How to Scale Your Company to Unicorn Status! Meet Matt Blumberg author of "Startup CXO"

By Angel Venture Fair (other events)

Friday, December 3 2021 12:00 PM 1:00 PM EST

One of the greatest challenges for startup teams is scaling because usually there's not a blueprint to follow, people are learning their function as they go, and everyone is wearing multiple hats. There can be lots of trial and error, lots of missteps, and lots of valuable time and money squandered as companies scale. Matt Blumberg and his team understand the scaling challenges—they've been there, and it took them nearly 20 years to scale and achieve a successful exit.  Along the way they learned what worked and what didn’t work, and they share their lessons learned in Startup CXO.

Unlike other business books, Startup CXO is designed to help each functional leader understand how their function scales, what to anticipate as they scale, and what things to avoid. Beyond providing function-specific advice, tools, and tactics, Startup CXO is a resource for each team member to learn about the other functions, understand other functional challenges, and get greater clarity on how to collaborate effectively with the other functional leads.

CEOs, Board members, and investors have a book they can consult to pinpoint areas of weakness and learn how to turn those into strengths. Startup CXO has in-depth chapters covering the nine most common functions in startups: finance, people, marketing, sales, customers, business development, product, operations, and privacy. Each functional section has a "CEO to CEO Advice" summary from Blumberg on what great looks like for that CXO, signs your CXO isn't scaling, and how to engage with your CXO.

Startup CXO also has a section on the future of executive work, fractional and interim roles. Written by leading practitioners in the newly emergent fractional executive world, each function is covered with useful tips on how to be a successful fractional executive as well as what to look for and how to manage fractional executives.


Matt has spent his entire career creating startups, scaling them, and sharing best practices of what works and what doesn’t work for other CEOs and team members in the entrepreneurial community.

He is the author of Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business (Wiley, 2020), a highly influential book embraced by entrepreneurs, CEOs, founders, and board of directors in the entrepreneurial ecosystem that was an outgrowth of his blog, He and a group of his long-time executive colleagues wrote a sequel, Startup CXO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Company’s Critical Functions and Teams (Wiley, 2021), and he is working with Brad Feld and Mahendra Ramsinghani on a second edition of Startup Boards, which will also be published by Wiley later in 2021.

Matt is co-founder and CEO of Bolster, a company focused on helping startups and scaleups grow, develop, and scale their leadership teams and boards. Bolster’s unique combination of heavily curated executive talent, tools, and services provides a new way for CEOs to assess and benchmark their executive teams and boards and provides a new avenue for on-demand executives to work with startups and scaleups.

Matt also co-founded and chairs the board of Path Forward, a non-profit whose mission is to empower people to restart their careers after time spent focused on caregiving by working with companies offering mid-career internships. Path Forward gives women and men a path to a professional career, while giving companies access to a diverse, untapped talent force.

Prior to starting Bolster, Matt founded and scaled Return Path, an innovative email marketing company, from a raw startup in 1999 through its sale in 2019. In the 1990s, Matt ran one of the first major commercial media and ecommerce web sites,, leading marketing, product management and the Internet group for MovieFone/777-FILM (later acquired by AOL), and prior to that, he worked at General Atlantic Partners and Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman). Matt earned his A.B. from Princeton University and lives outside New York City with his wife and three children.