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. The SSC was lucky enough to have both Brent Grinna, CEO of Evertrue, and Jim Husson, Senior Vice President for University Advancement at Boston College, meet with the teams on Wednesday, July 29th at WeWork South Station. Evertrue pairs modern-day analytical data (from places like Zillow, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more) with the CRM systems used by educational institutions to help alumni offices identify prospective donors, keep current donors updated, and measure engagement.
Grinna began the session by sharing the founding story of Evertrue and the impact the company creates for the alumni development teams that use it. Husson followed and shared his perspective of the evolution of the university advancement field over time and how Evertrue's technology is helping higher education institutions become more effective at engaging their alumni.
Husson shrewdly remarked that successful individuals are as committed to the process of building a company as they are to the outcome. Creating a business requires mastery of many skill sets. If an individual is committed to the process, then they will become successful over time—even if not every venture works out. The commitment to learning and the knowledge they gain can be reapplied to every situation.
Grinna commented on the importance of framing sales pitches to customers around the problem and solution, rather than the product. He also spoke of the importance of your individual network and the value of having an advisory board. When teams brought up the topic of work-life balance, Grinna was quick to point out the value of knowing your personal workflow optimization as an entrepreneur. In an age when you can be connected to anyone and work at anytime from anywhere, it's easy to lose track of hours and feel burnt out. Entrepreneurs today must be disciplined enough to employ their own time management skills for themselves.
The complementary duo left the teams inspired to begin disrupting industries and hone their entrepreneurial skill set.
The SSC sincerely thanks both Brent Grinna and Jim Husson for taking time to share their unique perspectives about disruption in traditional industries.