Launching Shasta Ignite to help early-stage founders ignite and accelerate rapid growth

Posted March 3, 2020 by Jason Pressman

Helping founders has always been the cornerstone of Shasta Ventures.

Our team of partners, associates and advisors have largely come from operational backgrounds. And we pride ourselves on creating unwavering partnerships with our founders. We enjoy being in the trenches with them, understanding their core challenges, rolling up our sleeves and working to help them solve problems.

But the enterprise technology industry has changed, the world has sped up, and the need for deeper partnerships with founders has become even more pronounced. Across our portfolio, we have seen a greater need for advice and guidance on how to grow faster. We have seen others in the industry, mostly growth investors, provide a greater series of benchmarks (e.g. metrics and ramp numbers) to guide growth, but there is a troublingly large lack of practical information for founders that would help them actually hit those numbers.

We, at Shasta Ventures are proud of our history of hands-on-founder assistance, but we also know we must do more:

That’s why we are announcing today the launch of Shasta Ignite.

Shasta Ignite is a platform focused on our early-stage companies accelerate growth by applying best practices in sales, marketing and customer success. The platform includes a dozen industry expert mentors and teachers as well as content modules, events and workshops.

The program was designed in close cooperation with our enterprise portfolio companies, and we have been piloting it for the past year with Michael Lock, General Manager of Shasta Ignite and a former senior executive at Google Cloud.

There are four key things that our portfolio companies told us they wanted in a program:

They want practical how-to advice. There is plenty of high-level advice regarding strategy, leadership and metrics. But there is little advice about the best practices especially in sales and marketing that can help early-stage founders find rapid growth. So we designed Shasta Ignite to fill that precise need. The platform has 16 How-to workshops with another 50 templates that can be quickly implemented to ignite growth.

Founders also wanted the program to be customized. Each business is unique, and applying off-the-shelf advice or success stories from widely divergent business was not sufficient. That generalized approach required founders to sift through general advice for the occasionally useful nugget. We listened, and we’ve incorporated their feedback, creating a highly customized program. Our unique workshop format is meant to provide advice and best practices that are tailored for each unique business and enable the building of quick action plans that can ignite growth.

Lastly, founders wanted a program to be comprehensive, less ad hoc and more focused on the sales, marketing and customer success fundamentals that drive growth. So we designed Shasta Ignite around their needs. The formal program walks founders through a series of steps to ignite growth, including best practices sessions on:

  • Tightly defining your target markets and buyer personas
  • Sharpening and differentiating your company positioning
  • Designing world class demand generation programs
  • Optimizing product pricing and packaging
  • Assisting in hiring our sales, marketing and customer success teams
  • Defining your sales model and process
  • Developing your customer success program

We are very excited to launch Shasta Ignite today. It is a significant and needed step in our industry and we look forward to implementing it in the trenches alongside our founders.

You can read more about it here.