The CEO of one of LinkedIn’s Top 50 Startups for 2017 will join two other panelists to discuss how to achieve Silicon-Valley-style success without a Silicon Valley address
RALEIGH, NC—Nov. 2, 2017 — Pendo.io, creator of the leading web-based Product Experience Platform, today announced that co-founder and CEO, Todd Olson, is one of three executives from across the United States selected to participate in a Salesforce Dreamforce panel discussion on what it takes to start and grow a high profile technology company in a lower profile locale. Moderated by Mark Cuban, the billionaire entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of hit series “Shark Tank,” the panel will include the following entrepreneurs:
- Todd Olson, co-founder and CEO of Raleigh, NC-based Pendo.io, a high-growth SaaS provider helping digital product teams to deliver product experiences that users love.
- Shradha Agarwal, co-founder and president of Chicago-based Outcome Health, a health tech company providing digital advertising solutions for pharma companies.
- Rachel Carlson, CEO of Denver, CO-based Guild Education, an edtech company that provides a lifelong learning platform with classes, programs and degrees.
The panel discussion will take place on Monday, Nov. 6, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel in Yerba Buena Salon 9.
“Silicon Valley may seem to get all the headlines, but the spirit of entrepreneurship is strong across North America,” the panel description says. “Whether you’re from Poughkeepsie or Palo Alto, you will gain perspective and get practical advice, no matter where you hang your hat.”
The topic has particular timeliness and relevance as many entrepreneurs and knowledge workers reconsider the lifestyle tradeoffs of top-tier technology markets like San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York and Boston, where cost of living has outpaced earning power for even many highly-skilled workers. According to Zillow, the average home price in San Francisco exceeds $1.2 million, whereas, in cities like Raleigh, NC and Austin, TX, an equivalent home might cost less than a third of this price. Accordingly, many entrepreneurs and knowledge workers are actively migrating to smaller, lower-cost markets where it’s easier to recruit and retain affordable talent and to find a sustainable balance between work and life.
“I believe the talent and ecosystem advantages of Silicon Valley, while still real, are reaching the point of diminishing returns as competition for talent overheats and living costs rise through the roof,” said Todd Olson, co-founder and CEO of Pendo. “Conventional wisdom may suggest that you need to start a tech company in these top-tier markets, but Pendo is proof that Silicon Valley success doesn’t require a Silicon Valley address.”
In further support of this trend, Pendo was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Companies | Startups, a list of 50 industry disruptors selected from an eligible field of 25,000 startups. The list includes Silicon Valley stalwarts like Slack, Stripe, Dropbox, Uber and Lyft, as well as Raleigh-based Pendo.
“I’m a big believer in Silicon Valley and all it brings, but also recognize that it’s not for everyone,” said Megan Quinn, a partner at Spark Capital, a Pendo investor based in Silicon Valley. “I also recognize–and the Pendo story is a testament to this–that Silicon Valley and other major markets are hardly the only valid options for starting and growing a wildly successful company.
Pendo has raised over $56 million to date, $45 million this year, from top-tier Silicon Valley investors including Battery Ventures, Spark Capital, Salesforce Ventures and Meritech Capital Partners. The company recently announced its first acquisition, Israel-based Insert.io, which extends its product analytics and user engagement capabilities to richer mobile use cases, and adds Pendo’s first international office. The company has over 150 employees and plans to double headcount, primarily in Raleigh, NC, in 2018.