Philadelphia tech entrepreneur taking sales execs up in his plane for a new show – Philadelphia Business Journal

QuotaPath CEO AJ Bruno is taking sales executives to the skies for his new online series “Value Props.”
Flying in his Beechcraft Baron 58 out of Wings Field in Blue Bell, Bruno aims to get executives out of their comfort zones and authentically talking about how they’ve been successful in their careers. The concept is a bit like “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” but for folks working in sales. The show is set to premiere in December. 
“One of the things with ‘Value Props’ is that we’re doing it in an environment that’s probably going to be uncomfortable for that person,” Bruno said. “And that’s perfect, because sales is all about working outside your comfort zone.”
The first three guests on “Value Props” will be Steve Barsh, managing director of venture capital firm DreamIt Ventures; Joe Levy, director of strategic accounts at Dataminr and Danish Dhamani, co-founder and CEO of public speaking coach company Orai.
Guests will continue to include CEOs, as well as vice presidents of sales and revenue operations managers, he said. 
He isn’t limiting the show to the Philadelphia area, either. Bruno is eyeing Boston, New York, Atlanta and Austin for future flights. QuotaPath, which makes software for sales teams to track their commission and compensation, is headquartered in Philadelphia and Austin.
The idea for “Value Props” stems from a fellow salesman.
Bruno was in the Comcast Technology Center in the media company’s LIFT Labs in February 2020 listening to sales expert David Meerman Scott speak on how startups can bring customers closer to their products. Scott used classic car insurance company Hagerty as an example during his talk, explaining how the company created its own online video series about restoring classic car engines. 
“Right after that, I was sitting in the chair thinking, “How can I bring passions of mine together to bring that into the business world as well?’” he said.
Bruno’s family has a history of flying. His parents met at U.S. Airways while his father worked as a pilot and his mother was a flight attendant. He began flying at 16 years old, but stopped flying at 20. 
Flying requires three things: time, money and passion, Bruno said. He always had passion, but he rarely had money at a young age. And then when he had a full-time job and the financial means to fly, he didn’t have the time. He made the decision to fly again at 27 years old, and after attending Tony Robbins’ “Unleash the Power Within” conference he set goals to buy his own airplane and start a company.
That was 2012. He’s since co-founded two startups, selling his first — Trendkite — to Cision for $225 million in 2019. Bruno was preparing to buy his first plane around 2015 after he and his wife had their first child. Plans changed, however, when the couple discovered they had a set of twins on the way.
“When we found out it was twins, I first was like, ‘Are you e**** kidding me?’ because twins do not run in our family, and I thought it was a joke,” Bruno said. “The literal second sentence out of my mouth was, ‘I guess I’ll have to find a bigger airplane,’ which was true.”
Bruno ended up purchasing a six-seater vintage 1985 Beechcraft Bonanza. He’s ferried TrendKite employees and board members in the plane, and has since upgraded to a twin-engine airplane.
“Value Props” will be an exercise in time management for Bruno, who is balancing raising children with his wife alongside running a startup that’s set to have 1,000% revenue growth in 2021, advising other startups and investing in new ventures.
“I can’t possibly add any more things to my time or my calendar, so that’s what I’m really trying to focus and work on,” he said.
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