This profile is published as part of Pledge 1%’s Women Who Lead series, which celebrates women in the Pledge 1% community who are creating change within their workplace and communities.
Kimmy Scotti is the Founding Partner at 8VC and Co-Founder and CEO of Monthly Gift. She has been working in both positions for about 18 months. Read the full interview below to learn more about what inspires Kimmy and how she leads two companies.
What inspired you to work in this industry?
I’ve always been interested in evaluating how things work, and figuring out how to make them work better – even since I was a little kid – which is why I became an entrepreneur. Being inside of the entrepreneurship community exposed me to other companies and businesses and started my investing career as an angel. Being a VC inspires me to be a better founder, and being a founder inspires me to be a better VC – on both sides of the equation I’m evaluating how things work and figuring out how to do them better.
What would you tell women who are looking to work in tech? Any advice on how they can build their career?
To not be afraid to take on big problems: big, hairy, science problems… tackle something that feels bigger than you. Don’t sell yourself short.
Also – don’t be intimidated by how male-dominated the space is. Being one of few women makes you stand out in the crowd. The phrase #GIRLBOSS was basically meant for women in tech. Being female doesn’t single you out, it makes you singular.
Is your company a Pledge 1% member or do you personally give back to your community? If so, how do you give and to what cause?
Our company is involved in Pledge 1% through our work at Grand Central Tech. We also have philanthropy baked right into our business. For every box of feminine care products that we sell, we give one day of products to a woman in need. We do this through our partnership with Days for Girls, who aims to help women both internationally and here at home. We are devoted to changing the language around women’s health – this is one of the many ways in which we aim to achieve that.
Do you serve as a mentor? What does mentorship mean to you?
I actually do my mentoring through Venture for America, which is another cause I care deeply about. I’ve been lucky enough to have really strong mentors, and I know the value that they’ve had for me so paying that forward is really important to me. Also, because there’s a lack of women in this space, it’s important that as you step into your own power, and that you bring the next generation up with you.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received to help you with your career?
Nicole Williams (of WORKS by Nicole Williams) taught me that balance is bullshit, and that you can’t really achieve it. Because it’s unachievable, the quest for it puts an incredible amount of pressure on you. If you can focus only on what you’re doing when you’re doing it, people will feel fed by the time you spend with them. When you’re with someone at lunch, engage only with them – not your phone. When you’re in a meeting, don’t think about what you have to do afterwards. Spending 100% of your energy doing something is imperative, so that when you aren’t doing something, it isn’t craving more of you.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to yourself 5 years ago?
The main lesson is to be your own biggest believer, and really know what your value is. Don’t let anyone (just because they’re a billionaire or are more successful than you at that moment) tell you that you’re not valuable or make you feel small.