William Leonard

Hey, ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the Atlanta Startup Podcast. I am William Leonard, your host and investor here at Valor Ventures, a leading seed-stage venture capital firm, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Today, I am really excited to sit down with Barbara Jones, founder and CEO of Lillii RNB. Barbara, thank you for joining me.

Barbara Jones

Hey, William. I’m so happy and proud to be here. Thank you.

William Leonard

It’s great to connect again. I know we recently ran into each other a few weeks ago at the Salesforce dinner. I don’t want to talk about that too much now because we’ll dive into that a bit later. But, Barbara, it’s a pleasure to speak with you. I’m excited. I think our listeners will learn a lot from what you’re building in Lillii RNB and Freeing Returns. I would love for you to kind of set the tone here a bit and give us some insight into who you are. What’s your background?

Barbara Jones

Sure. I’m a technical founder and I like to highlight that because I run into a lot of non-technical founders. One of my passions is really helping them understand the tech stack so that they can talk to developers. Fortunately, for me, I’m building a tech company and I’m a technical founder. I have a computer science degree from the University of Texas at Austin. I was part of two other retail tech startups. That’s what my startup is also a retail tech. I was part of two others that both got acquired one by Oracle Corporation and one by Infor. Two big companies acquired those first two retail tech startups. Now, I’m on my third one. This is my space. I’ve been in retail tech for over 20 years, being an actual developer building software for retailers and now designing a platform to really help them with returns in fraud. I love this space and I just love technology.

William Leonard

Awesome. When you were deciding to go to school, did you have the notion that you were going to study something technical, computer science, electrical engineering, things like that?

Barbara Jones

Exactly. Coming out of high school. I had taken one computer programming class in high school and fell in love with it. But I went home very excited about it like, “Mom, I took this computer programming class. I really love it.” Nobody in my family knew this. I’m not as young as you are. This was many, many moons ago. But I went home and told them, “I want to be a computer programmer.” They were like, “Computer programmer? I thought you wanted to be an electrical engineer?” My family was not with computer programming. It was new back then. I went to the University of Texas at Austin for Electrical Engineering. That’s where I started. I remember being in class and soldering things together on my hands and knees trying to connect wires. Like wait a minute, let me try another computer programming class. I really liked that class. I went over to the Computer Science Department and took some more programming classes. And I was like, “This is it.” I’m glad I switched my major to Computer Science. And you know, that’s where I stayed, graduated, and still doing today.

William Leonard

Awesome. I’m glad that you were able to transition and were able to do what you wanted to do. I think that’s super important. You’ve been a super technical individual for the majority of your life. You were part of the founding team for a couple of startups that were successfully acquired. What is Lillii RNB? What was your trajectory to starting the company post the exit of those other startups?

Barbara Jones

It was right after the Oracle acquisition. I started my own because I never went to work with Oracle. Most of my colleagues did that’s why even to this day, Oracle was one of the first partners or first point of sale software companies that we partnered with. I know a lot of those people. They’re my old buddies from the first startup. But I never went to work before. When I heard that they were acquiring us, I was like, “Wow, I had just been contacted by a big retailer headquartered here in Atlanta that’s in the home improvement space.” I’ll let you guys kind of guess who that was. But I had been contacted by them, even before the acquisition to come on as a point of sale consultant. I was already contemplating that ticket about moving to Atlanta. I was in Austin, Texas. When the acquisition news came, it was a no-brainer for me. I was like, “Oh, wow. I get my money from the acquisition. I get to launch the one-woman consulting firm that I was working with this big retailer as my first client and moved to Atlanta. No brainer.” That’s how I started this one-woman consulting firm and that was called RNB Jones and Associates. I did that for about four years. It was just so much work coming in that I, as a one-woman consulting firm, could not do. I decided to create a company where I could hire and train consultants that will learn this skill based on my first startup which was building these point of sale integrations. And so that’s what happened. I started Lillii. It’s an acronym that stands for “Let’s Imagine Life With Ladies In It”. Some of my first hires were ladies in the retail tech space and that is something that I had not seen. In my career, I was the only woman usually on the team, definitely the only black woman on the team. I wanted to change that with my company. I started Lillii and that’s why it’s Lillii RNB, because I’ve merged Lillii with RNB Jones, which was the first company, so as Lillii RNB. That’s what happened and that’s how all of this got started. It came from that need, the man of system integrators being able to work with a point of sale system that I had helped build. My company was formed and we got clients immediately, because we knew the software intimately, right? Lillii kind of took off as a system integration firm, based on that background that’s how it all came to be. When I started the company, I always knew in the back of my head that we would not always be a consulting firm. I knew we had to build a product. What we wanted to do is use our system integration work to understand the pain points of the retailers we will work with to help us decide what type of product we would do. It’s always going to be a product company eventually, but it started out as system integration.

William Leonard

I really want to unpack that point there. Because first, I want you to kind of highlight what you were doing specifically for your customers regarding point of sale, because I feel like some of our listeners may know that term, but don’t practically understand what that means. I’d love for you to talk about the journey of having a consultancy, being a one-woman consulting firm, and then acquiring these enterprise customers, then kind of productizing your offering. I think that’s such a unique transition for the business so we’d love for you to unpack as well.

Barbara Jones

It’s been such an amazing ride we have. That’s one thing I tell everybody is I’m doing what I love. It’s a lot of hard work, some late hours, but I’m doing what I love. When I got that call from this big retailer that they were looking for someone to help them with their consulting, they were actually one of our first clients with the startup that got bought by Oracle. One of our first major clients was the same retailer and I had been working with them while I was at the startup. I’ve been flying back and forth to Atlanta working with them and so it was not a surprise when they reached out and said, “Would you consider working for us directly as a consultant?” And so for me, it was that excitement that I always wanted to start my own business. I always wanted to open up a consulting firm. That was validation for me that, “Hey, this is the time to move.” That company was being acquired, it was like everything fell into my lap at the right time. When the universe aligns like that, you have to move. I moved my whole family to Atlanta. We took that opportunity, we ran with it. I just saw the demand for a point of sale, and everybody knows what it is. You may not know the term, but it’s basically cashier software, right? Cash Register software, that’s the point of sale system. Now, today, that also includes mobile, and E-commerce, because all of those are points of sale. But back then it was basically an in-store cash register where you go to check out all that software that’s behind that cash register. It’s called an in-store point of sale. The application that we built for the startup company I worked for, we built the first Java-based GUI-based point of sale system that was on a big screen. I think we sold that as a kiosk application first. Kiosks were brand new back then where you could actually touch the screen. You didn’t have to type it in, you could touch it because we were using Java, the GUI package of Java. We started making these big screen point of sale systems. Before they were tiny little screens with black backgrounds and white letters to cashier really had a calculator in front of them basically, right? They got to do all the stuff in their head and remember, a lot of shrinks happen because cashiers are not able to keep up with the math. They can get ripped off. This software basically took all of that out of the cashiers’ hands that do all the calculations, can apply discounts, and promotions. What we built is this full-fledged enterprise point of sale system is what we created. Oracle at the time did not have a retail offering. They were doing their hardware and their software, but not in the retail space. They were looking for a company that would have a point of sale system that they could take and run with it. They found us and loved what we were building, and loved the application. They ended up acquiring the company and turning our sale system into the Oracle retail point of sale system. It’s called ORPOS. You can Google it. It’s still in use today. They’re still selling it and people are still using it. They bought us back in 2004. Alright, so it was great software. We built this beautiful point of sale system that took all this hard work out of the cashiers’ hands and made it very easy to do all these transactions to do things automatically. That’s what Oracle wanted to acquire. That’s what my system integration firm started out doing. We were building integrations on top of that system. Do you remember when chip cards first came out? You have to start dipping instead of swiping, right? That was a huge project for retailers, to be able to get their point of sale systems to take those chip cards. That was right when we started the company, Lillii. A lot of our clients that first few years were converting all of these retailers so they could start taking chip cards. It was a dream come true. For me those first two years, we were just rocking and rolling tons of clients, lots of business. It was a dream, being able to start a business and see that much broke in the first two years.

William Leonard

That’s exciting. You were really taking in ancient infrastructure that was costing businesses money on the bottom line. Because it was just so manual at the time before and when there are humans involved, there’s going to be an error.

Barbara Jones

I was one of those humans. The reason this startup company loved me so much, when I first started with them, I was their first Java programmer. They had the application written in C++, they wanted to write it in Java. I was the first Java programmer hired. That’s one thing and I have been a cashier since the age of 16. I actually understood very intimately cash register software. I’ve been a cashier. A lot of that knowledge was like, “Wow, Barbara. She actually knows how to do this stuff.” I remember one time, I was called into the back office because my register was short by $100. You could get fired back in those days if you’re that short. How would you not know if someone stole $100? I remember those days of cashiers were always spent because we were basically using a calculator, and having to do all of this in our heads. That software, I knew what we were building. I was like, “Man, this is gonna be huge because right now it’s so manual. When you take that away and automate it, retail is going to buy this like crazy.” I knew what they were building and what we were building was going to be huge. I was just so anxious to work for that startup.

William Leonard

That’s awesome. You started this consultant firm and then you acquired these enterprise customers? When did you know that you were going to transition from being a consultant to productizing Lillii? What was the inflection point? Was there a certain number of customers? Was there a certain amount of revenue that you wanted? What was your thought process behind that?

Barbara Jones

Well, as I said, the first two years, we were doing a lot of that chip cards and things like that. We had so much money coming in, I was hiring people. But that third year, William, that is when we saw some slowdown. I ran through all the retailers that I knew, all the relationships I had, and I was the only salesperson in the company. I kind of run through those. And that third year, we have finished a lot of those projects. We were not getting much work. I had this whole team of people I was like, “Oh my goodness, what is going on?” It’s my first challenge at this company. It has been so easy up to this point. I have my whole team. We didn’t have any projects. And I was like, “Hey, I always want to build a product.” Anyway, here’s an issue. Let’s go ahead and start working. We did a hackathon within the company. Over a two-week period, we build some wearable technology. That’s when the smartwatches were just coming out. We bought about three different types of smartwatches. We built some wearable technology in the medical tech industry, and it was over two weeks and at that point, one of the guys that were working for me, he used to work for Home Depot. He saw what we were able to do in that two-week period, take a product from concept to actual. We had an MVP. We had a prototype that actually worked on smartwatches. And he was like, “Barbara, I want to invest in the company.” I was like, “Really? I didn’t even know he had money.” He used to work for Home Depot, had plenty of Home Depot stock. He was like, “I saw what we did over these last two weeks. I think we need to build this product. I’ll invest.” He was my first Angel friend round, probably an investor. He put money into the company to keep us going. We tried the medical tech people. And I was like, “We need to build a retail tech product. We got the attention.” One of my mentors introduced me to the CTO world. She and I hit it off. I invited her to the office to come to talk to my team. She gave me a challenge. She said, “Barbara, do you think you can integrate WorldPay with these with this Oracle point of sale system?” She gave us a two-week challenge. When she came to the office, not only have we integrated it, but we had also integrated it with the wallet system that they have, like a few other APIs we were showing out, but we showed her what we were able to do in a two week period. She was so impressed. She said WorldPay is gonna sponsor a hackathon with the ATDC. She said, “Barbara, you guys should come.” I took everybody on my team that wanted to come, it was like four of us. We went to that hackathon that weekend. And WorldPay had like, here are the challenges we want you guys to solve this weekend. It was like 10 challenges, probably about six of those challenges, we’re dealing with returns. We were like, “Returns? Oh, come on, we have been working with retailers for at least two to three years at that point.” Returns were always an issue. We had already done integrations for returns that weekend, for that hackathon, we built returns. Basically, it was the MVP for Freeing Returns. We built that over that weekend, two weeks, two days. We ended up winning the hackathon. Best in Show, we won the second prize. We really should have won there. Okay, we don’t want to give them everything. But we won the best show and the second prize. At that point, we decided that we’re going to build this returns management application. Even the name came out of the hackathon that weekend. That’s when we decided it’s time to transition from this services company to a product and services company. It all happened that weekend of the hackathon after we saw the need and the validation by winning the Best in Show for that hackathon. That’s how it was born.

William Leonard

That is interesting. The idea for Freeing Returns was born over the course of three days.

Barbara Jones

Yes. At a hackathon. 

William Leonard

I guess the core thesis of Freeing Returns is to help retailers reduce fraud and the returns process, is that correct?

Barbara Jones

Well, it’s actually bigger than that. What we want to do is take the work that we’ve done as a system integrator. There are all kinds of applications in the market, there are all kinds of software they can get, and put into their stores. But the time and the cost of integrating through that software, getting it to work with the systems that they already have, that’s what stops them from doing it because they have to get it put in and it has to work with what they have. We saw that the big need of Freeing Returns is to basically be a system integration as a service. That’s really what Freeing Returns is, a middleware solution that knows how to talk with the point of sale systems, not only in-store, but now Salesforce, Shopify talk with these point of sale systems, but also gives the ability to give access to returns management applications. Of course, the biggest issue right now for returns is fraud which is organized retail crime. Those are the first integrations we’re working on. Right now, we’re getting in the door by helping retailers with fraud and organized retail crime. But you know, as we get in the door, there’s other things they need help with and that’s reverse logistics. What do you do with this merchandise coming back? How do we learn from our customers, not just what they’re buying, but what they’re returning? How do we work with our vendors to send this information back? Freeing Returns is not just going to be fraud, it’s going to be managing that returns and refund process across the board. We know it’s going to expand to these other things as well. 

William Leonard

Think about the current macroeconomic state of supply chains and yes, how important it is right now, especially in the fourth quarter of this year for retailers specifically to think about returns, logistics, and fraud within their company. How big of a problem is it for your customers that you’ve seen? Do you have an average number that customers lose per year due to fraud?.

Barbara Jones

This is something we do a lot of research on. Just the National Retail Federation alone says that it’s $456 billion. It’s half a trillion and it’s growing by 25% every year. Just for the retailers, we’re talking to,  they’re a multi-billion dollar each, and let’s say they’re a billion dollars, plus the issue of the returns is a  $10-20 million issue for them. That’s just the fraud piece, not all the other stuff as well. But just a fraud alone is like $10 to 20 million. And so for each one of these large retailers, they’re losing millions with returns in fraud. It’s predicted that it’s going to soon be a trillion-dollar issue for retailers as they open up even more channels, especially e-commerce where they see returns really go up high. Right now is our time to get out there because this issue is on every retailer’s mind. It’s been so easy for us to get in the door now, even as a startup, they will want to listen. They want to see the demos, they’re attending our webinars. This is a huge issue for retailers, and we believe our solution will help them be able to stop that loss and that shrink due to returns.

William Leonard

You see the rise of E-commerce over the last few years. Naturally, there’s going to be a rise in fraud, as that occurs as well. What types of retailers are you working with? Are there certain industries that Lillii is best suited for or are you more so general agnostic?

Barbara Jones

Well, for in-store point of sale systems, the best retails for us will be called tier one on those billion dollars plus retailers, because they’re the ones who use enterprise point of sale systems like Oracle’s, like NCRs, like Aptos. Freeing Returns knows how to pull data out of those types of systems. For us, when I’m direct selling, I’m selling to tier ones, Fortune 500, the big retailers’ but when we move into the E-commerce space, then we get into the SMB Salesforce. A lot of their clients are not huge, some of them are, but it’s not just huge retail. This is that SMB market now with Salesforce, and you talked earlier, we just signed up, contract with them. We’re one of their ISPs. We’re in their business builder program, and we’re going to be rolling Freeing Returns into their commerce cloud and their order management system first quarter of next year. That gets us into that SMB market for e-commerce. We also have an application to Shopify, which is your tier four market, which is a really small retailer. We can also help them as well. We can sell to all the markets but with the SMB and the small, we do it through channels like Shopify and Salesforce, but any direct selling we do is for the tier ones. They’re really big retailers.

William Leonard

Let’s definitely talk about that for a second. I’m going to transition here a bit. You mentioned the Salesforce Business Builders program. Can you give us an overview of what that is doing? I know they had a great event here in Atlanta last week. Huge thank you to Jamila for putting on that dinner and that meeting. It was just great to network with you and other companies within the business builder program, but tell our listeners more about it, how it’s helping you, and the criteria to be a part of that program.

Barbara Jones

That program is brand new. Jonathan Weston was also at the meeting with us, William. Jonathan, this is his brainchild. He created this program from scratch, and brought it to Salesforce, and said we need to do this. It’s really to bring in those first companies that normally would not think about working with Salesforce. Bringing these companies in, and putting their technologies in with different Salesforce applications. Salesforce is not just sales, it has all kinds of other applications within it. They call it Customer 360 they have a ton of different applications, not just sales, or CRM systems. They bring in all kinds of different companies, mostly diverse startups do this program. They have those startups integrate their technologies with Salesforce’s applications. The benefit of the program is once you’re in the business builders, Salesforce has integration costs, which sometimes is cost-prohibitive for small companies. They can’t afford to become a Salesforce partner. The cost is a little great but with the Business Builders Program, they waive that cost and they end up doing a revenue share whatever you sell. They take some type of percentage. It made it easy for us to get in the door without having to come out of pocket up front and work with the Salesforce team. Jamila is assigned to us. I love her. They do cold selling with us. We will be selling with Salesforce, we’re not going to these retailers just as Freeing Returns, we go into these retails as Salesforce plus Freeing Returns. That’s the easiest sale. For anyone like me who’s out there selling, it’s easier to go over to a big name company, especially if you’re a startup all by yourself. We’re cold selling them. I learned about it from another startup here in Atlanta. He had already been accepted into the program. They asked for recommendations. Just like at the meeting, you saw the other night, William, a lot of those people I had invited them to come because they asked for recommendations. I recommended some other startups that I know. This person recommended me to the program. I got to meet with Jamila and then I got to meet Jonathan. I got accepted into the program. And for us, it really fast-tracked our trajectory into the E-commerce space because before we were just selling in-store, now we’re able to do e-commerce as well. It’s been a game-changer for our business to be able to get into this partnership with Salesforce.

William Leonard

That additional channel is huge. And like you said, it’s such an easier sell going as Salesforce and Freeing Returns. I’m really glad that you’re seeing dividends from being a part of that program. Equally, there are other startups that are part of that as well. Looking ahead, what is on the docket for Lillii in 2022?

Barbara Jones

We have so much. Our trajectory for 2022 is huge. At this point, looking at our projections and the contracts we have not just with Salesforce with some large retailers that we’ve been able to get into as well. Our Shopify app is also doing well. We believe we’re going to 10x the company next year. We’ll probably 5x of that from Salesforce. They’re going to be our biggest channel for next year. We’re just so excited about the opportunities to be able to 10x this company next year. My team is excited. We’ve hired a bunch of new people. We did a pre-seed round earlier this year. We have our whole team built out now. I’m working on a few more sales hires. If anybody’s looking to join a company like mine and you’re an enterprise sales team was plus, contact me. We’re looking to get our team built out this year so that we can hit the ground running next year. But it’s gonna be a huge year for us. We’re expecting 10x growth.

William Leonard

Was that pre-seed your first time raising funding?

Barbara Jones

I have never been able to raise funding. 

William Leonard

Can you talk to us about the process a bit? Maybe some advice for other founders who are looking to raise pre-seed capital for the first time.

Barbara Jones

For me, I thought raising capital would be so easy. I was seeing all these news and press releases of people raising millions of dollars. I’m like, “Oh, man we already have revenue coming in. I have this great team. We’ve already been part of two other startups that got acquired. We’re gonna raise money, like nothing.” I was like, “Okay, let me go raise money.” William, I remember my first pitch. I walked into the room, and it was a company here in Atlanta. I never say their name. But I walked into the room and everybody kind of looked up and then they look back down at their phones. They pretty much ignored me. I was doing my pitch. Nobody was paying attention. They were back there talking. I was like, “What is going on?” I realized that it’s not very easy for everybody to raise funds. People are having a great time raising funding, but not everybody. Especially someone like me, a Black woman, building a retail tech company. Now if I were to come in there maybe building something like a hair something that people think, “Oh, she could probably build that. But not retail tech returns. Man stuff like. There’s no way she can do that.” I always got that, “You’re the founder?” I kept running into that. And so for me, I tried to raise funding and could never get anybody to really take me seriously. I couldn’t raise any money. I was like, forget it. I’m tired of begging people for money. Let me see how big I can grow this consulting firm, and we’ll use our profits and put everything back into building a product and that’s what we did up into this year. We have been bootstrapped. We got plenty of money, not plenty, but we have money coming in from our consulting firm. I was able to pull some of the consultants who were like in between projects, they will work on a product. Last year, we hired our first full-time product developer. And this year, once we were able to raise funding, we have a whole team of product developers. What set us off for funding this year was just the awareness that we need to fund diverse founders. We need to fund women. Everyone who has given us money today, I think every fund has been funded to fit that investment in diverse founders. That’s pretty much all the money that we’ve gotten this year. And so to me, that’s what changed. I guess the veils were opened up that other people need money, too. And these are really good, viable businesses. We’re going to make a ton of money invested in these types of companies. We were able to raise funding this year. I will say, compared to what I did before to now, it was the easiest thing in the world. I had investors reaching out to me. I never did outreach. Investors were reaching out to us, they saw me pitch at demo days, I had this influx of investors. After a few meetings, they were like, “Yep, we want to invest.” The money was coming from the bank. I was like, what happened? Nobody was listening to me, and now it was like, coming after me. We raised a pre-seed round like it was nothing. I just couldn’t believe it was just a nice change from what I had seen. It’s very easy to raise money this year.

William Leonard

Unfortunately, you had to face the bias that has plagued our industry for decades now. But I think we’re finally starting to see change, positive change on that front. We know the statistics around the venture funding that goes to women, and startups that are led by underrepresented founders. We’re starting to see some incremental change, nothing that’s moving the needle yet, but it’s gonna be a process that takes time. I think founders like you are really kind of leading the charge on that. It’s been a night and day difference for you, I guess, first started to raise versus now when you are really building this business. You’ve bootstrapped. I think that speaks to be resiliency that you have as a founder and as a leader of the company. When you’re bootstrapping, what were some of the challenges of navigating that? Because oftentimes, we’re seeing more companies, bootstrap nowadays. We saw MailChimp didn’t take on any VC. What is the process of bootstrapping and do you have any advice for other founders who are considering not taking on VC at this early stage of the business? 

Barbara Jones

When I look back, I’m happy we didn’t raise money too early. I’m so happy about that. Because my team and I, we own most of the equity in the company. We didn’t give away equity so early. Now, we really want to raise and we don’t have much equity left. We already gave it all away. We were bootstrapped. We had it to ourselves. That’s why I tell feminists today, bootstrap as long as you can. I mean, it was hard. There were some periods where I couldn’t pay people. They get their checks every other Friday. There were some Fridays where they didn’t get a check. I had to tell people, “Oh, man. We don’t have any money left.” I can’t pay my team. We had no attrition. Nobody quit. They believed in what we were building. They believed in this product that we have. I had nobody leave. I’m so fortunate to have a team like that. But there were times I couldn’t pay people. There were times when we couldn’t afford our suites, we had to move. It was not easy at all. It was definitely hard. But you know, I’m happy that we did not get funded early because now we’re in a beautiful position being the first time we ever raise funding.  We didn’t give away that much equity in our pre-seed round. I’m so happy now looking back that we did not get funding when I was trying to raise it early. I’m happy that we got funding now when our valuation is so much higher than we would have been back then helping to raise funding.

William Leonard

I think there’s a number of factors that go into making that decision. As a founder, equity is certainly top three in that list, especially at this use of the business. I really think this was a great conversation, Barbara. I think our listeners are gonna extract a lot of value from hearing you talk about your journey of setting out to do what you wanted to do and blazing that path that was not really expected by your family to go. The computer science route and then working early at two companies that have successful exits and then building your own consultancy firm and transitioning that to really be a product ties business to where you are now. I think that’s such a unique trajectory that we don’t see often from founders. Really excited to see you and the success that you are going to lead the team to achieve in 2022 and beyond. I really appreciate you joining me Barbara and look forward to hopefully having you back on the podcast once you have another exit, exit number three

Barbara Jones

That’s why I tell the team. We’re going for a three-peat and a lot of the people that work for me now were a part of the first two acquisitions. We’ve been working together for years so that’s what we always joke and rub off. Three-peat this time and see what we can do. Thank you for this opportunity, William. It was so wonderful to talk to you. This was great. I appreciate the opportunity to share my story.

William Leonard

Awesome. Take care, Barbara. 

Barbara Jones

Alright, you too.

Lisa

Thank you for listening to the Atlanta Startup Podcast. You know, we’re not just a podcast, we’re a community, and we’d love to see you at one of our digital or physical events, go to valor.VC and sign up for an event that makes sense for you. We have events for founders and the investors who back them. Another event you might enjoy is Startup Runway. The Startup Runway Foundation is a Valor organization that provides $10,000 grants to founders who are women or people of color building next-generation software products. Applications are free and we’d love to hear from you at startuprunway.org. And as always, thank you so much to the organizations that make this podcast possible. Not only Valor Ventures, but also Write2Market, a tech marketing and PR agency in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Startup Runway Foundation and Atlanta Tech Park Valley’s headquarters, and also headquarters for over 100 local entrepreneurs, building global businesses. See you next week. Please bookmark the podcast and join us.