The One About What Shark Tank Is Really Like (and much more) with Dave Vasen

This week Kris is joined with Dave Vasen, founder and CEO of brightwheel, one of the leading parent management software platforms that features best-in-class parent communication. Dave shares his journey into developing and launching brightwheel and gives us an exclusive behind the scenes story of appearing on Shark Tank and striking a deal with Mark Cuban. Kris and Dave also talk about transparency in leadership, how providers can feel more confident in sharing their unique gifts, and how to obsessively focus on customers and clients.

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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  • Dave’s parents were immigrants from South America, and their emphasis on getting an education and building their career fueled a lot of his own focus and passion.

  • Dave launched the initial version, called KidCasa, while he was a new parent with an infant at home. They got to know the users at a deep level, rebranded, and changed it to brightwheel for a launch on June 15.

  • There are more than 25K users of brightwheel now, with most of the business coming from word of mouth.

  • Fun fact: Dave would spend Fridays with 4th and 5th graders in challenging neighborhoods where he saw firsthand what an impact and change could happen when great education meets great software

  • Setting big goals means big opportunities.

  • The big surprise for Dave on his Shark Tank appearance was how real and serious it was. It aired for 12 minutes, but it was condensed from a very intense and interesting 90 minutes. And yes, it was so secret that Dave couldn’t even tell his mother-in-law.

  • Dave/brightwheel got a deal on Shark Tank with Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca, and is thoroughly impressed with how attentive and engaged the sharks and their business teams are.

  • Brightwheel has measured that they have freed up one hour per person per day, which makes for more time to innovate and think about the big picture. They are also adapting to the new model for the pandemic by offering touchless options and identifying opportunities where technology can help.

  • Two of the best features that brightwheel users appreciate are how easy it is to use, and the ways it helps them get digitally creative

  • People want you to be transparent, especially when it comes to the people they are trusting with their children.

  • Instead of hiring based upon if someone has already done something, Dave finds identifying values and work ethic is just as important.

  • Dave would describe a rockstar as someone that has empathy, pride, and is curious about how they could be of service.

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