Fremont Startup Grind Digest: Bastin Gerald, Founder of Apptivo and Ritika Puri, Co-Founder of Storyhackers

Feb 23, 2017

Shilpi Sharma

Startup Grind Fremont Chapter Director

Startup Grind Fremont’s guest speaker in January and participant of our first 2017 fireside chat was Bastin Gerald, founder and CEO of Apptivo. Bastin shared his insights about running a profitable cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software company.

Since its 2011 founding, Apptivo has received many industry awards such as PC Magazine's “Editor's Choice Award” in 2015 and 2016, and was also crowned “Most Affordable CRM” by Capterra (A Gartner Company). Currently, Apptivo software is utilized by 175,000 customers in over 194 countries.

The event’s intimate setting allowed for a lot of conversation between the audience and Bastin. One key message that he shared with attendees was that optimizing operational costs and controlling expenditures is a formula to profitability for startups. This is the reasoning behind his decision to concentrate Apptivo’s engineering team in Bangladesh and plant the sales team in the United States.

A few of his other gold nuggets of information for startups included:

  • When you start a company, focus on finding a small, high-powered team to control costs.
  • Be judicious when hiring ad agencies. Know the results you want before hiring them.
  • Spend marketing dollars wisely. Make sure to invest enough in the product to get it right the first time.

At the next Startup Grind event we’ll be speaking with Ritika Puri, co-founder of Storyhackers, a content studio, media brand, and education company hybrid.

Ritika is a writer turned sociologist turned somewhat-data scientist turned marketer turned storyteller. She has taught workshops and served as a mentor for Galvanize, Lean Startup Company, Hult International Business School, 500 Startups, and Femgineer. Ritika manages Storyhackers with co-founder, creative partner, and husband, Justin Strauss.

Storyhackers is known for its engaging copy that makes complex topics fun to read, and helping entrepreneurs create functional, conversion-optimized content for their businesses. Storyhackers helps companies to increase qualified leads, improve the efficiency of their sales funnels, and boost conversion rates with compelling storytelling.

Join us on March 1, 2017 to storyhack your startup and learn how to create a company narrative that results in revenue.

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



Category: Startups

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Welcome to our blog – Takes from Silicon Valley East! Our view is slightly different here on the east side of the bay – from the Mission Peak backdrop to the advanced manufacturing companies that dot our boulevards. As we become more urban and strive to interpret the business issues affecting our innovation economy, we want to share with you our observations, insights, photos, arguments, agreements, inspirations and CEO interviews – and here on our blog is exactly where we plan to do this.

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