Podcast #228 – Meet Matt Blumberg, CEO of Bolster.com the On-Demand Executive Talent Marketplace
This week I am speaking with Matt Blumberg, CEO, and founder of Bolster.com, an online marketplace for interim and fractional executive roles. I was introduced to Matt by Tami Foreman, executive director of Path Forward, who was on the podcast in episode #128. Matt is the board chair for Path Forward.
I interviewed Mike Harris from Patina Solutions back in episode #221. Patina Solutions is similar but different from Bolster in supplying fractional and interim executive talent to their clients. I suggest you listen to both Matt and Mike to see if these platforms are a good fit for your situation.
This episode is sponsored by Career Pivot. Check out the Career Pivot Community. Make sure and pick up my latest book, Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life Third Edition.
Now on to the podcast…
What is Bolster?
A new company that was started last year. It’s a marketplace for on-demand executive talent. It’s somewhat like airbnb or ebay – only the merchandise is the executive. Executives are people who are confirmed and vetted and who are wanting to work part-time, interim, or as a coach/mentor.
An Ideal Customer
There are two groups of people in Bolster – the Member and the Client. The executive is the Member and membership is free.
Members that are career consulting executives may be in between jobs. They want to take a little time off but don’t want to completely unplug.
They could be Members that are fully employed but are interested in mentorship opportunities.
Others may be Members who are retired but just don’t want to quit working completely.
The demographic is very wide and diverse.
Most of the individuals are over 40 because you have to have been a senior executive to qualify and to get to be a senior executive you need years of experience.
Bolster is working hard to build a diverse membership. Currently, it’s about 50-50 on gender and ethnicity.
The industries served on the client-side are mostly private companies and mostly venture-backed or pre-venture-backed companies. Some are public companies – not huge – but still public.
The industries also seem to be very tech-oriented. They are not necessarily a tech company but at least oriented in that direction.
Our members have experience across all industries.
How to Become a Member
The Member intake is quick and lightweight. It is free and doesn’t take much time.
A person will pick a role, their last role most likely. They are then asked questions around that role about their competency. They get to pick three they feel they’re extremely strong in.
That’s all that has to be done to become a member.
Businesses will then come in looking for a strong CEO in a specific field.
Our search engine will look through all the profiles and look for members that the client might be able to use.
The Payment System
The client and the member contract directly with each other. Typically, Bolster will handle the billing and collections. The Member will send Bolster the bill and Bolster will collect it from the client.
The Future of Remote Work
The Pandemic has opened a lot of eyes to how work can get done – not how it should or will – but how it can. In all the searches only 2-3% care about geography. The rest do not.
Younger employees at the beginning of their career who at first loved working remotely now find that they miss friends, and getting dressed, and being out and about. They are not at the office to run into people and say hello, etc.
But most companies are going to go a hybrid.
The Future of Bolster
One year from now – Bolster will probably look like it does today – just bigger.
Over time, they may broaden the industry and geography a bit but that will be later on.
To reach Matt Blumberg:
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