Bringing you interviews, stories, and insights from a community of startup experts.
Startup Coronavirus & Recession Planning with Adeo Ressi (CEO of the Founder Institute)
In this specially live-broadcast podcast episode, Founder Institute CEO Adeo Ressi spoke on to a livestream audience of 650+ attendee entrepreneurs about how startups can plan for coronavirus impacts and the expected economic recessionary period to follow.
9X entrepreneur and startup investor Adeo Ressi encourages founders to be smart, rather than afraid in these unstable times, but to consider substantially changing their financial practices in the short term in order to prepare themselves. While Ressi discusses the many challenges the COVID19 pandemic is causing for businesses globally, he also outlines opportunities that are emerging, as well as strategies for startups to survive in a likely recession.
Adeo Ressi addresses directly:
The big unknowns for startups: how long is coronavirus likely to last, and how bad is the COVID-19 impact likely to be?
How to survive the stay-at-home mandates, and general considerations for both pre- and post-revenue startup financial management.
How and when to ask for the 'Coronavirus Discount' from suppliers and vendors - be generous, and remember to give back.
Why an enormous problem is a collective test, and how founders can take the opportunity to examine their impact in the world.
Opportunities for improvements and innovation for startups combatting coronavirus directly.
A full transcript of this podcast episode is available on our blog: https://fndri.com/AdeoCoronavirusMarch2020podcast
For additional insights from the Founder Institute, subscribe to our newsletter at https://fi.co/subscribe
If you’re building a pre-seed stage startup and looking to join an accelerator, see if the Founder Institute is currently accepting applications in a city near you at https://fi.co/join/podcast
Revenue Strategies to Navigate Unknown Market Futures with Paul D'Souza
In this episode of the Coach Mike series, Mike Suprovici (FI Head of Portfolio Success) is joined by special guest revenue strategist Paul D’Souza and Founder Insights editor Dustin Betz to talk about strategies founders can employ as they navigate unknown futures and uncertain markets. Paul D’Souza has been a leader in growth Startup and Enterprise Sales for more than 20 years, currently self-employed as a Sales Strategy Consultant at the D’Souza Group, and is also a longtime Go-To-Market and Revenue Mentor for the Founder Institute.
D’Souza has experienced multiple market downturns throughout his career, and observed business leaders whose reactions and choices have served them and their employees both well and poorly in the early stages of economic disruptions. With at least a short economic recession now seemingly inevitable, how can founders not panic, but be smart as they prepare their contingency plans? Mike and guests discuss the strategies startup leaders can use to best prepare themselves now for navigating the choppy waters of unknown market conditions ahead.
Coach Mike and guest Paul D'Souza answer questions like:
How can founders provide stability to potential nervous customers, jittery suppliers, or uneasy employees in the early stages of an economic downturn?
How do the best entrepreneurs show up as organizational leaders? How can founders deliver their levelheaded best and grounded mindset to their team's challenges?
What are Paul's breathing and physical tactics to bring greater focus to one's daily tasks and attention?
How can founders forecast their company's potential futures for unknown market futures, and plan contingencies for different scenarios?
How can companies with supply-side challenges deal with the new manufacturing challenges and supply chain complexities created by the realities of COVID-19?
A full transcript of this podcast episode is available on our blog: https://fndri.com/RecessionRevenueStrategy
Visit CROaaS.com to learn about Paul D'Souza's Chief-Revenue-Officer-as-a-Service, and offerings to help business leaders increase revenue.
For additional insights from the Founder Institute, subscribe to our newsletter at https://fi.co/subscribe/
If you’re building a pre-seed stage startup and looking to join an accelerator, see if the Founder Institute is currently accepting applications in a city near you at https://fi.co/join/coachmike
Reviewing Mass Décor Production, Research Test-Subject Marketplace, UAV RFID-tagging, and more Startup Ideas – Unfiltered Ep.9
On this Unfiltered Startup Idea Review episode, Rachel Sheppard (FI Global Marketing Manager), Mike Suprovici (FI Head of Portfolio Success), Ryan Micheletti (FI Head of Global Operations) and Dustin Betz (FI Content Editor) review startup ideas, and pull no punches. Together, they bring decades of startup experience, advising hundreds of early-stage companies. In the Unfiltered series, FI HQ team expertise comes through as raw and #unfiltered feedback on YOUR startup ideas at all stages of development.
A full transcript of this podcast episode is available on our blog: https://fndri.com/Unfiltered9
Here is an overview of this #Unfiltered episode’s startup ideas:
Savo (Cape Town): My company 'Dappleshades' wants to make paper-based sculptures as functional décor to help students and young couples enhance their living & working spaces, by bringing in patterns inspired by nature at affordable prices. We use waterjet cutting to mass-produce existing hand-cut designs at low cost.
Henry (Fort Lauderdale): My company ‘Bye-thon’ is crowdsourcing and gamifying the tagging and removal of invasive species. We’re making a remotely controlled quadcopter tagging service that approved users can pilot from a desktop computer (just like playing a video game) to tag invasive animals with RFID trackers.
Cecilie (Oslo): My company Lingal is disrupting language-learning with an AI chatbot for beginner to intermediate language-learners. Our chatbot fills a gap left open by apps that focus too heavily on rote memorization, thanks to our bot’s conversationality and its ability to easily shift between multiple languages when the user is stuck.
John (St. Louis): My company Air Refueling Tanker Transport (“ART2”) fills a gap in the DoD's Air-to-Air Refueling (AAR) tanker fleet. Sought after by global militaries, our commercial AAR supports military tankers and crews during peacetime. As the nation’s only commercial AAR outlet, we deliver a civilian-to-military capability, support, and training needs in excess of ~200K hours annually. Our secret sauce is our 9 aircraft, 90K hours and 250 years of AAR knowhow.
Clement (Montreal): My company (Tester) is building an online marketplace to help clinical researchers find test-subjects for trials. Currently, test subjects struggle to find research projects, which are too often listed on isolated university websites or even Craigslist, while researchers don’t attract enough applicants to actually be selective. We give researchers a central hub to list their trial opportunities, and a test subjects a central place to find them.
Rhoda (St. Paul): My company (Piqued) is launching a geofencing app for young tech-savvy shoppers that solves the issue of lost purchasing opportunities via our sales alert system. For example, when an app user walks by a Target store, a notification would pop up on their phone, informing them about any ongoing sales.
Are you launching your own startup? Submit your startup idea to be featured on our next Unfiltered episode: https://fi.co/ideas
If you're looking to join a pre-seed accelerator, apply at https://fi.co/join/unfiltered
Venture Funding for Female Founders with Amy Wu of Lightspeed Venture Partners
In this episode of the Founder Insights podcast, special guest Amy Wu, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, joins Female Founder Initiative co-creator and FI Global Marketing Manager Rachel Sheppard for an AMA on venture funding for women entrepreneurs.
Throughout her career, Amy Wu has enjoyed being on both sides of the table as investor and operator, joining Lightspeed in 2019 as an early member of the growth team to lead the reinvestment platform and invest in growth-stage consumer and enterprise businesses.
Amy Wu’s breadth of experience – in early-stage and corporate, in consumer and enterprise businesses, and across the US, Europe, and Asia – has shaped her passion for helping businesses scale globally. Prior to joining Lightspeed, Amy was a media executive most recently at Discovery, and prior at NewsCred, a growth-stage marketing software company based in NYC. Wu starting her career at Insight Venture Partners. Amy Wu and Rachel Sheppard answer female founder funding questions in a live AMA interview format.
A full transcript of this podcast episode is available on our blog: https://fndri.com/AmyWuAMA
For additional insights from FI, subscribe to our newsletter at https://fi.co/subscribe/
If you’re building a startup currently at the pre-seed stage and are looking to join an accelerator, see if FI is accepting applications in a city near you at https://fi.co/join/podcast
Coach Mike: Recession-Proofing Your Business with Bryan Janeczko of Gro Academy
In this episode of the Coach Mike series, Mike Suprovici (FI Head of Portfolio Success) is joined by special guest serial entrepreneur Bryan Janeczko and Founder Insights editor Dustin Betz to talk about recession-proofing your business. Bryan Janeczko is the Founder of Gro Academy, VC advisor at Loeb.nyc, and former Director of FI New York (2011-2016).
Janeczko's first startup NuKitchen (a D2C subscription meal delivery service) was acquired during the Great Recession of 2007-08. With experts predicting a possible new market correction in 2020, and coronavirus already showing signs of slowing global markets, how can founders prepare their businesses for a potential downturn? Mike and guests discuss the preventative steps that founders can take to avoid the costliest negative outcomes of economic recessionary periods.
Coach Mike and guest Bryan Janeczko answer questions like:
What lessons are drawn from the successful founder experiences of the last recession: How did Bryan do it? What happened at NuKitchen between the start of the Great Recession and its acquisition?
What are best practices in planning your business for a potential downturn in 2020 and beyond?
What types of products or services tend to fail or succeed more or less during recessions? Predictions of categories that will fail or succeed through this next downturn?
Why impact companies and ethical ventures have greater chances to success during hard financial times.
A full transcript of this podcast episode is available on our blog: https://fndri.com/RecessionProofStartup
For additional insights from FI, subscribe to our newsletter at https://fi.co/subscribe/
If you’re building a startup currently at the pre-seed stage and are looking to join an accelerator, see if FI is accepting applications in a city near you at https://fi.co/join/coachmike
Mindstorm Ep.8: Universe Signals
A job of any entrepreneur is to listen to constant feedback, and as a leader, evaluate the relevancy of that feedback to decide whether and how to take action on it. Feedback of course comes from the individuals around an entrepreneur—teammates, customers, mentors, and advisors—but feedback can also come from roundabout or seemingly random places.
In this eighth episode of the Mindstorm podcast series, Adeo Ressi (Founder Institute CEO) is back with Josh Whiton (Founder of Makesoil). Together, they discuss how startup founders can listen to and interpret the signals that the universe sends their way, and how they decide in their own lives whether these cues should be acted upon.
They explore topics including:
Signs from the universe or cues from the world around us, about what direction or action entrepreneurs and innovators should take
Communicating with reality, and creating intention to see universal feedback and use that dialogue to inform decision-making
Forces - positive pull towards, and negative push away
Feedback mechanisms and an entrepreneur’s job in navigating and interpreting that feedback
A full transcript of this podcast episode is available on our blog: https://fndri.com/Mindstorm8
If you’re building a startup currently at the pre-seed stage and are looking to join an accelerator, see if FI is accepting applications in a city near you at https://fi.co/join/mindstorm
Real founders, real experiences
Loved the episode with Maren Kate Donovan, great advice for those thinking through hiring and balanced team building!