The ‘TECHquila Sunrise’ Series on Supply Chain Now shares the latest investments, acquisitions, innovations, and glorious implosions in Supply Chain Tech every week. If you are looking for a podcast about ‘so-and-so signed a contract with such and such,’ or ‘they just released version 20 of that same technology you didn’t buy last year,’ this is the wrong podcast for you. But if you are looking for real news and innovation, welcome to the Sunrise.
In this episode of ‘TECHquila Sunrise,’ Supply Chain Now Host Greg White discusses recent articles on the following topics:
· How the seismic societal disruption caused by COVID-19 has impacted technology-related employment and investment funding in 2020
· The stages of a startup from bootstrapping to growth equity, including what is required of the founder(s) at each stage of growth, and how funding decisions affect revenue potential and ownership throughout
· The uplifting story of Nigerian B2B e-Commerce startup TradeDepot, who recently received $10 million to add financial services to its supply chain for African small and medium businesses – 75% of which are woman-owned businesses.
Greg White (00:00):
This week at tequila, sunrise, where extending your learning on the stages of startups. The very first rule, the milestones expectations, valuation and investment dynamics. I’ll share more about how this seismic societal disruption in response to COVID-19 has impacted tech employment and investment funding in 2020, and also a fascinating startup in Africa sitting at top by $1 trillion industry, enabling small street side, largely women owned businesses, cool stuff, all that, and this week’s deal uptakes. So listen up, it’s time to wake up to tequila sunrise, where without the aid of tequila, somehow in toxicants of any kind or even coffee, we opened your eyes to how venture investing ticks along with the notable investments, acquisitions innovations and those inevitable implosions that are focused on supply chain tech every single week at this unholy hour of the day. If you want to know how investment is done, who’s winning who’s waning, who’s whining and who to track and supply chain tech join us every single Thursday for another winding tequila, sunrise.
Greg White (01:34):
You might’ve seen that. I took on another advisory role. I’m working now with clarity capital partners. So my good friend, Steve Keaveny along with his partners, John stain year, and Mary Roberts invited me to join him. And I felt like it was the right thing to do because they are so committed to helping small and midsize companies with mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity capital, and advising them about the appropriate sources and partners to help them meet their goals. Look, I have been there when you are running a business navigating business finance options is first of all, the last thing you want to do and can seem overwhelming and complex and distracting. So I’ve worked with Steve for years and I’ve seen him help companies maximize valuation and select the right financing options to get companies where they want to go. I’m excited to be working with this team and, and to help them get companies in position to take it to the next level or take over a market or take some chips off the table.
Greg White (02:40):
It’s really gratifying for me and for the team to help founders, executive teams and shareholders make their vision a reality. And whether you need finance, you need help. You need executive and strategy advisory. This team can help you shape your new reality. Look, if you’re considering an equity, raise debt financing, a merger, or even seeking an acquisition, consider the team at clarity. Look as always, you can talk to me first, reach out to me on LinkedIn or reach out directly to Steve at clarity, clarity, exit.com, Greg white here from supply chain. Now always happy, never satisfied, willing to acknowledge reality, but refusing to be bound by it. My goal is to inform, enlighten and inspire you in your own supply chain tech journey. So if you like this series say so, and Hey, now we’re legit. We’re on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, or anywhere else, you get your podcasts.
Greg White (03:42):
So now you can subscribe to tequila, sunrise. So you don’t miss a thing as always. I appreciate any feedback and I’m always trying to incorporate what folks want to hear the most. So let me know how I can make this more valuable and listen to hear your suggestions put into play. Hey, last episode, we talked about investment round alphabet soup and what evaluation means for a startup. So this time around some startup early stage and investing education, we’ll dive deep into what happens in each round of a startup. What founders should be getting done, what to expect and what a company ought to be worth. Let me share some of my startup rules to help you understand being a founder or working with founders. So I don’t remember who said this. Many people have probably said it, but this is something I’ve come to believe.
Greg White (04:40):
As I’ve been a founder, advised founders, been on boards of directors. Passion is not sufficient. Obsession is required in a startup. So let me explain that. You can do things you’re passionate about. You might be passionate about surfing or mountain biking. I am, but to make it into a business that you’re going to spend a lot of your time in and sacrifice things for obsession is absolutely required. You need the kind of energy that obsession forces you to apply to a task in order to be committed enough, to take a startup from beginning to end. Another couple things that I think are just critical in a tech startup must start with a technologically gifted founder. Someone who can do the code, someone who can understand architecture and those sorts of things, and a vision sales operations, and investor savvy founder. You need both sides of that coin.
Greg White (05:44):
And rarely is that found in a single person. And frankly, even if it is that’s way too much work for one person leadership of marketing, finance, and other specialty roles can be handled fractionally as necessary. So maybe you want more founders, but at the very least it requires two. Don’t go it alone. All right, having established the basics. And if you’re still interested in learning more attempting your own startup, I put together a startup matrix to help describe the various stages of a startup from bootstrapping to growth equity. I’ll go through this pretty quickly to give you some insight. The caveat here is that there are a lot of differing opinions on approach and a lot of details that could prompt discussion, not going to go into excruciating detail. And I want you to understand this is not gospel my findings combined with some other people, and it’s meant to be a fundamental baseline to start your education or research.
Greg White (06:47):
So some quick learnings, it’s important to understand that the timeframe of the stages I’m going to describe will vary and sometimes vary widely, mostly based on the growth rate and or the burn rate or the amount of cashew burned by spending more than comes into the business each month of the business for sanity sake. Do you want any investment to, to last 18 months to three years, as fundraising is unbelievably strenuous and distracting to founders and key execs, especially in early stages, time spent on obtaining funding for the business is not spent advancing the sales, marketing, product development and operations of the business. So you want to limit the amount of time that you need to do that. You’ll fund frequently in a tech startup, but you want to do so prudently so that you can get back to the business of building the business.
Greg White (07:50):
All right, let’s get to it. If you miss anything rewind or hit me up on LinkedIn, Greg white at supply chain now, and I’ll send you the matrix in a spreadsheet form for you to modify or review or adapt based on your experience and findings or whatever you might want to use it for. So I’m going to go through the stages of funding that we discussed. In episode three, we talked about seed stage bootstrapping a rounds, all of those types of funding stages. So I’m going to go into, uh, where the company is in terms of maturity, the investment stage itself, any key milestones, what the fundraise amount would be in that stage, who invests in that stage, what your revenue and valuation could be in that stage. So buckle up kid. So if you think about the company at its vision concept, pre-product stage, that’s typically, well, he called pre-seed or bootstrap stage the milestones being first to build that founding team that we talked about before.
Greg White (09:06):
So that team of at least two folks, and then in that stage, you will likely be somewhere in the neighborhood of as little as maybe $20,000 or up to $500,000 in fundraising to cover startup expenses, infrastructure, research, those sorts of things that you need to know to understand whether you have a good product, whether you have a good market, frankly, first, and then how to adapt a product to that marketplace, the type of investor is going to be you, Y O U your personal funds or friends and family, or both. I would put my personal funds in before I went to my father in law, by the way, maybe angels, uh, your revenue level is going to be completely zero. And your valuation is going to be anywhere from zero to maybe two point $5 million. If you take external angel money, your valuation will matter.
Greg White (10:03):
If you don’t take external money, it’s likely not as important. So the next stage then would be taken that company from the pre-product stage, the vision stage to somewhere prior to market fit. So you’re still researching you’re in that seed stage. You’re still trying to build now a, a product, but maybe a minimum viable product MVP. And you may even approach or have some friendly customers that are going to help you get off the ground. If you have a ready, made market for this, that’s the ideal situation. So your fundraise amount is going to be in the neighborhood of somewhere under $2 million for the purpose of funding, research and development proof of concept, a team expansion. Note that in these first two fundraisers, I haven’t said anything about salaries. You can expect to get paid. Absolutely nothing for somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 to 36 months.
Greg White (11:14):
It could be less, it could be longer, but it just, just depends on how much time it takes to discover market fit, or at least the initial market fit, and to develop a product, to take it to market, and then to start getting paid by customers often at these early stages, you will give the customer what is essentially a free trial to be the first customer of the, of the company, the kind of investor that gets involved in this stage. Uh, also angels occasionally, um, micro funds or seed funds. So micro are simply smaller seeds, funds, and seed funds typically will invest anywhere from 200 to $500,000 at a time, your revenue who is going to be less than that, a million dollars probably still near zero for at least a portion of the 18 months or so that you will be running through this investment stage.
Greg White (12:17):
And your valuation is going to be in the neighborhood of two, between two and 10. Let me reinforce that these are vague numbers and they may vary based on the precise industry that you’re in, even the precise type of technology that you’re building. And also, so even the part of the country that you’re in valuations are China, or have been historically much higher in the Valley in Boston, in San Diego than they are in say, Austin or Atlanta or Chicago. So that can very pretty dramatically. And again, it all very dependent, the investors that you bring in at any particular stage as well. So your next stage is going to be some level of seed. You might have one or two actual seed rounds, investment. Think of this as early commercial adoption of the product. So you’ve built an MVP. You may be, have even matured the product slightly matured.
Greg White (13:20):
Your implementation processes is early adopting commercial customers are coming in at this stage. You’re going to raise somewhere in the neighborhood of between two and $5 million and the type of investors. Again, going to be a seed fund. It could be a small venture capital from, and sometimes firms will call themselves a CEO fund when they’re actually a small VC or vice versa. So don’t get too hung up on the names, but these are the areas of focus that these funds will be involved in. Your revenue is going to be South of three, 3 million ARR. Did I say ARR before annually recurring revenue? And that’s a key, newly recurring revenue is a key to your valuation. That way you don’t have to start over every year at zero revenue and keep going. So that’s why you see these big valuations of companies in the marketplace is because once they’ve signed you up to a subscription, I’m sure everyone knows what a subscription is by now.
Greg White (14:27):
Once they’ve signed you up to a subscription that subscription just continually renews, and there’s not a lot of costs, there’s a lot of dependability of that, uh, revenue and the company then creates a lot more value for investors. So at this early commercial adoption stage, your valuation is going to be in the neighborhood of eight to 25 million. And then the next stage is we’re to get to series a it’s hard to believe. It seems like we’ve been talking about this forever, but we’re starting to get to series a. So you’ve established a product market fit you’re in that series a where a full fledged venture capital fund will invest in you. It could be series B or C. You know, we talked about that in the last episode, there are in, there is an incredible alphabet soup of series of venture capital that you can acquire, but let’s just say it’s ABC.
Greg White (15:24):
Something like that, probably a or multiple B rounds is how it typically tends to run. You’ve established product market fit. You’re maturing your sales, your marketing, your implementation organizations and models you’re approaching. And this is an important milestone you’re approaching or at cashflow neutral. So today you have been burning cash. That description I gave you before, meaning much more cash going out the door than coming in the door. And so that’s why you will have multiple rounds of investment. People will see the potential in the business, but recognize that it is expensive to build technology. And they know that they’re going to have to continue to put capital into it the sooner, you know, how much capital that is. And the more of those milestones of fundraising you’re aware of the better that gives confidence to investors. It gives confidence to you and your team to know, Hey, we just raised $3 million.
Greg White (16:28):
That’s going to last us 18 months in another six months, we need to start another fundraising exercise. So those will be venture capital firms. You’ll probably be looking at an investment in the neighborhood of five to $10 million. Plus your revenue should be in the five to say 25 million annually recurring revenue range. And your valuation will be in an a or a B round anywhere. And this is a broad, broad range anywhere from 25 million to a hundred million plus in valuation, it could be much, much higher, depending again, on your revenue growth and the size of the market that you’re approaching. So the next stage is market acceleration, expansion acquisitions. You’ve got a fairly mature company. This is called the growth equity stage. This stage is a good milestone for founders and you know, may come in two years and may come in five years. It may take 10 years or more, but these are typically growth equity series B to, I don’t know, X let’s say you’ve established market fit.
Greg White (17:38):
You’re extending your penetration into that market. There are potentially new markets for you to go to or product extensions in your market or, or even additional companies that you might want to acquire or merge with to add your add to your tool set you’re at zero burn, definitely at zero burn rate. So you are bringing in more cash than you are spending. You may even be approaching or at profitable. So think about how far down the road we are. And we’re now just finally starting to talk about profitability. So your fundraise amount, this is a big range, anywhere from 10 million to over a billion dollars, usually used for growth acquisition. And finally, finally, what’s called founder liquidity, which is where the founders actually get to take some chips off the table. So let’s say an investor gives you $25 million. 10 of that may go to you.
Greg White (18:40):
And 15 goes to the balance sheet, meaning it goes to cash in the company to extend operations. So you get to pay off all your debts. You might get to buy a new car, whatever, but you are still engaged as a manager of the company. If you’ve done all these funding rounds, right? And I’ll, I’ll talk about what that means here in just a second. So these investors are typically called growth equity funds. They’re big. You may have even heard of them, even if you’re not familiar with investment, your revenue is going to be in the range of 10 million to a hundred million plus. And your valuation could be anywhere from 50 million should be. If you’re getting growth equity, somewhere in the 50 million to 1 billion plus range, if you are a unicorn, you are definitely going to get to take some chips off the table, but you’re still going to have a lot of growth potential in the company.
Greg White (19:34):
And you will have two things, both the leverage by way of the funding and the maturity by way of a company and hopefully management team to be able to bring this forward. So I’m not going to go into how investors evaluate founders and companies just yet, but that gives you an idea of how the funding rounds work. And it’s sometimes a shock to people to realize that they’re going to give away a portion, sell frankly, a portion of their company each time, this occurs, and they’re not going to put any money in their pocket. They’re going to put it all back into the business until you get to that growth round. So an important thing to think about as you are selling your company is each time you do any of these rounds, you want to try to keep the investor base the new investors at around 20% of the equity.
Greg White (20:27):
So to give you an example, in the last episode, we talked about a company worth a million dollars that took a million dollars worth of investment. You wouldn’t want to do that. You would basically be 50 50 partners with your investors. It’s way too early to do that. You want to try to keep them at about a 20% equity stake. So let’s say you’re in your seed round and worth $10 million. You need investment. That investment should be in the neighborhood of two to $3 million that would put your investors in that 20% ish range post money. Remember we talked in the last episode about pre money valuation, $10 million. If you take $3 million on a $10 million pre money valuation, as soon as you get that check, you’re worth $13 million. So they would own three thirteenths of the company. So anyway, you can do the math probably better than I can, but understand that you want to try to keep each round in that 20 to 30% range so that you maintain control of the company for as long as you possibly can.
Greg White (21:28):
That’s the way to make sure that your dream gets seen through. Alright. That is, it’s a lot of learning under our belt. So let’s take a look at what’s going on with tech and, and jobs in this current environment. So tech startups have shed close to 70,000 jobs since the start of the pandemic. According to the wall street journal startups have cut costs, obviously due to the lack of funding, which we’re about to talk about yet. Again, we talked about again in the last episode and lost sales since March, of course, when the world shut down a lot of business shut down for a lot of companies, there are a few that were fairly fortunate, a lot in the supply chain industry. As a matter of fact, we’re fair. We’re pretty fortunate as companies realized how inadequate their lack of technological systems were in a time of crisis like this.
Greg White (22:21):
So almost a 26,000 jobs have been lost just in the San Francisco area. That’s the Valley at companies, including Uber group on an Airbnb. The Lyft has also cut about 17% of its workforce and the job losses at smaller companies could affect larger companies too, which often turned to startups to hire emerging talent. So let’s move on to something really interesting and very uplifting. So trade Depot gets $10 million to add financial services to its supply chain for African small and medium businesses. So Nigeria is e-comm startup trade Depot connects international brands to small businesses in Africa raised 10 million in a new round of funding to expand its business into financial services and credit offerings for offline retailers. The initial business model managed to get about a $3 million investment by Partec back in 2018. And now as the firm invests from its West African fund Partec co-lead Trey, Depot’s less last round with the international finance Corp women entrepreneurs, finance initiative, and MSA capital trade Depot’s business makes a range of household supplies like milk soap, detergent, more accessible and affordable for street side vendors and small shops that provide goods and services for hundreds of communities and cities like lagos’ where the company is headquartered.
Greg White (23:57):
So this is a quote and it’s pretty impressive. Africa’s offline retail market is estimated at $1 trillion. And this new investment allows us to capture an even greater segment of the market said on your catchy is a Connie in a statement, we will continue to use data to drive efficiencies and provide an easier stock acquisition service for over 40,000 retailers, driving down costs for them by negotiating even better deals with our global manufacturing partners whilst simultaneously providing a better, faster route to market for our suppliers. The company said that a new store comes online to use its services every three minutes. And that the company receives an order from retailers every four seconds on average, using the company’s mobile apps on Android or WhatsApp shortcode messaging, or a toll free number, retailers can place orders and have goods and services delivered through their fleet of vans and tricycles.
Greg White (25:00):
They can make payments order stock and manage inventory online through the app as well. That support for businesses disproportionately goes to helping women entrepreneurs, according to the company women account for over 75% of the retailers on the company’s platform. Now with the help of its new investor, we fi trade Depot will look to offer more mentorship opportunities and link these business owners to global markets. This is a quote, women play a pivotal role in driving economies across Africa, but lack access to capital limited marketing market linkages, cultural norms, and other challenges often prevent them from achieving the success they want said Han nom Newin who represents Wi-Fi initiative with the IFC financing will incentivize trade Depot to build stronger. Women led small and medium enterprises, retailer and distributor networks, which will support them to become drivers of economic growth in their community. So here’s the thing.
Greg White (26:04):
These are literally street vendors and they are actually getting microfunding and a, the ability to sell international brands from wherever their spot is. So it’s, it’s very enabling technology and methodology and now funding so that I think that’s good news $1 trillion industry. I have to keep my eye on that as usual I’m running long. So let’s get through the deal ticker. So even in this unstable business environment, there are some deals getting done. So this week, though, there weren’t a lot of supply chain deals, 202 funding rounds were completed for nine point $8 billion and 81 acquisitions for $27 billion. Both of those are up substantially from last week. So here’s an interesting enabler of, of commerce pop shop live a Los Angeles, California based live streaming shopping app. They say at the intersection of social e-commerce and entertainment raise $3 million in funding bringing the total amount raised to 4.5 million.
Greg White (27:13):
So this startup is helping boutique retailers unload inventory. So many of them have been impacted, did buy this size mixed societal disruption of Corona virus. And while I did take a look while a lot of the product is not exactly my vibe, in fact, some of it I’ve never even heard of, but it’s mostly sort of geeky chotchkies right now, but this spreads to more mainstream stuff, it could be really, really big. There’s a big opportunity. I would encourage you to take a look at it, pop shop live there. Founder Dan yell, Lee, I believe L I li is on Twitter and has a few videos of, of how people use the app. And it’s pretty interesting. Also, uh, our friend Ben Gordon, uh, led a 22 point $5 million series B round his company, Cambridge capital with lifted a Columbia based logistics firm, also participating where H2O cap AC ventures and a few others lifted offers a trucking operations platform that operates across several Latin American countries.
Greg White (28:24):
Five, I believe has raised $61 million to date lifted, get this expects to reach profitability across all of it operations before the end of the year. That’s really good news considering it’s this company operates in transportation and the current global economic conditions. So a quick update on the tequila sunrise supply chain tech stock index, I am still compiling the mechanism of the index. It’s an intensive and painstaking process. And one thing I’ve found is that true supply chain tech public companies are very few on a suggestion from listener Keith Moore from provision AI. I’m altering the weighting of the companies like Amazon, Oracle, and SAP that have only a portion of their revenue from supply chain. A quick update, I guess, supply chain stocks are generally fluctuating within a range though. Kanaxis and Amazon have been moving upward fairly dramatically. In the last 12 months. You might recall that I gave my undereducated opinion on Kanaxis, which promptly went up and while they did blip up, they’ve largely fallen back to near where they were when we kicked off tequila sunrise.
Greg White (29:40):
At the end of, I can’t say that their value will be reflected in the stock market, but so far it has. And in any case, I believe they’ll continue. Kanaxis will continue to make waves in supply chain. All right, we are finally at that point, and that is all you need to know about supply chain tech for this week. Hey, give me some feedback. You’ve been so generous and I really appreciate it. Let me know how to continue to tune this show. Don’t forget to get to supply chain now, radio.com for more supply chain now, series interviews and events. In fact, I’m going to encourage you to get your buzz zone. We linked in live stream. You can join 10,000 or so of your fellow supply chain professionals for the supply chain news of the week, each Monday at noon Eastern time with Scott Luton and me, that is what you need to know about supply chain for the week.
Greg White (30:36):
Also keep an eye out for a couple of new pilots series Jaman Alvidrez on transportation and tech talk. Yeah, like the app with the great Kerryn bursa and me, mostly her for a deep dive on supply chain tech and how it works in practice. Hey, if you’re listening and haven’t subscribed, there’s no excuse. Now we are everywhere. Apple podcast, Spotify, Google podcast, wherever you get your podcasts. So subscribe to tequila, sunrise, wherever you get podcasts. I want to thank you, especially for this little bit long run today for spending time with me and remember acknowledge reality,
Speaker 2 (31:19):
But never be bound.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Vice President, Production
Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.
Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research. Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Director of Sales
Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Principal & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.