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Ordway’s CEO and Founder speaks at Tom Tom Festival

Charlottesville, Virginia | April 2019

Sameer Gulati recently shared insights on scaling a startup outside of Silicon Valley with the audience at the Tom Tom festival in Charlottesville, Virginia. He took the stage with Entrepreneur’s Editor in Chief, Jason Feifer, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund Partner, David Hall, and STORD’s Co-founder and CEO Sean Henry.

Throughout the panel discussion, Jason as moderator was able to explore the differences between East Coast and West Coast Venture Capital (traction vs potential). The four panelists also discussed how to prove product market fit during the early phase of an organization’s life cycle, and what it means to scale a business outside of a major tech hub like New York City, Silicon Valley, or Boston.

Insights on scaling your startup and raising capital include:

  • Learn where there’s help. Not all VC firms will offer, or have capacity, to help your startup. You are evaluating them as much as they are evaluating you. Work with people that share your vision and who are able to offer tangible help.
  • Take advantage of all VC resources that are offered. From reviewing a funding press release announcement, to temporary office space, to business development opportunities, make time to take advantage of what firms have to offer.
  • Validate product concepts before a single line of code is written. Demonstrate your passion for your project by having numerous conversations with potential customers before a single line of code is written.
  • Beta customers before raising capital. Make sure you have customers before you start the fundraising process. Their validation will be amongst your best funding “pitches.” These customers will also help you create a sense of fear of missing out (FOMO). With happy customers, and a collection of interested parties, you can create a FOMO effect with your investors.