CAE 014: How To Create An (almost) Unicorn Startup

What Does It Take To Build And Exit An $810 Million Company?

Happy new year to all of you! You might have noticed we took a little break last week to stop and recalibrate. It was so worth it. We are pumped, we are psyched and we are ready for an incredible 2016!

Today’s episode is like five interviews packed into one. I’m speaking with Lawrence T. Levine, the founder of Horn©. Lawrence is one of the most interesting and enigmatic guests we’ve had on the show. He’s not your average techie, and after listening to this interview, you’ll understand why.

Lawrence is a self-described unemployable serial entrepreneur, staring at the age of 13 with the development of the first fetal ultrasound system. He recently sold his latest company, TrustWave for almost a billion US dollars and is now working on his latest startup, Horn.

Horn is a voice-based social communication platform. And guess what – we’re using Horn to record today’s episode. Let this go down in history as the first podcast to ever be recorded on this platform!

As Horn is still in beta, you might notice a little time lag and difference in sound quality. But that’s what’s fun about testing an app in beta. You get to be the guinea pig that helps make it perfect for the greater public.


Key Learnings From This Episode:

  • How an epic business failure can lead to an epic success
  • Why a company’s value on paper means nothing until someone is willing to pay for it
  • When user growth is more important than revenue
  • Why you don’t need to be in Silicon Valley to be a tech entrepreneur
  • What you need to build a unicorn ($1b valuation) tech startup
  • Who you should have on your funding team
  • How to find a technical co-founder
  • How Horn is going to save Dungeons and Dragons

Links And Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

Blogs Lawrence Wants You to Read

About Lawrence 

Lawrence is a seasoned technology entrepreneur.  He’s started, built and sold software companies ranging from Medical Imaging, Online Advertising, through Enterprise Resource Planning, Cyber Security, and Social Media.  Lawrence is a active angel investor and is currently launching his most recent venture, Horn.

About Horn

Horn let’s the people talk!  It’s a refreshingly human way for people to actually speak with each other. Horn channels give you a place to meet and speak with others that share similar interests. It’s a chat room that is based on live speech rather than typing.  Horn channels also allow for moderation, recording and control making for a fun and safe environment.

Thanks for Listening! 

Thanks so much for joining me this week. We’d love to hear what you thought about today’s show. Leave your feedback in the comment’s section below!

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Thanks again to Lawrence for sharing his story. Until next week, go forth and get it done!