The Room Podcast

Welcome to the Room. A series interviewing your favorite tech founders and funders. Our guests were in the room where it happened and they’re sharing their stories. 

Latest Episodes

2

October 11, 2022 00:42:08
S7E2: Kelsey Mellard is Easing Access to Specialists in Health, Tech, Policy, and Product with Her Company, Sitka

S7E2: Kelsey Mellard is Easing Access to Specialists in Health, Tech, Policy, and Product with Her Company, Sitka

Season 7 continues with another incredible episode as we chat with Kelsey Mellard, co-founder and CEO of Sitka. Sitka is an online network of experts in medicine, technology, policy, and product with the goal of making access to specialists more available for all people.  Kelsey talks to us about her initial career in healthcare, both public and private, and what that taught her before she began her journey of founding Sitka. Kelsey also details her experience of raising a baby and a company at the same time and how her investors felt when she broke the news.  The themes of this episode include; problems in the healthcare system and how Sitka is making a difference, the complexities of being a new mom while founding a company, and lessons learned in developing a core product and go-to-market strategies. For The Room Podcast in your inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter. 5:04 - How did beginning in the public sector help form Kelsey’s view of the world?6:35 - What has Kelsey learned about the complexities of the healthcare system?8:27 - How did Kelsey’s career drive her to start Sitka?11:00 - Did Kelsey ever think she was going to become a founder? 12:16 - What problem did Kesley identify that encouraged her to create Sitka?13:27 - What were some of the early days like in founding Sitka?15:00 - What product did Sitka take to market?16:42 - What lessons did Kelsey learn during the creation and evolution of Sitka’s core product?18:36 - What was Kelsey’s fundraising journey like?23:45 - What did Kelsey learn when ...

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1

October 04, 2022 00:36:40
S7E1: Spencer Rascoff, Co-Founder of Zillow, Gives Advice for Entrepreneurs Amidst a Macroeconomic Downturn

S7E1: Spencer Rascoff, Co-Founder of Zillow, Gives Advice for Entrepreneurs Amidst a Macroeconomic Downturn

Welcome back to The Room Podcast. We kick off Season 7 with Spencer Rascoff, co-founder and previous CEO of Zillow. Spencer walks us through how he and the team came up with the idea for Zillow and the unforgettable “Zestimate” feature. Prior to Zillow, Spencer had been the founder of Hotwire, which sold to Expedia for $685 million. Currently, Spencer is an active angel investor in more than 100 companies and is incubating several more through his startup studio and venture capital firm, 75 & Sunny. He serves as executive chair of dot.LA, a news site covering the Los Angeles tech scene and he is co-founder and board chair of Pacaso, the company pioneering a new way to own a second home. In our conversation today, we explore insights and themes such as the art of a killer feature, like the Zestimate, managing team morale and execution amidst a macroeconomic downturn, and why the future of real estate is fractional.  For The Room Podcast in your inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter. 5:05 - Where did Spencer grow up and how did that change his view of the world?6:33 - Did Spencer always want to be a founder?7:38 - What was the public opinion of the internet when Spencer was at Harvard? 11:23 - What did Spencer learn about being an entrepreneur from his experience at Harvard?13:23 - What was the aha moment that sparked the launch of Zillow?15:51 - How did Spencer and the team hone in on the specific product feature for Zillow?19:04 - Did ...

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8

July 05, 2022 00:36:29
S6E8: Anvisha Pai and Dover are Automating the Recruiting and Hiring Process for the Businesses of Today

S6E8: Anvisha Pai and Dover are Automating the Recruiting and Hiring Process for the Businesses of Today

In our final episode of season 6 of The Room Podcast, we close out with another incredible guest, Anvisha Pai, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Dover. Dover is a modernized recruiting platform that adapts to your business's needs to connect you with people that you would want to meet and that would want to meet you. In this episode, we and Anvisha discuss her journey as a multi-time founder growing up in Mumbai as the daughter of two doctors. Plus, Anvisha shares recruiting and hiring advice for start-ups and her thoughts on the future of work and hiring automation. For The Room Podcast in your inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter. 3:40 - Where did Anvisha grow up and how did that shape her view of the world? 4:50 - Did Anvisha always think she was going to become a founder? 6:35 - How was Anvisha’s training as an engineer helpful from a product perspective?9:33 - How did Anvisha go from Product Manager at Dropbox to a multi-time founder?12:28 - What were Anvisha’s takeaways from her experience at the Y Combinator?14:23 - How does Dover automate the initial candidate sourcing? 18:19 - How was Dover's fundraising journey, how did that experience impact the team and what were some lessons learned along the way?22:05 - How has a content marketing approach contributed to the growth of the customer base for Dover?23:53 - How does Dover think about training data sets without creating a potential bias that can be embedded in the data?25:59 - What positive and negatives come from scaling up from a leadership perspective? 28:40 - What is Anvisha’s ...

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7

June 28, 2022 00:29:53
S6E7: David Yuan, Founder and General Partner of Tidemark Capital, Discusses the Business of Launching a Venture Fund [LIVE at the EVCA Summit]

S6E7: David Yuan, Founder and General Partner of Tidemark Capital, Discusses the Business of Launching a Venture Fund [LIVE at the EVCA Summit]

In this special episode of The Room Podcast, we get to listen LIVE as Madison interviews David Yuan, long-time investor and more recently, Founder and General Partner of Tidemark Capital. Tidemark is a venture capital firm built to serve category-leading technology companies as they succeed and scale. In this episode, Dave details how he went from investor to founder and is now a fund founder with Tidemark. Plus, we discuss focused investment themes, the people and processes needed to build a successful firm, and the future of fund transformation. For The Room Podcast in your inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter. 9:42 - Live Interview Begins9:54 - Dave Introduction12:25 - How was Dave’s early journey as a founder?14:17 - How important is a founder's resume when selling themselves to investors?16:02 - How does Dave think about pitching investment theses to LPs?18:17 - When starting Tidemark, who did Dave go to for help?19:40 - What is one thing Dave wished he knew starting the 2021 year?23:04 - How does Dave think the LP market will change over the next 5 years?26:21 - Who is a woman in Dave’s life that has had a profound impact on him and his career? The Room Podcast is sponsored by our friends at Silicon Valley Bank and Cooley. WX Productions ...

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6

June 21, 2022 00:36:42
S6E6: Andrew Savage and Suma Brands are Guiding Retail Brands on Amazon to Their Full Potential

S6E6: Andrew Savage and Suma Brands are Guiding Retail Brands on Amazon to Their Full Potential

We are joined this week by Andrew Savage, Founder & CEO of Suma Brands, a commerce platform focused on developing marketplace brands, specifically on Amazon. Andrew is using his experience from helping establish early E-Commerce for Target and Amazon to guide other growing retailers to high-level success. Andrew and Suma Brands will “find, acquire, and help brands realize their potential.” In this episode, we chat about what is an “aggregator” in the sense of online retail and Andrew’s quintessential blend of focuses that most companies must adhere to; retail, tech, and content. Plus, Andrew shares his thoughts on the evolution of E-Commerce from its origin to now, and even some of his future predictions. For The Room Podcast in your inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter. 3:48 - Where did Andrew grow up and how did that shape his view of the world?6:24 - Did Andrew always think he was going to be a founder?7:28 - What was Andrew’s early career path like while focusing on E-Commerce?10:52 - What were some “aha” moments while establishing early E-Commerce for Amazon and Target?13:06 - How has Andrew's experience been, being a part of the Amazon ecosystem?14:48 - What is Suma Brands and when did Andrew realize he wanted to found the company?18:31 - What inspired the name of Suma Brands?18:38 - What does it mean to be an aggregator, and does the term apply to Andrew’s business model for Suma?20:43 - What separates Suma from its competition?23:59 - Who was the first investor of Suma Brands and what was that experience like?26:03 - What things are Suma Brands looking for when ...

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5

June 14, 2022 00:32:56
S6E5: Lisa Bubbers, Co-Founder of Studs, is Bringing the Ear-Piercing Industry into the Modern Era with Integrated Piercing and Shopping Experiences

S6E5: Lisa Bubbers, Co-Founder of Studs, is Bringing the Ear-Piercing Industry into the Modern Era with Integrated Piercing and Shopping Experiences

S6E5: Lisa Bubbers, Co-Founder of Studs, is Bringing the Ear-Piercing Industry into the Modern Era with Integrated Piercing and Shopping Experiences Our season continues with Lisa Bubbers, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Studs, the modern platform for ear-piercing and earrings. Studs is all about safe and accessible ear-piercing for all people. Plus they have an easy-to-use, refreshingly branded e-commerce website with every earring fashion choice available. In this episode, Lisa talks to us about what “Earscaping” means to them, as well as what it’s like building a business with a complementary co-founder and the future of the modern shopping mall. For The Room Podcast in your inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter. 4:47 - Where did Lisa grow up and how did that shape her view of the world? 5:43 - Did Lisa always think she was going to become a founder? 6:51 - How did Lisa’s degree in Visual Studies from UPenn translate into her early work experience? 8:52 - What lessons did Lisa learn around the intersection of the digital and physical while working at Jonathan Adler and home Polish?11:11 - What does the term “Earscape” mean to Lisa and Studs?14:00 - How did Lisa meet her partner, Anna, and what got them started on the founding journey together?15:27 - What advice would Lisa have for new founders looking for co-founders?16:53 - Who was the first person to say yes to investing in Lisa and Studs?17:48 - What was Lisa’s first piercing experience like?19:07 - How is Studs thinking about the future of omnichannel retail?20:18 - How did the pandemic affect Studs business?21:46 - ...

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