• June 16, 2017

Unfiltered Chat on Breaking Into Startup Community & The Most Valuable Part of Techstars

Unfiltered Chat on Breaking Into Startup Community & The Most Valuable Part of Techstars

One of the more common themes during chats here on VentureApp is the ability to break into and navigate┬áspecific networks. What we’ve found is that it takes a nice combination of art and science.

To expand on this, I had a chat with RateGravity founder and CEO Patrick Boyaggi. RateGravity was founded a little over a year ago, has been through Techstars and recently locked up a $2 million seed round. Check out our unfiltered chat below.

Pat, thanks again for jumping on today. I’ve been obsessed lately about people cracking into the startup community and the value of accelerators and figured you’d be a good guy to chat with.
3:33 pm
Anyways, before we get going, can you give me the quick download on RateGravity again. Elevator pitch or quick mobile chat pitch if you will.
3:34 pm
Sure. RateGravity is an on-demand mortgage service that saves consumers tens of thousands of dollars when financing their home by transparently presenting the actual rates available in each market and providing direct access to certified local lenders that exclusively offer discounted rates.
3:36 pm
Making the home buying process suck less, which I just went through at the end of last year.
3:39 pm
Anyways, you’re relatively new to the startup community right? Fomer banker and real estate background?
3:39 pm
You should have used RateGravity!
3:40 pm
Haha, you’re right.
3:40 pm
Yep, this is my first startup. I ran the residential lending business for a bank that I joined pretty early stage and was able to grow it to become one of the top residential lenders in the state and a top 40 lender in the country.
3:42 pm
And now in just a short time (less than a year right?), you got into Techstars, raised a solid seed round and have some impressive momentum.
3:43 pm
So how’d you do that?
3:44 pm
It’s very impressive and I think a lot of folks are sitting on the sideline waiting to jump in but aren’t sure how to get into the startup community. And you nailed it… so far…
3:44 pm
Well, thanks. We have a long ways to go. I guess if I look at it the way you describe it, we’ve accomplished a lot. The reality is that I spent 5 years in residential lending, learning about the business and trying to find the open position in the market. I also had the good fortune of running a $50mm business with over 100 people, so I had the confidence to start a company.
3:47 pm
We had some great people in the Boston tech community that helped us too. My co-founder, Mike and I had no clue about how great the tech ecosystem is here and all the resources available to start a company. We wouldn’t be where we’re at with out them and we plan to continue to lean on the community.
3:51 pm
People helping people. Love that.
3:52 pm
Alright let’s talk about Techstars for a second. What’s the most valuable thing about the program? No broad stroke answers, something tangible if you can.
3:52 pm
It was a form of validation that helped us when recruiting. Its tough hiring when you’re a start-up because there’s so many other companies (big and small) out there fighting for the same candidates, so it helped us get in front of really talented people.
3:57 pm
Oh interesting, not what I expected.
3:58 pm
I mean there was a lot of stuff. A lot of it is tough to measure, though, especially because we finished so recently, but this was tangible.
3:58 pm
But makes perfect sense.
3:58 pm
And before we jump off any quick tidbits of advice for anyone looking to get into the startup community or into techstars?
3:59 pm
There’s a lot of talk about just doing it. I’m not a huge proponent of that. As I said, I spent a lot of years working in an industry before I had the conviction to take the leap. This is by far the most fun I’ve had in my professional life, so I see why a lot of people want to do it; but its not easy and you really have to have a business that solves a problem.
4:01 pm
Boom. That’ll do it, thanks again for the chat.
4:02 pm
My pleasure. Talk soon.
4:03 pm