I met Russ Fradin at an Alpha event and he introduced me to his father, the Vice-chairman of Honeywell. At first his father simply gave me advice but fast forward a couple of years and we just announced a partnership with Honeywell. More than 19,000 security dealers nationwide are now able to offer the August Smart Lock to their customers, fully integrated with the Honeywell Total Control system.
The financing we received, from an investor we met at an Alpha discussion, provided us with the resources to accelerate our product development and significantly ramp-up our customer base. Chime is now a leader in US challenger banking with a mission to help our members achieve financial peace of mind.
Nobody talks about it, but being a CEO is probably the loneliest job in the world. Very few people get the stress, demands, and issues CEOs face each day — but other CEOs do. It's gatherings like these Alpha events that provides a forum of peers, fellow CEOs where we can share ideas, ask for advice or just vent. In so doing, I have also made new friends. My time is limited, but I make time for Alpha.
I met Ed Roman at the first annual Alpha Summit I attended in Monterey in 2014, and now he’s an investor in my business and an advisor to me as CEO of my company. He became an investor by leading an AngelList syndicate that put almost a million bucks into my business just a few days after I met him. It was mind blowing how fast and effective it was…and he’s been a kick ass advisor.
The Hired founding team went to the first Alpha in late 2012, before we raised our seed round or even moved into our first real office. Conversations that started there ultimately lead to our seed round, with Crosslink (who we first connected with at Alpha) participating as the lead. Needless to say, this has had a massive impact on the company (which has now created half a billion dollars of enteprise value) and for the economy, as we've helped thousands of companies hire hard-to-find technical talent.
I thought I was done with my initial round of seed funding for Fatherly when I attended the Alpha event in Monterrey back in the Fall of 2014. After a long night on Saturday, I walked in to the conference room on Sunday morning about ten minutes before the end of the event when I saw Charles Hudson and Stephanie Palmeri sitting behind a table, fist-in-cheek with their elbows propped up against the table top.
Stephanie asked me what I did and I started describing the vision for Fatherly. Stephanie slowly perked up. By the next day I had a call scheduled with Jeff and the whole SoftTech (now UnCork Capital) team. Days after that I had a term sheet and based on SoftTech's interest, we opened up the round to accommodate them. They've since become our lead investor and sit on our board, all because of a chance encounter at the very last 10-minutes of a long, and ultimately incredibly pivotal Alpha weekend.
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