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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


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.