Amidst waves of tech layoffs and decreasing startup funding, many in the startup ecosystem are worried about a recession. This has led to a shift in focus for many founders.
“12 months ago companies were investing in product development and user acquisition,” says Jack Barber, an expert within the Strategy and Growth Consulting Practice at Toptal, an exclusive global network of freelance talent. “However, many startups have pivoted and are navigating the current economic environment by prioritizing profitable growth as a route to success.”
In a webinar for Founders Network on June 29, Toptal’s Baxter McConnell and startup founders Brandon Pearlman and Sam Palazzolo will share proven startup growth strategies that can enable founders to scale despite tough economic constraints.
Brandon co-founded an intelligence and analytics software startup, steering the company to an 8-figure valuation in less than four years. He says “growth strategies that were effective 12 months ago are outdated, and need to be optimized to account for changing economic conditions and new customer priorities.”
Sam agrees. “Startups that offer innovative solutions and demonstrate strong resilience and adaptability may be better positioned to navigate challenging economic times and emerge stronger in the long run.” Sam founded a Private Equity firm after leading a tech startup to a successful PE exit, and from his unique perspective, “there are still plenty of opportunities for growth if you know where to look for them.”
The webinar will cover:
About the Panel:
Baxter leads Toptal’s Management Consulting & Technology Services business units. Through his tenure at Toptal, as well as his prior roles at industry-leading consulting firms, he has advised a diverse range of clients, including growth-focused startups and leading Fortune 500 companies. Baxter’s approach to growth strategy consistently identifies untapped business potential, enables competitive differentiation, and catalyzes a significant acceleration in growth.
Prior to Toptal, Baxter held leadership roles at two of the world’s largest consulting firms, PwC and KPMG. This included a three-year stint in New Zealand during which he built multiple new practices from the ground up into multi-million dollar lines of business.
Brandon is a freelance executive in Toptal’s network with expertise in business strategy, operations, and management. He co-founded a Chicago-based intelligence and analytics software startup called Digital H2O in 2012. As the COO and CPO, he steered the company to become an enterprise worth eight figures in less than four years. In 2015, he sold Digital H2O to a multinational public company, then served as an executive for two years post-acquisition.
Before starting Digital H2O, Brandon worked as the VP of Operations and Business Development for a renewable energy private equity firm. In this role, he identified and analyzed investment opportunities and presented them to the investment committee. He also served as a board observer at the invitation of the firm’s executive chairman.
Earlier in his career, Brandon worked as a management consultant, primarily with the general counsel and in-house legal teams of Global 1000 and Fortune 500 companies. He also spent time working in a specialized forensic technology and discovery services group assisting private and government organizations in complex investigations.
Sam Palazzolo is the Founder/Managing Director at Tip of the Spear Ventures, a Private Equity firm that provides early-stage entrepreneurs with venture capital, has a holding portfolio from M&A, and conducts business funding services. During Sam’s time at Tip, he and his team built the organization into one of VC’s favorite firms and an innovation leader, dramatically increasing customer satisfaction and growing financial results for the companies they support.
Sam’s purpose in life is to help people around him and use his platform to make a positive difference in the world. In addition to serving on several board of directors, he spends time as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and coaches others to lead with purpose and humanity at the Javelin Institute, a 501(c)(3) he founded. He is also actively invested in efforts to advance meaningful diversity and inclusion.
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About Founders Network:
Founded in 2011, Founders Network offers lifelong peer mentorship to over 600 tech startup founders globally. Our platform, programs and high-touch service facilitate authentic experience sharing, warm introductions and long-term professional relationships. Additional benefits include over $500k in startup discounts and promotion to 2,000 newsletter readers. Members are located in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto, London and other tech hubs. Each month our Membership Committee admits a new cohort of full-time tech founders who are nominated by an existing member. Learn more about us here