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EO 360°, a podcast by Entrepreneurs’ Organization, explores entrepreneurship with a wide perspective, moving beyond business to those insights not often shared by high-profile thought leaders.

Host and serial entrepreneur, Dave Will, leads in-depth interviews, whose featured guests include: Gazelles founder and CEO, Verne Harnish; popular podcast host and founder of Genius Network, Joe Polish; award-winning entrepreneur, Zahra Al-Harazi; and more. Tune into this top podcast made by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.

Learn more about Entrepreneurs’ Organization, the leading peer-to-peer network exclusively for entrepreneurs.

May 3, 2016


In this episode, Dave interviews Zvi Band, the founder and CEO of Contactually, a CRM tool designed to actually help users manage client relationships. Contactually has already raised over $12 million in funding, and is aiming to grow into a billion-dollar business. Listen as Dave and Zvi talk about how investing in relationships secured Zvi’s funding - and break down the process of researching, pitching, and funding a incredibly successful startup, step by step.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:00 – Opening of podcast
  • 02:20 – Developing a great company culture is a process
  • 02:55 – Dave introduces Zvi
  • 03:30 – Contactually is a platform for businesses that rely on relationships
  • 04:50 – Differs from other CRMs in its focus on nurturing relationships
  • 05:50 – How do we enable businesses to build personal and authentic relationships?
  • 07:00 – We developed a mission to be thought leaders: people want to hear about it
  • 08:20 – “Bottom-up adoption” - tools that users choose
  • 09:00 – CRMs have largely become reporting tools - we wanted something else
  • 09:50 – “How do we help the end user?”
  • 10:50 – Relationships can only exist between people - not businesses
  • 12:30 – Currently in a snap-back from the first generation of social media
  • 13:40 – Zvi is a software developer by trade
  • 14:30 – Very introverted through school - but saw the importance of relationships
  • 15:00 – Worked as a consultant by knowing people
  • 16:00 – Saw a gap for a product that helped build better relationships
  • 18:00 – The first funding offer for Contactually led to a hard decision for Zvi and to close down his existing business
  • 20:00 – A walkthrough of Zvi’s decisions around funding
  • 21:00 – “I needed a ‘burn the boats’ moment”
  • 21:40 – Knew he wanted to focus on Contactually - so applied for venture capital
  • 22:20 – First round of funding was $50k from 500 Startups
  • 24:10 – Most incubators take around 5% of the business
  • 24:50 – Then raised $500k from angel investors
  • 25:40 – “Investors are investing in either the track, the horse, or the jockey”
  • 26:30 – Zvi’s reputation allowed him to attract investors
  • 27:20 – There’s no personal risk with angel investors apart from reputation
  • 28:30 – Get a good start-up lawyer!
  • 30:30 – Two types of funding: equity or convertible debt
  • 32:00 – Investors currently own 30-40% of the company
  • 33:40 – After angel investment, moved on to seed financing to raise $3.5 million
  • 35:30 – Series A investment raised $8 million in capital
  • 37:00 – Not currently profitable: they’re investing in rapid growth
  • 39:00 – “Ideas mean nothing: execution means something”
  • 39:30 – How do you turn an idea into a product?
  • 39:50 – “The moment you have a good idea - turn around to someone and pitch it”
  • 40:50 – If there’s a market - set up a small landing page and see if people will sign up
  • 41:30 – Talk to the people that sign up: see what they want
  • 42:10 – You’ll now have enough specifications to start building a minimum viable product
  • 43:10 – Start with a small, simple, high-quality product
  • 44:30 – Create a visual representation: wire-frame tools like Mockingbird or Balsamiq
  • 45:00 – Representations let you talk to developers and potential users
  • 45:50 – Decide who you’ll learn from: users or designers.
  • 47:10 – In-house or outsourced development? Zvi suggests finding a co-founder.
  • 49:00 – How to connect with Zvi: Twitter and email

3 Key Points:

  1. The best way to grow your business and your life is to build and maintain relationships with other people. Your reputation and your networks are valuable resources.
  2. If you have an idea that seems promising: research your market. Your potential users are your best educational tool.
  3. Become a thought leader in your area. You’ll gain exposure not by trying to sell your product, but by having something interesting to say.

Resources Mentioned:


Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives