Topics: Fundamentals for Startups, Marketing, Training
Early-stage companies should not use expensive channels like paid ads to attract customers until they have validated key metrics (such as customer lifetime value). This talk, given by Deven Soni, chairman of Snowball Industries, is about finding unorthodox and cost-effective ways to reach your earliest customers. These strategies work in nearly any industry, whether you are running a consumer products startup or selling software to business customers.
Deven is the founder and executive chairman of Snowball Industries, a national roll-up of HVAC and plumbing companies. He grew the company from inception in 2020 to over $30M in revenue and 150+ employees. He is also the chief investment officer at Tokens.com, a publicly traded blockchain private equity firm, and the chairman of Matador Gold Technologies, a blockchain-based gold platform.
Deven previously co-founded Acquira and Wired Investors, two firms focused on acquiring and operating small businesses in the technology and home services space. These firms acquired or invested in over 20 businesses between 2014 and 2019.
Deven also spent several years as an Internet-focused venture capital investor at Goldman Sachs and Highland Capital Partners where he helped fund several top media and software businesses. He was also an early employee at NexTag, an online shopping business acquired for $1.2bn in 2008.
Deven earned a degree in finance from UC Berkeley and started his career as an investment banking analyst at Lazard, where he evaluated mergers and acquisitions in the technology sector on behalf of firms like Microsoft, Amazon, and InterActiveCorp.