Why the Tri-Valley Is An Amazing Place to Start a Company: Co-Founder Saurabh Kumar

Apr 19, 2023

Season 3 - Episode 3

Co-hosts Yolanda Fintschenko (Startup Tri-Valley) and Hazel Wetherford ( Economic Development Director,City of Dublin)  talk with  Saurabh Kumar, CEO and co-founder of  Tri-Valley company located in Dublin, CA. enterprise software provides internal help desk that uses proprietary AI to seamlessly connect employees to company information, services, and tools that they need to do their jobs at a fraction of the cost of existing solutions.  Recently they successfully raised an $11M series A.  Saurabh credits much of their success to the Tri-Valley ecosystem including their investors, Tri-Valley Ventures, and their first customer, Tri-Valley credit union, Patelco.

Saurabh is CEO at where he working to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to reimagine the first level of employee support. Prior to launching he was running a digital strategy and consulting firm Negative Friction. He has worked in various senior roles in the banking and healthcare industry.

An  entrepreneur, angel investor, advisor, business leader, philanthropist & dad, Saurabh lives by these principles:

  • Learn new things every day
  • Be kind to people
  • Help the network
  • The future is exciting
  • Roll up the sleeves and just get it done
Read the Episode Transcript

Startup Tri-Valley Podcast –

Yolanda Fintschenko: Hi, we’re here today with CEO and co-founder of Saurabh Kumar, welcome to the pod. Hi. Happy to be here. So before we launch into grilling you. Saurabh, I just wanted to turn to my Fearless co-host, my co-host, us with the mostest and say and say like, l tell us, tell our audience about how this podcast came to be, how this episode came to be.


Hazel Wetherford: thank you, Yolanda. So, how this came to be is because we tend to follow our startup communities closely in seeing what they’re doing, what they’re up to, and recently received their series A funding. I thought, oh wow, that’s, congratulations again. And just an exciting time. And so we thought this is a great time to just talk about what their goals are coming up, what they have plans to do, and just listen and hear.

Why here? Why Dublin? Why now? Why the Tri-Valley?

Yolanda Fintschenko: That’s great, Hazel, and you just pretty much outlined all our questions for you.

Saurabh Kumar: be the shortest podcast in your podcast.

Yolanda Fintschenko: But before we launch into why this is such an awesome place to start and grow a business and live and work. Tell us, just tell us a little bit about – who you are, what you do, and a little bit about what’s your secret sauce? What’s the technical or business innovation that makes unique?

Saurabh Kumar: This is just between the three of us, right? Secret sauce. Right. Alright. I think we, so, let me just take a minute to introduce myself to the audience. So I started  four years ago, along with a couple of my co-founders.

We started focusing on the idea of employee service, right? So we have all worked in companies where we need help from our other people in the company. And if you kind of zoom out and look at that problem, A billion employees across the world need more than a billion help at least once a month.

Right. So if you think about it, the magnitude of the problem is large, you can hear, you need help from your IT team. Maybe I need help connecting to my wifi, or I need some software. Right? And if you multiply that with. Billions of employees, thousands of different problems, thousands of different questions they might have.

You know, what’s our dress code? You know, when am I getting paid? It could be anything, right? IT support, HR support, every company needs it. But the industry as it stood before we started, Was kind of in the blockbuster. Some of us, some of your audience might be old enough to know what I’m talking about, so maybe I’ll talk about Spotify, right?

So let’s say if you wanted to listen to music the state of the industry as it exists in employee support is if you wanted to listen to a song, you would first go to a website, you would fill out a form, you’ll create a ticket. Two days later, somebody would listen would work on that ticket, and then maybe then you can listen to that song, right?

 And obviously, that’s not what people’s expectation is. If you wanna listen to a song, you open Spotify, you played and you played again, and you played 10 other songs, then that’s how you want that experience to be. So we said if we wanted to change that employee service experience to be instant on demand, delightful experience that also is highly automated, highly efficient for the employer, we needed to reimagine the problem space, and that’s how came about.

we’re going to be delivering the experience that APO Spotify delivers to music, to employee support, how they get, you know, their questions answered, how they get their software installed, how they ask you know, anything of people inside other parts of the organization. So that’s how we came about. And, you know, the market’s obviously been generous to us.

We’ve been received really well by our customers. So excited to tell that story. So it’s like a virtual help desk. It is a virtual help desk. It’s that first level of support for the employees. It’s that completely automated, highly digital, self-service, first desk that kind of delivers support in an instant, right?

And that’s exactly right. Instead of just you having to wait for someone to get to your request, maybe two days later or a day later, which by the way, are all, I’m not making these facts up. This is what people tell us every day, that you know this is what they’re struggling with. And it, by the way, it’s also super expensive.

Current models spend about $20 every time someone has a question. Now, imagine every employee in the company asking these questions multiple times a month. That can add up to very large numbers for the employers who also want to make this more efficient.

Yolanda Fintschenko: So you’re really solving two kinds of problems.

One is just preventing people from not being able to do their work because they’re stuck on questions, whether it’s about. How, you know, a service ticket or just HR and they’re concerned about something, a, about their own employment, and you’re also reducing the cost for the companies.

Saurabh Kumar: Absolutely. I think it’s a multi kind of tiered you know, value, you think about it, right?

It, you’re obviously saving costs because you’re automating a lot of this. But for an employee, what’s even more important is their productivity, as you rightly. Nobody likes to wait for something, right? If I need a software to do something and it’s gonna take me three days to get it, it’s lost time.

It’s kind of this zombie vampire thing that just sucks productivity out of the organization without it being visible, right? People are waiting to get an answer. So, making employees feel more productive contributes to helping them be more engaged in their work. So it also leads to  less frustration, less disengagement.

So we’ve found a very high correlation between employees being well supported and them feeling like, Hey, this company values my time. They’re giving me the support I need. I’m not just waiting around for things to happen. So I think that it also leads to more engaged employees.

Yolanda Fintschenko: So, the employee satisfaction that delighting the employee is a really big piece of.

You’re offering your

Saurabh Kumar: customers ab absolutely. I think if there was one metric I would measure our success on that would be how happy the employees are with what we’re providing to them. Obviously all the other We are, we have many cities. New York is a customer. We have some very large city customers, transit agencies, BART. You know, so examples of customers that  come from many different industries, but it’s a need that people have globally, right? So we have had customers come from Europe or the Middle East, or even Africa, right?

Just looking for several customers in LA Am but primarily North America is kind of where we’re mostly focused. Great.

Hazel Wetherford: So talk to us a little bit about the AI technology. I know with like ChatGPT being in the headlines recently, over the last several months and all this talk about AI. Talk to us a little bit about that.

Saurabh Kumar: Yeah I think to me it’s as transformative technology as any we’ve seen in the last decade, right? I think it’s going to touch everything we do and the way. Started to think about AI and we do you know, there’s many applications of many different types of AI to deliver the value that you’re trying to deliver, right?

So, for example somebody might come in and just ask a question saying, “Hey my podcast volume is too loud when I’m recording it. How do I not have that happen?” Right? And let’s say you didn’t know the answer to that, but somewhere in the company there is someone who has thought about that and has an answer.

Some AI like ChatGPT can go and find that answer and give it to that employee who had that question be so we. We integrate that into the product we have a G P T like model, that app that’s applicable to a company that can be applied to knowledge inside their organization. ChatGPT does it for the world outside.

We bring it to content and knowledge that exists within a company, right? And help people from every question, what’s our dress code, right? How do I connect to a wifi, anything that they might answer. So that’s kind of one thing to kind of wrap our head around and relate to you use AI to bring all this knowledge to an employing, really digestible, highly personalized way.

But it goes really if you start to think about when someone needs support, It’s not just knowledge, right? Sometimes they’re looking for they might have a problem. How do I, you know, my laptop’s not working, or I have this blue screen of death, or my Outlook’s not working, right? And you need a very sophisticated AI-based model to triage and troubleshoot that problem, right?

Ideally we would want to prevent a problem from happening. So can I go to an employee and check the health of their laptop and tell them. You should contact it to get a new laptop because this is gonna fail in, in, in the next month. Right. I think eventually where we’re going with what we’re trying to do is apply different types of AI whether it’s ChatGPT or other machine learning models to the entire value proposition of what the employee’s trying to do.

Helping them be more productive. And ideally do things more proactively, not just reactively, right. Not try to fix their issue, but eventually help issues from not arising in the first place.

Yolanda Fintschenko: So moving from taking care of them to preventing, yeah.

Saurabh Kumar: If I’m in this new building, I’ve never been here, and if I had the information, can I tell you that, “Hey, here’s how you connect to wifi.”

“Here’s where the printer is,” right? Before you even trying to figure that out, right? I think, can I proactively do these things silently behind you? Maybe even do this for you. Not just tell you, but actually do it for you. So when you open your laptop, it’s already ready to go in this new building that you’ve never been in.

Hazel Wetherford: Right. I love it. It’s like a personal assistant. 

Saurabh Kumar: It’s a personal assistant that’s always looking out for you. Right. I think it’s trying to figure out what do you, it’s anticipating what you need from your IT or your HR organization and bringing it to you even before you have to ask for it.

Yolanda Fintschenko: I’d sign up for that.

Hazel Wetherford: I know. Me too. So, so what, tell us a little bit about yourself and. What motivated you to start I mean, I know you, you identified a market and you came you had a solution, but what was the sort of the trigger where it’s, I’m gonna do this now, and then what prepared you to do it?

Saurabh Kumar: Yeah, I think it’s a great question. So, prior to starting Rezolve, I was working at beg the West up here in San Ramon. So in, in the region. And in that role, in my, all my prior roles had the opportunity to work with employee support organizations and. I had a firsthand view on, you know, the frustrations of the employee or the frustrations of the support team.

And kind of that started me thinking about the problem and talking to my co-founders, Manish, who also kind of knows the problem from you know, from different perspectives. And we started to brainstorm and think about, hey, if we were to, so the industry started about 20, 25 years ago, and if we were to start it today, how would we approach this problem, right?

Because a lot of time, two decades, it’s a lot of time in technology to pick up a problem. So that’s how we started and think about personally for me what was really motivating to me was when you’re inside an organization, you can solve the same problem, right? I can take the problem of employees.

and solve problems within the company that I’m in. But at that your impact is to the 2000 employees that might be in the company, right? If I really wanted to solve this problem for the world at large, figure out how do I benefit what we’re doing and make an impact to every organization across the world, right?

As I said, this is a problem that touches a billion employees across the globe. It doesn’t matter if you. Tiny startup in South Africa, or if you’re a giant company in Seattle, right. It doesn’t matter. You still have this problem and how do I, so for me, the idea of stepping out and doing a startup was to build something that I can eventually have touch companies across the world.

And that’s what motivated us. It’s obviously from a timing perspective, you know, I was. Point cliff at a senior level in the company where I said, Hey, if I have to do it, I have to do it now. And there’s never a good time, right? You have kids going to school or something, you know, there’s always something going on and you just do, when you think the moment’s there and you’re, you have an idea that you’re really passionate about, you just do it.

I think there’s never a good or a bad time.

Yolanda Fintschenko: So you seized the moment. What in your past do you think prepared you or your experience has prepared you to do what you’re doing?

Saurabh Kumar: It’s a great question and I don’t think anything quite prepares you for what’s about to hit you once you. I think the hardest part is to make that first jump.

Right. I think to me personally I think a lot of us try to do, by the way, startups part-time, right? We’re, you know, I have a I’m trying to do something over the night hobby, the weekend and crossing the ca. Yeah. Like a hobby or just something that I’m interested in, but I don’t know how committed I am to it yet.

I’m crossing the chasm from there to say, “Hey, I’m gonna turn in my resignation and I’m gonna put my family through this period of uncertainty. “ Right. I think that’s, that I think was the kind of, you’re not, nothing quite prepares you for it. You just have to go through it and I think it helps if you think about, Hey, how I’m gonna manage my cash flow for six months?

 Or whatever, right? I think you, you kind of start there, but really I think what would help is if you have kind of some clarity on what you’re trying to do. You have a kind of an ecosystem or a team that you’ve started to work with. You know, you’ve started to talk to people to validate.

These are things that help prepare you. At the end of the day, it’s not a linear progression. It’s kind of, you’ll have updates down days and I think it’s something that you just have to prepare yourself to kind of be flexible and deal with uncertainty more than saying, Hey, I have a plan and I have the next 12 months figured out.

Because nothing really goes to plan, right? It takes twice as long and you might do something’s better and something’s worse, so just. Flexible and having that mindset of taking it kind of as it comes knowing that there’s a direction and a vision you’re trying to move to, but the journey itself is kind of unplanned, I think is the kind of how I dealt with it.

Yolanda Fintschenko: Did you find that you needed to make that jump before you were able to successfully raise any money, seed money or friends and family or early investors, or was that something you were able to do while you were still in the planning stages?

Saurabh Kumar: For sure. I mean, if you’re not committed to it, other people are not gonna be committed to it, right? It’s as simple as that. So if I’m doing this and I’m holding onto my job and, I, if I came to you and said, “Hey, I’m doing this on the side as a hobby, give me a hundred thousand dollars so I can do it.” You’ll be like, “You’re not serious about it. Why should I trust you with my hard-earned money?”

So, I do think it, it increases confidence and trust with people that you’re talking to, whether they’re investors or maybe other co-founders or other if you’ve made the transition and you said, I’m really serious about this and I’m serious enough to be devoted to it full-time, because startups are more than a hundred percent right?

They take 120% of your time. So trying to do them personally for me, I had a few other ideas before this that never really got to the full-time state. So I, that’s one suggestion I would have is if you really try to do it seriously, try to do it, at some point, you have to make that transition, right?

Because other people around you, whether it’s your customers or investors, or co-founders, they all will take you more seriously. Yeah. So…

Yolanda Fintschenko: It’s a test of your commitment as well as really how much you believe in the payoff from the risk for sure. Because you’ve definitely got your skin in the game at that point.

Saurabh Kumar: You have to put your skin in the game, and also you make a lot of progress quickly, right? So if you’re doing something on Saturday morning between like nine and two versus you’re doing something every day you know, all the time. A ton of progress in a very short amount of time, which didn’t, again, in, if you’re trying to do something new and innovate, I think that’s an important metric of success.

Hazel Wetherford: So at what point did you know that you had something viable here and that you were gonna continue to pursue?

Saurabh Kumar: It’s a fair question. I don’t think I was ever quite there. I, all I needed was that I think we’re convinced enough that I think there’s something here. 

So what you’re trying to do is still, you’ll still have to flesh out. So, you know, I think it’s just some intuition. I don’t think there was ever a point where I really was not at the point where we had really completely defined the idea. And to be honest, we, it, we reiterated for the first 18 months or so on some concepts and whether we were gonna build this feature or that feature.

I think you don’t have that level of clarity when you start, but you do know the problem that you’re trying to solve. I think some clarity in the problem, I think is what’s important. The solution can take shape once you start working on it more closely.

Yolanda Fintschenko: That’s a good point. Yeah. So, so you relied a little bit on, on your intuition, experience and team it sounds like, to develop the solution.But the problem was very clear to you. 

You just raised your $11 million series A. Besides these things, what about your company and the Tri-Valley do you think contributed to your successful funding raise? And congratulations, by the way. Yeah,

Saurabh Kumar: Thank you. I mean, we have been as much of a Tri-Valley company as any Tri-Valley company.

Right. So just to expand on that, we started, we incorporated here from day one. We’ve been. We’ve had offices in a few locations. We are up in San Ramon now in, in Dublin. We found our first institutional investor in Tri Valley. So, Tri-Valley Ventures based here in Pleasanton. Shout out to Greg and Team

Yes. Very fortunate to have a group of investors who understand our business. What we were trying to do at. early stage when, you know, when we were when we did not have a lot of customers or even a very mature product at that stage. Right. And we were also fortunate enough to have some of our earliest customers in Tri-Valley.

So the Tri-Valley to me, brings together this unique combination of people who have a lot of talent and a lot of experience and don’t want to commute an hour and a half or two hours every day. I you know, I think being able to tap into that talent and being able to find your investors, your customers in the area contributed to us getting to that next stage and being able to, you know, being able to raise funds and hopefully continue to grow and scale into a much you know, much larger organization in the next couple years.

But really, it started with us being able to, from everything from being able to find an office space that we could afford here to being able to have the first set of employees that wanted to work on this idea to being able to find early investors, early customers, all in Tri Valley was was an amazing kind of factor behind our success.


Yolanda Fintschenko: Soit sounds to me like the Tri Valley was a real asset from the very

Saurabh Kumar: beginning. And it still is. Still is. I think is I think we’re very committed to being in the Tri-Valley. I think we’re we think it’s one of the best kept secrets, and it should not be a secret. I think part of our job here is, I think it’s from a startup ecosystem perspective, it may not be as well known as you know, as some cities or locations in the south bay or Peninsula.

But I think it is, from a startup perspective, one of the best places to start a business. You have better economics, you have better talent and you know, and you have potential customers and investors as well.

Hazel Wetherford: I hear all the right ingredients for the perfect recipe. 

Yolanda Fintschenko: I do too.

So, looking forward a little. What do you see as a kind of an opportunity for within the Tri Valley in the next let’s, five years? Sounds like a long time for a startup. Let’s, maybe two to five years. And then what do you see are challenges? Since we do have an economic development director here…

Saurabh Kumar: I’ll start with the challenges first.

I think the biggest challenge to our growth is the 580/680 interchange. If that traffic was better we’ll all do… Well, I’m just kidding. That’s, that was my pain point for as long as I’ve lived in the area, I think. But I think that for us as a region for us to be, continue to be able to get talent, continue to you know, I think we probably kind of put it in marketing and sales terms that I would think of my own businesses.

I think. Need to focus on that top of the funnel, kind of that awareness stage, because I think the rest of the ingredients are already there when someone comes there. It’s you know, when we’re selling our product and we just need to get more. Meetings and demos with potential customers because once they see it they’re willing to buy because the product speaks for itself.

I think it’s that same idea with Tri-Valley in our city here, because once people come here and they experience it, they love it and they want to do more, but a lot of people are not aware of what’s out there. Right. So when I talk to some companies or some co-founders in, in, who are in San Francisco, I would say are not as fortunate in terms of, you know, in, in kind of, with some of their surroundings and they’re like, where’s Dublin?

Where do you live? And I’m like, you need to come out here and experience this for yourself. So building that top of the funnel awareness, I think would be important. And, you know, building more of that ecosystem, getting people to collaborate and see, and having, so I’ll, we can talk more about that.

But for us personally, next few years, Continuing to grow our office and our presence here. Just hiring some employees, some key employees, whether it’s in sales or customer success. And, you know, employees could be up and down the 680 corridor or even beyond. It doesn’t matter which exact city they live in, but just being in, in the region in, in and growing our footprint here is important to us because.

You know, we’ve been very fortunate to find the right people and as I said, the right customers and so on. So for us, continuing to build that out is important. And not just some functions that we have today, but perhaps other things that we’re not thinking about today. Right. We have good students coming out who have machine learning talent, so how do we build out our outreach maybe to potential educational institutes in the area you know, build, start to build out a pipeline to have more talent.

Go in front of companies that are in the, and there’s so many that we’ve not even you know, started a conversation with yet, right? So I think we can certainly as we get to grow ourselves, we would love to do more of that in, in the area. And I think it’s for now it’s working out really well.

Hazel Wetherford: So what are some lessons learned for those that are listening that may be in similar positions as yourself? What are some hard lessons learned along the way? And maybe like, what was the most surprising?

Saurabh Kumar: I think if there was a similar thing that I would point to any startup that’s maybe at an earlier stage or thinking about it is to focus, right?

I think the DNA of a startup or a new founder or entrepreneur is, you see possibilities, right? I mean, you see, you build a product and you have a lot of possibilities around it. You can go solve this problem, that problem, and that problem, right? And I think the hardest thing for a founder or an entrepreneur to do is scale that back and say, I’m gonna let go of these three possibilities and I’m going to just focus on one, because I think you have to really10 times better than anyone else at something, right?, I think. And that only comes when you’re really deep into something. It doesn’t come. If you spread yourself like I’m 20% better at five things is not the way to do it. You have to be a thousand percent better at one thing, I think.

And the one thing you have to really like find for yourself, right. What that thing is. So for us, when we started, we were doing, all sorts of things, right? We were doing employee support in facilities and employee support in marketing and employee support in and when we started to focus on, hey, we’re gonna focus on IT support first and then maybe do hr and it helps, right?

And letting go of some things is the hardest for you know, as I said, for any founder or startup. And I think that’s what I would encourage you to focus. First on. I think once you have that down saying this is the one thing where I’m gonna really shine and make a mark, you get known for that one thing.

It’s easier for you to expand out to adjacent spaces from there. And go and it also becomes easier to sell. Right. The other suggestion I would have is think about your sales and go to market motion the day you start thinking about the product, because a lot of tech builders don’t always think about distribution when we think about how do I put this in the hands of people who might need it, right?

And that comes too late in our journey. And I would say, if you think about those two problems really from day one you’ll be in a much better place. So think about who’s gonna be your buyer, how are you gonna, how are they gonna know about you? You know, are you gonna market to them? Would you have a sales team?

Would you have partners? Right? Figuring that out along. A very focused, narrow product, I think to me would be the two things I would recommend to anyone. And by the way, I’m happy to be a resource in the region. Yeah. You know, if anyone ever wants to have a conversation works for you.

Hazel Wetherford: I was just gonna ask like, how did you navigate those?

Like did you have a coach or someone to help you navigate all those challenges that you brought up?

Saurabh Kumar: Unfortunately, a lot of learnings that trial and error aware, trial and error. And I think it if you have a good coach or someone who helps you navigate, they can help accelerate that trial and error process. Right? 

Because sometimes, and you can read all sorts of blogs and books on startups, they’ll tell you these things, right? Right. But you really internalize by making those mistakes and realizing I can’t focus on three things and I need to focus on one, that there’s nothing. It teaches them the way experience does.

Yes. But I think a good mentor or coach would definitely help. So one thing I will recommend to anyone who’s listening is just go out and talk to more people. Listen to what they’re saying. Take what you, what applies to you. But do not do this sitting by yourselves in a room where you’re not talking to your potential customers or other people who have done it. 

Yolanda Fintschenko: So that’s your advice to, to have some, to talk to people, to talk to you, as many people as you can really on the customer side and who could give you good advice. Tell us a little bit about your team, like the role of that early team, your co-founders, and how that influenced your success.

Saurabh Kumar: So, My two co-founders Manish and Udaya,  we were also classmates from our business school, so we have some history and we, you know, we were in the enterprise space from different perspectives so knew our problem space. The funniest thing is since we’ve started the company, we’ve, all three of us have never been together in one room at one time.

We, it’s always like two of us and for whatever reason, so we don’t have. Picture that we can put out with our press release that has all three of us. Right. It’s just, that’s funny. It is it that’s just accompanied in the pandemic distributed era. That’s just how it is. But I think having a team that is not like you is important.

Right? So what I mean by that is very often we want to build a team off. People who I can relate to and who have similar. Kind of ideas or similar aspirations. I think it’s important to build a team that is different and diverse from yourself. Right? So to me, if you are a really good engineer, then maybe find someone who’s a really good marketer, right?

And talk to them because they will poke holes at whatever you’re trying to do, but from a completely different perspective or or So building a team of people who bring kind of different values to whatever you’re trying to do is, I. And having a shared level of trust is important, right?

Because as I was saying earlier, it’s not a linear progression. You will have updates and you will have down days and be able to honestly talk through it and maybe occasionally yell at each other, but then back off and know that, you know, maybe the other person’s right and I’m not Right. Right.

Yeah. And I being able to have the type of relationship where you’re, you have a certain level of trust is important. And I think to me, those two things are kind of the hallmarks of a good team. Do you stick together well? When it goes, when it’s not going well? And can you relate to a problem from more than one perspective?


Yolanda Fintschenko: So it’s the diversity of perspective and experience and talents and also the trust that gives you the willingness to have hard conversations. Seek forgiveness. Yes. Yes. Yes. So that’s great. So is there anything we didn’t ask that you really think we should have or you’d really like to talk about?

Saurabh Kumar: I think one of the more overlooked aspects of doing a startup are people who are not doing the startup with you, which is your family and friends. So, to me, I think it’s important to take them along on the journey. I still remember when I was leaving my job, I told my kids that, Hey, cash is gonna be tight for a while to hold back on that new iPad or whatever you’re trying to buy.

Right? And I, they still remind me of that, by the way. They’re like, “Hey you said it was gonna be a while and it’s been like, what, five years now?”  Or whatever. Being able to understand that your family’s also coming along this journey with you because their life’s gonna be different. Maybe they’ll see less of you, or you’ll be, financially, life would be different.

Whatever it is. I think it’s important to recognize. And include them in the journey. I think it’s to me that’s been and you know, and maybe they’ll contribute to it too in, in some ways, but I think having that ecosystem of support as you’re doing it is important. And having the support of my family, my friends, I think has been hugely valuable.

Yolanda Fintschenko: So it sounds like what you’re saying is not to discount this, the personal journey and the maybe sacrifice of the people around you that you’re gonna count on as you lean on them for support.

Saurabh Kumar: That’s right.

Hazel Wetherford: That’s right. Yeah, I like that. The support system and not forgetting those around you. 

Yolanda Fintschenko: It is very overlooked and really under-discussed when we talk about the startup ecosystem is checking in with founders and asking how’s your personal startup ecosystem?

Saurabh Kumar:  Yeah. And it is an ecosystem, right? I think it is an ecosystem.

Yolanda Fintschenko: So, and you have given, I think, many founders and listeners a lot to think about, but before we say goodbye, any other additional words of wisdom you wanna leave Tri-Valley founders with?

Saurabh Kumar: I think if anything, I would like to give a plug for Tri-Valley.

I think for any founder that is thinking about starting a business; I think this is an amazing place to start. There are lots of companies that have started there. Lots of great founders, lots of good investors. So do reach out and connect with people who are in the region. Validate your idea, get input, get advice, you know, maybe get network, get connected. I think do take advantage of what the area offers. 

Yolanda Fintschenko: I don’t think we could say it any better. So with that I’d like to we’d like to thank you Saurabh, for being on the pod and we look forward to more from you and and I think it’s gonna be a great future.

Saurabh Kumar: Sounds good. Thank you so much for having me.

Hazel Wetherford: Thank you again.