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Founders Everywhere: Evan Walden
Evan Walden is the co-founder and CEO of Getro, a platform that makes it easy to connect people and companies in your network with a branded job board and private talent network.
Welcome to Founders Everywhere, where we highlight the incredible people behind the companies we’ve backed at Everywhere Ventures, a global pre-seed fund supported by a community of 500 founders and operators.
Connecting people and companies is one of the most important tasks for venture capital funds and professional investors. Getro is a platform with a mission to accelerate companies and professionals doing work that matters. They help companies hire faster by identifying referred candidates from sources they trust and professionals get warm introductions to companies they're interested in working for. They want to help people find better opportunities through better introductions.
Co-founder and CEO Evan Walden is a two-time founder and his previous company, ReWork, was a recruiting agency dedicated to helping people find jobs. He and co-founder Raul San N.H. were interested in how they could scale that idea with more technology and spun out the concept for Getro. As they were talking to investors about the idea, many were interested in taking the product and putting it on their website. This includes us, as we use Getro for our personalized jobs board and we have a constant stream of opportunities available- right now there are over 500 job openings in our 200+ portfolio.
Why is Getro going to win?
We've been working in this space for a really long time, over 12 years now. We've been working specifically with VCs for about six years, so we know the customer really well and we're passionate about the problem. We're also willing to innovate in a way that other companies aren't. We're always trying new things and taking risks.
How does Getro inspire “customer love”?
Our customers are super busy; they have a million things going on, so it's important for us to build products that don't really require them to do anything in order to get value. We also have an amazing customer success team, so we've invested a lot of time and energy into finding folks to join Getro who are really passionate about the customer and really care about creating great customer experiences. That's a huge differentiator that we have compared to other solutions on the market.
What’s on the horizon for Getro?
This year the whole technology landscape has shifted fast, so one of our business goals is to get to profitability by the end of the year, which we're on track to do. From a product standpoint, we've found product market fit with our jobs board, and now help over 750 networks (mostly venture funds) collect and organize all the jobs in their network of companies. We're also getting ready to launch a new product, GetroConnect, which organizes all the people in the network of a fund, and helps investors making the right introduction at the right time.
Do you have any advice for other founders?
My first reaction was “don't take generalized advice.” One of the biggest things I've learned is that in the world of startups, people are passionate about helping each other way more than in other industries. Founders know how hard it is to build a company and are motivated to give back; it feels good to help. People always give advice with the best of intentions, but they may not have the same context as you, so it's important to do some investigation to understand what context the advice is coming from, and to ultimate follow your own intuition; you're the expert of your business!
I would also say therapy/coaching is one of the most effective tools for any founder. Managing your own psychology is the hardest thing about being a founder, and it's the thing that no one else can do for you. Success has lots of different definitions, but just being on the journey with quality mental health is so important.
Any favorite books?
I recommend 3 books that will send you down a rabbit hole of other good content:
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships by Marshall B. Rosenberg. It's a great way of understanding your needs and the needs of others, and making sense of why people tend to act the way they do.
The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and Kaley Klemp. It's a compilation of principles from other books I love and changed my mindset around leadership.
The last one is The Great CEO Within: The Tactical Guide to Company Building by Matt Mochary, Alex MacCaw, and Misha Talavera. Hands down the best book for any startup CEO.