Off the Record

Practical advice and actionable takeaways for building a better business. With exclusive insights from industry leaders.
This series is full of insider insights to help you navigate leadership and stay focussed on your founder's journey.
If you are a founder or director, Off the Record is a podcast you want to bookmark. Most stories you’ll hear haven’t been shared publicly before. It’s like chatting with a mentor privately at lunch. Enjoy!
- Aram, CEO @ Crowdlinker.

Hi, it’s Aram.
Every week I’m interviewing Founders and VC’s to talk about all thing’s growth. From raising and allocating capital, to building a dedicated team and managing mental wellness.


September 8, 2022
28:33 minutes
Koii is a new method to design communications infrastructure and build an internet owned by everyone. In this episode, our co-host Sergey Ross and Koii Network co-founder Al Morris speak about Al’s journey going from teaching career to being a founder of Koii, different hiring challenges, and what privacy looks like ten years in the future.
August 9, 2022
46:51 minutes
Mark Rickmeier, CEO at TXI, and Aram discuss the ugly side of growth. They explore what growth for the sake of growth does to employee and customer retention, why your competitors are worthy rivals that you can teach and learn from, why investing in experience pays you dividends, how being humble allows you to avoid being tunnel visioned, and how to strike a balance between time spent running a business and time spent with loved ones.
June 20, 2022
39:21 minutes
Ron Benegbi, founder and CEO of Uplinq, speaks to our co-host Sergey about what it’s like to grow a startup without unnecessary hiring sprees, inexplicably large teams, and being unintentional with how resources are allocated.
May 30, 2022
47:01 minutes
Mark Achler and Mert Hilmi Iseri join us to discuss what they learned digging through the unknown world of mergers and acquisitions while writing their book. Confidentiality, bad outcomes, and wanting to keep things private are some of the many reasons the world of mergers and acquisitions are so opaque. Throughout the conversation, we explore why to view pitching as the beginning of a relationship rather than a mere transaction, why vulnerability and empathy should be at the root of your relationship with your board, the 4 components that make acquisitions work, and why you need to get used to rejection if you plan to sell your company.
March 29, 2022
40:50 minutes
Jordi Torras, Founder & CEO at Inbenta shares his entrepreneurial transition from a service into a product company. Talks about the challenges of starting a software company, how he overcame the limited startup ecosystem in Barcelona and how Inbenta started on international markets in France and Brazil.
February 17, 2022
50:00 minutes
Jonathan Graff, VC @ Celtic House joins Aram to talk about what he looks for in founders before investing, building scalable businesses and hiring a leadership team.
January 25, 2022
39:31 minutes
Scott Absher joins Sergey to discuss how ShiftPixy is creating a new gig work and part-time work ecosystem that provides reliable income to workers and consistent quality of work to companies. Together, they explore what work will look like in the next couple of years, how human capital is being disrupted, and why matching passion to occupation can be so rewarding for organizations that want to accelerate their growth.
December 9, 2021
42:16 minutes
Jeff Dennis, author of the book, "Lessons from the Edge: Survival Skills for Starting and Growing a Company” shares the pitfalls of startup partnerships, different degrees of commitment, divergent visions, lack of trust or shared values. He also explains the importance of building out a team protected by established guardrails.
December 7, 2021
31:21 minutes
Nick Adams, a co-founder at Differential Ventures, shares his perspective on what makes for the most compelling startup pitches.
November 24, 2021
41:36 minutes
Anuj Adhiya, author of the book 'Growth Hacking for Dummies’, stopped by to chat with me about first principles of growing your startup and how to hire better.
November 21, 2021
50:07 minutes
Mike Evans is a turnaround specialist, a serial entrepreneur, an author and investor. He Co-Founded GrubHub Online Food Delivery platform back in 2002. He is currently Founder and CEO at FIXER, a company building the "right now" handyman service. In this episode, Mike will guide you on your startup journey. We discuss learnings from his journey of starting GrubHub, executing IPO, investing in other companies and finally starting FIXER.
November 20, 2021
45:58 minutes
Stephen Forte, managing partner at Fresco Capital talks about everything you need to pay attention to when selling your company, dangers of having too many mentors, why you might now want to be a VC and more.
October 12, 2021
38:15 minutes
Bram Warshafsky the Founder of Shelfgram joins me to share his startup battles and “pack it in” moments.
September 16, 2021
31:28 minutes
Mike Smerklo has worked alongside the legends - Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. He was one of the first employees of their startup, Loudcloud. Today he’s talking about the mental side of being an entrepreneur.
September 8, 2021
39:51 minutes
Mike Williams, the CEO of a marketing agency Jetstream Digital stops by to chat about why you need to do marketing before building a product, finding your customers, founder’s mental health.

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