208 episodes

The VentureFizz Podcast is the flagship podcast of VentureFizz.com, the leading authority for jobs & careers in tech. In this podcast, VentureFizz Founder Keith Cline interviews the top founders and investors in the tech industry.

The VentureFizz Podcas‪t‬ VentureFizz

    • Technology
    • 4.8 • 27 Ratings

The VentureFizz Podcast is the flagship podcast of VentureFizz.com, the leading authority for jobs & careers in tech. In this podcast, VentureFizz Founder Keith Cline interviews the top founders and investors in the tech industry.

    Episode 207: Rob Simmelkjaer - Founder & CEO, Persona

    Episode 207: Rob Simmelkjaer - Founder & CEO, Persona

    What do these three things have in common: ESPN, the Olympics, and ABC News? Rob was an on-air contributor for all three. As you’ll learn from our interview, he has a very unique background in the media industry. Not only was he on-air, but he also worked in business development and in the investment arm of media companies as well, which is very rare in terms of working on both sides of the equation.

    This well rounded experience has now set him up to start his own company and entrepreneurial pursuit with Persona, a video Q&A marketplace where you can get personalized video answers or shout-outs from influencers and experts. Think of it like a business version of Cameo matched up with Quora.

    In this episode of our podcast, we cover:

    * Advice on storytelling and why it matters for entrepreneurs.
    * Rob’s background growing up and his passion for the media industry and how practicing law helped him get started.
    * What it was like being an on-air personality, plus the details on his roles on the business side of the media industry.
    * What led him down the path of starting Persona and why now is the ideal time for this startup.
    * Advice for diverse founders on raising capital.
    * And so much more.

    If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

    • 49 min
    Episode 206: Peter McKay - CEO, Snyk

    Episode 206: Peter McKay - CEO, Snyk

    Peter has a tremendous track record of success as a CEO for fast growing tech companies and scaling them to a successful exit. He’s done it several times and Snyk is on pace to become another anchor tech company in the area.

    What’s interesting to note about Peter is the fact that it was a career pivot from a role as a Controller into tech sales that helped catapult his career into an executive leadership role.

    Snyk is a developer-first security company that helps software-driven businesses develop fast and stay secure. The company announced $200M in funding last September at a valuation that is greater than $2.6B. This is fresh off the heels of announcing $150M just 9 months prior.

    In this episode of our podcast, we cover:

    * The 3 basic principles Peter follows as a leader.
    * The story of Peter’s career transition to tech sales and his quick ramp into a leadership role.
    * A journey through all the companies that Peter had the opportunity to lead like eCredit, Watchfire, Desktone, & Veeam Software.
    * All the details on Snyk and the massive market opportunity for the company, plus growth plans ahead.
    * Advice on advancing your career towards a CEO position.
    * How to get on the radar for Board of Director positions.
    * And so much more.

    If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

    • 51 min
    Episode 205: Grant Deken - CEO & Co-Founder, Unstack

    Episode 205: Grant Deken - CEO & Co-Founder, Unstack

    Grant’s entrepreneurial experience started as a paperboy. He noticed that the real business model of newspaper companies was the ads. This triggered an idea that he could help small businesses with advertising too. Through the encouragement of his dad, Grant started cold calling and learned the great business lesson of what it’s like to get a bunch of “no’s” but when you finally land on that “yes” - it’s the magical word and it is all you need to get started.

    Unstack is his latest startup and the company just announced $3.1M in funding. The company provides a no-code marketing platform that gives marketers and entrepreneurs the fastest way to launch and scale a business. They already have significant traction and some really exciting plans ahead.

    In this episode of our podcast, we cover:

    * How to crush your launch on Product Hunt.
    * Grant’s background story including how he learned online marketing.
    * All the details on his prior company, Grapevine, an early to market influencer marketing platform that was acquired.
    * A deep dive into Unstack and how they are competing against the massive incumbents.
    * Advice on getting involved in angel investing.
    * And so much more.

    If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

    • 44 min
    Episode 204: Ty Harris - CEO & Co-Founder, Openly

    Episode 204: Ty Harris - CEO & Co-Founder, Openly

    Imagine that you’ve worked your way into an executive leadership position with one of the top insurance companies where you are overseeing an organization of hundreds of people generating billions of dollars, yet you realize that you are a builder and there’s an opportunity to build a company around an idea.

    So what do you do? Do you stay at the safety net of the Fortune 500 company or do you take the risk and start something from scratch?

    If Ty is a guest on our podcast, you probably know the decision he made and it is a decision that is taking off. Openly is reinventing home insurance with a different approach with an emphasis on tech, an improved customer service experience, and a very smart sales model where they are partnering with independent insurance agents.

    The company announced $40M in funding back in December and this is fresh off the heels of announcing $15M just 6 months prior.

    In this episode of our podcast, we cover:

    * Ty’s experience at MIT and how he got involved in competitive ballroom dancing.
    * His career progression at Liberty Mutual where he was most recently EVP and Chief Product Officer.
    * How he thought through the decision to move on and start a company.
    * All of the details on Openly and how they are disrupting the insurance industry.
    * What the future holds for Openly, including their growth and hiring plans.
    * Advice for senior level executives on the decision of taking a risk to start a company.
    * And so much more

    If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

    • 53 min
    Episode 203: Paul English - Co-Founder & CTO, Lola.com; Serial Entrepreneur

    Episode 203: Paul English - Co-Founder & CTO, Lola.com; Serial Entrepreneur

    This is an exciting episode because Paul is my first repeat guest on the podcast! I interviewed him about 2.5 years ago for Episode 37 where we spent a lot of time talking about his background and all the details around KAYAK and Lola.com.

    This time around, we took a slightly different approach. We of course caught up on Lola.com, which as you may remember is focused on helping companies with business travel. We talk about the effects of the pandemic where business trips booked on Lola.com were down 97%. But the real story here is the resiliency of the team. Not only did the team fight against an incredibly tough situation, but they launched a major new product called Lola Spend and expanded their product offering and value for finance teams at companies.

    We also talk about his latest side product that he’s been working on called Moonbeam which is a new podcast player. Moonbeam is the easiest way to discover great new podcast content. It’s almost like a TikTok for podcasts, plus it has additional features that make it unique in terms of growing an audience, monetization, and other cool features.

    But then, we spend a lot of time talking about hiring. I was particularly excited about this part because Paul is well known for his hiring practices, as he’s a master in this field.

    For hiring, we discuss:

    * His 7 Day Rule - which has been written about many times. It is the timeframe and speed of his process from when he first hears about a candidate to making an offer.
    * How to qualify and hire talent for remote teams.
    * His thoughts on building out initial teams within engineering and design.
    * What job seekers should be thinking about before joining a company.
    * When is the right time to bring in a company’s first recruiter.

    If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

    • 48 min
    Episode 202: Bruce Smith - CEO & Founder, Hydrow

    Episode 202: Bruce Smith - CEO & Founder, Hydrow

    Did you know that rowing works 86% of your muscles? It provides a full-body workout that puts less stress on your joints, yet it’s been an under-rated exercise in terms of popularity. Maybe that’s because of accessibility, as rowing on the water is not as easy to pull off as it is to run and cycle outside and let’s face it, the old style rowing machines in gyms were never really that appealing.

    Technology has caught up with the needs of consumers where you can have a fully immersive and instructor led experience right in your own home and let’s not ignore how the pandemic has really turned the fitness industry upside down.

    Well, now rowing is having its moment and Hydrow is leading the charge.

    Hydrow is the company behind the beautifully designed Live Outdoor Reality rower. In addition, they are a content company that provides classes with world-class athletes which are streamlined live on the water and they are building a massive library of classes..

    It’s not a coincidence that Bruce founded Hydrow. As you’ll learn from our conversation, he has been involved in the sport of rowing for many, many years as a rower, coach, and entrepreneur.

    In this episode of our podcast, we cover:

    * How competition within an industry can help pick each other up.
    * Bruce’s background growing up including how he got involved in rowing and his career in the sport.
    * A deep dive into Hydrow in terms of creating their product, producing content, scaling the company, and more.
    * How they were able to land comedian and actor, Kevin Hart, as a Creative Director and investor in the company.
    * Advice for founders on building out their initial core team.
    * A look into the future of the fitness industry.
    * And so much more.

    If you like the show, please remember to subscribe and review us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
27 Ratings

27 Ratings

changds ,

Thoughtful interviews and in-depth conversations

Keith Cline does an excellent job of drawing out insightful commentary from his guests. Really enjoy the podcast.

ZachinBoston ,

Awesome show

Keith does a great job getting guests to share their career journeys and unique perspectives on the tech scene. A great podcast for people early in their careers!

Katie Joy B. ,

Not Your Average Joe

I truly enjoy learning about what's going on in the tech industry, but find most of the dialogue around it to be less than interesting. The VentureFizz has changed all that. Funny, engaging, and packed to the brim with only the best guests! I highly recommend you take a listen. Thanks for putting out such a spectacular show Keith - keep up the great work!

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