Shop talk on "intricately managed miracles" and early-stage subculture edited by four professionals in the throes of growing and funding early-to-mid stage tech companies.  For bios and other goodness click here.

The Five & Dime


Start-ups are awesome, ridiculous, life-making experiences whether you are funding them or building them - and whether they go up, down or sideways (preferably up, or down quickly).

In writing EarlyStager, we want to shine a light on the business and executional chops behind early stage efforts from various participants in this dynamic ecosystem.

We're also interested in the shared cultural experiences that bubble up when a team pursues an almost impossible goal with extreme conviction and emotional loyalty - because all sorts of dysfunctions, f-ups, and trade-offs suddenly become acceptable.

And aside from all that, EarlyStager is really just about loving what we do and wanting to share!

Looking forward to the conversation -

Team EarlyStager



BETH FERREIRA (@bethferreira)

Current Gig: Etsy

Past Lives: Boston Consulting Group, Flatiron Partners, JP Morgan Partners, Wharton B School

How I Got Into This Mess:  After one firm imploded and another got acquired, I joined a group of colleagues and was on the founding team of the New York office of a small investment bank. One of my favorite deals, a startup ISP in St. Louis, definitely not our usual client, was the first time I worked with a highly energized management team that was passionate about building and growing their business. By the time the deal closed, I knew I wanted to be at an early stage company. I landed at Flatiron Partners (thanks Jerry for answering my email) a VC firm in New York, where my work with early stage companies and internet companies began.


EMILY HICKEY (@emilykhickey)

Current Gig: Hashable/Tracked.com

Past Lives: HotJobs.com, PhotoShelter, WildAid, The Custom Kitchens, Stanford GSB

How I Got Into This Mess: Aah so it was 1997 … NYC … One of my six roommates had a friend who was a recruiter at a staffing firm called Otec. The founder of Otec happened to be the Shamwow of tech recruiting, Richard Johnson, who’d just started work on this 'job board' thing. I went in to talk to the recruiter about PeopleSoft jobs but talked to Richard instead. Four weeks later I was the 14th employee at HotJobs.com.  And I’ve been doing this stuff ever since – rock!


ALEXIS JUNEJA (@lexjuneja)

Current Gig: Curbed.com

Past Lives: MSKCC, FLAG, CCNY, Lincoln Center, Goldman, Cambridge Assoc, the Brooklyn Blades, BatRoulette 2nd Base, HBS

How I Got Into This Mess:  Concord, NH, spring 1992...for more about the early days of Curbed check out The Road Trip that Started it All



SARAH TAVEL (@sarahtavel)

Current Gig: Bessemer Venture Partners

Past Lives: Kerdan Group, Crimson Painting, Radcliffe Rugby, Harvard

Personal Blog: www.adventurista.com

How I Got Into This Mess:  I joined a strategy consulting firm straight out of college that was essentially a startup. After some great growth, one of our key clients had some budget problems, our firm’s fortunes reversed, and we had to downsize. As they say, the true test of a startup culture is how it copes when the s*t hits the fan.  Unfortunately, ours didn’t.  Sensing the end was near, I started looking for a new job and was exploring a bunch of different opportunities. Then one of my smart friends asked, “Why don’t you look into Venture Capital?”  Honestly, I had no idea what VC was and had to Google it. One thing led to another, and two months later, I started at Bessemer.