Rocket to the Moon by Jim Brickman is one of my favorite piano pieces. Hope you enjoy my cover of the song! http://youtu.be/zT4aD4tCN7E
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 :)
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.
Nanoly Bioscience, the biotech company I founded in college, won 1st place in Social Innovation at the Intel Global Challenge on November 5-8! Nanoly develops polymers that enable vaccines to survive without refrigeration. The week-long competition was held at UC Berkeley and the Intel Headquarters in Santa Clara. Nanoly was selected to represent the USA in this challenge. There were 28 teams competing representing countries from Russia to Mexico to Bulgaria to China.
As a student at UC Berkeley, I would see banners for the Intel Challenge around campus each year. I always dreamed of being a part of the competition and being selected to represent the US. It was such a joy and honor when I found out we were chosen earlier this year!
Thank you Intel for this incredible opportunity to meet fellow entrepreneurs from around the globe!
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.
I had such a fun time speaking on this panel. My recommendations (not that I am qualified to give any advice) to anyone that wants to start their own company:
1. Team is everything. You can make a great company with a bad idea and a great team, but you can’t make a great company with a good idea and a bad team.
2. Make sacrifices. You need to be willing to make less money, sleep less, and have less free time.
3. You must love and be proud of what you’re building.
Can’t believe our barely three-months old startup, Enplug, is already written about in Forbes!
It’s been an honor to be featured as one of the Dell’s Social Innovation Challenge winners!