Kurt is one of the newest additions to the Virti team; based in the US, he’s now heading up our global sales as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO).
Tell us about your background, and your professional experience prior to joining Virti.
I was born and raised in a small city in St Louis, Missouri, where my family have lived for years. I studied philosophy and religion at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and then at Tulane University in New Orleans before studying new media at the Vancouver Film School.
I worked an array of colourful jobs in my teens whilst participating in sports fairly seriously, then caught the travel bug in my early twenties. I spent extended periods of time abroad - teaching English to Nintendo execs in Kyoto, cycling around India, and getting my fill of adventure before returning to work in New York City in traffic engineering.
I joined my first tech start-up in Vancouver; a company focused on software development and marketing services for the world’s largest video game companies. After 8 successful years, I joined a leading interactive design, UX and interactive agency in Los Angeles where we built the first custom video player and video content management system for all the TV networks, film studios and game platforms.
Over the following years, I started an aviation company and a software company focused on multi-modal visualization, before moving into the medtech innovation space. In 2013, I was recruited into a private equity and venture capital firm based in Beverly Hills, where I learnt the basics of financing, board governance, deal flow and managing turnarounds.
From there I was recruited into Grapeshot, a contextual intelligence data company which became a leader in the ad-tech industry and was eventually acquired by Oracle. At Oracle I helped lead a global team of 1500 people, before leaving to start an investment firm with Mark Ashworth - who I introduced to Alex, and who is now my colleague here. I was introduced to Alex by the lead investor who was also an investor in Grapeshot.
Can you describe your role at Virti? What does a ‘typical’ day look like?
As Virti’s CRO, I focus on revenue and building the global sales team: an enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) team that includes Sales Development Reps, Account Executives, Solutions Engineers, Customer Experience, Instructional Designers, Professional Services, Marketing and Channel Business Development.
I wake up early, review our e-messaging channels and check our progress towards completing our current tasks and goals. Next, I have a cadence of standing meetings, some I lead and others I participate in. I also set aside time for 1:1 coaching with members of the team, which I find to be both rewarding and impactful. The rest of my day is spent on execution of Virti’s revenue growth plan, which covers business development, recruiting, contracts, product roadmapping, market positioning and the co-creation of value with our customers.
What excites you about being part of Virti?
I was attracted to Virti by the impressive executive team, the ambitious vision and the inclusive culture. I also liked their balance of humility and ambition, and their communication style and focus on human performance.
It’s exciting to be part of a company that has accomplished so much in just a few years, and to see how the market has, and continues to, respond to Virti’s innovations. I can now use my operational know-how and my strategy and process expertise to develop new relationships with a talented team; I’m looking forward to learning about new industries and use cases, and to reconfiguring lessons learned from past experiences that add value to this business.
Looking ahead, what do you think the rest of 2021 holds for Virti?
2021 has already been a momentous year for Virti, as we focus on growing our sales globally, enriching our culture with diverse team members, driving innovations in product development, standing up the marketing team and optimizing our go-to-market plan. As we enter the second half of the year, we’re going to get set up to achieve our exponential growth potential.
Finally, what do you enjoy doing outside of working hours?
I feel fortunate to be living in NYC right now, as throughout lockdown I have been spending a lot of time walking and riding my bike around the city. This has played an important part in maintaining my mental and physical health, as well as in giving me an appreciation for where I live and the community I am part of.
I’m very close to my wife and two children, and enjoy spending time with them in the city. We have a Friday night ritual, Shabbat, where we all invite our friends over for dinner. It is a festive meal, with a diverse group of people from different ages, religions, genders, and languages. This is something we all look forward to; it’s the perfect way to end the week and to mark the separation between secular work and the feeding of our communal and spiritual lives.