be selling just to clients. She’d need to
persuade angel investors to write her
checks for several million dollars to get
a startup going. She wasn’t a Silicon
Valley wunderkind. She was a middle-aged woman with no experience running a tech company.
At a party in the winter of 2014,
Greene met Je;rey Leck, co-founder
of a boutique private equity fund.
“She says, ‘You have to come in—I
have this great business plan and I need
someone to back it,’;” recalls Leck as he
shakes his head and rolls his eyes, mak-
ing clear his reaction was “Sure, lady.”
Leck agreed to meet with her, but to
fend her o;, he showed her a PowerPoint
deck describing the kinds of investments
his fund looked for: minimum $2 million
in existing cash flow and typically around
$10 million in revenue. In other words:
not you. “I thought I had nailed the co;n
shut pretty strongly after about 30 minutes,” Leck says.
As Leck spoke, Greene smiled, waiting
patiently. When he finished, she showed
a PowerPoint deck of her own. “I understand what you’re looking for, but this is
really a very di;erent opportunity,” she
told him. She outlined what she saw: The
ine;ciency in the $726 billion trucking
industry is the current hiring system. If
motor carriers could hire approved drivers quickly and easily, and drivers could
take jobs at their convenience, it would
unlock millions of hours of untapped
productivity. She aimed to build the
platform that would make the market.
With her work at Road Dog, she was
uniquely positioned to do so.
“She’s proved she can grow a company,” says Leck. “It’s a product that
everybody in the industry should use.
Put those things together, how can I
Leck and his business partner John
Kirtley became Greene’s co-founders,
each putting in $1 million of his own
money. They called the company Blue
Bloodhound. Greene started hiring a
sta; and seeking investors for a Series A.
“It’s funny. I didn’t call her to invest.
I called her to do due diligence for my
friend,” says Peter Bloom. “After 30 minutes, I said, ‘Can I invest?’ She articulated
the mission so clearly.” Anyone can hire
tech expertise, Bloom thought, but it’s
hard to find someone with Greene’s
experience in the truck sta;ng world
and her guts, leadership, and vision.
Greene will need to deploy all of those
qualities as she builds the company,
because she and her co-founders face
sti; industry headwinds. Early on, she
signed about 25,000 drivers to Blue
Bloodhound, an important step. To build
critical mass, Greene hired sta; to cold-call trucking companies to see if they had
available jobs and then phone truckers to
get them on the job. But carriers who
hire drivers through Blue Bloodhound
are still legally responsible for what
happens on the road and have been
skittish about leaning on the platform.
This spring, Greene decided she had
to jump-start the business. In March,
she hired a new vice president of technology to overhaul the platform. In
May, she laid o; seven of the company’s
30 employees, including the head of
marketing and the customer service
sta;. To win the confidence of the
motor carriers, Greene asked the FMC-
SA to develop a special certification for
Blue Bloodhound. She is also seeking
the imprimatur of industry influencers
and planning to acquire professional
She’s not giving up on Blue Bloodhound—far from it. She’s just going slow,
not recruiting new drivers while the
company reworks an app to fit the needs
of motor carriers, drivers, and regulators.
She compares it to her earliest days in
the sta;ng business, when she and Mike
had to figure out the nuts and bolts of
cash flow after the shipyard contract.
Meanwhile, Greene’s original businesses continue to grow. This year,
Road Dog plans to open three new
o;ces, in Houston, near San Francisco,
and in Washington State. She’s rolling
the Strataforce and Road Dog businesses together and naming it Road Dog
Crew, selling truck sta; on one side of
the loading dock and warehouse workers on the other. Todd Warner runs
daily ops for Strataforce/Road Dog
while Greene focuses on the startup.
But even with these successes as bedrock, the challenges she’s facing with
Blue Bloodhound “humble you beyond
belief,” she says. “It makes you question
everything about your being and your
strength. It resets you to zero.
“But I wouldn’t have gotten to the
place I am, I wouldn’t be able to tolerate
what I’m tolerating now, if I hadn’t
gotten self-assurance from all those past
struggles,” says Greene. “It’s almost like
all those things that have happened in
my life have brought me to this place.”
BURT HELM is Inc. ’s senior contributing writer.
QUEEN OF THE ROAD
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 63
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“I called her to do due diligence for
my friend,” says Peter Bloom.
“After 30 minutes, I said, ‘Can I invest?’ ”