LA Business Journal: 20 in their 20s

I’m very thankful to be included in LA Business Journal’s 20 in their 20s for 2014. My answers were summarized in the article, so I’ve included the uncensored version in this blog post :)

LABJ 20 in their 20s 2014

 

What led you to start your own company? A combination of rebellion, curiosity, and boredom led me to do startups. I started building things throughout my time in college. My friend introduced me to my now co-founder, David. I met David for about an hour to just chat and share ideas. I make decisions really quickly so afterwards, I did what I thought was the most logical next step: pack a U-Haul with all my stuff and move to Los Angeles to start Enplug with David.

Where did you get the startup money? My co-founders and I first funded everything from guilt-free and interest-free funds called our bank account and personal savings. After we built a prototype display running Enplug software and got customers to sign up, we went to entrepreneurs that we admired and asked them to give us money. They gave us $2.5 million.

What was the biggest challenge? Determining whether to build our internal applications for our teammates on iOS or android. We have very passionate developers on both sides so it ended with a compromise. We made everything web-based.

What was the most important lesson you learned? Work with people smarter than myself. In past companies that I’ve started, I worried when things broke because I knew I would have to fix it. With Enplug, I don’t worry when things break because there’s 34 other people there to fix it.

How many hours a day do you put in? 24 hours. I dream in Enplug. On days when I don’t dream about Enplug, I work about 17 hours. I’m single and don’t have kids so I think this is acceptable for now. My co-founders are in the same position so it’s easy to get really into work.

Does your youth lead to awkward situations, such as when you supervise older workers? The Enplug teammates that I work with who are older than me are always smarter and more experienced than me so I don’t need to supervise them.

Will you start another company? Absolutely. My co-founding team at Enplug work so well that we’ve already made a pact to work on our next companies together. We’re thinking wireless energy transferring, unless pCell does it first, or an alternative high school focused on entrepreneurship.

Could you ever work for someone else? I work for my teammates, clients, and investors every day. I love getting them results.

What do you do to relax? Work….out, but mostly just work. I play the piano and enjoy composing music. Netflix is also really good-I’m a big fan of Archer and Family Guy. A lot of us ride motorcycles so we’ll go racing down PCH.

Has it really already been 2 years?!

It’s been almost two years since I took a U-HAUL and moved my life from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I was going to start my next company with 4 people I had never met. One was a professional poker player; another built two top 10 apps as a college sophomore; another was a self-taught programmer who built a commodities trading management platform; and another was a tech guru who ran hacker sites. Today, David, Zach, Alex, and Navdeep are my co-founders, housemates, and best friends. We’ve grown to 35 teammates just in our LA headquarters. We now have teams in San Francisco, London, and Slovakia. Maybe we’ll get Enplug software up into space in the next two years.

Our design team made a lovely 60-second video (we’re the short attention span generation) about Enplug and our team. Enjoy!

 

Volunteering at Lady Gaga’s Born Brave Bus Tour

As one of the youth advisory board members of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, we get to help out with her genius Born Brave Bus tour program. Before each Lady Gaga concert, there is an area set up outside for young people in the community to learn about clubs, activities, and mentoring groups nearby. I admire how much Lady Gaga cares about getting her fans involved with their community. This Born Brave Bus program features tents that showcase community organizations, a fun tour bus that people get to go inside and sign their names on the wall, and free food! Afterwards, the other advisory board members and I went to the concert!

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Hollywood Christmas Parade

My friend and her husband graciously invited me as a VIP guest to the Hollywood Christmas Parade. It was such a fun experience! The entire parade was very well put together. As a VIP, we got to hang out in the “Green Room,” where all the celebrities/performers relax and eat together. I met Kimberley Locke (who sings one of my favorite songs, Eighth World Wonder), the dog from The Artist, and Big Time Rush. The CEO of Associated Television International also took us on a personal tour and drove us up and down the red carpet in his golf cart. It was such an interesting experience to see how the “made for TV” parade was put together!

holiday parade

 

The cameras shooting the parade were right in front of us!

The cameras shooting the parade were right in front of us!

The dog from The Artist

The dog from The Artist

Taking a tour down the red carpet

Taking a tour down the red carpet

 

 

Radio Interview On Women Entrepreneurs

I had a fantastic time with two fellow women CEOs recording a radio segment for CBS Radio News LA on women entrepreneurs. Our host is the incredibly smart and witty Ken Rutkowski. These two women have very cool businesses. One is a PR agency called The Make Agency. The other women’s company is fascinating-they provide a service to help you apologize. You can pay for certain packages depending on the level of “bad” the mistake you made was that you need to apologize for. This company is called The Apology Concierge.

Confirmed onto the Board of Directors for the West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce

I am excited to serve on the board of the West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce!

The purpose of the West L.A. Chamber of Commerce is to promote the commercial, civic, cultural, educational, and industrial interests of the West Los Angeles area so that its businesses, neighborhoods, and citizens shall prosper.