Getting Your First Pilots/Sales: B2B Selling 

October 24, 2019
Topics:

  • How to get the critical first enterprise pilot customer

  • How to convert a pilot into a contract

  • Various pricing models for B2B software companies at the early stages

  • Building and managing the sales pipeline 

  • Growth hacking strategies for retail tech and B2B companies

Speakers:

Amanda Patterson, CEO, The Call List

Leigh Sevin, Co-Founder, Endear 

Irene Ryabaya, Co-founder, Warmintro

Getting Your Early Customers: DTC Acquisition 

September 25, 2019

Topics:

  • The best channels for customer acquisition at the early stages

  • Building an email list

  • Considering offline channels like press, pop-ups and more

  • Finding success in paid channels/social

  • Measuring early customer acquisition efforts and scaling them

Speakers:

Chris Benedict, Co-Founder, Felix Gray

Meg He, Co-Founder, Aday

Elana Reinholtz, Founder & CEO, Bird + Stone

 

Season 2: Previous Sessions (Fall 2018-Spring 2019)

Fundraising 101: Everything You Need to Know 

May 22, 2019

Topics:

  • When should I raise a pre-seed/seed round? 

  • What proof of concept/metrics/traction are necessary for each?

  • How is fundraising different for B2B startups vs. DTC startups?

  • Should I target angels, angel groups, VCs, family offices, high net worth individuals? How do I find the right investors?

  • How do I know how much to raise? 

  • What are the best practices for fundraising? 

  • How long will it take?

  • Should I use convertible debt, a SAFE or preferred stock structure?

Meghan Cross Breeden, Partner, Amplifyher Ventures

Melanie Elturk, CEO, Haute Hijab

Mona Bijoor, Partner, Kings Circle Capital, former Founder & CEO, Joor

Evan Bienstock, Partner, Fenwick & West

How to Build Your DTC Brand

April 24, 2019

Topics:

  • When does brand building start? How is it different than marketing?

  • What activities are critical in building a brand at the early stage?

  • Do I need to hire a branding firm?

  • How do I build my brand into the culture of my company?

Carolyn Rush, Partner, Worn

Rachel Cohen, Co-founder & Co-CEO, SNOWE

Offline Strategies for DTC Brands: Pop-ups, Wholesale & More

March 14, 2019 

Topics:

  • When do offline strategies make sense for DTC startups?

  • What are the pros and cons of pop-ups vs. trunk shows vs. a longer term physical store?

  • How do I create wholesale relationships with medium and large retailers?

  • What do retailers ask for in a typical wholesale relationship?

  • What about all the new offline platforms for DTC brands?

Kirk Keel, Co-founder, Stantt

Victoria Flores, Co-founder, Lux Beauty Club

Lindsay Bressler, VP Finance Strategy & Operations, HATCH Collection

Straight Talk on Raising Your Seed Round & Capital Strategy

February 27, 2019

Topics:

  • What is the “seed gradient?”

  • What do VCs look for at the seed/pre-seed stage?

  • How do I decide between preferred equity vs. notes vs. SAFEs?

  • How should I think about capital structure strategy?

  • What is the impact of layered notes/SAFEs on my cap table?

Caitlin Strandberg, Principal, Lerer Hippeau

David Goldberg, General Partner, Corigin Ventures

Geri Kirilova, Principal, Laconia Capital Group

Jonathan Sagot, Counsel, Fenwick & West

How to Successfully Raise Your Seed Round (From Someone Who's Done It)

Jan 23, 2019 

Topics:

  •  When do I raise my seed round? What proof of concept/metrics/traction are necessary?

  • Should I target angels, angel groups, VCs, family offices?

  • How do I know how much to raise?

  • What are the best practices for fundraising? 

  • Should I use convertible debt, a SAFE or preferred stock structure?

Guest Speakers:

Lisa Barnett, Co-founder & CMO, Little Spoon

Melanie Travis, Founder & CEO, Andie

Esosa Ighodaro, Co-founder, COSIGN

Eli Curi, Principal, Fenwick & West 

Retail Experience of the Future: Trends 

Dec 12, 2018

Topics: 

  • What is the future of bricks & mortar versus online?

  • What in-store and online technologies are trending (e.g, visual search, clienteling, interactive displays)?

  • What solutions and technologies are enterprise retailers focused on?

  • What areas are startups most focused on?

  • What are investors looking to invest in?

Guest Speakers:

Robin Li, Vice President, GGV Capital

Evan Kraut, Head of Growth, Suzy, Co-founder, Milkbox Partners, formerly Managing Director, Grey Adventures

Web Smith, Founder 2PM, formerly Co-founder, Mizzen + Main

The Hardest Thing About B2B Startups: Selling

Nov 29, 2018

Topics:

  • How do I get my first enterprise customer?

  • What does the sales pipeline look like? How should I manage it?

  • How do I price my first pilot/integration?

  • What growth hacking strategies work for retail tech and B2B companies?

  • Is investing in PR worthwhile? Or other paid marketing? 

Guest Speakers:

Michelle Bacharach, Co-founder & CEO, Findmine

Kareen Mallet, Founder, Replika Software

Justin Stewart, Co-founder & CEO, Cherrypick

The Hardest Thing About DTC Startups: Customer Acquisition

Oct 25, 2018

Topics:

  • What are the best channels for customer acquisition at the early stages?

  • What about social media? Should I build my business on Facebook or Instagram?

  • Should I hire growth hackers?

  • How should I measure my early customer acquisition efforts?

Guest Speakers:

KJ Miller, Co-founder & CEO, Mented Cosmetics

Polina Veksler, Co-founder & CEO, Universal Standard

Christina Carbonell, Co-founder, Primary.com

Season 1: Previous Sessions (Fall 2017-Spring 2018)

Customer Acquisition: B2B 

Sept 19, 2017

Join our guest panelists to understand how to sell to retailers and other business clients.

  • How do I sell into retailers of all sizes?

  • What are best practices for lead generation?

  • What are typical timelines/processes in the funnel?

  • What do retailers want to see from startups?

  • What pricing models work best?

  • What are the pros and cons of going after small customers vs medium size customers vs enterprise customers?

  • How do I structure my sales team in the early stages?

  • How do I structure compensation for my sales team?

Guest Speakers:

Michelle Bacharach, Findmine

Karen Moon, Trendalytics

Chris Langford, Lowe's

Customer Acquisition: B2C 

Oct 4, 2017

Join our guest panelists to understand B2C techniques for customer acquisition.

  • What are the best channels for customer acquisition at the early stages?

    • Paid versus unpaid

    • Influencer marketing

    • Offline techniques

    • Other

  • Should I use an acquisition agency?

  • What should my marketing team look like at the early stages?

  • What are metrics for CAC, LTV, churn that I should be looking at?

Guest Speakers: 

Terry White, WOLACO

Erin Yogasundaram, Shopjeen

Sarah Ribner, PiperWai

Anna Palmer, Wondermile

Financial Modeling: B2B

Oct 17, 2017

Join us for a discussion of how to create your financial model for a B2B retail business.

  • How do I model revenue assumptions for B2B businesses?

  • How do I accurately model costs?

  • How do seasonality and other retail-specific factors play into a financial model?

Note: Attendees will receive a template excel model ​at the end of this session.

Primary Speaker: 

Sapna Shah, Red Giraffe Advisors

Financial Modeling: B2C 

Oct 24, 2017

Join us for a discussion of how to create your financial model for a B2C retail business.

  • Discussion of top down versus bottoms up models

  • How do I model revenue assumptions for B2C businesses?

  • How to model costs for marketing and other key needs?

  • How do I account for seasonality and other retail-specific factors?

Guest Speakers:

Alexandria Carroll, License to Drift

Getting to Traction: B2B

Nov 7, 2017

Join us for a discussion of how to fund your B2B business before your seed round.

  • What are pre-seed sources of cash I can tap into?

  • Bootstrapping, friends & family rounds

  • Paid versus unpaid pilots - how to get retailers and enterprises onboard

  • Strategic investors – what are the pros and cons to consider?

Guest Speakers:

Heather Marie, Shoppable

Jade Huang, Style Sage

Jonathan Sagot, Davis & Gilbert

Alexa Fleischman, Strypes

Getting to Traction: B2C 

Nov 14, 2017

Join us for a discussion of how to fund your B2C business before your seed round.

  • What are some pre-seed sources of cash?

  • Bootstrapping, friends & family

  • Using creative financing options including Kickstarter, pre-orders, wait lists

  • Inventory financing/factoring

  • Can I get a loan?

Guest Speakers:

Aubrie Pagano, Bow & Drape

Matt Hornbuckle, Stantt

Becca Brown, SoleMates

Allison Dorst, Pinks & Greens

 

Accelerators and Incubators

Dec 12, 2017

Join us to understand if and how accelerators are right for you.

  • At what stage do accelerators make sense?

  • How do I improve my chances during the application process?

  • How to get the most of an accelerator?

  • What are the differences between the local options?

Guest Speakers: 

Jackie Trebilcock, NY Fashion Tech Lab

Carly-Ann Fergus, XRC Labs

Matt Jung, Trendseeder

Julia Neznanova, Friends of eBay

B2B Seed Fundraising from Angels 

Jan 16, 2018

Join us to learn how to target angels for a B2B seed financing.

  • How do I tailor my pitch to angels?

  • What should I have ready before I begin the process?

  • What questions will I get asked?

  • How do I target angels that focus on B2B in this space? 

  • What about angel groups?

Guest Speakers: 

Lockie Anderson, HBS Alumni Angels

Barbara Raho, Golden Seeds

Alicia Syrett, Pantegrion Capital

B2C Seed Fundraising from Angels 

Jan 23, 2018

Join us to learn how to target angels for a B2C seed financing.

  • How do I tailor my pitch to angels?

  • What should I have ready before I begin the process?

  • What questions will I get asked?

  • How do I target angels that focus on B2C in this space? 

  • What about angel groups?

Guest Speakers: 

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Gilt/Glam Squad/Fitz

Amit Sharma, Black Jays VC

Cathie Black, Madison Park Ventures

 

B2B Fundraising from VCs 

Feb 13, 2018

Join us to learn how to target VCs for a B2B seed financing.

  • How do I tailor my pitch to VCs?

  • What are VCs are looking for?

  • How should I prep for the VC process?

  • Other resources?

Guest Speakers: 

Dessy Levinson, 645 Ventures

Joseph Sartre, Bleu Capital

Jeffrey Silverman, Laconia Capital

B2C Fundraising From VCs 

Feb 6, 2018

Join us to learn how to target VC for a B2C seed financing.

  • How do I tailor my pitch to VCs?

  • What are VCs are looking for?

  • How should I prep for the VC process?

  • Other resources?

Guest Speakers: 

Andrew Mitchell, Brand Foundry

Sallie Jian, SeedInvest

Claire Fauquier, Corigin Ventures

Sarah Foley, SWAT Equity

Early Stage Retail Tech Sales, Pilots and Contracts 

March 6, 2018

Join us to learn how to build your sales pipeline.

  • How do I make that first critical sale of a pilot or annual contract?

  • What are the best ways to structure my early stage sales process?

  • How do I build a sales pipeline while executing pilots?

  • How do I negotiate and structure a retail tech agreement/contract?

  • What pitfalls do I need to avoid?

Guest Speakers Include:

Rohan Deuskar, Stylitics

Samantha Henderson, RevCascade

Trevor Sumner, Perch Interactive

Vejay Lalla, Davis & Gilbert

Building Your Retail Advisory Board 

Apr 11, 2018

Join us to learn how to build your retail advisory board in preparation for a seed round.

  • Can a strong Advisory Board help me raise money? How?

  • How do I think about who I need on my Advisory Board?

  • How do I compensate and formalize Advisory relationships?

  • How do I utilize my Advisory Board?

  • What pitfalls do I need to avoid?

Guest Speakers:

Alicia Syrett, Pantegrion Capital

Jill Sherman, Modalyst

Polly Rodriguez, Unbound

What Retailers Look for From Startups

May 8, 2017

Join us to hear from retailers about how they work with startups

  • What does innovation mean to retailers today?

  • What categories of products, technologies and customer segments are retailers looking for?

  • What stage of startup will retailers work with?

  • How do retailers typically work with early stage startups? 

  • How can your startup effectively pitch and win business with larger retailers? 

  • And more!

Guest Speakers:

Scott Lux, Intermix

Rima Reddy, formerly of Ralph Lauren

Sarika Doshi, Walmart Ecommerce