FIR Interview: Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer on AirPR Analyst and the collaborative economy

AirPR Analyst

Back in August, FIR spoke with Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, the co-founder and CEO of AirPR, a collaborative marketplace that connects startup CEOs in need of media coverage with small PR agencies and independent PR practitioners.

Since then, the sharing economy has grown immensely as evidenced by the launch of Crowd Companies, the business council for large companies to explore and share information about how they can participate in this burgeoning business segment. (We spoke with Jeremiah Owyang, the man behind Crowd Companies, in an FIR interview published earlier this week.)

Fouladgar-Mercer notes in this interview with FIR co-host Shel Holtz that he and his co-founder envision four elements to AirPR. The marketplace was first. Now, the company has launched AirPR Analyst, a data analysis service that “tracks media activity and provides top-level, actionable insights into your PR efforts to tell you what is driving engagement and moving the needle in terms of traffic, conversion, organic search, and even revenue.”

Sharam provides some insight into the service, discusses the growth of AirPR, and chats about the sharing economy in general in this wide-ranging interview.

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About our Conversation Partner

Sharam Fouladgar-MercerSharam Fouladgar-Mercer is the Co-founder and CEO of AirPR, a technology platform to increase PR performance. He was a former Entrepreneur in Residence at Shasta Ventures focused on consumer internet and the social graph. Prior to joining Shasta, Sharam was a Senior Associate at Sierra Ventures focused on consumer internet, enterprise software (cloud computing / virtualization), and mobile. He served as a Board Observer at Makara (sold to RedHat) and TouchCommerce.

Prior to joining Sierra, Sharam was in Mergers and Acquisitions at JP Morgan. Sharam began his career as a technologist at Appian Corporation, a business process management software startup. At Appian, he managed the first enterprise-wide tracking system for the Department of Homeland Security, concurrently managed the development of three software products, delivered training seminars, and authored white papers, best practices documents, and technical notes on Web Services.

Sharam has lectured at universities, events and conferences, and judged business plan competitions at Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, and Syracuse. He is also an advisor and mentor to eLab (Princeton University’s Accelerator), Dorm Room Fund (First Round Capital Accelerator), and Acceleprise (Enterprise Technology Accelerator). Sharam graduated with honors with a BSE in Computer Science from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Born in Syracuse, NY, Sharam played NCAA Division I ice hockey and is fluent in Farsi. He also enjoys barefoot waterskiing and playing with new technologies.

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This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information:

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(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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