Today’s guest is Fletcher Richman, CEO & Cofounder of Halp, a company backed by Techstars and Slack that makes an internal helpdesk to streamline workflows for the teams at Adobe, HomeDepot, SeatGeek, and hundreds of other companies.
Fletcher also helped found the Seed Angel Forum, an investor forum for early stage entrepreneurs and investors, and is a partner at Kokopelli Ventures, a micro venture fund in Boulder CO.
In our conversation we explore Fletchers path into the world of business and creating things and his experience running a social impact venture (Spark).
Fletcher received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering, Cum Laude, from The University of Colorado. As a student, Fletcher co-founded Spark Boulder, a co-working space for student entrepreneurs, which was supported by many community leaders, including Brad Feld and David Cohen, the Co-Founders of Techstars.
Fletcher spent several years working as the Growth Engineer for PivotDesk, a Techstars Boulder graduate, and as the Platform Manager for Galvanize Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund.
Fletcher’s Blog: http://fletcher.io/
Fletcher on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fletchrichman/
Fletcher on Medium: https://medium.com/@fletchrichman
Fletcher’s company Halp: https://www.halp.com/
The Seed Angel Forum: https://seedangel.co/
Kokopelli Ventures: https://kokopelli.vc/
Watson Institute: https://watson.is/
2:58 Fletcher tells his story and the story of his first startup – yelp for college campuses.
11:10 Fletchers strategy to get into the startup world – just test out startups products and send them feedback
12:00 His first internship at PivotDesk and his beginnings in web development
13:00 How he built a sales robot at PivotDesk and built the intern team
14:00 The beginnings of Spark, the social impact co-working space he founded almost by accident to connect Boulder’s University community with the Boulder tech ecosystem.
17:00 Fletcher tells me about his first deck and fundraise for Spark Boulder and why they went with a non-profit structure
17:30 The “Boulder Creek Divide” and how Spark Boulder was created to address it
20:53 Fletcher tells me about raising money and using the “sales robot” to reach out to the Boulder tech scene.
27:00 Fletcher tells me about his experience running accelerator programs out of Spark.
29:00 How the Boulder Denver tech scene works as a “doer-ocracy”
31:40 Fletchers thoughts on social entrepreneurship, Watson University, and the box of social impact entrepreneurship.
35:30 How it can hurt entrepreneurs to label themselves social impact entrepreneurs
38:19 Do you think it’s harder to build a social impact company than any other company?
41:00 Fletchers “Elon Musk” strategy to learn how to build vanilla companies first, and then use his experience and resources to tackle harder problems
41:50 Fletcher talks about the education strategy at Spark Boulder
44:30 All about Halp (formerly Bubble IQ)
47:00 The bloat at universities that Fletcher hopes to tackle in the future
50:28 Where can we learn more about Fletcher?