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The Innovator’s Guide to Pitching, Startup Funding, and Hiring A Players with MapQuest Co-Founder Chris Heivly

PowderKeg Podcast Guest Chris Heivly

Our guest today is Chris Heivly, who just might be the world’s first actual map geek. I say that because he co-founded one of the first online navigation tools, MapQuest.

Some of you listeners may be too young to remember MapQuest and the wonderful experience of searching your route on your home computer so you could print your directions and take them with you.. But back in the day, MapQuest was like pure magic

This company was Heivly’s first and it blazed the trail for other navigation-powered apps like Google Maps, Waze, and Uber. MapQuest went public in 1999 and was acquired by AOL for $1.1 Billion dollars in the year 2000. That’s billion with a capital B.

That’s a lot of money by any measure, but it was especially enormous when they sold back in the year 2000.

Since his successful exit, Chris Heivly has personally directed over $75 million in investment capital on behalf of large companies including Rand McNally, Accenture, and others.

He recently closed down the Startup Factory, which was the largest seed investment firm in the Southeast. And this conversation with Chris is just before they made their last investment at The Startup Factory (or TSF as we sometimes refer to it in this interview). But they had already made over 30 investments in high-growth startups and we caught Heivly just after a demo day for a group of their portfolio companies, so it was the perfect time to get his insight.

I want to make sure I give a shout out to his book based on his famous TEDx talk, Build The Fort, which you can find on Amazon, Kindle, or Audible. He’s super active on his personal website and on twitter @ChrisHeivly. So give him a shout and tell him I sent you!

In this episode with Chris Heivly you’ll learn:

  • How to perfect your pitch. (7:30)
  • What makes a good elevator pitch. (16:40)
  • How to attract the right people. (30:50)

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy!

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This episode of Powderkeg is brought to you by DeveloperTown. If you’re a business leader trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, this is for you.

DeveloperTown works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or digital product. They’re able to take the process they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup.

So if you have an idea for a web or mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powderkeg Podcast.

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:


  • Techstars
  • Y Combinator
  • Big Top Reverse Job Fair
  • ComDesk
  • MapQuest
  • The Startup Factory

Connect with Chris Heivly:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Chris on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Chris know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank Chris on twitter!


What stood out most to you about what Chris shares in this podcast?

For me, it was his ability to impart his drive to his team towards that vision.

You? Leave a comment below.


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These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg. For more episodes and show notes, check out the Powderkeg Podcast official website. 

This post first appeared on Verge Startup News, And Startup Advice From Verge, please read the originial post: here

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The Innovator’s Guide to Pitching, Startup Funding, and Hiring A Players with MapQuest Co-Founder Chris Heivly


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