Cindy Hess, Partner at Fenwick – Big Tech's Big Deals: Counseling the world's most influential technology companies
Even the most ingenious technologies won't go far without a solid legal foundation and a forward thinking framework that will help it scale, and this episode's guest knows all about that. Cindy Hess is a corporate partner at Fenwick and for over 10 years she's served as the co-chair of the firm's startup and venture capital group.
Over the course of her practice, Cindy has counseled technology companies on a broad range of corporate transactional matters. She's worked with a wide range of high tech clients including some of the hottest and most innovative companies in mobile SaaS and social media.
Cindy has had numerous industry honors, including being named as one of the Recorder's Top 10 Most Trusted Corporate Counselors, and one of the Top Women Leaders in Tech Law. She was also named to the Legal 500's Hall of Fame of the Venture Capital and Emerging Companies category. Cindy was the recipient of the Women in Business Law Award for Best in Technology, and the Silicon Valley Business Journal named her as one of the leading women of influence in Silicon Valley. She's a member of the State Bar of California and of New York. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton, and her J.D. from Cornell.
We sat down to talk about Cindy's incredible career working on some of the biggest deals in history, and what she sees for big tech deals in 2023 and beyond.
- How Cindy got her start with Fenwick (3:24)
- What Fenwick does and why it's different than other firms (4:14)
- Cindy's client base (7:58)
- The part of the practice that Cindy thinks is strongest right now (9:17)
- How Cindy got into law (10:06)
- Cindy talks about some of the biggest deals at Fenwick (11:19)
- The deal that was most transformative for Cindy's career (13:21)
- Cindy talks about her experience as a woman in this field over the length of her career (14:36)
- Mentors that have helped along the way (15:27)
- Cindy's predictions for capital markets in 2023 (17:08)
- Cindy discusses the findings of the latest edition of Fenwick's Silicon Valley Venture Capital survey (19:20)
- Cindy's advice to founders going through the early stages of development, and what to consider when going public (23:05)
- What's next for emerging companies looking to grow their business (24:16)
If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected].
Altri episodi di "Welcome to the Arena"
Alex Ryan, CEO, The Duckhorn Portfolio – Aged to Perfection: A generational journey in crafting brand legacy
31:23To create a brand with a lasting legacy, owners have to set and follow clear principles from the very beginning. Today's guest has continued to strengthen and grow their brand while maintaining those key principles. Today we're sitting down with Alex Ryan, President, CEO, and Chairman of The Duckhorn Portfolio, North America's premier luxury wine company, with 10 wineries, eight state-of-the-art wine-making facilities, seven tasting rooms, and over a thousand coveted acres of vineyard spanning 32 estate properties.Their wines are available throughout the US, on five continents, and in 50 plus countries around the world. Their stock trades under - not surprisingly - NAPA. Since 1988, Alex's visionary leadership has been instrumental in establishing and growing The Duckhorn portfolio from a modest 15,000 cases and a few million dollars in revenue to one of the most highly respected and fastest growing luxury wine companies in the world with multiple Appalachians brands, price points, and styles. Alex's story about moving to the region and rising through the ranks to his current position is so interesting, and it's safe to say Tom has been looking forward to this interview for months. Join him on this week's episode as he cracks a bottle of Duckhorn Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2019 just for the occasion.Highlights: Alex's relationship with the Duckhorns (2:57) Alex's start in the business (4:24) The Duckhorn Portfolio brands and products (5:15) Alex's path to CEO (7:52) How being on the production side has influenced Alex's approach to business (8:06) What makes The Duckhorn Portfolio unique (9:58) The company's distribution strategies (11:37) Off-premise growth strategy (13:42) Innovation and incorporating modern technology into the business (15:01) The company's total addressable market, and going international (17:02) Growth investments (18:26) The executive team at The Duckhorn Portfolio (20:23) Company values, and brand legacy (22:18) How the brand makes and chooses their acquisitions (24:15) The impact of inflation and the current economy have on the business (25:29) Alex's proudest moments in his career (27:28) Wine recommendations from Alex (28:22) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteThe Duckhorn Portfolio on InstagramThe Duckhorn Portfolio on LinkedInThe Duckhorn Portfolio WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected]
Krishna Gupta, Chairman and Interim CEO at Presto – Driving Innovation: Using AI tools to accelerate the service industry
28:34Recently, the restaurant industry has been struggling to hire new workers and retain their current employees. Today's guest is using innovative AI technology to deliver speed and consistency in customer service, and in the kitchen. On this week's episode we sit down with Krishna Gupta, Chairman and Interim CEO of Presto, one of the largest drive-through automation technology providers in the hospitality industry. Krishna is a founder and CEO of venture firm Remus Capital which he founded as a student at MIT in 2008. Remus partners with visionary founders and management teams to build technology businesses that rewire entire industries. This led him to Presto, which many years later trades on NASDAQ under the symbol PRST. Prior to Remus, Krishna spent time at McKinsey & Company, and JP Morgan, helping several Fortune 100 clients on billion dollar technology transactions. Krishna is an incessant traveler, and has done business across five continents. Outside of investing, he has a broad set of intellectual interests. He's conducted chemistry research at the University of Chicago, and in Israel. He produced a film on English ancient history, which is used at Cambridge in Oxford, and competed as a finalist in the USA Mathematics Olympia.Highlights: Krishna's start in venture capital and investing (2:57) Presto's products and their purpose (4:30) How Krishna stepped up as interim-CEO (7:14) What makes Presto services unique in the industry (8:05) The addressable market for automation (9:40) Automating labor and automation ROI (11:18) The journey to becoming a public company (13:33) Automation duality for customers and businesses (15:15) Collaboration with OpenAI and ChatGPT (17:10) How AI is implemented in the service industry (18:16) Current projects and goals for the future (20:21) Managing their P&L (21:21) Krishna's advice for beginner entrepreneurs (22:21) The state of human-machine convergence (24:03) What investors might miss about Presto (26:01) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteKrishna Gupta on LinkedInPresto on LinkedInPresto WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected]
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Sandra Campos, 3x CEO & Entrepreneur – Fashion Forward: Leading the fashion industry into the future
31:44The fashion industry is powered by the sometimes differing perspectives of artistic entrepreneurs and business executives. It takes an intuitive and bold business innovator to merge those visions, and lead brands into the future. On this episode we sit down with Sandra Campos, a board member, three time CEO and two-time entrepreneur and advisor. Throughout her career, she's built global lifestyle brands, and she's been instrumental in turnarounds, digital transformations, and innovative marketing campaigns, as well as international expansion as a technology-focused operator. She's the only independent board director at Fabric, a modular and headless commerce solution. She's also a board member at Private Equity-backed Daniels Jewelers, and Big Lots. Her retail career has included being CEO of Diane Von Furstenberg, president of a portfolio of billion dollar contemporary brands, including Juicy Couture, and Division President at Oscar de la Renta. As an entrepreneur, she created the first teen celebrity brand management company in partnership with fellow Latina, Selena Gomez. Together, they launched Gomez's first lifestyle brand 'Dream out Loud'.Sandra is an advocate for Latinos, and recently launched Latina Disruptors, an event highlighting and honoring entrepreneurs. She has received numerous awards, including Top 100 Latina Leaders by Latina Magazine; ALP'S most powerful Latina 2020 to 2022; Top Women in Retail and 2019 Top Leaders in Business, by Hispanic Executive Magazine.Highlights: Upbringing and entrepreneurial background (3:23) How Sandra was introduced to retail and fashion (5:20) Sandra's business mindset (7:44) Her first CEO role (8:44) Bringing together creative and business mindsets (10:18) Recent transformation in the retail industry (12:53) Sandra's partnership with Selena Gomez (15:13) Finding the right role in the fashion industry (17:50) Working on a Board of Directors (19:06) Sandra's experience working in a male-dominated and less culturally-diverse industry (23:16) Her new role with Fabric and Daniel's Jewelers (24:46) Latina visibility in the workforce (27:56) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteSandra Campos on LinkedInFabric on LinkedInFabric WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected]
Sean O'Scannlain, President & CEO of Fortune International – Reeling in Success: Utilizing tech to take the seafood industry global
29:18The food industry is a tough business that relies on tight planning and logistics, but today's guest has created a finely-tuned operation by taking advantage of tech innovations. On this episode, we're sitting down with Sean O'Scannlain, who founded Fortune International in 2001. Since then, the company has grown both organically and through numerous acquisitions into one of the country's leading processors, distributors, and importers of quality seafood, meats and gourmet products.Today, Fortune International employees over 1,300 people and is the parent company of Fortune Fish and Gourmet Fortune Imports, Chef Martin, Coastal Seafood, D'Artagnan and Lobster Gram. The company handles more than 15,000 seafood and gourmet products daily throughout the central, southeastern and northeastern United States. It's no surprise that Sean is well respected in the seafood industry. Among many leadership positions, he’s a past chairman of the National Fisheries Institute, and he’s a founding member of SeaPak group of seafood companies dedicated to driving continuous improvement of social, economic, and environmental responsibility throughout the global seafood chain.Highlights: Sean describes Fortune International's reach and background (3:04) How Sean started the business (3:54) How Fortune finds its customers (6:51) Industry changes, and new tech (8:43) How seafood travels (11:37) Using acquisitions to expand 14:20) Making acquisition decisions, and the finding the right fit (16:46) Fortune's most recent acquisition, and future growth plans (18:09) Direct-to-consumer project (20:05) The senior team at Fortune International (21:37) The current economy's effect on business (23:55) The company's total addressable market (25:16) Sean's favorite products, and locations for seafood (26:02) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteSean O'Scannlain on LinkedInFortune Fish & Gourmet on LinkedInFortune International WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected]
Tom Nolan, CEO of Kendra Scott – Bling it On: Building a Values-Driven Jewelry Empire
30:18In business, you have to want to win. But in addition to that, simple, honest values go an incredibly long way. Today's guest leads a company that is powered by that philosophy.On this episode we get to sit down with Tom Nolan, CEO of the jewelry and accessories brand, Kendra Scott. Tom leads the billion dollar business by balancing day-to-day functions and strategy with the integration of the brand's core pillars of family, fashion and philanthropy into every consumer touch-point. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Tom oversees the brand's substantial omnichannel growth, global expansion and evolving retail model. Tom has more than two decades of experience in brand building, management and results-driven strategic planning from a diverse range of companies, including Ralph Lauren, Conde Nast, and his own entrepreneurial endeavor, Prospect Brands. We had a great conversation about the company's humble beginnings and how far they've come.Highlights: The origin story of the company (2:58) Tom's background and career trajectory (4:02) The appeal of the Kendra Scott story and her as a leader (8:33) Tom outlines the company's brand values (10:43) Why Tom made the decision to join the company/the importance of philanthropy (14:36) The various tipping points in the company's growth (16:52) The importance of their relationship with Berkshire (19:29) Tom discusses Kendra Scott's creative approach to marketing (20:28) The Kendra Scott Foundation (22:50) The men's line (23:40) Tom talks about his leadership philosophy and the closeness with his team members (25:36) The company's vision for the next 5 to 10 years (27:08) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteTom Nolan on TwitterTom Nolan on LinkedInFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected]
Julie Smolyansky, CEO of Lifeway Foods – Gut Feeling: Building demand for probiotic foods
28:42A business's true test of survival is based on their ability to learn from challenges. By adapting to changing times, today's guest found a sweet spot in the market for their product to thrive. Today we're sitting down with Julie Smolyansky, who became the youngest female CEO of a publicly held firm when she took over Lifeway Foods at the age of 27 in 2002. Over the ensuing years, Julie has continued the company's growth trajectory with creative product development and marketing, bringing an Eastern European product into the US mainstream. Under her leadership, the company has grown annual revenues from 12 million in 2002 to over 119 million in 2021. During Julie's tenure, the company has expanded distribution throughout the United States, and has expanded their reach internationally. Julie serves as a member of the United Nations Foundation, Global Entrepreneur's Council, and was part of the 2015 Class of Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum. She's produced several documentaries, co-founded a non-profit test 400k, and she released her first book, a cookbook in 2018. On this episode we have a great conversation about taking over her family's business, the health benefits of kefir, and overcoming business hurdles.Highlights: Lifeway Foods' history and introducing kefir (2:57) Julie's transition to CEO (4:37) Gut health and kefir health benefits (7:28) The growing probiotics market (10:37) How the pandemic affected business at Lifeway Foods (12:08) Lifeway Foods' marketing strategies (16:13) Scaling the business, and future expansion (18:00) Manoeuvring in the current economy and supply chain concerns (20:26) Current products and new projects (22:20) Charity work and supporting Ukraine (24:12) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteJulie Smolyansky on InstagramJulie Smolyansky on LinkedInLifeway Foods on LinkedInLifeway Foods WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected]
John DiLullo, CEO of LiveVox – Dialing Up Efficiency: Transforming call center communications with cloud-based tech
30:25The success of a company can hinge on clear and accessible communication with customers. Today's guest is leveraging tech to marry communication quality with the ultimate efficiency.This week, we're sitting down with John DiLullo. John is the CEO of Live Vox, which is transforming call centre communications with cloud technology. LiveVox trades under the symbol LVOX. John is a growth oriented industry veteran with a track record spanning more than 30 years in networking, telecom application delivery and cybersecurity, including 10 years experience in multi-channel contact center and enterprise voice communications.Most recently, John was the Chief Revenue Officer at Force Point where he drove the company's worldwide revenue operations, sales, marketing, and business development efforts. Prior to Force Point, John served as the CEO of Last Line Security, a fast-growing AI-based network, threat detection company that was acquired by VMware in 2020. John holds two US patents and is a former Stanford University fellow. John and I had a great conversation about LiveVox's state-of-the art cloud data platform, hybrid and remote working, and the future of AI. Highlights: John describes his career path leading up to LiveVox (2:51) How the software works, and customer service (4:18) LiveVox's customers (5:59) How the software improves an agent's service quality (7:29) LiveVox's unique cloud-based architecture (8:48) Implementing the software, and transforming old systems (11:10) Employee retention rate and managing enterprise risk (15:10) Catering to customer experience (17:12) The future of customer service and how LiveVox will respond (19:06) How LiveVox uses and creates AI solutions (21:30) LiveVox's projection and growth goals (24:28) What investors miss about the company (26:06) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteJohn DiLullo on LinkedInLiveVox on LinkedInLiveVox WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected]
Sarah-Marie Martin, VP, Corporate Development & Capital Markets at Uber – Drivers of Growth: Changes and challenges from investment banking to early-stage companies
30:11It's pretty inspiring to hear from people who climb huge heights, and then go looking for even bigger challenges. And that's exactly what today's guest did.On this episode we're sitting down with Sarah-Marie Martin, who joined Uber in 2022 as Head of M&A Investor Relations and Capital Markets, after a successful 25-year career in investment banking. At Uber, Sarah-Marie helps optimize and finance the company's portfolio of businesses. Before joining Uber, she was the first CFO of Yumi, a digitally native, organic children's food company. Previously, during her time in investment banking Sarah-Marie was a partner at Goldman Sachs, and also worked at Credit Suisse for 20 years. In the early days of her career, Sarah-Marie worked in the high-yield and equity capital markets groups, as well as Latin American corporate finance. She earned a BA from Stanford in Quantitative Economics, graduating with distinction. And she got her MBA from Columbia Business School, where she was valedictorian of her class.Sarah-Marie serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of The Door, an organization that empowers disconnected youth in New York City. She's a board member of Easy Point, a pre-IPO shipping software company. And in her spare time, she's the mom of five kids.Sarah-Marie and I had a great conversation about her fascinating career, and the exciting direction that Uber is headed.Highlights: Sarah-Marie's education, how she got into investment banking, and what led her to Goldman-Sachs (3:16) What it was like being a woman in such a male-dominated field (6:29) Why Sarah-Marie decided to pivot after 25 years in banking (8:19) What the transition was like going from banking to Yumi (10:45) How she ended up at Uber (12:43) Sarah-Marie's priorities (14:05) Sarah-Marie talks about Uber's situation when she joined (15:37) What Uber's focus is right now (16:41) Diversity and inclusion at Uber (18:59) Sarah-Marie's experience at the World Economic Forum in January 2023 (21:34) Corporate employees driving for Uber (23:58) Tips for getting your Uber rating up (25:14) Sarah-Marie's top product recommendations for Uber (26:11) How Sarah-Marie balances her career with having 5 children (26:44) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteSarah Marie-Martin on TwitterSarah Marine-Martin on LinkedInUber on LinkedInUber WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected]
Robert Piconi, Chairman and CEO of Energy Vault – Fuel for Thought: Creating the Preeminent Energy Storage Company
29:46Renewable, sustainable energy has made strides in the last 20 years with developments in solar and wind power, but much of the field still struggles to move forward from traditional fossil fuels. Today's guest has broken new ground on a uniquely clean, and extremely effective energy technology.Robert Piconi is Chairman and CEO of Energy Vault, developers of sustainable energy storage solutions. Prior to Energy Vault, Robert was founder and CEO of Pantheon Healthcare Group, and he also served as group at the Danaher Corporation. His earlier experience includes roles of increasing responsibility at Fortune 500 public companies, including the Diversified Energy Group at Amoco and British Petroleum, as well as executive leadership roles at Bell Labs Lucent Technologies. Robert holds a BS/BBA from Notre Dame, and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.We talk to Robert about his early career, the energy storage market, and Energy Vault's huge runway for growth. Highlights: Robert's transition from the fossil fuel market to renewables (2:51) Energy Vault's story and services (5:06) How Robert spotted a gap in the market (6:37) Energy Vault's growth and expansion tactics (9:02) The Inflation Reduction Act and impact on business (12:38) How the unique gravity storage method works (14:25) Target audience and customers (17:29) Robert explains the business's economic model (21:46) Energy Vault's leadership team (24:10) The future of the business and new projects (25:49) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteRobert Piconi on LinkedInEnergy Vault on InstagramEnergy Vault on LinkedInEnergy Vault WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected]
Dr. Eddie Sullivan, President, CEO at SAB Biotherapeutics – The Battle of Biotech: Fighting disease with a breakthrough treatment strategy
30:26In healthcare, they say the only constant is change. Medical practices and treatments are always evolving, and today's guest is on the cutting edge of an exciting development. Today we're sitting down with Dr. Eddie Sullivan, co-founder, President and CEO at SAB Biotherapeutics. Eddie served in biopharma leadership positions for more than 25 years, and prior to joining SAB, he was CEO of Hema Tech, where he led initiatives to develop infectious disease, cancer, and autoimmune immunotherapies. A recognized thought leader in antibodies in transgenic animals, Eddie serves on the board of directors for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, he's earned two PhDs in health science administration and reproductive physiology, and he holds an MS in reproductive physiology and molecular biology, and a BS in Animal health sciences.On the show, we talk to Eddie about SAB's polyclonal antibody research, perceptions about this research in the biotech world, and the future of fighting diseases. Highlights: Eddie's path to the Biotherapeutics field (3:04) Founding SAB and the immunotherapy industry (3:41) How SAB uses cows for research (4:59) SAB's take on the COVID vaccine (8:43) Perceptions of monoclonals vs. polyclonals (13:27) Slow growth in polyclonal research (16:57) SAB's work on Type 1 Diabetes and other disease treatment (20:13) What Eddie is excited about in the future for the field (26:19) The biggest challenge in biotech (27:10) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteDr. Eddie Sullivan on LinkedInSAB Biotherapeutics on LinkedinSAB Biotherapeutics WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected]