Gig Wage Customer Spotlight: Bolster
Broadcasting industry executive Donald McGannon once said, "Leadership is action not a position." Organizations need action-oriented leaders, and many early-stage founders need additional support from experienced executives to continue growing their companies. Bolster is an on-demand marketplace that helps connect companies with highly-vetted executives that will help them scale and accelerate growth. We recently had the opportunity to interview Nick Badgett, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Bolster, about his experience running a company through a pandemic.
A Little About You:
GW: Introduce yourself and your business
NB: I’m Nick Badgett, co-founder and CMO at Bolster, the on-demand executive talent marketplace. We help accelerate companies’ growth by connecting them with experienced, highly vetted executives for interim, fractional, advisory, project-based, or board roles. Bolster also provides startup and scale-up CEOs with software and content to help them assess, benchmark, and diversify their leadership teams and boards.
GW: What is your business’s mission?
NB: To help CEOs scale their companies differently, starting with talent. We are creating a new way for CEOs to scale themselves, their executive teams, and boards.
GW: How did you decide to start your business?
NB: Our CEO, Matt Blumberg, ran a technology company called Return Path for over 20 years, where Bolster’s eight founders all worked. Return Path was one of the first companies to establish a “people first” culture where the circle of life for a high-growth, highly scalable business began with employees at the forefront; anchored in values of equity, parity, flexibility and an intense focus on investing in employee development - before this was in vogue. After selling Return Path in 2019, the founding team was exploring potential business opportunities that allowed them to make a bigger impact on the world. At the same time, Silicon Valley Bank and High Alpha Innovation were together envisioning a platform to help VC-backed portfolio companies more effectively navigate the complex world of executive talent needs. When the three groups came together, we realized the shared vision to build a company that puts people first in all aspects to drive high-growth businesses. You can read our full founding manifesto here.
GW: What key factors have led to your success?
NB: We believe that, in today’s work environment, flexibility and diversity matter more than ever...and our on-demand marketplace offers just that. CEOs can collaborate with the best people for the work, no matter where they are located, accessing talent outside of their typical networks to promote a more diverse leadership team. Seasoned executives can be tapped for exclusive opportunities usually only known to an insular few, and select roles that balance the best of their career and their family lives. Combined, the Bolster marketplace unlocks incredible potential for a new way of forming teams.
GW: What advice would you give businesses that employ contractors?
NB: Treat them well, they are the lifeblood of your business along with your customers. Without the right mix of both, your business is unlikely to succeed in the long term.
GW: What will your business look like in a post-COVID-19 world?
NB: Our business started in April 2020 and while COVID-19 helped expedite remote and flexible working options, we think many shifts (embracing geographic diversity, remote employees, and flexible work situations to name a few) are here to stay. We don’t anticipate our business will change much at all in a post-COVID-19 world but we are sure excited to spend more time together as a company and with all of our stakeholders in person!
Your Thoughts on Us:
GW: What problem(s) were you trying to solve with our product?
NB: As a two-sided marketplace, building a scalable solution from the start was important. Payment infrastructure is one of the first things any company has to think about to pay their own bills, but when you are paying contractors (or “Members” in our case), it adds another integral layer. We were happy to find a partner like Gig Wage that can grow with us.
GW: How does our product service stand out from other options?
NB: We were up and running with Gig Wage in a matter of days. No heavy implementation lift, waiting period, or fees to get started. In addition, the economics and value proposition (fast payment, handling of 1099s, end of year tax forms, and API integration) made it a no brainer.
GW: What made you happiest about working with our company?
NB: The customer support at Gig Wage is phenomenal. When we have questions or any issues they are on it within hours if not minutes. We are happy to partner with a company that is rapidly growing themselves and has empathy and understanding for their customers.
GW: What is your biggest success story?
NB: The whole experience has been a success story so far. We’re excited to partner with Gig Wage to support our members getting paid faster and without fees other vendors may charge... We’re just getting started!
As a company that values flexibility and diversity throughout our team, Gig Wage is proud to be working with Bolster. If you're a startup or scaling company who could benefit from on-demand executive level talent, learn more and sign up as a client here. If you're an executive interested in securing interim, fractional, project-based, advisory or board work, learn more and sign up as a member here. To learn more check out their website and follow them on social (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook).
Written byErin Lee