Our leadership team recently graduated from a rigorous, yet rewarding bootcamp held by venture capitalist and Altitude Products Board Advisor George Kenney. We asked our CEO, Krista Whitley a couple of questions about her experience and she gave us some great insight into this experience.
What’s the biggest thing you learned from Boot Camp?
The biggest thing I learned from George Kenney’s venture capital bootcamp was learning how to think like an investor. As an entrepreneur I’m a die hard optimist, so understanding the risks and learning to mitigate those risks is fundamental to achieving the scale that venture capitalists look for. George took us through Bill Aulet’s book “Disciplined Entrepreneurship”, Oren Klaff’s book “Pitch Anything”, and Verne Harnish’s book “Scaling Up”. It is an intense process and my team and I invested at least 15 hours each week to the homework required.
How will the knowledge you gained improve the company?
Our organization is a proven fast growth Gazelle, growing from over $1 million in gross revenues in 2016 to over $7 million in gross revenues in 2017 to a run rate of over $20 million in gross revenues for 2018. We are launching our Series A for $10 million and the knowledge we gained from the Boot Camp experience will help us to confidently present our organization to investors. We aren’t looking to raise $10 million. Rather, we are seeking smart money to help us accelerate our revenues to a massive exit, so we can all go to bed at night dreaming of high multiples.
Do you believe all entrepreneurs should take a course like this? Why or why not?
I do not think that all entrepreneurs should take a venture capital bootcamp course. It is ideal for fast growth organizations seeking sustained growth or major investment, but it would not be a fit for a small business.
What was the hardest part about Boot Camp?
The hardest part of completing Boot Camp was dedicating the time to it and making it a priority while running my already explosive growth business. My team and I work 12-16 hour days already, so juggling my already demanding schedule with the demands of boot camp was intense. When you’re running a thriving organization it can be easy to get lost in the trees, but that is why it is so important to focus on the big picture.
How can you use the information you learned in every day life and not just in the business world?
George Kenney is one of the wisest people I have ever met. His expertise has not just helped me to become a better business leader, but he has encouraged me to make the time to grow as a mother, wife, and community leader. His heart for helping entrepreneur’s to grow has inspired me to grow our organization even bigger, so that someday I can be an investor to pay it forward to other entrepreneurs.