Firing Squad: Turazo's Pete Cipollone

Video remains one of the hottest technologies around when it comes to recruiting, and one company, Turazo, approaches it in a whole new way, bringing brand ambassadors and "culture carrying employees" into the mix. Sound complicated? It kinda is. See if founder and CEO Pete Cipollone can survive the Firing Squad.

TRANSCRIPTION SPONSORED BY: Disability Solutions partners with our clients to build best-in-class inclusion programs and reach qualified, talented individuals with disabilities of every skill, education, and experience level.

Firing Squad INTRO (21s):

Like Shark Tank? Then you'll love Firing Squad! CHAD SOWASH & JOEL CHEESEMAN are here to put the recruiting industry's bravest, ballsiest, and baddest startups through the gauntlet to see if they got what it takes to make it out alive? Dig a fox hole and duck for cover kids the Chad and Cheese Podcast is taking it to a whole other level.

Joel (22s):

Oh yeah. It's time for another firing squad. Your favorite show from your favorite podcast. This is your co-host Joel Cheeseman joined as always by my partner in crime, Chad Sowash and today we welcome Turazo to the show and their founder and CEO, Pete Cipollone. I said that correctly. I hope that correcty. Pete calling in from San Francisco. How are you?

Pete (48s):

I'm doing well. How are you guys doing?

Joel (50s):

I'm doing well. I'm doing well. So give us a little Twitter bio on you and then we'll get into the show.

Pete (56s):

Sure. Yeah. So I, I had a very non-traditional career path. I actually started out programming when I was about nine years old, but then when I was, when I was graduating from college, I got invited to train for the Olympic rowing team. So I spent 10 years doing that, the last seven of which I actually worked as a programmer and product manager at a company called Factiva. And you know, basically my Olympic career ended in the, like with the dream. We won a gold medal.

Joel (1m 30s):

So you row crew.

Pete (1m 34s):

I did.

Joel (1m 35s):

I know that. Do you know the Winklevoss Twins?

Pete (1m 37s):

I do. I do. I haven't talked to those guys in a long time.

Joel (1m 41s):

You seriously do? I was totally joking. All right. Are they, are they, are they as douchey as they seem on TV?

Pete (1m 46s):

Now they're actually really good guys.

Joel (1m 48s):

Oh, okay. Okay. Well Chad, tell him what he's won.

Chad (1m 52s):

Well Pete, you, my friend have two minutes to pitch Turazo. At the end of two minutes, you will hear that bell then Joel and I will hit you with rapid Q and A. If your answers start to ramble or you get boring, Joel's going to hit you with the crickets, that's your signal to tighten up your game. At the end of Q and A, you will receive either a big applause. That's right prepare for launch baby this is a penis shaped rocket ship.

Joel (2m 19s):

Back up the Brinx.

Chad (2m 21s):

A golf clap. You're going to have to work on that second stage rocket cause a this one ain't going far, and last but never least the firing squad. Abort, abort, abort. You'd better find something else cause this bad boy, ain't gonna fly. So that's firing squad. Joel, you ready with that timer?

Joel (2m 41s):

I'm ready. Is Pete ready?

Pete (2m 43s):

I'm ready.

Joel (2m 44s):

All right. In three, two.

sfx (2m 45s):

Bell: Ding, ding, ding.

Pete (2m 47s):

Turazo is a SAAS platform for private customer branded recruiting and mentorship networks. Through our networks, our customers invite their prospects to connect with company employee ambassadors for informal human-to-human conversations, either video or phone and we do this at scale. For prospect it's a high value experience for learning more about a company culture and it's all within that company's branded settings. For TA teams it's a way to deputize hiring teams and employee resource groups to get great prospects excited about the company while gauging what we call mutual enthusiasm. It's exactly what it sounds like. If employees are excited about a prospect, that's just like a referral.

Pete (3m 29s):

This process is also inclusive. Since prospects get to choose who they talk to, they can easily find people in their areas of professional interest and who understand where they come from. We use NLP to make recommendations, but that final choice is always in the prospect's heads. Our customers range from 150ish person startups to enterprises like AT&T, Microsoft, Sierra Box, Dell, Under Armor and more. And this year we began expanding into internal mentorship, especially for employee resource groups. It really helps grow retention and internal mobility. And you can find out more about us at That's T U R A Z O.

Joel (4m 12s):

And not Taurasi the famous basketball player. All right, Pete.

Pete (4m 18s):

Turazo. Yeah.

Joel (4m 20s):

Let's talk about branding real quick. So you guys had a little, a moment where you sorta changed brands. You got a big customer, let's start with that moment and why you came up with Turazo.

Pete (4m 31s):

So the name comes from "turus" which is the Gaelic word for "journey" and then that suffix "zo", which is of African origin and it means "spiritual guide." So our focus was on being able to connect talent with people that were really willing to help them advance their careers.

Joel (4m 50s):

And that shit's deep. Did you come up with that on your own or did an agency?

Pete (4m 55s):

No, actually we had a contest and a person on our team came up with that.

Joel (4m 58s):

Oh that's interesting. What was the name before Turazo?

Pete (5m 1s):

It was called

Joel (5m 5s):


Chad (5m 6s):

Very reminiscent to Toleo. So your background Pete, why the hell get into HR talent, acquisition recruiting? Why here?

Pete (5m 15s):

So, very interesting question. For me, you know, what I really wanted to do was look at, what were the things that like flavored my life experience. And there were two, one was technology. I started programming computers when I was like nine years old. So I was really into programming, but then I had this whole sports experience and it was all about, you know, coaches, basically people who didn't know me, but saw potential and guided me through to ultimate success. And you know, that also happens in the business world, right? People find mentors or they find people who just take an interest in them succeeding. And I wanted to bring the two of them together and really the best place to do that from a business perspective is in the HR world.

Pete (5m 57s):

Right? So whether it's talent acquisition and candidate experience, or actually, you know, talent retention and, you know, growing people inside your organization.

Chad (6m 6s):