Selfless.ly with Josh Driver

Selfless.ly with Josh Driver

In this episode, I talk with Josh Driver, the founder and CEO of Selfessl.ly, a web platform designed to become a virtual foundation for companies of all sizes to drip their toe in or level up their giving to the community or causes or charities they care about. Selfless.ly works to manage volunteer time off, employee and workplace giving, or any other type of interaction a company can provide, via grants, sponsorships, or donations. Selfless.ly records all of that and report to tell a good brand story.

Josh shares how Selfless.ly was the first company in Indiana to be both a B Corporation and a Domestic Benefit Corporation, and the strategy behind filing as such. Selfless.ly has an interface for companies and their employees, as well as about 150 nonprofit organizations who are able to self-onboard to the platform. And they are also currently in rapid development to finish their SaaS platform to make it easier for companies to self-onboard as well.

Topics In The Episode

  • Current status as a company

  • Company and employee experience on the platform

  • Creating a custom experience for big customers

  • Importance of bringing on a COO

  • Areas of focus as a B-Corp

  • Creating a pitch deck based on your market differentiation

Synapse Sitters with Marie Maher

Synapse Sitters with Marie Maher

In this episode, I talk with Marie Maher of Synapse Sitters. It is an online community that connects parents of children with special needs to pre-qualified babysitters. The pre-qualified status means that each sitter has a verified education or employment background within human services. Marie shares how she started Lullaby Sitters in 2014 and Synapse Sitters was a pivot from that company, in response to her son’s diagnosis of being on the autism spectrum.

Marie explains the user experience on the website, as well as the experience for prospective sitters. She details the implementation of campus ambassadors in their growth strategy, as well as other avenues for future growth, such as a scheduling feature and mobile app.

This month is Autism Awareness Month. Please share this episode on social media to help get the word out.

Topics In This Episode

  • Structure of monetization

  • Current status of Synapse Sitters

  • Importance of word of mouth for growth and referrals

  • Differentiation among the existing competition

  • Biggest lesson learned in this industry

  • The difference between the idea and the execution

FlatZap (and App Tool Werks) with Dan Johnson

FlatZap (and App Tool Werks) with Dan Johnson

In this episode, I talk with Dan Johnson of App Tool Werks, a shop to innovate, build, and market software services. They currently have three products in the app store, Flatzap, JobMe, and Call Deck, and two more products in development right now. App Tool Werks is a self-funded endeavor with 15 employees.

FlatZap is the flagship product of App Tool Werks, as it was the first commercially available product of the company. It is a photo management system, allowing you to capture, organize, and save images by location. Many customers of this product work in construction, and use it to take pictures of job sites to send back to their offices. In the future, they are looking to partner with other forums for other avenues of product integration. To learn more about FlatZap and their other products, visit their website here.

Topics In This Episode

  • Cultivating Product Ideas Internally versus Externally

  • Understanding product use based on the customers that use the product

  • Selling a product when a company may already have the technology in place

  • Learning who to sell to within a company

  • The importance of geolocation in niche products

  • Overcoming a leadership deficit once the company reaches the point of scalable growth

VisionTech Partners with Ben Pidgeon - Re-Broadcast

VisionTech Partners with Ben Pidgeon - Re-Broadcast

In this episode, I talk with Ben Pidgeon, Executive Director of Vision Tech Partners, the largest angel investor network in Central Indiana. In the last year, (At the time of recording) they’ve deployed $2.6 million across 8 transactions, with check sizes getting bigger. The network consists of approximately 110 investors that get to decide if they would like to invest in an opportunity, typically focused on life science and technology, with 11-30 angels participating per round.

Ben explains the investment process starting with a screening of about 300 companies per year. At any given time, there are about 20-30 companies on his agenda. The top six companies are then invited to a screening committee meeting, where they give a 20-minute pitch. At the end of that meeting, the investors rank the best opportunity, and that company gets an invitation to go on a roadshow across the state. From there, Vision Tech Partners are able to get a soft level interest amount, and the company enters the diligence phase where research and interviews are conducted. That information is then provided to investors and they then invest in the company.

Topics In This Episode

  • Information that is necessary for a pitch meeting

  • Difference between a top-down and bottom-up approach for valuation

  • How to show a competitive advantage and market differentiation

  • Most awkward moment in a pitch

  • Most impressive moment in a pitch

  • Success rate of companies as they move through the different steps of the investment process from screening to investment  

  • Red flags of valuation versus revenue amounts

  • The Three H’s of building a team

Flixation with David Feinman

Flixation with David Feinman

In this episode, I talk with David Feineman, co-founder of Flixation; an on-demand video editing platform. Users upload video footage, and Flixation then takes that footage and turns it into a completed video for the company, with the help of editors and a creative director on staff.

“We at Flixation really just focus on video editing. So we really have that process nailed down for our customers so that they have this experience that really makes sense for them when they’re ordering a video.

— David Feinman

Flixation was really created as a side product out of their full standard production company. David’s mentor advised him and his co-founder to think of the product beat, meaning, the various different evolutions of the product and service over time, which lead to the start of Flixation. Now, with social media, video content is such an integral part of every part of any business. A company isn’t just doing 1-2 videos a year, they might be doing 100-200 videos per year, but their budgets aren’t increasing. So Flixation is able to streamline the process of creating more video.

Topics In This Episode

  • Creating a product to solve a need in the market

  • How they are different from their competitors

  • Importance of following the product beat

  • How social media has changed the industry

  • Having customer service be a pillar of a company

  • Future trends in video consumption and capture medium

  • Looking ahead to figure out how to incorporate automation in the product