Jenny Lawton is coming back this year. Last year Jenny and Bre were interviewed by John Biggs (who is also coming back to Startup Iceland 2015, I will write a post about that later). Since then Jenny has taken over as CEO of MakerBot and Bre has taken on a new role to lead the Innovation Workshop at Stratasys or in other words he has Tony Stark‘s workshop to build whatever he wants to, sounds pretty cool to me. Anyways, I digress, Jenny has played so many different leadership roles in her career and it is great to have her back. I have included the link to the video of the interview from last year.
Jenny is a serial entrepreneur, although her current role is CEO of a large organization. Here is a quote from her on founding:
I co-founded my first company, Net Deamons and Associates, in 1991. It was an Inc. 500 company with a goal to provide outsourced systems service support solutions, right at cusp of the Internet. I co-founded with one person; then we later brought in a third. We bootstrapped and sold in 1999 to Interliant (Nasdaq: INIT), which was a public company and one of the first application service providers.
In addition to having the success of founding and being acquired by a listed company she has been a small business owner, here is her quote about being a small business owner:
“I bought an independent bookstore in Greenwich, Conn. I ‘dropped out’ of corporate life for 10 years and ran two bookstores instead. It was an awesome learning experience. Everything I do I take something away from. It was great to gain the retail experience. I ran a very large event series and learned to create events; the value of networking. It never hurts to extend your reach.”
Her success was not always easy, here she talks about the challenges of being a women entrepreneur:
“I’ve been the only woman in the room in many meetings. One former co-worker disliked having me there so badly he’d walk past my cubicle and say something negative every day. He told me I should be home having babies. (I was single and did not even have a boyfriend at the time!) Later on, while running my small business, I had an environment in which 8 of our 10 people were women and I realized it was a different set of challenges entirely–I learned I could hurt feelings instantly based on the nuances of something I’d say.”
You can find a detailed interview of Jenny on Forbes magazine here. We are fortunate to get her back. All those women founder, here is a chance to meet Jenny and get connected to her. She will act as a mentor during Startup Iceland 2015.