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boldstart ventures
day one partner and true believer for developer first & SaaS founders
Founders Johnny Zu, Ryan Gottfried, and Jason Kwait.

Our best days at boldstart are when we get to meet product obsessed founders who are creating new categories or re-imagining the world of enterprise software. Service management is a huge category that every enterprise from Chase to Google to CVS uses to manage their facilities, remove snow from parking lots, fix HVAC systems, and select janitorial services for their locations. Before UtilizeCore, service management companies delivered these services through networks of sub-contractors and performed millions of jobs a year through paper, pens, and emails and in some cases antiquated software. …

Jay Sivachelvan, VP of Global Partnerships at portfolio company FortressIQ joined Boldstart to chat about how to best establish and scale a partner ecosystem.

Our Top Takeaways from Jay

The partnership playbook is bespoke.

If/when to build out partnerships is often unclear due to the ambiguity around objectives and what it means for any given company.

Ideally, partnerships should enable you to accelerate sales velocity & efficiency, create competitive advantage, and enable you to meet customers where they want to be met.

Initiating a partnership program is most effective once you’ve established product-market fit, a repeatable sales motion, and product-partner fit. …

Image: Unsplash

You haven’t sold into an enterprise until you run into compliance and SOC II audits. At boldstart, our founders are facing these issues earlier and earlier in their life cycle and if managed correctly and taken care of in advance, it can streamline your sales process and minimize disruption.

Given this huge need, we reached out to friend and advisor Richard Crowley who built Slack’s technical operations and compliance from scratch. He joined Slack as the 22nd employee initially helping support a user base of its 35,000 simultaneous users. …

At boldstart, we love to partner on day one with founders reinventing the enterprise software stack. Our north ⭐️ is always focused on investing in product obsessed founders reimagining existing applications or inventing new categories. The CRM space is one such category where we have all experienced pain updating applications (at Boldstart we are particularly egregious offenders here 😀 and normally avoid doing so until the last minute), losing knowledge transfer and shared context in the process. Imagine using a product that made this experience actually enjoyable? …

Remember to support the full developer experience.

“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. The same applies for developers.

If you get everyone to your webpage, it doesn’t help unless they can use the product effectively. Even once you’ve acquired a user, you still need to support them over the years through your documentation and support. Don’t focus on top of the funnel context at the exclusion of everything else. Think about how your content will support developers through the whole lifecycle of product usage. …

L to R, T to B, Ed Sim, Max Heald, Jennifer Moy, Charlotte Chapanoff, Eliot Durbin, Shomik Ghosh, Ellen Chisa, Natalie Ledbetter

I fear not the man [or woman] who has practiced 10,000 kicks, but I do fear the man [or woman] who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. -Bruce Lee

At boldstart, everything we do — how we think, how we partner, how we operate — is built around helping technical founders with an idea become CEOs of the world’s best enterprise companies. This is our one kick and after 10,000 repetitions a decade later, we are only getting better at leading pre-product rounds and helping mission driven founders go from idea to category creation.

Through specialization of stage (day one…

We play the long 🏈 at boldstart and focus on investing in people, not just a company. Over the past decade, our mission has been to engage with founders across the arc of their careers — from starting companies to partnering with them as advisors, angel investors, and key hires at existing portfolio companies. Some of our most successful investments were started by founders we have known over many phases of their journey, Rahul from Superhuman and Guy from Snyk being two of many examples.

Our mission for the next ten years is to double down on the 🔌 of…

Developer efficiency is one of our core focus areas at Boldstart Ventures. With every enterprise becoming a software company, developer productivity is directly linked to product innovation, increased revenue, and decreased costs. Within that framework, our belief is that the more that can shift ⬅️ to developers and get abstracted away so developers don’t need to know infrastructure and DevOps, the faster an organization will move. While we’ve made many investments in the shift ⬅️ movement, we’ve been surprised that there has been little innovation at the container level, a core atomic unit of a developer’s output, besides Docker. …

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

2020 Recap

Welcome to our annual boldstart recap and thoughts/predictions for next year. While it was a grim and challenging year for so many reasons, we are 🙏🏼 that enterprise tech contributed to making our lives slightly better as it helped ease the abrupt transition to a work from home world and powered much of the infrastructure for work, home, and play. Fortunately these were many of the areas we were investing in during the last 10 years and 2020 ended up being a special year for boldstart. …

We all have experienced shocking moments recently when the digital tools that we rely on have failed. Amazon’s website goes down on Prime Day, Slack stops working, Google no longer responds and nobody has access to Gmail, Google Drive, Photos or anything else. These all deeply affect our lives as these services are core parts of our daily flow. The cost of software failing has never been higher as it affects the financial bottom line in immediate revenue and future customer trust lost.

These so-called “incidents” are inevitable as the digital services we rely on are made up of increasingly…

boldstart ventures

day one partner and true believer for developer first & SaaS founders

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