20VC: Eventbrite Founder, Julia Hartz on The Lessons Learned Scaling Eventbrite to Unicorn Valuation & $3Bn in Gross Ticket Sales

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Julia Hartz is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Eventbrite, the unicorn startup that is the world’s largest event technology platform, powering over 2 million events around the world each year. They have raised over $330m from some of the greats of industry including Roelof Botha @ Sequoia Capital, Jeff Clavier @ SoftTech, David Saks, Bebo’s Michael Birch, Tiger Global and many more. Under Julia’s leadership, she has taken Eventbrite to become the world’s largest event technology platform and has received multiple accolades for workplace culture, being named the best place to work in SF for 7 years running. Personally, Julia has won numerous awards including Fortune’s 40 Under 40, Inc’s 35 Under 35 and Most Powerful Female Entrepreneurs.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Julia came to found Eventbrite with her husband Kevin from a small apartment in Potrero Hill and turned it into the unicorn it is today?

2.) How did Julia and Kevin meet? What was the meet-cute? How did that translate into the founding of Eventbrite? How did Julia think about partnering with her fiancee at the time, as a business partner? What made it also a great business partnership?

3.) Why does Julia believe that creating a company is like creating a family? How has Julia seen herself scale as CEO of the company, with the immense scaling and growth of the firm? What have been the challenges and how did she overcome them?

4.) What does Julia believe are the requirements for successful CEO transition? How can this be managed correctly both internally and externally? What other elements made last year a particularly momentus year for change at Eventbrite?

5.) How does Julia think about balancing the immediate elements of the present day with the long-term vision for the roadmap? What is the right mindset to adopt? How does one look to prevent “Innovators Dilemma”? How does Julia split her time?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Julia’s Fave Book: Overwhelmed

Julia’s Fave Blog: The Skimm

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Julia on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Lux Capital’s Scientist-In-Residence on Why We Cannot Just Be Specialists Today, The Benefits of Interdisciplinary Thinking & Computational Creativity That Makes Man and Machine Partners with Sam Arbesman

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Sam Arbesman is the Scientist-In-Residence @ Lux Capital, the fund that supports scientists and entrepreneurs who pursue counter-conventional solutions to the most vexing puzzles of our time, the more ambitious the project, the better. Sam works with companies and founders that recognize the future happens at the boundaries of science and technology infusing computation into everything from biology to manufacturing.Sam’s scientific research has been published in everything from the Wall Street Journal to The New York Times and The Atlantic. Sam is also the author of the award-winning The Half-Life of Facts and the new book Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sam made his move from being a best-selling author to Scientist in Residence for Lux Capital? As Scientist in Residence, what does Sam do on a day-to-day basis?

2.) What does Sam mean when he says that startups need to embrace “radical interdisciplinarity”? What really is “radical interdisciplinarity”? What are the benefits it brings to an organisation? Does this go contra the importance of specialisation?

3.) How does Sam view the partnership between man and machine? Why does Sam believe we will see computational creativity in a way never seen before? How does Sam view the societal barriers to the embracing of this partnership?

4.) How does Sam view the promise of analogizing in the face of such complex systems? How does Sam assess the perils of such analogies? Does Sam believe that VCs of today are equipped to invest in such complex systems? What must they remember?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sam’s Fave Book: The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, The Three Body Problem

Sam’s Fave Blog: Marginal Revolution

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Sam on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Founders Fund’s Chief Scientist on Why AI Is Mostly A Scam, Why The Value of Large Datasets Is Mostly Overplayed & The Societal Effects of 4m Truck Drivers Being Unemployed with Aaron Vandevender

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Aaron VanDevender is the Chief Scientist at Founders Fund, one of the world’s leading fund with investments in the likes of Facebook, Airbnb, SpaceX, Spotify and many more incredible companies. At Founders Fund, Aaron monitors the scientific impact of the portfolio, works with portfolio companies, assesses new technologies, and conducts his own research. Prior to Founders Fund, Aaron has designed single-photon and single-atom quantum computers in academia and government (NIST), advanced the quantum-mechanical theory for microscopic black holes, patented the fastest transparent optical switch, and is a co-inventor of yoctotechnology. He then developed next-generation DNA sequencing technology at Halcyon Molecular. His broad scientific interests encompass energy, biotech, nanotech, and computing.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Aaron made his way from microscopic black holes and DNA sequencing to the world of Founders Fund? What does a Scientist-In-Residence do?

2.) Why does Aaron believe that AI is mostly a scam? Where does Aaron see and then want to see further progression in the field of AI and ML? How does Aaron distinguish between crazy and genius? What are the signs?

3.) Why does Aaron believe that the value of massive datasets is largely overplayed? What characteristics of datasets are exciting for Aaron to see when evaluating an opportunity? Where and how can datasets be misleading and lose their value?

4.) How does Aaron view the societal effects of 4m truck drivers being unemployed by the rise of self-driving? How does Aaron view trucking both as goods distribution and wealth distribution networks?

5.) How does Aaron view the implementation of universal basic income? Why does Aaron believe we have a challenge decoupling wealth and virtue? To what extent is this a core problem?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Aaron’s Fave Book: Tales From The Thousand & One Arabian Nights

Aaron’s Fave Blog: Slash Dot

Investment Aaron is Most Excited By: Ayar Labs

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Aaron on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Duolingo’s Luis von Ahn on How CEO’s Can Scale With The Company, How VC Herd Mentality In The Valley Really Works and How Chatbots & AI Play A Role In The Future of EdTech

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Luis Von Ahn is the Founder & CEO @ Duolingo, the leading language learning platform with over 100m users. They have backing from some of the best in the investing world with over $100m in funding from the likes of USV, Kleiner Perkins, NEA, Google Capital and even Ashton Kutcher. Prior to Duolingo, Luis is known for inventing CAPTCHAs, being a MacArthur Fellow (“genius grant” recipient), and selling two companies to Google in his 20’s. Luis has been named one of the 10 Most Brilliant Scientists by Popular Science Magazine, one of the 20 Best Brains Under 40 by Discover.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Luis, a man as he describes “never great at learning languages”, came to found the leading language learning app, Duolingo?

2.) Why do VCs generally believe Edtech to be such a “hard” space? Is that really a fair assumption? How does the role of government change the distribution and landscape of edtech? How does content creation play a pivotal role in edtech today?

3.) What role does Luis believe AI and ML will play for the future of edtech? Will the transition to bots represent a transformational shift in the interface paradigm? How does gamification and edtech integrate? Why does Luis always measure themselves against the most addictive of games?

4.) How has Luis seen himself scale and change as a leader with the scaling of the firm? What story shows an element that Luis struggled with and how did he overcome it? What were the major inflection points in the growth of the firm?

5.) Duolingo recently raised their $25m Series E, how did this round differ from prior rounds? Why did they want to negotiate down the figure they wanted to raise? How did Valley based VCs present herd mentality for the duration of the recent raise?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Luis’s Fave Book: Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid 

Luis’ Fave Blog: AVC by Fred Wilson

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Luis on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Michael Dearing on 5 Key Principles He Uses To Assess Startup Founders, Why Benevolent Dictatorship Is A Beautiful Thing & Why Markets Are Better Capital Allocators Than CEOs

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Michael Dearing has established himself as an icon of early-stage venture over the last decade. With his founding of Harrison Metal in 2006, he has backed the likes of AdMob, MoPub, Heroku, TellApart and Harry’s just to name a few of his incredible companies. Prior to being in VC, Michael spent 6 years at eBay across numerous roles and before that held positions at Shoe Warehouse as CEO, The Walt Disney Company in corporate strategy and then Bain & Co as a consultant.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Michael made his way into the world of venture from selling shoes with Shoe Warehouse to eBay to founding his own fund?

2.) Michael has said before that he looks for “personal exceptionalism” within the teams he backs, what does that really mean? How does he distinguish brilliance from arrogance? What is the balance between vision and stubbornness?

3.) How does Michael think about price sensitivity? How does he use it as a determining factor to test his level of conviction in the deal? More broadly, how does Michael view pricing in the market today? Why are the convertible debt markets so toxic?

4.) How does Michael view strategy around reserve allocation? Why does Michael believe reserves are where he has made the biggest mistakes? What are his takeaways from those mistakes? Why does recycling not feature as a core tenet of his strategy?

5.) Why does Michael believe that “benevolent dictatorship” is a beautiful thing? Does this thesis change in the debate over founder vs company first? How does Michael use McCallum’s 5 key principles to assess founders and their ability?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Michael’s Fave Book: Confederacy of Dunces

Michael’s Most Recent Investment: Astro

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Michael on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: What Does It Take To Raise A Venture Fund Today, An Analysis of The Explosion of Seed Financing & Why IRR No Longer Takes Centre Stage with Samir Kaji, Senior Managing Director @ First Republic Bank

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Samir Kaji is what one might call, a master of all things seed stage and micro VC financing. Over his 18 years in venture capital, Samir has assisted or advised over 700 companies and 300 VC firms and has completed tech financing transactions totaling over $4.0 billion in committed capital. Today, Samir is the Senior Managing Director @ First Republic Bank where leads the technology banking team managing venture capital and startup company relationships. He joined First Republic in 2013 from Silicon Valley Bank, where he was also a managing director.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Samir made his entry into the world of VC from the ground up and has come to advise and assist on over $4Bn worth of capital commitments?

2.) Where is the micro VC and seed market today? What is the overview? What has fundamentally changed over the last few years? Are all increases in capital supply good or is this too much? Why is Samir concerned by valuation bloat at seed?

3.) How are LPs reacting to this explosion in seed and micro fund managers? How does this differ when assessing the differing classes of LP from institutions to HNWs and family offices? What are the likelihoods of 1st-time funds attaining institutional capital?

4.) How should potential managers think about the right fund size to raise? How long a timeline should be given to the raising of micro and seed funds? What exceptions are there to this timeline? How does the role of multiple closings play into this timeline?

5.) How does Samir differentiate between raising a fund and building a franchise? What does this mean about how a certain set of anagers not only engages in the fundraising process but also depicts the narrative?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Samir’s Fave Book: Hard Thing About Hard Things

Samir’s Fave Blog: Strictly VC, AVC by Fred Wilson

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Samir on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

20VC: Why CEOs Must Read Less & Listen Less, What VC Funding, Shelf Space & Time Have In Common & Why CEOs Must Look After Themselves Like Athletes with Sami Inkinen, Founder @ Virta Health & Trulia

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Sami Inkinen is the Founder & CEO @ Virta Health, the startup on a mission to reverse type 2 diabetes for 100m people by 2025. They have raised over $35m in funding from the likes of Max Levchin, Ev William’s Obvious Ventures, Paypal, Ray Tonsing @ Caffeinated Capital and previous 20VC guest, Bob Kocher @ Venrock. Previously, Sami was a co-founder, COO and President of Trulia until it’s IPO and eventual sale for $3.6B. Sami, an avid athlete, is a triathlon world champion in his age group, and recently rowed across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii unsupported with his wife at a record speed to raise awareness about healthy nutrition.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sami made his way into the world of startups, came to co-found Trulia and then realized his mission to reverse type 2 diabetes with Virta?

2.) Why does Sami disagree with conventional wisdom and say you learn “more from success than you do from failure”? What are the educational benefits of success that you do not get from failure? What did Sami learn from his Trulia journey?

3.) Why does Sami believe that CEOs should read less and listen less? What are the benefits to not empathizing extensively with the problems of the team? What operational structure must be in place for this level of management to occur?

4.) How does Sami compare VC funding to real estate mortgages? Why does Sami believe that it is always better to raise little? What is the one thing time, money and shelf-space all have in common?

5.) What does Sami mean when he says “CEOs must look after themselves like athletes”? What are Sami’s top health and nutrition tips for founders and operators with hugely busy lives?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sami’s Fave Book: Unbroken

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Sami on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: Key Questions Entrepreneurs Must Ask in M&A’s, Why Acquihires Come In 2 Different Categories & Why M&A Is Lumpy with Bram Sugarman, Director of Corporate Development @ Shopify

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Bram Sugarman is the Director of Corporate Development & Strategic Partnerships at Shopify, the e-commerce titan that has over 500 merchants in 150 countries on their platform. Prior to joining Shopify, Bram was a venture capitalist with OMERS Ventures, the venture capital arm of one the largest pension funds in the world. As a VC, Bram worked on more than 20 transactions helping the OMERS Ventures grow from 1 investment to 24 investments. Bram helped lead and manage OMERS Ventures’ investments in Shopify (IPO), HootSuite, VidYard, PasswordBox (Acquired by Intel), BusBud, Hopper, League, and AppHero (Acquired by Fuse Powered).

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Bram made his way into the world of VC and then jumped to the other side of the table, buying startups with Shopify?

2.) What does using corporate development as a platform to accelerate product roadmap mean? How does this mean it differentiates from traditional M&A? How does Bram work with product team in the M&A process? What are the benefits of doing this?

3.) How does Bram assess the attractiveness of acquihires? What are the 2 differing types of acquihires? What are the essential characteristics of the individuals in those acquihire situations?

4.) With integration being the biggest risk of M&A, what does the ideal post-acquisition process look like? What must be done on both the side of the startup and the acquiror to make the process as smooth as possible?

5.) With regards to pricing and valuation, why does Bram urge founders to consider the long term and what does that mean? How can founders determine the truth with regards to long term objectives of their acquiror?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Bram’s Fave Book: Einstein by Walter Isaacson

Bram’s Most Recent Acquisition: Oberlo

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Bram on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

20VC: 3 Things Acquirers Look For In Startup M&A’s, How To Price A Startup Acquisition & The Biggest Risk of M&A with Matt Switzer, SVP of Corporate Development @ Hootsuite

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Matt Switzer is the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development @ Hootsuite, the social media management platform that has raised venture funding from some of the best in the world including Accel, Insight Venture Partners and Fidelity. At HootSuite, Matt and his team have raised over $250m in funding, acquired 8 companies and launched 4 new products. Prior to Hootsuite, Matt was on the other side of the table as a VC, where he helped to establish a new fund and manage an incubator.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Matt made his way into the world of VC and then decided to jump to the other side of the table as acquirer with Hootsuite?

2.) What is the build, buy or partner thinking process? When analysing markets, what does that deep dive and examination look like and entail? How does Hootsuite identify and select startups within the identified markets?

3.) How does Hootsuite most like to interact with startups in pipe? What does the relationship building look like? What platforms and tools are used to monitor those relationships post initial meeting?

4.) What does the internal conviction building process look like around a potential deal? What is the traditional structure of such a deal? How does Matt assess price sensitivity and it’s ties to product market fit achieved by the startup?

5.) From the other side of the table, when should startups look to be building their M&A pipe? In conversations with potential acquirers, what are the foundations for them to remember? What role do VCs play and value do they provide in these conversations?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Matt’s Fave Book: Red Notice

Matt’s Fave Blog: Tom Tunguz

Matt’s Most Recent Acquisition: AdEspresso 

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Matt on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.