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Mike Volpe is the CEO of Lola.com, the fast-growing corporate travel SaaS platform that raised $37 million earlier this year with aims to dominate the $1.6 trillion global travel market. HubSpot’s third founder and former marketing chief, Volpe was offered the position of Lola.com CEO while still the CMO at Cybereason, a cybersecurity SaaS company where he led marketing and sales development. He’s also a member of the Board of Directors at sales and marketing SaaS Validity Inc. Volpe is well known in the Boston startup community, and an angel investor in more than 30 startups, including Desktop Metal, Drift, and Privy. He has an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management where he focused on marketing, product management, strategy, and startups.
Where did you grow up? Canton, MA which is a suburb just outside Boston
How would you sum up your childhood? Perfect
What most inspired your career? I love working with teams and helping people unlock their potential.
What is the biggest challenge of being CEO compared to CMO? Juggling so many completely different responsibilities
What is the biggest challenge of being CMO compared to CEO? Execution is harder than strategy, and CMOs are responsible for execution (at least at small and medium companies)
What is one thing people should know about business travel? It does not have to suck!
Who’s been the most inspiring figure in your life? I take a lot of inspiration from my family — grandfather grew up without plumbing in the house and not speaking English at home and my dad who worked full time and then went to school at night to get his MBA with a two year old and a new baby at home.
What is important for a great startup team? Team is everything — you need complete trust that everyone will do their job, but also vulnerability to admit when you made a mistake.
Describe the experience of growing HubSpot from five people to 1,000 employees. Both the hardest and most gratifying thing I’ve done in my career. My job changed completely every 9 months.
What is one thing you took away from your education that still helps you today? The importance of people and communication
How would you describe your angel investing strategy? Team, Market, Traction, in that order
What is one “under the radar” Boston-based company people should know about? Privy
What is one piece of advice you wish you had heard at the beginning of your career? Don’t be afraid to take the leap
What problem facing the world would you most like to see solved? Sustainability
Get hip with @mvolpe on Twitter.