Episode 37 - Blake Bartlett @ OpenView Venture Partners
The outpouring of listener interest in hearing from more VCs has been heard, and today I bring to you an awesome conversation with Blake Bartlett from OpenView Venture Partners. Born and bred in Southern California with a penchant for warm weather and analyzing businesses from a holistic perspective, opportunities at Battery Ventures and now OpenView have led him to meticulously maintain a beard, stock up on winter parkas, and make a number of exciting investments in expansion-stage B2B...
Ep. 36 - true tickets: Ticketing, Meet Blockchain
The sun is finally out in Boston, the weather is getting warmer, and the scent of burgers can be detected around the neighborhood. Summer is officially here! Today's conversation with true tickets Co-Founder and CEO Matt Zarracina gives us insight into running with a strong early application of a burgeoning technology, in this case blockchain. The idea for leading the ticketing world onto the blockchain came when white-boarding blockchain applications with a subject-matter expert and later...
Ep. 35 - 3Derm 1-Year Lookback
Wow, what a difference a year makes. For Liz Asai and her startup 3Derm, the last twelve months welcomed a bigger team, bigger markets, and more strategic partners. Artificial intelligence, just a gleam in their eye back then, has now come to the forefront. A few important AI papers came out since my last conversation with Liz showing how a few researchers using open source neural nets trained on skin photos from the internet were more accurate diagnosing skin cancer than board certified...
Vice Cream Complete
Imagine the utter joy and promise of taking a food brand from a regional player to a national powerhouse, meeting the woman of your dreams, getting married, buying your first house, and running 5 New York City marathons…only to find out that you have 12 weeks to live. Such was the devastating news received by Dan Schorr a couple years ago. Not to be deterred, Dan dove into his battles with lymphoma and the ice cream world with equal vigor. 20 months later, he had beaten cancer and expanded...
Ep. 33 - Cymbal: When the Music Stops
I record each episode of Early Stage with the hope of discovering someTHING special: a tip for raising capital, a secret strategy for growth hacking or closing big deals, or the even the best way to manage a growing staff. Today, I present to you someONE special. It's not easy to share a narrative that led to your startup shutting down, but that's exactly what Charlie Kaplan joined me to do. I was going to use the word failure to describe Cymbal, the Instagram for music, but I realized...
Ep. 31 - Night Shift Brewing: Leading the Craft Beer Movement
Have you ever tried to brew beer in one of those cheap Mr. Beer plastic barrels? How did the batch turn out? Michael Oxton, Co-Founder of Night Shift Brewing out of Everett, MA, started his foray into the beer world in exactly the same manner. For the record, his first batch turned out horrible -- it tasted like rotten cider! Michael and his fellow conspirators wouldn't be deterred, and soon their house was overrun with beer-making equipment and hundreds of friends more than willing to...
Bonus Episode: Funding Friday with Sarah Hodges, Partner @ Pillar VC
After interviewing Janet Comenos, CEO of Spotted, for Episode 21, I asked her to introduce me to one of her favorite people in the startup world. That night, she connected me with Sarah Hodges, Partner at Pillar VC. Literally 10 seconds into our coffee meeting I realized that A.) she's an absolute force of nature, and B.) I had to figure out a way to share her insights with all of you. After spending years as a a business, strategy, and marketing leader at a number of successful startups,...
Ep. 27 - RadioPublic: The New Epicenter of the Podcast Community
Why hello startup nation, and welcome to Episode 26 of the Early Stage Podcast. If you're tired of listening to shows full of wildly successful entrepreneurs telling tales of grandeur and more interested in hearing early stage entrepreneurs share their war stories, milestones, fundraises, and pivots, then you've found a home. My name is John Valentine, or @JohnnyStartup on Twitter, and I'm your host. By day I'm scouting aerospace, space, defense, security, and transportation startups for...
Ep. 24 - Buoy Health: Healthcare's Digital Front Door
Navigating the healthcare system in America is so exhausting it could make you sick. The average wait to see a primary care doctor in Boston is 49 days. 49 days of being scared. 49 days of potentially getting even more ill. New technologies in the medical field like telemedicine have focused on increasing the number of patients doctors can see, and useful tools like minute clinics are popping up everywhere. These new solutions will help, but a new approach is needed considering our country...
Ep. 21 - Spotted: Data Science Meets Celebrity Style
How many times have your clients or prospects, when sharing their biggest challenges or deepest desires, given you a brilliant idea for your next big venture? How often do those great ideas go unpursued? When today's guest Janet Comenos, Co-Founder & CEO of Spotted, kept hearing from major fashion brands how it was impossible to have a comprehensive, real-time view into the brand preferences of celebrities and influencers, she jumped at the opportunity to solve the problem. Insights gained...
Ep. 20 - Analytical Space: New Solutions for NewSpace
Here we are in 2018, and the startup world has never been more intriguing. Early stage startups raised more money in 2017 in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) than venture funding, and seed investment rounds have fallen for the third straight year off 2014's highs. While business formation is down, fast-growing startups are in high gear. Businesses specializing in fields like cybersecurity, big data, artificial intelligence, and frontier tech are filling up the funding news wire -- and for...
Ep 16 - Tranquilo Mat: Shark Tank Winner Quiets Crying Babies
This episode finds us in a unique space, retail for babies. Joining me is Melissa Gersin, Founder & CEO of Boston-based startup Tranquilo Mat. Like so may of us, Melissa kicked around her idea with colleagues and friends for years before stepping up and bringing the Tranquilo Mat, a revolutionary vibrating mat for soothing crying and colicky babies, to market. This interview dives into the scariness and nuances of her first production run -- from having your first manufacturing partner...
Ep. 2 - Joulez: Changing the Way Girls See the World
Joulez Founder Stephanie Rowe (@StephanieLRowe) is giving tween girl permission, and a medium, to learn STEM skills while expressing their creativity. To reverse the discouraging trend of fewer women receiving technical degrees and pursuing STEM fields for their careers, Joulez is preparing to launch an IoT lamp kit that introduces coding and elementary electronics alongside arts and crafts. In this episode, Stephanie shares her personal story driving this passion. An early stage founder,...