In the fifth episode of the AI/ML leadership series, our own Rachel Kohn, a Principal at The Bowdoin Group, talks with Greg Segall, CEO and Founder of Alyce, the Boston-based AI-powered personal gifting and swag platform that helps sales and marketing teams build better relationships with prospects and customers. A serial entrepreneur, Greg’s goal in founding Alyce is to fundamentally change the way people build business relationships using corporate gifting, effectively coining the category of “personal experience” by going beyond the persona and engaging with the individual person. Prior to Alyce, he most recently founded and served as CEO of One Pica (now Astound Commerce), a global e-commerce agency. Greg also advises startup founders across multiple industries all looking to scale their businesses, helping to define operating model opportunities, risk mitigation and action plans, process optimization, technology infrastructure planning and replatforming.
In this special hour-long episode, you’ll hear more about:
- How Alyce is leveraging AI & ML to understand the whole individual with “5-to-9” information to create the most personal experience moment possible
- The pressures CEOs are under to accelerate growth in today’s economy
- Why brand authenticity, company culture, and your team are so important to building credibility
Additionally, listen to the key lessons Greg shares with the startup founders he mentors, including:
- Being open to and how to go about asking for help
- Avoid trying to do too many things with too small of a team
- Why the biggest and most powerful thing a CEO can do is to say “no”
- Create the safe space to allow people to fail
For more ways to catch this episode, check out the transcript of Episode 05 below:
RACHEL KOHN: Hello, and welcome to Decoding the Journey, a podcast where you’ll hear more about stories from the technology C-suite straight from the mouths of CXOS who built these companies. AI and ML have moved to the forefront in today’s enterprise software development intersecting dozens of ecosystems. And as executive recruiters working with the software and technology companies, we’re always curious to dig deeper into how C-suite leaders got to where they are today. I’m Rachel Kohn, principal at Bowdoin Group. And along with my colleagues, Paul Manning and Jim Urquhart, we will explore the stories behind these companies and their leaders, and most importantly, hear their perspectives to find out what’s going on in the industry.
Today, I’m thrilled to be joined by Greg Segall, the CEO of one of Boston’s hottest companies, Alyce. Welcome, Greg. And thank you for being here.
GREG SEGALL: Thank you very much, Rachel. We’re excited.
RACHEL: Wonderful. Well, so we obviously have a series of questions that we’ll go through to help people get to know you—help them get to know the company. But really excited to kick us off by just hearing a little bit more about you. And professionally speaking, where you got to where you are today.
GREG: Sure, I started my first company back in college, I was about 19 or so. Started off actually, as an art major—as you and I were talking about previously here, and then fell in love with computer science. And built an agency coming out of college, ran that for about 12 years—it was very focused on e-commerce. So, we’re one of the early risers in terms of the e-commerce. So, we built a lot of very large-scale infrastructures for you know, [unintelligible] and Scholastic. And many other companies, you know, as well. And ended up being lucky, sold that company in 2012, and then was looking for a new journey. And one of the things that really struck me at the time—actually just a couple coincidences. One was that—as I had sold my previous company, one of the things that really stuck out was that like—it was a fun journey, I’m really excited and happy where the employees ended up going there, you know, and what their professional journeys were and the stepping stones that we’re able to provide to them. But, at the end of the day, the logo, you know, of the brand was sort of rolled up into a bigger company. And all the work that we had done previously was also—it’s gone, right. You know, I think all those websites are recreated and all the e-commerce infrastructures were gone there.
And so, I was looking for a—more of a purpose-driven business to actually start. And one of the things that really also happened at the same time was I had my daughter. And you know was trying to figure out how do I actually make the world a better place. And what’s a business model that I can actually look at. Both with my e-commerce background, but also, you know, that we can take—you know, take forward here. So, you know, came up with the idea for Alyce. And the whole premise was around, you know, just the amount of money that’s spent on gifts and rewards and swag and meals and trips and events and tickets—so much is going to waste. Both from the planet perspective—you know, how much stuff is ending up in landfills and things that you don’t actually want. And also, just trying to figure out a business model where we can also have giving back, you know, be a core tenant of this. And, you know, there’s three pillars of giving: Make giving between people amazing; be able to give back to the planet; and also, be able to make—you know, give back to people in need. So, that’s the whole background behind Alyce and where we got to today.
RACHEL: Awesome. And so, with that being said, I mean—understanding the grounding of the purpose of Alyce being centered around giving. Talk to us a little bit more about kind of the company itself, and how all of that works and where you fit into the market.
GREG: Yeah, so the company—the entire hypothesis was around all that’s spent. And that when I’m investing—say, I’m actually trying to invest in you, Rachel. You know, it’s about who you are not about me. It’s not about me sending a—you know, a crappy water bottle, you know. It’s not about me, you know, sending quote, “chocolate feet to get my foot in the door,” you know. Or, for me—don’t take me to a golf outing, take me to something, you know, baseball related. Because like—just people are not—they’re thinking about it more as like spam—you know, spray and pray. Right? Same thing with email, same with LinkedIn messages, same thing with calls. It’s like, “What’s my activity number, am I hitting the activity number?” Rather than, you know, thinking about the quality. So, it’s always about quantity over quality. So, what I realized was that when you’re investing money between two folks, it’s really important that it’s about the other person. And when you do that, it changes and really builds the fundamental emotional resonance between two people. So, the experience of Alyce and the entire premise—which also feeds into the, you know, the business model of giving that I just talked about, was if I said something to you, and invest in you, right, it’s about you being able to choose whatever you want. And if you do that, now you’re realizing, it’s not about me, it’s about you. And now you’re inviting yourself into the experience. At the same time, I’m also able to learn something about you. And we call that the five to nine, you know. Which is like, you know, what is it about—you know, you’re going choose something that’s from a marketplace that’s about your kids or your pets, or your family, or your interests—your hobbies, or whatever it might be. That’s the whole fundamental, you know, basis of this. So, we focus very heavily on enterprise sales and marketing teams. This has become a really powerful platform for sales and marketing teams to be able to, you know, build relationships and really build bonds with the prospects and customers, and employees, and everybody else’s inside the organization. So, any place that you’re trying to invest—you know, invest in them, this is the ultimate tool to be able to do that.
RACHEL: And so, in hearing that—I mean, it almost kind of sounds like what you and the team at Alyce have created is that ability to almost kind of crack—kind of crack the code on personalization. And so, you know—and also, when you Google the term “personal experience,” if you will, Alyce kind of comes up synonymously with that in any type of search engine. So, talk to me a little bit about, you know, personal experience. Kind of how this idea came to fruition and the power behind personalization and how Alyce works with that.
GREG: So, we coined the whole, you know, category of personal experience, because there’s a couple of fundamental concepts. And what you’re starting to see happening in the real world—and COVID sort of exacerbating this right now, accelerating it—everyone is focused on one too many, right? Your marketers are about, “How much can I get out there?” Your salespeople are like, “How many activities and how many, you know, calls and messages and things can I actually, you know, send off to people?” And folks are just really reading through that now. Like, it is very obvious when you’re actually just being targeted and templated with something that’s just very generic. And there was no time and effort put behind it. So, when you think about personal experience, the fundamental concept is how do you take those one too many touches—is what I usually call—more impressions, right, you know, is the other word that that a lot of marketers use right now. How do you take those touches and impressions and turn them into moments? And how do you make it truly one to one? You know, you’re targeting personas, but everyone is an individual person. Drop the “a” from persona, and talk about the individual person.
So, that’s what personal experience is all about is how do you create a relationship on a one to one level with all the folks that are, you know, interacting between, you know, a customer and a vendor. Right? There’s many people on each of the sides of those of those coins there. Each of them are building a one to one relationship. Whether it’s your procurement person that’s, you know, interacting with their finance person. Whether it’s your sales rep that’s interacting with, you know, somebody that’s on the buying team. You know, whether it’s your CS team working with, you know, your users—there’s all these individual relationships—and the deeper you build those personal experiences. And the more you go and create these one to one moments, that makes that personal experience, you know, that much more amazing. That’s the fundamental shift, you’re going to see—just in marketing and sales and every other portion. HR, right, in terms of how you’re dealing with your employees, you know, in terms of how you’re doing with your partners, it’s all about quality. How do you scale quality? It’s not about scaling activities; it’s about scaling the intelligence and the ability to actually create emotional resonance and relatability between people. That’s trust. That’s rapport building, you know, as we get there, too.
RACHEL: Absolutely. And I mean, in terms of also, you know, kind of taking a step back and understanding the mechanics behind this as well. I mean, talk to us a little bit about how you know, AI and ML fit into the technology platform. And in, you know, and help folks who maybe don’t understand the story behind that—learn a little bit more about it.
GREG: Sure. So, in the early days—and if you think about personal experience, in general, just to bring it back—you have to understand who a person is. You know, what their—you know again, we always call this the “five to nine.” Like, you know their “nine to five”—which is their firmographics, their demographics, their technographics. You know, the things that sort of play into—the things that make their professional lives and their professional needs there. The “five to nine” is all about that individual-ness—in terms of who is that person as a whole person. Because that is where you can actually build that—you know, that connection with those individual folks. So, the first piece of this was, how can we scale the ability for quality. And where you bring AI and ML into that, specifically, is how can I actually look across the entire, you know, web sphere of publicly available information. Be able to aggregate all that information. Be able to then say, “Here is who this person is.” Based on, you know, what they’ve post on social media. Based on what articles they’ve wri-you know—written. Based on anything that’s in—you know, specific, you know—blog posts they might have written. Corporate website bios. And all of a sudden being able to aggregate that and then being able to, you know, to translate that into, you know, very specific, “five to nine” information that’s there.
And then using that, to then tell you, “Well, what’s the best thing to invest into this specific person?” What’s something they would actually want? Still knowing that they have the chance to choose whatever they want in the end, but that shows and that scales the quality. Because the hardest thing right now to do is to be able to go online and be able to actually like come into—you know, come into a meeting or come into any sort of situation and be able to actually have a sense of who this person is. So, stop talking about the weather, start talking about their kids, you know. Or stop—you know, start thinking about other things that are really important to them as individual people. So, the ML and the AI side comes into play at the beginning of the process. How do we find out who this person is? How do we make sure that we’re translating all this information into—into true interest data and hobby data and—you know, “five to nine” information that’s there? And then also comes into play in terms of like—what gifts are we recommending? What things are we—what investments are you looking to make into these specific individual people that you’re trying to build these relationships with as well?
RACHEL: And that just adds such a layer of authenticity. And I know that that’s something you and I have talked about as well—as you know, when we think about personalization, the only way that it works is if it actually feels authentic. And it doesn’t feel like BS. And so, in thinking about—you know, how do you level up the quality of this? Is ultimately going to potentially minimize the number of touches or impressions that you might need to have until you get your meeting. And—you know, and really think about, you know, how do you execute and scale and move business in a completely different manner. Because you’re doing the right things at the forefront. So, I think—I really appreciate that idea of how do you think about doing this quicker, better, faster? And with a level of authenticity that is really meaningful to people.
GREG: Yeah. I think your—one thing to dig in a little bit on is personalization. I have a very adverse reaction to the word. Because if you think of personalization—the holy grail of it for, you know, attorneys since has been talked about in marketing—and almost every single industry. It’s—it’s really about how you take data, and then drive somebody through a buying journey. That’s what personalization is. So, take examples—let’s go to the B2C world. Amazon is able to say, “Here’s what we think you’re going to need next.” Right, because they know so much about your buying history—here’s some of the information and here’s what you should add to your cart. And here are the things that, you know—recommendations and other stuff that they’ll actually use, you know, against that. Netflix will tell you, “Hey, here’s some other movies that you might actually want to watch next.” Based on, you know, all the history that you’ve actually used. And again, it keeps getting better and better. And that’s where AI and ML, you know, comes in really handily there. But that’s taking you through a buyer’s journey. Meaning usage journey, or utilization journey, or you know, purchase journey—that’s there. There’s a big difference between—and this is why we didn’t call it personalization experience; we call it personal experience. Personalization, again, is about the data you can use in that case. Personal is the missing piece where you’re building emotion into that—which humans have to do. Humans connect on an emotional level. You cannot use personalization in the current stage of the world—and where technology is right now—to actually, you know, scale authenticity. And scale the ability to be personal, you have to understand how to use, you know, emotive, you know, resonance and all the other aspects around that, that humans know how to do. And, you know, humans know how to actually, you know, interact with—to be able to create that relatability that’s around there. How to take the situation and take data and use it to build emotional resonance. Versus just driving somebody through the buyer’s journey.
So, when you look at those two categories there, AI and ML is being—has very heavily been invested in personalization. In B2C, it works well because you have a ton of data, and you can sort of drive them through that buyer’s journey—great. In B2B much harder, because your data sets are much smaller. So, you have to be thinking about how am I actually using technology to automate intelligence, not just automate activities. And you’re starting to see a lot of companies starting to recognize this, right? Which is like—and you know talking about AI and ML—it’s not about the data, it’s about the empowering of the data. It’s about how you take those models and how you take you know, artificial intelligence and ML, to help you extrapolate the ability to prove value and provide value. And in our specific case—like the value is there in terms of the buyer’s journey, you know—the personalization side. But not in terms of personal experience. Personal experiences in the early, early days right now. Where we feel like we have a platform that’s able to help you scale the intelligence, of emotional resonance, and do that at scale. And now you’re saving a ton of time and can shortcut a lot of that stuff while being authentic. And we’re using investments to be able to actually, you know, facilitate that process.
RACHEL: I appreciate your kind of—peeling that back a little bit more, like going to the nuances of personalization versus personal experience. Is that is—that’s key, right? This idea that humans have to be a part of this equation on—the technology can only get us to a certain point. And then humans have to pick it up and really leverage what they know to form and build those connections. Where I’d like to take us next as we think about the personal experience—and we’ve talked about the gifts that people can receive—I will say if someone sent me chocolate feet, I would think I would be terrified. (laughing) That being said, I know that one of the gifts that is an option that’s available on the Alyce platform is the ability to give a donation potentially to a charity that really resonates with that individual. So, curious to kind of hear—you know, one the reasoning behind why this became, quote unquote, “one of the gifts.” And you know, and also potentially how you and your customers are seeing the social impact be even kind of greater now than ever before.
GREG: So, the donation aspect was right from the beginning. So, go back to the DNA of our conversation. Starting there was—if you go back to the three pillars of giving was always how do we figure out how to take, you know, this like half a trillion to a trillion dollars a year that’s being spent on all these different categories, and stop the waste and give it to people that actually need it. Especially because there’s so many people—and right now which we’ll go into where we just seeing the acceleration of, you know, people’s, you know, selflessness. You know, in terms of how they view their—the things that they need or the things they want versus the ability to actually get back. So, the whole platform from the fundamental business model was always to have donations as a core piece of that. And what we started with was the first three—top 300 charities, you know, that were out there, and we basically went out, and were like, “Hey, let’s go and, you know, allow those to be the places where you can actually donate.” Highly, you know, qualified charities—you know, 501 (c)(3)s. And that’s been—that was a huge early win for us, in terms of making sure that business model was a piece of that. And we also started to see that. It also was, you know, it was about 11% of the gifts that we sent off and 11% of the spin that was going through the platform was being donated. Which is amazing. Because if you take that—and then again, carry that through the lifespan of this—of the company here. You know, we get to 1,000 customers, and we’re on our way to that, you know, right now—it’s like, we will be the largest charity by 100 million dollars. By just keeping that same ratio going. So, when I talk about—you know, and I mentioned before, but, you know, having my daughter, you start to realize—and having kids, you start to realize the world’s not about you anymore. The world is about how would you make the world a better place for her, you know. And that’s all I ever think about is—how do you make her life better? How do you make sure that that you’re leaving the world in a better place as you—as you leave? And, you know, the whole giving back was just like, such a—like, I wanted to create a company which is going to have this massive impact, you know, at the end of the day here.
So, as you take the second part of your question—which is how we’ve seen that continue to carry through, and the trends. Donations have just skyrocketed, you know, in terms of the types of gifts that are being sent and more importantly, because somebody gets the option to actually, you know, choose what they want to actually do with the gift itself. Donations have like skyrocketed from like, 11%, to like, 30%. You know, it’s been pretty crazy to see, like, just the amount of folks that are doing that. And we’re doing more donation-led campaigns. Because, you know, it also fits more into the—into the, you know, the brands and you know, a lot of the companies and the customers we’re working with. That’s just more of the DNA and that’s just more where everybody is trying to move towards. And it also shows—again, selflessness, and it also is something which you know—which has a really solid—both social impact, but also just emotional impact. You know, behind how you’re doing that. Especially if we can also see like somebody is on the board of a charity through our AI and ML, and then you donate to that specific board or charity—holy cow, like that’s the that’s the game winner, you know, right there. When you’re actually seeing like—the person is actually, you know, philanthropic and have a connection to something like that.
RACHEL: Awesome. And I guess to talk a little bit more about Alyce as a business, right. And you mentioned it kind of just in your previous answer, right, well, on your way to 1,000 customers. Talk to us a little bit about how the business overall is doing and what you’re focused on at the moment.
GREG: There’s like two trends that have really helped accelerate where we are right now as a business. And, you know, COVID was one of these things where you just don’t know, right. You know what’s going to happen with the industry, you don’t know what’s going to happen with the markets, and you have to be smart as a CEO. And I it’s funny—a couple of folks I’m advising right now, and, you know, a bunch of my friends have been talking about this from, you know, from a CEO level. Typically, less CEOs to make like two to three really big decisions a year, right? You know, and in COVID’s time, it’s been like, saying—maybe it’s been 12, maybe it’s been 15, you know, big decisions. Where you’re just like, “I hope it’s the right thing, let’s go.” You got to go with your hunch, and you got to make quick movements and go. And right in the beginning of COVID, in what—you know, just to take a step back, our platform’s a very digital, you know, first platform, right? Again, this is the difference in the approach we take is—it’s not a logistics problem, stop sending things to somebody—because most of the time—90% of time, they don’t want that stuff. They don’t want the chocolate feet, right? You know, they don’t want the-you know-th-the-you know—water bottle or whatever they might be sending them, you know, that just appears on their doorstep. You know, or whatever it is. It’s like it—there’s a fundamental different approach that we just take to the market.
So, because that whole experience is digital, we switched and pivoted the company to be much more focused on digital transformation. And how would you take the existing digital channels and make them more personal. Like—and that is—that is it in a nutshell. Whether it be video, whether it be you know, LinkedIn, whether it be email, whether it be you know, texting, whatever it might be. You have the ability now to take the “five to nine” and be able to actually use that as a huge accelerator for your ability to scale authenticity in a market right now. That’s roth with—you know, or like, you know—fraught with—just such like nepotism. And you know—just like clutter and noise and you know, things where people just don’t really—really are taking—they aren’t taking two seconds, you know, of time to actually respect somebody else in terms of how they’re actually reaching out to them. You know, as well.
So, you know, that’s been really good for us, because, you know, back in March, April timeframe, that was when we made that change. And, you know, because our customers are, you know, much more larger enterprise organizations, they have doubled and tripled and quadrupled down on Alyce. Because this has become their leading way of changing their approach and it affects all the other channels that they’re actually working around there as well. So, it’s helped us in a lot of those cases, because events got canceled—all the face to face stuff got canceled, and you’re like, “Well, how do I get to know who this person is?” How do I relate to that? Especially for companies that have like a heavy in-person sales process—you know, with a lot of these cases. I mean, it-it’s scary, you know. But what we’ve learned—and there was a few posts I saw LinkedIn over the past, you know, week or so—like sales cycles are actually getting cut down shorter. Because you’re not dealing with the in-person and you’re also able to use digital, you know, platforms like ourselves to change the fundamental approach that sales and marketing is taking towards, you know, their customers. And their prospects and what not there too.
RACHEL: And so, to build off of that, in terms of kind of how you’re helping your customers, I’ve seen, you know, especially over the last, you know, two, three weeks—a variety of things pop up on LinkedIn related to University. A new initiative that you’re doing. And I see virtually, that you’re wearing a shirt reflecting that same logo. So, talk to us a little bit about this initiative—what you have planned, and a little bit of the history behind it.
GREG: Yeah, I think there’s two things—there’s Universe, and then there’s University, right? So, universe, again—this is why we always say it’s all about you, right? It’s not about me, it’s about you. Like, that’s the entire—if you look at the approach, that’s all you have to be thinking about. Stop selling to me, like, you know, I’m a robot. You know—it’s like if everybody—every seller and every marketer just thought about, like how I would want to be marketed to—you know, meaning them, flipping it around—it would fundamentally change their approach. Right, they’d be thinking about this in terms of less about tactics, and more about approach and how they’re actually, you know, continuing to evolve that as we go. And we’ll see that’s going to have to—it’s going to have to happen. Because otherwise, it’s just too much noise and there’s too much stuff in the system there. So, Universe was the first conference that we put on—and we put that on back in, you know, right in the beginning of COVID. Which was aptly timed. It was a digital-first, you know, conference that we basically flipped overnight, honestly. Because there was a whole bunch of physical in-person events that we were going to do. And the whole concept was how do we mix the “nine to five” and the “five to nine?” And how do we take and create a digital event that is not only built around, you know, the “nine to five”—in terms of like, well, how can you use Alyce better, right? And, you know, how does how does this fit in? But it was the launch of personal experience, and we wanted to live it and breathe it. So, we had, you know, four days of sessions, you know, in terms of how PX fits into all the different use cases across business. Sales, marketing, customer success, customer experience, you know, and whatnot. And the other—the other portion of it was that we ended up having both—some of our customers and also, you know, other, you know, very well- known folks in the marketing and sales arena, actually teach one of their hobbies. So, we did like mixology. We did like a yoga class. You know, we did, you know, a kid’s book reading, you know, through that. We did a kid’s drawing session, you know, through that whole entire process. And, you know, that’s the “five to nine.” We live it, we breathe it internally at Alyce, you know. And if we do that, internally, we live by those values, internally, it’s very easy to actually show that externally. Which is what most people—most people can see when they look at the company. You know, from an outward perspective, it’s very authentic. And like, if we’re trying to preach authenticity, you got to breathe it from the inside there, too.
So, Universe was the conference. University is the is the follow up to that right now, which is the entire knowledge assets, you know. And how you can actually learn about personal experience and how you can actually drive this through, you know, your business—as you go through here, and how you merge the “five to nine” into everything that you’re doing. You know, throughout your outreach journey, and everything else you’re doing from a marketing and sales perspective. So, that’s the—that’s University. You know, there’s a lot of fun videos, there’s a lot of things that we do in there—we’re trying to take, like a much more, you know—personal approach, you know, to everything that we’re doing there. And this is just the ideal way for our customers and everybody to start realizing and recognizing how you act on this stuff. How you become tactical with how you actually execute. Rather than just—you know, preaching like thi-this theory—which is what it probably sounds like right now. And instead get down to like, very brass tacks on how you can actually execute this and take a maturity curve to actually truly creating personal experiences inside of business.
RACHEL: And also, you know, for anyone who’s curious and learning more about it, right—obviously, you can go to the Alyce website and learn a lot more about it. I also recommend just kind of scrolling through LinkedIn—looking at folks who work at Alyce, and all of the photos that they posted—including you Greg of—that are that are a little bit kind of vintage. Whether they’re from high school, whether they’re from college. Or childhood. There are some excellent photos that are associated along with the University initiative as well.
GREG: You’re suppose to have fun in business, you know. I think that’s the thing that folks have just missed out on right now is that—you know, we’re getting very deep on like ML and AI and stuff and, you know—the hardcore, you know, aspects. Or tactical aspects of the business right now. But, you know, if you have fun and you’re being authentic, and you can—your people are a leverage of your brands, right. Or your people are the reflection of your brand. And what we’re trying to do is—we’re trying to be, you know—evoke and show how you do this. So, the, you know—the example you’re talking about right now was, you know, an idea that came up which is like—well, it’s back to school. It’s kind of a weird time. Why don’t we just actually, like, have University be, you know, back to school. And so, the whole entire theme was about you know, all of our old, you know, awesome laser background, you know, school pictures. And you know—and all the things that we were doing. And just, you know, just live and breathe how, you know, folks need to actually be moving their own—you know, perspective and approach in, you know, their market. And how they’re actually building these one to one relationships with everybody that they’re that they’re doing in business. I mean, that’s— you’ve got to be personal. Personal is the missing piece right now in business. And you have to—you have to do it now in there. And there are some people that don’t like to be super personal, but you can always find a nut to crack there, that will open somebody up, and now you’ve just built trust for a lifetime. You know, around that. And that’s, that’s the really big thing that people—if you take away anything from this, like—that’s a really, really big point. That you’re going start to see how business is fundamentally going to, you know, shift over the next couple of years as things continue to progress.
RACHEL: And so, in terms of kind of thinking about, you know, the piece that you mentioned, right, around breathing the authenticity and kind of weaving that through everything that you do within the company and within all of the folks at Alyce. I think that’s kind of—that’s come through as we’ve seen Alyce make the list of the top 50 startups, be named one of the best places to work. Um, talk a little bit about that, you know, as it relates to, you know—what you’re proudest of with the company, and, you know, what do you think really kind of shines through that grabs the attention of folks and gets you repeatedly on a lot of these lists?
GREG: Yeah, you know, it’s—it’s funny, I think, in my twenties—just getting a little raw here. But like, in my twenties, you know, you have a little bit more ego, and you think that just like, you know, “Who paid to be on these lists?” And all this type of stuff. And you know, what’s been really nice about these is that we haven’t really done any of that. It was that—you have to put in the work, and you have to actually do it authentically in the beginning and that—people take notice of that. And, you know—listen, we have a really, really, you know, amazing and special combination of business model, right. Which is also very timely. And also, is very, you know, targeting, like being good—and it’s like a social mission behind the whole entire thing. It helps us attract talent and it also helps us, you know, bring in folks that are also living and breathing those values. Which then makes it even more authentic. And that sort of builds on top of it. It also allows us to have those types of folks actually connecting with our customers who also are those types of people, right. You know, because that’s that-they—customers are buying into our approach and who we are, and what we’re actually, you know, providing to them from a value perspective.
And—so if you say what I’m most proud of, the thing I really always loved about my previous business was the people, right. It was always the employees. It was the—it was the relationships I was creating with those folks. It was the personal connection I had. And even going back to my previous business, you know, talking about the “five to nine”—like our business cards, we found these, you know, from like, the early 20—you know, 2000s. Where we actually used to have fun facts about people on the back. So, I’m like, “Oh, you know what, I actually already had this idea.” You know, like 12 years ago, why didn’t I just think of, you know, doing it then. But you know—it’s just funny how you how you start to start to come around.
So, in this specific business, you know—and you know, landing on these lists, which I really appreciate. It’s a lot about how you take quick actions, but how you also align the people to actually facilitate and go after that mission. And more importantly, it’s not just being like, “Okay, here’s the mission, everybody, let’s just go.” It’s how do you challenge the mission? And how do you continue to keep it iterating and improving it every single day? And that’s something that I’m really, like—you know, I wish I had done this in my previous business and unlocked that. And this is something I’m really trying to push on this business—which is like the most open and transparent environment where anybody can challenge anything inside the business. Anybody can say whatever they want, in terms of it—as long as it is positive and constructive. I say that like five times a week, you know, as we’re going through this. And that really drives authenticity. And that really helps to drive—you know, to solve for these problems.
And, you know—so my most proud thing, honestly, is just the people relationships. You know, like we have—today’s the last day—it was actually one of the first interns of Alyce. Or, actually the first intern of Alyce back in 2016. And he left—he ended up going to a tech company in Boston, you know, after. Because we didn’t have any cash at the time. We were just sort of like—I’d had my daughter, and—that’s a whole other thing we can go into, right, because like, you know, are sleep deprived and stuff. And so, you know, he ended up going away for a year and then ended up coming back once we actually raised our first round of funding. And we’re able to hire, you know, our first sales reps and stuff. And today’s his last day. And, you know, you should see in Slack right now. Just the-like-the-like-you know—there’s like the tear emojis and stuff. Like-it’s just—it’s amazing to see the bonds that we’ve created, you know, through the business. And that’s authenticity. That’s the scaling. But you can’t like fake that, you know, when it comes down to it. So, my most proud—most proud thing right now is giving folks the ability to grow both professionally and personally. And, you know, be able to connect that and then having a business that literally-like-like-you know—provides that as value to our customers. I mean, it’s just a really nice match, you know, made in heaven across the board. And, you know, because of that, that’s why we’ve grown so fast. And why, you know—yes, we’ve done a good job of the product and stuff but, you know, at the end of the day it’s the people that are actually pushing on that.
RACHEL: Absolutely. And so, to kind of pivot us, you know, a little bit away from the business and a little bit—kind of more focused on you. And you’ve kind of talked through this as you reflected on your past company. I know you’ve—you know, you’ve founded and led three companies. And as you mentioned, though, in our previous conversation, we’re not counting the ones that you—you started in high school. So, we’re thinking kind of like, you know—professional companies that you founded and led. But, you know, as you think back about that journey, and you reflect on it, you know, talk a little bit about your background and how you built Alyce.
GREG: Oh, man, there’s so much. So, you know, if you go back to the story, you know, for the first company. It was kind of out of necessity. Right, you know, my parents claimed bankruptcy and didn’t have money to send me to college. I got into BU, Boston University, which, of course, is not cheap, you know. So, figuring out how to put yourself through that and drive through was a fun—you know, fun experience that was there. You know, there’s a few key lessons, and I try and pass these across a lot of different companies that I advise, you know, now. So, number one is I wasn’t open enough. You know, I—and the other thing was, you know, your competition in the early days—and this is being an agency in my previous business. Like some of the agency owners that I was, in, quote, “competition” with, which ended up being more partners later on, became some of my best friends. Like, they’re just such good people. And it was amazing, you know, to understand how you can actually help each other out, and, you know, drive through that. And so, I thought I knew it all, in the early days, you know, it was more about me figuring things out rather than asking for help. And that was a—that’s a big mistake. You know, in terms of how you how you look for—where the places you can actually look for help, and how you can actually look for signals to be able to improve yourself as you specifically go on. Because that’s the same attitude you have to take with the rest of your employees in order to be able to allow yourself to create that—and foster this very progressive and open and, you know, caring environment, you know, that’s there. So, in the first business, you know, it was—it was a struggle, because, you know, the other big lesson I learned was, we were trying to do too many things with too small of a team. So, what I always say—and I, you know, hear me talk about this all the time, but focus is success. The more focused we became on one thing, the more successful we became. And the faster that success actually happened.
So, I’ll give an example in the agency world. You know, we used to do branding design and logo design, and guerilla marketing. And, you know, digital marketing, and, you know, web applications and all this other stuff. And then e-commerce, and whatnot. And, you know, for the first three to four years, you know, it was kind of shotgun—we’re taking all these different things in all different places. And again, it was a recession, we’re coming out of 2008 at that point. You know, so once we focused on just e-commerce, and even just one platform, we just exploded. We just took off. We had one operational plan, one marketing structure, one sales process, you know, that was in there. We had our partnerships—it was just much easier to actually build repeatability of the business. And even in an agency, the agency was the product. So how do you productize how you’re actually doing that. And that’s where the focus, you know, really, really played into that as well. So, I’ve taken that very same approach with Alyce. And that’s why we’ve also grown so fast, because, you know, your biggest and most powerful thing you can do as a CEO is to say no. The more you can say no to things—you know, and that’s hard to do a lot of times, especially with us right now, where we have so much business coming our way. And we turn away about 90% of it right now. Just because we don’t feel like we can support them the best way—we’re not going to give them the best experience. We’ll come back to that. But right now, we have to stay focused on the journey we’re going after. And because of that, we’re growing really, really rapidly in the in the specific focus area that we’re actually targeting. Knowing the opportunities are massive, you know, outside of that. Especially with the size of the market that we’re going after, you know, right now.
So, I can go on. There’s many, many other, you know, other lessons. But, you know, that was it. And I would say the last thing—the last thing I would just say here is in terms of the people side was to let people fail. You know, I think the other lesson I learned very early on was that, you know—and I had this—and I really didn’t like this about my first few bosses was like—you know, our first boss, you know, originally was like, you know—it was just too much micromanagement. You know, in terms of that. So how do you let folks actually have the rope to be able to do this. And actually help build the box and be able to build the right expectations around them. So they can actually fail. Allow them to do that, allow them to learn firsthand because then it also allows you to be able to do what you need to do instead of you just constantly being over their shoulder and just, you know, doing that too. So, I’ve taken a much—like a polar opposite approach, you know, to this company in terms of how we’re running it.
RACHEL: And so also to take a step back in—what was your inspiration in the first place to move into the technology industry? And what keeps you really motivated and excited about the space and what’s to come?
GREG: So, back when I was in e-commerce—there’s a few key things that sort of tick-tick me off to the—or tipped me off to this whole entire opportunity here. One was that the amount of stuff I would get on a holiday basis. And I remember—I have like a picture of this, you know, old picture of this—for my old company we’re on the holidays—you know, I don’t eat junk food, but I would get cupcakes and chocolates and all these like, you know, crazy baskets of stuff all the time. And it would just be on this like long tables. And then at the end of the holiday season, everybody wanted vacation and we come back and it was just all like—you know, not flies or anything but like, you know, it was basically like wasted stuff—wasted stuff when it came down to it. So that always, like really hurt to me as we went into looking for this, this, you know, business idea for Alyce. And then again, the second thing that really, really got me was like, how are we—how are we taking this waste? And how are we doing something about this? Right, goes back to what we were talking about, you know, before. As we started talking about the impetus for the idea here. And the other thing that I recognized, too, was that if you look at the corporate gifting—and this was a lot of research I did back in like October of 2015, for about a month or so—the bar is so low, right? You know, everybody’s all about attention. It’s like, “Oh, I’m just going to go get attention of this specific person.” Well, I could do that very easily by sending something that’s like, you know, ostentatious or, you know, off the wall or something like that. Which I can give you many examples of things that I’ve seen, you know, from—you know, the years. And how do I flip that around into, you know, this better experience and also make sure that we’re saving a lot of the stuff from ending up in the dump. And how many things of like, swag, and, you know, all the chocolate stuff that I’ve received—that I’ve either given away—that, you know, create a negative impression on me. Because I’m like, “Come on.” Like, I’ll give you an example.
The story I told that was like—the moment that I was like, “Oh, my god, there’s got to be a better way.” Was one of our partners in my previous company—we sent him about a half a million to a million dollars a year of business, right. I saw this guy seven times a year at all the e-commerce conferences. And I end up in the holiday season—and this was like the year before I sold the business. And there’s this big box. And in the box, is, you know, a jacket. You know, a very—looked like a highly logoed jacket. It was a size large. I would say I wear a size medium—just because [unintelligible]. And then they also packed it—like packed it with Hershey’s Kisses. And what happened was—is that I went on vacation—I came back and, you know, I had a big, big window behind my desk, you know, that was there. And it melted all the chocolate all over the jacket. Like all over. And so, not only was the jacket ruined, right? It was the wrong size—which was like something else because I was like, “Oh, can I get it dry, cleaned.” Whatever it is—give it to somebody, you know, I don’t want to throw it away. And secondly, I don’t eat chocolate. Like, you know—hate me for that if you want, right. But like, I don’t eat junk food. I am like a super health nut. I am a fitness freak, you know, when it comes down to this. And you know,—and I’ve been like that since my, you know, my early twenties or mid-twenties. So, you know, it was just like—and I knew his kids’ names. I knew his dogs’, you know, names. Right, we talked about like fitness all the time. He was a runner; you know what I mean? And like—and then I received that in the—you know, in the mail. So it just—it just really struck me at that point that people are not taking the time. It’s like people are just doing things to do the motions. And when you get down to the spend and the waste of like—the physical aspects of stuff that’s actually going out to people, it just sickened me. Like it just-it’s so—it’s so disgusting. You know, if you look at what folks throw away and stuff. It’s just—it’s just mind boggling, you know, to me. Other—I have another story too, if you want to hear it. But I’ll pause there if you want to go, I don’t—
RACHEL: No. I think—I mean, I think that’s hugely important, right? I mean, like, obviously, it’s almost kind of like you had your, you know—you had your lightbulb moment, right? Of like, we have to do this differently. We have to do this better. And I mean—and I think about just sound like we hear the you know, kind of the passion in your voice and the impact that it had on you. But like I mean, thinking about like the ripple effect of how that reverberates across the B2B world. Of you know, just—sending the wrong thing by not taking the step to add the human element, right? And to really get to know someone as a person. Or if you do, right, not—you know, not really kind of capitalizing on that in the right way is just such a missed opportunity. And so to have, you know, a platform that can really add value there. But right, I mean, even just taking that step back of, “Hey, just take a minute to think about who is the person on the other side of this?” And how can you be better at this? Not just in business. But you know, at a large—much larger scale, regardless of kind of, you know, what your, what your nine to five is, right? How do you figure out the five to nine that matters to someone. So, I really appreciate you naming that. I think it’s obviously a very impactful story of, you know, a Hershey Kiss-encrusted wrong-size jacket. It’s like—I can picture that.
GREG: The crazy thing, too, was it was probably—you know, if you look at the money that was spent on that, it was probably about three to $350. You know, that was spent on that. You know, including shipping—and you’re just like, they probably sent it off to, you know, 50 people.
GREG: Right? You know—so like, I don’t know, it’s just-it’s—it’s a very awkward and it’s very wasteful. And it’s just something that that we have to be thinking about the different approach. Like this is what personal experience is all about, it’s an approach. Like—if you just say like, “Rachel, I got to be thinking about you.” If I’m going to be reaching out to you, I’m going send you an email. I’m going to do anything. It’s about how am I actually connecting with you, instead of just being like—a one liner that’s like, “Oh, yeah, you want to see the [unintelligible] platform that does blah, blah, blah.” It’s like, “No, I don’t.” And, you know, you haven’t shown me that you’ve invested time or money, you know, into that relationship. And most the time, time is the most important thing to actually be able to show. So you got to, you know—come back to the AI and ML thing—it’s like how would you actually, you know, use technology to actually, you know, influence that and be able to make that better too.
RACHEL: And when we have what seems like—less time than ever, right? How do you make it meaningful? How do you make it count? Um, so I appreciate that. So—and we only have a few more minutes left. So, I do have a couple pieces that I know I want us to get to. But, you know, as we look to, you know-we’re—we’re kind of just wrapping Q3, moving into Q4 and thinking about the rest of 2020. You know, how do you see the rest of the year playing out? Are you optimistic? Are you pessimistic? Are you somewhere in-between? Are you none of those things? Um, how are you thinking about it?
GREG: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of different forks to that answer. Let me answer it more on like the macro, and then I’ll go to the micro, you know, of the situation. On the macro level, it’s very difficult. Especially because we are such a personal company. And there’s a lot of, you know, efforts. Like we do—we have a very, you know—we’re trying to make, you know, D&I, specifically, like a very core piece of the business, right? I mean, that’s the whole “five to nine.” It’s like who you are as a person. We’ve been talking about that and doing things with that for a long time. So, it’s not like all of a sudden—it’s like, “Oh, yeah, by the way, we’re just going to do this initiative.” It’s like, how do we make that a core foundation of the principles and values of the business? In terms of how people are equal, and, you know, there’s equity, inclusion and diversity—and inside the business, you know, as well, that’s there. So, to sort of extrapolate that, and, you know, bring that back. You know, the world is a very polarized place right now. Right? And I think that if you look at it from a “five to nine” perspective, you know-there’s-there’s-you know—I’m sort of, like stuck in the middle there, you know, where I believe what it’s done is it’s brought a lot of really good light to a lot of fundamental problems. You know, to the world right now. And I don’t want to get political on this—you know, on this podcast, you know, that’s here. But I do think it’s an important thing to understand that a lot of that plays into how folks are actually thinking about this. Because it directly affects business, you know, as well. In terms of who wants to actually work at specific companies. And what those values are those specific companies. And how those are going to become much more authentically, you know, brought to the forefront of, you know, what—what that is. and the companies that are hiding behind that stuff—like, there’s going to be issues, you know, with how that’s going to play out, especially as the years continue to go on. You know, no matter which way the election and things go from that perspective.
So, you know, I think that’s—that’s one place where we’re I’m both—I’ll answer both ways. Where I’m optimistic because I feel like there’s been a lot of light shined. I think it’s a matter of action that’s going to come from that. And how we, as a society, and as a world—think about giving back. And thinking about being selfless. And thinking about other people. And how do you lift people up and prop them up and be able to give them, you know, the ability to have, you know, equal—equity in terms of everything that they’re actually doing, you know, inside of the world that’s there. In terms of the business side of things, you know—I think it’s very easy to understand that the economy’s very propped up right now. You know, I think there’s also polarization in terms of like, you know, the business side of things. And what’s happening in terms of that as well. Where, you know, we’re—I think, the general sentiment—and obviously, you know, take with what you will in terms of the stock market, and you know, what’s happening—you know, happening there right now. But, you know, we’ve got a lot of—a lot of work that has to be done. And there’s still a lot of uncertainty that’s there. But I think there’s more solidity around businesses. And what I think the optimistic thing that I love seeing in this—having taken a business through 2000, and also, you know, 2008, is that it’s the biggest time for innovation. So what happens is, it actually forces these businesses to actually be a necessity. And it’s very easy for you to be able to understand, “Are you a necessity, or are you nice to have?” And it really-really is going to—is going to, you know, filter out a lot of the—a lot of that’s happening inside of businesses. Because in reality, this is going to be the biggest fundamental shift of society in the history of probably the planet. Because of how fast everyone’s had to adapt to a whole new way of actually living and working inside of there. And for the companies that are actually adapting to that, you know, that’s a big—that’s a big opportunity for them. And I think that-that it’s really interesting—even just down to like, education. And seeing my daughter, and-you know-and how she’s-you know—how she’s interacting with school. And how we’re thinking about, you know, teaching her and all the things that are around that. It’s really interesting.
So, you know, I’m just—in general, and you can ask my company—I’m generally an optimistic guy. You know, like, I think I try and surround myself actually, with pessimism, because I need to be brought back down to reality sometimes. You know, it’s my own thing that I recognize on that. But, you know—I think we have to be coming at this from a—as I use this before—a positively constructive attitude in the world. And the more we do that, the more it’s going to actually continue to foster, you know, growth and innovation inside the world. The worst thing we can do right now is just like—you know, turtle in and sort of say, like, “Oh, that’s it, like I give up.” And that’s—and that’s basically it. And that’s very hard for different folks in different situations, you know, that are outside of that. But I think—in general with technology, and what’s happening right now is that this is going to force—even things like being personal to the forefront. Like how do we really become much more authentic because, you know, technology is going to actually have to do that. You know, and it’s going to have to be something that’s really driving—you know, driving us to be better. You know, and be more human and be more personal as the world goes on. So, I’m optimistic overall. I think there’s just some key things from an action perspective that I think we have to do from a constructive perspective instead of destructive. And everybody needs to be thinking about that in terms of—how to think about other people in terms of their actions.
RACHEL: I think that’s hugely important. I know that’s something that’s been a topic of conversation internally at The Bowdoin Group as well. And making kind of those actions as we think about this—you know, we’re a company that’s been around for 25 years. And it’s, you know—to your point, right, has lived through 2000, has lived through 2008, and is currently living through what’s happening in 2020. And you know—and we’re really transgenerational, as well. As you know, we’re working with—we have folks that are just right out of college, we have a large millennial population, we have folks who’ve been in the workforce for 25-plus years. And so how do we marry all of those things and look to the future? Because the future is going to look very different. And it should look very different. So I think you know—that piece around diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and how do you how do you create a workforce that is reflective of society. And is reflective of the world. And enable folks to bring their authentic self to work every single day is, you know—if you can’t get that piece right none of the other pieces work, right? And so I think, you know, knowing that that’s obviously a strategic initiative for you—I think it’s really important to think about, from a foundational perspective.
GREG: Yep. Couldn’t agree more.
RACHEL: So, with that being said—you know, I have a couple kind of final questions that are a little bit more kind of on the personal side, right? We’ve talked a little bit about your “five to nine,” right? You know, really enjoy fitness, really enjoy kind of eating healthy, living well. Beyond that, how do you describe your “five to nine?”
GREG: So, I always say I have a four-year-old. She’s four, you know, so my daughter is like, you know, my life. We always do daddy-daughter days, at least one day, a weekend. You know, so we always go out and doing a lot of bike rides with her. And then we go to parks. And we’ve named every park—I think we have seven or eight now around us, that we actually call ninja. We’re like crazy American Ninja Warrior fans. So like, we call—like one is “Ninja Chip.” And another one is like “Ninja Spin” and another one’s “Ninja-rope-a-dope.” So like, you know, we love our parks, you know, that we go to. And each one has a different name. And so, that’s, that’s been a big—it’s been really nice, because it’s also allowed me to think about, you know, just like her. And how she’s like being brought up in this world. And you know, how I want to make sure that—you know, and I’ve talked about this with a lot of folks, you know, internally, like—I have a very big, you know, underground initiative that I’m going to start making more public. Which is like, how do I make sure that she has every opportunity in—that I do right now as a very white—you know, a white privileged, man. You know, right now, in, you know, in the—in the business world right now. And like, you know, having a daughter, it just, like, opens up my eyes. Even—it’s funny, I have, like, a couple of posts teed up for LinkedIn. And one of them, you know, that I wanted to post was—like, we play Legos all the time. And we’ll make a Lego character, and it’s like, a pretty evil looking character—but it’s always a she, you know. And just like—in my time, you know, playing with this would be like, “This is he and you know, it’s this guy who’s battling this guy.” Or whatever it is, you know. And it’d be like a dragon, you know. And so the dragon is, like—you know, we have like six or seven Lego dragons. And they’re all shes. And you know, and it’s super interesting, you know, and it’s like, just helped to change my perspective on this.
So, you know, when you look at the five to nine it’s like a very, very big, you know, passion of mine right now to make sure that she has every opportunity that I have had right now. And so there’s a lot of things I’m doing. So, you know, part of it is—I advise, you know, about a half a dozen female-started, or women-started businesses. You know, in the Boston, New York and San Francisco area. And that’s growing, you know, as we speak. So, I’m trying to also make sure that I can help give the right advice, you know, there as well. So that’s a big—that’s a big piece of it.
You know, on the on the personal side, you know, as well—it’s, you know, as I said—like, I play guitar. You know, I have 10 guitars. I’ve played guitar since I was, you know, 12 years old. You know, starting with super shredding. And you know, Van Halen and Satriani and Steve Vai and for all those, you know, crazy guitarists that are that are on there. That was my go-to and then I became much more on acoustic and blues and jazz. And I’ve been doing that too. And yeah, just you know, being healthy and living healthy and that’s my life. And then I’ve played baseball for the longest time. So it’s—like I said before, don’t take me to a golf thing. I don’t golf. There’s a whole story on that one. And that’s—that’s it. Yeah. This—I could go on forever, like, I try and also really inject and make sure we’re balancing the “five to nine” with the “nine to five” in the company too. Like, make sure you’re taking care of yourself, especially now where it’s like, blended. Right? Where it almost feels like a “nine to nine.” You know, so that’s something where I’m always like taking a break. I stopped every day at 2:55 and I walk the five minutes to my daughter’s school to go pick her up right now. And then come home and we usually spend two to three hours, no computer, no phone, no nothing. You know, unless it’s like absolutely necessary. And then I pick up work, you know, at night. And that’s my schedule. And I just say to like everybody in the company, how do you—you know, you do the same thing. So, that’s my five today.
RACHEL: So, final question, what is the best gift that you’ve ever received?
GREG: You know what’s interesting? I’ve had that question asked to me many times. And I am a—here’s another “five to nine” thing. I’m a huge Cal Ripken fan. Like growing up—I don’t know if you know Cal Ripken, but—
GREG: He had the longest streak and—and whatnot. And he was somebody who I just, like, idolized. Both because the way he played on the field—and it was like, never quitting, doesn’t matter if you’re hurt, you’re going to be there. You’re going to put your best effort into, you know, into everything you’re doing that’s there. And also, because he was just, you know, he’s just an amazing person off the field. And so, I remember meeting him at a Sirius XM conference. And I was the last person in line—the last, like, you know—I think I was 11 years old, I think at the time. And I was able to get his autograph. And he was just so nice after having probably sat there for five hours, you know, to do that. So, prior to that I had had been given a ball from the day he broke the record that was signed. So, it was pretty awesome, you know, to just get that gift. And I was just like, “Oh, my God.” Like that is—that is just so amazing to think like that ball was there at that day. And he signed it. And I remember like—you know, watching that as a kid and just being like—you know, like, just so taken aback. So, I loved it. Yeah, it was the best one ever.
RACHEL: Awesome. So, Greg, this is all the time we have. I could stay here and talk to you for another hour, but I know you have a hard stop. But thank you so much for joining me to share your journey, your story. Tell us more and more about Alyce and where you’re going. I really, really appreciate the time that you gave us today.
GREG: Yeah, thank you too, Rachel. Really appreciate it as well. Awesome, awesome conversation.
RACHEL: So, to take us out. Thank you all for listening to today’s journey. Today’s episode of Decoding the Journey with The Bowdoin Group. Don’t forget to subscribe and like our podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you stream. And subscribe to our blog at bowdoingroup.com for the latest episodes when they drop.
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About The Bowdoin Group
Founded in 1994, The Bowdoin Group is an award-winning executive search firm that specializes in leadership and strategic roles, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) services, and major hiring projects for a wide range of companies, from small firms building out their executive team to larger firms sourcing talent for rapid market expansion. With deep expertise in BioPharma, Digital Health, FinTech, and Software & Technology, Bowdoin is a national leader with the ability to source talent and service companies globally. The company’s service reputation has earned it a ranking in the top 2% of the recruiting industry for client satisfaction year after year. The Bowdoin Group is also active in supporting the local entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as several non-profit causes, including Life Science Cares, NEVCA, Hack.Diversity, and FinTech Sandbox.