - Don't pitch the product, pitch the business. The product will most likely change.
  • 20:15 - We live in a world where we can do so much for so little from a monetary perspective.
  • 21:25 - What are the three instances where your customer is going to use your services?
  • 25:00 - Typically, for each million you want, you will give 20-25% equity for it.
  • 26:10 - Angela recommends two books.
  • 27:45 - 37angels.com has extensive resources that are helpful to founders.
  • 28:15 - Not all accelerator programs are created equal.
  • 29:00 - Angela loves Hire An Esquire.
  • 29:10 - By 2020 - 40% of our workforce is going to be freelance.
  • 30:40 - Angela will often ask a founder, 'Why?'
  • 31:35 - 37 Angels is an angel investor network as well as a training program for aspiring women investors.

Tweetables

Have stamina and determination to overcome life's speed bumps.
Confidence attracts investors.
Convert your social capital to venture capital.
Be engaged and engrossed to show passion.

Links Mentioned

JRobinett Enterprises
Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
How Full Is Your Bucket by Tom Rath
Hire An Esquire
37 Angels
37 Angels Twitter
Angela Lee Twitter

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May 23, 2016

Kim Kaselionis Interview

Episode Summary

Kimberly Kaselionis is the Founder and Managing Partner at Breakaway Funding, a private business investment firm. She has more than 25 years of senior executive experience in the community bank and investment management industry. Kimberly has a wealth of knowledge on how to proof your idea and get funding from your customers.

What Was Covered

  • 03:00 - How did Kimberly get started in this space?
  • 03:45 - Are entrepreneurs born or are they made?
  • 04:25 - Why did Kimberly leave the banking industry?
  • 06:00 - What were some of the surprises when Kimberly launched Breakaway Funding?
  • 07:05 - What kind of challenges did Kimberly face? Kimberly talks about her business revenue model.
  • 09:00 - Kimberly will be a moderator at the Global Alternative Funding conference.
  • 13:20 - Kimberly discusses some of the benefits of crowd funding.
  • 14:30 - What does a typical day look like for Kimberly at Breakaway Funding?
  • 17:35 - Kimberly shares one more example of why crowd funding is so great.
  • 20:15 - We are no longer living in a time where we get to benefit at your expense.
  • 20:45 - Kimberly shares tips on how to get people emotionally engaged with your vision/pitch.
  • 22:30 - Remember, the confused mind always says no.
  • 23:10 - We do need time to read books, so read a bad novel and relax! It's okay to take a time out.

Tweetables

Have stamina and determination to overcome life's speed bumps.
Confidence attracts investors.
Convert your social capital to venture capital.
Be engaged and engrossed to show passion.

 

Links Mentioned

Judy Robinett' Website
Breakaway Funding
4th Annual Global Alternative Funding Forum Addresses State Of The Art Options – Los Angeles
Kim Kaselionis on Linkedin
Breakaway Funding on Twitter
Kim Kaselionis on Twitter
Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of US by Mike Belsito

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May 16, 2016

David A. Rosen Interview

Episode Summary

David Rosen is the founder of TechX Foundry and is currently a mentor at TechLaunch, a New Jersey based accelerator. He also won Innovator of the Year award for simplifying the manufacturing industry in New Jersey. David discusses three ways a company can be managed and offers some pros and cons for each management style. Management style is important to define beforehand so that you can ensure you have the correct team in place to make it a reality.

What Was Covered

  • 03:50 - How did David get started?
  • 06:20 - David started his first SaaS company in 2001.
  • 08:45 - So many people fall in love with their product, but the reality is it needs to add value to others.
  • 08:50 - You can manage a company with a focus on the product, the process, or the customers. Pick one.
  • 10:40 - David recommends focusing on the customers before you focus on the product or the technology.
  • 11:45 - What are the pros and cons of managing the process of a company?
  • 13:35 - Before you pitch the investor, figure out which of three ways you plan on using to manage your compa
  • 14:20 - David talks about winning The Innovator of the Year award.
  • 19:30 - New York is now the second largest market for investments, next to San Francisco.
  • 20:20 - David talks about the three areas of TechX Foundry – Robotics, 3D Printing, and Tech Fashion.
  • 26:15 - How can you prove to investors that you and your team are the right people to execute an idea?
  • 27:25 - Remember, you can't do everything yourself.
  • 28:10 - David recommends the book the Lean Startup.
  • 30:55 - It's all about collaboration, innovation, and the desire to create successful lives.

Tweetables

A company has to have value. That's the first litmus test.
What are you truly bringing to the table?
At some point, you have to divide and counter and you gotta collaborate.
Always put your ego aside.

Links Mentioned

Selling Secrets for Funding
TechX Foundry
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
David A. Rosen on Twitter

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May 9, 2016

Bob Burg Interview

Episode Summary

Bob Burg is best known for his book Endless Referrals as well as The Go-Giver, co-authored with John David Mann. Bob makes an excellent point that if you give value to the people you serve it will not only make you a happier person, but it will also increase your financial success. He breaks down what the main difference is between price and value and why you always want to give more value than the price. Listen in for more great tidbits from Bob.

What Was Covered

  • 02:30 - How did Bob come up with the title for the book?
  • 02:55 - A title to a book is like a headline to a sales letter.
  • 03:45 - Giving is not only a great way to live a life, but it's also a financially profitable one.
  • 04:45 - What's the difference between price and value?
  • 06:45 - Value is conceptual. Give more in value than you receive in payment.
  • 07:10 - Focus on providing your clients with a valuable experience.
  • 08:10 - You need to become irresistible to investors and the best way to do that is by showing value.
  • 08:20 - What was the most helpful advice Bob received?
  • 10:25 - How important is empathy?
  • 12:10 - What should the first question always be?
  • 14:10 - Nobody gets funded by doing this alone. How do you find the right advisers/mentors?
  • 17:35 - The go-giver philosophy makes sense in a very practical way. Bob explains further.
  • 20:05 - The worst thing we can do is expect other people to see happiness the way we see happiness.
  • 20:25 - Remember, we all have limits.
  • 21:15 - As a go-giver, it's your job to find out what makes others happy and give it to them.
  • 23:15 - How do people create influence?
  • 25:55 - Last piece of advice: tap into your core and don't be someone you're not.
  • 27:35 - We got a lot of negative messages from the world saying people are mean and nasty, but it couldn't be further from the truth.

Tweetables

Pass the litmus test with investors, with a hook.
Inspiration and sweat equity are not enough to get funded.
Do people have app fatigue?
Personalization in robotics is coming.

Links Mentioned

Bob Burg's Website
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann

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May 2, 2016

Michael Glauser

Episode Summary

Michael Glauser describes himself as an entrepreneur anthropologist. He is an entrepreneur, an educator, and the author of Main Street Entrepreneur. In the book, he traveled 4,000 miles on his bicycle to interview entrepreneurs all throughout the United States. He says one of the things that helped him keep going was by changing his mindset from 'how are you feeling?' to 'how are you thinking?' That question alone gives him inspiration and the will to carry on.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:20 - What was it like having someone try to buy Michael's company when he wasn't even selling?
  • 05:30 - Why did Michael ride 4,000 miles on his bicycle to meet entrepreneurs?
  • 07:20 - Michael wanted to find entrepreneurs who are succeeding in this new economy.
  • 07:45 - It's important to talk to as many founders as possible so you can learn some of the mistakes they ma
  • 09:20 - Business is all about strong relationships, so you'll always be pitching your business.
  • 11:35 - What is NERCM?
  • 18:00 - How can you build a good advisory board?
  • 21:10 - Want to find some new mentors? Start with people you know first.
  • 23:30 - You're better off keeping the position open than hiring the wrong person. Michael shares a story abo
  • 23:55 - Teamwork is tough. It's hard to build a strong team.
  • 25:45 - When looking for investors, it has to be a win-win relationship for both you and them.
  • 26:25 - Who has zealous tenacity?
  • 29:15 - How did Michael manage and properly plan out the bike ride?
  • 30:45 - Change 'how are you feeling?' to 'how are you thinking?'
  • 32:25 - Final thoughts? Anybody can do this. Anybody can build a mainstream business.
  • 33:35 - 70% of us are unengaged at work. We don't like the work and we don't like our jobs.
  • 33:55 - With the rise of technology, there may not be enough jobs in the next few years, which is why you sh

Tweetables

Investors pick people they know, like and trust.
You don't motivate an investor, you find out what motivates them.
Happiness is relative, so find out what makes investors happy.
Does your idea serve a huge number of people?
Change how are you feeling? to how are you thinking?

Links Mentioned

Selling Secrets for Funding
Mike Glauser's Website
The Main Street Entrepreneur
Mike on Twitter
Main Street Entrepreneur by Michael Glauser

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Apr 25, 2016

Episode Summary

Andrew Goldner is the co-founder of GrowthX, a trust-network of innovators and investors. GrowthX is more than just a venture capital fund because it focuses on generating value for others first, before making a pretty penny. Prior to starting GrowthX, Andrew was a global business leader and senior technology consultant. Andrew discusses with John on what makes GrowthX different, as well as why startup founders do not need to move locations to build their vision.  

Key Takeaways

  • 01:50 - How did Andrew go from Reuters to becoming a VC?  
  • 05:15 - You don't have to move locations to get funded.
  • 08:10 - What is the vision of GrowthX?  
  • 09:00 - Unless your customers are in that expensive zip code, why even move there?  
  • 11:45 - GrowthX will be featuring the founders' faces on their website instead of their company logos.  
  • 14:25 - GrowthX plays for the long term and is more intently focused on building stronger relationships than bigger and better profits.  
  • 16:50 - When you first join a startup, it's best to just sit and listen to those around you before acting.  
  • 18:55 - What kind of attitude does it take to become a good startup founder? 
  • 21:15 - How can startup founders remain focused?  
  • 23:25 - Remember, you have a set of priorities and others need to respect that.  
  • 24:30 - Don't mistake 'being busy' as 'making progress'.  
  • 28:00 - Is the fund you're trying to reach really the right fit for your vision
  • 29:25 - How hard is it really to change someone's behavior? Andrew explains.  
  • 32:35 - Visit Growthx.com for more info!  

Tweetables

Busy doesn't mean you're making progress.
Focus on quality of investor meetings, not quantity.
Humility is a trait investors seek in founders.

Links Mentioned

The Successful Pitch
GrowthX
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
Andrew Goldner's Twitter
GrowthX Twitter

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Apr 18, 2016

Episode Summary

Nihal Mehta is the Founding General Partner at Eniac Ventures. Nihal has founded five startups and invested in over 100 companies since 1999. He is a noted expert in the emerging adoption of mobile technologies and so much more. In this interview, Nihal says he likes to put pressure on the founders to deliver a product. This is a great way to see how the team handles pressure and whether they're capable of moving quickly in the market. He also says he's grateful that his first startup ended in bankruptcy and failure, because without those experiences he would not have been able to achieve success. 

Key Takeaways

  • 02:55 - Nihal talks about the 'A Day in the Life' video.
  • 05:40 - The founding team has to be sales efficient.
  • 07:25 - How did Nihal get into investing?
  • 09:40 - When coaching new entrepreneurs, Nihal tells them to fail fast.
  • 11:15 - Nihal's first startup failed and he had to declare bankruptcy. He's glad for that experience.
  • 14:15 - Nihal wants entrepreneurs who are passionate about their work and don't care what they're currently wearing.
  • 15:10 - Show the product to Nihal as quickly as possible. If you can't do that, it's a red flag.
  • 19:55 - Your mission can be about anything, but you just have to be incredibly passionate about it.
  • 21:00 - Nihal wants to know that the entrepreneur has at least thought about the acquisition cost for each customer and their life time value.
  • 22:55 - Nihal also looks at exit strategy, but he does it a little bit differently.
  • 24:30 - How does Nihal like to meet and find new founders?
  • 26:20 - What does Nihal like to invest in?
  • 27:45 - Nihal comments on how Apple wants more apps and Google wants more people to search the web.
  • 29:15 - Nihal recommends four books off his Kindle.

Tweetables

Create lightening and have your team catch it.
Be ravenous about your mission.

Links Mentioned

Eniac
A Day In The Life: There's No 'White Space' in Nihal Mehta's Calendar
Zero To One by Peter Thiel

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
The Everything Store by Brad Stone
David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
Nihal Meta's Twitter

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