Category: Ideas to Invoices Podcast (Page 1 of 10)

A weekly technology news podcast produced by Silicon Hills News and hosted by Laura Lorek.

Advice for Female Founders from Nilima Achwal

In the latest Ideas to Invoices podcast episode, Nilima Achwal, founder of The Female Founders Lab, provides insights from her entrepreneurial journal.

Previously, Achwal founded Iesha Learning, a technology education platform to teach sexual education to junior high school students in India. She also launched and ran SEED, a social enterprise incubation program at Villgro Innovations Foundation in Chennai. In addition, she was a Kiva Fellow in Bolivia and wrote business case studies at the University of Michigan.

In this discussion, Achwal gives her views on entrepreneurship and her commitment to fostering a more inclusive and humanistic approach in the business world.

Some key takeaways from the podcast:

1. Inspiration for Female Founders Lab: Achwal moved to Austin about half a year ago to focus on expanding the coaching accelerator she founded in 2019. She was inspired by the city’s tech ecosystem, which she described as vibrant and collaborative. The atmosphere embraced her like a big hug.

2. Background in Impact Ventures: Achwal has spent 15 years in the impact venture space, working with startups focused on healthcare, education, food systems, media, the future of work, and sustainability. She spent six years in India and has experience in various aspects of the technology industry and startups.

3. Motivation behind Female Founders Lab: Achwal’s motivation to start Female Founders Lab stemmed from her challenges as a founder. She sought to create a more holistic and deep approach to accelerator programs that focused on founders’ whole selves and aligned their vision with tangible results.

4. Challenges Faced as a Female Founder: Achwal highlighted the challenges female founders face in finding mentors and role models. She discussed the importance of creating a space where female founders can be authentic and not feel compelled to conform to traditional, masculine business norms.

5. Importance of Diversity and Inclusion: Achwal emphasized the intrinsic value of diversity in reducing risk in business. She expressed concern about the “hijacking” of the diversity and inclusion narrative by political forces and stressed the importance of aiming for excellence rather than artificially creating diversity.

6. Advice for Women Starting Businesses: Achwal advised women not to get distracted by external noise and to focus on tuning into their vision and values. She highlighted the significance of authenticity and encouraged women to trust their intuition and feelings to gauge if they are on the right path.

7. Fundraising Strategies for Female Businesses: Achwal discussed female founders’ challenges in securing venture capital funding. She advocated for values-aligned investors at the early stages and suggested leveraging angel investors for initial funding.

Achwal also recalled a lesson from her experience as an entrepreneur. She faced huge challenges making inroads in the Indian education industry with her sex education product. She highlighted the importance of surrendering to a larger plan and releasing external pressures. Ultimately, she struck a deal to license her product to Tata, the largest IT company in India. Her perseverance led to a breakthrough, demonstrating the power of staying the course and trusting the process.

You can listen to the entire podcast below or wherever you get your podcasts.

Nilima Achwal, Founder of The Female Founders Lab

Nilma Achwal is the founder of The Female Founders Lab, a virtual accelerator and coaching service in Austin. Achwal moved to Austin about a year and half ago from Los Angeles. Before launching The Female Founders Lab, Achwal founded Iesha Learning, a technology education platform to teach sexual education to junior high school students in India.

Austin’s DealFlowNow: $60 Million Investment Group Seeks to Empower Underrepresented Founders

A new investment group, DealFlowNow, has launched in Austin to invest $60 million into early-stage companies.

Kelsey August, a super angel investor and entrepreneur, is the founding managing director of DealFlowNow. She sat down with Silicon Hills News last Friday to talk about the focus of DealFlowNow.

“I’ve been doing angel investing for a decade full-time, and it was really hard to find the right thesis for me locally on deal flow,” August said. “So, I thought I’d create a platform where it’d be really easy for entrepreneurs for free to put their profile up. So instead of me hunting and pecking, we could drive traffic, and we do it inbound instead of me going in my car to all the meetings across town.”

August currently has forty active portfolio companies. She is also an entrepreneur who founded Lone Star Direct, a marketing firm, when she was 24.

DealFlowNow is a collection of super angels and family offices seeking to invest funding in innovative, disruptive startups. It is sector-agnostic but is particularly interested in evaluating companies that qualify for the Qualified Small Business Stock exemption.

As a women-led organization, DealFlowNow aims to level the playing field in fundraising by using some of its funds to invest in underrepresented founders. In 2022, U.S. startups with all women-founded teams received just 1.9 percent of all VC funds. The situation is even worse for female entrepreneurs of color. Black and Latina women founders received merely .1 percent.

August said some of her best investments have come from underrepresented founders.

“I made all my money from investing and on underrepresented folks,” August said. So I want to give back and reinvest and you know, double down and triple down.”

Crowdfunding is also giving a significant boost to underrepresented founders, August said. Because the Securities and Exchange Commission has changed the definition of an accredited investor. The SEC made the changes in August of 2020. The new definition “allows investors to qualify as accredited based on defined measures of professional knowledge, experience or certifications in addition to the existing tests for income and net worth.”

“You just need to be an expert in that field,” August said. “You don’t need to be a millionaire or make $200,000 a year. So, I think that it’s widening, and opportunities are getting better for everyone.”

August said Austin is an attractive hub for technology, innovation, and startups because of the “weird” vibe.

“Of course, we have strong universities here, strong government, but I really believe our mantra, Keep Austin Weird, is the third leg,” August said.

August said Austin is an encouraging and optimistic city with excellent entrepreneurial resources.

For more, listen to the podcast posted below or on any podcast platform.

Invoice Home’s Austin Relocation: Simplifying Global Success

In 2011, Petr Marek co-founded Invoice Home, formerly known as Wikilane, with Jiri Hradil.

Invoice Home provides invoice-generating software for small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs worldwide.

They’ve grown the company to more than 8 million accounts worldwide, and last January, Invoice Home relocated its headquarters to WeWork on Congress in Austin.

The company was attracted by Austin’s tech scene, quality of life, music scene, and access to talent, Marek said.

The company is bootstrapped and caters to small businesses, with most of its customers outside the U.S. Marek sold a Fintech company, which he created in 1992 in the Czech Republic, focusing on mortgage brokers and insurance.

In this episode of Ideas to Invoices, Marek discusses his entrepreneurial journey, hurdles the company has overcome, opportunities, management style, and more that have contributed to the company’s success. 

Invoice Home has become a prominent player in the invoicing software market. Small businesses help stabilize a company’s economy and politics, Marek said.

“I believe it’s healthy to support small businesses because it makes a healthier society,” Marek said.  

Invoice Home can handle different payment formats and helps small businesses operate internationally easily, Marek said.

“We pay invoices through wires in Europe, here checks, credit cards or something like that, so it’s quite a different environment from country to country that is relatively complicated,” Marek said.

In the competitive landscape, Invoice Home is in, the key to its success is simplicity, Marek said.  Invoice Home’s strategy has fewer features because the company believes primarily the focus is on issuing an invoice and getting paid, Marek said. Invoice Home focuses on creating a system that is safe, fast, and super easy to use, he said.

Invoice Home has many small business success stories, including a guy in Kenya sending invoices for cows and a scuba diving instructor sending invoices for lessons, house contracts invoices for roof replacements, plumbing, electrical work, and more. Invoice Home’s U.S. market is $1.5 million and $6.5 million internationally annually. It has customers in more than 190 countries.

It has seen an increase in business in Trinidad and Tobago driven by the Nomad economy in which people can work from anywhere.

Marek said that Invoice Home also evaluates technologies such as AI, Blockchain, and more, but it takes a wait-and-see attitude before implementing new technology. It’s also focused on data security and privacy of its customers, he said.

Listen to the entire podcast below or wherever you get your podcasts.

Petr Marek, Co-Founder of Invoice Home

In 2011, Petr Marek co-founded Invoice Home, formerly known as Wikilane, with Jiri Hradil. Invoice Home provides invoice generating software designed for the invoicing needs of small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs worldwide. They’ve grown the company to more than 8 million accounts worldwide and last January, Invoice Home relocated its headquarters to WeWork on Congress in Austin.

Unnanu Founder Aims to Build a Billion-Dollar Contextual Search Company in Austin

Madhu Basu, founder and CEO of Unnanu

Madhu Basu, the founder of Unnanu, wants to scale his startup to a billion-dollar contextual search company in the next ten years in Austin.

Already, he’s been issued a U.S. patent on selecting media using weighted keywords and he has another patent pending. He’s focused initially on applying the technology to match job seekers with jobs through Unnanu Hire.

But he sees widespread applications of the technology across all industries.

In this episode of the Ideas to Invoices podcast, Basu discusses his company’s plans for 2023 which include raising more than $3 million in seed-stage funding and hiring more than a dozen employees.

Previously, Basu founded and served as CEO of PMCS Services, which provided IT consulting, staffing, and solution services for more than 16 years. He also co-founded IntegrateUS, Prachas Technologies, and The Fresh Vegetable Package company.

“Unnanu is my fifth company,” Basu said. “I always found businesses to solve other businesses’ problems.”

Basu founded Unnanu because he saw a need to map job candidates to job descriptions contextually. He couldn’t find a way to do that. So, he built a solution and created better contextual search technology.

“It’s actually a search problem,” Basu said.

 He named the company Unnanu, which means hello in his native Indian language.

“Why? Because our search is so intricate part of what we do, it’s kind of like saying hello I need this,” Basu said.

Search technology has to be refined, Basu said.

“I think we have a chance to get better at that,” he said.

Open.AI with its ChatGPT technology is exploring artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide better answers to search questions, Basu said. He mentions a recent video from Greylock’s Intelligent Future Summit featuring a discussion between Open.AI CEO Sam Altman and Reid Hoffman, a serial entrepreneur and general partner at venture capital firm Greylock Partners on the future of AI. In the talk, Altman says with the new conversational AI models, there will be a serious challenge to Google’s existing search business. It’s a massive trend and very large businesses will be built around conversational AI, Altman said.

Unnanu is targeted at becoming one of those, Basu said. A fundamental problem with AI is it is missing contextual analysis, Basu said. His pending patent is focused on contextual analysis and weighted keywords, he said.

Right now, Unnanu is bootstrapped. The company recently participated in the Founder’s Institute program in Austin. And it has since gone on to participate in Founder’s Lab, Basu said. It’s in the process now of raising funding, he said.

Unnanu used to be based at Galvanize, which abruptly shut down operations in Austin last year. The company is now located at WeWork on Congress downtown.

For more listen to the entire podcast below or wherever you get your podcasts.

Madhu Basu, CEO and Founder of Unnanu

Madhu Basu is the founder of Unnanu, a tech startup from Austin that helps businesses by using a patented contextual weighted keyword search. The company currently provides a simple solution for businesses to have resumes mapped to jobs contextually.

Josh Wilson Leads SciPlay to New Heights as CEO

Josh Wilson, CEO of SciPlay

After moving to Austin recently, SciPlay’s CEO Josh Wilson has plans to expand operations and move into new areas including building SciPlay’s own gaming platform.

In this episode of Ideas to Invoices, Wilson talks about how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the mobile gaming company’s operations. It led to a boom a business as people looked online for ways to entertain themselves while stuck at home.  He also talks about the company’s current outlook and plans for the future.

In 1998, Aaron Schurman founded Phantom EFX in Cedar Falls, Iowa. It was acquired by Scientific Games and now it is a stand-alone company called SciPlay, which is traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol SCPL.

In 2019, Wilson became CEO, and his vision is to make SciPlay the best entertainment company for consumers.

SciPlay currently offers social casino games like Jackpot Party Casino, Gold Fish Casino, casual games like Bingo Showdown and Solitaire Pets Adventure, and hyper-casual games such as Rob Master 3D and Deep Clean. It does not have any plans for the Metaverse right now, but the company plans to build out its own gaming platform to connect directly with its customers.

SciPlay also recently contracted with America’s Got Talent Judge Sofia Vergara for an ad campaign. In the TV commercial, Vergara plays SciPlay’s Jackpot Party Casino game. The campaign was highly successful, Wilson said.

SciPlay has more than 500 employees worldwide including more than 150 in its Austin office, which was established in 2016.

For more, listen to the entire podcast posted below or wherever you get your podcasts.

Josh Wilson, CEO of SciPlay

Josh Wilson is SciPlay’s Chief Executive Officer. The company makes social casino games like Jackpot Party Casino and Goldfish Casino and others. Wilson recently moved to Austin where SciPlay has a large office. In this episode, he talks about the company’s current outlook and plans for the future.  

Founder’s Motivation to Create Decent Healthcare Insurance Came From his Experience as a Patient

Nick Soman, Co-Founder and CEO of Decent

More than a decade ago, Nick Soman was learning to walk again after being fully paralyzed by an illness called GBS.

His motivation to start Decent. which provides affordable health insurance, came from that experience.

“When I had Guillain-Barre Syndrome or GBS,  I went from a fully functional 30-year-old adult human to not being able to walk to being on a breathing machine so that I needed help to breathe,” Soman said. “And I really had to think about the fact that I was going to die for the first time in a significant and honest way.”

Soman didn’t want to die. He realized he couldn’t control as many things in life as he wished he could.

“I had a lot of time to think paralyzed in a hospital bed,” Soman said. “I started to think what can I control? I can control how I spend my time.”

He decided he only wanted to work on something he really cared about.

“My real bar was I said when I start companies, I’m not interested in working on something unless when I think deeply about the problem, we want to solve it, it’s meaningful enough to make me cry. And ultimately that’s what is behind Decent.”

Soman is the only one in his family who is not a primary care physician. That includes his dad, mom, sister, aunts, uncles and grandparents.

Soman decided not to go down that road primarily because of the problems his parents encountered with insurance companies when they were treating patients.

“My greatest win came out of our time of greatest pain for the company,” Soman said.

Decent came to market with a health plan marketed to freelance workers that was 40 percent cheaper than market rates. Then a federal law changed and that meant Decent couldn’t serve the self-employed market anymore, Soman said.

There is a movement afoot that could potentially open that door again, Soman said.

“I really miss that population,” he said.

It may not be this year or next year, but Decent plans to find a way to serve that market again, Soman said.

Decent also recently won a  Muse Creative international design award for its in-house Small Business Monsters marketing campaign. Decent has put the campaign monsters on billboards around Austin. The monsters include personifications of all the frustrations that come along with being a small business owner like the Red Tape Worm monster or Paperwork Pest or Nickel and Demon. Decent helps companies offload their payroll, HR, and benefits frustrations.

Also, Decent recently announced a partnership with One Medical, the concierge medicine startup that was recently acquired by Amazon. Decent now has the only health plan in the country with One Medical as an in-network primarily care option.

The pandemic also had a big effect on Decent’s operations.

Self-employed people didn’t have insurance and more people bought insurance from Decent when COVID-19 was happening, Soman said. Decent also saw a massive spike in virtual primary care services, he said.

Soman said he talked to his parents a lot about tailoring Decent’s healthcare options to fit the patient’s needs. He recently lost his mother and that’s been tough on the entire family. As a primary care physician, she helped him shape Decent’s products along with his physician father. The right role for insurance is not to be dictating someone’s care, Soman said. It’s to stand in the background and be that safety net and make sure customers get what they expect, he said.

Decent has about 60 employees, Soman said. The company last week laid off a few employees to cope with the turbulent market. But Decent plans to hire strategically as it begins a national rollout next year, Soman said.

“Which is by far, the biggest thing we have coming,” he said.

Every signal company that has been on Decent’s healthcare and PEO plan has chosen to renew, Soman said.

“Once we get people this care, we are taking of them,” he said.

Decent has raised more than $50 million to date, including a series that closed in December of 2021.  The company doesn’t need to raise money for some time, Soman said.

For more on Decent, please listen to the whole podcast, pasted below, or on iTunes, Amazon Music, Audible, Spotify, Player.FM, iHeart Media, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

VC Firm Antler is Accepting Applications for its First Austin Cohort to Kick off in March

Tyler Norwood, Managing Partner for Antler in the U.S.

Austin has a new venture capital firm, Antler, that is accepting applications for its first cohort, which is expected to kick off next month.

Tyler Norwood is a managing partner for Antler in the U.S. where he oversees the firm’s U.S. operations.

“Our plan was always to start in New York and then to launch across probably what we would consider the top 7 to 10 tech ecosystems in the U.S. and Austin was on that list even before COVID hit, and Austin really became part of the conversation as tech expands outside of the coastal cities,” Norwood said.

When COVID hit, Norwood and all his team were living in New York. He went down to North Carolina to live with his parents. And then he started traveling around the country to scout out Antler’s second location in the  U.S. He stayed in Airbnbs in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boulder, and Austin, and Austin stood out as the best location and it resonated with him the most, he said. He bought a house and moved here last year.

“I think Austin has all the components you need to become a successful tech hub,” Norwood said. Even though many would already consider Austin a tech hub, he said he thinks it has a lot more potential for growth and to get to the next level.

Antler will select about 30 founders to participate in the Austin program which will last six weeks. After that, the founders will pitch their ventures to Antler and the firm will decide whether to invest in them.

Antler invests in the pre-seed stage but it also can offer its portfolio companies follow-on capital as they grow and scale, up to Series C funding rounds.

What makes Antler unusual is that the firm invests in founders with ideas. They don’t have to have a startup, Norwood said. He spoke recently to Silicon Hills News on the Ideas to Invoices podcast about the firm’s local plans.

Antler was founded in Singapore in 2017 as an early-stage VC firm. It has raised $300 million to date and has invested in more than 350 companies globally since 2018. The company gets more than 50,000 applications for its cohorts and only accepts less than 5 percent of them.

When selecting a founder, Norwood said he looks for founders who are curious, have a life-long love of learning, have a strong work ethic, and have integrity.

“Ultimately, I think successful founders have to be really curious, they have to really wonder why are things the way they are, how did we get to where we are, what are we going to have to do to change things. How can I change things? Norwood said.

Antler also gets back to founders within 24 hours of applying on its website. Norwood said Antler is receiving about 20 applications a day for its Austin cohort. When the firm receives an application, he or his team will contact the founder and set up an interview if they are interested in moving forward. The firm is also industry agnostic. It is interested in founders who are solving big problems in a variety of industries, Norwood said.

Antler’s portfolio companies span 30 different industries. And 40 percent of the companies have at least one female co-founder.

Investing in female founders makes financial sense, Norwood said. Female founders bring a different perspective to business, and they have valuable insights, he said.

And even though companies in the U.S. raised $621 billion, a record amount of venture capital in 2021, Norwood thinks there is still a frighteningly low number of founders starting a business. Antler fills a role in helping seed-stage companies launch, he said. Norwood wrote an essay on Medium outlining his thoughts about why the world needs more founders.

To apply for its Austin cohort, go to For more on the interview with Norwood listen to the entire podcast posted below or on Apple iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

The Metaverse Offers Opportunities for Immersive Storytelling

The Metaverse is already here, says Erin Reilly, founding director of the Texas Immersive Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.

It was first mentioned in the 1992 book Snow Crash, a science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson.

Today, the Metaverse is the latest iteration of Cyberspace, a blend of virtual and real-life applications, Reilly said.

“It is an extension of our lives enhanced by technology,” Reilly said.

Because of the Pandemic, people are turning to the metaverse to connect with each other, she said.

The Texas Immersive Institute is focused on immersive storytelling for students, scientists, technologists, artists, and others. The institute focuses on creating experiences that are interactive and personalized, and that it blends physical and digital, Reilly said. It can be done with augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, she said.

Erin Reilly, founding director of the Texas Immersive Institute

Reilly is a creator, educator, and strategist with 20 years of experience in storytelling. She is a professor of practice and heads up the institute at Ut Austin. The institute is focused on research, projects, and learning the future of media.

In this episode of the Ideas to Invoices podcast, Reilly talks about virtual beings, virtual worlds, applications for mixed reality projects, non-fungible tokens, and more. Her students at UT Austin, which she calls “explorers” are creating applications for the metaverse.

For example, the institute is working with Mixby, a smartphone app that uses beacons and Bluetooth to connect with consumers and provide information in museums and other locations was created by Seattle-based Artifact Technologies. It is one of the institute’s sponsors. Students used Mixby to create projects such as a bicycle bar that students pedaled around to learn about four bars on Sixth Street. The technology can be used at conferences, weddings, museums, and more to provide another layer of information through augmented reality apps.

Also, the institute is doing work with Zepeto, the largest virtual world in Asia, to create a fashion collection using the ZEPETO Studio platform.

In addition, UT Austin is looking at ways to use nonfungible tokens or NFTs, Reilly said.

And Reilly teamed up with Moriba Jah, an associate professor of aerospace engineering at UT Austin, to create Shifted Space, a project that seeks to bring awareness to the need to clean up space. Jah traveled to Hawaii last year to shoot the pilot episode for the series that is currently being shopped to streaming services for an 8-part virtual reality series. The focus is to create a movement that will lead to government officials passing legislation to clean up space.

For more, listen to the entire podcast posted below or on Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Joel Trammell and Alicia Thrasher Created The Manager’s Playbook and Training Program to Help Businesses Thrive

Managing employees is one of the hardest tasks within a business.

Joel Trammell and Alicia Thrasher know how to do it well. Trammell, a successful tech entrepreneur, CEO, and investor, and Thrasher, a successful executive who has led programs for eBay/PayPal, Google, and Anheuser-Busch, teamed up to create a management system.

Together, they co-founded Austin-based MGR360, a certification training program for managers. They have also co-authored a book, The Manager’s Playbook. The book and certification programs are largely based on their combined 50 years of management experience in various organizations. It helps managers lead knowledge workers within their organizations to achieve high-level results.

In this episode of the Ideas to Invoices podcast, Trammell and Thrasher share their experiences and talk about why management training is essential for organizations to succeed.

Trammell also wrote a book “The CEO Tightrope” in which he writes “like tightrope walkers, the best CEOs appear to be doing the least while moving the business forward.” That means managers must serve as orchestra conductors and balance all kinds of activities within the organization and trust experts in each area to do their jobs effectively and help the business reach its goals, he said.

“Balance is just a key concept in any leadership role,” Trammell said. “Any leader you have to have a destination. Where are you going and where are you going to take the organization.”

The incredible thing is many managers never receive any training, said Thrasher. They are simply put in the position and a lot of them flounder because they don’t know how to manage people, she said. That leads to turnover in the businesses.

“People don’t leave their job, they leave their manager,” Thrasher said.

In fact, during their lifetime, people spend about 90,000 hours working and 70 percent of the workforce reports being disengaged at work, according to Thrasher’s research. The Manager360 program teaches managers how to coach their employees, so they are content and productive in the workplace, she said.

Trammell started his first company at 25 and he didn’t know anything about being a CEO. He was running a quickly growing business.

“I woke up one morning kind of in a cold sweat,” Trammell said. The business had added 100 new employees and they were being managed by people two or three levels below him.  That’s when he realized that it was important that everyone have a consistent management experience, Trammell said.

So, he began developing a management training program. A few years ago, he teamed up with Thrasher who had been working on a similar program. Together they launched Manager 360, an in-person training program, a month before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down in the Austin area.

This week, Thrasher and Trammell are launching the Manager 360 app that provides goals, tips, and training on the go through a mobile app.

With the great resignation going on, the need for training managers has never been greater, Thrasher said.

What motivates people in the workplace goes beyond money and perks, Trammell said. It’s about accomplishing goals and recognition, he said.

“And so, this idea of what motivates people at work it’s really all around achieving things,” Trammell said. “Everybody wants to win. The problem is in a lot of organizations they don’t make it clear what winning is and they don’t’ celebrate when they do win.”

A big piece of this is being very clear about what the goals and objectives are and sharing those with everyone, Trammell said. And then doing everything to facilitate them to achieve those goals and objects, he said. That leads to high-achieving organizations and people making a difference because they are accomplishing things every day, he said.

For more on this subject, please listen to the whole podcast, pasted below or on iTunes, Spotify Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Also visit MGR360 for more on the certification training program, mobile app, and book.

Austin-based ROI Swift Helps Consumer Brands Scale

In 2015, Carolyn Lowe founded Austin-based ROI Swift, which helps market emerging consumer brands.

So far, ROI Swift has helped nearly 200 companies including  Tiff’s Treats, Tecovas, Austin Eastciders, and Esker Beauty.  Her team grew an apparel and footwear company from $0 to  $12 million in sales in 18 months. Her goal is to help 1,000 companies by 2030.

To help with that effort, this year Lowe wrote a book “Business Growth Dos and Absolute Don’ts Applied Wisdom from My Work with Dell, Costco, Amazon, and Multiple startups.”  She recently sat down with Silicon Hills News’ Ideas to Invoices podcast to discuss some of the lessons learned that can help businesses scale their brands.

Lowe moved to Austin in 1999 to work for Dell. Through that experience, she discovered her passion was working with early-stage growth companies.

ROI Swift works with companies that have at least a $75 average order value. It likes to work with great founders and great products, she said. Lowe also works with SKU’s consumer packaged goods companies.

Increasingly consumer packaged goods companies have found a lot of success in Austin and have contributed to the city’s vibrant startup culture. Overall, Austin, as a brand, has been one of the hottest cities for startups, established tech companies, and others in the last decade and Lowe thinks it is going to continue to grow. But there is going to be a lot that needs to be done to make sure that Austin doesn’t have the same problems as San Francisco, she said. City leaders must continue to address infrastructure problems like affordable housing, transportation, and provide living wages for musicians, artists, writers, filmmakers, photographers, and others who make up Austin’s rich culture.

To be successful in eCommerce, brands also need to understand their customers, Lowe said. They also need to create a good website that loads fast, she said. They don’t need to spend a lot of money on advertising before they have the basics of a great website and other fundamentals first, she said.

“Emerging brands need to figure out who they are,” Lowe said.

Companies also make mistakes by rebranding or going in a different direction, Lowe said.  Companies must be true to the brand, she said. They also must have a repeatable customer acquisition model. Companies that are bringing in a $100,000 a month in revenue can afford to spend $25,000 on advertising and marketing, she said.

Companies need a multi-faceted approach to marketing their companies through several different channels.

“You sort of need to be everywhere,” she said.

For more, listen to the entire podcast, pasted below, or wherever you get your podcasts – available on Google play store, Apple iTunes, Spotify, PlayerFM, Libsyn, and more.

« Older posts

© 2024 SiliconHills

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑