Small business owners struggle to access capital, but the speaker found a bigger mission in building IndieGoGo into the largest global online funding platform.
The speaker shares their story and emphasizes the importance of finding a bigger mission behind wanting to be an entrepreneur, while discussing their experience building IndieGoGo into the largest global online funding platform.
Access to capital is a big problem for small business owners, as they struggle to get loans from banks and have to bootstrap for years.
Attended an event called "Where Hollywood Meets Wall Street" hoping to learn about the business, but instead found a room full of people socializing.
At a party full of emerging artists, a young investment banking analyst was overwhelmed by the attention, but later received a script from a filmmaker who hoped to finance his next film through her, despite her lack of control over any money.
After a frustrating experience at a bank, the speaker's idealism was shattered and her mother's advice to "go do something about it" led her to start her own business.
Failed theater production about racial profiling post-9/11 led to realization of broken finance system and inspired business school attendance, emphasizing importance of knowing your "why" before starting a company.
Failed miserably in helping a theater producer raise money for a play about racial profiling after September 11th, despite renting out a venue, packing it with an audience, and getting actors to volunteer their time.
Investors didn't want to invest in a play despite its success, which made the producer realize the broken finance system and motivated them to go back to business school.
Lessons learned from starting IndieGoGo: know your why before starting a company.
IndieGoGo empowers individuals to pursue what matters to them by democratizing funding through equity crowdfunding and raised over $2 million to bring their crowdsourcing genome and biome idea to life.
Being an open platform allows for global accessibility and empowers individuals to pursue what matters to them.
The company focuses on customer happiness and offers various funding options to democratize capital, including equity crowdfunding.
Attracting amazing people and customers is possible by having a company that allows them to do what they believe is right and important to them, and by having a clear mission.
IndieGoGo raised over $2 million to bring their crowdsourcing genome and biome idea to life, validating their market and leading to further success with a $4.5 million Series C.
Use the five why exercise to get to the irrational belief behind your company's purpose, as it will reveal a real reason for your motivation, such as democratizing funding due to the broken and inefficient finance system's reliance on gatekeepers.
Founders should reflect on their values and behaviors, early team came to work for 4 reasons, empowerment and fearlessness are important values, diverse team with aligned values and behaviors is crucial, and culture is influenced by all team members.
To determine the values and behaviors needed to succeed, founders should engage in an exercise of self-reflection, such as drawing pictures that answer the question "why do I love coming to work?"
The early team of co-founders came to work for four reasons: to change the industry, bring their whole selves to work, collaborate with others, and spend their time helping people.
Empowerment and fearlessness were important values for the company, and they defined the behaviors that embody fearlessness as ruthlessly prioritizing.
To democratize access to capital and maintain authenticity, it is important to have a diverse team with aligned values and behaviors, which can be achieved through operationalizing and reinforcing these values in the hiring process and company culture.
Iggy's and wiggies eggies are given out democratically to those who embody company values and make us laugh, reinforcing the idea that culture is not a top-down creation but influenced by all team members.
Measure engagement and happiness for a strong company culture and focus on problem-solving as an entrepreneur with the help of technology.
Measure your engagement and happiness to ensure a strong culture where people embody the company's values and behaviors, leading to increased productivity and happiness.
Technology is not the end, it is a means to an end, and becoming an entrepreneur is about focusing on a problem and finding the best way to fix it, which may involve technology, as seen in the private sector's commitment to innovation.