When tech startups use each other’s products and services, they give each other added opportunities to grow, and the entire startup community gets a lift. There’s good reason, then, for tech communities to support cross-selling between companies at the local, regional, and national level. Furthermore, there’s plenty that entrepreneurs, investors, and talent can do to help support this goal.
Take our first guests on this episode, John Francis and Clay Gordon, the founding partners of Stout Street Capital in Denver. As venture capital fund managers, they’re dedicated to building meaningful cross-selling opportunities among their portfolio companies. Doing so enriches the startup ecosystem in the Rocky Mountain region and beyond. Joining them are founders Kirsten Moorefield, COO of Cincinnati-based Cloverleaf, and Jeb Banner, CEO of the Indianapolis startup Boardable, who have each developed products centered on relationship-building and are active participants in their local tech communities.
Our four guests today take us on a journey into the world of tech community cross-selling, illustrating how everyone involved in the industry can take steps to raise each other up. We discuss cross-selling from the perspective of both entrepreneurs and investors, touch on the role played by relationships and team building, and even get into some practical advice for marketing and business development.
In this episode with John Francis, Clay Gordon, Kirsten Moorefield, and Jeb Banner, you’ll learn:
- Why starting a venture capital firm is a lot like starting a company (5:50).
- How Stout Street Capital is helping to grow cross-selling tech networks across the country (11:50).
- Boardable’s best tips and strategies for marketing through affiliate networks (13:45).
- Why Cloverleaf’s whole business is founded on relationships and team building (24:35),
- Signs that your company has or hasn’t yet reached product-market fit (35:22).
- The best things Denver, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis have to offer for tech startups (42:04).
Please enjoy this conversation with the founders of Stout Street Capital and entrepreneurs Kirsten Moorefield and Jeb Banner!
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- Stream by clicking here.
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John Francis, Clay Gordon, Kirsten Moorefield, and Jeb Banner quotes from this episode of Powderkeg:
“It’s always better when you invest in ideas which are outside of your circle. It’s easier to invest in strangers than in people you know.” — John Francis on @PowderkegCo
“Our goal is to allow cross-selling and synergy between our portfolio companies that would be a big value add for not only our companies and investors, but potentially for corporate partners that would see us as a platform to innovate.” — Clay Gordon on @PowderkegCo
“Helping people understand their own strengths and weaknesses can create a much more enjoyable workspace, lower turnover, higher engagement—all of those things that companies are trying to crack the code on right now.” — @kirstenteresa on @PowderkegCo
“With nonprofit boards, you have a different set of pain points and problems, and the solutions out there don’t really solve for those problems. We’ve built a lot of the foundational pieces that do solve these board management issues.” — @jebbanner on @PowderkegCo
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
Companies and organizations:
- United Way Worldwide
- Habitat for Humanity
- Girl Scouts
- McKinsey & Company
- Procter & Gamble
- ExactTarget (now Salesforce Marketing Cloud)
Venture capital firms:
Software and apps:
- John Francis (Crunchbase)
- Clay Gordon (Crunchbase)
- Kirsten Moorefield (@kirstenteresa)
- Jeb Banner (@jebbanner)
Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Kirsten & Jeb on Twitter!
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What stood out most to you about what Kirsten & Jeb shares in this podcast?
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