This article was originally published at The Clubhou.se
Michele Heyward is part of the inaugural year of Startup Life at theClubhou.se, a program made possible by a grant from the Kauffman Foundation. Check out her startup, Posi+iveHire!
1: What is the business?
Posi+iveHire is a tech company engineered to bridge the gap between employers and experienced women of color STEM professionals. PositiveHire does this via matching experienced women of color STEM professionals to management positions within organizations.
2: When and where did you found it?
CSRA in May 2017
3: What were you like in school?
I was a nerd girl.
4: Any significant experiences/skills that influenced your business?
My experience in corporate America as a civil engineer working in construction.
5: Any lessons learned from previous entrepreneurial experience?
Yes! Just because you like an idea does not mean people will pay you for it.
6: What appealed to you about entrepreneurship?
That I could be like my mom who had her own business for over 30 years.
7: How did you get the idea?
I read an article about just writing down ideas you were passionate about solving. I kept coming back to this one.
8: How has your idea progressed over time?
I know what I want it to look like, which is saying a lot, considering I’ve always focused on the mission.
9: How did you fund the business?
10: How do you market your business?
Social media, speaking events, conferences, and conventions.
11: Who are your main competitors?
Jopwell, National Society of Black Engineers, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Fairygodboss
12: What have you learned from your competitors?
They all started in one niche, were very specific in the initial stages, and then broadened their services over the years. Jopwell has struggled to obtain traditional VC funding but has been able to raise over $5MM.
13: What does a typical day involve for you?
In the office by 9am, identifying potential customers, making sales calls, and engaging with potential users.
14: Favorite books?
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, by James C. Collins and Freakonomics, by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt.
15: Favorite entrepreneurs?
Angela Benton, Founder & CEO of NewME Accelerator, and Daymond John, the founder, president, and CEO of FUBU.
16: Best piece of advice?
Just because you do not know how to do something does not mean you cannot do it.
17: Common misconceptions about your business/entrepreneurship in general?
That it’s so easy!
18: What is next for your business?
Launching software with clients and users onboarded in Q3 2018.
19: How has working out of theClubhou.se benefitted your company?
It’s great to engage and interact with entrepreneurs in different markets. We all share our successes, struggles, and ideas to move forward in our businesses.