Grasshopper co-founder David Hauser (this week’s live chat host — RSVP here) has one true passion: business.
The founder of five startups — including Grasshopper, which has provided virtual phone services to over 100,000 entrepreneurs to date (and is growing, fast) — just can’t get enough of being an entrepreneur.
David began his journey as a startup founder while he was still at school. He and Siamak Taghaddos, Grasshopper’s co-founder, first met at Babson College and, with the help and guidance of professors and classmates, started the company to solve a very real and present problem: they needed a professional phone system on a startup budget and had nowhere to turn.
Since then, Hauser and co. have received many accolades, including spots on the “Top 5 Entrepreneurs Under 25″ by BusinessWeek to making the Inc. 500 list.
But David’s more interested in something else — giving that knowledge back.
He’s one of our favorite YEC mentors because he’s willing to talk honestly about the challenges young entrepreneurs actually face. To paraphrase his own words, after experiencing the dramatic highs and lows firsthand five times over, why not use those experiences to help others succeed? (Heck, he even made an animated video about it!)
After founding Return Path, Chargify, PopSurvey and Deck Foundry, David knows a thing or two about the difference between being “crazy” — and taking calculated risks to build smart businesses. Living out his core values have played a big role in his success (Grasshopper’s are posted here for all the world to see) — and they can play a big role in yours, too.
But, as you might have guessed, David’s not exactly all serious, all the time — he and his colleagues love to come up with zany ways to gain traction in the marketplace. See: this hilarious Jay Z spoof, “The New Dork,” as proof. (Actually, you’ve probably already watched it — we sure have!)
To learn more about bootstrapping your way to profit (in under 2 months), executing a BIG rebranding (ahem — Grasshopper was formerly known as Got Vmail), starting up in college, dealing with those roller coaster lows, or how to deploy the more creative methods for customer acquisition — a la the “new dork” campaign — David is your man.
Join us this Thursday, February 28th at 3 PM EST for our hour-long #StartupLab live chat with David, presented by Citi. Come prepared with your best questions about entrepreneurship.