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Ep 58: Sketchfab Co-Founder on Building Relationships as the Key to Business Immortality

Ep. 58

Started in France, Alban Denoyel knew that the key to his product, Sketchfab, was its influence in the United States. Now a leading platform for 3D and AR models, Sketchfab got a boost while Alban was part of the Techstars Accelerator program. “I think having gone through Techstars really helped us get the credibility we needed to raise money with VCs as first-time entrepreneurs.”


Years later, the key takeaways from Alban’s time in the program still bring success to Sketchfab. Investors won’t just throw money at an idea; it’s about having a rapport, as Alban met some investors two years before they even wrote their checks. “The real key lesson is to build a relationship ahead of when you need some money.”


Listen as David and Alban delve deeper into having resilience and perseverance, switching focuses from building to monetizing a product, the struggles the company faced within the AR market and technology not being ready for their product, and how building relationships helped when Sketchfab was acquired by Epic Games.


Follow Alban Denoyel on Twitter @albn

Follow David Cohen on Twitter @davidcohen


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Ep. 61
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Ep 60: Stream Founder Thierry Schellenbach on Listening to Customers and Following the Metrics

Ep. 60
Stream might be a small startup company, but by listening to its customers and their needs, the company decided to launch a second product that helped it scale.“Focusing only on a single product, it was hard to go for larger channels that are not well-targeted, so we needed to have a broader product offering to really scale up,” said founder and CEO Thierry Schellenbach. “I think that’s the one thing in terms of advice for founders, I think you need to look at those metrics and we could have probably raised like an A and B rounds, like earlier on the activity feed business, but it would've been really hard to scale given the unit economics and where they were. So we ended up launching chat, doing well in that space, and then doubling down on like the A and to B. And I think that's been very successful for us.”Listen as Thierry describes the company’s coming-to-America moment through Techstars New York and moving its headquarters to Colorado, and all the support he received from business leaders throughout the process.Also, don’t miss Thierry and David discussing the difference between Europe and the U.S. when it comes to startup investing, how the pandemic changed how startups launch investment rounds, and how the role of CEO changes as a company scales.Follow Thierry Schellenbach on Twitter @tschellenbachFollow David Cohen on Twitter @davidcohenListen & subscribe to the Give First podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.