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The Founder Coach Podcast

The Founder Coach Podcast

By Dave Bailey
Dave Bailey gets up close and personal with scale-up tech CEOs so you can hear the unvarnished truth about growing a business. Dave is one of Europe's top CEO coaches and his blog, The Founder Coach, is read by millions of entrepreneurs each year. Now, Dave's on a mission to help other CEOs share their stories about what it really means to be CEO.

Listen in as Dave discusses what happens after you raise a Series A—growing the team, managing the board, and the challenges that keep founders up at night. Hit subscribe and get ready for some powerful conversations.
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What It Means To Leave Your Comfort Zone | Jacob Waern, CEO of EduMe (Series A)
What does it mean to leave your comfort zone as a CEO? Meet Jacob Waern, CEO of EduMe (Series A), a mobile-based training tool that gives desk-less workforces the knowledge they need to succeed. In this episode, Jacob talks about his experience reducing his team by 90%, explains how he raised while sick with suspected Coronavirus, and we discuss what it takes to build a strong leadership team. We also look at the tension between empowering processes and empowering people. Key links: EduMe website: Open job positions: Jacob Waern profile: Key timestamps: [01:23] What's the story EduMe? [03:02] What are common misconceptions about pivots? [07:43] What was it like to fire 90% of the company? [13:37] When did you decide to build a category? [17:00] What was it like to raise during Covid [22:57] How did you build a relationship with a Valley investor? [32:24] What system can result in a strong leadership team? [37:37] What's it like to realise the company can grow faster than its individuals? [42:41] Vulnerability vs. over-sharing Thanks to Andreas Schörling, Anders Nilsson and Pietro Bezza for their great input. Got feedback? Email us on And don't forget to hit follow/subscribe so you don't miss out on new episodes.
December 16, 2020
What It Means to Speak VC | Paul Ford, CEO of Acin (Series A)
How many languages do founders need to learn? Meet Paul Ford, CEO of Acin, a SaaS tool that helps banks manage their operational risk. In this episode, Paul and I discuss why raising money is like learning a new language, Paul shares how the army helped him become more resilient, and we talk about what it was like to step down as CEO of his previous company. We also explore how to find topics that resonate with end users. Key links: Acin website: Open job positions: Paul Ford profile: Key timestamps: [02:03] How did the army help you stay resilient? [12:42] Why did you step down from your previous company? [16:20] Why did you decide to raise a Series A now? [20:20] What was it like to raise VC having worked in a bank? [26:18] What are some of the things that you still struggle with as a CEO? [37:08] Dave describes the messaging matrix Thanks to Simon Ball and Rocket for their great input. Got feedback? Email us on And don't forget to hit follow/subscribe so you don't miss out on new episodes.
December 2, 2020
What It's Like to Raise 7 Rounds in 7 Years | Jack Tang CEO of Urban (Series B)
What’s it like to raise 7 funding rounds in 7 years? We’re speaking with Jack Tang from Urban, a website that allows you to book wellness treatments at your home or work. In this episode, Jack and I talk about investors that ‘simply don’t get it’, Jack shares the wellness rituals that help him manage extreme stress, and we discuss what it was really like to make cuts at the start of the global pandemic. We also talk about ways you can build trust in a growing team. Key links: Urban website: Open job positions: Jack Tang profile: Key timestamps: [03:14] What was it like to find product-market fit? [10:25] What's your best story about clueless investors? [13:29] What was different about your Series B? [17:42] What are your routines to avoid stress? [21:24] What was it like to restructure the team? [27:46] How do you build trust? [37:34] What's the future for Urban? Got feedback? Email us on And don't forget to hit follow/subscribe so you don't miss out on new episodes.
November 25, 2020
What It’s Like to Go From 50 to 100 Employees | Chris Edson, CEO Second Nature (Series A)
What's it like to go from 50 to 100 employees? Meet Chris Edson, CEO of Second Nature, an online weight loss plan that helps people make healthy lifestyle changes. In this episode, Chris explains why reaching 100 employees feels like 'going through startup puberty', what made his $10M Series A easier than his seed round, and how brutal honesty won over an experienced US investor. We also talk frankly about why it's difficult for founders that love building to step out of daily operations. Key links: Second Nature website: Open job positions: Chris Edson profile: Key timestamps: [01:48] Tell us the story of Second Nature. [06:50] What's it like to go from a 50- to 100-person company? [15:57] How much did you prepare for your pitches and how much was your success down to this preparation? [20:56] How did your Series A compare to your seed round? [32:29] What mistakes have you made along the way and what did you learn from them? [36:29] What advice would you give to someone pushing back against the CEO? [43:27] What's your favourite part of your leadership meeting? [44:32] What's something challenging about being a CEO that you've never told anyone before? A very big thank you (in no particular order) to Megan Kiely, Lorena Morais, Tamzin Foster, Vladimir Banovcanin, Fred Destin, Harry Stebbings, Rory Stirling, Sitar Teli, Matt Lerner, Tom Wakeling, Mike Gibbs, Carlo Bellini, and of course, Chris Edson for making this first episode happen. Got feedback? Email us on And don't forget to hit follow/subscribe so you don't miss out on new episodes.
November 18, 2020
Introducing The Founder Coach Podcast
Hello world! This is Dave Bailey and I’m the writer of the Founder Coach blog, which is now read by millions of entrepreneurs each year. If you’ve read any of my essays, you know I’m very open about the mistakes that I made when founding and building three venture-backed tech businesses. So I’m on a mission to share the stories of other CEOs that are also willing to be open about the harsh realities of raising venture capital, growing a team, and the mistakes that they’ve made—or are making right now. We’ll be focusing on CEOs that have raised their Series A. Why Series A? Well, there are many thousands of entrepreneurs that want to raise a Series A, and if you’re one of them, you’ll learn what it actually takes to raise growth capital from people that just did it. And if you’ve already raised a growth round and you’re scaling your business, you’ll hear from others facing the same problems that you’re facing—and maybe a few problems that are just around the corner. And for sure, some of these conversations are going to hit home. If you’re into entrepreneurship, the Series A companies I’m speaking with are fascinating to learn about. After all, there are millions of ideas, but only a small number have the chance to really scale. So join me and listen in on powerful conversations with scale-up CEOs where they talk about things they may have never talked about before. Hit subscribe . . . the journey begins next week.
November 9, 2020