Interview: Google Alum, Upstart CEO Dave Girouard Leads the Future of “Pre-Seed” Funding

Learn why Dave Girouard left his role at Google after eight years, where he was President of Google Enterprise and VP of Apps, to help young entrepreneurs pursue...

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Best Success Story:

We just started funding our very first upstarts last summer so it’s still quite early and it’s important to recognize that. There are about 50 or so upstarts who are either funded or in the process of being funded, and there are 100 or so backers who have provided capital.

One of our upstarts last summer came out of a business school and had a startup idea that he was beginning to pursue. But he also had a lot of debt and some job offers that would’ve been really good jobs. He ended up joining Upstart, turning down the job offers and pursuing his business. A few months later he actually got his seed funding from Google Ventures in Boston. That’s a pretty nice win for him; he’s on the right path.

Biggest Startup Challenge:

The hardest part of building a great startup is finding amazing people to join you. Your chance of success is entirely driven by the quality of your team, yet most founders are so anxious to make progress that they sacrifice quality and hire the wrong person. We’ve said no thank you to hundreds of very capable candidates because we care deeply about building the right team.

#1 Tip for Entrepreneurs:

I think that the key to winning is to have courage, perseverance, and conviction in what you’re doing. Feel comfortable that a lot people will doubt what you’re trying to do and will call it into question because that’s the plight of every single entrepreneur out there.

Stay connected with Dave on Twitter.

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Photo Credit: Dave Girouard

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