No Bull at No Fleece: Bullpen Capital Talks the State of VC

 

On Dec. 12, Bullpen Capital hosted a new kind of venture capital conference, inviting 100 GPs from the Bay Area to discuss some of the most pressing topics in VC today. The conference, dubbed No Fleece Allowed, aimed to get everyone out of the closed door, portfolio-pitching mindset and into a collaborative discussion about what works in VC and what doesn’t.

To allow for this free-flowing, unbridled chat, the conference was kept off the record–no press, no social media, and anonymized stories. Breaking the typical conference mold, the room was arranged in two concentric circles of chairs to keep everyone engaged in the discussion with no place to hide behind a laptop or step away for a call.

Without microphones and without a stage, speakers sat together in a circle to kick off each session before the floor was opened to continue the conversation. To encourage everyone to add to the dialogue and keep the conference fun, participants voted on the MVP (Most Valuable Participant) of the day. The winner had the honor of taking a picture next to the six-foot winners trophy.

No Fleece Allowed would not have be complete without hosting an ugly fleece competition. Participants were invited to bring their ugliest fleece to compete, and the winner went home with bragging rights and a prized trophy photo opportunity.

One of the many highlights of the day was the closing session with Bill Gurley of Benchmark. Following the format set by the previous sessions and speakers, he was an open-book and addressed crowd-sourced topics in what turned into a dynamic Q&A with eager attendees.

As the day wrapped up, the discussion moved into a networking and cocktail hour where attendees took in Commonwealth Club’s picturesque views of the Bay Bridge and SF Ferry Building.

 

Bowery’s Sales Summit Closing the Year Strong

 

Bowery Capital wrapped up its fourth and final thought leadership Summit for the year, closing out a quarterly Series bringing together similar roles beyond the CEO to learn from some of the biggest leaders in SaaS. One hundred attendees came together with a goal of learning tactical lessons from some of the most experienced executives in the space. CROs, Heads of Sales, and CEOs from Slack, Stripe, Yext, Bitly, and more discussed themes around hiring, culture, sales velocity, and what it takes to successfully scale.

One of the best parts about being onsite running these events is the having access to elite thought leaders and a front row seat to insights and content. Here are my top five tips I learned from these Sales Execs (in no particular order):

1. Slack’s motto when building a “freemium” model: Build a product people love (make them want to buy the product).

2. Lesson Learned from CEO of Bitly on scaling: Everybody is in sales. Recruit your allies. Nobody wins unless everybody wins.

3. Everyone is always trying to master email marketing: SalesLoft discovered ending with a colon (:) is 35 percent better than ending with a comma (,)—I personally prefer a dash!

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4. Hiring Strategy (and applicable across not just sales teams): Your starting pitching pitcher (i.e your first hire) won’t be your closer.

5. Even if prospects aren’t ready to speak now, keep ‘em warm with insightful content:  Give them a reason to come back.

 

RampUp on the Road and Across the Pond

 

We hit the road and the skies with RampUp this fall, making our way to Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, New York, and London for cred’s inaugural international event.

The speaker line-up was truly impressive across all cities—including representation from Starbucks, GameStop, Barclay’s, Google, and Stephen Dubner and Steve Levitt, co-authors of the best-selling Freakonomics. These amazing speakers drew the crowds with record-breaking attendance at all five events, allowing us to reach more than 1,300 martech leaders across the world. Amazing venues and features like the Dallas Cowboys Stadium and RampPups in NYC made sure everyone left happy.  

RampUp’s content is always stellar with a focus on the top current priorities for marketers ranging from the importance of data privacy and integrity to customer-centricity to the artful balance of creativity and data. We were thrilled to be a part of bringing these engaging topics to London for RampUp’s first European event.

In London, more than 300 attendees joined us at the prestigious Savoy Hotel, the sister property to Fairmont San Francisco where RampUp SF is hosted each year. A few key takeaways from London:

  • Standing room only for the GDPR session proved that it’s still a relevant topic in the UK and across the Europe. Speakers discussed why GDPR should be viewed as an opportunity to better educate consumers worldwide about the value exchange between consumers and marketers.

  • The rapidly evolving TV landscape is creating more opportunities than ever for digital ads and should not be overlooked as a key piece of the omnichannel puzzle.

  • As Phil Jones, Head of EMEA Partnerships, Ads & Research at Google discussed in the closing fireside chat, consumer trust is decreasing as consumer expectations are increasing. Innovation and data-driven decision-making are critical to bridging these gaps between users and advertisers.

It’s been an amazing year with RampUp, but in true event planner style, our eyes are set to the future for RampUp 2019 in February 25-26. Less than 100 days to go!

If you’re interested in RampUp updates, or want to learn more about how we can help you with your event, email us: events@credpr.com.

Check out some of our favorite fall moments:

 

Mastering Crisis Communications @ CrisisCon

 

CrisisCon, the inaugural conference hosted by Greenbrier Partners on all things crisis management, took place in San Francisco’s historic Fort Mason district last Thursday. Over the course of this half-day event, professionals from across the communications and PR ecosystem gathered for an afternoon of insightful conversations by industry experts around the applications of proven crisis practices and management, and real-life stories from the trenches.

The agenda kicked off with a fireside chat between Lane Kasselman, founder of Greenbrier, and Peter Ragone, principal at PWR, LLC, to discuss the nature of a crisis and how to determine if you’re in one.

  • Key Takeaway: A crisis to one person will not be a crisis to another.

Nairi Hourdajian, VP at Canaan, followed their session with an impactful solo talk on “The Art of the Deal: Crisis Style.”

  • Key Takeaway: You can’t spin your way out of a bad story.

Before breaking for cocktails and a networking reception, the afternoon concluded with panels around damage control and recovering from a crisis. Panelists included speakers from companies such as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, and Strava. Closing the event was an intimate fireside chat between President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund Jennifer Palmieri and The Messina Group CEO Jim Messina.

Looking to learn how to get ahead of a crisis? Get in touch with Greenbrier Partners!

 

Bowery Capital Summit: The Changing Role of the CFO

 

Bowery Capital’s Summit series, a structured quarterly forum built to generate opportunities and insights for thought leaders at early-stage companies, made its return this week in New York. This quarter we focused on finance leaders, where CFOs, Chief Accounting Officers, COOs, and even CEOs yet to hire a full-time finance leader, were invited for a day of networking and tactical dialogue. The goal of the day is to create engaging content for the audience, covering real-life topics seasoned finance leaders have experienced, such as creating an effective forecast, reporting measuring and metrics to management, and how the role of the CFO has evolved to include leveraging data, managing people, and building processes.

Highlights included Lorcan Malone, Boxever’s COO, taking us through his pitfalls and lessons learned around scaling companies in size and locations. FreeConferenceCall.com CFO Scott Southern took the stage to share insights on the freemium business model.

To close out, we invited attendees to participate in roundtable conversations, where they could share their lessons learned on the day, engage with speakers on any additional questions, or just connect with like-minded peers on some of the challenges and questions they face in their role.

Watch out for our final Summit of the series in December, where sales leaders will congregate in NYC. If you’re interested in speaking at or sponsoring any of the Bowery Capital Summits, please get in touch!

 

Connecting the Physical and Digital World @ Real World Talks

 
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Back by popular demand, Unacast hosted their 2nd annual Summit. This year, the team expanded the concept to include all kinds of real world data signals—with more speakers, more guests and more insights to gain. The event brought together data scientists, marketing technologists, product developers, app publishers, data tech journalists, and ad agency leaders to share their perspectives on location insights.

A common theme threaded throughout the day’s full agenda was”Transparency and Trust”; more specifically how data providers can confidently approach and communicate the way their data is being managed and handled safely and securely. As one of Unacast’s core values, attendees got a chance to understand the psyche behind how they are accurately approaching innovation and technology through a location-based lens.

One of the world’s leading data strategists, Dr. JT Kostman, who has led data initiatives for several U.S. intelligence, defense and security agencies, and the social media analysis for the 2012 Obama Campaign, talked about the evolution of data and how it’s diversified over time, stating we’re not quite there yet, but we’ve come a long way.

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Other C-level thought leaders took the stage to engage in conversations around capturing ROI offline, how industries like GasBuddy and AccuWeather are leveraging location data, and a look at how UPS uses data to connect the physical and digital worlds.

Final thoughts: our outlook on our day-to-day interactions with places and spaces is about to drastically change as we see growth in technology utilizing location-based data.

Check out some highlights below!

RampUp on the Road: A Tale of Four Cities

4 cities, 5 days, 35 speakers, and 350+ brand marketers.

The fun doesn’t stop in March for RampUp. This Spring, we traveled across the US with RampUp on the Road, spreading the word of people-based marketing in four beautiful cities: Charlotte, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

RampUp on the Road provides the opportunity to bring the most stellar content and speakers from the March event (you can catch up 2018’s recap here) to regional audiences in a smaller, more intimate setting. And in the spirit of customized targeting, each roadshow’s agenda and sessions are catered to the most relevant local industries and fields from FinServ and Insurance in Charlotte to Entertainment and Auto in Los Angeles.

Common topics covered at all roadshows centered around the importance of data (1st, 2nd and 3rd party), the blending worlds of TV and digital, and the creation, implementation, and measurement of a people-based strategy. We love hearing real accounts of lessons learned and success stories straight from the brand marketers facing these challenges everyday and helping to create an environment where they can all connect on the future of the industry.

Popular sessions focused on customer-centricity and targeted marketing. Standing-room-only presentations in every city featured engaging speakers- including Newcombe Clark, Global Director of Rapid Learning at AIG in Charlotte, Erin Gulden, AVP, Director of Content Marketing at US Bank in Minneapolis, and Andrew Christe, SET Data Manager at Southeast Toyota Distributors in LA. The roadshow in Seattle brought a lively discussion among Amy Ball, Advertising Senior Program Manager at REI, Tesäen Chavis, DMP Owner at Uber, and Kyle Roemer, Practice Leader of Analytics at Slalom Consulting in Seattle.

We also made sure to incorporate some bonus adventures including test-rides in porsches in LA and catching a hometown Mariners victory at Safeco Field in Seattle.

And the US tour continues… Fall is just around the corner. We’re looking forward to hitting four more cities: Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, and New York, see you soon at RampUp on the Road!

 
 

Interested in participating in one of these upcoming events or planning something like it? Let’s connect at events@credpr.com.

Investing in Human Capital at the Bowery Capital People and Talent Summit

 
 

People and Talent are hot topics for early stage companies growing quickly in this culture-focused workforce. How do you recruit the best talent? What tools can companies utilize to build diverse and powerful teams? How do you maintain culture and shape company values?

Leading up to the Bowery Capital People and Talent Summit, cred worked with speakers to create sessions built around answering these questions. Speakers and panelists included leaders from Rent The Runway, Button, WayUp, The Muse, Justworks, and others.

WeWork Bryant Park was packed on Thursday, June 7 as the morning started off with a tactical chat by Nikki Goldman of I/O Coaching and WayUp explaining how to build an effective Values Playbook for your company. Following her was a dynamic presentation by Jacqui Maguire of Greenhouse about structured hiring.

Kirsten Behncke Colyer of Justworks, Jordan Wan of CloserIQ, and John-Paul Sukkar of Rent The Runway rounded out a panel called The Company Glow-Up: Maintaining Culture as You Scale. They were followed by the panel: Tools of Engagement: Tools and Data in the People Space, featuring Ilya Usorov of day100, Jennifer Williams of Drive Change, Inc. and John Erban of Axiom. Panel discussions explored the data points that are worth focusing on and the resources that can be used to measure outcomes.

To finish off the summit, Stephanie Mardell of Button taught on how to put ideas into action to sustain diverse and inclusive company growth, then Toni Thompson from The Muse explained the importance of using storytelling to create an image of your company.

This was the second installment of Bowery Capital’s Quarterly Leadership Series this year. Join us in New York on October 11 for the Finance and Ops Summit! If you’re interested in updates on that event, or want to hear more about what we do at cred, email us: hello@credpr.com.