Axial Alums

Axial Portraits-42

     JOHN SHOAF
     MANAGING PARTNER
     TIMPANOGOS CAPITAL

 

 

About John
John bought his first company at the age of 15 and grew a small lawn care operation into a commercial maintenance company serving 13 cities in Utah. After college he moved to New York to work as an investment banker where he specialized in advising CEOs on M&A transactions.  After getting his MBA from Columbia Business School, John joined Axial as one of the first employees before we even had our own office.  John departed four years later to launch his own private equity investment firm, Timpanogos Capital.

Axial
John joined Axial as one of the first sales professionals where he was responsible for bringing new private equity firms into the network.  After figuring out how to monetize private equity firms, he began recruiting and training other sales professionals to expanded sales efforts into mezzanine funds, lenders, family offices and venture capital firms.  He helped design the sales and prospecting frameworks that were used to monetize investment banks, business brokers and soon company owners.  “Axial provided me with a collaborative environment where I could work alongside incredibly brilliant and dedicated people. When you have the right people in the room, it’s amazing what you can accomplish together.”

Timpanogos Capital
John departed Axial to launch his own private equity firm.  “My favorite moment of working for Axial was the moment I realized I had helped build something so great that I wanted to become a customer myself.”  John was able to leverage the relationships he built at Axial to recruit investors for his own fund, source new investments, and obtain financing to buy his own company to operate.

Advice for Axialites
Know what you want to get out of your experience and align your interest with the mission of the company.  If you do this, you will achieve amazing things and have a lot of fun along the way.  For example, “I joined Axial because I was looking for three specific things (1) a way to leverage my expertise in the M&A industry in a unique way (2) participate in scaling a small idea into a company that would somehow ‘change the game’ and (3) learn how to master sales as a core skill set.  I can confidently say that Axial helped me accomplish all three of my career objective and much more!”

     JORDAN GUTMAN
     COFOUNDER & PRESIDENT
     PUBLIC HOUSE WINE

 

 

About Jordan
Jordan is a Los Angeles native who moved to New York after graduating with his Economics degree at University of Colorado, Boulder. Jordan spent his time at Axial selling to financial sponsors in the private capital markets. He left his position at Axial to start a boxed wine company, Public House Wine.

Axial
Initially, Jordan became interested in working here when he saw Axial was ultimately going to better connect the Entrepreneurial Economy so that more people could buy and sell companies. “I decided to become an Axialite because I very quickly felt the passion for what we were building.”

As an Account Executive on our Private Capital Markets (PCM) team, Jordan was exposed to our Members, many of who are tremendously successful and intelligent. Learning how to understand and relate to them was his biggest initial challenge. Eventually, he was able to successfully convince them to purchase Axial. After a year and a half, he found himself at a turning point in his career: he could either take the next steps within Axial, or start his own company. With his experience at Axial, he developed the skills and confidence to take the leap and start his own business.

Public House Wine
Today, Jordan is Co-founder and President of Public House Wine, a high quality boxed wine company. He felt that there was a void in the wine industry, and they’re trying to take a category that’s traditionally associated with low quality, and “premium-ize” it. They noticed that some people can be intimidated by the variety of foreign wines and may reach for something that is misleading and poor quality. In his words, “I guess I started this company because I don’t want you to drink Yellow Tail. Don’t do it. Just don’t. Pick up a box instead. The wine is good, I swear.”

Advice for Axialites
Focus on doing a really great job in whatever role you’re in. Trust your managers; trust that there are systems in place to make sure that you can be successful, and enjoy the ride. If you reach for excellence, maintain a positive attitude, and become a true Axialite, then you’ll open the door for opportunities.

 

     RYAN GHODS
     FOUNDER
     WINDOWSHOPPER

 

 

About Ryan
Ryan was Axial’s first Product Marketer. He grew up in Seattle and has been coding since middle school. He attempted his first startup in his senior year of high school, which failed quickly. Ryan later went to Bentley University, an all-business school, to learn how to start and run his own company, WindowShopper.

Axial
Ryan joined Axial because he wanted to be part of a high-growth, fast-paced startup with a mission he could get excited about. “I was able to work with extremely talented people that pushed me to grow professionally, and I had the autonomy of leading the direction of my position.”

As the first Product Marketer at Axial, he had to keep in sync and coordinate with the Product, Sales, and Marketing teams to define and execute the strategy of his work. Axial’s entrepreneurial atmosphere encouraged Ryan to think big, challenge assumptions, and move fast. He was able to learn key skills that are helping him start his own company today.

WindowShopper
Ryan is building WindowShopper to bring conversations to the online shopping experience. He has never been completely engaged by shopping online, and he believes the next big evolution in the space will be getting people more involved through discussions.

Advice for Axialites
Bring your “A” game every day and step up to opportunities to tackle bigger challenges. You’ll never be bored and you’ll grow more quickly than you can imagine.

Andrew Fayad

     ANDREW FAYAD
     CEO & MANAGING PARTNER
     eLEARNING MIND

 

 

About Andrew
Andrew led the Corporate Member Development effort at Axial. While completing his degree at the University of Michigan, Andrew cofounded Olark, a live chat SaaS solution. Today, he is CEO and Managing Partner at eLearning Mind, an eLearning design agency.

Axial
Andrew joined Axial for the challenge of changing how people connect in the private capital markets. He also joined for the people. He was inspired by the strong core group of Axialites that existed when he joined, and by the additions to the teams thereafter.

While in sales at Axial, his biggest challenge was to overcome the self-limiting records that kept him from exceeding his goals. With the help of managers and colleagues, he was able to identify them and come up with new ways to grow the business on a consistent basis. After a year and a half, he gained the experience and confidence at Axial to leave and start his new venture with eLearning Mind.

eLearning Mind
Andrew is now CEO and Managing Partner of eLearning Mind, an eLearning design agency. They help companies transform existing learning material into memorable eLearning experiences that engage learners. He oversees sales, marketing, and strategic growth opportunities there. Interesting fact: Andrew and his cofounders were actually introduced to the founder of eLearning Mind while using the Axial platform.

Advice for Axialites
Always aspire to work with and for the people you admire, from all perspectives (intelligence, ambition, personality trait, etc.). Chances are they’re doing something interesting and noteworthy and there’s no greater pleasure than joining them in a common cause.