David Radlo is a multi-industry, multi-time founder who has sold companies for up to 30 times enterprise value.
His career started in consumer financial services, ag-tech, and the biotechnology industry, but his success spans beyond business – with experience working on high-stakes international diplomacy negotiations. He’s successfully invested across industries with exits with partners of up to $300M – however, it’s likely that you know him best from his billion-dollar success disrupting the egg industry as the founding partner of “Eggland’s Best” and the Cage Free, Free Range, and Pasture Raised movement.
Whether pitching a company to investors, or facilitating prisoner release agreements with Fidel Castro, David leans on the principles of his expertise to understand the best way to seal any deal. He is an internationally recognized exit coach and trusted advisor to founders, venture and private equity firms, and fortune 500 executives. He’s also a two-time author and ForbesBooks podcaster of Sustainable Leadership and Disruptive Growth.
At the Founders Network global keynote on Feb. 14, David provided learnings from his founder-to-investor journey by detailing what his experience shaping deals in tech, food & beverage, life sciences, and sustainability has taught him about how to disrupt billion-dollar markets. In his keynote, he detailed five of his core pillars for understanding your worth, pitching your product, and insights on how to improve your operations for maximum market impact.
To learn more about how to disrupt billion-dollar markets, check out our video from the event, and see if you qualify for membership to join Founders Network.
Start With The Basics
David has advice for founders who find themselves in the position of making a deal.
“The first question you have to ask yourself is, if you were on the other side of the table: ‘How much would you pay?’” he says.
In order to be successful, David says you must learn to be honest with yourself. Each entrepreneur has different goals from growth to exit and it is essential that each business leader gets clear on their vision of success before pulling out their seat at the table.
“When you start talking about the exit game, you have to delve into your reasons ‘why’, so you can get the proper guidance on your best exit strategy,” he says.
David believes that planning for a prosperous exit begins with operational excellence early on. It’s essential to stick to your strategy, identify weak areas early, and nail a straightforward value proposition. Once these details are landed, go back to the initial question: “How much would you pay?”
Always Finish Early
If you ask David what his biggest strength is as a founder you will hear a clear answer. “I’m a ‘been there, done that’ guy,” he says. “There are always new opportunities, but very little you can ask me that I haven’t faced in some form or fashion.”
David has seen and experienced both the great and the not-so-great during his time as a founder. He can recount stories of competitors banning together to push him out of the market, ways he’s helped companies save millions each year, or even the nuts and bolts of strong board composition. While his expertise is expansive, one of his principles for getting a yes is to keep things short and sweet.
“Every single word that you deliver has to be succinct and to the point. And you always have to finish early,” David says.
The rules that David follows for himself are the same as those he offers to others. “When it comes to pitching, investors don’t want to hear intellectual overload coming out of you. If it’s not exciting, they’re going to ignore it. If it’s not new, you gotta summarize it as quickly as possible,” David says.
While many founders love to express their passion for their brand – there’s a skill in knowing what the right story is, how you position your business as an industry disruptor, and which investors are the right fit for your pitch.
Perfect The Whole Package
As a growth and exit coach, David helps founders hone their pitch while also ensuring that entrepreneurs are ready to take their business to the exit stage. His core principles begin with understanding your worth, perfecting your pitch, and structuring operations for maximum market impact. From this, he offers his keys to the trade that help entrepreneurs maximize their acceleration, exit with success, and disrupt any market they enter.
At his global keynote, David offered advice to founders on how they can dominate and disrupt billion-dollar markets, including:
- How to make your funding pitch the best it can be
- The importance and tricks behind operational excellence
- How to understand and sharpen your value proposition
- The ‘cartel leadership rules’ that define your path to success or failure
- The value of giving back with your time, money, and resources