Nobody was better prepared for leading a start-up than Jeanette Cajide. She had a solid academic foundations in public relations, communications, business and finance. She’d done technology consulting and turn around management. When a friend pulled her into launching a start-up app company, she was primed and ready. Listen in as Jeanette shares the struggles of getting Blurtt off the ground, pivoting and most importantly get the right people on board.
Jeanette Cajide currently works at Dialexa, a technology design and engineering firm and leads their Northeast business development efforts out of Cambridge, MA. Jeanette serves in a multitude of capacities at Dialexa working across business development, strategy, product and finance.Most recently she has been helping the company launch Dialexa Labs, Dialexa’s internal start-up incubator. The first company to launch in September 2014 is called Vinli, an Internet of Things platform for your car.
Prior to Dialexa, Jeanette co-founded Blurtt, an iPhone app that let people create and share anonymous visual statements. Blurtt was featured in TechCrunch and named Mashable’s named Top 6 Apps to Download for the Week.
Jeanette also spent several years on Wall Street in the investment banking program at Merrill Lynch where she closed over $4 billion in municipal finance, M&A and LBO transactions. She also worked at Goldman Sachs, investing the firm’s capital in software and digital companies.
She has a MPA from Harvard, an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School and a Bachelor of Journalism in Public Relations from the Univ. of Texas at Austin.
The Take Home Lessons
Jeanette talks about her journey from the world of business school, Accenture and Goldman Sachs to moving back home with her folks and crashing on friends’ couches. Along the way she found out a few lessons that every aspiring entrepreneur should keep in mind.
- Team is paramount. If you remember nothing else from this conversation, remember that teams get funded more often than ideas get funded.
- You can have the right idea…or not. A couple of Blurtt’s product iterations have since been launched by other start-ups and established tech companies. Facebook couldn’t even pull off a couple of Blurtt’s concepts. On the other hand, the idea of anonymous image sharing has taken off with several start-ups.
- Jeanette points to her experience in turn around consulting as some of her most valuable for the start-up environment. Knowing how to make hard decisions about what to do when resources are scarce proved essential on a daily basis.
- Keep telling your story. Jeanette shares some funny examples of angel investors who just “didn’t get it.” And also points to one critical conversation with someone who did get it.
- Lastly, she talks about the emotional issue of letting go and moving on. An excellent reminder that you can’t let your last failure torpedo your next success.
Resources & Links
- “Shutting Down Blurtt” – TechCrunch.com article by Jeanette
- Dialexa, Jeanette’s new firm
- Vinli – Dialexa’s connected car company
- Jeanette on LinkedIn, Twitter, and about.me
- Email – Jeanette (AT) dialexa (DOT) com
Why a Venture Capital Podcast About Failure?
From early childhood you’ve always heard the saying “Learn from your mistakes.” In the venture capital industry you frequently hear “Fail fast” to learn and get to the right idea. Great advice. So, for this venture capital podcast I interview venture capital backed entrepreneurs about what they learned when their start-up didn’t go as planned. I hope you can learn from their valuable experience.