Season 2 of Movers & Shakers ends with another incredible guest, Founder and CEO of Meet Cute, Naomi Shah.
Meet Cute is a “rom-com incubator.” Audio, written video, short-form video, long-form video, etc. Meet Cute produces them all. Naomi tells us what inspired the idea for Meet Cute and what it was like for her to raise funding at the start of her founding journey. Naomi also speaks on balancing inspiring other underrepresented founders while not being stuck in the box of a “female founder.”
Other themes discussed in this episode include turning an investment thesis into a company, the “girl boss” trope and what it means for founders, and the future of the romance genre. Let’s open the door.
Watch Extracurricular Here!
For The Room Podcast in your inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter.
0:05 - Where did Naomi grow up and how did that impact her view of the world?
2:34 - Did Naomi always think she was going to be a founder?
4:10 - How did a mechanical engineering degree specifically translate into Naomi’s work?
7:50 - What was the initial aha moment for Meet Cute?
11:37 - In a few words, what is Meet Cute?
12:47 - What is Naomi’s favorite Meet Cute series that they’ve made?
14:43 - How was the process of getting the first funding for Meet Cute, and what did Naomi learn?
17:49 - What advice does Naomi have for new founders?
22:00 - How does Naomi balance paving a wave for underrepresented entrepreneurs, while also removing the stigma of being a “female founder?”
27:09 - How do we appropriately help make things more equal for underrepresented founders?
29:49 - What is Naomi’s favorite rom-com moment?
32:46 - How has a data-driven approach to storytelling helped unlock unexpected insights on consumers?
37:09 - What does the Netflix stock drop say about the volatility of the entertainment market?
40:19 - What's next for Naomi and her team at Meet Cute?
42:31 - Who is a woman in Naomi’s life that has had a profound impact on her and her career?
The Room Podcast is sponsored by our friends at Silicon Valley Bank and Cooley.
Claudia and Madison welcome Sridhar Ramaswamy, CEO and Co-Founder of Neeva, into The Room this week. Sridhar immigrated from India for his PhD in Data Science at Brown, back in 1989. Today, Sridhar is a Silicon Valley legend, first growing Google’s search ad program to a $115 million business as the Senior Vice President of Ads and Commerce. After 15 years with Google, he joined Greylock as a Partner, a position he still holds today. Now, he’s also onto his newest venture called Neeva, an ad-free private search engine that just announced its Series B funding of $40 million led by Sequoia Capital and Greylock. Through Neeva, Sridhar is rebuilding trust within the Internet, reimagining the ways we can use data for value. We discuss information and privacy in serving your customer, rethinking pre-existing mental models, and leadership principles. Let’s open the door. ...
We are so excited to sit down with Maria Salamanca, Partner at Unshackled Ventures, in the newest episode of The Room Podcast. Unshackled Ventures is a pre-seed venture firm focused entirely on investing in immigrant founders. An immigrant herself, Maria came to the United States from Colombia when she was six years old. After attending UC Berkeley, Maria joined the FWD.us team, a political organization supporting immigration reform started by tech leaders like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. In 2015, she joined Unshackled Ventures and was recently named Partner at the firm. Before Madison and Claudia chat with Maria, our two co-hosts walk us through the pre-seed round from both the founder and funder perspectives. This week’s episode explores the key themes of navigating the pre-seed round, the unique experiences of being an immigrant founder, and the value of time versus money in the early stages. Let’s open the door. This episode is brought to you by Silicon Valley Bank and Cooley LLP. ...
Alexa Buckley is the Co-Founder of Margaux - a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand of insanely comfortable and beautiful shoes. If you pay attention to Instagram posts from influencers wearing handcrafted ballet flats in every color of the rainbow, then you’ve probably seen a Margaux shoe. Alexa started the shoe line during her senior year at Harvard. Alongside co-founder, Sarah Pierson, the two women realized the pervasive shoe shuffle, where working women would have to swap their walking shoes with their office shoes under their desks due to a lack of style in the former and comfort in the latter. Why wasn’t it possible to have both? It was time to take a leap of faith and disrupt the shoe industry. Landing on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and nailing a Vogue spread, Alexa and the story of Margaux inspires us all to Guax for it! ...