CEO of the Newest Unicorn Startup on Their Tough Start & Fast Rise [Traction Podcast #8]

The NextView podcast Traction shares the incredible stories of the creative and unusual things entrepreneurs did to make initial progress in an important. Listen on iTunes, or Stitcher. The founding stories of companies like LinkedIn, DraftKingsGeneral Assembly, The Muse, NatureBox, InsightSquared, and more have appeared on the show. New episodes every two weeks.

One of the main reasons we wanted to launch this show was to dig deeper into this concept of startups doing things that “don’t scale.” The podcast, in part, is built to ask that question of founders, who then tell those stories openly and honestly. After all, when it comes to the pantheon of billion-dollar-plus startups known as unicorns, we often get the mythologized version of what really happened and what early struggles or clever tactics were used just to survive.

In this episode, we talk to the CEO of the newest unicorn — Jason Robins, co-founder of DraftKings. Jason is generous with his storytelling and tactical tips for fundraising when VCs aren’t receptive, partnering with large players in your industry (as DraftKings was able to do with brands like Disney/ESPN, the MLB, the NHL, etc.), and building a company that’s capable of being truly analytical — not just driven by data, but obsessed with it.

So … how does a unicorn gain traction anyway?

Listen right here:

– Inside the Episode –

Startup Lessons You’ll Learn:

  • A clever question to ask VCs to ensure you get a firm answer.
  • Tactics for fundraising when being met with some resistance.
  • How young startups can partner with massive brands.
  • Why and how you should grow a data-obsessed team.
  • Marketing and user acquisition advice for those in hot, competitive markets.

Stories You’ll Hear:

  • The early struggles Jason experienced while raising funding (and the way they overcame this pushback).
  • The surprising companies that breed highly analytical minds and user acquisition geniuses.
  • The hiring process at DraftKings and other data-obsessed companies.

Links Mentioned:

To get all episodes of Traction as soon as they’re live, plus other resources and advice for seed-stage startups, subscribe to the View From Seed and follow @NextViewVC.