Founder & Entrepreneur - Technology Start-Up

"I knew since I was a kid I was born to be an entrepreneur. I’m part financier, part product designer, part human resources manager, part market researcher, and I’m always selling my vision. In this job, I need to have confidence in my vision, the ingenuity to deliver it within limited means, and the enthusiasm to effectively tell the story and move others to action. I also need enough humility to adapt my solutions to changing market conditions and feedback."

Salary Range:

$40,560 - $122,005

The Tip

Don’t get a mentor. Get mentors. No single person has all the answers. I find the real learning isn’t in what they agree on, it’s what they disagree on. This is where you can really start to ask hard questions.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Technical Knowledge & Skills
  • IS strategy, management & acquisition

  • Knowledge of applications

  • Systems analysis

  • System design & software development

  • Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) skills

  • Programming skills

  • Software-testing skills

Management Skills
  • Market analysis

  • Develop & execute a product strategy

  • Financial analysis

  • Revenue generation

  • Measure return on investment (ROI)

  • Manage projects

  • Sales & distribution management

  • Conduct sales presentations

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Computer Information Systems with a minor in entrepreneurship.

  • A commitment to be a lifelong learner. I read one book a month.

 

"I was mostly a self-taught software designer but realized I had a lot to learn. What gets me up in the morning is change. In my space, if you’re not learning every day, you’re falling behind."

 

 

Employment Experiences:
  • Developed my first App in high school. I only sold 300 units but I learned how to listen to real customers. My second App sold 3000 over units.

  • I did an internship at a start-up during by third-year and was hired after graduation.

  • I founded my own start-up four years after graduation and secured angel investment from my mentor.

 

"I learned how to take risk early. This process reinforced a quote by the founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman "If You're Not Embarrassed by The First Version of Your Product, You’ve Launched Too Late". I now manage my company that way and coach my staff. Perfection is the enemy of progress. My boss at my start-up became my mentor and is now my partner. She believed in me and my vision."

Community Experiences:
  • Since my second year of university, I spend one week a year volunteering overseas. For the past four years, I’ve coordinated the trip.

 

"A passionate professor in university introduced me to this field school program where I still spend one week a year abroad on project work. These experiences allowed me to realize I was born to be an entrepreneur."

Contextual Experiences:
  • I’ve never worked beyond start-ups and never will. I believe in self-reflection and I learned to listen to myself.

 

"What I loved to do and I was good at was software design and never wanted to get to far removed from this."

Relationships:
  • Developed a diverse team of mentors inside and outside of social work. This includes senior people in technology, finance and academia.

 

"The diversity of my mentors often creates internal conflict and challenges. This is a good thing. I think building a uniform mentor team of people “just like me” may be comforting, but I found it to be a poor strategy. I now use mentors to challenge what I think I know."