Ep 43: Startup Founder from Apprentice, Journeyman towards Master – With Neil Shah

PodcastEp 43: Startup Founder from Apprentice, Journeyman towards Master – With Neil Shah

Ep 43: Startup Founder from Apprentice, Journeyman towards Master – With Neil Shah

In this episode, Neil Shah shares his startup founder journey from apprentice to journeyman and towards master.  Neil shares stories about his first startup, a social enterprise; and then joining a corporate job, only to realize entrepreneurship was his path forward.  He also shares an early mistake – the right major, the wrong school, but really it turned out to be the right problem for an entrepreneur to solve.

We talk about: 

  • Are entrepreneurs born or made?
  • What’s it like to raise money and get a lot of new money to spend?
  • How to grow a business? Selling and exiting the business?
  • How much of entrepreneurship is self-made and how much is timing?
  • Is there a “standard” entrepreneurial path? Pre-seed, Seed, Round-A etc..? 
  • Entrepreneurial traits — connect he dots and spot the trends; so we know where to spend our time and/or money.
  • Building relationships and increasing the “surface area of luck”

About the Guest:

Neil Shah is a software developer, tech entrepreneur, and angel investor and has spent his career working with early-stage technology startups and startup founders. He’s currently the CEO of DC-based product studio, ThinkNimble, which serves as the CTO and technical team for startups and socially focused organizations. Previously, Neil was the co-founder and CEO of Aspire, which was sold to Marcum in 2017 after their Series A. He was also an early product manager at EverFi, designing and managing their Entrepreneurship and STEM education platforms. 

Neil is based in Washington, DC where he lives with his wife and his dog, Apollo. He serves as the treasurer for his local Civic Association. He was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper, was one of DC Innovation’s 40 under 40, and has served as a TechStars startup mentor.



About the Host:

Philip Topham is The Savvy Founder. Philip has an inquisitive mind and a passion for ideas. He’s impatient to see tomorrow’s future today. He helps technical founders build the business they want. He helps established businesses tap into their start-up founder to conquer a changing world.  With more than 25 years across start-ups and corporate roles, Philip has been everything from janitor to the Founder and Chief Everything Officer.

Words of Wisdom

  • Ideas are worthless; revenues are priceless; surround yourself with smart people.
  • Life is a journey – mole hills or mountains? it’s your choice.

Talk to The Savvy Founder:


Connect with The Savvy Founder:

Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/company/thesavvyfounder

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thesavvyfounder

Website – https://philiptopham.com


 “10 Most Fixable Pitch Deck Mistakes” https://pitchdeck.thesavvyfounder.com

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