Neil Patel

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In the bustling world of entrepreneurship, stories of resilience, innovation, and passion often take center stage. One such captivating narrative is that of Stephany Lapierre, a dynamic entrepreneur with a family legacy deeply rooted in the business world.

Hailing from Quebec, Stephany’s journey is marked by her grandmother’s pioneering spirit, a powerhouse who not only ran a Pepsi franchise but also shattered gender norms in a male-dominated industry.

Listen to the full podcast episode and review the transcript here.

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    A Legacy of Entrepreneurship

    Stephany’s entrepreneurial DNA traces back to her grandfather, who founded the Pepsi franchise in Eastern Quebec in the 1940s. Bottling Pepsi by hand and distributing it door to door, he created a thriving business that, uniquely, gave Pepsi a higher market share than Coke in Quebec.

    Despite the challenges, Stephany’s grandmother took the reins after her husband’s passing, successfully managing the business with resilience and a commitment to the community and employees.

    Stephany recalls how her grandmother went to Pepsico accompanied by her head of supply chain and head of finance and defended her capabilities to continue running the company. She managed Pepsi from Eastern Quebec right up until the company centralized operations and bought the franchise sometime in 1991.

    Breaking Barriers and Redefining Success

    Going to university and studying business, marketing, and management was an obvious choice for Stephany. She considers entrepreneurship in her DNA since she grew up with business-inclined people. Her brother, sister, and childhood friends now own real estate and legal firms of their own.

    Growing up surrounded by strong and ambitious women in her family, Stephany developed a mindset that didn’t see gender as a hindrance. The gender perspective, however, shifted when she entered the world of venture capital and realized the stark gender disparity in funding for women-led companies. And that just 3% of venture funding is invested in woman-founded companies.

    Undeterred, Stephany forged ahead, raising capital from women-focused investment firms like StandUp Ventures and the Women in Tech Fund from BDC. She still talks about drawing inspiration from her mother, who successfully raised three kids while being an expert on how supply chains work.

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    Early Ventures and Lessons Learned

    Stephany’s early forays into entrepreneurship included starting a corporate events business, providing her with valuable insights into the world of business. She also experienced the full cycle of running a company and selling it.

    Stephany’s pursuit of adventure led her to Whistler, where she gained a global perspective and honed her risk tolerance, a trait she believes is inherent in many founders. After successfully selling her first company, Matchbook emerged as a pivotal moment, sparking her interest in solving complex business challenges.

    Stephany recalls her stint in the corporate and startup world, which is a high-energy space with a myriad of challenges. The structured, almost political environment was not something she wanted to do since there was just too much red tape for her liking.

    She would prefer to make quick decisions and move fast enough in response to changing market conditions. Since her company was selling to a larger enterprise, Stephany believed in adapting quickly to be able to capitalize on the opportunities that were coming her way. The lessons she learned from her first business would come in handy when she started the next.

    Matchbook Genesis

    Inspired by her experience in large companies, Stephany founded Matchbook in 2006, a successful consulting firm that addressed the need for true innovation.

    She came up with the idea to build a service that has a good understanding of business requirements and the problems that need to be solved. Next, she could go out to look for innovations that could solve those problems.

    Stephany wanted to look for a single or group of companies that can develop truly innovative ideas to transform a brand or company and make it more competitive. She remembers getting her first mandate within four hours of sending an email to her network well before the social media era.

    The client company was launching a drug, and they needed an ad agency that could develop a consumer-based marketing strategy for them. She got back to them after checking with her team and has been super successful with healthy profit margins from then on.

    The Birth of Tealbook

    It was the realization of a more significant problem during a project in San Francisco that laid the foundation for Tealbook. The concept for this company gestated for nine years before Stephany finally transformed it into a business.

    Stephany’s customers expressed the need for better quality information on their third-party providers, which was a barrier to making fast and well-informed decisions. Especially since these decisions involved spending millions to billions of dollars on goods and services. And managing their relationships with the vendors.

    Navigating 30,000 to 150,000 suppliers needed a discovery process or a Request for Proposal (RFP). They needed trained personnel to negotiate, check for compliance, and do the due diligence.

    Stephany saw this as a huge opportunity and an underserved market that could be optimized properly.

    She realized that it could represent hundreds of millions of dollars in value and went to work with a company called Genentech in San Francisco. They ended up developing a transformative solution, leveraging cloud-based technology, big data, and AI.

    Building different building blocks of the solution gave Tealbook a massive leadership advantage, especially when COVID-19 happened. There were a lot of disruptions in the supply chain, and people were looking for information. Tealbook was a fantastic source of data for the market when it was most needed.

    Navigating the Challenges of Capital

    The journey to secure capital for Tealbook wasn’t without its hurdles. Stephany initially struggled to convey the innovative nature of her solution to investors. The need for a complementary team, especially in the tech domain, which was clearly capital-intensive, became apparent.

    Despite initial setbacks, she found the right co-founders and successfully secured funding, evolving Tealbook’s business model to meet the demands of a rapidly changing market. The company has raised $72M in funding from top investors, including women backers.

    In Stephany’s experience, presenting “best-in-class” metrics and pre-emptive termsheets is the best way to impress potential investors. Finding people who believe in the founder’s visions is always an advantage.

    Storytelling is everything, which is something that Stephany Lapierre was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel (see it here), where the most critical slides are highlighted.

    Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

    Transforming Enterprise Operations

    Tealbook has emerged as a transformative force for enterprises, streamlining operations, reducing costs, and enhancing efficiency. With a focus on delivering high-quality data, Tealbook’s impact extends beyond operational gains, influencing areas like ESG targets, sustainability, and competitiveness.

    The Tealbook journey has been one of constant evolution. From membership fees to a data platform, Tealbook adapts to the needs of its clients. Stephany envisions a future where Tealbook becomes the gold standard in data quality, empowering companies with valuable insights and control over their supplier relationships.

    Conclusion

    Stephany Lapierre’s journey from the Pepsi legacy to the tech frontier exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship—bold, resilient, and forward-thinking. Through her ventures, she has not only tackled complex business challenges but has also become a mentor, guiding the next generation of founders.

    As Tealbook continues to redefine the landscape of enterprise operations, Stephany remains a testament to the power of vision, determination, and a willingness to navigate the unknown.

    Listen to the full podcast episode to know more, including:

    • Stephany Lapierre’s journey is deeply rooted in a family legacy of entrepreneurship, where her grandmother’s leadership at Pepsi set the stage for her own ventures.
    • Stephany navigated the gender bias in venture capital, securing funding from women-focused investment firms and highlighting the challenges women founders face in the industry.
    • Growing up with a spirit of adventure, Stephany’s early experiences in entrepreneurship and her time in Whistler cultivated a mindset of risk-taking and a global perspective.
    • Matchbook, Stephany’s venture before Tealbook, was inspired by the need for true innovation in a competitive market, setting the stage for her exploration into transformative solutions.
    • Tealbook’s journey reflects a constant evolution of business models, adapting from membership fees to a data platform, driven by a commitment to meet the dynamic needs of the market.
    • Overcoming initial challenges in raising capital, Stephany emphasizes the importance of building a complementary team, especially in technology, to secure investor confidence.
    • Tealbook’s impact on enterprise operations goes beyond streamlining processes, significantly influencing areas such as ESG targets, sustainability, and overall competitiveness.


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    Neil Patel

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