“So why am I here?” Chief Growth Officer, Andrew Bart, asks himself, musing over my question. “I’m here because a little over a year and a half ago, my friend Robert Maynard and I came to an agreement over a gentlemen’s bottle of wine.”
“At the time, I had been eight years out of an office and had built up a portfolio of about 90 companies, serving as a startup advisor, board member, venture capital investor, or fractional C-level executive, and deploying assets into the companies to help them grow. My sweet spot is Seed through Series B rounds,” Mr. Bart continued, smiling.
Mr. Bart joined with SurchX initially as a consultant, helping Robert (CEO and Founder) to recruit SurchX’s Chief Revenue Officer, Scot McLernon, Chief Technology Officer Krishna Doddi, and Chief Strategy Officer, Kate King among others. But over that bottle of wine, Robert asked Mr. Bart to pick a title for himself and get involved.
After consulting with his wife on the matter, Mr. Bart agreed.
What Swayed His Decision?
One of the things that really tipped his decision was his appreciation of Robert’s team-building style and instincts. When they traveled to Aptos California to meet with Scot McLernon in an effort to recruit him, Robert didn’t pitch Mr. McLernon at all, but smartly concentrated his attention on Mr. McLernon’s wife, gauging the extent to which she was willing to sacrifice time with her newly-retired husband. After all, if she wasn’t on board, they might as well have just packed up and returned home.
Luckily, she saw the incredible potential of SurchX, just as Mr. Bart did.
Andrew Bart Chose His Own Title
For his title, Mr. Bart selected Chief Growth Officer with responsibilities associated with increasing the enterprise valuation of the company through pursuits including but not limited to capital formation, business development, strategic partnerships, venture building, and corporate development.
As an incredibly driven man, Mr. Bart’s accomplishments started early in his life. Just out of college and on his path to attending Santa Clara School of Law (looking to major in internet law) he was recruited by Jeff Herzog to join the early-stage team at iCrossing (at the time International Crossing) in its startup years.
When Mr. Bart showed up for his interview, iCrossing’s early team all laughed at Andrew’s appearance. He wore a suit and tie to an interview…at a tech company. Very passé.
In any case, iCrossing became one of the first internet search marketing companies, going on to make a number of acquisitions itself and was finally acquired by Hearst Corporation. During his time there, Mr. Bart had the opportunity to be mentored directly under a true internet pioneer, Mr. Herzog himself. As a result, Mr. Bart emerged as a valuable resource to many startups to come. To this day his closest friends in Arizona are his original core of coworkers at iCrossing.
As SurchX’x Chief Growth Officer, Andrew’s prime focus is to grow the company as quickly as possible through business developments, which means:
- Opening up channels.
- Identifying financing opportunities.
- Contributing to capital acquisition strategies.
- Striking advantageous partnerships.
- Identifying roadblocks between departments that might hamper those partnerships.
- Turning all partnerships and channels into valuable assets for SurchX.
- And, really, whatever else is needed of him in a startup environment.
One of Mr. Bart’s earliest initiatives at SurchX was to merge together the twin forces of sales and marketing into a force of nature dubbed The Smarketing Team (which he learned from another mentor Dan Tyre, Hubspot). Together, The Smarketing Team mold and shape the company’s messaging, deploy campaigns, and provide resources and assistance to clients and partnerships alike. It has been proclaimed by many in C-Suite that SurchX’s Smarketing Team is among the best a startup could ever hope for.
Basically, anything that contributes to growth is in Mr. Bart’s court. On any given day, the employees of SurchX will hear from Mr. Bart, transmitting from some faraway place, after he has finalized yet another incredible partnership with a major player that we never expected to hear from quite this early in the game.