Craig Hurlbert has been involved in the launch, capitalization, and exit of a number of companies. His most recent venture raised almost $200M before going public in just around three years in business. The startup, Local Bounti attracted funding from top-tier investors like BNP Paribas Asset Management, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Cargill.
In this episode, you will learn:
- The four pools of capital you need to know
- What triggered Craig to leap back into being a founder after running a fund
- The huge impact that Local Bounti is having by changing how we grow and source food
Also Wingman is sponsoring this podcast. Visit https://www.trywingman.com/dealmakers for more details!
This podcast is sponsored by ShipStation.com. Go to ShipStation.com today and sign up with promo code DEALMAKERS for a FREE 60-day trial.
For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
About Craig Hurlbert:
Craig Hurlbert is a seasoned entrepreneur with a 30-year track record of building successful businesses with strong leadership teams. Named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009 in the Houston and Gulf Coast Area, he was inducted into the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame that same year.
Most recently, Craig Hurlbert served as Managing Partner and Co-Founder at BrightMark Partners, a growth equity and management firm providing capital and resources to venture, growth phase, and middle market businesses. Previously, he was President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of TAS Energy – the leading provider of high-efficiency and modular cooling and energy systems for the data center, commercial, industrial and power generation markets. During Craig’s leadership at TAS, the company shipped more than 2,000 modules to over 30 countries worldwide. TAS was sold to publicly traded Comfort Systems (FIX) in April 2020.
Current Chairman of the Board at Clearas Water Recovery – which uses patented, sustainable and proprietary technology to solve high nutrient municipal and industrial wastewater challenges – Craig has also held leadership roles at GE, North American Energy Services, Pratt & Whitney P2 Energy Power Systems, and PIC Energy Group.
As General Manager of Global Sales for GE’s Contractual Services (GECS), he was integral in expanding the business from a “start-up” to more than $7 billion in backlog in just 24 months. Leading the team that pioneered the LTSA (long-term service agreements) product line for GE’s gas turbine technology, he grew the global sales team from 15 to more than 150 employees.
Craig Hurlbert has also sat on over 15 company Boards, including Prostar Geocorp, a leader in geospatial intelligence technology in the energy and transportation markets; ATR SmartProcedures, a pioneer in SaaS cloud-based digital transformation; and Loenbro, Inc., a diversified energy services and construction company. He earned a BS in Finance from San Diego State University and an MBA from California State University – Long Beach.
See How I Can Help You With Your Fundraising Or Acquisition Efforts
- Fundraising or Acquisition Process: get guidance from A to Z.
- Materials: our team creates epic pitch decks and financial models.
- Investor and Buyer Access: connect with the right investors or buyers for your business and close them.
Connect with Craig Hurlbert:
Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro Cremades: All righty hello everyone and welcome to the deal maker show. So I’m very excited about the guests that we have today I mean he’s same now in this rocket ship that we’re going to hear all the details about but he’s been managing you know and being the Ceo of companies for many many many years. So I think that. You’re gonna find you know his story very inspiring and and again I don’t want to make anyone wait any longer. So let’s welcome our guest today cra her Huber. Oh my god let’s see if I get it right? Cra hubert welcome to the show. So originally born in Montana.
Craig Hurlbert: Thank you Ali Hondro it’s great to be with you today.
Alejandro Cremades: So um, you know I’m sure that that was ah quite a beautiful upbringing. You know there with the scenery and everything so give us a little of a walk through memory Lane Craig how was life growing up.
Craig Hurlbert: Well, yeah, thank you Montana was and is a beautiful place. Ah, and I’d say the people there are very ah centered on simple things like family and and and especially when I was growing up. Ah, we had a ah very large dry land wheat farm in the middle of what’s called Northeastern Montana I lived in the city during the winter and then I’d spent my summers on the farm and I would say everything that’s happened to me since then can be rooted back to really farming. And what I learned on the farm and how to behave which was really just hard work. Do the job right? You know pay attention. Be good to people and ah and when you shake someone’s hand that means something. So yeah, I’m extremely extremely thankful for my time growing up. Have amazing parents and grandparents and brothers and sisters and and just had a very very very solid upbringing that I think provided me a great foundation to succeed in life.
Alejandro Cremades: Now in your case I mean it sounds like golf you know was the ah ticket they take it to school so tell us how did you get into into golf and how were you able to develop it to a point where you know that got you the ticket to getting into school.
Craig Hurlbert: Yeah I mean it’s funny. My family was athletic. My dad had signed a contract with the Philadelphia phillies in the 50 s to pitch and you know my mom was athletic as well. So we kind of grew up in an athletic family and in the winners in Montana that’s kind of what you did. Um, and I was really more of a basketball player than a golfer but a few of the summers in my high school years I spent a lot of time playing golf and I had some natural ability and yeah, golf’s been a lifelong friend for me and something that I count on and and really was. Ah, the key to get me out of Montana actually after high school I went south I ended up at San Diego state and had an opportunity to enjoy the nicer weather and really expand my horizons a little bit past kind of ah, a little more sheltered Montana life ah to kind of see the world a little bit which was very. I think extremely good for me at that stage of my life.
Alejandro Cremades: How do you think that that competitive spirit has served you over time.
Craig Hurlbert: Oh wow I mean I can’t under I can’t understate how important that is I think all of us. Ah you know and I’ve watched many of your past episodes I think all of us are competitors. To some degree or another and I can feel the fire burning. You know, ah almost every day which is one of the reasons why I’m still doing this alejandro is getting that feeling of you know competing you know I was just at the largest trade show in Orlando last week and seeing. You know all the customers and the competition and you know there’s there’s a lot to to be excited about and I can feel the fire in the belly for sure.
Alejandro Cremades: And in your case I mean typically it takes a little bit of time for people to you know, get their studies college then they do the Mba I mean it sounds in your case, you did it right away. So what was that the case.
Craig Hurlbert: Yeah I mean I think I had an opportunity. Ah right out of college I went to work for Ford Motor in their financial program which was very ah touted at that point in time and they had a tuition assistance program. So I decided I would just work and go to school. A couple of years which I did and I loved school I was very close to just continuing on getting a ph d and maybe teaching because I love the the university atmosphere so much. Ah, but I decided as I got my Mba I got a job at an investment bank and that was really exciting and that’s backward you would work. You know days at nights sleeping in the office and doing crazy things like that. But I learned so much there. Um, you know after I graduated with my Mba. It was such a great experience. A bunch of young people all very passionate doing fun deals and that was again a really important time in my life to kind of set me up for my future. I saw probably probably valued about 50 businesses in a couple of years
Alejandro Cremades: And what were you seeing on on on being able to kind of like separate and put them in the bucket of the businesses that were good from the ones that that were not so Good. What were what were somewhat because obviously I mean in your case, you’ve done it all. Yeah I mean you’ve been. And operator now private equity investor investment Banking. So I Guess when it comes to the Pattern Recognition. You know, especially on the investment banking side I mean what were you able to develop on being able to see what works from what doesn’t when it comes to business.
Craig Hurlbert: Yeah, such an important question and I think for all of the listeners. Ah this is a critical question and I can boil it down to 3 main places first one is people technology is getting better and better. But it still comes down to people. When you go into a business and I’ll give you good example. 1 of the businesses I valued was the folding bleacher company. They had the the every high school has the bleachers that automatically come down. You have a little key and put it. These were the guys that came up with that whole idea and I remember I was a basketball player and they said hey um. Have you ever played basketball I’m like yeah I was ah I was a good basketball player in high school and they said bring your basketball stuff so we had our meeting and started at noon I thought we’re gonna have a lunch meeting and they had a basketball court in their offices and we ended up playing hoop for like an hour and I met the the Ceo their salespeople their operate all of them were playing basketball and what I learned was that team was so close knit and so excited about what they were doing. There is just no way that business was ever going to fail. Um and they had a great the sex. So people’s the first one second one is. You got to have a value proposition. You’ve got to be able to have something that people want and then the third thing is you’ve got to be able to earn a profit doing it and many people fit forget the third piece they get so excited about the first 2.
Craig Hurlbert: And then they realize oh my God I can’t convert top line to bottom line to make a profit. So if you don’t have those 3 things to some degree or another all lined Up. You’re going to have a problem in your business and so that’s the those were the three things I learned very early on in my career find people that are passionate. Have a value proposition that people want and then be able to make economics work.
Alejandro Cremades: So for you, it sounds like landing a G was very impactful in your career and obviously you landed there as a result of an acquisition so walk us through. The events that unfolded there and and then also why was Ge so impactful in your career.
Craig Hurlbert: Yeah wow! What a great question. Um, so ge at the time was run by Jack Welch Jack Welch at that time was widely believed to be the greatest Ceo in the world and ge was widely believed to be the greatest company in the world. So when we got. When we got acquired into Ge I think the first thing that surprised me was how much talent there was everywhere everywhere in all 4 corners of that business and then how financial everybody was in other words, they were really focused on that third piece I was just talking about. Is the economics of the business and so what happened to me at Ge was we got involved in a business that grew very quickly and I had for the first time really a global responsibility selling a business that we had just kind of built called the the long-term service agreement business inside the power. Power side where we were selling service agreements along with gas turbines all over the world and I built the sales team from about 4 of us to over 130 when I left and my last quarter of Ge we did a billion dollars in backlog for general electric. So we had built a machine that was just throwing off profitability and orders and I think what I learned when I was there was I had something that was a little bit different and that was I was very good with people I could get people excited about um, accomplishing something big and so.
Craig Hurlbert: When we were doing that and closing deals literally all over the globe I was traveling everywhere. What I learned was wow what an amazing company. The Ge was at that time. It’s now so obviously suffered. But I also learned something at Ge that I didn’t like and that was. You know, um I think for the first time in my career I didn’t respect everybody above me. Um, they were way out of balance and I didn’t want to be like that. So basically I spent three and a half years at ge I learned everything I needed to learn on how to behave as an executive. And I’m extremely thankful for my time there because it really set me up to be a very productive executive.
Alejandro Cremades: So for you p I c group was next so at what point do you realize? hey you know what I’m gonna I’m going to venture out and I’m Goingnna go at it and I’m goingnna start being Ceo of companies because that that was quite um, an extensive path in your career.
Craig Hurlbert: Yeah, it. It was and I think this is where maybe my time in that investment bank being around all of those entrepreneurs and seeing what they were doing in. You know quote unquote small companies relative to ge what I learned was I was really an entrepreneur. And I had just spent 3 and three and a half years with ge I’d really learned everything I felt I could learn and I was my next logical step was to be a Ceo and the picc group was a smaller company in the power industry I knew all the customers had a good feel for what was going on. And so that was my first step out and I was you know as I look back I’m really proud of myself for taking that step because the the path of least resistance would have been just to stay a ge I was an up and comer a ge I was what they called a hypot which is a high potential executive so I had a lot of potential there but I really wanted to get out and build something on my own. Um and I remember ah at ge they had this thing called a dial com system. You could dial 5 numbers and get to anyone at ge on your phone and so you know. When I got to the pick and I had this international tax problem I picked my phone up this is about six months into my Ceo and I dialed the 5 numbers to get to the che tax guy that I’d used so many times but I didn’t I wasn’t attached to the dial com system I was my owed.
Craig Hurlbert: Company I’m like oh my god I got to go solve that tax issue on my own now which I went it out and did I didn’t have access to all of the resources that ge had so I think that made me realize to be successful as a Ceo in a smaller company. You got to be scrappy. You’ve got to be you know? um. What I would say double down on all your humility and everything else.
Alejandro Cremades: So with pic group you know, obviously that was the um, the segue into your next one which which was Tas energy now in this case, you know like how how has it been? ah really to to be part or to really understand the full cycle.
Craig Hurlbert: Oh.
Alejandro Cremades: As an operator because on those companies you also had the opportunity of really seeing what it takes to bring the company to the finish line and that is not easy. But once you see how it works. It’s kind of like now you have full visibility. So how was that for you.
Craig Hurlbert: Yeah, so at Ts was very interesting I joined ts we had about 15 employees I remember we used to stand in a semicircle. Um you know and everybody could see everybody and then we had this technology that we invented called turbolin. Turbine and the chilling which was basically air conditioning for a gas turbine. We did a bunch of those things and as you mentioned that kind of went out of flavor and so we had to kind of pivot into something else. We ended up in the data center space and doing commercial. Ah what I’ll say commercial cooling. And then also in the data center space. So we sold tas as a business doing something completely different than what we started the business with and so that’s that cycle of paying attention to the company and your customers and not getting stuck doing 1 thing and so. What the lesson learned there was was that there are going to be highs and lows in every business keep focused on the value proposition in the economics and always have a bunch of talent around you I remember our first data center center opportunity came to us and it took a 7 years to get our first p our first po out of that data center customer and then for about 10 years after that we did about $1,000,000,000 with that customer so hanging in there winning them over on what the value proposition of going our direction was.
Craig Hurlbert: And then watching the business kind of take off into a different direction but seeing it monetized seeing what it did for the employees and for the shareholders. It’s the word that I use is exhilarating because you build something and then it moves on and inures into the future. Under different leadership. It’s very exciting.
Alejandro Cremades: Um, and at what point do you realize? it’s time to do an exit.
Craig Hurlbert: You know that’s really a trick and and I’ll bring this concept in I have had an amazing network my whole life when I became a Ceo I was very young so most of my friends that were that age you know I had to get new friends that were maybe a little more serious. So. I was in my thirty s most of my new friends were in their fifty s that were running companies and now that I’m you know 60 they eighty so I’ve been able to benefit from a great network of people that have been able to help me make those decisions. But honestly I think what a lot of ceos lose somewhere along the way. Is their gut and their humility on what’s really going on and being honest about the situation and I think for us it was clear to us that it was getting bigger. The the capital needs were more serious and it was getting harder and harder to do it. As a privately held business so we ended up selling tas to comfort systems which is a larger what I’ll call a publicly traded company with a very efficient capital structure and they have layered tas into their business because they didn’t have a data center. Part of their business inside of their overall cooling business. So it was a perfect ah transition for the employees and the shareholders.
Alejandro Cremades: Now for you. Ah, 1 thing that you did is you went to the other side of the table you know which is very you know, interesting because once you get a good taste of the operating site you know, ah transitioning to the investor side is not easy.
Craig Hurlbert: Are.
Alejandro Cremades: Now in your case, you know you went to the investor side and now back to the operating side. But but what led you to the investment side.
Craig Hurlbert: So I think it’s my passion for entrepreneurs at the end of the day and Alejandro. It’s not too much different than what you’re doing with your podcast. You’re giving resources to the founders to understand how to run their business more efficiently. I feel like there’s a huge gap out there and I believe you must feel this way too many founders are just left alone to figure it out on their own and maybe they have a network or this or that but we start a breitmark partners our private equity firm with the sole intention to help entrepreneurs monetize their companies. And to think about the business backwards from a monetization event. So when we would meet an entrepreneur. They’d be super excited about their business and then I would say to them. What do you want to do with your company. Well we’re going to do this and this product and that no no, no, what do you want for your family for you. From this company. Oh one day I’ll sell it well when well I mean 5 to 7 years. Let’s say okay so in 5 to 7 years. You’re going to sell your company. What does your company need to look like to be really valuable I don’t have any idea but I know my customers I know my product I know my factories. Yeah, but you don’t know how to monetize your business at the top dollar. So Breitmark would go in find entrepreneurs and then help them build the business backwards from the monetization event and knowing what they would need to really get you know the highest multiple they could get.
Craig Hurlbert: And so that’s what we did at Breitmark and had you know, many success stories. It’s exhilarating working with entrepreneurs as you know and frustrating too at times because many times you could see around the corner. They can’t see around and you know they end up running right into the wall. You’re like well I tried to tell you there was that wall there. You know? So I think um, helping entrepreneurs is why we started ah Breitmark and then we would we would work with them to monetize the company.
Alejandro Cremades: Now for you I mean you guys were doing that for quite a while I mean you were doing it for 7 years So um, you know obviously at that point you know you’ve you’ve developed the operation well is is is well engineered and you know at 1 point you decide that they perhaps you know is. You. You were not finding what you were looking for and that’s essentially what triggered you to to start? you know your your baby now local bounty but 1 question that I want to ask you is now that you had the opportunity of being on the investment side for over seven years how do you think you know now being on the operating side. How how do you think your perspective has.
Craig Hurlbert: Um.
Alejandro Cremades: Change to when looking at investors because you’ve been there.
Craig Hurlbert: Yeah I mean I think I have a better understanding of what they’re they’re trying to do and kind of the challenges that they have on their side not having been inside the belly of of of making those decisions. So I mean. I I think I always kind of thought like that. But now it’s a little bit more clear and so you know they’re looking for a business that you know will allow them to earn a nice return so you know when I was at tas we raised money from Kleiner Perkins and many other. Private equity people along the way. So some of the very fancy people down to some of the folks that you know were maybe smaller like a breitmark and raising capital kind of up and down that that list. So I got to see a lot of that so inside of Breitmark I think what we learned and was. You know we were looking for operators that kind of shared our values and shared what what we felt was going to lead to success and that kind of is as I mentioned it’s fun, but it’s also frustrating so there’s sometimes that you know. Ah, business could be so much but the founder can’t get out of the way for whatever reason ah could be a lot of different reasons. Um and we saw that several times in businesses that we invested in and businesses that we did not invest in and so I think.
Craig Hurlbert: Our goal is to not get in the way of what the business could be and not gets not be the impediment to having the company be all that it can be.
Alejandro Cremades: Now ideas take time to incubate you know and they’re kind of like doorman you know now in your guys’s case it sounded like you were looking to invest in a company and as a result of not being able to finding one you ended up you know, starting your own and shifting Gear. So I mean that’s quite Um. An incredible shift in Gears. So So walk us through the sequence of events to really bringing local bounty to life.
Craig Hurlbert: Yeah, so breit marks going and investing and sitting on boards growing. We’ve monetized. We’re doing all kinds of we had a lot of moving parts inside of Breitmark and we were constantly looking. For like the next big thing and we had identified 2 areas we wanted to invest in 1 was ag tech and 1 was energy storage. Those were the 2 big themes we were looking behind and so when we started studying ag tech the controlled environment agriculture space popped out at us. And this is about four years ago now Alejandro so we started digging in and doing research on the cea space under the complete hope of being able to invest in 1 and so we spent about six months we had and mbas working with us and. We spent about six months and two things came out after that six months of due diligence. The first one was we were more excited about cea after we were done than when we started and so we view the space at that point in time as 100% inevitable as it relates to what consumers wanted so that was exciting. The second thing was not so exciting. We couldn’t find a business. We felt was investible and so long story short Travis and I looked at each other and we said we’ve been operators. We know how to operate.
Craig Hurlbert: The business model from the world. We come from energy and the controlled environment agriculture space. They’re almost the exact same business model other than you’re producing a commodity over here in the energy space used for something and a commodity over here for human consumption in the controlled environmenta but it’s capital intensive and. It’s a commodity based business. So we know this business model inside and out and yet none of the management teams. We’re talking about are talking about it like a capital intensive commodity based business. So it was such a big opportunity. It was so to us so big that we said I don’t think we could. Take that team and work with them enough to get them over the hump. We need to start from scratch and we literally within about two weeks looked at each other slept on it and made the decision and have run down the path for the last three and a half years
Alejandro Cremades: That’s incredible now in that case, you know, especially for the people that that that that are listening to be able to get it. What ended up being the business model of local bounty. How do you guys make money.
Craig Hurlbert: Yeah, so I mean I think it’s it’s I got to give a little bit of background and then I’ll I’ll answer that question directly. So from the moment we decided to start the company to today is about three and a half four years were now traded on the New York Stock Exchange
Alejandro Cremades: Go for it.
Craig Hurlbert: We’re now in over 10,500 grocery stores and we’ve got ah 250 employees facilities in the Northwest California and the East Coast so we’ve made a tremendous amount of progress in the last three and a half years and oh by the way we rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange so all of that’s happened in a short period of time. How do we make money the way farming especially with perishables has been done in the past is it’s grown in a field in Celinas California or Arizona or some in Mexico then it goes through a long. It gets harvested. It gets triple washed it goes into the cold chain and it ends up in your grocery store in Minneapolis or Ohio or or New York city or Florida that process is very rough on the product and that’s why all of us. Have thrown away so much produce in the past lettuces and herbs and things of that nature because they just don’t last as long because they’ve been on a tremendous ah journey. Our value proposition is we grow delicious products. At the same price point as traditional farmers and we grow them in local communities inside of 2 to four hundred miles of where the consumer would be It’s why we named the company local bounty. Um, it’s it allows us to grow the product. Harvest the product.
Craig Hurlbert: Get it into a distribution center the same day. We harvest it or the next day and then into the grocery store very very quickly cutting down on all of the sustainability food miles and all the washing and all the cold chain and all of that that non-sustainability stuff. Growing it with 90% less water 90% less land and delivering to the consumer a more delicious product that’s more sustainably grown that will last longer in your fridge. Our lettuce can last 3 to five weeks in your bridge. Because it’s just hasn’t been on the long journey that the other product has been on so as it relates to how local bounty makes money we build facilities. We grow product. We distribute it to retailers consumers buy it and through that process local bounty. Has a positive gross margin and will be profitable in ah about the 2024 time frame early Twenty Twenty four on the e dog.
Alejandro Cremades: Now in your guys’ case Crick you know the journey of capitalizing the company has been a little bit different from like the perhaps you know the typical startup that gets vcs and then keep going through rounds. How did you guys go about capitalizing the business and what has been the experience going through all those cycles too.
Craig Hurlbert: Right? So again learning from the energy world here’s what we learned when you’re proving out a technology because we invented a new technology that delivers one and a half to 2 times the yield of existing technology so and very very cost effectively. So basically. When we were thinking about capitalization because we bet in that space where you got to do a route an a round b route c round dear you end up at an e round somewhere. You’re fully diluted and you know it’s no fun at all. We did an original round with a very small group of friends and Travis and i. And basically that round was designed to prove out our technology now remember we’re in a capital intensive business. So we know that’s not going to be the ultimate way to get to profitability to get to a capital structure that makes sense. And right about when we’re proving everything out plus plus we realized we could go public via a sp and we made the decision to do that in early Twenty Twenty one let’s say late twenty early twenty twenty one and the reason to go public is. To get access to big pools of capital for us to really deploy our technology around the us and ultimately around the world and so our whole goal was to get public to get access to capital to prove out that our business model works which we’re in the process of we’ve had three quarters
Craig Hurlbert: Meeting expectations. Ah, and so that’s why we ended up going out that way and so we only had an a round and then we did some convert that got us through to this back and then the sp got us out in a big way.
Alejandro Cremades: Now you’re saying that it gives you access to you know, big pools of capital and you know there’s a lot of people that that for them. This is pretty new. Ah correct. So I think that you know it would be great. You know if you could walk the listeners through what those pools are of capital are and then what’s the typical process of. Going from a series a directly into being a publicly listed company because typically you know on what people are listening what they’re used to is going from series a b c a d and then you know the Ipo. So obviously in this case, it’s very unique the way that you guys went about it. So. Could you walk us in in a little bit more double clicking on that.
Craig Hurlbert: Sure so I think Alejandro for us I don’t think we could have taken from where we were to this to going public without having the deep level of knowledge that we had inside of our 4 walls. So for a typical entrepreneur to go from round a to a publicly traded company would be a very heavy lift. Um, but I think because we have been on both sides of the equation operators investors etc. We can maybe truncate that cycle a little bit now I say all of that to say bankers help. They play a role in getting that getting kind of your story corrected and getting you know, getting yourself out there. Um, so there was there was an element of bankers helping um but at the end of the day. Um.
Craig Hurlbert: I think again if you’re the Ceo I don’t care how big your company is you have a responsibility to how however, many employees you have and to the opportunity. Whatever whoever the shareholders are to really understand your options for capitalization and they typically fall in. 4 or 5 pools. There’s venture capital. There’s private equity. There’s high net worth individuals. There’s what I would call maybe this whole movement around sustainability dollars and then there’s going public or the public markets right? so. Those are kind of the 5 pockets you need to understand how each of those work and the pros and cons of each. So then you can take that knowledge look at your own business layer all of that in multifaceted and say this is the route we need to go. And this is why I want to go on that route and then still know that you made I’ll be making the right decision but you’re doing it from a position of knowledge and strength. So for ceos that are running your company not understanding this over here then I think you’re you’re diminishing. The potential of what you could ultimately be.
Alejandro Cremades: Now in your guysades crick for the people that are listening to get an idea on this scope and size of local bounty today anything that you can share around number of employees or anything else that you’re comfortable with.
Craig Hurlbert: Here we have 250 employees roughly. We have 4 facilities in operation 1 in the northwest 2 in California and one is up and running in phase one in Georgia and we’re we’re currently expanding phase one a and we’re adding a phase one b. Once three acres the other one will be three acres right next to it. So that’s that um, we raised about $170,000,000 roughly one hundred and fifty in our pipe and our spec had about 20 so ah, you know we had ah for us a successful event. And um I think the other thing too that I should mention is we have. We’re in about 10500 grocery stores which is everything from Walmart to whole foods to albertsons to Kroger to ah good. Ah whole foods. Ah, you’re seeing our products all around the country and the other thing I would let the listener know as well is. There’s increased demand for products that are grown more sustainably and and candidly last longer and are more fresh.
Alejandro Cremades: Now in your case Craig imagine you go to sleep tonight and you wake up in a world where the vision of local bounty is fully realized what does that world look like.
Craig Hurlbert: Okay, what a fantastic question I would say ah the vision of local bounty is inevitable because the world is running out of food. Um, there are estimates that say in 30 years Alejandro not 300 years in 30 years we cannot support the food needs in the world. Okay, and we’re seeing that already in certain pockets given the supply chain and the Ukraine war and other things that have happened so in my opinion, the vision of local bounty is inevitable and I’ll give you a quick story. When we rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange I wasn’t expecting to be as emotional as I was at this stage I’m sixty years old and I accomplished a lot and when they played the video before we went out onto the floor to ring the bell. They had a story about Walt Disney and how he had went into his bankers with this little The little thing that the little mouse moved a little bit that was his pitch at that point in time and now Walt Disney owns Espn I mean my beloved Espn. That guy with a little mouse owns Espn you know, ah eighty years later whatever it is the vision of local bounty. The concept of sustainability. The concept of better food that doesn’t go bad food. Waste is 25% of the carbon problem.
Craig Hurlbert: That we have in the world 25% food waste it’s estimated we waste 50% of the food we produce aleandro how is that possible. How do we allow that to happen in in our country. It’s because we’re growing products too far away from the consumers. That’s the answer and so.
Alejandro Cremades: In.
Craig Hurlbert: Local bounty’s vision is to bring products that are delicious that are healthy that can help your family eat better closer to the consumer grown more sustainably at the same price point and that vision is inevitable. It’s going to happen.
Alejandro Cremades: Wow now imagine if I put you into a time machine Greg and I bring you back in time I bring you back in time. Maybe you know to that moment where you were a ge you know you you failed that now you know you had like reach your. Your ceiling you know of learnings and that it’s about time for you to to venture out and and and and perhaps you know like go out it on your own with leadership roles. But if you have the opportunity of having a sit down without younger Greg and. And telling that younger Craig one piece of advice before launching a business. What would that be and why given what you know now.
Craig Hurlbert: So I mean I’d like to think I’ve done this but that advice would be it. It can’t just be 1 thing. It’d probably be 2 or 3 things but 1 of them would be um, just work harder than everybody else because there’s nothing. Ah, typically leaders can’t get away with mailing it in. Um, so you’re going to recognize if you want to be a leader if you want to be a Ceo. You’re not going be able to mail it in so that’s just a given um I think humility is a huge part of leadership if you can humble yourself in front of others. And not always have to be the smartest person in the room when you learn that Lesson. You’ve learned a very important lesson in life. It’ll help you in your marriage with your kids in your business. It’ll help you all across the the way and then I think the final one is just never ever. Lose your passion because passion is a force multiplier that just you know it just can’t be substituted and so for me being passionate about what I’m doing at local bounty I’ve been passionate about every role I’ve had. And if you’re not passionate about it. Just go find something else to do.
Alejandro Cremades: I love it Greg. So for the people that are listening. What is the best way for them to reach out and and say hi.
Craig Hurlbert: Well I’ll tell you what I’m I’m on email Craig at local bounty with an I dot com our website’s out there local bounty with an I at the end b o u n t I dot com I’d love to hear from your listeners I’d love to be helpful if I can’t to some of them. But Alejandro. Thank you for what you do. Helping founders and entrepreneurs. it’s really it’s it’s an awesome platform. You’ve built.
Alejandro Cremades: Thank you so much Craig it. It is really an honor to have you with us on the dealmakerr show today Craig thank you for taking the time.
Craig Hurlbert: Thank you so much Alejandro.
* * *
If you like the show, make sure that you hit that subscribe button. If you can leave a review as well, that would be fantastic. And if you got any value either from this episode or from the show itself, share it with a friend. Perhaps they will also appreciate it. Also, remember, if you need any help, whether it is with your fundraising efforts or with selling your business, you can reach me at [email protected]