By David Cremin
When we invest in startups, often we also serve on the company’s board of directors. As directors and/or fiduciaries of early stage companies, sometimes we recognize that a founding team needs operational assistance. The vision is there, but sometimes the steps to realize that dream are not clear. Based on the pattern recognition gleaned through investments in over 100 startups, we can help identify and articulate the need.
We always talk to the founders and discuss the problem. Working together we try and find a solution by adding missing ingredients to the team, sometimes even a new CEO. Though more art than science, and sometimes fraught with real human emotion or ego, in our experience this kind of collaborative change should end up working out really well for all shareholders, especially the founders. In one company, Momentfeed, the founder Rob Reed built the company to a certain level and then, as an example to so many founding teams, helped lead a successful search for a new CEO.
Under new CEO Robert Blatt’s direction, Momentfeed has since more than doubled in size four years in a row and just landed significant incremental financing from our colleagues at Level Equity to expand the business. I give HUGE credit to Reed for managing this process with such integrity – I’m sure it wasn’t always easy. But the outcome is undeniable. Here is an interview with CEO Robert Blatt, in which he discusses the transition, the company’s evolution and the his mission and vision for the future.