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Here’s how to startup. Even when the world goes topsy-turvy. From one home office to another, Zendesk leaders chat with founders, CEOs, and makers on their startup journey. There’s rule-flipping, new dogma and recycling failure into growth. Plus, why customer experience is at the heart of success, as told by people who know unpredictability inside out. (That seems pretty helpful right now.)
 
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Startup Grind

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Startup Grind

www.startupgrind.com

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Startup Grind is the world’s largest community of startups, founders, innovators, and creators. We bring like-minded yet diverse individuals together to connect, learn, teach, help, build, and belong. We do this daily through our local events, flagship conferences, startup program, partnerships, and online media + content - collectively reaching over 3.5 million individuals worldwide.
 
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show series
 
Howard Lerman founded tech company Yext in 2006, recording revenues of $100M during his final quarter as CEO. In November 2022, he started building his next project: Roam, an all-in-one Cloud HQ — and predicts it’s going to be even bigger. The entrepreneur joined Adam for a chat to share some key insights and strategies from his +20 years’ experien…
 
In 2013, e-commerce platform Shift set out with one simple mission: to make car sales and purchases a seamless experience. The company began accelerating in late 2015 before they went public in 2020, and last year recorded revenues of 630M USD, selling vehicles in all 50 US states. Co-Founder Toby Russell joined Adam to share a few insights from th…
 
Carbon emission tracking company Sweep was founded in June 2020. In just over two years, they have evolved to employ +80 people across Europe and the United States and, in less than 12 months, raised an impressive 100M USD.We sat down with Co-Founder & CEO, Rachel Delacour, who shared some key learnings: Test your product with friends. Get in touch…
 
Founded in 2019 with the goal of offering a simple solution for hiring freelancers and contractors internationally, Deel pivoted just a week before demo day. They restructured their program and grew to over 1,900 employees, 10K+ customers worldwide and raised $600M+. Here are the key takeaways from our chat with Co-Founder & CEO, Alex Bouaziz: Time…
 
Mercury, a banking service for startups, was launched in 2019 but their business idea had been brewing since 2013. Mercury has now grown to 357 employees and tens of thousands of customers. CEO & Co-Founder Immad Akhund joined us to share some advice: Classic strategies work. Encourage your investors to talk about you on social media to get word-of…
 
Founded in 2017, Pilot is a platform that offers bookkeeping, tax and CFO services for growing businesses. From a team of 10 to now 400, Pilot helps thousands of startups — crediting their speed, responsiveness and going above and beyond for customers as key to their growth. We sat down with CEO & Co-Founder, Waseem Daher, who shared his biggest ta…
 
In 2010, Beats by Dre saw a huge opportunity to pivot and make a mark. They were able to uniquely combine the world of sports and music in a way people hadn’t seen before. A clear vision and authentic messaging helped differentiate themselves. We talked with former CMO, Omar Johnson, who shared insights from Beats’ early days: Set clear objectives.…
 
In only three years, financial planning company Origin grew from 20 to more than 150 employees and raised over 70 million USD. While only beginning their journey, the company — created to help employers answer their employees’ tough questions about financial benefits — has found success by focusing on solutions for real-world problems. We sat down …
 
In March 2020, everything stopped for events company Bizzabo. So they quickly pivoted and designed a new product for the times we were living in — pairing in-person conference tools with a virtual event management platform. With offices spanning the globe and a team from all walks of life, the company is united by one mission: to define the future …
 
BharatAgri began as a college project back in 2015 and came to reality when they launched in 2017. Since then, the company has stuck to their mission of being the bridge between tech and farming. Today, their app has over 100K subscribers and is available across India. Co-Founder & CEO Sai Gole gives us a glimpse of their journey: Think outside the…
 
When digital B2B payment service Paystand launched in 2013, it had one mission: to democratize commercial payments. Today, the company has over 400,000 businesses making payments through their network, as well as $4B of volume on the block chain. Co-Founder & CEO Jeremy Almond joins Adam to give some advice: Stay true to your mission. Imagine the w…
 
Since launching in late 2017, AI service experience startup Aisera successfully raised over $164M from VCs such as Zoom, Menlo Ventures, First Round Capital and Norwest Ventures — helping them grow to the +180 employee company they are today. Co-Founder and CEO Muddu Sudhakar gives his tips on fundraising: Vision is everything. Make sure your inves…
 
It’s been a rocky two years since Ukrainian cloud-based financial company Fuel Finance opened their doors. In 2022, they faced the toughest challenge yet — the invasion of their home country. Here’s what Co-Founder & CEO Alyona Mysko had to say: Adapt your priorities. When times of uncertainty hit, it’s important to look out for your family and tea…
 
This week Adam sat down with Cy Scott, Co-Founder of Leafly — think Yelp, but for cannabis — now a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ ($LFLY). Here are some key learnings: Be smart about hacks — know when and when not to do them. In the long term, doing things the right way can bring far better results than cutting corners! Keep user expe…
 
When Pair Eyewear first started, their focus was on making glasses a fun and dynamic accessory for kids. Today, they provide frames for everyone and employ over 90 people across the U.S. In this episode, Co-Founder and Co-CEO Nathan Kondamuri shares their journey as we discuss: The importance of evaluating possible paths when opportunities arise Ho…
 
Tammy Sun co-founded Carrot Fertility in 2016 with a mission to provide personalized fertility benefits for everyone, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, income or geography. Since then, the company has gone global and their services are available in over 120 countries. Adam sat down with Tammy to get her take on: Why you should always lis…
 
Jeremy Parker made the unusual switch from documentary filmmaker to entrepreneur in 2007 and hasn’t looked back. Since then, he founded promotional product platform Swag.com in January 2016, before it was acquired by major online apparel retailer Custom Ink in 2021. Adam sat down with Jeremy for a virtual chat to get the stories behind: How Swag.co…
 
At the age of 42, Eugenio Pace was a late bloomer in the startup game. But he more than made up for lost time when he built up identity authentication platform Auth0 from scratch in 2013, before the company was acquired by Okta in May 2021. The Co-Founder joined Adam for a chat about: Why developers are so important in the tech industry The first s…
 
Modern Health first opened its virtual doors in 2017 and has since grown to 400 employees — experiencing a surge in demand as a result of changing perceptions towards mental health. We caught up with Founder & CEO Alyson Watson to talk about: How focusing on the big picture is key in periods of growth Looking at business objectives to find out wher…
 
When sales software company Outreach began back in 2014, there were three people making the amount of sales a team of 20 would. Today, they have 1,000 employees across the world and over 5,000 customers. We were joined by Co-Founder & CEO Manny Medina to discuss: Encouraging your employees to be high performers in and outside the organization Using…
 
Since launching at New York’s TechCrunch Disrupt back in 2014, DocSend was acquired by Dropbox in March 2021 and has brought on over 20,000 customers. In our Season 5 opener, Adam sat down for a virtual coffee with Co-Founder Russ Heddleston to get the lowdown on: How word of mouth is still important to achieve growth Using customer feedback as a b…
 
Since 2015, Jane Technologies has been revolutionizing the world of e-commerce, providing a channel for cannabis businesses to get their product directly to consumers' homes. We talked to Founder & CEO Socrates Rosenfeld to learn more about: Market innovation through product development Focusing on long term strategies UPC codes and product data in…
 
Founded in 2014 and acquired by Medallia in September 2020, Sense360 offers businesses clearer insights on customer behavior through data. We met for a virtual chat with Founder & CEO Eli Portnoy to find out more about: Prioritizing value at every step of your pitch Effective cold outreach strategies Leverage your existing data to engage prospects …
 
After 16.5 years in business and a half a billion-dollar IPO, Olo still has that “day-one energy” and lives by its original vision: to enable restaurants to meet the needs of on-demand consumers. We caught up with Founder & CEO, Noah Glass to discuss: How to best segment in the early days How to leverage the demonstration effect to create FOMO with…
 
Over the past five years, ZoomInfo has grown 10X to an $800 million dollar run rate business with over 3,000 employees and 25,000 customers. We sat down with Founder and CEO Henry Schuck to hear a few of his growth strategies. Here are a few things we talked about: Prioritize your go-to-market fit Increase expansion with CDRs (customer development …
 
Rapidly expanding Fintech company, Capchase, partners with startups to help them tap into upfront capital in order to grow. Zendesk’s Adam O’Donnell and Capchase CEO & Co-Founder Miguel Fernandez dive into: His personal path to entrepreneurship What it takes for a startup to succeed Customer centricity: the importance of action over words How Capch…
 
Sid Mofya, a Kauffman Fellow, is the COO of the Draper Venture Network and has one of the most interesting roles in venture capital: helping his team coordinate the alliance of member funds and providing post-investment support for their collective portfolio of over 900 companies. Sid’s journey into the venture capital world is fairly non-tradition…
 
Combining seed capital and hands-on support, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator has gained the title of NYC’s top technology accelerator and early-stage venture capital firm. We sat down with serial entrepreneur and ERA Co-Founder, Jonathan Axelrod to talk about: How ERA helps founders learn, fail and succeed faster The need for agility and a cus…
 
Using AI as fuel, Ada equips companies with everything they need to make personalized customer experiences at scale. And all without the help of an engineer. Co-Founder and CEO Mike Murchison takes us behind the scenes of Ada in this discussion about: How to free up live agents and focus on more creative work What to look at when building software …
 
Pachama is on a mission to remove carbon from the atmosphere — with the aim of protecting and restoring forests globally. Through machine learning, the startup monitors carbon capture and finances both conservation and reforestation projects. Zendesk’s Brad Bowery chats with Co-Founder and CEO Diego Saez Gil about: How to help companies and consume…
 
Lang.ai is a no code AI platform designed to help CX teams automate repetitive tasks. This startup is breaking the stereotype that AI is built for engineers by engineers. Zendesk’s Pedro Muller sits down with Co-Founder Jorge Peñalva to discuss: How AI boosts efficiency and prepares companies for the unexpected The importance of tagging systems in …
 
Elad Gil — most recently co-founder of Color Genomics, previously co-founder and CEO of Mixer Labs, which was acquired by Twitter. He was a VP at Twitter focusing on scaling the company from 90 to 1500 people. Previously at Google he started their mobile team, and worked on AdSense. He is also flat out one of the best angel investors/advisors in th…
 
Vlad Magdalin is the Founder & CEO at Webflow. the startup that allows you to build better business websites, faster, without coding. To date, Vlad has raised over $73m with Webflow from some dear friends of the show including Accel, Ron @ Rainfall, Brianne @ Work Life, Benjamin Ling and Y Combinator to name a few. Prior to founding Webflow, Vlad w…
 
Thai Son has spent the last 15 years building a world-class eCommerce service provider, through SmartOSC, the business he co-founded with his childhood friend. Under his leadership, the business scaled from zero to more than 600 people, achieving a constant 50%+ YoY growth. Today, as the global CEO, he's responsible for driving expansion, innovatio…
 
In this episode, we reflect on how two startups navigated a rocky year. Our hosts, Pedro Muller and Tara McCann, handpick their favorite moments with past guests from TravelNest and Wavy. Both businesses found unique ways to grow, even during the pandemic. Find out some of their top lessons, including: Switching strategies in times of crisis Ways t…
 
Henry Ward is the CEO and co-founder of Carta, a company that continues to revolutionize the way founders, investors, and employees manage equity and ownership. Since founding Carta in 2012, Carta has grown to manage hundreds of billions of dollars in equity. Companies including Intercom, Samsara, and Flexport trust Carta to provide things like fun…
 
Steve Hoffman (Captain Hoff) is the Captain & CEO of Founders Space, one of the world’s leading startup accelerators. Founders Space was ranked the #1 incubator for overseas startups by Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazines. Hoffman is also a venture investor, serial entrepreneur, and author of several award-winning books. These include “Make Elephants…
 
In our first episode recorded on Clubhouse, we invited the Co-Founders of OneSkin onto the show. OneSkin develops products to improve “skinspan”, and was founded by Brazilian entrepreneurs, Alessandra Zonari and Carolina Oliveira. Join their conversation with Zendesk’s Pedro Muller to learn: The unique challenges of growing a startup in a new count…
 
Leena Nair is the first female, first Asian and youngest ever CHRO of Unilever and member of the Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE). Under her leadership Unilever has achieved a 50/50 gender balance across global leadership, led the design and implementation of progressive new working practices and models. She has continued to lead a pioneering ag…
 
Carlos Gonzalez de Villaumbrosia is the CEO and Founder of Product School, the global leader in product management training. Since 2014, the community has grown to more than one million people. In this episode, Carlos shares his experiences from the digital product world, in a conversation with Shawna Wolverton, Executive Vice President of Product …
 
Christoph is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of performance management platform, Kaizo. An entrepreneur and investor with a passion for ecological innovation, he’s also kicking goals with non-profit City AI, and the revolutionary domain name marketplace DAN.COM. In this episode, Christoph is in conversation with Zendesk’s Pedro Mueller. Find out: Kaizo’s…
 
Pedro Sorren is the founder of Atman, an early-stage venture capital firm. The firm has seeded category-defining companies, like Coinbase, Instacart, GitLab, and Webflow. In this episode, Pedro shares a virtual espresso with Zendesk’s Pedro Muller. Listen to the pair chat about: Why the venture capital industry needs innovation Entrepreneurship in …
 
Finimize is working on making finance a breeze. The London-based startup gives people information and tools that empower them to make smarter decisions about finance. In this episode, Founder and CEO, Max Rofagha, is in conversation with Zendesk’s Tara McCann. Learn about: Putting in the grind to reach critical mass The power of driving community a…
 
Phil Libin is the Founder and CEO at mmhmm, the app that allows you to level up your remote presentations, making high-quality video content in minutes. To date, Phil has raised over $30M for the company from an incredible investor base including Sequoia, Kevin & Julia Hartz, Tony Fadell, Instagram’s Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and Brianne Kimme…
 
In 2019, legal cannabis business sales hit an all-time high of $12 billion. In this episode, get insights on being the first in a fresh industry. Hear Justin Hall, Founder and CTO of Bud.com, in conversation with Zendesk’s Pedro Muller, as he clears the smoke on building a cannabis startup. Find out: The blazing journey of bud.com, starting with a …
 
Stefano is a project management practitioner and an academic with 20 years of experience, and the designer of the Team Alignment Map. He has been leading digital projects for Swiss-based companies Rothschild and Pictet; advising cross-functional leaders and teams for Richemont, the World Economic Forum, Applied Materials and HSBC; teaching and doin…
 
Unstack is a no-code marketing platform for startups. It aims to replace systems like WordPress with all the tools that teams need to win in the digital economy. Learn about Unstack’s journey direct from Founder and CEO, Grant Deken, as he chats with Zendesk’s Tara McCann on: Identifying the problem and building the ultimate solution The power of b…
 
As the CEO of Skillshare, Matt Cooper believes that learning is transformative — individually, socially, economically. Skillshare's mission is to connect life-long learners everywhere and build a more creative and prosperous world. Before joining Skillshare, he was the CEO of Visually, an online marketplace for creative work that was acquired by Sc…
 
Defy is an early-stage focused venture fund based in Silicon Valley. In this episode, Madison McIlwain, a Partner at Defy, catches up with Pedro Muller, GM of Startups at Zendesk. The pair discuss Madison’s journey from growing up chatting entrepreneurship at family meals, to transitioning out of the corporate world. Learn about: The role of Ventur…
 
Chris Do is an Emmy award winning designer, founder and CEO of Blind, Inc., where he oversees the creative and strategic direction of the company. He is also the founder of The Futur—an online education platform with the mission of teaching 1 billion people how to make a living doing what they love. Mr. Do currently serves on the board and is an ad…
 
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