PitchBook CEO lectures at Startup Resource Nights

John Gabbert lecture

John Gabbert, CEO of Pitchbook, addresses the crowd during his Resource Nights lecture.

Foster School alumnus John Gabbert (’96) returned to the University of Washington on Jan. 21 to share his startup story and tackle the topic of business planning through the Startup Resource Nights lecture series.

The CEO of Seattle-based PitchBook, a financial information technology provider offering award-winning data and analysis software, founded his company in 2007.

Today, they have around 1,400 firms as clients, which translates to 7,000 users total. PitchBook was recently ranked as one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing private companies — that’s not surprising given that in the seven years since PitchBook launched its software in 2009, PitchBook has grown to more than 400 employees and has a run rate of more than $30 million.

A frequent judge for the Foster School’s UW Business Plan Competition, John Gabbert sees up-and-coming student entrepreneurs pitching incredible innovations regularly. What makes an entrepreneur successful? The drive and determination, he said.

“I think one of the biggest things is just to have grit,” Gabbert said. “You have to absolutely grind. Starting a company, getting it up and going, is really not easy.”

Hosted by the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, Startup Resource Nights is a winter quarter lecture series open to the public but centered around the ENTRE 440/540 Business Plan Practicum class. The series takes place in Shansby Auditorium (PACCAR Hall 192) every Thursday from 6-7:50 p.m.

Upcoming speakers include Evergreens Salad CEO Todd Fishman, Liquid Planner’s VP of Marketing Aashish Dhamdhere and DRY Soda’s VP of Marketing BreeAnna Marchitto on Jan. 28’s Marketing in a Competitive Environmental panel.