Summary of Episode
#5: Steven “Steve” Edwards joins Annaka and Ethan to share his story as the founder and CEO of Premier Virtual, a SaaS startup that enables businesses to put on online career fairs and recruit new talent virtually. Steve walks us through the process of pivoting business models, bootstrapping his company, and building a software company as a non-technical founder. Additionally, Steve discusses the importance of mentorship and creating a strong workplace culture through servant leadership.
Steve Edwards is the founder and CEO of Premier Virtual, a virtual platform where recruiters can host online job fairs from the comfort of their own home. A self-proclaimed sales guy, Steve worked various roles in the sales industry and moved his way up to a VP of sales before starting Premier Virtual. Steve is also a veteran and credits the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division with developing his discipline and his approach to leadership.
Podcast Episode Notes
Who is Steve Edwards, and how did he start Premiere Virtual? [1:02]
Transitioning to an entirely-virtual environment and the benefits of virtual recruiting [5:22]
How does a platform differentiate itself from other platforms? Developing ways to tackle problems is key to creating something that is both unique and useful [7:40]
Improving user experience by actively seeking out user feedback and continuing to evolve your product [13:33]
A founder’s nightmare — building a tech platform as a non-technical founder [18:33]
Steve’s advice for founders: Have a software engineer on your team to help navigate the technical aspects of founding a company [24:45]
How much did it cost to develop your MVP? [28:27]
Steve’s tip: You can’t talk to developers like you talk to a sales person [32:00]
How do you know when to go all in? Making tough decisions and the importance of finding an entrepreneurial mentor group [33:28]
Why Steve choose to bootstrap his company rather than raise venture capital funding [37:26]
Resources available to veterans looking to start their own company [40:27]
Experiencing rapid growth as the world moves to remote work [43:30]
Building a work culture that supports and elevates team members [47:45]
Finding employees that will stick around and weather the storm can be difficult. Hire talent based on attitude and drive [49:15]
Using employee feedback to become one of the best places to work [54:30]
Servant leadership and the benefits of playing to your team’s strengths [57:54]
Coming full circle: Steve recalls having the US Army reach out to him in order to use Premiere Virtual with their new recruits [1:02:24]
What does future growth look like for Premier Virtual? [1:03:30]
With technological advances, industries are always changing. Take advantage of this to become the next industry leader [1:10:23]
Need some startup advice, or looking to grow your company and hire new talent? You can reach out to Steve at email@example.com [1:14:00]
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Premier Virtual is an SaaS startup that offers HR and recruiting technology for businesses, school boards, and even the US military.