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Case Study

Teamworthy

Teamworthy tactfully sources from emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems

About

Teamworthy Ventures invests in software startups of all sizes, “partnering with outstanding entrepreneurial teams to build companies of purpose, integrity, and enduring value.” Sectors of focus include Healthcare & Life Sciences, Financial and Professional Services, Culture & Hospitality, Government & Defense, Retail & Logistics, and Education. Teamworthy has a particular commitment to supporting founders in “emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems,” says Brian Cashin, Vice President and Director of the Teamworthy Founder Fellowship. While notable portfolio companies such as Affinity, Carta, and Reliable Robotics are headquartered in the Bay Area, Teamworthy also has portfolio companies in cities such as Bozeman Montana, Columbus Ohio, Nashville Tennessee, and Phoenix Arizona.

Firm size

13

Stage

Pre-Seed, Seed, Early, Growth

CRM

Affinity

Portfolio

Affinity, Carta, Reliable Robotics, Toast, Typeform

Features used

Console, API, Integrations

Sourcing with Harmonic’s Highlights: “a differentiator that I hadn’t seen in other platforms”

When Brian first discovered Harmonic two years ago, Teamworthy was interested in adding another platform to their stack of data providers to further empower their sourcing muscle. Harmonic’s Highlights had “a differentiator that I hadn’t seen in other platforms,” Brian says. “If I want to find founders coming out of a talented school program, for example, there’s not an easy way to do that using LinkedIn Sales Navigator. But with Harmonic’s Highlights, I can filter for founders with technical backgrounds, for founders who have previously been backed by venture investment, for founders whose companies have reached certain levels of venture funding, and more.”

Filtering according to such founder attributes is “immediately valuable,” Brian says—critical in the venture investing world where the name of the game is speed. “The distinctive ROI is that Harmonic reduces the amount of time required to find a lot of entrepreneurs who match a set of qualifications well.”


Focusing on historically under-capitalized geos: “Harmonic surfaces founders who would otherwise be challenging to find”

Brian spends a lot of time outside the coastal VC hotbeds—especially now, given the post-pandemic “geographical spread” of capital. “Some people might say that certain areas are better places to build businesses than others,” he says. “Acumen is everywhere, and geography is often a matter of entrepreneurial preference.” Distributed models have become ubiquitous because founders have realized there’s something optimal about an ecosystem of team members who get the benefits of being occasionally in-person while living where they can have fulfilling lives. And while a founding team in a tech hub might have easier access to a large pool of engineers, employee retention typically will not be as high because those engineers have a lot of other job opportunities nearby. “So every ecosystem has certain tradeoffs. Thoughtful founders consider those tradeoffs before making a decision about location.”

Brian is currently in Nashville, where “Vanderbilt University is creating a high-caliber pool of talent. Nashville also has an industry-specific competitive advantage in healthcare, because Hospital Corporation of America was founded here back in 1968,” he explains. “A lot of potential founders with a great deal of healthcare industry experience are in Nashville.” This is why Teamworthy thinks beyond the geographical box that a lot of VC firms paint themselves into. “There are so many other geos with the right pieces in place to cultivate ingenious entrepreneurs,” Brian says. “So my time in Nashville has been remarkably fruitful.”

A pre-seed startup called GlassHouse (glasshouse.biz) is one of many startups that Brian first discovered on Harmonic in which Teamworthy later invested. GlassHouse is now a member of Teamworthy’s Founder Fellowship. Brian discovered GlassHouse while looking for entrepreneurs in the Nashville area; Jimmy Speyer, the company’s CEO, appeared in Harmonic’s Search Console alongside a list of other founders that met the same criteria. “Thanks to Harmonic,” Brian recalls, “I got to meet Jimmy in Nashville, and we ended up making a pre-seed investment in GlassHouse. The ability to filter by specific attributes and discover talented entrepreneurs at opportune times is immensely valuable.”

On-the-road workflows: “I use Harmonic frequently during my travels”

Harmonic is one of Brian’s go-to data sources when he’s on the road—which is often. “I spent time in Dallas earlier this year,” he recalls. “That’s a city in which I think there will be quite a few venture successes over the next decade. Harmonic made my time there very rewarding. I met entrepreneurs in the surrounding suburbs like Frisco, Plano, and McKinney. There are founders in those places building early-stage software companies who are qualified candidates for venture investment—many of these founders match Teamworthy’s investment precepts well.”

The platform facilitates the process of discovering investment opportunities “simply,” Brian says. From there, he gets contact information and attempts to meet the founder in-person while he is in town.

Harmonic’s APIs have made it a “critical part of our tech stack”

Harmonic’s integration with Teamworthy’s CRM means that if the firm decides to pursue a startup they uncover in Harmonic, they can easily track the progress of that deal in their Affinity instance. “There is valuable complementarity in that integration,” Brian explains. “Harmonic is where I go to efficiently discover talented entrepreneurs who align with Teamworthy’s investment criteria. And Affinity is where we organize the information on deal flow and activity once investment opportunities are in process with our team.”

Brian adds that Harmonic “increases access to certain types of data for venture investment firms that are seeking decisive ways to interpret large datasets.” For firms that do have that capacity, the platform allows for “a productive dynamic”: “Harmonic facilitates how firms identify companies that align with their mission, precepts, and objectives; the firm then applies proprietary technologies, standards, and processes to qualify a prospect through the rest of the due diligence process.”

It’s a world-class startup team at Harmonic

Brian uses Harmonic “several times a week at least, and often multiple times a day.” Associates at Teamworthy also use the Harmonic platform regularly. He emphasizes that “Harmonic is an important arrow in the quiver of our sourcing frameworks.” This is in part because the firm’s productivity is positively impacted by the platform. But it’s also because “we’ve had a rewarding experience working with the very talented team at Harmonic—including the Product, Engineering, Sales, and Customer Success sides of the organization. Harmonic is a world-class startup team building a world-class business. And I hope I can continue to be both a user of Harmonic and a collaborator with the Harmonic team.”

Lauren Shufran
Content, Harmonic.ai
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