1 August, 2023

PowerUp Podcast | Episode 0.5

We look at unique staffing challenges when growing from 20 to 200.

Tech Superpowers is back in your feeds with a brand new show! Adam and Mike are here to talk about everything that’s been happening since you’ve heard us last and introducing what we’re doing next! PowerUp Boston will be a regular podcast where we connect with folks from the Boston startup community to discuss the scale-up journey and all the various items that come up as a business grows!


PowerUp Boston podcast transcript:


Adam Fisk  00:11

What’s up everyone? Welcome to what is now the first or almost first episode of the brand new podcast brought to you by Tech Superpowers. My name is Adam Fisk, and this was previously home of the Grepcast, which you may have known and hopefully loved. But welcome to the new iteration of it, which we are going to be calling PowerUp Boston. As always, we are joined today by Mike Oh. All right. So I know it’s been some time since we talked to you last – probably over a year. The last episode, I think that you heard our voices where we were talking about this little thing called COVID, how technology was even playing with that and all of these things. And in between, then and now, TSP has, Mike would you say we’ve gone not through a reinvention, but maybe a reintroduction?


Michael Oh  01:03

I like calling it a renaissance of sorts. 


Adam Fisk  01:06

Renaissance. I’m into it. I like a renaissance. Yeah, about a year ago, what was previously called TSP, which is still TSP; we are the same people, of course. We re-introduced, we “renaissanced” to ourselves back into our original name – Tech Superpowers, and are continuing to do the work that y’all know and love us for, which is supporting Boston area businesses as they go through their various stages of starting up and scaling up. But as part of that, we are launching and have launched a series called PowerUp, PowerUp sessions, PowerUp Boston. Mike, do you want to give us some insight on what those sessions have been?


Michael Oh  01:44

Sure, sure. Absolutely. Well, the thing you’ll see underlying all of the PowerUp events, the podcasts, and everything that comes along with it, is we’re really here to support our clients and our clients are really in this Boston ecosystem. This exciting kind of technology world, you know, post COVID, there’s been so many changes, there has been so much that has really influenced Boston very positively. I think as a startup and technology sort of ecosystem. 


Of course, the intersection with biotechnology with all the medical universities, the medical centers here in Boston has been tremendous. And, you know, we’ve seen just a huge amount of innovation, and funding, and ideas around startups in that Boston ecosystem. Everything from, you know, more traditional SaaS businesses to you know, biotech, to even climate tech, some of our clients are now in that space as well. And so when we put together the PowerUp series, it was really about creating resources, new ideas, and maybe focusing a little bit on the blank space. You know, I think a lot of people talk about how to get investment, how to start off your business. But what we’ve seen with our clients, is that really the ones that succeed, are the ones that know how to scale and know how to go from 20 to 200, as we call it. 

And that’s a very challenging phase of a business, and you can grow too quickly, you can grow too slowly, you certainly need to make sure that your product and your software or whatever, that you’re selling sort of works in the larger market to be able to do that. And we thought there was a lot of opportunity for Tech Superpowers to help our clients and even help those who aren’t clients understand more about that world, and really how to succeed.


Adam Fisk  03:37

And of course, and ultimately, for those who are wondering to themselves, what is a scale-up? I know of what a startup is. I know what a business is. But what the heck is a scale-up? And how is that different? 


So for quick definitions for everybody the scale up, and what that really means is it is that startup that has proven their business model, they are going at it, they’ve determined the product fit and the market fit, and they’re ready to kind of hit the gas. They have gone through their phase where it’s maybe that founder, that kind of visionary with maybe one or two other people, and then they brought in that ten, and they’re at that part where they’re at 20 folks, and they’re looking to grow quickly. And it is that critical time where with conversations that we’ve had already with not only clients, but people just in the Boston community. It is that time where there’s a lot happening all at once. 


And sometimes, all you need to know is what worked really, really well. Or what worked maybe less than well for other organizations. So you know what to do and maybe not to do as you’re going through that process. 


So what does that mean for you? What does that mean for the podcast? Well, we are having these regular PowerUp events where we’re bringing in folks from the community experts people that have gone through this process already. And we are going to be and have been having sessions where we focus on maybe a very particular piece of that scaleup and startup journey. 


Just recently, we had a session where we talked about staffing. How to scale people from that 20 to 200. So we will be bringing you multiple episodes per session. This may be monthly, maybe quarterly, kind of depends on how scheduling goes. But we will be bringing you insights from those sessions, special guests who were either part of the conversation, or have really, really interesting things to say, on these particular topics. And then really just there for you to feel like you’ve not only been able to learn from that, but also reaching out to us as you always have been, which quick plug is just powerup@tsp.me.


Michael Oh  05:58

Yeah, we’re very much looking forward to getting some new voices in the new format will be really bringing in some guests and a much broader part of the Boston scale-up ecosystem. I mean, of course, we’re gonna have people from VCs and investment firms, but equally, voices from successful scale-ups from people that are supporting all elements of that from founders to operators and the whole ecosystem. So we’re really looking forward to starting this journey off again and kicking off the power of podcast and see what kind of great conversations we have.


Adam Fisk  06:32

Definitely, for our longtime Grepcast listeners, what this does mean is maybe we won’t spend as much time slamming on weird technology that has growing out. But I do think that it will just be as hopefully entertaining. And hopefully, you’ll get a little bit more out of it. And if you have any thoughts or suggestions or topics that you would like to hear from us and our guests on the scaling journey, please reach out to us. 


Now that is as much as we have to say on this pre-episode of The PowerUp Boston podcast. Thank you again for listening to us again as we kick off, kind of the next version of what this podcast feed will be. In the meantime, you can find everything that we’re up to over on our website at tsp.me, over on Instagram @TechSuperpowers, and on Twitter @TechSuperpowers. Mike, any last pieces that you want to plug in, or throw out before we move on?


Michael Oh  07:31

No, I mean, I think you’ve covered it all. We’re looking forward to getting people’s feedback on the new version of the podcast, and hopefully some guest ideas and some topic ideas as we go through and certainly subscribe to the newsletter on the tsp.me website because we’ll be sending a lot more out about the events that we’re doing, which are really going to be the linchpin of the PowerUp series. Join us there.


Adam Fisk  07:56

Well, from everyone over here at Tech Superpowers. We’ll talk to you soon. See you.

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