How does one make the transition from being interested in a job at a tech startup to becoming a sought-after technology investor, advisor and founder?
Sarah Kunst is the founder of Proday, a subscription-based workout app that allows you to: “Train alongside world-class athletes. Anytime. Anywhere.” In today’s show this startup founder and former venture capitalist, walks us through the steps she took on her path to attract some incredible opportunities. (Like backing from the Los Angeles Dodger’s accelerator program and funding from angel investors Arielle Zuckerberg and Sara Haider.) And she didn’t let statements like, “We really like you, but you don’t have the experience” get in her way. Not one little bit. In fact, Sarah became a female VC before she even turned 30, which is no easy feat.
Through hard work and a relentless drive to help startups, this 2015 Forbes 30 Under 30 list-maker and contributing editor to Marie Claire, understands what it takes to carve out a career path and bring others up with you. In episode 27 of I Want Her Job: The Podcast, Sarah walks Editor and Host Polina Selyutin through the road she traveled and the decisions she made that led her to become a highly respected investor and advisor.
TOPICS DISCUSSED IN TODAY’S SHOW:
- From Industry Fashionista to Startup Queen: When Sarah realized that the fashion industry was not going to offer the innovations she was craving, she decided to take a leap into the world of technology.
- Helping Hands: Sarah used her free time to spend an “obscene amount of time helping startups.” On weekends and during evenings, she made herself available to others and quickly became known as someone looked to who could help startups. Because startups often have limited resources, Sarah would volunteer and work for equity or lower fees while she built up experience. Once she became known as a respected ‘go to’ resource for startups, she was recruited to take on a role as a VC and investor.
- On Transitioning Into Tech: Think about what you can offer, Sarah advises. She explains that startups have so many needs that it’s easy to sign up and gain experience in areas like finance, marketing and operations.
- The Traits of Success: “I am a really hard worker, and I can’t overstate the difference that makes,” Sarah says. During an internship when she was only 19, she says she realized the difference that working just a little bit harder can truly make. “I was willing to do anything when other people would say, ‘It’s not in my job description,’” she says.
- Working It: Sarah shares that her parents taught her valuable money lessons at an early age that reminded her to work for the things she wanted. “It was always made very clear [that] you eat what you kill,” she says.
- Keep On Climbing: Sarah says that she always is offering unsolicited advice to others so she can optimize her life and climb walls.
- Empowering Others: “The most important way I can be helpful is finding ways to economically empower more diverse people,” Sarah says. She tells us that paving the way so that a broader diversity of people can have the economic power to solve the problems of our time motivates her.
- More Money, More Problems: Sarah would like the line item, “Be too rich to be viable as a candidate,” to be listed for anyone considering public office. Talk about an ambitious mindset and goal!
- Connect: Follow Sarah on Twitter and Proday on Twitter