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The Successful Pitch with John Livesay

The Successful Pitch interviews thought leaders, speakers and authors as well as successful startups who share their secrets in raising funding, Investors give inside tips on what they look for when they hear a pitch. Join your host, The Pitch Whisperer and author John Livesay as he provides insights on how to make your pitch compelling, easy to understand and inspiring. John is a keynote speaker on Getting To Yes and shares tips on going from invisible to irresistible to win new clients.
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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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Apr 11, 2016

Episode Summary

Adam Quinton is the founder of Lucas Point Ventures, an early seed stage investment company. Adam talks about both his investment strategy and philosophy on today's show. He also shares his thoughts on what makes a successful pitch as well as gives valuable advice on how a founder can prepare for that second meeting. 

Key Takeaways

  • 03:35 - How did Adam get started?
     
  • 05:45 - What are the three things Adam looks for in a pitch?
     
  • 07:45 - Why will your product work now?
     
  • 08:30 - If you haven't got a co-founder now, find one.
     
  • 08:50 - Multiple co-founders can help with stress.
     
  • 11:45 - Don't fill your pitch with lots of facts, because ultimately it's about you.
     
  • 12:30 - Adam doesn't like video product demos.
     
  • 14:35 - How can you place yourself in front of the right investor?
     
  • 17:25 - Why did Adam invest in Snaps?
     
  • 19:55 - Does Adam like a particular startup genre?
     
  • 21:55 - What's Adam's investment philosophy?
     
  • 26:00 - Would Adam invest in the competitor of a company he has already backed?
     
  • 27:45 - Adam shares a pitch he loved back in 2012.
     
  • 29:05 - A husband and wife were the founding team of Rapmedia.
     
  • 31:05 - How does a founder prepare for the second meeting?
     
  • 34:55 - Is it important for founders to have an exit strategy?
     
  • 36:40 - Adam recommends three books.

Tweetables

Pitch Deck is a prop to showcase you.
Investors don't buy the product, they buy equity in company.
Angels are in exit business, not investing business.
Get a co-founder to help manage stress.

Links Mentioned

JRobinett
How to Make Your Startup Irresistible to Investors in 5 Easy Steps Webinar
Lucas Point Ventures
Adam Quinton LinkedIn
The Muse
Snaps
Rapmedia
Venture Deals by Brad Feld
What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know by Brian Cohen
Startupland by Mikkel Svane


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Apr 4, 2016

Episode Summary

Claudia Iannazzo is the General Partner at Pereg Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. On average, Claudia hears of approximately 1,500 pitches a year, but only 5 of those actually get funded. Claudia shares her criteria on what she looks for in an entrepreneur, but also reveals an interesting insight. Despite not believing in the entrepreneur at first, she has funded them in the end, because they were able to prove their idea and their worth later down the line. 

Key Takeaways

  • 03:20 - How did Claudia get started?

  • 6:50 - If you don't make it easy, you'll get excluded.

  • 10:50 - What is the difference between working in Australia vs. U.S.?
  • 11:00 - When Claudia left Australia, she vowed never to start a company there ever again.
  • 13:15 - Is investing in a company like a marriage? Claudia says it can be worse than a marriage.
  • 14:50 - When Pereg Ventures invests, they get actively involved
    with the company.
  • 17:55 - How are entrepreneurs opening new doors for their customers?
  • 20:55 - A warm introduction is always best, but if you can't get one, don't be afraid to try a cold one.
  • 21:50 - What makes Claudia want to invest in a particular entrepreneur? What are her criteria?
  • 24:15 - Out of 500 companies, Claudia will only like 100 of them. 50 of them are worth a closer look. 10 will receive a formal due diligence check and 5 of those will get funded.
  • 26:30 - By 2017, CMOs will spend more on technology than their CIO counterparts.
  • 27:35 - Claudia recommends reading sci-fi books.

Tweetables

If you don't make it easy to understand, you won't get funded.
Investors want to be charmed by founders.
Talk with investors, not to them.
Do your customers see the value in what you do?

Links Mentioned

Judy Robinett Website
Pereg Ventures

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Mar 28, 2016

Episode Summary

Charlene Li is the founder of Altimeter Group and the author of several books including the New York Times bestseller, Open Leadership. Today Charlene sits down with John to talk about how entrepreneurs can become engaged leaders; not only for their team, but for their customers as well. She talks on the four key aspects a leader must have in order to become properly engaged with people who matter.

Key Takeaways

  • 03:25 - How did Charlene get started?

  • 05:40 - Charlene talks on how she made her company, Altimeter, stand out.

  • 09:25 - You can't just wing it, you have to prepare.

  • 12:40 - Despite Charlene giving her research out for free, people still wanted to hire her to speak.

  • 13:55 - Leaderships are all about relationships.

  • 14:20 - How can you really become an engaged leader?

  • 16:50 - Charlene shares an example of an engaged leader.

  • 19:40 - How can you engage to transform not only your team, but your customers as well?

  • 22:10 - Charlene talks about Obama being on Reddit.

  • 23:25 - What does Pope Francis do differently than everyone else?

  • 27:10 - Charlene talks about the best pitch she has listened to.

  • 28:35 - If you can't tell Charlene what your pitch is within two minutes, you don't have a pitch.

  • 30:40 - What kind of businesses does Charlene like to invest in? 

  • 33:15 - How resilient is your team?

  • 33:45 - You only have four hours of the week that really matters.

  • 34:15 - You can't do your best work when you're putting in 70-80-100 hours a week.

Tweetables

You want your company to be bought not sold.
Use social media to engage and transform.
How to thrive during disruption.
Focus on you solving pain points in a unique way.

Links Mentioned

Judy Robinett Website
Charlene Li Website
The Engaged Leader by Charlene Li
Open Leadership by Charlene Li
Groundswell by Charlene Li
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Rework by Jason Fried

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Mar 21, 2016

Episode Summary

Karla Nelson is an entrepreneur, business innovator, and a power connector. She is a thought leader at Sac-cess.com and is heavily involved with Latch.com, a company that helps connect the right business professionals within the real estate industry. Her message is clear: entrepreneurs need a strong ecosystem of support or else they'll burn out and become uninspired. She also says to never underestimate a person and their personal network of people.

Key Takeaways

  • 03:25 - Why did Karla become an entrepreneur?

  • 06:25 - What does Karla mean when she says, 'the significant of next'?

  • 08:35 - How did Latch.com get started?

     

  • 10:50 - It's about the quality of the relationship instead of quantity.

     

  • 14:55 - Karla is helping the Sacramento community.

     

  • 16:00 - The reason why everyone wants to go to Silicon Valley is because of the network.

     

  • 17:30 - Technology allows us to work remotely and do great things regardless of our location.

     

  • 20:25 - Transparency is the key to successful and trusting relationships.

     

  • 26:00 - The death of an entrepreneur is solitude. You need to have an ecosystem.

     

  • 27:45 - VCs need to see your passion.

     

  • 28:25 - There's nothing you can't do with passion.

     

  • 31:40 - There's sales and then there's everything else. Learn how to sell yourself.

     

  • 33:05 - Karla recommends two books.

     

  • 36:40 - You're one person away of massively changing your life. Don't underestimate a person.

Tweetables

Death of founder is solitude.
Connection through empathy.
Only one person away from changing your life.
People buy with emotion and back it up with logic.

Links Mentioned

Judy Robinett Website
Karla Nelson Website
LATCH
Sac-Cess
BubbleBall
Karla Nelson Twitter
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett

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Mar 14, 2016

Episode Summary

Julia Pimsleur is the CEO and Founder of Little Pim, the leading source for introducing young children to a second language. Her business has won 25 awards and is sold in 22 countries. Julia is on a fantastic mission to help one million women entrepreneurs make one million in revenues by 2020. Listen in to learn how she got started, how you can get off your entrepreneur hamster wheel, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:50 - How did Julia get started in business?

  • 04:35 - Children often learn a second language too late.

  • 04:50 - How can you get off the entrepreneur hamster wheel?

  • 05:50 - Work on the business, not in the business.

  • 06:45 - Why is it so hard to raise capital?

  • 08:15 - Fully commit to raising capital.

  • 08:25 - Change your self-talk to 'When I get funded' instead of 'If I get funded'.

  • 08:30 - Fund raising is brutal and can be more difficult to do as a woman.

  • 10:20 - Venture capital has been working the same way for many, many years.

  • 10:55 - Julia talks about how she raised her first million dollars.

  • 13:25 - Julia shares a couple of tips on how to improve your pitch.

  • 15:10 - Put yourself in the shoes of an investor.

  • 17:35 - Julia recommends: Venture Deals by Brad Feld and The Fundraising Rules by Mark Davis.

  • 19:10 - You just have to be conversational, not perfect.

  • 19:20 - Investors expect you to be an expert in your world/industry.

Tweetables

Shift from ‘If I get funded’ to ‘WHEN I get funded’ mindset.
How to get off the startup hamster wheel.
Fortune favors the brave.
Pitch with grit and focus.

Links Mentioned

Judy Robinett Website
Julia Pimsleur Website
Julia Pimsleur Twitter
Little Pim
Million Dollar Women by Julia Pimsleur
Venture Deals by Brad Feld
The Fundraising Rules by Mark Davis

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Mar 7, 2016

Episode Summary

Linda Galindo was a journalist and radio news personality before getting into consulting. Currently, as an accountability expert, she helps bring accountability to organizations at the leadership level. Linda is also the author of The 85% Solution and Way to Grow! On this episode, Linda talks to John on how entrepreneurs can create a better company culture and get out of the babysitting mentality with underperforming employees.

Key Takeaways

  • 3:22 - How did Linda come up with her tag line?

  • 4:50 - How did Linda become an accountability expert?

  • 7:35 - Linda talks about her book, The 85% Solution.

  • 11:15 - Stuff happens, but will you make up excuses when it does?

  • 13:00 - What do people do when they take responsibility? Linda lists the top 3 behaviors.

  • 15:15 - Don't rescue, fix or save underperformers.

  • 17:50 - How can entrepreneurs create an open company culture?

  • 21:45 - If you don't know the answer to something, don't lie about it.

  • 23:15 - How can companies get out of the 'babysitter' university?

  • 26:45 - You want to get rid of your high-maintenance employees as quickly as possible.

  • 29:10 - Accountability in the company is a competitive advantage.

  • 29:55 - However, you cannot mandate accountability, you can only demonstrate it.

  • 32:30 - Linda recommends How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett

  • 34:15 - Don't forget to connect with Linda!

Tweetables

Accountability = invisibility.
No meeting after the meeting.
Can't mandate accountability only demonstrate it.
Don't rescue, fix or save underperformers.

Links Mentioned

Judy Robinett Website
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Linda Galindo's Website
Linda Galindo's Facebook
Linda Galindo's Twitter
The 85% Solution by Linda Galindo
Way to Grow! by Linda Galindo
How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett
Why Leaders Can't Lead by Warren G. Bennis

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Feb 29, 2016

Episode Summary

Daniel Maw is the owner of Pixel One and the technical director of HACKSAW. Daniel talks about the successful ways to find a great co-founder and how to pitch a client. He mentions that being busy is so easy that you might lose track of your end goals, but no matter how busy you get, you simply can't take your eyes off of them. Your business depends on your end goals in order to succeed.

Key Takeaways

  • 01:20 - The key to getting good clients is by having a real relationship not a service relationship.

  • 03:20 - How did Daniel get started? 

  • 07:50 - Daniel talks about how he won the Best Interactive Product award.

  • 10:25 - Why did Daniel decide to start Pixel One?

  • 16:05 - Daniel didn't even have a plan B when he started his company.

  • 16:55 - Believe it or not, Daniel didn't like Mark Asquith when he first met him.

  • 19:15 - What is Daniel's end game with his current company?

  • 21:30 - How does Daniel pitch a client?

  • 22:45 - “People buy people.”

  • 26:15 - How can you make sure what you're doing is profitable?

  • 27:25 - How can you find the right co-founder/team?

  • 28:35 - Daniel explains what he means by 'As hire As and Bs hire Cs'.

  • 29:50 - Daniel recommends: Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy and Art of Persuasion by Bob Burg.

  • 33:25 - Anybody who is really good at something has spent some time developing it.

Tweetables

A-level people hire A-level talent.
Easy to be busy being busy but it isn't enough.
Know what your end game is when you start.
Say no to clients who don't appreciate you.

Links Mentioned

Judy Robinett Website
Hacksaw
Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
Art of Persuasion by Bob Burg
Daniel Maw Twitter

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Feb 23, 2016

Episode Summary

Tim Sanders has been involved with disruptive change for the past 30 years. He was on the ground floor of the mobile phone industry and the birth of the World Wide Web. He has written several books including Love Is the Killer App, Dealstorming, and more. Tim talks about his innovation template, how to build fantastic teams, and tell great stories. 

Key Takeaways

  • 04:05 - How did Tim become such a good storyteller?
  • 05:35 - There's only five stories in the world. Tim elaborates.
  • 07:40 - Tim talks about how he came up with his latest book, Dealstorming.
     
  • 11:30 - You don't just have a tall team, you have a wide one too.
     
  • 13:40 - Sales genius is a team sport. Tim explains what he means by this.
     
  • 16:40 - What's in an innovation template?
     
  • 22:00 - Invest 25% of your time in the discussion of the root of the problem you're having.
     
  • 25:20 - Tim breaks down the four keys to investing.
     
  • 27:30 - Tim talks about unsustainable business models.
     
  • 30:00 - Build a quality team to conquer huge deals.

Tweetables

Rapid problem solving is a competitive advantage.

Links Mentioned

JRobinett Enterprises
Give Your Speech, Change the World by Nick Morgan
Public Words
Dealstorming by Tim Sanders
Dealstorming
Tim Sanders' Twitter
Tim Sanders' LinkedIn

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Feb 22, 2016

Episode Summary

Jude Robinson helps both inventors and companies develop new products and bring them to market. Jude shares her personal story on what it was like growing up in Alaska, smart ways to test your products before spending tons of money to bring them to market, and why some of your best ideas and creations happen when your back is against the wall.

Key Takeaways

  • 3:00 - Why did Jude become an entrepreneur? 

  • 5:20 - Jude talks about the life lessons she has learned in Alaska. 

  • 6:10 - Honor your word.

  • 7:05 - Jude talks about how she got started. 

  • 10:25 - Jude shares networking tips.

  • 13:25 - How can you master your personal story?

  • 18:15 - Good ideas happen with your back against the wall. 

  • 19:55 - Get used to rejection. 

  • 23:20 - Sometimes you need to zoom out and see the big picture.

  • 24:45 - Don't try to be bigger than the chain.

  • 27:05 - Social-proof your idea first before spending tons of money on patents and failed inventions.

  • 29:15 - Jude recommends a synonyms finder. 

  • 30:30 - How can entrepreneurs deal with fear?

Tweetables

Don't be a brain picker or a tire kicker when networking.
Don't let others’ lack of integrity change your integrity.
Good ideas never come from agenda.
Don't give rejection the attention it seeks.

Links Mentioned

Jude Robinson's LinkedIn

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Feb 8, 2016

Episode Summary

Annette Lavoie started out as a medical device entrepreneur and currently provides mentorship to startup companies. After more than ten years in the medical device industry, she sold her first company and has incredible experience on how startup founders can succeed in the scary world of venture capital. Annette talks to John on how to evaluate startup companies, pre-revenue; and how to maintain your position as a founder after being funded.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:45 - How did Annette get started?

  • 03:40 - Why did she become an entrepreneur?

  • 08:10 - How did Annette convince investors to fund her?

  • 12:20 - What kind of investment strategies should an entrepreneur have before they meet with VCs?

  • 15:35 - Do your homework.

  • 19:45 - The ideal founder has a strong team in the beginning.

  • 20:15 - When your company gets larger, it's easier to overcome some of the team dynamics.

  • 20:55 - Annette talks about pre-revenue valuation.

  • 24:40 - Know your numbers really well or be upfront with not knowing. Never make them up.

  • 28:50 - What should entrepreneurs know before they go into a VC meeting?

  • 29:55 - How can you keep your position as a founder in your company?

  • 32:10 - Annette recommends three books entrepreneurs should read.

Tweetables

The opportunity is more important than the product.
Valuation is an art.
Be in the right room.
Know your exit strategy.

Links Mentioned

Dead on Arrival by Roger Royse
Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff
How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett
Annette Lavoie Website
Annette Lavoie Twitter

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Feb 1, 2016

Episode Summary

Denise Brosseau is a thought leadership strategist, author, and business advisor. Denise is the CEO of Thought Leadership Lab, which specializes in building leaders into thought leaders. She serves on several startup advisory boards such as Vermillion and Kokko, Inc and talks to John about what thought leaders do differently from regular leaders.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:00 - Why does Denise do what she does?

  • 03:45 - How did Denise get the Champion of Change?

  • 08:30 - What is Springboard?

  • 11:25 - What's the difference between being a thought leader vs just being a leader?

  • 18:10 - People connect with entrepreneurs who show a little vulnerability.

  • 22:15 - Denise talks about her one page plan. 

  • 24:35 - What does Kokko, Inc do?

  • 28:15 - Denise talks about Vermillion.

  • 29:55 - Leaders are good at VRE (Vision, Relationships, and Execution).

  • 30:45 - Denise recommends Switch by Chip and Dan Heath.

Tweetables

Your why is more compelling than your numbers.
Have a ‘one-page plan’.
Create a tribe of followers.
Vision, relationships and execution.

Links Mentioned

Thought Leadership Lab
Ready to Be a Thought Leader by Denise Brosseau
Springboard Enterprises
Kokko Inc.
Vermillion Inc.
Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
Denise Brosseau Twitter
Denise Brosseau LinkedIn

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Jan 25, 2016

Episode Summary

Gillian Zoe Segal is the author of Getting There: A Book of Mentors. She interviewed highly successful entrepreneurs, mentors, and inspirational people such as Warren Buffett and Anderson Cooper for her book, which took roughly five years to complete. Gillian talks about some of the key lessons entrepreneurs can learn from successful individuals, how to not take rejection personally, and why persistence is one of the keys to success.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:20 - It took Gillian five years to complete her book, Getting There.

  • 03:20 - Don't get upset if busy people ignore or even reject you.

  • 04:25 - How can someone not take rejection personally?

  • 05:25 - Don't walk into a room like you're already defeated.

  • 06:00 - Why did Gillian write the book?

  • 07:55 - Never accept a no from someone who can give you a yes.

  • 09:50 - Follow up, follow up, and follow up!

  • 15:50 - Never assume it has always been one straight line to success.

  • 22:40 - Remember, nothing worth doing is easy.

  • 25:05 - What kind of challenges did Frank Gehry face?

  • 27:40 - If you never fail, you're not trying hard enough.

Tweetables

Resilience and determination are keys to success.
When you get rejected, don't always listen to the reason why.
If you never fail, you are not trying hard enough.
If you get rejected enough, you get a tough skin.

Links Mentioned

Gillian Zoe Segal Website
Gillian Zoe Segal LinkedIn
Gillian Zoe Segal Facebook
Gillian Zoe Segal Twitter
Gillian Zoel Segal EmailGetting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe
SegalStand Out by Dorie Clark

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Jan 18, 2016

Episode Summary

Jason Best is one of the three people responsible for creating the CrowdFund Investment Framework used by President Barrack Obama in the Jobs Act. These important law reforms are what made crowdfund investing legal in the US. Jason talks about his experience with President Obama signing new legislation, as well as on how international companies like Asian raised funds. 

Key Takeaways

  • 02:00 - What's Jason's background and how did he get into crowdfunding?
  • 06:50 - Jason talks about his experience at the White House Rose Garden.
  • 12:05 - How has the new Jobs Act Obama signed into law affected crowdfunding?
  • 14:00 - Raising money for a business is always difficult.
  • 18:45 - Jason talks on being a general partner at Crowd Capital Venture Fund.
  • 21:20 - How do companies in Asia raise capital? 
  • 28:20 - You can fund a deal faster by using crowdfunding – saving time for the entrepreneurs. 
  • 29:10 - New angel investors can make smaller investments through the use of crowdfunding platforms to test the waters and gain experience in the industry.
  • 31:55 - Jason recommends How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett.

Tweetables

Crowdfunding is a new way to do a difficult thing.
Crowdfunding now is only at page 60 of a 1000 page novel.
Give a founder an opportunity and they will find a way.
Power of saying yes.

Links Mentioned

Crowdfund Capital Advisors
Crowdfund Investing for Dummies by Jason Best
How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett
Jason Best Tiwtter

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Jan 11, 2016

Episode Summary

Alicia Robb is a senior fellow with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the author of A Rising Tide: Financing Strategies for Women-Owned Firms. Alicia talks to us on what it's like to work with the co-founder of Portfolia and the work that she's doing with the Rising Tide Fund. She also said there are many books and resources out there, but you should always get involved with your local startup community to learn from people who are already in the trenches. 

Key Takeaways

  • 01:50 - How did Alicia get started?
  • 04:00 - Why did Alicia work for the Federal Reserve Board?
  • 06:15 - Are we currently in a tech bubble?
  • 07:15 - What is it like being a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation?
  • 10:00 - Is it easier to get funding today than it was a couple of years ago?
  • 12:00 - Alicia talks about Portfolia.
  • 17:40 - You don't have to give up equity in return for funding.
  • 20:25 - What makes a good pitch? 
  • 22:15 - Rising Tide members are located all over the states.
  • 23:30 - It's hard to be an entrepreneur, so you have to have passion.
  • 26:25 - Alicia recommends the Kauffman School for more resources.  
  • 27:10 - Get involved with your startup community.
  • 27:50 - What is 1 Million Cups about?

Tweetables

Passion helps overcome rejection.
Show scalability for ROI.
1 million cups of coffee is what it takes to be a startup.
99 women join forces for Rising Tide Fund.

Links Mentioned

A Rising Tide by Alicia Robb
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Portfolia
RisingTide
Startup Grind
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Startup Communities by Brad Feld
1 Million Cups
Alicia Robb Twitter
Forbes - Kauffman

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