Meet the Founder: Mike Salguero, CEO of CustomMade
Michael Salguero is a Babson M’09 alum and CEO of CustomMade, an online marketplace that connects buyers who want to purchase custom furniture and jewelry goods to the professional makers of those goods. Since its acquisition in 2009, CustomMade has grown into a community of more than 12,000 Makers. The company has recently received $18M in Series B funding. Salguero, 2012 Babson Rising Star, recently came to Babson to share his entrepreneurial story.
Salguero purchased the CustomMade website from the original owner. The old owner started the website in 1996 and the site had over 300 best woodworkers. The site generates revenues from the subscription model. After months of looking into company to buy, Salguero decided to purchase the CustomMade website. He was able to fund the website through a series of meetings with the investors. According to Salguero, it took him over 100 meetings to raise his original round of funding. He encouraged entrepreneurs to be persistent when it comes to raising money for business. Salguero realized that investors did not like the subscription business model and when he changed the model to a marketplace that can connect buyers and makers of custom goods, he was able to attract more funding.
Key takeaways: be persistent. Entrepreneurs need to create their daily objectives. Entrepreneurs’ lives are divided into phases (idea generation, raising fund, run the company, expansion, etc.) and the rules change as they progress. It’s important to keep learning and adapting.