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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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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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Jan 4, 2016

Episode Summary

Brandon Esposito is an associate at PMA Venture Capital Group where he provides operational oversight, strategic management, and direct operational support to PMA's portfolio companies. Brandon does a deep dive with John on his LinkedIn article, Paring your Pitch: What a VC Wants to See, and follows up on what VCs are looking for in their entrepreneurs.

Key Takeaways

  • 00:02:15 - How did Brandon become a VC?
  • 00:05:55 - Investors want to know if your team can execute the idea.
  • 00:11:50 - Ask yourself: What's the problem and whose problem is it?
  • 00:13:40 - Does the problem affect a large enough demographic?
  • 00:23:55 - Entrepreneurs should be thinking about exit strategies.
  • 00:26:35 - What does Brandon look for in an entrepreneur?
  • 00:29:35 - Brandon shares his investment process.
  • 00:33:40 - Brandon recommends the book Start Something That Matters

Tweetables

Passion with poise is what founders need.
The more adaptable you are the more investors want to fund you.
Execution and competence are keys to getting funded.
How you pitch, shows how you think.

Links Mentioned

PMA Ventures
Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
LinkedIn Post – Paring Your Pitch

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Dec 25, 2015

Episode Summary

Mark Asquith is the host of the Excellence Expected podcast. His podcast was ranked the 1# small business podcast in the United Kingdom. Mark spells out how entrepreneurs can manage their time better and get more things done. He also shares a little bit about how to prevent burn out and why CEOs are horrible at Twitter. 

Key Takeaways

  • 02:10 - How did Mark get started?
  • 05:30 - How did Mark come up with the name for the podcast?
  • 07:25 - You can download a free productivity e-book on Mark's website.
  • 08:00 - If you don’t schedule it, then it doesn’t get done.
  • 09:20 - What's important, interesting, and integral?
  • 10:50 - Want to prevent burn out? Be happy.
  • 12:20 - How can CEOs really use Twitter?
  • 15:45 - Mark talks about being the captain of your own ship.
  • 19:50 - You get through the first year just by tackling it day by day.
  • 20:50 - How many months will it take to break even? Make profit as quickly as you can.
  • 21:45 - Is it possible to get leads from Periscope and Blab?
  • 27:10 - Mark recommends the book, The Stranger's Secret by Earl Nightingale.

Tweetables

Use periscope to make your face something people are used to seeing.
Job of founders is to steer the ship.
If it doesn't get scheduled, it doesn't get done.
Is it interesting, important and integral?

Links Mentioned

Excellence Expected
The One Thing by Gary W. Keller
Excellence Expected - 5 TWITTER SINS THAT ARE DESTROYING YOUR CREDIBILITY AND HOW TO STOP THEM TODAY
How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett
The Stranger's Secret by Earl Nightingale
Mark Asquith Twitter

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Dec 18, 2015

Episode Summary

Roger Dooley is an author, international keynote speaker, and consultant. He is a recognized expert in the use of brain and behavior research to improve marketing, sales, and customer experience. Roger teaches the audience on the importance of understanding how the brain works and how you can use this knowledge to get the right reactions out of your investors.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:00 - Why does the brain interest Roger?
  • 08:25 - How can you get people to remember your pitch better?
  • 09:35 - Roger explains what system one and system two thinking is.
  • 16:20 - Roger explains Robert Cialdini's 6 principles of persuasion.
  • 22:35 - Stories are a powerful persuasion tool.
  • 24:35 - Facts and figures are important, but try to incorporate a story into it.
  • 28:45 - Disney knows your brain.
  • 35:15 - Roger recommends a couple of books to the audience.
  • 36:20 - Please check out Roger's website for more information.

Tweetables

Our brains evolved to pay attention to stories.
If you want an investors brain to "light up" tell a story.
Social proof is key to persuade investors.
Find ways to connect with investors by doing your homework on who they are.

Links Mentioned

Brainfluence by Roger Dooley.
Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
The 6 Principles of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
Influence by Robert Cialdini
Hooked by Nir Eyal
Roger Dooley Website
Roger Dooley Twitter
Forbes - Roger Dooley

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Dec 11, 2015

Episode Summary

Geri Stengel is the president for Ventureneer and is a regular contributor for Forbes, QuickBooks, and Turnstone. Geri is known for being a serial entrepreneur, teacher, and author of the book, Forget the Glass Ceiling. Geri talks on how to design your elevator pitch in such a way that it grabs attention. He also talks about how important it is for entrepreneurs to be agile learners, people with curiosity, and have the ability to tolerate ambiguity.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:15 - What was the business culture like at Dow Jones?
  • 03:00 - Geri explains a little bit more of her background and what she has done.
  • 04:30 - What is the difference between men and women founders?
  • 06:45 - It's important to show investors that you are trust worthy.
  • 09:15 - Geri explains further on an article she wrote for QuickBooks.
  • 12:10 - Equity crowdfunding or traditional angels?
  • 15:10 - Only about 3% of accredited investors are angel investors.
  • 18:40 - Investors want entrepreneurs to be coachable.
  • 23:00 - Reward-based crowdfunding is a great way to test the waters.
  • 25:15 - Geri talks about her book.
  • 27:25 - Follow Geri @VentureNeer on Twitter.

Tweetables

Be an Agile Learner.
Forget the Glass Ceiling.
Three ways to grab investors’ attention.
Use an analogy to make your pitch strong.

Links Mentioned

Ventureneer
Ventureneer Twitter
Women Entrepreneurs Get Their Game On With Angel Investors
Forget the Glass Ceiling by Geri Stengel. 
Investing Between the Lines by Laura Rittenhouse.

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Dec 4, 2015

Episode Summary

Dorie Clark is a strategy consultant and professional speaker who has worked with clients including Google, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, DHL, Fidelity, Yale University, and the World Bank. She is also a regular contributor to Forbes and the Harvard Business Review, and the author of "Stand Out" and "Reinventing You". Dorie talks on how startup founders can stand out and touches briefly on how they can let go of fear.

Key Takeaways

  • 01:55 - Your personal brand is your career insurance.
  • 02:15 - How did Dorie get started?
  • 04:30 - Why did Dorie write the book Reinventing You?
  • 06:15 - Dorie is not an overnight success.
  • 07:40 - How did Dorie become a presidential campaign spokesperson?
  • 10:00 - What kind of advice does Dorie give to places like Google and Microsoft?
  • 14:00 - Why does Google like Dorie's book, Stand Out?
  • 17:30 - How can you stand out? Build your network, audience, and community.
  • 20:50 - How do you let go of fear?
  • 24:55 - Dorie talks about the inner critic article she wrote with Susan Brady.
  • 27:40 - Dorie shares a bunch of great book resources.
  • 29:00 - You can get a free 42 page workbook on Dorie's site.

Tweetables

Make Yourself Findable.
Branding is career insurance.
Can't move forward if you expect perfection.
How to silence the inner critic?

Links Mentioned

Dorie Clark: "Stand Out" | Talks at Google
Forbes Welcome
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
Power by Jeffery Pfeffer
Influence by Robert Cialdini
Dorie Clark Website
Reinventing You by Dorie Clark
Stand Out by Dorie Clark.

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Nov 27, 2015

Episode Summary

David Desharnais is the CMO and Senior VP at TraxPay and an advisor for several different investment companies. David has won a number of awards including the International Funding Deal of the Year Award and the Business Excellence Award. David explains how he and his team fixed a major problem in the finance industry and how he even turned his competitors into avid investors for the company.

Key Takeaways

  • 01:50 - Why is David a 'geek who can speak'?
  • 03:45 - How did David go from being an engineer to an advisor?
  • 09:10 - David talks about the team aspect in a company.
  • 12:00 - How did David win the International Funding Deal of the Year award?
  • 20:20 - TraxPay's first round was $4m and on the second round raised $15m.
  • 23:55 - David and his team got his competitors to be his investors.
  • 25:00 - The difference between a first round pitch and a second round pitch?
  • 27:15 - How did David win the Business Excellence Award?
  • 29:45 - The same day David's team announced TraxPay, Apple Pay was also announced.
  • 31:25 - David highly recommends The Hard Thing About Hard Things book by Ben Horowitz.
  • 33:20 - You can follow David on Twitter @DaveDesharnais.

Tweetables

Practice the pitch and Research your investors.Co-branding is key to marketing success.From near death to success.
A Geek Who Can Speak.

Links Mentioned

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
TraxpayDavid Desharnais LinkedIn
David Desharnais Twitter

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