Mentor 500Startups + Techstars 100+ companies Managing Director Startupbootcamp - Ex display platform @Yahoo - Advisor Boddy.io, GoodAudience.com, Reedsy.com, Co-founder Milkster.com | I help with marketplaces, product, Ads, International Expansion
I've raised venture capital twice in New York, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Milan, Paris ($1M) and in the way I am getting smarter about leveraging customers & revenue to finance growth.
I've been starting companies as an entrepreneur and intrepreneur for the past 10+ years . I've built 3 businesses; 1 was a complete failure, 1 a success and 1 is in the making - with Milkster being my 3 and current one. I'm passionate about helping others build successful businesses and make a dent in the universe.
8+ years at Yahoo, done a few things; some useful, one turned into a $ 100 M line of business. Prior to Yahoo's acquisition of RightMedia I lead the integration of RightMedia's tech into Yahoo's ad stack transforming a largely under-monetized asset (pre-emptable inventory as it was called) into an **Engine of Growth**. Following the acquisition of RightMedia and BlueLithium I managed the roll out of the Yahoo Direct Response product across 10 countries (including Italy, Spain, UK, France, Germany). I moved on to kick off Yahoo's move into Programmatic buys, working with the world's largest Agencies to integrate RTB technology with Yahoo's media solutions.
I'm a mentor at Seedcamp, TechStars, TheFamily, Next Geneva. I've been applying the Lean Startup methodology and Customer Development practices for the past 4 years.
I have built two marketplaces (100 M $) and advised many more.
It's a very broad question without knowing what you are doing (market / problem / solution) and who is doing it (what expertise / skillset you have in the team). To say that you should have 5-10K in revenue would be wrong for a consumer app (like snapchat or frontback) but it would completely relevant if you were running a marketplace like etsy. What you do and how you do it matters. Showing up at a conference and pitch by-standers is most of the time not a good choice (especially if that's what everyone will be doing that). Investors take seriously founders who get to them via their network. If you approach Dave McClure at at a conference he might be polite to listen to what you have to say for 2 minutes but he has made it clear a number of times not to try to pitch him at events. Instead approach a founder who works with McClure, get his attention and convince him that what you do is awesome. Then ask him to intro you to McClure / in the meantime you would have also learned from such founder what are the minimum requirements to get any interest from McClure. Happy to provide more details.
Validate that there is a problem you are solving for both sides of the marketplace. Learn which one of the two sides is more 'hungry' for your solution. Then focus on the one side that is less hungry. It sounds counter intuitive but it's really quite simple. It'll always be easy to get the side that is 'starving' to use your product /service but not true for the opposite.
Example: UBER. It's pretty obvious that any taxi driver who'll be promised higher fulfillment rates (customers) consistently over time will want to use UBER. Their survival (pay check) depends on it! What's not obvious is that folks would pay a premium to get a cab under 5 minutes. Uber had to build the initial fleet of cars in one city but then the focus turned to validating that there was demand for the can-ordering service before scaling supply further.
Sal, gave great advice. Was clear and asked great questions to develop the conversation and provide me with additional insights. Awesome!
Sal is very knowledgable in display advertising and was extremely helpful.
Sal is extremely helpful, his deep marketplace experience is very valuable and he provides great insights
Enjoyed Sal's no nonsense and transparent communication. His advice was sound, helpful and smart. Looking forward to further prosperous sessions. Many thanks!
Sal is an all-around excellent business partner who is both tech savvy and client/customer focused. He is able to recognize the value of business opportunites and create strategies to utlilize all the tools available to him and his team. I truly enjoy having him as an internal client at Yahoo.
Sal is a very talented individual, and one of those people who have are able to take a true "helicopter" view of the business he is in. Whip-smart and clearly going great guns in his current role.
Sal’s commercial acumen and holistic knowledge of the marketplace set him apart from his peers. He has a strong ability to lead initiatives and projects for Yahoo. I find Sal’s transparency and feedback refreshing. Sal is easy to interact with and always available. I’d recommend Sal to anyone....
Sal is a no no-nsense, creative, ambitious, and focused digital advertising executive. Over the years that I have worked with him he has represented yahoo, professionally and profitably. I look forward to working with Sal long into the future.
Salvatore is by no doubt one of the most experienced European Leaders in the field of Direct Response and Online Media Market Places. He has a very strong commercial sense and possesses outstanding business skills to realize returns for the business he is responsible for.
Overmore he is a very pleasant person to work with and posesses a global business focus and understanding.