Our Startup Grind Fremont March guest speaker, Tile founder and CEO Mike Farley is a problem solver turned startup entrepreneur. The idea for Tile stemmed from his desire to help people, like his absentminded spouse, retrieve their lost items. This innovative IoT startup has gone on to help millions of forgetful people find missing keys, wallets, jackets, and other valuables.

For those unfamiliar with Tile, imagine a small, white, and plastic disk that functions as a Bluetooth-enabled smart location tracking card. The company is based in San Mateo and has 120 employees with two million users worldwide.

Mike shared a few pieces of sage advice for entrepreneurs:

  • Venture capitalists in Silicon Valley do not want to build small businesses. Venture capitalists want big ideas and to scale these ideas into big companies.
  • In order to land investments, founders need a crisp vision of the company and the ability to clearly communicate their vision with investors.
  • Create a culture of Objectives and Key Results (OKR). The CEO sets objectives and key results on a quarterly basis, then each department and staff sets their own OKRs. You can use OKRs to align company, team, and personal objectives in order to motivate everyone towards the same goal.
  • It’s hard to sell to retailers. Instead, sell directly to the customer through a company website. Your website is a blank canvas for you to create the optimal sales experience for your consumer.
  • If you go to a retailer, you have to communicate to the retailer that you know how to sell your product and who your targeted customer is. Also, know that brick and mortar retailers are harder to enter than online retailers like Amazon.com.

At the next Startup Grind Fremont event on April 25, we’ll be speaking with Rana Gujral, an entrepreneur and investor, about growth hacking. Rana founded a leading enterprise SaaS startup, TiZE. Recently listed amongst the Top 10 Entrepreneurs to follow in 2017 by Huffington Post, Rana serves as a contributing writer at TechCrunch and Forbes, and is an adviser to several startups.

Join us at EFI (6700 Dumbarton Circle, Fremont). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Get your tickets online here.

Stay informed on future events by visiting www.startupgrind.com/fremont or by following us on Twitter @FremontGrind and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StartupGrindFremont/.

If you have any question or suggestions for guest speakers, send an email to Shilpi Sharma, co-founder and CEO of Kvantum, and chapter director for Startup Grind Fremont.