When I met Paul Jarrett, co-founder of Bulu Box, for the first time, there was something special about him that I can only describe as having chutzpah. As I got to know him and his team, it was clear that he had deep industry knowledge and was on to something with Bulu Insights. However, it was his team’s dynamic and dedication to building a strong culture that pushed the Flyover partners and me toward leading their last round.
I’m often asked what type of characteristics are important for a founder and team to demonstrate, and for me, it’s about three things: connection, coachability, and culture.
Founders that have a real connection to the problem they’re solving – their ability to viscerally react to a pain point – cannot be underestimated. It is how they inspire their team, endure the grind day after day, and drive decisions on how the company iterates on solving the problem. At the end of the day, founders who are empathetic to the problem are those who are going to figure it out.
Flyover isn’t a firm that just writes checks, but looks for opportunities in which we are able to build valued-added relationships. Relationships are about the value exchange between those involved, and we get incredibly excited to work with founders who are as excited to work with our team.
Whether in baseball or Bulu Box, founders that are coachable – actively listen, hungry for feedback and ask questions – are those that we want to play with everyday.
Lastly, if you talk to Paul for more than three minutes, you understand how important team and culture are to Bulu Box’s success. They are a team that is passionate about the company they are building, brings their A-game everyday, and is supportive of one another. Having support and a team that is pulling in the same direction is a sign to us that they are headed in the right direction.
A technology-enabled, subscription based model that has a data analytics play was very attractive to the Flyover partners; however, it was Paul and his team that moved us towards signing the dotted line. We’re excited to be partnering with the Bulu Box team and helping them become a technology success story.