MAKING A CAREER CHANGE IN MIDSTREAM will always be risky, but Kara Goldin is a risk-taker. In 2005, Goldin, who had previously left her job as VP of shopping and e-commerce at America Online, founded unsweetened flavored-water company Hint. At the time, unsweetened flavored water wasn’t even a category in the beverage industry. Hint eventually became the drink of choice for those who want to avoid soft drinks but find plain water boring. With a valuation above $150 million, the San Francisco-based brand is also wildly popular among employees at Bay Area tech companies. • “We didn’t intend to become the largest beverage in Silicon Valley,” Goldin says, adding that Google’s decision to stock Hint at its offices led employees who’d left to start their own companies to do the same.
Samantha Ettus has Hintlevel ambitions, but she’s not your typical startup founder. A best-selling author of five books and host of the women in-business podcast What’s Her Story With Sam & Amy, Ettus has built a career around supporting women who are pursuing their dreams. In 2018, she founded Los Angeles-based payments company Park Place Payments with the goal of transforming how financial services are sold to small businesses. She got the idea after speaking at a payments conference, where none of the attendees seemed concerned with the needs of small-business owners. Starting the company also presented a new opportunity to create jobs for women.
“The one group of women I couldn’t help were those who’d left the workforce and wanted to get back in but found very few openings,” Ettus says. “I thought, what if I could train this talented group of women to sell financial services to their local businesses?”
Despite having no experience in payments processing, Ettus was determined to bring much-needed change to an industry that wasn’t looking out for its customers. While payments are a far cry from the beverage industry, Ettus can see parallels between the two founders’ experiences. Goldin knows exactly what it takes to break into a highly competitive market—and she has plenty of advice for any female founder who’s trying to pull it off.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
THE FUTURE OF...FIXING PHARMACEUTICALS
Eric Edwards is cofounder and chief executive officer of Phlow, a public benefit pharmaceutical corporation. He previously co-founded pharmaceutical company Kaléo, where, among other roles, he was responsible for overall scientific strategy and pharmaceutical development programs. Following an unprecedented year for the pharmaceutical industry, including leaps in vaccine technology and supply chain shortages, Inc. asked Edwards to share his vision for the future of pharmaceuticals.
She Broke the Bank
Luvleen Sidhu was just 28 when she founded BankMobile with a lofty mission: to reinvent banking for millions of Americans through the power of tech. The 2015 launch presciently anticipated the coming rise in mobile banking, and six years later the Radnor, Pennsylvania based business merged with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a transaction worth $150 million. That made Sidhu the youngest female founder and CEO ever to take a company public, and led her to even grander goals: Still at the helm of the company—now called BM Technologies—she says she wants to “create ripple effects and inspire other women.” Here’s why you should put your money on her to do just that.
IS YOUR HIRING IN NEED OF HELP?
Out the Other Side
The burden of leading can be heavy even in the best of times. Coupled with the depression that afflicts so many founders, it can overwhelm their soul ... or forge it into something stronger.
MEET YOUR FUTURE BANKER
IN 2021, BRIAN ARMSTRONG PROVED THE DIGITAL ECONOMY DOESN’T NEED THE U.S. DOLLAR. HERE’S WHY THAT’S IMPORTANT—WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU —AND WHY IT MAKES HIS JUGGERNAUT, COINBASE, INC.’S COMPANY OF THE YEAR.
Chris and Shivani VS. the World
Venture investor Chris Sacca talks with Shivani Siroya, founder of fintech company Tala, about scaling up your business without locking it down.
Flipping The Scrip
In 2011, tech industry veteran Doug Hirsch launched digital health care marketplace GoodRx with Scott Marlette and Trevor Bezdek. With 20 million people now using it every month to find affordable prescription medications, GoodRx has saved them $30 billion. Hirsch has continued to serve as co-CEO since taking the company public last year. We asked him how he’s kept it healthy through all the changes.
Kara Goldin – Making a Bigger Splash
Hint founder and CEO Kara Goldin talks to Park Place Payments founder and CEO Samantha Ettus about breaking into a new industry with an unconventional strategy.
Farming Grows Up
A group of startups raises lettuce, tomatoes, and berries in high-rise plant factories. The founders aren’t farmers; they’re technologists who have shown that even the most grounded industry can be radically reinvented.
How Delane Parnell Beat the Game at Its Own Game
He was the living embodiment of the American Dream, a tireless entrepreneur who fought his way from Detroit’s meanest streets. Then Delane Parnell faced the moment that would define his gaming venture—and his life.