Minnie Ingersoll has lived the full cycle of being an entrepreneur. She has gone from working on incredible tech rocket ships to founding her own startup and graduating to being an active investor in other startups.
Ex-Googler and used car dealer, Minnie has done a lot. It was a great privilege to host her on the DealMakers Podcast.
During this interview, she shared how she got started and raised millions of dollars, her top advice for new entrepreneurs, and what she looks for when being pitched by those looking for funding. Plus, what you should be spending 30% of your time on as a leader.
Born In A Family Of Academics
Ingersoll’s parents and siblings are academics. Her father is at Caltech. Ever since she can remember she loved math.
Yet, like many of us at a young age, she didn’t just want to follow in the family business. She knew she didn’t want to go to Caltech. She was much more passionate about where math and engineering touched the real world and society than purely living in theory and academia.
So, she went to Stanford. Where she saw all of the innovation and exciting developments coming from. She found she was pretty good at programming and saw how startups were rapidly changing things.
However, being very authentic, Minnie told our audience that she actually had a hard time at Stanford. She stopped eating healthily, exercising, sleeping well. She ended up stopping out of Stanford for a semester.
This experience has not only given her a new appreciation for asking for help, those who offer help to others, and the privilege of being a mentor. As well as developing more empathy for others when they are struggling.
It’s funny how we can be so resistant to asking for help. Then how much we find others willing to step up and help us with, if we just ask and allow them.
Riding Rocket Ships & Enviable Resumes
After Stanford Ingersoll was hired as a product manager at live chat company, LivePerson. As was common in the run-up to the dot com disaster, Live Person had revenues, but no profits. They went public anyway. Right before the world fell apart.
Minnie anticipated the layoffs coming after the IPO and decided to go back to business school.
She chose Harvard, giving her an incredible academic lineup up on her resume.
This also helped her develop an even more amazing network. It is certainly one of the best benefits of going to these schools today. She also felt that it was particularly useful for gaining broad exposure to the many parts of business and roles you’ll be juggling as an entrepreneur.
Then there is the confidence in knowing that you’ve gone and learned at the best school, and you aren’t missing out on any knowledge, and deserve your seat at the table.
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