Founder Friday Feature: Jessie Shipman, Co-Founder and CEO, Fluincy

What inspired you to start your company?

I have always been inspired by the confluence of learning and technology, and it has always vexed me that as soon as we enter the workforce, and learning has to scale, that most learning science takes a back seat to solving learning at scale.

I want to meet people where they’re at, and help provide information at the moment when they need it to improve their job performance, and better their lives.

Who are your cofounders, and what makes you a great team?

My co-founder is Daimi Verstraete.

We are a great team because, as two women who have spent the majority of their careers in tech, we have seen some really keen examples of how not to run diverse organizations. Based on these experiences, we are both dedicated to building a company that is committed to diversity and inclusion at the outset.

Daimi is highly technical. She’s been a developer for 12 years and is able to see around technical corners, anticipate needs ahead of the task in front of her, and build with efficiency while limiting technical debt. I provide the big picture, and Daimi nestles into the details. But she doesn’t stand in the way of vision.

We have established a norm of having difficult conversations. We hate them, but we’re better at them every time we do it. This has created a real culture of vulnerability and honesty. Which always brings us back to the same page.

How is Fluincy making a difference?

We believe that the traditional Go To Market Strategies that have worked for decades are crumbling. Sales and marketing have skewed so far from humanity that it has eroded trust and discounted relationships.

We are ushering in a new era of humanity into sales.

We are helping sellers be trusted advisors to their prospects and customers by providing them with timely information that helps their customers solve their business problems.

We are helping sellers to be solution minded and to work together with their partners to bring unique solutions to their customers.

We are making business more human.

What are some of the challenges you have faced?

Partnerships have really only become a true Go To Market strategy in the last couple of years, and the market for technologies that advance this function is in its infancy. We have had some struggles around fundraising that cite this “the market is too young” as the reason.

We believe that our ICP lands in the medium to large enterprise, which makes Security Compliance a consideration. We have had champions who want to use our software in larger enterprises but couldn’t because we don’t have SOC2. We are working toward our SOC2 certification, but it’s a significant expense.

We know that we can rapidly expand our functionality using an iPaaS solution as an interim as we build out our API connections, but also do not have the funding to get this started.

The larger macroeconomic environment is causing budgets to dry up pretty quickly, so we are shifting our focus into PLG so that we can acquire as many logos as we can while we build out up sell functions.

What is your biggest win? 

We have landed partnerships with the three largest partnership tech companies who collectively give us access to over 15,000 of our ICP worldwide. We are building out our Co-Marketing and Co-Selling functions with each of them.

Also… The VP of Ecosystem and Platform at Hubspot told me that I was “blowing his f%#*& mind” and that “as soon as you get a little further along, we’d be very interested in implementing at Hubspot.” A similar sentiment at Twilio and Procore.

Who is your role model?

My role model is Brené Brown. All she’s ever done is follow her passion, be vulnerable, and make intentional moves toward her next right thing.

What do you wish you had known before starting your company?

That nobody really cares what kind of culture you’re going to build until you have a company that can actually hire people.

What is your CEO superpower?

Empathy. I’m able to sense pretty quickly when things are not ok, and I’m not afraid to bring them into the light. Because, after all, Clear is Kind.

Anything else you want people to know?

I’m a wife and mother of two amazing kids, ages 8 and 11. I’ve always wanted to be a CEO, but thought I’d be able to climb my way up the corporate ladder. I’ve really found my stride here in the entrepreneurship game, though, and am learning how to navigate the ups and downs.

Learn more and connect:

G&W Team

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