Ep. #1051 - America’s New Business Plan
The second founder in our Top Kansas City Startups series is here!
And in today’s episode of Startup Hustle, we’re looking into America’s new business plan. Matt DeCoursey welcomes Jannae Gammage back to the podcast. The returning guest and guest host is the CEO and co-founder of Foresight. And she is here to present the options you have to get capital and funding when you’re part of the minority.
Want to check the businesses featured on our Top Kansas City Startups 2023? Get to know them in this overview article.
Covered In This Episode
Matt and Jannae are here to help you get funding if you’re part of the minority. Their discussion also tackles the problems Foresight, the latter’s company, is trying to solve.
The duo also unveils the differences between private equity and venture capital. And how businesses can get clever with their business plan and pitch for investors.
Learn more about securing capital as a startup founder. Enjoy this Startup Hustle conversation now.
Also, catch up with Jannae’s guesting on Startup Hustle. Here’s the checklist we made for you.
- First guest appearance in 2020 on her “Marketing Startups” episode.
- A guest host for our Mental Health Mondays series: The Forgotten Co-Founder, The Suicide Epidemic Nobody Is Talking About, and Grind Culture: The 24/7 “Work Day”
- Hearing Jannae’s backstory (04:00)
- The real problem Foresight is trying to solve (06:38)
- Finding capital when you’re part of the female minority (08:34)
- Are banks frustrating for startups? (11:18)
- What are CDFIs? (12:48)
- Access to funding for minority business owners (18:21)
- A unique attribute of Foresight’s lending process (23:29)
- How to get financing as a newbie founder (29:29)
- Why do personality types matter? (31:21)
- The financials have to make sense (34:13)
- Public businesses that are still getting investments (38:41)
- Looking back at Jannae’s episodes on mental health and founders (43:07)
- What do founders actually sell? (45:10)
I think that’s the same thing happening for these organizations who put money aside and [are] being intentional. [They] hire people to create this program, create impact, and actually create access for minorities.– Jannae Gammage
And here’s the thing: any investor knows your business plan is wrong.– Matt DeCoursey
For founders, I need you to realize you’re not selling a product. You’re selling time. You’re selling peace of mind. You’re selling rest.– Jannae Gammage
Want peace of mind while managing your software development projects? Full Scale can help with that. Gain access to highly qualified and experienced developers, testers, engineers, and leaders. Moreover, enjoy a client-friendly platform to help you manage your team remotely. Work with Full Scale and start a successful collaboration now.
Also, don’t forget to learn more about our other Startup Hustle partners. They also have services that can support your business, many offering discounts to our Startup Hustle listeners.
Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt DeCoursey 00:01
And we’re back! Back for another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow. So, many of you have started a business. You started with the business plan. Some of us had an easier road to it. Some of us had an easier time getting capital. Some of us didn’t get capital. Some of us didn’t have access to capital. We’re going to talk about that and much more on today’s episode. And before I get into who I’m having a conversation with and the amazing accolades that we have given her company, today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult, and Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably. And has the platform to help you manage that team. Go to FullScale.io to learn more. That’s my company if you’re not aware. And I love talking to Startup Hustle listeners, so reach out. Let’s see if we can find some solutions together. With me, today is, well, someone who’s been on the show many, many years ago. And also one of our guest hosts in 2022. It’s Jannae Gammage. Jannae is here today, though, representing her new company, which is on Startup Hustle’s 2023 Top Kansas City Startups. Here in my own backyard. Jannae Gammage, CEO and co-founder of Foresight. Go to TryForesight. That’s TryForesight.io. There’s a link in the show notes for that too. Jannae, welcome back.
Jannae Gammage 01:30
This is my favorite place to come. You know this? Of course.
Matt DeCoursey 01:35
Oh, well, you know, I was the viewer. You have a two-digit episode number. Your first one, I know the exact one. But it was like, what? Yeah, it was pre-100. Wow. Yeah. Okay, this, I know. We’re getting a hold flat. We just recorded a lot of podcasts quickly. That was a long time ago. Right. That was with a different company. And I’ve actually referenced that because you were what you were someone that came up and told me, he said, I got some of my first clients from that.
Jannae Gammage 02:09
Yeah, no, I was gonna bring that up today. I’m glad you did. So we were new up and coming. I’d actually just moved to Kansas City. And we were getting a little traction, getting some PR, and we ended up on Startup Hustle. Thankfully, we had just kind of finished our MVP. And boom, someone emails us or maybe a contact form or something. She’s like, hey, heard you on Startup Hustle. Let’s connect. Okay, cool. We connected, and she ended up turning into a distribution channel. So we were at a tech company, and she ran events in California. So all of her clients would just push us to kind of market the event and use our teams and that AI. So that’s pretty cool.
Matt DeCoursey 03:02
That company was acquired. We don’t have to get into the details of that. Because that’s not what we’re here to talk about. Because you’ve got a new thing going on. And I would love to let you, well, first off, you know what, I would be remiss. Let’s start with a little bit about your backstory.
Jannae Gammage 03:20
Oh, where should I start with that? The first business at 14 sold shoes. Or excuse me, not selling shoes, selling items. Reselling items so that I can buy shoes because my mom refused to buy me all the AirMAX colorways that I want. I am stubborn, and my stubbornness has taken me from 14 to now, almost 37. Starting companies when I don’t like the way something is done or the processes are antiquated or inequitable. So that brings us now here to Foresight. It’s a military service in which they play basketball in college and live a lot of life, actually. And I think that gives me some of the unique perspectives that I have on solving problems and working with different types of people. No, to get shit done, honestly.
Matt DeCoursey 04:10
That’s up to you. Well, that’s good. I like that. I’m a big fan of getting shut down. I think, you know, I think most of my life is pretty much structured around either getting shit done, being upset about not getting shit done or both. Yes. Yeah, a combination. We are the same. It’s never a static number on that. It’s kind of like when you look at crypto pricing, kind of up and down. And that market never closes. Now, we mentioned America’s new business plan, and I alluded to, you know, we all have a different story. Before we hit record, we talked about my story. For those of you that follow me or us on social media, I just told a story about selling golf balls as a child, which went viral at the time of this recording with 1.4 mil Yun views and 20,000 likes. I don’t know if everything I’ve posted in my life had 20,000 likes to put together. Yeah. But people love good entrepreneurship. And it is different. So you know without, and I own it. So I mean, I grew up on a golf course. And I definitely had some hater comments. And they’re like, boohoo, you started life on second base. I was like, I didn’t have anything to do with that. I was actually able to tee box-on golf balls that my parents wanted to teach me and pushed me into hustling. But I’ve never been shy about the fact that some of my reading may be easier. It may have been, and for a lot of people, it isn’t. We have respect for whoever it is, however, it is. And that’s part of what you’re solving when we should say hello to Charlotte Clark and co-founder Charlotte, another pillar of our tech community here in Kansas City. So let’s get into the problem that you’re solving there. And let’s just say, let’s just keep it real and talk about what the real problem is.
Jannae Gammage 05:58
Yeah, the real problem for me, I mean, honestly, after the market base, which is my last company, I was going to take a break. I think we had a conversation. I’m like, I’m gonna chill, I’m going to travel, I did start traveling. And it was just like bugging me. Because I’m still consulting founders. I’m just personally on getting the market and the marketing side and raising capital. And I was just, how can we solve this? I like to get shit done. Person. We know this. And I don’t want to hear another fireside chat or tweet thread from some investor or a panel about how founders can’t raise money. Founders can raise money. So I started looking, I said, Well, yeah, if we’re talking only VC, then yeah, absolutely. Founders can’t raise money. There’s only so much money available, and less than 1% of founders are going to. There are almost 2k businesses started every day. So just by the numbers, there’s not enough VC to even go around. So the statistic is less than 1% Raise. Yeah, that’s, I mean, we don’t have a, you know, just a bit by nature, the math isn’t going to hold up.
Matt DeCoursey 07:12
The real some people that are complaining about not getting funded, regardless of their socio-economic history, background, or stats. You just don’t have that great of an idea or started. Yes, you’re not that fundable. So you got to get that noise out of the way. Right. But part of the stuff that is real and factual is, well, the road to that capital. Oh, it’s way different. Now. You know, some of that you can look at, like, female minority. And then on some level, inexperience is just as challenging because you come back when you have a little traction. Yeah, yeah.
Jannae Gammage 07:54
I mean, I think, you know, and, and that’s gonna see me. I’m a black female, queer female. So I check all the little boxes of a veteran, yes, a disabled Army veteran. So I check every single fucking box here, people, okay. And I am willing to accept and be self-aware enough to know that, you know, if the idea is shitty, the idea is shitty, whether I check all those boxes or not. So I can’t come back and say, Well, it’s because I’m black, some female, like, there has to be kind of a self-check as founders, where we look into our business and think, well, would I invest in this? If someone came up to me? Like, do I understand the problem? Have I done the work? And a lot of times, 90% of them? Haven’t you come up with an idea? And you think because a white guy was able to do that, and you’re not able to do that is racist? And really, you know, whether it’s systemic stuff, whether it’s experiencing, yes, sometimes you do have to prove yourself, and sometimes other people don’t like, there’s been times where I’ve benefited from both. But so what Foresight does is it checks on that solves two problems. It helps founders really benchmark where they are and how they look to investors. So as a founder, when you come on, you can go through everything you need to go through as far as a business owner and a founder to get to fungibility. And we’ll track, and we’ll help you. And then, right from there, you can press fund. And instead of being sent out to all the VC funds, who may never even look at your pitch deck, and we won’t even get into pitch decks and how you have to be a storyteller in order to truly raise money, which doesn’t define you as a founder, but that one application will be sent out to what’s called a loan syndicate. So lenders are now being forced by the Biden administration to start deploying capital early stage startups, and what Foresight does Yeah, we’ve read traditional banks. Yes. Wow. Yeah. So traditional banks are getting around that, though. by dumping their money into CDFIs, because CDFIs don’t have the same lending criteria. They’re way more flexible.
Matt DeCoursey 10:07
Well, well, let’s pause for a second. Yes, I’ve been pretty vocal about fuck off-backs. Yes. I mean, seriously, we were already down, the explicit rabbit hole was swearing and everything so why not? But do bag sneakers? Yeah. You know, when we started this podcast, we’re like, we’re I literally said we’re going to just mark every single episode explicitly because of how hard it is to get through like a 40 to 60-minute conversation with an entrepreneur without swearing.
Jannae Gammage 10:36
Yeah, no, we’re founders. Our brains don’t even work.
Matt DeCoursey 10:39
So banks are frustrating for startups. And you know that, and thank you for working out. I didn’t realize that she was sitting on a CDFI.
Jannae Gammage 10:48
Do we know that it stands for community, some financial institution?
Matt DeCoursey 10:52
What does it stand for? Are banks actually deploying money where they should?
Jannae Gammage 10:56
So I’ve been to its mission-driven banks. Basically, without all the rules. You talked about trigger warnings.
Matt DeCoursey 11:01
So it frustrates me. And I’m not unlike many people in the Midwest. I’m not afraid to be rude. At some point, if that’s what it takes. I don’t think it’s weird. I just think it’s honest and realistic. What annoys me is I go to events, and there are people from 10 different banks. They’re all trying to charm me, and then none of them can do anything for my business. Why? Because I’m a software company and I don’t have the kind of assets that they’re used to loaning against. So there’s a business somewhere that makes a specialty bolt that they have a semi truck that the bank will give a loan against. If they repossessed those, they couldn’t do shit with it. Yeah. But yeah, the $2 million that I own in equity and other people’s startups that I’ve invested in with Matt Watson and Full Scale over five years, they give zero value, they won’t even consider it as an asset, not even an asset. And we’re not even talking about loaning against it. And I had a CEO, the bank telling me, I won’t say who because it was a private conversation. But he said now, I would much rather take that as collateral, but I can’t. Yep. So that’s federal regulation. And so I’m assuming what a CDFI is, as they move the money sideways into something that doesn’t have these chartered rules that don’t allow them, and then they loan it.
Jannae Gammage 12:17
Yeah, well, CDFIs of these institutions have been around for forever. They’re community driven and all about community impact. And of course, extending money and deploying capital to the under marginalized, whether that be for geography, or, you know, they are caught across the full credit spectrum. So mortgages, auto loans, small business lending, things like that. Banks get credit for it. So they don’t mind that Bank of America has the largest CDFI portfolio.
Matt DeCoursey 12:51
And those are just straight loans. Yes, yes.
Jannae Gammage 12:56
So now, it’s non dilutive cash.
Matt DeCoursey 13:00
And so I don’t want the burden.
Jannae Gammage 13:04
Yeah. So here’s the thing, like, for instance, us, we have traction in pilots, right? Our platform will launch in June. So we couldn’t go to a bank, we couldn’t go to Bank of America and say, Hey, we actually have pilots. That’ll be, you know, $1.5 million in pipeline, blah, blah, blah, these are paid pilots, we need 100k In order to support them. It’d be like, no. But with Foresight, that is the problem that we’re solving. And that’s where banks are like, if you can show it to us in a way that we need to see it, then we’ll do it. So we’re really excited because in less than a year, what started as just a personal call for us, has turned into just national collaboration from CDFIs from banks from innovations are in the state of North Dakota shout out to y’all their entire innovation arm using it to deploy capital because they do and they not only do they want to, but they have to now figure out a way to deploy this capital to us, they can no longer say, you know, we need something need collateral, you need a personal guarantee. Like, no, our algorithm kind of fixes that and translates startup data into data that a bank could use to assess risk.
Matt DeCoursey 14:24
Okay, so that’s one side of it. That’s one side. But the Lent, that’s, that’s great for some businesses. My concern there, just speaking candidly, as sometimes if you’re at an early stage, you think your idea is better than it is if you end up getting money or lawns you need to pay back. That could be bad. Maybe, maybe so maybe not. Yeah, the point is, just be careful people.
Jannae Gammage 14:49
Yeah. Don’t maybe, maybe I shouldn’t say this because I don’t want people to go out, you know, irresponsibly. Well, yeah, that’s the loss that is accounted for, not financial advisors.
Matt DeCoursey 15:04
We’re not just claiming here. Yeah.
Jannae Gammage 15:10
So especially when you get into this area with loans and lending so well, it’s tricky. And that’s my thing about it. We’re working with the bank’s own loss on decreasing loss, they already have to account for the money or excuse me, the government gives the money for the loss. So what we’re saying is less loss.
Matt DeCoursey 15:28
I see. Okay. Okay, so that’s one pillar. And that’s well, first off, thanks for letting me know that even existed. A lot of you can’t, you know, the problem that someone’s gonna need to solve soon as the chat GPT is, like, overloaded all day every day. Like, is it overloaded? Yeah, last 10 times, I’ve tried to get into it during the day.
Jannae Gammage 15:47
Yeah, I really wish it wouldn’t go viral.
Matt DeCoursey 15:51
I was gonna make myself sound really smart. And so you’re gonna have to wake up earlier? And log?
Jannae Gammage 15:58
Well, are you going to even prompt it?
Matt DeCoursey 16:00
This is gonna ask you what CDFI was? Yeah. I was gonna say give me five smart, you know, Google, Jimmy. Google will tell me about that to about.
Jannae Gammage 16:10
Yeah, you know, let’s not let us not forget just the two weeks that chat GPT has gone viral that Google still exists.
Matt DeCoursey 16:17
Well, Google’s probably got better technology somewhere that they’re in a hurry to roll out. And it’s interesting. Okay, so we have the landing component. Now, let’s go into the like, the VC private equity side of things. And, okay, let’s do real talk here. And I’ll be upfront, I usually don’t get into these topics on the show. Why is that? Because I’m a middle aged white dude from the suburbs. And quite honestly, I find that I could, I could say a lot of intelligent useful stuff, and I still get hammered on it. Right now. I’m here to provide value and yeah, answer and like you make your own decisions. Now. I’ve had this conversation a lot. I think you know, me on a personal side, I’m I tried to do anything and everything I can to support all communities. I’m a believer in global citizenship. Sometimes people will be like, your count is your count. Yeah, I got 293 people in Asia, that worked for me, they’re pretty diverse. And at Full Scale two, we’ve got, I guarantee you I have more female software developers that were Full Scale than anybody you know.
Jannae Gammage 17:22
And that’s why it’s so successful. It’s, well, you know, honestly, yeah, it is on some levels, because they rarely quit.
Matt DeCoursey 17:25
Because we have an equal and equitable opportunity for them that pays them a match and gives them the same opportunities like that I met when women touch things versus what a man touches.
Jannae Gammage 17:36
There’s just, it’s just different.
Matt DeCoursey 17:41
It depends on Well, yes, but it depends on what they’re touching me. Anything we touch, if I can’t my wife a hammer, I would be. That’s my point. Now anyway. But so with that over the last couple of years, you know, my end, this is just my take on an observation. So when the BLM stuff went viral and loose, everyone’s looking at that, I felt like there was an over commitment. And I don’t mean that socially, like everything kind of knee jerk. We’re gonna be diverse, we’re gonna do this. The problem is the numbers weren’t there to support that for everyone.
Jannae Gammage 18:17
Yeah, it was very performative by a lot of companies. I think there were some companies that truly were intentional.
Matt DeCoursey 18:26
I don’t think there was any follow up.
Jannae Gammage 18:30
Literally, a couple of months. Yeah, fulfilling the promises would be a lot more difficult, because there’s just a statistics thing that comes with that.
Matt DeCoursey 18:32
On the flip side, I’ve had conversations with other minority business owners that have also told me that like, wow, this has been an amazing time, because there has been some access created. Have you seen that change over the last couple of years? Like you did, did any of the promises equate to reality?
Jannae Gammage 18:59
I think there were way more programs. And this is just my experience, there were a lot more programs, a lot more amplification of CIP programs over other programs, that were just kind of agnostic. For those that were targeting the marginalized, you know, racial, you know, black people, basically black women, things like that. And providing access. I think that there’s only so much you can do with a program or cohort, which is usually about 11 or 12 people. So it’s hard to feel the impact of that. It’s always great to see more people that look like you getting funded or things like that, but it was very performative by the large corporations. They set money aside or they weren’t really vocal about no after the fact they said oh, well, 10 million dollars is gonna go towards minority businesses. And what they don’t say. Yeah, what do they never say after that how or what happened? Yeah, yeah, that’s fine. There was no accountability to look at like, like, like West Coast type funds, like some and my point was so many of them are like, hey, we’re moving to this like 50% diversity policy.
Matt DeCoursey 20:16
I’ve talked to a lot of them the last couple years and and like, because what I’ve talked to him is on some levels, I don’t want to get too far down like conversation, I don’t want to get a quote or whatever. But like, like, fuck, we made this promise, I need deal flow.
Jannae Gammage 20:40
Who did you get that from? Can you make a recommendation? Like that?
Matt DeCoursey 20:41
And that’s my point, though, is like when you? Yeah, so I think the pressure but then there’s a, there’s the follow through and making it a reality is completely different. I want your thoughts on that. But one thing I do know is the reality of finding experts, software developers doesn’t have to be difficult. Especially when you visit FullScale.io where you can build a software team quickly and affordably you can use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs, and then see what available developers, testers, and leaders are ready to join your team. Because it FullScale.io To learn more you when you talk about the reality, like the reality is, is there’s 300,000 Open tech jobs in the US like my business and my well and I created a service because if without someone to build your product, your reality, it actually isn’t a reality. It’s a dream.
Jannae Gammage 21:32
Yeah. And I think that’s the same thing that’s happening for these organizations who actually have put money aside and Binnington intentionally hired people to create this program and create impact and actually create access for minorities. And if we don’t have the businesses, I mean, they still have to be smart with their investment, just like the lender, you know, that’s part of what Foresight is trying to do is help the people that are distributing the cash, regardless of who they are right and help them.
Matt DeCoursey 21:56
Well, it’s kind of what we do at Full Scale, our whole goal and part of what we build our platform around and like check it out. And this isn’t just a Full Scale ad, go to FullScale.io, click the hire developers button and in less than two minutes, we can ask you in there just click questions, couple field entries, but less than two minutes, we can get the information we know to pair you up with people that have the skills and experience to solve the problems that you have, and can even automate the appointment process and all that we’re a matchmaker. So it’s and that’s essentially what Foresight and got afford, there’s a link in the show notes, at least go check it out. So you know, that’s essentially what you’re doing there. Because it’s not always a good match, like a lender that isn’t a good match for a borrower is actually putting them together. That is just a waste of time.
Jannae Gammage 22:49
Well, so what’s unique about our lending process is, it is the same way that a founder would go and raise, you know, multiple checks for multiple funds is it’s the exact same process with lender so you know, bank, one bank, two bank, three accelerators, for angel investor, Matt, all come together on this same loan to kind of spread out the risks, as well as still have access to the same profits. I hate to say it like that, but profits as they would if he’s a business owner.
Matt DeCoursey 23:29
Raising capital, well, you can’t borrow your way out of debt.
Jannae Gammage 23:37
Correct? Correct. So they’re able to spread out their risk. And that’s why lenders are like, we’re we’re all in you’re gonna show us. Once you’re gonna give us eligible borrowers, the right to choose a big value, yes, to, you’re gonna help us spread out this risk. And we still get, you know, whether we lend 100k Or a million in the million dollars, we get the benefits of lending a million, right, because it’s almost fractional. And three founders get funded. You got the right idea. You’ve done the work because you’ve gone through our process within the platform, and you’ve built that business where it needs to be and we’re educating you along the way as well and benchmarking the process, and they see exactly where you are. That’s a huge thing is founders don’t actually know how to communicate where they are in a way that a VC and way that a lender and accelerator, a funder period needs to see it to make a decision.
Matt DeCoursey 24:32
And I’m glad you mentioned that because let’s travel back right at the beginning of the episode, we’re talking about that. You know, and I’ve been publishing content about this world kind of I never really stopped, but there are people who are really bad at selling who they are. Yeah, and you know, me included. Well, here we are, and you know, well past 1000 episodes five years, 4 million downloads 194 countries less and still like, and this isn’t a problem will ever solve because these people inherently aren’t just great at selling stuff. But I’ve talked to so many different people whether the record button, their light was rad or not. And I’ve always asked at this point hundreds of people who do you get to pick the jockey or the horse? Which one do you pick? And so as jockeys, investors invest in founders, and founders don’t seem to understand that at some level, like you can have a great idea. But if you’re not, if you can’t sell who you are, and that you’re the right person to drive that.
Jannae Gammage 25:39
And we’ve helped with that, so you won’t get funded, you won’t get funded.
Matt DeCoursey 25:41
And that’s the thing and then don’t be afraid to sell your big vision. Yeah, you get people to come in, and they’re like, Okay, what are you trying to do? I’m trying to raise 50,000 bucks. For what? Like, I mean, realistically, like that, for some of you lessons, you’re like, Oh, my God, that’s my dream. It shouldn’t be. Yeah, because it’s 50,000 bucks, a lot of the startup.
Jannae Gammage 26:04
That’s like a monthly burn rate for new startups. We won’t even talk about those that are growing and scaling.
Matt DeCoursey 26:10
Yeah, you just made me think of a recent video. Have you seen my dad jokes about entrepreneurship? No. Oh, really? No, I published three of them. And I’ll tell you one, so you know, I was calculating my burn rate, and I wanted to put it on my calendar, but I decided not to because then my days would be numbered. Come on. That was amazing. Sorry. You triggered a dad joke in there if you want more of my dad jokes. Go to pretty much any social media that Startup Hustle is out or Matt DeCoursey is out. Yeah. I had a few of them. Do you know why the hat startup couldn’t get funded? Right? Because it was all cats. So having a hard time getting ahead of things.
Jannae Gammage 26:53
You gotta put some slang in their culture for that joke. Because their pitch deck was all cat will collapse below collaborate?
Matt DeCoursey 26:59
Yeah, why was the anti gravity startups pitch deck so compelling. People had a hard time putting it down. I go on for days. My goal is to become the number one entrepreneur dad joke teller, and you’re gonna see me on a main stage at TechCrunch and like two years with like a sold out crowd because entrepreneurs hear the dads.
Jannae Gammage 27:23
Oh, yeah, yeah.
Matt DeCoursey 27:25
Hey, I am a dad. Dad. I’m almost 50. That’s crazy. Yeah, I know. I look back and he’s, you know, 300 employees, and there’s only one that’s older than me. Welcome to TAC.
Jannae Gammage 27:38
Yes, that’s how it should be. Honestly, you need people that are gonna keep you moving the company forward. You’re old now. Like, you’re old now.
Matt DeCoursey 27:45
Okay, now, okay. But let’s, let’s, just pitch the reality. So when you get into that, I have a lot of experience. I have a lot of credit for Watson and I wanted to go out and get a business funded. I feel like people would throw money at us. Like, like, I could probably show up with a one pager and an idea. I’m just being I’m not. I’m not trying to be arrogant when I say that. And that’s a completely different reality than a new upstart founder. So when you go to TryForesight.io What is like, how, how are you? How are you in Charlotte making the platform? Because like I said, I don’t need I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles because of experience. I mean, Watson sold a company for 100 50 million bucks. And there’s 29 that might be all I need to know to write a check if I’m an investor, pretty much. Okay, so now we’re on the flip side of things. Yeah, I’m someone without experience from an underserved community. And I need to. I need to make myself look as great as possible. Yep. How do I do that?
Jannae Gammage 28:49
So we’ve incorporated something into the algorithm called founder mechanics that uses behavioral science to pretty much translate who the founder is. Their team cohesion fits how they lead personality.
Matt DeCoursey 29:04
So it does.
Jannae Gammage 29:07
Yes. Not your average personality test. I like to always say that.
Matt DeCoursey 29:10
Well, they actually help in my book, Balanced Me. There’s a whole section like there’s only one of the five sections is about personality styles. Your personality styles do dictate a lot of different things. It is a bit of, I don’t want to kind of like a DNA it is someone like so I’m like way high dr. Like almost like 99 out of 100, which the person and they tell you not to call it a test and assessment. But a personality assessment would tell you that I am an entrepreneur or a promoter. Those are literally the two things that get spit out every time.
Jannae Gammage 29:50
Those are good qualities to have as a founder, but also it is also good to know who you’re surrounding yourself with. So for me, like on our phone Under mechanics I’m an ingenious catalysts meaning big vision, I can push the vision for but if you’re looking for me to like execute, not the best thing, I need to be paired with a technical person architect, which is Charlotte, if you know Charlotte when you know comes correct. And it’s actually three, it’s like, it’s like Jordan Pippen, Robin, like you have to have the three.
Matt DeCoursey 30:24
Right but they didn’t want all those rooms. So that BJ Armstrong, who was like the fourth one that should have been in there, he’s an account manager.
Jannae Gammage 30:30
Matt DeCoursey 30:34
He’s like, you know, through your name will come through a silly account manager.
Jannae Gammage 30:35
Not a lot of turnovers. Yeah. But that’s your job to give the ball to Jordan and that you’re not Jordan.
Matt DeCoursey 30:41
Correct? Correct. That’s a hard dynamic to get, especially on a co-founder level. Okay. I love that. I absolutely love that. Because you Okay, so the reality is, we’ll just break it down the most simple type A and type B, introvert and extrovert. introverts have trouble making decisions, they aren’t necessarily great when it comes to public speaking. And they usually don’t like selling things. If you’re, if you are a solo founder. And you’re an introvert, unless you’re having a library indexing startup. Yeah. Now I’m probably not going to fund it. And I’m not going to be interested in it. Because my first question is going to be okay, I bet you’re going to be great at building the product, especially maybe like a technical product. And it’s going to be a product product product product. My first question would be, Who the fuck is going to sell this to someone somewhere? I would almost rather have someone on the other side that was selling a rickety product, that MVP kind of thing and fail the shit out of it. Go sell the shit out of it, which will then turn it into something that or at least they will be assertive enough? Yeah. Because I’ll flat out ask and be like, what sucks about this? Tell me. Yeah, I did a job interview with someone today. And I was like, I need to know that. If I hired you. You’re the type of person that’s going to hey, this sucks. We should talk about that before we post it. Because it’s easy to get around a bunch of yes, people Oh, yeah. More or to not ever sell anything? Oh, yeah, the biggest mistake in me other than a poor product market fit which overestimates your demand or value? Change was focused on the products. Okay, so we got the I love founder mechanics on that. Alright, so what else?
Jannae Gammage 32:29
Then we have financial modeling. So even, very, very. So that’s why we brought in the best two years ago, that was like a whole semester in college.
Matt DeCoursey 32:37
At one of the schools that I dropped out of I got to five, I dropped out of five. Yeah, but you know, should I count how many? I dropped out of five. Because in the fifth one, I was in the top 10 Doesn’t school, but I started my own business. And I was like, I’m learning a lot more from this than in the other way around. But now I really don’t understand what financial modeling is so I use a site called Live plan. I have no vested interest. But live plans. I feel like their best business plan builder is blah. It’s like, but I love the financial modeling component because it walks you through it.
Jannae Gammage 33:12
Ours is set up. Similarly. Yeah.
Matt DeCoursey 33:15
Oh, man, that is so helpful, though. Yes. Here’s the thing is, if you don’t have experience building, you’re probably going to build a laughable model. Yeah. Which when someone actually goes to look at it means you’re gonna get laughed out, which is gonna mean like, this person has no clue. And here’s the thing: any investor knows that your business plan is wrong.
Jannae Gammage 33:33
Yeah. And your financial situation, I mean, but it needs to, it needs to make sense, you have to have some of like, hey, if it goes this way or that way, now, look, this is why these kinds of tools are important.
Matt DeCoursey 33:39
So if you add an extra zero to 100,000, that’s a $900,000 rounding error that turns 100,000 into a million, and it throws the entire table off all the way down. And I see people do that a lot. Yeah, I mean, I’ve had people have, and I don’t do as much if not a big believer in the business plan side of early stage investment or pitch like I’m a one pager guy at this point. Yeah. Like I want a one pager.
Jannae Gammage 34:11
Honestly, I love talking to investors who are just like, hey, send me your one page or your executive summary. Yeah, thank you. Yes. Yeah.
Matt DeCoursey 34:19
Because you don’t know what the goal is to spark enough interest and create enough hype, per se, to get the meeting.
Jannae Gammage 34:28
Yeah. And what’s great about Foresight, one of my favorite features is that everything that goes into it exports into a one pager or full report. It’s no longer like these pitch decks and telling stories. It’s like, here’s the information you need. This is the way you need to see it. Here’s a breakdown of the team, why they are best to build this company, not just this company, but in this industry at this current time because we’re pulling in real data CBN site dyad, a startup genome whole bunch of data partners. We have a plant integration now. So we’re pulling in real numbers. There’s no, this is what I made.
Matt DeCoursey 35:07
If you’re absolutely not allowed an intermediary platform that makes it easy to connect your app to a zillion financials.
Jannae Gammage 35:14
Yeah. So our side or wherever it is.
Matt DeCoursey 35:18
They may use plaid to look at your actual statements.
Jannae Gammage 35:28
So which is not always, I mean, as far as financials isn’t always going to be great for early stage startups, but it is also the verification and identity piece. We use it for banks, lenders, and taking things and tasks that they have to do with people that really liked that.
Matt DeCoursey 35:43
Yeah, tangible. Yeah.
Jannae Gammage 35:47
Do they have a business bank account? Are they who they say they are? Okay, let’s move forward.
Matt DeCoursey 35:50
I’m positive that the last five checks that Watson and I have each written personally. We didn’t see anything more than that one pager.
Jannae Gammage 35:58
I don’t I didn’t look at probably sending my one pager over after this.
Matt DeCoursey 36:02
I mean, but I’m being serious. It’s like betting on founders. Yeah. You know, and like, and that’s, and they’re aware that we can say this. But you know, we just recently invested in lending standards in town. It’s Andy Callen back and lending standard.com. So I have a multifamily. They solve efficiency problems and get a loan for a multifamily unit. And it’s really easy to get a loan for a house or for commercial property, the metal piece in there is like so we’re doing the same thing.
Jannae Gammage 36:28
Yeah, but a very different PDF, but we did that.
Matt DeCoursey 36:31
Because, you know, like, that’s a client of ours. We’ve been open about that. But we see it, we believe it. You know, it’s great. Look, my point with that is don’t send me your one pager thinking you’re getting the check. But also, there are people that believe in founders. Yeah. You know, like, I mean, I can look at you, I can look at your financials, I look at financial projections. And the first thing that comes into my head is this is wrong. And I’m reminding myself of that, because it’s easy to look at the numbers and be like, Oh, wow, this has got $1 trillion worth of profit and years.
Jannae Gammage 37:07
And years. God.
Matt DeCoursey 37:10
Accident for quadrillion. Okay, you know, in five years, but I mean, no, the point is, I think people get overly stomped on that. Yeah. And it’s good to have a grasp on it. But man, shit happens. Yeah.
Jannae Gammage 37:25
So we also have third party verification. So, you know, you got the next piece.
Matt DeCoursey 37:28
The third part of the notes and financial modeling.
Jannae Gammage 37:36
Yeah, in the real time data, so the industry trends. Yeah, that that comes with the, I think the integration and up to third party verification stuff, like uploading your ID uploading your, if you have an LOI, you have to upload it, and then it’ll send an email to the point of contact, and they need to verify Okay, so it’s almost like having the blue check like next to your stuff. Like you’re not gonna say like, so for eight, it’s $8.
Matt DeCoursey 38:01
And by the way, people are free by the way, dollars a month if you don’t like it, don’t use Twitter. Yeah, this is free for free. I’m gonna Elon fan, mainly because he went into a business that was losing like a billion dollars a year. It’s like, okay, like, we’re not the federal government, which How do they do that? But are they primarily, I guess? So that’s how they do it. We’re not gonna go into that, make this a business and make it solid? And how do you make that happen? Here’s the reality, if you If your business isn’t going to make a profit at some point, you have a shitty business. Yeah. Like you can get away with in the beginning.
Jannae Gammage 38:40
It’s very interesting. They were public, still getting investment and just never making money ever.
Matt DeCoursey 38:46
I mean, but that’s rare. It’s the same. Yeah, there’s, I mean, but even think we’ll look at Uber, which was like, you know, also the same. Well, I mean, now they’re headed to profitability. Like they’re finally there. Oh, really? Yeah. But they had to make some tough decisions and stuff like that, but there are certain things that can get away with it. That realistically, listeners you’re probably not building that was like worldwide game changing technology that disrupted something that half of the world uses is here in Kansas City. We don’t take cabs and Ubers everywhere like I know the Philippines are fucking everywhere Bailey no one has car I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t want to drive it you know, and like they’re still cabs there, but they had so it’s funny because every country out there it’s called Graham. It’s not Uber Interesting. Yeah, it almost feels like when he shares Silicon Valley when he’s drawing when Jian Yang it’s like I’ve got Chinese Twitter, I’ve got Chinese they’re all kind of pulling from the thing. But yeah, but now with that though, that’s like transformative stuff. Yeah. And so you’ll see billions of dollars flow into that. I mean, I don’t even I can’t even conceptualize. I know, I would recognize the number 1 billion. I’ll tell you, I’ve been pretty successful. I have no idea what that would feel like. I’d be weird. I don’t even know if I’d want to be that rich. Like, that’s a different reality. You got to have security and you see Apple CEO decrease his salary by 40%.
Jannae Gammage 40:17
But he’s still paying to sell 49 million this year. Now that’s rich, rich.
Matt DeCoursey 40:29
I mean, I Yeah. That’s, yeah, that’s a whole nother subject to talk about now. In some cases. I mean, the issue I have is that Tim Cook wasn’t the founder. He didn’t. You know, he got later. Now, for co-founders. I don’t have a problem with high levels of executive compensation. But yeah, some people are okay, I applied when I applied for that job.
Jannae Gammage 40:55
I’ve seen it on LinkedIn before, I would like to apply for those jobs.
Matt DeCoursey 40:57
And also, if anyone can let me know what the easy businesses are, because let’s start some of those. I’ll start some of those with you. I don’t think they exist. That was the way they did it. So it makes them dad jokes.
Jannae Gammage 41:10
Haven’t you been on Instagram and tick tock?
Matt DeCoursey 41:13
Oh, everyone’s everyone’s so easy. Yeah, my doors go.
Jannae Gammage 41:19
Not out. make six figures in 30 days. Oh, my God, dude. By the way, that doesn’t happen.
Matt DeCoursey 41:23
People don’t buy into that. People. Occasionally, someone will say to me, Man, you’ve been so lucky. I’m like, fuck. I was not lucky when I worked 97 hours last week. So I wasn’t lucky when I traveled halfway around the world to go to my other office. Like, I am literally lucky. I enjoy what I enjoy. Yeah, it’s grueling. It’s a lot. I’m away from my family. And that doesn’t feel lucky. That’s my point. Like, I posted last summer where my wife sent me a picture of my daughter and she just got her braces on. I was halfway through my trip. And I just started bawling.
Jannae Gammage 42:02
Yeah, you told me.
Matt DeCoursey 42:05
Like, some of that stuff, you know, it’s like, Damn, you know, like, I don’t know, this is reality stands up and literally open handedly slaps you across the face as an entrepreneur and a lot of days. And that’s what you did for your guests. So series about? Yeah. Maybe where we can kind of suggest that we’ll put a link for that in the show notes. We have a little smart link for that where you can get to all. Was it three or four?
Jannae Gammage 42:33
It was three, three, and but it’s reality and mental health and founders. Yeah, it’d be it. Yeah. I think I hit the partner perspective, the VC perspective and how they view us and our mental health. Who else did I speak with?
Matt DeCoursey 42:44
You know, that gave me a really good idea. I think I want to interview a bunch of VCs and I need to get them in a very candid state, because VCs take on founders as different than founders to yeah, see?
Jannae Gammage 42:56
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Please let me participate. You know, I used to be a VC. I just want to, I’m actually a supporter of VC.
Matt DeCoursey 43:03
I think that if you can find the right people, then you can find amazing VCs, I also found some really shitty ones.
Jannae Gammage 43:08
So you know, but I’m a founder that fundraisers and operates in that space often so.
Matt DeCoursey 43:18
Okay, so TryForesight.io. I love what you tried Foresight, try Foresight. Try for there’s a link in the show notes. Like there’s a bunch of links in the show notes.
Jannae Gammage 43:28
How many links so many or too many times? Yeah.
Matt DeCoursey 43:31
What does this man like? This is so you have run another time with me after the first one. Right? Yeah. You recorded Are you? You were on after that first? You went straight to being a host? Yep.
Jannae Gammage 43:47
You know, that’s how I do.
Matt DeCoursey 43:50
Legs. Try out. A couple years later got the call? Correct. And you know, I’m in the big leagues. Yeah. I don’t try to look down from there as my coaches.
Jannae Gammage 43:58
I don’t know why.
Matt DeCoursey 44:02
Quick reminder, today’s episode of Startup Hustle is brought to you by FullScale.io. If you need to hire software engineers, testers, or leaders, that’s what we do. We have the people, the platform, and the process to help make your life a lot easier. And people asked me what we saw on Full Scale lot and I’d say peace of mind. Because, man, it sucks when you get people, and like, we take 30 applicants to hire one person. It’s so hard to get a job at Full Scale because we want to get the last piece.
Jannae Gammage 44:30
The course as you should.
Matt DeCoursey 44:32
We’re not the cheapest, that will be the best.
Jannae Gammage 44:36
That’s good. And I like to say that you sell peace of mind because, for founders, I need you to really realize you’re not selling a product. You’re selling time. You’re selling peace of mind, just want to sell rest. Like, what are you actually selling to figure that out?
Matt DeCoursey 44:52
How to sell peace of mind related to your product or service offering? I’m telling you, you’ll sell out, yeah, because that is a commodity that is hard to acquire. And as your business grows, you will value it even more. Yeah. Because, as you asked me when you came in, you’re like, how’re things going? I like the third gallon like usual. I mean, being an entrepreneur in a rapidly growing company like the US Mail, it never stops. The internet doesn’t close. I’ve learned maybe only two things to people like what you learn in all your years as an entrepreneur: one, there’s no such thing as a business without problems too. There’s no such thing as software without bugs.
Jannae Gammage 45:36
No such thing as a business without customers.
Matt DeCoursey 45:42
Yes, find customers. I’m out.