MENTORS PROGRAM

Lou Ferrara

Mentor Spotlight

LOU FERRARA

Growth Advisor

ferraralou@gmail.com

Lou has helped transform and grow companies as an executive to create impactful results and value. Most recently, he was chief content officer and part of the turnaround team at Bankrate, which sold for $1.4B in 2017. Previously, he was a VP at The Associated Press, where he led much of the company’s digital transformation and introduced automation technologies to create bot-written stories and investment opportunities.

His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and on “The Daily Show.” Lou is now operating his own consultancy, working with a variety of startups and established companies to develop clear pathways to achieve goals quickly.

What are you passionate about?

I love innovating and exploring new opportunities that drive revenue and growth. It’s wonderful to find the under-the-radar opportunities and harness them. I also like to figure out ways to mainstream innovations. For instance, when I implemented automation technologies at the AP, there were companies talking about AI and automation, and there were a few early adapters, but nobody was really making it mainstream. Innovations are great, but if you can get them to make sense to a wider, public audience, it can help drive growth significantly. Over my career, I’ve always built great teams and developed talent that have gone onto bigger things. I really like doing that and see my role working with startups as similar in the development of leaders and teams who are seeking success.

What one piece of advice would you give to an early stage startup regarding your area of expertise?

Don’t give up, yet at the same time listen to your audience and your consumers. How are you meeting their needs in their financial circumstances? For instance, I cannot think if any company that isn’t trying to save money while making more money. While they are willing to invest, those investments need ROI, so for startups in the B2B space it is important to understand that dynamic, that the innovation alone won’t change the game. Yes, you might be a unicorn, but more often than not you’re an innovative company that needs to get into corporate America and become part of the mainstream generating revenues. If you are in the B2C space, the challenge is equal. Why should people use what you have and are you really understanding your audience to deliver something that generates consistent revenue? Always ask, in either B2B or B2C, what problem are you solving for your audience? And in the end, don’t give up.

What do you like best about mentoring at the Preccelerator?

I love working with young companies and helping them to succeed. My hope is to continue doing it so that I can work with new talent, develop ideas and achieve success for everyone involved. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I love being part of the process to try to figure out the

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