The Founder's Foyer with Aishwarya: First-time founder lessons, marketplace growth models, fundraising
Ft. John Koelliker, Co-Founder & CEO of Leland. We discuss about new founder-ship, why it's challenging to operate marketplaces, power of coaching, side projects, raising capital from VCs, and more
Here’s this week’s update from the The Founder’s Foyer show!
When John Koelliker and I first connected, I was curious about how he conceptualized and kickstarted Leland while he was still at Stanford, and the way he was building a marketplace for folks interesting in picking others' brains (literally!). Being a first-time founder, John definitely leverages his network in a way he could help other founders and builders understand the basics of product-building.
Finding purpose from little projects and talks with your friends is always a fun thing to do. For John, this turned out to be a way of understanding how a marketplace platform for personal coaching is much needed—a side-project set him up for building Leland. As someone who earlier did a 1-on-1 consulting for folks, John realized product-izing his skills was the best way he could reach a wider community and help them with finding the right peers around.
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John and I discuss about:
Why entrepreneurship and the steps that led to this path
What's the difference between a side hustle and full-time foundership?
What John learned from his Stanford days about side projects
Finding the initial audience that believes in your mission
Building a conviction for others to trust in you
What's it like to build a sustainable growth engine for a product?
Mistakes: As a room for improvement for first-time founders
Product manager to founder: PM lessons that come handy
Successfully raising $4M seed funding and tips for new founders
Finding the right VCs who support your journey
Sharing lessons with fellow founders—a healthy community
Listen to our conversation as a podcast on:
Thank you, and keep your suggestions coming! :)
Have a great week ahead,