Categories
E2E: Scale

THE MISSING MILLION $

Note: This blog was originally published by Julian Castelli on Growth Scaling.  

 

Why hitting the most important customer “nerve” is the key to sales velocity.

The other day I was speaking with the growth team at an exciting SaaS company. The Company had the best product of its kind in the market. In fact they had just been declared the best product by a leading industry source – woohoo! Yet, sales velocity was good but not great…

After discussing all sorts of potential reasons, I suggested that maybe they hadn’t yet “nailed the value prop”. This drew all sorts of eye-rolling and sighs by the team. “How could that be possible? We have over a hundred happy customers! Just look at our pipeline and how it is growing! Look at these names!”

While I wasn’t trying to create a controversy, nor downplay any of the Company’s achievements, I knew that there was a difference between the success this Company was having and what it feels like when you are “In the Zone” with a great Value Proposition that is crushing it. Being in the Zone is also referred to as having great Product Market Fit. When you are in theZone, you are like Michael Jordan who just knows he can sink any shot or make any play – just give me the ball!. For a SaaS company you just know that you can close almost any deal or train any good sales rep to beat quota consistently. Confidence in these capabilities is exactly what allows SaaS companies to scale growth predictably and efficiently. This attracts VC money like bees to flowers– just give me the money! – which of course provides those companies with more resources to grow even faster and improve their products to the point where it just doesn’t seem fair. That is why you have to get into the Zone and do everything you can to stay there!

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to experience what it feels like to be In the Zone. Our team got there by selling money. In fact, we called it selling the missing $1million. I recently caught up with Michael de la Torre, our CRO, who led the effort to get there and coined the term Selling the Missing Million to recap what we did differently.

“Our historical approach was to either lead with our demo or talk about what we could do for them. This approach did not get us anywhere because no one wanted to hear about what we did. But once we discovered their biggest pain point and then reframed our entire pitch around having a discussion about that pain point, our sales took off. For our customers, it was about revenue growth. An extra million in revenues would mean much more margin in their pocket and it would mean the difference between barely scraping by and a massive windfall. In other words, another million dollars at the margin meant everything. So we recrafted our pitch to reliably get to that point. We crafted our whole selling motion around engaging them in a conversation about current revenues and current approaches to revenue growth – occupancy, daily rate, and other key revenue components – and then we would use those numbers, their numbers, to frame a strategy where we could help them find their ‘missing million’. We would often transition our conversation by saying ‘based on what you’ve told me, it seems like you are missing a million dollars’. The response almost always cycled quickly from confusion, to interest, to excitement, to action. The ‘missing million’ completely changed the tone and energy of the customer conversation, and we sold many deals without even demoing our software. Once we understood the true nerve, and we crafted a pitch that could reliably hit that nerve, we almost always won the deal.”

Steps to Finding Your Pitch

Are you selling your product features or are you selling to their biggest, and often unarticulated, need? Here are some tips to help you discover your “Missing Million” value prop.

  • Deep Customer Knowledge: It is not enough to define an ideal customer profile and personas. You really need to know what keeps your customer up at night. What are their most important problems that they encounter every day? What challenges do they encounter trying to solve them today? Is it revenue? Is it cost? Is it risk? Is it peace of mind? Is it quality? Is it scaling for growth? Or it could be some combination of all of the above. If you can solve one of these problems you have a chance at reliably hitting that nerve. At LeisureLink, we hired industry SMEs versus traditional sales reps, because they could easily have the simple conversation with the customer that reliably and inevitably uncovered the ‘missing million’!
  • Iterate and Test Like Crazy: You are not likely to get it right the first or second or even the third time! It will take time, and lots of “at bats.” Make sure your team is trying multiple approaches and you are listening for what works. Weekly sales debriefs and learning sessions are critical to uncovering what may work. Remember, many to many conversations are exponentially more efficient than one to one coaching sessions, where great ideas may be missed or not connected to other discoveries to form the critical hypotheses! In other words, design your sales and marketing process to optimize discovery!
  • First Things First: Don’t lock in your website messaging right away and then waste a year or two pitching a message that doesn’t resonate. You need to nail the value prop first, then support it across all of your messaging channels. Keep things relatively light and malleable until you have nailed it for sure. And keep iterating!
  • Avoid the Rocks: Just because the customer wants to talk about something doesn’t mean that is the right path to closing. Recognize and ID the rocks, indulge them shortly if customers bring them up, and then have the courage to “reframe” the conversation to whatever value proposition is closest to selling money in your world.
  • Nail the Re-Frame: Reframing takes courage and skill. It can’t be done clumsily or it will feel awkward. You need to know enough about the customer and her pains/needs that you can lead the conversation towards solving them. Even better if you can get them to realize how to solve their problem using the socratic method! Then they’ll “ask you for the money!

I am a Venture Partner with Next Coast Ventures and COO/CFO at Voxpopme. I spend my time helping technology companies scale the Growth Mountain.

Categories
E2E: News

NCV’s Top 9 of ‘19

1. Closed our Second Fund: NCV II

In November we were incredibly proud to announce the closing of our second fund, which brings $130 million in new capital to NCV. We are thrilled to have assembled a great group of investors – a strong combination of investors from our first fund and new investors who believe in our ambitious goal to become one of the best firms providing early and growth-stage capital in what we call ‘Next Coast markets.’ Like any fundraising effort, it took time, travel and a lot of hard work. But truth be told, this fund was really made possible by the hard work of all the entrepreneurs we have had the privilege to work with since we founded Next Coast Ventures over four years ago. Learn more about NCV II here.

2. Made our First NCV II Investments

In July we were proud to announce that, as our first investment from NCV II, we led the $12.5M Series C in TrustRadius, the leading software review platform. This was a great moment for the Austin ecosystem: Two experienced, local entrepreneurs creating a differentiated product supported by a great Texas syndicate. We’ve been following TrustRadius’ progress since we started NCV in 2015 and are thrilled to have the chance to officially partner with them during this new phase of growth. Learn more about TrustRadius here.

Since July, we’ve made additional NCV II investments in other portfolio companies that are in stealth mode. More to come on these soon!

3. Added Six New Portfolio Companies

We know we are only as good as the founders we back. In 2019, we added six more incredible teams to our portfolio. We were thrilled to announce that we led the $10M Series B in Montana-based Submittable, the leading submission review platform – it was one of the top-10 largest Series B rounds in the state’s history and our first deal in Montana. We were also proud to announce that we participated in the $8M Series A in Enboarder, an experiential employee onboarding platform that was founded in Sydney, Australia – we were especially excited to bring the company to Austin. We also invested in Backtracks, the Austin-based podcast analytics and hosting platform that helps businesses of all shapes and sizes understand their audience and monetize their podcasting content. Our other new portfolio companies of 2019 are TrustRadius and two stealth mode companies mentioned above.

4. Had Two Portfolio Exits: Finery and Brava

Our portfolio companies Finery, the wardrobe operating system, and Brava, the smart countertop oven, were both acquired in 2019. Finery was acquired by online fashion styling service Stitch Fix. We are so proud of Whitney Casey and Brooklyn Decker and the innovation they bring to the world of fashion technology. Brava was acquired by kitchen equipment manufacturer Middleby. The smart countertop oven will continue to cook delicious home-cooked meals alongside Middleby’s existing residential and commercial kitchen appliance portfolio. Congratulations to the Finery and Brava teams!

5. Doubled our Entrepreneurs Council

We are always looking for new and innovative ways to support our portfolio leadership. This year, we doubled the size of our Entrepreneurs Council, which consists of industry-leading entrepreneurs in Next Coast markets who directly advise and mentor our portfolio leadership. We were so thrilled to announce that we added iconic entrepreneurs Cotter Cunningham (founder of RetailMeNot), Brian Sharples (founder of HomeAway) and Julian Castelli (former CEO of LeisureLink and VacationRoost) as the newest members of our Entrepreneurs Council. Learn more about our Entrepreneurs Council here.

6. Grew our Investment Team with Zaz Floreani as Principal

After years of running business and corporate development at various startups in Austin, Zaz joined our deal team this fall and immediately became an integral contributor. She helps execute our strategy in our early stage investments, with a focus on sourcing entrepreneurs and identifying investment prospects in markets outside the coasts. Zaz also supports our portfolio companies by providing advice and introductions around potential hires, investors, customers and strategic partnerships. Learn more about Zaz here.

7. Added Sarah Puil as Entrepreneur-in-Residence

It has always been important to our firm’s culture to have a strong entrepreneur in our office to bring their unique perspective on emerging market trends and work with them to discover their next project. Hence we were so excited to announce that we added experiential marketing and podcasting expert Sarah Puil as our Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Learn more about Sarah here.

8. Brought on Jonathan Kaplan as Chief Operating Officer

We mean it when we say that we are building out a firm for the long term. We were excited to finally announce the addition of Jonathan Kaplan as our COO. He brings an incredible wealth of startup experience to NCV and our portfolio. Jonathan is responsible for all operations of our firm and the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts. He is also integral in the formulation and execution of our investment strategy and supporting NCV’s portfolio companies by providing advice regarding operations, corporate development and compliance. Learn more about Jonathan here.

9. Austin VC Investment Reached Two-Decade High

While we know we can’t credit for Austin’s record-breaking year of VC investment, we couldn’t be more thrilled about the incredible growth we’ve seen in Austin and our other Next Coast markets. As investors focused on rising innovation hubs, we know that we wouldn’t be able to invest in our incredible founders without the support of these booming ecosystems. We’re very proud to be Austin-based investors and are committed to continuing to give back to the entrepreneurial markets we serve – we look forward to seeing what other records Austin’s investment ecosystem breaks in 2020. We have a feeling it will be plenty.

Categories
E2E: News

NCV’s Top 10 of Summer

“New deals, new exits and new team members. Needless to say summer slowdown is not a thing for Next Coast Ventures.”

10. Summer Kickoff Meat-Up

We love any opportunity to bring Austin’s entrepreneurial ecosystem together, and we are firm believers that it shouldn’t take an industry conference or panel of experts to do it – that’s why we founded our series of ‘Meat-Ups’ in 2018. We have truly enjoyed bringing Austin’s founders, investors and service providers together in our backyard for great BBQ. We can’t think of a better way to kick off summer.

9. Three Entrepreneurs Council additions

We were so thrilled to announce that we added iconic entrepreneurs Cotter Cunningham (founder of RetailMeNot), Brian Sharples (founder of HomeAway), and Julian Castelli (former CEO of LeisureLink and VacationRoost,) as the newest members to our newly-branded Entrepreneurs Council, which advises and mentors our portfolio leadership. Learn more about our Entrepreneurs Council here.

8. New Chief Operating Officer

We were excited to finally announce the addition of Jonathan Kaplan as our COO and couldn't be more excited for what he'll bring to NCV and our portfolio: “I was drawn to the opportunity to join Next Coast Ventures because of its differentiated commitment to supporting entrepreneurs in markets throughout the United States and the quality of the firm’s investments to date." Learn more about Jonathan here.

7. Led the $12.5M Series C in TrustRadius

We were proud to announce that we led the $12.5M Series C in TrustRadius, the leading software review platform. This was a great moment for the Austin ecosystem with two experienced, local entrepreneurs creating an a differentiated product supported by a great Texas syndicate.

6. Led the $10M Series B in Submittable

We were so psyched to announce that we led the $10M Series B in Montana-based Submittable, the leading submission review platform. It was one of the top-10 largest Series B rounds in the state’s history and our first deal in Montana. It was right up our alley: an entrepreneur with deep domain expertise creating a full-stack business model in a Next Coast market that solves a big pain point for numerous industries.

5. Added Enboarder to our portfolio

We were proud to announce that we participated in the $8M Series A in Enboarder, an experiential employee onboarding platform that was founded in Sydney, Australia. We’re especially excited to bring the company to Austin to open its U.S. headquarters and grow its team as they continue to change the HR game for companies big and small.

4. Phlur raised Series A, acquired Texas Beauty Labs

We were thrilled to be follow-on investors in Phlur, the leading sustainable fragrance and beauty brand that acquired fellow Texas-based clean beauty manufacturer Texas Beauty Labs to expand their offerings from fragrance and candles to now include a line of clean beauty and deodorant products. And yes, they smell just as fabulous.

3. Added Backtracks to our portfolio

We were proud to announce that we are investors in Backtracks, the Austin-based podcast analytics and hosting platform that helps businesses of all shapes and sizes understand their audience and monetize their podcasting content.

2. Added an Entrepreneur-in-Residence

It has always been important to our firm’s culture to have a strong entrepreneur in our office to bring their unique perspective on emerging market trends and discover their next project, which is why were so excited to announce that we added Sarah Puil as our Entrepreneur-in-Residence. She’s an experiential marketing and podcasting expert that’s going to explore the changing world of digital assets. Learn more about Sarah here.

1.Had a portfolio exit

Our portfolio company Finery, the wardrobe operating system, was acquired by online fashion styling service Stitch Fix. We are so proud of Whitney Casey and Brooklyn Decker and the fashion technology they have created to empower both consumers and female founders in the tech community. Congratulations to the Finery team!

Categories
E2E: 20/20

NCV’s Top 8 in ’18

We are so incredibly grateful to have so many great milestones in our short history — and 2018 was no different. We founded NCV on the idea that the best entrepreneurs are building companies outside the coasts, and with the support from our great investors who believe in our mission, we have found that to be even truer than we imagined. Through numerous strong additions to our portfolio, expanding our Venture Partner program and ramping up our E2E programming, we couldn’t be prouder of our entrepreneurs’ accomplishments in 2018. In no particular order, here are some of the highlights.

8. Meat-Ups

We love any opportunity to bring Austin’s entrepreneurial ecosystem together, and we are firm believers that it shouldn’t take an industry conference or panel of experts to do it. That’s why we founded our series of ‘Meat-Ups’ in 2018 — with pig roasts, grilling demos and fresh meat from Austin’s finest ranches courtesy of Rosso & Flynn. Whether it’s kicking off summer or discussing the rapid developments in the world of eCommerce, we have truly enjoyed bringing Austin’s founders, investors and service providers together in our backyard for great BBQ, and even better conversations.

7. SXSW

SXSW has always played a large role in Austin’s innovation ecosystem and has done a tremendous job putting the Texas capitol at the forefront of people’s minds when they think about startups and entrepreneurship. That’s why we were so thrilled to put on our first-ever SXSW panel featuring our portfolio CEOs Julia Cheek of EverlyWell and Eric Korman of Phlur, as well as Localeur CEO Joah Spearman. Our panel focused on one of our major investment themes: digital natives disrupting time-honored industries. The panel’s great turnout and lively Q&A showed us that this shift in consumer behavior isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

6. First Annual Meeting

One of the more never-wracking parts of 2018 was our first-ever Annual Meeting. Our mission is to source and support the best entrepreneurs in Next Coast markets, and none of it would be possible without our incredible investors. We were so pleased to have the opportunity to share our firm’s progress over the past year and give our investors the chance to hear directly from out portfolio CEOs. Their enthusiasm for our founders’ business ideas and development as leaders makes our whole mission possible, so our first-ever — and successful! — Annual Meeting was certainly a highlight of 2018.

5. New Venture Partner Jason Dorsey

At NCV, one of our main goals is to leverage our network and industry expertise to provide our portfolio with the best resources to scale their businesses, and our Venture Partner program is a key part of that. This year, we added an atypical Venture Partner, bringing on Jason Dorsey to advise our portfolio on consumer trends, brand building and customer acquisition. Jason is an expert on digital natives and generational behavior, and he has helped us refine our investment themes and evaluate big trends that impact our investment decisions. Jason is not a garden variety Venture Partner, and we’ve already seen his incredible impact on our firm and our portfolio.

4. New Talent Venture Partner Jeff Browning

As early-stage investors we know that one of the key parts to successfully scaling is having a strong and well-suited executive team at the helm. That’s why we brought on Jeff Browning as a Talent Venture Partner in 2018. Jeff has helped our portfolio companies with all aspects of organizational design, talent acquisition and executive development — as well as helping our founders round out their executive teams. He has 30 years experience in executive talent acquisition and spent 15 years as the Recruiting Partner for Austin Ventures. He’s already been an invaluable resource to our portfolio companies as they rapidly scale their companies.

3. Clarity Money Acquisition

We were absolutely thrilled to have our first exit in our short history from our portfolio in 2018. Clarity Money, a fintech startup that helps consumers manage their personal finances, was acquired by Goldman Sachs. Clarity Money’s sticky traction with digital natives and intuitive UI made it an incredible addition to Goldman Sachs offerings as they seek to reach Millennials and Gen Z with modern banking platforms. Founder Adam Dell created an intuitive product that’s disrupting a massive market, and we were so excited to be a part of his journey.

2. OnRamp Acquisition

We had not one, but two exits in 2018. Our portfolio company OnRamp, an Austin-based data center and cloud computing company, was acquired by Des Moines-based IT company LightEdge. LightEdge now runs one of the largest interconnected data centers outside the coasts in key Next Coast markets. OnRamp didn’t just have a great suite of products, it was also led by two great entrepreneurs: CEO Lucas Braun and President Ryan Robinson. Helping them through the acquisition process and their excitement around thinking big made an exhilarating liquidity moment even greater — and reminded us of why do exactly what we do.

1. 11 New Portfolio Companies

There were so many great milestones in 2018, but to us one of the greatest has been expanding our portfolio with the top founders in Next Coast markets that are building innovative companies disrupting massive markets. Investing in these types of entrepreneurs is exactly why we founded this firm. This year, we added 11 new companies to our portfolio in everything from SaaS to at-home health testing to blockchain platforms. Our collaborative approach has allowed us to source some of the best glass eaters in a wide variety of industries, and we couldn’t be more excited to help them scale and grow as leaders in 2019.

Categories
E2E: News

Announcing Our New Venture Partner: Jason Dorsey

Today, we are very excited to announce that we are adding Jason Dorsey to the team at Next Coast Ventures. Jason is joining our team as a Venture Partner where he will focus on helping Next Coast and its portfolio companies with consumer trends, brand building and customer acquisition.

We have to point out that Jason isn’t your garden variety Venture Partner. He is an expert on digital natives and generational behavior, which means he can help us refine our investment themes and evaluate big trends that impact our investment decisions AND offer invaluable insights to our portfolio companies on their marketing, branding and sales strategies.

Jason’s unique perspective underscores our relentless focus on bringing the best – and outside the box – resources to help our entrepreneurs.

Jason is the president and co-founder of The Center for Generational Kinetics where he leads Millennial and Gen Z research, speaking, and strategy to uncover the hidden, generational drivers that solve tough business challenges. He’s helped reposition global brands to win Millennial customers, advised on billion-dollar acquisitions and taken clients from last to first in employee retention. Last year, the Center worked with 180 clients on four continents in industries ranging from automotive, healthcare, and retail to advertising and technology. Jason wrote his first bestselling book at age 18 and currently serves on the board of directors at Ultimate Software (NASDAQ: ULTI) and continues to advise numerous CEOs and corporate boards.

Jason Dorsey, president and co-founder of The Center for Generational Kinetics

We are thrilled to have Jason as part of our Venture Partner program and can’t wait to introduce him to our growing portfolio of amazing entrepreneurs! His addition underscores how we are constantly pushing ourselves to think of new ways to help our entrepreneurs and make sure we understand big trends in the marketplace and how the world is changing.

Please join us in welcoming Jason to the Next Coast team! We sat down with him to learn more about his expertise and how he will implement them as part of our Company Building initiatives:

What are you looking forward to about working with a VC? How about Next Coast in particular?

I get fired up talking with the team at Next Coast! As entrepreneurs themselves, their passion for helping other entrepreneurs matches perfectly with my own journey and the impact I want to make in the world. I also appreciate how closely they work with portfolio companies to help them adapt, grow, and carry out their bold vision. That is hard to find and even more rare to receive from VC’s with such a great track record as the Next Coast team.

You often work with very large, established brand names, what are you looking forward to about working with early-stage companies that are still figuring out what their brand is?

Working with early-stage companies and their leaders means they can act on our findings and solutions much faster. The early-stage companies we’ve helped have been able to implement and benefit from our solutions almost immediately; whereas, large companies often take longer for approval, budgeting, and implementation. In addition, the feedback loop with early-stage companies is much shorter, so they can learn and adapt much faster, which is key to success when launching a new venture in new and mature markets.

As an entrepreneur yourself, what resources do you wish you would have had access to when you began your business?

I started my first business at age 18 and slept on a floor for two years. The first resource I wish I had was a bed! Candidly, I wish I had known other, more experienced entrepreneurs who had “been there and survived that.” I wish I had a mentor who had taken a business from zero to success who could have given me a candid perspective and advice on each key aspect of my business as well as opened doors. Being an entrepreneur means managing and learning how to do everything—and often the hard way—from surviving cash flow challenges and developing employees to navigating relationships with Global 100 companies. Shortening the learning curve by having experienced help or investors would have enabled me to focus on my strengths and the areas I’m most passionate so we could’ve grown faster. While I still think it’s best to learn by doing, some of the lessons involved in scaling a company are faster learned (and avoided!) through a more experienced entrepreneur sharing their experience.

“com·pa·ny build·ing (noun): a hands-on approach to helping scale businesses were we use our past experience as entrepreneurs to help other entrepreneurs succeed.”

Jason’s obstacles when he began his business ring all too true for us, everybody at Next Coast has sat in the entrepreneur’s seat at one point in their career – and we all wish we had more resources when we first began our businesses. That’s why we implement our Company Building approach and dedicate so much time and resources to making sure it offers effective tools to our entrepreneurs.

How can your research and expertise help entrepreneurs grow their businesses?

Entrepreneurs are generally trying to solve an urgent problem and build a business around their unique solution. Most of the time, the problem is driven, or heavily influenced, by generational differences and emerging trends. We see this in everything from technology adoption and retail experience to changing dynamics in the workplace. Our custom research brings accurate data to the trends that are driving—or limiting—an entrepreneur’s business. We then show them how to make these generational trends their advantage to fast-track growth. Our research-based insights and specific solutions inform new marketing campaigns, drive sales results, improve workplace strategies, and advance innovation—all must-have components for an entrepreneur to quickly scale their business. The way I look at it, entrepreneurs have enough challenges to face, and being wrong or blind to a generation’s hidden drivers or behaviors can crush a great business idea. Our research provides truth and data to entrepreneurs so that they can make smart decisions fast.

What is the most common mistake you see businesses make when it comes to understanding their consumers?

Too often they focus solely on what we term “tracking data.” They look at sales, impressions, employee retention, customer satisfaction, etc. This data is important, but it does not reveal the “why” behind the behavior. In fact, tracking data is by definition a measure of an outcome that happened in the past. If we are to change the outcome going forward, we need to understand the thinking, influences, decision-making, and behavioral drivers that led to the outcome in the first place.

What would you say to an entrepreneur who thinks your research isn’t relevant to growing their business?

We haven’t found an industry that can’t benefit from accurately understanding generations of employees and customers and the drivers underlying their behaviors. Almost everything you and I do on a daily basis is in some way influenced by our own generational experience—from how we communicate and shop to how we work and interact with an experience. By understanding generations in the context of your own business, industry, and marketplace—as well as your own generation–you have the immediate advantage of being able to faster connect with and influence people of different generations. This can make a massive difference in your business’ success or failure as well as in your own leadership results.

Your expertise isn’t typical of a Venture Partner at a VC firm, if you were at a cocktail party, how would you describe The Center for Generational Kinetics and its work?

We separate generational myth from truth. We dive into the headlines and trends that influence executive decisions to see what is right, wrong or just misunderstood. For example, there is a perception that Millennials are using credit cards more than other generations—yet they’re actually using them less. Millennials are also not all “unemployed and living in their parents’ basement;” they are actually the largest generation in the U.S. workforce and the largest percentage of managers. From a consumer perspective, you hear all the time that Millennials are out of money, yet they’ll outspend every other generation this year and drive most major consumer trends. Our research firm has also uncovered that the Millennial generation is splitting in two. In fact, the group most offended by Millennials acting entitled are other Millennials who do not feel entitled. We’ve also discovered that Millennials are not tech savvy; they are tech dependent. And here is a sneak peek from our latest national research: Gen Z could be poised to leapfrog Millennials in the workforce. Plus, they are also proving to be more financially conservative than the previous generation.

Categories
E2E: News

Announcing Our New Venture Partner: Jeff Browning

Today, we are very excited to announce that we are adding Jeff Browning to the team at Next Coast Ventures. Jeff is joining our team as a Venture Partner where he will focus on helping our portfolio companies with all aspects of organizational design, talent acquisition and executive development. Jeff’s addition to our team underscores our relentless focus on building out a firm with a continual thesis around how can we bring the best and brightest minds to the entrepreneurs that we serve.

Jeff Browning

Jeff has 30 years experience in executive talent acquisition across multiple industry sectors and company sizes ranging from startups to the Fortune 100. Most recently, he was a Principal at GTCR Private Equity, recruiting CEO candidates for their prestigious Leaders Strategy Program. Prior to GTCR, Jeff spent 15 years as the Recruiting Partner for Austin Ventures. In that role, he led all the executive talent acquisition programs supporting both the Venture Capital and Growth Equity practice areas.

We are thrilled to have Jeff on our growing team and can’t wait to introduce him to our growing portfolio of amazing entrepreneurs! Building a new business is really hard – we know it from personal experience – and talent acquisition and development is oftentimes the most important part of an entrepreneur’s job. Jeff’s passion and expertise is focused on helping entrepreneurs overcome this exact challenge – and we think Jeff will be a crucial tool for helping our portfolio companies succeed.

Since day one, Next Coast Ventures has been “built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs,” and we are hyper-focused on leveraging our network of industry experts to help our portfolio companies reach new levels of growth. Jeff is one more example of this mindset – and his addition will complement the rest of our growing team!

Please join us in welcoming Jeff to the Next Coast team – we are excited to have him and we expect our ass-kicking entrepreneurs will feel the same way!