January 2020 Featured Member – Brett Bernstein, Founder and CEO of Gatsby

We are thrilled to be reviving our featured members posts and that Brett is our very first Founder from our San Diego chapter to be featured! We are all about community at Startup Haven and helping and supporting each other through the joys and difficulties of being a founder in the Startup world. Make sure to check out Brett’s offer and his ask towards the end of the post to see if you can help him in his journey as he shares about ways he can help you with yours!

Brett Bernstein is the founder & CEO of Gatsby (https://www.gatsby.ai/). Previously, he started and sold Natural Cravings, a healthy school vending operation throughout California, and was on the product marketing team at Box pre & post IPO. Outside of work he enjoys rock climbing, beach days, and drinking entirely too much coffee.

We completely agree on drinking entirely too much coffee in the Startup life, Brett. We sympathize!

Let’s jump right in and let Brett continue:

Describe what your company does in 25 words or less.

Gatsby helps brands automatically identify and engage their micro-influencer customers.

What was the inspiration for your company?

Help brands and influencer marketing be more authentic, real

How is/was your company funded and how does it make money?

Friends & Family / Angels

What has been the biggest win for your company?

Closing enterprise contracts

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made along the way?

Hired the wrong people too early

What do you like most about being a founder?

I own my calendar and get to work on any challenging problem I want

What do you like least about being a founder?

As a solo founder, it can be a bit isolating at times

What has been the biggest barrier to progress for you as a founder?

Building a software businesses as a non-technical founder

What’s your best hack for dealing with the demands of running a startup?

Walks. I start my mornings with coffee and a walk, and anytime I’m overly excited or down, I walk it off

What were you doing before you started working on your company?

I was working at Box, pre & post IPO

If you weren’t building your company, what else would you be doing now?

Going back to school. Want to learn more about science, mysteries like Quantum Physics and space

What advice do you have for founders who are two stages behind you?

Keep going. There are going to be days and weeks where it seems like nothing is going to work out and you want to give up… don’t. Getting through those phases are some of the most defining and important times.

How has Startup Haven helped you on your journey?

Learning from other San Diego founders, getting to share wins together over a monthly poker game, talk about mutual opportunities. It helps to be part of a network of like-minded people.

What would make life better for founders in your city?

More access to capital

What help can you offer to other Startup Haven member founders… what’s your offer?

Happy to share my story of bootstrapping as a solo founder for almost 4 years now, and making it to a point where we’re now profitable, hiring, and getting real intros to VC’s. I may have some advice I can impart.

What do you need… what’s your “ask”?

Would love any intros to fashion, beauty, health/wellness brands, or marketing agencies that work with clients like those.

What’s next?

Well glad you asked. We’re continuing to hire, build out our product roadmap, and prepare for a big 2020. Excited!