Kathryn Minshew combines vision, intellect, and passion to push boundaries for tech startups. She gained her reputation for perseverance and excellence while Founder and CEO of the career website The Muse, named one of Fast Company's 50 Most Innovative Companies and used by more than 75 million job seekers annually. At age 26 Kathryn established The Muse as a next-level career platform, identifying new needs and opportunities in job search technology to help workers find the next right job.
Now as Operating Partner for XFactor Ventures supporting female founded enterprises, Kathryn brings her own startup experience to entrepreneurs. She believes passionately in equity across the technology industry, funding 28 new promising companies with more than $500 million in seed money.
Kathryn speaks to her journey as a tech founder:
What does it take to be a successful founder? In early days it's good to find your tribe—find other business owners at a similar stage. Also get genuine customer feedback, to hone the value proposition. Female founders are held to different expectations, and Silicon Valley can be inhospitable. It's not fun getting rejected in search of funding. At the same time, rejection doesn't kill you—it's just one person's opinion. I really worked the story, thought about how best to position our metrics, which numbers to lead with to grab people's attention. In the end, two changes to our pitch strategy made the difference, and we raised nearly $30 million.
Kathryn offers valuable lessons based on her road from fledgling founder to revered tech pioneer. Proficient in negotiating the Silicon Valley entrepreneur landscape, her savvy fueled successful early stage plus strategic acquisition investments. Uncommon as an experienced female tech CEO, her worldview highlights the creativity and intense work required to gain both attention and support for funding.
Kathryn's speaking emphasis includes entrepreneurship, leadership, and the future of work. Author of The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career, she recommends tenets to advance trajectories neither scripted nor linear. With numerous accolades including the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, Kathryn high profile appearances include the World Economic Forum, SXSW and the Y Combinator Female Founders Conference. Her role as venture capital advisor at Trilantic North America underscores the need for her perspectives as a present-day tech pioneer. Previously Kathryn worked at McKinsey & Company, and later introduced vaccines and healthcare infrastructure in Africa as a part of the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
Keywords: retention, competitiveness, future of work, CEO, Author, Great resignation, talent development, organizational development