The first hurdle has been cleared: initial funding is in the bank. You’re hiring more talent, seeing the beginnings of a finished product with clear evidence of traction, and experiencing the coveted growth that previously felt just out of reach. Before you know it, the decision to raise for what is arguably the most competitive round is staring you in the face. In this panel, join Samsung Next’s David Lee alongside founders Kadie Okwudili (Agapé), Andy Hoang (Aviron), and Jim Bugwadia (Nirmata) as they discuss the learnings and nuances of bridging Seed to Series A.
Jim Bugwadia — Co-founder & CEO, Nirmata
Jim Bugwadia is a co-founder and the CEO of Nirmata, the Day 2 Kubernetes company. Prior to Nirmata, Jim has held various leadership and engineering roles at companies such as Cisco, Pano Logic, Trapeze Networks, Bell Labs/Lucent, and Motorola. Jim is an active contributor in the cloud native community and currently serves as a co-chair of the Kubernetes Policy Working Group. Jim is also a maintainer of Kyverno, the popular Kubernetes policy engine.
Andy Hoang — Founder & CEO, Aviron
Andy Hoang is the founder of Aviron, a high intensity connected rowing machine, and the first gaming rower in the world. Born to Vietnamese refugee parents in Toronto, Canada, Andy turned to exercise in high school as a way to manage his ADHD, but as he spent more time in the gym, he noticed bored exercisers glued to their phones who were just going through the motions of a workout. He founded Aviron in 2018 as a better way to exercise. Aviron combines the increased confidence, problem solving, and resiliency benefits of gaming with non-impact, high intensity interval training (HIIT) for an engaging, calorie-torching workout that taps into users’ competitive side. Aviron launched their connected rowing machine to the consumer market in 2020 and has seen remarkable growth for a seed stage company, surpassing 2020 revenue in the first quarter of 2021. Aviron is backed by high profile angels like Arjun Sethi as well as Samsung Next and Formic Ventures, a fund created by Oculus co-founder, Michael Antonov. A winter 2021 alumni of Y Combinator, Andy is a graduate of Schulich in Toronto where he received his MBA.