Each Wednesday, the Soaring Startup Circle welcomes a different founder, CEO, or influential individual from the startup atmosphere, giving the teams the opportunity to learn from people who have a wealth of knowledge to share. On Wednesday, July 8th, Jim Alvarezsat down with the SSC at NBD Nano's office about his experiences and insights building a company from the ground up. In 1992, Jim founded Marketing Information & Technology, Inc. (MITI) and grew it to 100 employees without venture capital. MITI provided large-scale CRM systems to banks, insurance, and telecommunication companies. In 2001, Jim sold MITI to Choicepoint. Today you can find Jim investing in new companies when he's not fishing.
"At the end of the day, all you have are the people," stated Jim while answering teams' questions. In a world where companies must be flexible enough to pivot when necessary, people are the key to taking a business from idea stage to exit. Although some companies seemingly go from zero to $1B revenue overnight (or very, very quickly), most startups' trajectories follow the course of a marathon—not a sprint. Hard work and dedication is a cornerstone of any successful company. Self-discipline as a founding member is essential.
Peppering his answers to teams' inquiries with first-hand narratives, Jim shared his diverse array of experiences within entrepreneurship with the SSC. Jim was an early investor in SSC Executive Board Member Miguel Galvez's company, NBD Nano. His portfolio also includes CoachUP, Crowdly, Viral Gains, XL Hybrids, and haystagg.
He emphasized, however, that you have to do what works for your company and hit the ground running. While there are lessons to be learned from other startups' successes, it is action that moves a startup forward. Jim explained that founders and leaders create a culture of success. The metric for success differs from one company to the next. It is up to the individual leader to develop their own metric and take the company from point A to point B. The Soaring Startup Circle would like to sincerely thank Jim Alvarez for graciously answering teams' questions and providing advice.