The Startup Growth

Pop Quiz, Monday with Jeff Wallace

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Jeff Wallace

Photo credit: Jeff Wallace

What is your job role?

Tell us about your company?
Silicon Valley in Your Pocket is a virtual, global acceleration program which serves as the perfect complement to a startup, whether it is at the idea stage, has launched or is somewhere in between. Our eight-week program helps startups in critical areas like incorporation, competitive analysis, go-to-market strategy, business modeling, deal rooms, and pitching. We can even track and report a company’s “9 key vital signs” for viability and investability.

What do you love most about your job?
I love working with innovative entrepreneurs from all across the world to help them take their ideas forward and, ultimately, into the market. I’ve never believed that Silicon Valley, California or the United States has an exclusive grip on creating the next wave of digital disruptors. So, I love engaging with global founders to find that “next big thing potentially”.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Being able to lend my experience, expertise, network, and knowledge to help aspiring entrepreneurs reach beyond even their own imaginations.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
We have a fantastic team comprised of 3 co-founders and an excellent team of collaborators across a few continents. They inspire me in their own desires to create this global platform that can truly support entrepreneurs wherever they may be in the world. We each take this mission very seriously, and each one of my co-workers inspires me to be the very best that I can be just so that I can make sure that I am carrying my share of the responsibility and so I never let them down.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Because we are a globally dispersed team, “normal” fun at work exercises don’t play out in the traditional sense of the words for our team. But, we all do what we can to stay connected with one another and be supportive in all ways possible. In fact, many of us have traveled to the locations where the others live and have had a blast getting to spend time together in person…and “yes,” I mean fun times, not just work! And to be sure, we have team members in South America, New York, California, Korea and more. So, this is not an easy thing to accomplish, but we are truly a team in every sense of the word.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Well, sticking with the globally dispersed team theme, that in and of itself, brings a host of challenges from geographic distance, time zones, remote communication vs. in person, etc. But, beyond that, we have startup entrepreneurs from a far more dispersed set of locations across the globe, enhancing these issues and making it more than “just a few of us” being remote from each other. And with this, sometimes we find other differences such as cultural, technology, connectivity, etc.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I think it is fair to say that by now we at Silicon Valley in Your Pocket have all more or less gotten comfortable, if not even somewhat mastered, working across geographies, time zones, varying language, connectivity, cultural, etc. differences. But, this takes time, especially in the sense that “teams” are critical to any business’ success, and a dispersed team not given the option of getting together in person to discuss matters around the conference room table, exacerbates the challenges. However, if you are going to be a business serving the needs of global startup founders across many geographies, be sure that your team reflects the audiences you will be serving. It just makes it easier, better and demonstrates our company’s commitment to not pretending that we know better here in Silicon Valley and will show you where you are going wrong. Rather, we ask you to join our community of global founders from across every region of the world to support and help one another bring their businesses to market.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
If the industry we are talking about is accelerators for startup founders, I will encourage anyone getting into this area to truly look beyond the confines of the local geography where they live & operate. The startup ecosystem is proliferating across the entire globe, and the entrepreneurs all want to find the best, most efficient path to market success. Don’t get caught up thinking that the “next big thing” is most likely or definitely in your own backyard. It might be, but be sure to keep the blinders open as wide as you can when searching.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: