Leadership Lessons from NewCo’s Finest Executives


What We Learned

NewCo MasterClass

Last week, during NewCo’s first ever MasterClass workshops, leaders and specialists from the Bay Area’s most innovative companies provided training in leadership and management. These were small, interactive sessions with founders, CEOs and specialists, sharing real case studies and actionable advice. We thought we would share the presentations with you, our NewCo Shift readers, so you can take the learnings and run. Now, go ahead and Get Shift Done!

Fundraising strategies for early stage founders

Jeff Clavier, Managing Partner, SoftTech VC

“Should I bootstrap the development of my product? Can I get that funded by investors? What are the requirements to raise a seed round?”

The seed ecosystem has developed into a complex web of accelerators, seed funds with very different investment and portfolio construction strategies, and other sources of capital. Jeff Clavier, the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, provided a MasterClass on the topic — clarifying funding sources and expectations, as well as insights into how investors analyze opportunities. Jeff, one of the original super angels in the Valley, raised one of the first micro VC funds and has helped shape the seed industry.

Lessons From the 0.3% Highest Performing Private Companies

Chris Albinson, Managing Partner, Founders Circle Capital

The top 0.3% of private companies look much different than they used to. They’re growing faster, are more efficient with capital, and stay private much longer. Chris Albinson and his team at Founders Circle Capital work exclusively with these founders and companies, and he shared lessons and experiences on how to grow at speed and at scale. His MasterClass covers what the top 0.3% of companies have in common, and some of the lessons on how to get and stay there.

Attracting top talent while scaling quickly

Mehul Patel, CEO, Hired

The traditional hiring process is broken, and both companies and candidates are suffering. Finding motivated candidates that fit into the company culture you’ve worked so hard to build is difficult, even for the most magical of unicorns. Even Hired, a job search marketplace, has had to learn how to scale quickly without sacrificing quality. That’s what Mehul Patel, CEO of Hired, spoke about in his MasterClass session.

As he notes, finding talent that fits in with your company’s culture is just as important as hard skills, especially early on. For example, your first sales and marketing hires will have a lasting impact on those teams’ traditions, processes, and personalities, so make sure they’re in line with your long-term vision. Make salary a non-issue: Too many companies save awkward compensation conversations until the end, but salary and benefits packages should be a part of your first conversation with a candidate. Putting transparent, data-based policies in place that take the mystery out of salaries, raises and promotions. Embrace the future of work: The way people think about work is changing, and flexibility is key. Independent contractors will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020, which will enable companies to quickly scale and execute on time-sensitive projects, save money on agency fees, eliminate administrative work and keep their time-to-hire low.

Branding From the Inside Out, Creating a Culture

Eric Ryan, CEO, Olly and Founder, Method

Eric Ryan, founder of Method and Olly, is an inspiring and unconventional leader. He believes that creating a great culture and unique products is the best form of marketing. There’s no doubt that Method is living proof of that. In this presentation, Eric dives into his experiences building teams at companies that have scaled quickly and turned into household brands. He’ll share the challenges and subsequent successes of integrating company culture with employees of different roles and backgrounds. Be prepared to soak in actionable insights, whether you are founding a new brand or driving change at your current company.

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