Founder Stories: Why The CEO of Airwave Chose High Alpha Studio

by Muhammad Yasin

Airwave Founder and CEO Pankaj Prasad shares his experience partnering with High Alpha to start a messaging app built for skilled frontline workers.


Transcript
Hardest part for an early- stage startup is getting the type of people you need, in the door, doing the jobs that you need them to do to make the company successful. What I found with the High Alpha Studio was there was just an incredibly high bar of talent that was available to me, in the form of a squad, so that I could focus on building the right product, and all of these squad members could help me do everything else that’s necessary to make a company successful.

My name is Pankaj, I’m CEO and Founder of Airwave. Airwave is a messaging app built for skilled frontline workers to allow them to communicate more effectively. Just before Airwave, I was actually at Zoom. I owned their webinar and events product, and I was thinking a lot about how companies broadcast information to all of their employees, partners, customers, constituents. I thought, “Okay. The next generation of webinar could just be an asynchronous audio product,” and that’s how my gear started to turn for Airwave.

In my previous experiences, I spent so much of my time just trying to take people that would join an early-stage company, take that sort of risk, and make them successful. Anytime you can get an advantage on talent, it sets you apart. High Alpha has provided in their squad model a level of talent, purpose-built for you that, in my experience, would have taken me months to build on my own. That’s a real advantage when you’re starting a new company. High Alpha provides you with early-stage professionals that act as employees, that do the work that is required to get you off the ground. If you don’t have the Studio model, oftentimes you’ll supplement with consultants, which are expensive, and they’re not as engaged or as invested as the folks in the Studio. Just having that squad available to you, it’s like you start off on day one with a full team that is experienced, that knows how to do it, and you get more done in the first 90, 120 days of your startup than if you were going at it alone, just using mentors and consultants.