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Erik Mitisek, Co-Founder & President of Highwing

"Every single hire matters. It's not just about whether they can do the job, but if we want to work with them for the next 10 years and build something amazing together." - Erik Mitisek

Erik Mitisek, Co-Founder & President of Highwing, the first open data platform for commercial insurance. Highwing spun out of IMA Financial Group with a $4M seed round led by BRP Group and BrokerTech Ventures. Erik has over 2+ decades of operating as a c-suite executive, and founder of numerous companies. Erik was the Co-Founder of The Commons on Champa & Denver Startup Week, Chief Innovation Officer for the Governor John Hickenlooper, and CEO of the Colorado Technology Association.

Key Takeaways:

1. Time and Capital as Startup Advantages: As a startup, the two most crucial advantages are the time available to solve problems and the capital to sustain and extend that time. Entrepreneurs need to be resourceful, cash-efficient, and adaptable to navigate the challenges in the ever-changing business landscape.

2. People are the Difference: The success of a startup heavily relies on the people within the organization. Hiring the right individuals who are not only skilled but also aligned with the company's culture and long-term vision is crucial. Building a team that can weather the storms and grow together is vital for sustainable success.

3. Entrepreneurial Resilience: Entrepreneurship is a journey filled with daily fires to extinguish. Successful entrepreneurs possess the resilience to tackle these challenges head-on and find innovative solutions. They embrace uncertainty, adapt to changing circumstances, and never lose sight of their purpose.

4. Purpose-Driven Culture: Creating a culture that instills excitement and a strong sense of purpose is essential, especially in industries that may not be perceived as innovative or exciting. A culture that fosters collaboration, transparency, and inclusivity can attract top talent and inspire them to achieve remarkable results.

5. Balancing Industry and Innovation: Founders in traditional or slow-moving industries can leverage their time advantage to introduce innovative solutions. Embracing technology and fostering a culture of innovation can help disrupt legacy processes and drive growth in such industries.

6. The Power of Networks: Building and nurturing a strong network is invaluable for entrepreneurs. Connecting with like-minded individuals, mentors, and investors can open up new opportunities, provide support, and foster growth.

Topics Covered:

Driving Innovation in Insurance: Erik Mitisek, Co-Founder & President of Highwing 0:00 Introduction to Highwing. 0:19

How did Erik decide to build the digital platform? 2:32

Pushing entrepreneurs to do what they do best. 4:21

How to fight a fire every single day. 6:38

How do you find early adopters? 9:22

How to build such a great network? 11:36

The importance of hiring the right people. 14:37

The importance of giving first. 17:59

What brought Erik to the Venture Summit? 20:32

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