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Our Team

Our coaches aren’t professional “mentors”.  We're operators who have built and exited startups and enjoy teaching others.

After watching hundreds of startups waste investors’ money on bad hires and expensive non-scalable tactics, we built Startup Core Strengths to help startups learn the foundational mindset and habits to drive sustainable growth.

 

Our mission is to help early-stage startups to get much much better at customer acquisition. We know it’s not only possible but repeatable. And, we’ve seen that it’s not only repeatable but teachable.

Our Why

Matt Lerner

Founder & Chief Troublemaker

Matt spent 15 years as a marketer and G.M. in Silicon Valley, including 10 years at PayPal. Later, as a VC at 500 Startups, he led 35 early-stage investments, and developed and led the “Distro Dojo” growth program, where he helped those startups achieve average growth of 250% in 12 months. Matt guest-lectures at Stanford Business School and Imperial College.
 

When he's not hacking growth, Matt's obsessed with optimising his own health, “biohacking,” fasting, and measuring anything that isn’t nailed down.

Nopadon Wongpakdee

Co-Founder

Prior to Startup Core Strengths, Nopadon was an Entrepreneur In Residence with Citi Ventures, and coached in 500 Startups' accelerator. He's been working on SEO and inbound  since the late 90s, and has worked with over 100 companies.

When he’s not inspiring teams… Nop enjoys Thai  boxing and buzzing around London on his  one-of-a-kind custom-built Triumph T100 TR9C Roadster.

He once… grew a publisher’s traffic from 5K/month  to 50K/day in 10 months.

Claire Barrance

Operations & Community

Claire has a background in marketing, community and events management, with 15 years of experience across different sectors including tech, education, startups, membership organisations, and HR.

She is now the Operations Manager at Startup Core Strengths and really passionate about the power of community.

When she’s not running operations she loves live music – both attending and organising events.

She once launched, managed and grew a community of Senior HR Professionals completely from the ground up

"The coaches and mentors KNOW our business. They spot opportunities and issues that we can't even see, and proactively help us to navigate through them. There's no generic advice here. It's hyper-tailored to our business, our team, and the problems we must solve to grow." 

Beth Carter
Head of Growth, GoSquared

Having an outside perspective not just of someone off the street, but people who are incredibly smart experienced and who - importantly - are genuinely willing you to succeed is almost priceless.

Liam Houghton

Founder, Popsa

Every one of the coaches and mentors emits this feeling of caring deeply about the things they’re doing and saying. And they have a sense of credibility that only comes from carrying the scars of success and failure.

Hamish Grierson,
Founder Thriva

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Our Coaches

LENNY PICARDO
(D2C, MARKETPLACES)

Ex. Index Ventures. First Head of Growth @ Deliveroo. Investor & Advisor @Huel

HANNAH PARVAZ
(B2C, MOBILE)

Head of Marketing @ Uptime

Ex-Head of Growth @ Curio
App Marketer of the Year
#1 Rated on GrowthMentor

Francesco Cardoletti

(Marketplaces, B2B)

Venture Builder @ Unilever Foundry

Former EIR Citi Ventures

Founder PawSquad 

2+ exits

0% Snakeoil

Second Nature

100x

100X

Fy

70X

so-sure

50X

Popsa

40X

Storemaven

20X

Zenjob

17X

Thriva

12X

Simply Cook

12X

Houst

5X

Ooni Pizza

Ferly

3.5X

     ?

You

SO-SURE

2,000%

1,000%

Our Path

600%

Get Agent

600%

KEKO (MOVIVO)

500%

Zen Job

500%

Storemaven

Airsorted

300%

900%

POPSA

550%

Qunomedical

300%

Settled

Thriva

300%

300%

CODEC

Sara Gordon

(B2C, Brand & Storytelling)

Brand Communications Director at ME+EM, Ex-VP Marketing @ Bloom & Wild, Zoe Health

DANNY LEONARD

(B2B Sales)

Silicon Valley sales leader with 5 exits including Square, Groupon, Storefront, Thanx, OrderAhead

Maya Moufarek

(D2C, B2C)

Founder of Marketing Cube

Ex. CMO Chemist Direct, Pharmacy2U, Ex-Google & AMEX

Gold dust for Impatient Founders

Hyper-curated. Two minutes per week: 

  • Growth tactics worth stealing

  • Interview questions

  • Useful mental models

Josh Lachkovic

(D2C,E-com, Digital,Copy)

2X Founder, CEO WineList, Head of Growth @Thriva, ex-Pact Coffee, Hotwire

Joanna Wiebe

(B2C, B2B)

Founder of copyhackers.com, 100% results-driven, and the #1 copywriter + coach today (in our humble opinion). 

Sohrab Jahanbani

(Marketplaces, Sales, Ops)

6X founder, 4 exits, recently Bidvine, GoNabit.

Hawi Bekele Bengessa

(Copy, B2C, B2B)

B2C Direct Response copy: Headlines, landing pages, emails, ads.

JP Morgan Chase, Startup Core Strengths

Lisa Kennelly

(B2C, Mobile, Brand)

Consumer growth @ Klarna, previously CMO at Fishbrain, Marketing Director @ Clue, mentor at Antler & FirstRound.

Beth Carter

(B2B, B2C, Saas)

Ex Head of Growth @ GoSquared, ex MD at Atharna

Marcin Zaba

(eCom, B2B)

Head of Marketing @ Audiens

Ex-Head of Marketing @ Syndicate Room, 2X Founder

Oyinda Bamgbose

(Product Led Growth)

Charlie HR, OYNB, New Entrepreneurs Foundation

Luke Carthy

(eCom, Analytics, SEO)

Founder @ LukeCarthy.com

Ex- Mayflex, Finning Caterpillar, Chemist Direct