Your startup, before and after being featured on Shark Tank with Sara Magulis CEO of Honeyfund

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Sara Margulis, Co-Founder and CEO of Honeyfund and Plumfund joins me on Bay Area Ventures to talk about entrepreneurship and her venture’s fortunes before and after appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank. Honeyfund began when Sara and her fiancé Josh (now husband) were looking for a way to allow wedding guests to fund their honeymoon instead of purchasing gifts that they wouldn’t be able to store in their small San Francisco apartment. Josh created Honeyfund as an online registry where their friends and family could choose various aspects of their honeymoon to fund as a gift (i.e. airfare, hotel room nights, excursions, dinners, etc.).

Sara margulis

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Fast forward ten years later and Honeyfund is a thriving site that has helped millions of users. In addition to funding honeymoons, customers began using the Honeyfund to fund other needs and charities. Sara and Josh launched Plumfund to fulfill all of these other things that users love. Both sites were doing well and then Sara and Josh decided to appear on ABC’s Shark Tank. They wound up receiving offers from three sharks and Mr. Wonderful himself, Kevin O’Leary ended up lending the company $400,000. Click here to watch Honeyfund on YouTube

Honeyfund is located in Sebastopol, a beautiful part of the north Bay Area known more for vineyards and dairies but, more and more also becoming a home to many tech companies.

Sara discusses her transition from being a Marketing Director at a San Francisco University to becoming tech entrepreneur. She walks us through some of the challenges she’s faced along the way and how life and business changed after their Shark Tank experience. Other than the parts which fall under a non-disclosure agreement we do talk about the Shark Tank process. And finally, we get to hear Sara’s take on the Bay Area way of business.

It’s a fun interview with lots of great takeaways for your business, wherever you may be.

Recorded on March 27, 2017, on SiriusXM Channel 111, Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School. Bay Area Ventures airs live on Mondays at 4:00pm Pacific Time, 7:00pm Eastern Time.

For a list of upcoming and past guest information click on the Show link above.

Bay Area Ventures replays now available here and on Spreaker

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I’m pleased to announce that replays of my Bay Area Ventures show will now be available on this site both on this blog page or on our Bay Area Ventures Guests page (available from the Show link above). The replays are hosted on Spreaker for streaming and downloading here as well as on the Spreaker mobile app, iTunes, Facebook, and elsewhere.

My first replay is an interview with Dr. Kirk Heath, Co-Founder and CEO along with Dr. Tom Clifford, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Modio Health recorded on July 25, 2016.

Modio Health is a startup with offices in San Francisco, California and Virginia Beach, Virginia focused on solving the inefficiencies of credentialing and career management for healthcare providers and the healthcare systems they work for.

Hear Kirk and Tom discuss how their backgrounds as surgeons and the hindrance to doing the work they love caused by burdensome paperwork, led them to create a high-tech solution to managing physician credentials. Learn how they teamed up experts in healthcare provider management from Virginia Beach with technology and marketing wizards from the San Francisco Bay Area to design and build their system and services.

Modio Health is a venture funded company experiencing rapid growth. Kirk and Tom share their story of transition from the Operating Room to the Board Room and how to develop a high performance entrepreneurial team.


Bay Area Ventures on SiriusXM’s channel 111 Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School is a show about the San Francisco Bay Area way of doing Business covering all aspects of what makes working and living in the Bay Area unique and special. From startups to Fortune 500 companies, from politics to public policy, from venture financing to mergers & acquisitions, and even to the lifestyles of those living and working in the Bay Area, I try to cover it all in order to help you apply the great practices of the Bay Area to your ventures. The show airs live on Monday’s from 4:00pm to 6:00pm Pacific Time and is broadcast via satellite radio from our studio at the campus of Wharton|San Francisco (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania’s San Francisco Campus on the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco)

Every live show includes two feature guests for up to one hour each. Each of the Bay Area Venture podcasts on Spreaker covers one feature guest interview from the show. In addition to the feature guest, each month I host an “M&A Moment”, with Rick Climan, of the Weil law firm and every quarter I host a Bay Area Council Quarterly Update with Jim Wunderman of the Bay Area Council.

The M&A Moment is a look at top merger and acquisition deals involving at least one Bay Area company, as well as an exploration of strategy, tactics and financing inherent to this exciting multi-billion dollar business practice. The M&A Moment is available as a separate podcast here and on Spreaker at The M&A Moment.

The M&A Moment podcast premiers today

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I’m pleased to announce the premier of my new podcast The M&A Moment. The M&A moment is about the latest business mergers and acquisitions news involving San Francisco Bay Area companies as well as the art and legal aspects of negotiating a multi-billion dollar deal.

The show is hosted on Spreaker and is available here, on Spreaker on my Facebook page “The Free COO” and soon on my new website, Here is the first episode:

Be sure to check here often for new episodes.

Rebecca Costa on The Free COO on Jan 27

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Join me and my special guest Rebecca Costa on Thursday January 27, 2013 at 4:00pm Pacific Time. We’ll be talking about her book, “The Watchman’s Rattle: A New Theory on Collapse” which was one of my favorite reads of 2012. This should be a great interview and helpful to any entrepreneur or concerned citizen. Listen in live here or on Spreaker or our Facebook Fanpage

Rebecca Costa Picture

Why Podcasters Podcast

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Kris Markman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications at the University of Memphis. She is the author of the paper “Doing radio, making friends, and having fun: Exploring the motivations of independent audio podcasters” which is a detailed survey and analysis of why podcasters podcast. Kris was a special guest on my show and provided amazing insights into the nature of this fast growing and important communication medium. Click on the player below to hear a full replay.

For more information about Dr. Markman, you can go to:
Kris M. Markman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication
University of Memphis CEO Massimo Arrigoni talks about his career

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Massimo Arrigoni is CEO of an email service provider. He is a serial entrepreneur who’s has been through the ups and down of building and running a new venture. From his start as a immigrant to the US and landing a job with a .com startup that went through a boom and bust, to his first successful venture Product Cart (formerly Early Impact) and ultimately, to MailUp, hear how Massimo has navigated the course of being and entrepreneur.

Massimo is also on the board of two organizations helping other entrepreneurs BAIA and MindTheBridge.

If you like this interview, join me on Thursdays at 4:00pm Pacific Time on The Free COO

RC Williams business development and radio pro on the hot seat

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We finally had a chance to interview my friend and co-host RC Williams on the Free COO. Listen in to a replay of the broadcast here. You’ll also hear my weekly operational tip which focuses this time on gathering intelligence and market information for your startup by seeking out published research papers.

RC Williams is a long time radio veteran and is currently doing business development work for You’ll hear about his outstanding career and tips for building and promoting your company.

Join us live every Thursday at 4:00pm Pacific Time on The Free COO on Spreaker.

Learn how a PEO can help your startup

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Rita DeStaso of Trinet shared some great advice about why your startup should seriously consider using a PEO.

As I mentioned in my article about setting up HR, using a PEO could save you thousands of dollars now and well into the future by getting your HR function right. Think of it as an insurance policy that’s just as important as general liability or E&O.

The Free COO airs Thursdays at 4:00 pm Pacific Time, only on

ScanCafe co-founder Sam Allen shares his success story

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From dedicated Marine Corp veteran to the Co-Founder of the highly successful Scan Cafe, Sam Allen shares his story of bravery and entrepreneurship on the Free COO radio program.

In this lively and funny conversation, Sam talks about how he moved a 12 year military career, to becoming an mergers and acquisitions specialist for Cisco Systems and on to the MBA program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he and some fellow classmates decided to form and internet startup. Fast forward to today and ScanCafe has almost 1,000 employees and is the leading provider of digital scanning services on the Web.

Join us each Thursday at 4:00pm PDT to learn how you can make the next great start up company. Only on Spreaker

Interview with Own Point of Sale CEO Verdi Ergun

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Verdi Ergun is a serial entrepreneur, founder of Punch Group and formerly CEO of Own Point of Sale. Click on the player below to hear our interview and follow the path of Verdi from an undergraduate entrepreneur at the University of Michigan to founding Own which, at the time, was set on changing the face of retail point of sale.

The FreeCOO airs Thursdays at 4:00pm Pacific Time only on