Uzi Shmilovici is the CEO & Founder of Base CRM. Base is the first Post-PC CRM. Leveraging the rapid changes in mobile computing, Base takes advantage of ubiquity, intelligence and advanced interfaces to create a CRM experience that is an order of magnitude better than what was possible before. The company raised more than $8M and is growing exponentially.
Uzi’s passionate about building products at the intersection of design, technology, and business. He’s obsessed with creating amazing customer experiences, and doesn’t believe patience is a virtue.
In April, Startup Grind Washington DC had the privilege to speak with Dr. Magid Abraham, co-founder of comScore. This event marked Startup Grind DC’s first time hosting a speaker out of 1776, DC’s newest (and very promising) co-working space. The event was certainly an interesting and eventful occasion for all those involved: interesting due to Dr. Abraham’s remarks, and eventful due to an unexpected fire alarm that temporarily moved the event to the building’s lobby, stairwells, and sidewalk (not even kidding, on the street networking definitely happened). It was certainly a Startup Grind first, but in the end, we all came away with some insightful and powerful points provided by comScore’s legendary leader.
Personally the first Startup Grind event I ever attended, complete with Cash Money Records music, free pizza, and great networking. I was lucky enough to see one of the legendary VCs from Silicon Valley, Jeff Clavier. Throughout this interview he goes over a variety of topics any entrepreneur will still find valuable today such as how to get a meeting with SoftTech VC, how to perfect your pitch, and what NOT to do when trying to get a VCs attention.
[00:00:05.20] QUESTION: What about this thing right now, are you seeing, there’s been a lot of talk of, that just there’s all these companies that were funded at the angel level, they’re now coming in for a series A, not able to get that funding. Are you seeing that with your companies that you’re having, or not you specifically but companies in general, that is this a real trend that’s happening that companies raised angel round are now struggling to raise series A, maybe because they shouldn’t have deserved an angel round or some other reason?
One of the first big interviews Startup Grind ever hosted was with Jason Calacanis. Jason was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule during his meetings in Palo Alto to come and speak to small intimate group at the Startup grind offices. Watch and learn more about Jason’s early entrepreneurial ventures during Web 1.0, what catches his eye in an entrepreneur and how to perfect your pitch.
[00:02] DEREK: On that note, let me introduce Jason; he needs no introduction, he’s worldwide.
In one of the earliest Startup Grind interviews, David Cowan from Bessemer Venture Partners joined us to discuss a variety of things going on in Silicon Valley. From what VCs are really looking for, seeing potential in the right entrepreneurs, and being on the board of one of the most successful app developer, Smule.
[02:34] DAVID: OK. I didn’t mean to get involved in the technology industry, it was an accident. I loved computer science and studied it in college. I had some friends that worked with me in the Science Center and we were called Terminal Watchers. They told me when I graduated that I had to interview with a company called Oracle. I didn’t know what it was or care, I was all set to get a job at some investment bank or management consulting firm; that was more glamorous back then. My friends urged me to go to the interview so I did. Back then, Oracle was hiring like crazy and didn’t know who I was, just that I was a computer science major.
There seems to be a common thread unveiled in the psyche of startup founders very early in life. Maybe its genetic, maybe its environmental, maybe a combination, but it seems to me that founders have an interest in building a business at a very young age. I’ve heard many a story from startup founders, but the latest might take the grand prize.
On March 19th, Startup Grind Chicago welcomed Justyn Howard, the founder of Sprout Social, a powerful social media management solution. Justyn grew up in a small town in Northern California, where his roots in entrepreneurship sprouted from gathering mistletoe and selling to the locals at age 7. That’s right, age 7. Oh, but it doesn’t stop there. In his early teens, Justyn taught himself to program and become a young programming gun for hire. He decided to retire at age 15, at least from programming. So go the early years of another, successful startup founder.
Today, Justyn’s Sprout Social has grown to nearly 70 employees, along with thousands upon thousands of customers, from SMB’s to large organizations, all within three short years. If you are wondering how Justyn went from mistletoe to social media management, it actually all makes perfect sense. Justyn, after retiring from programming, leveraged his sales acumen to launch a successful career in enterprise software sales. Enter LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Justyn needed but couldn’t find a social media management tool to support his sales efforts, so he built one. So go the young adult years of another, successful startup founder.
Our Dave McClure interview is easily one of the most memorable Startup Grind interviews ever. Dave came to the stage and talked about everything from farting unicorns to expanding out to international cities with 500 Startups. Watch and learn how to get the right VC’s attention, expand into new markets, build a great product, and get a meeting with the pirate VC himself.
[00:01:22.08] QUESTION: Welcome to the Startup Grind. We like to start these things out by just getting to know you a little bit, hear about your background. Tell us a little bit about where you grew up tell us about –
[00:01:30.26] DAVE: I know I’m really hard to find on the web, so it’s all a big secret.
[00:01:37.25] QUESTION: We’re going to dive deep, man, we got handkerchiefs, we got everything. We expect the tears to flow. So, tell us about West Virginia, tell us about your family and tell us all about it.
Happy April, Grinders! March was a busy month with over 20 Startup Grind events hosted around the world, including a panel at SXSW on Why Austin? Is Awesome for Startups.
We are selling out events across multiple cities so please plan ahead and book your tickets now! Get a Global Pass and reserve your VIP seat at all Startup Grind events, including summer socials, holiday parties and the Startup Grind 2014 conference next February.
View our highlight video of Startup Grind 2013 and our latest videos featuring interviews with Steve Blank, George Zachary, Mark Suster (GRP), Dave McClure (500 Startups), Clayton Christensen (HBS), Ann Miura-Ko (Floodgate), Leah Busque (TaskRabbit), Naval Ravikant (AngelList), Patrick Collison (Stripe) and more.
We’d love to see you at one of our upcoming events. Let us know how we can make your startup journey more connected and inspired. We’re listening and want to help.
Easily one of our most eccentric speakers with a lot to say, Ben Parr was editor at Mashable when he spoke at Startup Grind. Watch to learn more about him growing up to be an astronaut, creating the next great company, and contributing to the entrepreneurial world.
I run the Startup Grind Chapter in Melbourne. Before I joined the team I had a couple of Meetup Groups with about 1200 members in total, so I was no stranger to holding and running events. I can’t remember how or why I reached the Startup Grind website, but the day I did was the day my life and reason for holding these events would change forever. I always wanted to help people, help them learn, encourage them to keep going and sometimes when people hear you say that they are skeptical, but that is the truth and perhaps only the people that put the time into growing a community and work hard to promote event after event for the benefit of others can understand that.
Tom's passion is mentoring, advising, funding and founding tech startups. Like many, his digital experience started with a glamorous yet struggling internet startup, but blossomed into strategy and business development with some of the most recognized digital powerhouses. He has also nurtured and made profitable a top 200 internet retailer. Today, he is the Founder of Funl, a collection of savvy digital marketing experts who “Provide the expertise and resources needed to drive a large, loyal and profitable customer base.”