Today, I’m excited to talk to Tara Spalding, the Managing Director of BoomStartup Accelerator.
BoomStartup is an accelerator and mentorship-driven angel-stage investment program for startups, which operates as an online technology-driven accelerator, providing entrepreneurs a custom business plan including business maturity guidance, investment preparation, and capital structuring relevant to growth, and investment strategies as well as a curated marketplace for services.
Tara is also the founder of Hen House Ventures, an early stage incubator that helps tech companies rapidly scale when entering massive markets, and is also on the board of trustees for VentureCapital.org.
Tara is the recipient of the 2020 Utah Business 30 Women to Watch award.
Tara began her high-tech career in Silicon Valley when she taught herself to code software and became the first employee, and eventually VP of marketing at industry leader, SugarCRM.
Her Silicon Valley experience included roles as CMO at GroundWork Open Source, VP marketing at Magnet Systems, and co-founder and CPO at BenchPick. Tara received her bachelors from University of Colorado, Boulder.
Tara starts with the speed round and answering Stephanie’s questions including her favorite junk food, vacation spots, and music.
For Tara, there were thousands of asks that she didn’t not even know she had the courage to do until she did it. The first time she became a cofounder with another person and needed to find outside investments. When she did it or helped other people, it came much easier than when it was her own. Looking back, she realizes she worried about the most goofy things, such as the color she was wearing.
The relationship she has now with their investor was built along with trust and credibility over time. When you find the right investor fit, there is no better relationship because they are on your side in multiple ways and offer beneficial suggestions and ideas.
Tara suggests to entrepreneurs: Look at it from the investor’s point of view, not the entrepreneur’s or their own.
What is important is getting a sense of adventure in how they want to spend their money and see the returns. For those looking for money, it needs to fit into their investment portfolio as a person. Everyone has a different risk/reward appetite and that needs to be aligned.
You may want to know how you get an indication about the risk appetite they might have or how involved they want to be, and according to Tara, it is really tricky. Asking the question, three different times over a period of time to see if answers are consistent, is one method. Over time, relying on the network is important as well.
Tara’s company offers everything online at the moment but is piloting their first face-to-face soon. It is amazing how adaptive our brains are, no matter what the platform or venue. Right now, investors, and others, are more accessible with technology.
How does one refine their ask? Tara actually pulls from Stephanie’s play book and suggests coming up with two options that people can help you with. People can be successful making the smaller asks and building relationships.
How does Tara decide who to say yes to when it comes to sharing her time? Always looking for meaningful engagement with more than one person at a time.
When coming up with your ask, make sure to think of a couple of asks. If you get an answer, advice or introduction you need to follow up by explaining the conclusion!
Where can people find Stephanie? Join the Boom Start Up Community! It’s fun and easy! Come on in and have some fun!
Finance-Ability is a boutique consulting firm dedicated to helping business owners and startups find their best options for growth funding. Founded by financial strategist and transaction expert Stephanie Sims, Finance-Ability can help any business owner identify the right funding partners and get through fundraising as painlessly as possible.
Visit their website to take their online assessment test to help you find out which kind of funding is the best fit for your business right now. They also have a ton of resources to help you understand business processes and financial decision-making that can help you start and build your own empire so be sure to check them out.
Stephanie has over 20 years of experience having worked with companies like Goldman Sachs and CSFB. If there’s anyone with their heart in the right place when it comes to championing the dreams of small business owners and startup companies, Stephanie is that person. Let Finance-Ability help you get the funding you need and deserve to get your dreams soaring high towards your own brand of success.