This event has been postponed due to the Coronavirus.. stay tuned to see new date. We have had over 100 events since starting in 2012, with 100+ interviews that have been seen by thousands of the area's smartest founders. (that would be you). But there has never been an event like this on March 18th. We are putting 3 companies on stage that have been the fastest growing in the Northwest. Combined these 3 companies have gone from 70 employees to over 1500 in the last several years and from a $50M valuation to $1.6B (that is a billion) and have had a huge effect on their respective industries across the US and abroad.
We will be doing 3 separate 20 min fireside chat interviews with Matt Oppenheimer, CEO Remitly, John Lauer, CEO Zipwhip, Leslie Feinzaig, CEO Female Founders Alliance AND we will have one of their first investors also on stage. So each interview will be with the CEO and an early investor. Yes, we will be hearing from the investors and CEO about the early days and why they believed the company was going to be a success.
This evening will be fast paced, entertaining, great connections and most of all a place to learn what it takes to get started and convince that first investor you are worth taking the risk.
If that is not enough we will also have three Startups pitching; Tribute, Neu and Fashwire to the group of six (3 CEO,s, 3 Investors). The winner gets to choose who they want to have a coffee meeting with. Who knows maybe one of these startups will be on stage at Startup Grind in the future.
CEO, Co Founder
Female Founders Alliance
CEO, Co Founder
John Lauer is an entrepreneur and telecommunications industry veteran, and the CEO and co-founder of Zipwhip, a Seattle-based business-texting software provider. Zipwhip pioneered the concept of texting for landline, VoIP and toll-free phone numbers, and built the original business-texting network. Lauer established breakthrough relationships with mobile carrier networks to deliver unrivaled message reliability and security for any phone number in North America. He created Zipwhip to help companies of all sizes have better conversations with their customers. Zipwhip now has over 200 employees, more than 20,000 customers and has received more than $41 million in funding.
Leslie Feinzaig is a tech executive and entrepreneur on a mission to democratize entrepreneurship. In 2016, she launched Venture Kits - games that turn kids into CEOs through play. It was during this founding of Venture Kits that she started to talk to other female founders. These conversations and Facebook group turned into a movement and community called Female Founders Alliance.
The Female Founders Alliance, a private community of 70+ venture-scale company founders and CEOs dedicated to actively helping each other succeed and collectively breaking the gender gap in VC investments. She has made this community into a fast growing entity helping other female founders.
Leslie is a frequent public speaker, including solo keynotes at SXSW Interactive and a TEDx talk. Her work has been published by Forbes, All Things Digital (now ReCode), and Geekwire. She has a BSc from the London School of Economics and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
The inspiration behind Remitly came when Matt was working for Barclays in Kenya and saw how difficult it was to send and receive money overseas. Matt was drawn to the global impact his business could have: remittances eclipse foreign aid in improving global wealth equality and give people who receive them upward mobility. He began working on the problem immediately as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Highway 12 Ventures in Idaho and launched the company from Techstars in Seattle. Matt was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized as a Puget Sound Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree for his work with Remitly. He holds a MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Dartmouth College.
Mike or Michael Grabham is a curious start up guy that has been delivering revenue, new products and creative solutions in the startup chaos for 20+ years. He is a five time founder and is in relentless pursuit of knowing the customers better than any competitor. He recently invented a new product called Package Guard, to help stop package theft. He is a “make it happen” person driving growth across multiple revenue streams while inspiring and teaching employees on how to have fun and get things done, yes you can do both.
He has raised $3M from angel investors over the past 20 years, sold two companies and failed and has managed marketing, product, engineering and sales staffs throughout his career.
He is constantly learning from others having conducted more than 100 interviews with startup leaders at Startup Grind in Seattle and Bellevue each month. He loves helping smart people change industries, studying consumer behaviors and searching for the perfect glass of wine.
He and his wife started a nonprofit Survive the Streets which they help homeless in Seattle. He received his MBA from Seattle University and has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics, if that matters to anyone.