Brian chats with three-time tech founder and CEO Neha Sampat. Her latest venture, Contentstack, is a category-leading Composable Digital Experience Platform used by Mitsubishi Electric, Burberry, Icelandair, Leesa, and more. Neha has raised $169 million in capital for Contentstack over the past three years, including a recent $80 million Series C round.
On the episode, Neha provides a wealth of strategies and tactics for building multiple successful businesses, including the importance of aligning a mission with company values. She also shares why she is a relentless advocate for achieving equity in the workforce and how getting comfortable with rejection helped her to become one of the top women in tech for fundraising dollars.
Photos Credit: Courtesy of Austin Woman Magazine. Shot by Rudy Arocha.
Mission-driven businesses align with their values.
Neha describes a mission-driven business as one whose mission aligns with its values. Ideally, the business’s mission is to change lives, create impact, and do something meaningful. The company’s values then inform how the business achieves its mission.
“It all boils down to what the company’s values are,” she said. “Values that are shared and understood and revisited often so that they’re not just something on a board somewhere but something we’re actually living on a regular basis and rewarding people to live by.”
Get comfortable with rejection.
Raising millions of dollars takes a lot of rejection. When Neha was figuring out how to raise capital for her startups, she was routinely told no. To get to a yes, she learned to be resilient, ask for feedback, make changes, and try again.
“You do that 100 times before you get to the point where someone wants to write you a term sheet,” she said.
Find your champion.
Neha’s breakthrough came when she found her champion and, later, her first investor. By following her champion’s playbook, she reached an inflection point where her work started to come together. Now, Neha is one of the top women in tech for fundraising dollars — a fact that makes her smile.
“There’s always somebody that becomes a champion for you, and when that happens, it’s so magical,” she says. “There aren’t a lot of female CEOs, and almost none in enterprise SAAS, that have raised this much capital. I want people to know that and see that it is possible if you stay on that course, build resilience, believe in yourself, and find champions.”
Everybody has a superpower.
As a woman of color tech founder without an engineering background, Neha didn’t have someone successful to look up to when she was a new tech entrepreneur. Her experience made her incredibly passionate about providing access and opportunities to more people in the tech industry.
For instance, when she created Contentstack, Neha partnered with community colleges to bring students into the organization. Now, some of those students have been with Contentstack for more than 15 years.
“Everybody has their own superpower, and sometimes the right access, opportunities, or education lets you unlock it,” she said. “I go out of my way to look for those opportunities.”
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About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast
Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.
On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.