Joshua Motta has been a leader in tech since he was a teenager. His latest venture has already raised $50M to protect other companies from the growing and ever more severe threat of cyber attacks.
This founder has been at the head of at least two incredibly fast-growing startups. With his experience, there are few who probably come close to this level of expertise at the cross-section of tech and business.
Joshua and I recently did an episode of the DealMakers Podcast together. Our listeners learned a lot about cyber insurance, leaving corporate America to do your own thing, choosing cofounders and being very intentional in building your company the right way from the start.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
From Kansas To Oz
Joshua Motta was born and raised in Kansas. Now he’s based where the real magic happens, San Francisco, California.
While growing up in Kansas may not have been the most happening place in the physical world, it certainly gave Motta the opportunity to focus on technology.
Not inspired by the traditional paper route, Joshua taught himself HTML and other computer programming languages. He began building websites for local companies. He and his cofounder were acqui-hired by Microsoft, making this tech giant his first real job, at just 15 years old. At least at that time he set the record for being the youngest person to work for the company.
Obviously, this addition to his resume certainly opened great doors for him. That included the doors to Sprint, Honeywell, the University of Chicago, and the CIA. All before he was 20 years old. With the CIA he worked to analyze how countries are using tech.
Smart & Dangerous
Yet, working with the Central Intelligence Agency isn’t what I would consider making him such a dangerous entrepreneur.
As with many of the most successful entrepreneurs I’ve introduced on the Dealmakers Show, Joshua Motta, I consider him ‘dangerous’ because of his background in both investment banking and private equity.
He was hired by Goldman Sach in London and has had the advantage of being able to see the patterns of successful businesses (and those who aren’t), as well as what makes a company fundable. It also gave him insight into analyzing risk in business.
There are many types of risks businesses and their investors face. Yet, as an entrepreneur, Joshua reminds us that the biggest risk it to our time. It is even more precious than investing capital. So, you had better protect the startup you are building and work on something big.
Think Big, Move Fast
This founder also reminds us that it takes as much time to achieve a large vision as a small one. So, why not go big? Why not have more impact on your time? Anything else is effectively a waste.
He has certainly done well at going big. He joined Cloudflare when they were just 20 people. In its mission to build a better internet, Cloudflare has grown to serve over 17M websites, 1,000 employees, and is worth $5.3B.
The Why & The Genesis Of Coalition
Some of the biggest takeaways on his journey up to this point in addition to having a big vision include:
- Having a mission
- Getting very talented people who will buy into your mission to make it possible
- Learning the right way to talk about your mission
- Focusing on the why instead of the how
One of the big insights this entrepreneur gained from his time at the CIA was that some of the worst things other countries were doing to the US were not aimed at the government. It was cyber warfare against American businesses.
See How I Can Help You With Your Fundraising Efforts
- Fundraising Process : get guidance from A to Z.
- Materials : our team creates epic pitch decks and financial models
- Investor Access : connect with the right investors for your business and close them