Entrepreneur Features

Nick Francis

Cofounder & CEO, Help Scout

“The best decision I ever made was to never stop learning - and to learn at a high velocity.”

Under Nick's leadership, Help Scout, a builder of customer support tools, has embraced a remote-only employment model, developed a fanatical customer base and consistently grown ‘up and to the right’.

This drive to do better every day is remarkable. Seeing Nick leverage his Venture Partner relationship to intentionally craft culture and transition from “building a great product to building a great business”, inspires the entire Help Scout family.

Michael Gronager

Cofounder & CEO, Chainalysis

“Is a Ph.D. the new MBA? It might be. I’m not afraid of problems that are way too big.”

Propelled by the belief that in 5-20 years all value transfer will occur over the blockchain, Michael and his co-founders Jan and Jonathan started Chainalysis in 2014. The New York-based Dane has been drawn to vast and vaguely defined questions his whole life - evidenced by him spending 8 years earning an MSc in Chemical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Quantum Mechanics. Bridging financial institutions and blockchain exchanges is indeed a very big problem and Michael’s excitement around solving it is unwavering. “More or less everything that we really value as items and functionality has been built by startups. The spirit of invention is infectious.”

Hilmi Ozguc

Founder & CEO, Swirl Networks

“My serial nature is driven by my desire to create.”

Marketing to retail customers on their mobile devices is good but doing it when they’re in stores, actively shopping is even better. It’s an obvious but complex opportunity and this is precisely what energizes Hilmi, inspires his work and drives him to succeed. Having previously built and sold two businesses, Swirl Networks is Hilmi's third start up. “Success is being able to return something to those people who bet on you - suppliers, employees, investors, partners, customers. It’s enormously satisfying.”

Peter Lee

CEO, RapidMiner

“Boston is gritty, grounded and grinding. This town believes in lots of elbow grease and an emphasis on the fundamentals of building terrific businesses.”

With this mindset and a proven ability to operate at all levels of the growth curve, Peter joined RapidMiner two years ago. The company has quickly established itself as the leading open-source data science platform, an accomplishment Peter credits to teamwork. It’s this ability to collectively outperform that delivers results and a “temporary euphoria - until we climb the next mountain”. Named a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader, this team is making its mark in Boston.

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