This article is part of High Alpha’s Portfolio Spotlight series. We regularly sit down with High Alpha leadership from across our portfolio to dig into their businesses, background, and career story. You’ll get an inside look at High Alpha companies, what they’re building, and their incredible leaders and teams.
In early 2019, High Alpha made its first investment in Boardable. This month, Boardable announced Boardable Spotlight — a new meetings experience that provides enhanced video conferencing capabilities for mission-driven boards and teams — as well as the Boardable desktop app and Zoom integration.
To dig deeper into the announcement and what their team is working on, we sat down with Boardable’s Chief Product Officer (CPO), Jeff Middlesworth.
Give us the quick pitch — what does Boardable do?
Boardable is built for mission-driven organizations and nonprofits to help them host successful virtual and hybrid board and committee meetings. Our board management and meeting software enables nonprofit boards, committees, and teams to focus on the business at hand, rather than worrying about the what, when, where, and how of each meeting.
Tell us a little more about your background and what you do at Boardable?
I graduated from Purdue with a degree in Computer Engineering. From there, I focused my career on helping growth-stage SaaS companies deliver engaging, customer-centric products that drive revenue.
I joined Boardable in February of 2020 as Chief Product Officer — it’s a fun and interesting title nowadays because it wasn’t very common five years ago, and didn’t even exist 10 years ago.
You could talk to 100 CPOs and they will all have very different roles in the business. At Boardable, we are a product-led growth company, so my team is built a little differently than most might think and tends to bleed into marketing. At a high level, my purview consists of the engineering side of things, product, and our growth team.
When I’m not working at Boardable, I’m also proud to be Executive Director of RunOne, a nonprofit focused on helping local churches deliver personal experiences through apps and sites.
Tell us about your recent product launch. What about Boardable Spotlight excites you most?
As a product leader, there is always something to be very proud of when you’re working on something for so long, you actually get it out into the world, and then you see it make an impact on your customers.
Nonprofit board meetings were forced to change due to the pandemic overnight. Prior to COVID-19, nonprofit boards were required to meet in person, but with the global quarantine, this was no longer an option.
The remote environment isn’t going anywhere and Zoom has quickly become the virtual table where we conduct business, share coffee, and stay connected with loved ones.
With Spotlight, our desktop app, and Zoom integration, we’re streamlining board meetings and providing board members with the tools they need in a hybrid environment. Our customers can now create effective agendas, organize documents, keep track of tasks, and host meetings all in one solution.
Another exciting impact we’ve seen has been how the new hybrid environment helped nonprofit boards diversify their recruiting channels. In the past, our nonprofit board outside of large urban areas struggled to fill their seats. But now, with Spotlight, they have the ability to host their meetings virtually. This accessibility allows them to recruit new board members from out of state that may have grown up locally, moved away, but still feel those hometown ties.
Do you have any advice for other product teams going through a big launch or release?
Never underestimate what it takes to get a big product launch to happen. Stay close to your marketing and sales teams early on because they’re going to help take your work and communicate it through marketing channels like your website, social media, display ads, press releases, and conversations with potential customers.
As you put these things together, the product might need to change slightly. It’s a lot easier to make those changes early on than burn out your team last minute by trying to rush to complete something before a release.
If people are interested in learning more about Boardable’s product or giving it a try, where should they go for more information?
If you’re a nonprofit board interested in learning more, you can visit our website. We have a guided tour of Spotlight and also a free trial that you can jump right into — no spammy emails I promise.