Passageways with Paroon Chadha

Passageways with Paroon Chadha

In this episode, I talk with the Co-Founder and CEO of Passageways, Paroon Chadha. Passageways is in the secure enterprise collaboration space, which has 2 product lines. One of the products is Ensemble, an employee collaboration software that allows employees to engage with each other. The other product of Passageways is On Board, a board collaboration software that pulls together a paperless and seamless experience for board members and executive committees.

“From board room to the break rooms, collaboration software is where we live.

— Paroon Chadha

Paroon explains how he and his co-founder started in the credit union industry. They received a seed investment from a credit union, and the company quickly became one of the fastest growing companies in that space. They then transitioned to community banks, and grew to a total of five verticals.

Topics in the episode

  • Transitioning from boot strapping to receiving funding

  • Growing from one market into others that are adjacent

  • How to operate both horizontally and vertically

  • Customization of the products within each vertical

  • Getting key tactical and strategic support from the board

  • Building an international office based on the needs of the market

  • Utilizing the products within your own company

Little Nugget with Carrie Griffith

Little Nugget with Carrie Griffith

In this episode, I talk with Carrie Griffith, Founder and CEO of Little Nugget, a baby photo app that helps moms personalize, organize, and treasure their favorite family moments. It allows parents to turn the mess of the photos they have of their kids on their camera roll into something meaningful that they can save longterm. The idea for Little Nugget came to Carrie when she tried to create a baby book for her daughter and how overwhelmed she was with the number of photos she had taken.

“If I wanted to be a strong CEO and run the business, I needed to be able to understand these things so I could identify and lead a strong tech team to develop a strong product.

— Carrie Griffith

Carrie details the current status of the business, including the process she went through to meet Apple app store editors at the World Wide developer conference, and that it was an instrumental step in being featured as Apple’s “App of the Day” in the US. She also shares how that has impacted her business, both at the time of being featured and since. She is currently learning about fundraising and finding strategic angel investors which would accelerate the product roadmap to some milestones she would like to hit by the end of the year.

Topics in the Episode

  • Being featured on Apple’s “Meet the Developer”

  • Networking effect of marketing to moms

  • Benefits of joining an accelerator

  • Building a strategy to differentiate from direct competitors

  • How to obtain customer feedback

  • Most impactful groups she has been involved with

  • Transitioning from side hustle to full time

AwayZone with LaToya Johnson

AwayZone with LaToya Johnson

In this episode, I talk with the Founder and CEO of Away Zone, LaToya Johnson. Away Zone is an app built around cultural access that will connect business owners and service providers who represent a racial, ethnic, or religious affiliation or sexual orientation minority group to consumers who are looking for culturally specific experiences. LaToya details the moments that provided inspiration for creating Away Zone.

“I know from my own personal experiences that if I had a tool like that as I was traveling, I wouldn’t have felt so lost.

— LaToya Johnson

The current focus for the platform is based on reaching out to women, particularly women of color, and the LGBTQ communities. LaToya has chosen to start with African American and LGBTQ communities because she is involved in them, and she has plans to expand to all minority groups in the future.

Topics In The Episode

  • Expected outcomes of beta testing the platform

  • Post-beta testing marketing and launch strategy

  • The importance of focusing on women founders as their early adopters

  • Involving the community in the growth of the platform

  • Pitching the platform to Millenials and Gen Y-ers

  • Pitching the platform to businesses

  • Registering your business to be attractive to investors

  • The process of finding a developer, and what to look for when selecting making your selection


Aerotronic with Chris Chance

Aerotronic with Chris Chance

In this episode, I talk with Chris Chance, Co-Founder and CEO of Aerotronic, which focuses on power line inspection and predictive maintenance with manned helicopters, AI. They also design and manufacture our own single-rotor autonomous helicopter. Chris and his co-founder had a very unique journey with creating Aerotronic. He is a helicopter pilot and aerospace engineer who had knowledge about drones and saw a huge gap in the market for hardware with the mission of inspecting power lines.

Chris shares the impact being in Tech Stars has had for Aerotronic and what they learned from that experience. He also discusses the roadmap for the company, and how future expansion both geographically and technologically will shape their growth.

Topics In This Episode

  • Revenue Metrics

  • Different categories of customers

  • Creating a successful business model around an idea or product

  • How future expansions will factor into growth of the company

  • Emerging technologies and their effects on the market

  • Expansion plans and the geographic impact on their value proposition

Open Books MD with Chere Cofer

Open Books MD with Chere Cofer

In this episode, I talk with the founder of Open Books MD, Chere Cofer. In 2013 the FDA approved 1,423 drugs. While that’s an excellent thing for patients, it’s also a very daunting thing for physicians who need to figure out a way to keep up. That’s where medical sales reps come into play. Open Books MD is a digital platform that connects medical practices and the medical sales reps that call on them, for the purpose of creating and managing facetime interactions with the doctors.

Chere’s background as a pharmaceutical sales rep was where the idea for Open Books MD was formed. She then spent 18 months developing the product, and first launched in September 2017. She discusses an experience the company had with a failed launch of their premium product, and how they took customer feedback to rebuild.

Topics In This Episode

  • Revenue strategy

  • Size of the current team and positions to be filled

  • How a larger team would allow for faster growth

  • Failed launch of premium product, and the resulting rebuild

  • Important lessons learned

  • What is currently missing from the market and how Open Books MD will fill that void