Debi Kleiman

Debi Kleiman

Book Author, Business Advisor, Startup Mentor - Startup Foundry - Digital Data Design (D^3) Institute at Harvard

Our guest today is Debi Kleiman, a veteran of Boston’s startup/marketing/high-technology scene. Debi is currently working at Harvard University supporting faculty who are starting AI and Machine Learning ventures. As the author of “First Pitch,” and a seasoned startup leader, Debi offers invaluable insights into the entrepreneurial world.

In our conversation, we explored founder traits, the importance of failing fast, strategic approaches to partnering with investors, and the art of community building in the startup ecosystem.


[02:21] – Debi Kleiman introduces herself and discusses her current role at Harvard and its focus on AI and ML startups.

[12:43] – Debi shares her insight into community building to unite like-minded individuals around a common idea or movement.

[23:08] – The meaning of “failing fast”  and how it fosters learning and improvement for startups.

[24:46] -The significance of focused resource allocation and focus on serving an ideal customer effectively before considering expansion and diversification.

[25:30] – Debi shares her insight into effective startup pitching that will help your audience remember and engage with your ideas.

[26:19] – Learn about compelling communication and relationship building in startup pitching, as emphasized in Debi’s book, First Pitch.

[30:00] –  Selecting the right type of funding for your startup. Debi explains why not all startups are suitable for venture capital (VC) funding and why aligning funding with your startup’s specific needs and growth potential is crucial.

[44:50] – Debi shares an easy and flavorful recipe for chimichurri to elevate various dishes like fish, meat, vegetables, and pasta, turning ordinary meals into extraordinary experiences.

Contact Dino at:

Websites: or

Other links for Debi Kleinman:


Twitter: @drkleiman

Authentic Leadership For Everyday People / Dino Cattaneo

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Podcast Instagram: @al4edp 

Podcast Twitter:@al4edp

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The Hammer & The Heart | Susan Cattaneo


First Pitch by Debi Kleinman