Hack to Start - Mike Schmidt, Co-founder & CEO, Dovetale

From a dorm room to an acquisition & now backed by Expa

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Hey everyone! Wanted to share a special episode with you this week! Mike Schmidt is the co-founder and CEO of Dovetale. Mike grew up outside Toronto, Canada and later attended Queen’s University, studying Chemical Engineering. While at Queen’s, he quickly developed an affinity for tech startups and was accepted into the Next 36 (an exclusive program in which he’s still involved to this day). After graduating from both programs, Mike launched Listn from a dorm room at the university. As the CEO, Mike helped raise money, create the vision for the product, sign major partnerships, and helped the company get acquired by SFX Entertainment. Following the acquisition, Mike’s career in tech continued to flourish. He lead mobile and many other product initiatives at SFX Entertainment as part of a product called BeatPort. After a few year there, a mentor introduced him to another startup called We Heart It in San Francisco where Mike was the Head of Growth, Product, and Engineering. Under Mike’s guidance, the app grew by 5M users and reached as high as the #12 spot overall on the App Store in less than 12 months. Throughout his career, influencer marketing was a common area of interest and fruitful tactic that Mike came back to time and time again. But it was often complicated to execute, expensive, and unpredictable. Today, Mike is the founder of Dovetale, a startup that’s looking to change exactly that. Dovetale is backed by Expa, a startup studio created by ex-founders of companies like Uber, Foursquare, and more. Mike joins us to share his story, how he turn a chemical engineering degree into a passion for tech startups from a dorm room at Queen’s University, what motivated him to launch Listn, what it was like being part of the Next36, what it was like raising funding, how Listn was acquired, how he’s trying to change the way influencer marketing happens for everyone, what it’s like being part of Expa, and much more! Thanks for listening!
@francovarriano Thanks Franco + team. Really enjoyed the chat. Looking forward to people's feedback :)
Highly recommend! Very interesting to listen to how others break into the world of startups with non-traditional backgrounds (i.e. Chemical Engineering).