#249: Deon Nicholas, Co-Founder & CEO of Forethought, on Raising $27M from Top VCs, the Importance of Self-Awareness as a Founder, and Building an Innovative Company Empowering Customer Support Teams with AI


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Deon is the Founder of Forethought. Previously, Deon built products and infrastructure at Facebook, Palantir, Dropbox, and Pure Storage. He has ML publications and infrastructure patents, was a World Finalist at the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, and was named to Forbes 30 under 30. Originally from Canada, Deon enjoys spending time with his wife and son, playing basketball, and reading as many books as he can get his hands on.

Some of the Topics Covered by Deon Nicholas in this Episode

  • What Forethought does and how it got started
  • Where Deon's interest in technology came from
  • The adjustment to being the CEO of a company
  • Deon's experience at Techcrunch Disrupt and how Deon prepared for it
  • How Deon acquired the initial customers for Forethought
  • Deon's fundraising experience for Forethought
  • What Deon did wrong while fundraising
  • The differences in each stage of fundraising through raising a Series B
  • How Deon thinks about who to bring onto his Cap Table
  • Implementing flywheels and repeatable processes
  • The business model behind Forethought and how Deon thinks about pricing
  • Where the name for their AI, Agatha, came from
  • How Deon thinks about product development
  • Problems Deon faces as CEO
  • How Deon invests in himself as a founder and why he started working with an executive coach
  • How Deon recharges
  • The importance of understanding yourself as a founder
  • Deon's experience being a person of color in tech

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296 episodes