50 episodes

Do you want to hear about when the idea hit the founder? When they took the leap? What keeps them going when what they are doing seems impossible? Join Next Frontier Capital as they interviews founders, funders, and contributors molding the startup landscape. Found in the Rockies is on a mission to build a strong, connected community in the Rocky Mountain region (Montana, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado)

Found In The Rockies Les Craig

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

Do you want to hear about when the idea hit the founder? When they took the leap? What keeps them going when what they are doing seems impossible? Join Next Frontier Capital as they interviews founders, funders, and contributors molding the startup landscape. Found in the Rockies is on a mission to build a strong, connected community in the Rocky Mountain region (Montana, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado)

    Wesley Eames (After.com) \\ Revolutionizing death tech

    Wesley Eames (After.com) \\ Revolutionizing death tech

    In today’s episode, we have Wesley Eames, CEO and founder of after.com. Wesley is working to fix what is an antiquated and broken funeral system and he has the entrepreneur chops to do it. 
    Here’s a closer look at the episode:
    Wesley’s early start in entrepreneurship at 12.Wesley’s background in business.Trace.com - genealogy - Wesley’s first VC backed companyDiving into dating apps by buying another startup - MeetMindfulFounding Tales.com with his wifeThe importance of memorializing stories.Why death tech?The death of big funeral - https://youtu.be/0hU1-kIGhJoNo one has tried this before. Why is that?The environmental impactHow death traditions have changedFinding a co-founder.The pre-planning servicesWhat are the locations?Adding the death insurance componentWesley’s thoughts on the future of the industry.Wesley’s thoughts on legacyResources:
    Website: https://www.after.com/
    Wes Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/weames/
    Wes Twitter: https://twitter.com/WesleyEames 
    After LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/after-com/

    • 54 min
    Stef Sample (FUNDID) \\ Simplifying business finance & access to capital

    Stef Sample (FUNDID) \\ Simplifying business finance & access to capital

    In today’s episode, we welcome back the original host of Found in the Rockies - Stef Sample. Stef now has a new company, FUNDID, which is empowering business owners on their growth journeys by simplifying business finance & access to capital
    Here’s a closer look at the episode:
    Growing up in Billings, MTMoving to Missoula to study ChineseThe Insight Studio and supporting other entrepreneursHow The Insight Studio helped inspire FUNDID.Raising her Seed round.Thinking of fundraising like a competitive sportThe importance of having a good marketing plan in an ecosystem.If you ask for advice, you get money. If you don’t ask for money you get advice.How the VC world is broken.Closing the seed round.Getting business funding to small businesses - which account for 98% of all women owned businessesLaunching a business charge card direct to those who need it. A move to Salt Lake to grow FUNDIDFamily BalanceResources:
    Website: https://www.getfundid.com/ 
    Stef LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stefaniesample/
    FUNDID LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/fundid/ 

    • 50 min
    Zach Smith (Align Tech & Best Mobile Inc) \\ Lifting Up Community Through Skill Development

    Zach Smith (Align Tech & Best Mobile Inc) \\ Lifting Up Community Through Skill Development

    In today’s episode, I speak with Zach Smith, who is the founder of the FinTech company, Align Tech, and also on a professional mission to improve financial literacy for young people. Zach's journey is underscored by his persistent commitment to create value respect and lead people from all backgrounds and walks of life.
    Here’s a closer look at the episode:
    Zach’s story and how it all began.Men of TomorrowGrowing up in Florida and having mentorship. How Zach’s life changed after he left the University of Florida and went to Nantucket.How did Zach end up in the RockiesThe endless beach vs. the humbling mountains of entrepreneurship.Working with Uber - creating Mobile Auto and DieselRelationship with Lincoln TechWhat was the inspiration for Best Mobile?Why you have to be humble enough to recognize your own expertise.Developing AlignTechZack’s background in crypto trading and crypto mining.Zach’s thoughts on entrepreneurship as a solo quest versus a family quest.Finding your purpose. What is next for Zach and his growth.Resources:
    Website: aligntech.io
    Zach LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zacharey-smith-itilv4-0aa014123/

    • 45 min
    Jason & Justus Thompson (CAPE Inclusion) \\ Using data to drive changes in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Jason & Justus Thompson (CAPE Inclusion) \\ Using data to drive changes in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    In today’s episode, we have an incredible team, building data driven solutions to power Diversity, Equity and Inclusion change. It's practical, real and focused. This is going to be a great episode, I'm pleased to welcome Jason Thompson, and Justus Thompson co-founders of CAPE inclusion.
    Here’s a closer look at the episode:
    Introducing Jason Thompson and Justus Thompson.Jason’s career in diversity and inclusion.The Olympic and Paralympic teams.Justus’s start building diversity programs.Working at TechStars. Jason’s book: Diversity and Inclusion MattersCAPE Inclusion: Collect, Analyze, Plan, and ExecuteThe disconnect between the data and the people who use it.Why companies don’t focus on diversity inclusion and/or cut the programsThe first MVP.What TechStars taught Justus about being a founderThe partnership with Javier as an angel investorWhat is exciting Justus about the business right nowDiversity is constrained by who leaves and who stays. Don’t try to “boil the ocean”What’s the right data? What are the metrics?Understanding blind spotsDiversity training is tailored to the actual problem.Why you need to be serious about diversity in your investments.Resources:
    Website: https://www.capeinclusion.com/ 
    Justus LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/justus-thompson-he-him-his-02ab64101/
    Jason LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thompso4/ 
    CAPE Inclusion LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/capeinclusion/ 
    CAPE Inclusion Twitter: https://twitter.com/capeinclusion 
    CAPE Inclusion Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/capeinclusion 
    CAPE Inclusion Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/capeinclusion/ 

    • 50 min
    Rilee Buttars (Dónde) \\ Why better time off means better time on

    Rilee Buttars (Dónde) \\ Why better time off means better time on

    In today’s episode, we have another incredible story that takes us from Idaho, to the great State of Utah. I am excited to welcome Rilee Butters, who is the co-founder and CEO of Dónde the travel as a benefit company that is taking PTO to the next level. 
    Here’s a closer look at the episode:
    Rilee’s childhood in Idaho and looking for a place to belongHow a trip to India started her love of travelFrom a collegiate athlete to BYU Advertising ProgramFilm producingHow Rilee’s experiences prepared her for DóndeLeaving advertising to chase her dreamWhy a travel company?How much PTO goes unused each yearEmpowered-PTOWhat is “good PTO” and how does it drive ROI?How Dónde worksThe value of travel in workplace cultureThe first year and challenges of COVIDOptimizing the time during COVID to focus on the techRaising money - while pregnantAdvice to other women/mothers who are entrepreneursImportance of confidenceWhat’s coming up in the next few months?Resources:
    Website: godonde.com 
    Rilee Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rbuttars/?hl=en 
    Dónde LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/d%C3%B3nde/ 
    Dónde Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/go_donde/ 

    • 50 min
    Kirsten Suddath (Next Frontier Capital) \\ Venture Capital 101

    Kirsten Suddath (Next Frontier Capital) \\ Venture Capital 101

    In today’s episode, we have NFC’s very own. Kirsten Suddath. Kirsten is a General Partner at Next Frontier Capital. For the first episode of Season 3 are doing a crash course in Venture Capital - a “VC 101”. We are breaking down all the Alphabet soup of VC terms, the different positions in a Venture Capital firm, where the money comes from, and what kind of companies/founders are right for Venture Capital investment. 
    Here’s a closer look at the episode:
    Kirsten’s background and what got her into VCWhat is Venture Capital?Venture Capital FirmsVenture Capital Funds - where does the money come fromTypes of Limited PartnersPositions in a VC Firm - General Partner, Managing Director, Analyst, Associate, Principal, Head of Platform, Operations, CFORole of LPs in investment decisions - LPACHow VC funds are raised - when do they get the moneyInvestment period of a fundManagement Fee of a fundHow does the VC firm make money off of investments?Company exitsFund CarryVenture Capital vs. Private EquityWhat control do VCs have in the companies they invest inVenture Deals - Jason Mendelson and Brad FeldThe role of a Board of DirectorsWhen should founders raise capital?Which entrepreneurs shouldn’t raise capitalWhat makes a good founder investable?Super Founders by Ali TamasebResources:
    NFC Website: www.nextfrontiercapital.com 
    NFC LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/next-frontier-caiptal/ 
    Kirsten Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suddath/ 
    Kirsten Twitter: https://twitter.com/KirstenSuddath 

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

LV_podcast ,

Must listen for anyone in or interested in VC

For anyone looking to learn about VC in the mid-west or, for that matter, VC in general this podcast is a must listen. Les is a phenomenal host with a ton of knowledge and experience. He talks with a wide variety of guests who are able to provide new perspectives every week. Love the podcast!

Oriana T ,

Inspiring Stories

As an entrepreneur in Montana, I’ve been waiting to hear the nuts and bolts of how companies get going in the Rocky Mountain region. Stephanie hits a nice balance of guiding the conversation and allowing her guest to tell their story, giving an insider look into how startups move through the process of building a viable business in our unique entrepreneurial landscape. I will be listening every week.

DaveDa in MT ,

Purposeful & Insightful

Once again Stefanie has stepped up and created a forum for empowering founders of Rocky Mountain startups to be discovered and to tell their stories. She leans in to get the complete picture and to tease out the lessons we all can learn from. Can’t wait to hear the next episode!

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