Carl Streck – Building a Commercial Real Estate Data and Software Company – Ep.153

My guest on this episode is Carl Streck, founder and CEO of MountainSeed, a data and software business serving commercial real estate professionals. I was introduced to Carl by Michael Arrieta after asking Michael for the most interesting entrepreneurs in data he knew of, and Carl’s name was the first out of his mouth. Carl started MountainSeed in 2006 to build software serving banks making commercial real estate loans and eventually developed a data product to help banks make more data-driven decisions.

Carl and I talk about bootstrapping a data software company, evolutions in his management style as the company grew, the business models of data companies, and how staying close to customers impacted the development of their data product. Enjoy!

Listen weekly and follow the show on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherBreaker, and TuneIn


Carl Streck on LinkedIn



What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

The Economics of Data Businesses by Abraham Thomas

Craig Fuller on TLAO


(2:46) – How has your thought process around raising capital changed over the years?

(5:43) – Does your mindset towards capital change when it comes to accelerating growth vs. starting growth?

(8:03) – What have you learned from peers or your own experience in finding the right investor/company fit?

(10:29) – What was your role and how did it evolve during different stages of team size in the organization?

(14:16) – As companies grow, where do you see CEOs and founders start to struggle?

(17:46) – Is there a way to build a culture that encourages feedback they might not want to share otherwise?

(21:05) – What are some of the most impactful behavioral changes you’ve made to build trust and feedback with the team?

(25:43) – When you study CEOs of larger companies, what is different about how they operate as leaders?

(28:23) – Can you walk us through how you view your product portfolio and how the two work together?

(32:40) -How do you compare SAAS businesses to Data Businesses?

(35:56) – Does your Data Analytics platform work within the platforms or software of customers?

(38:23) – How would you categorize the customers of your product?

(41:02) – Does the Analytics platform license 3rd party data sources?

(43:19) – How are you looking to design and build a data company that lasts?

(46:07) – How do you incorporate customer feedback or determine new features?

(49:09)- What’s a strongly held belief you’ve changed your mind on?

(52:24) – What’s the best business you’ve ever seen?

Think Like an Owner Sponsors:

Live Oak Bank — Live Oak Bank is a seasoned SMB lender providing SBA and conventional financing for search funds, independent sponsors, private equity firms, and individuals looking to acquire lower middle-market companies. Live Oak has closed billions of dollars in SBA financing and is actively looking to help more small company investors across the country. If you are in the process of acquiring a company or thinking about starting a search, contact Lisa Forrest or Heather Endresen directly to start a conversation or go to

Hood & Strong, LLP — Hood & Strong is a CPA firm with a long history of working with search funds and private equity firms on diligence, assurance, tax services, and more. Hood & Strong is highly skilled in working with search funds, providing quality of earnings and due diligence services during the search, along with assurance and tax services post-acquisition. They offer a unique way to approach acquisition diligence and manage costs effectively. To learn more about how Hood & Strong can help your search, acquisition, and beyond, please email one of their partners Jerry Zhou at [email protected] 

Oberle Risk Strategies– Oberle is the leading specialty insurance brokerage catering to search funds and the broader ETA community, providing complimentary due diligence assessments of the target company’s commercial insurance and employee benefits programs. Over the past decade, August Felker and his team have engaged with hundreds of searchers to provide due diligence and ultimately place the most competitive insurance program at closing. Given August’s experience as a searcher himself, he and his team understand all that goes into buying a business and pride themselves on making the insurance portion of closing seamless and hassle-free.

If you are under LOI, please reach out to August to learn more about how Oberle can help with insurance due diligence at Or reach out to August directly at [email protected].

Oakbourne Advisors– Oakbourne is an independent retirement plan consulting firm that helps small companies design and implement great retirement plans for their teams.  Whether you already have a 401(k) in place or are looking to start one for your team, please reach out to learn more about how Oakbourne can set your people up for success in retirement at

Interested in sponsoring?


Join small company investors, search funds, private equity firms, business owners, and entrepreneurs in reading the Think Like an Owner newsletter and other project updates.

Share This