RSG217: Ilir Sela of Slice

Listen to this episode on your phone here.

In this episode, I’m resharing a cool interview I heard on the Everything Marketplaces members-only community during their monthly webinar series. Mike from EM chatted with Ilir Sela of Slice, which is redefining how people order pizza delivery. I’m excited for you to hear this episode plus learn more about the Everything Marketplaces community.

Intro to Ilir Sela

  • Bootstrap model in building Slice
  • Comes from family of small business owners – they owned pizza shops!
  • Learned more about the industry before starting a business
  • Learned marketing, website development, etc.

Beginning Stages

  • Talked to family in the industry – why not a Papa John’s?
  • Realized there were critical flaws in franchise model
  • was born
  • Built a challenger brand


  • Went to family and friends first to bring them onboard
  • First product was vertical SaaS
  • Knew that growth relied on going digital
  • Showed how online orders could work

Vertical Marketplace

  • Go after big-tent marketplaces
  • Restaurants are an industry, not a vertical
  • Not necessarily a niche, but people call it that
  • Moment you decide to be vertical, you decide to be integrated

What’s Next?

  • Entire promise is to help small business owners be in business for themselves, not by themselves
  • Helping them create economies of scale
  • May take a while to develop, but sometimes it takes a long time and then success feels overnight
  • Scaling is key

Show Notes

Ilir on Twitter:
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