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Growing and Selling a Startup As a Female in the Valley

For this episode of The Exit, Steve McGarry sat down with a guest having a unique entrepreneur mindset as the CEO of Adnexi – Sandra Shpilberg.  They discuss mindset shift about the different ways of starting a business even without complying with the norms. Believe it or not, setting up a business is possible even without an investor.

Sandra Shpilberg started up her business called Seeker Health without raising money and having customers as her investors. Without taking a lot of money from an investor and selling parts of the company, Shpilberg grew and took control of her business with only serving the customers in mind. Shpilberg’s book, ‘New StartUp Mindset: 10 Mindset Shifts to Build the Company of Your Dreams’, talks about her non-traditional founder’s journey from building up to exiting a company. Learn from her story about how mindset shifting brought success to her path.

Who is Shpilberg Before Adnexi

After immigrating to the US at the age of 16, Shpilberg’s father was also an entrepreneur of a mom-and-pop hardware store, so she had already seen what it takes to be an entrepreneur. After pursuing stable jobs at big companies like Johnson & Johnson, Shpilberg realized her desire to work at smaller companies as days passed by. Thus, Shpilberg moved to the west coast and worked at BioMarin, a small biopharmaceutical company that had just undergone the first approval. After having experience in biotech, Shpilberg went to the startup Nora Therapeutics, where the company was in the middle of developing a few fertility treatment drugs.

With Shpilberg’s journey in the biotech experimentation industry, she realized the problem of every company that she had worked with – finding the patients that a company needs for clinical trials. This necessity is crucially unserved for smaller companies working on rare diseases, leading to interruption of drug experimentation. Upon seeing the issue, Shpilberg decided to build Seeker Health – a digital patient-finding platform – after finishing her job in neurotherapeutics, where the company ‘seeks’ patients through a service of creating compliant campaigns promoting a clinical trial to a possible patient needed by that specific trial. This service grew into a more scalable platform until Shpilberg started gaining acquisition interests from several companies seeking to enter this market.

However, Shpilberg’s methods are not stereotypical as she has only a few employees and no investors despite the scale of her business. The machines and software do most of the jobs to communicate and acquire patients for clinical trials instead of using other people’s money to grow the business. Then, Shpilberg decided to let Eversana buy Seeker Health in 2018 after learning so much on her journey as a non-Silicon Valley formula patronizer.

Diverting Away From the Silicon Valley StartUp Formula

Shpilberg realized that starting a business opposite the Silicon Valley StartUp formula – a few young male co-founders attempting to build a company funded by venture capital – requires many mindset shifts. Thus, Shpilberg decided to publish a book about a new startup formula for entrepreneurs without emphasizing hype and improbable outsized outcomes. Shpilberg managed almost everything differently than the Silicon Valley path: she didn’t have a co-founder, didn’t pursue an incubator, rejected outside funding, led software development without being a programmer, and charged customers from the start. Shpilberg focused on the customers’ needs instead of creating overrated hype about fundraising based on fictitious valuations.

The Exit Experience

As three companies battle to acquire Shpilberg’s Seeker Health platform, there are notable processes on how she chose from those three and how she let go of the first company she had ever found. The first buyer had a personal connection with Shpilberg, but they didn’t come to an agreement. The second one is a company that focuses more on the physician side, but the deal was not Shpilberg’s cup of tea. Thus, Shpilberg decided to form a team to bounce off the framework suitable for her acquisition terms and hire an executive coach, Charles, who experienced being an entrepreneur and selling a company.

Shpilberg and her executive coach went through a framework to figure out whether Shpilberg genuinely wants to sell her company, Seeker Health, at that time. In selling a company, the first question that a business owner must answer is to confirm if you wish to sell the company already or continue running it. The second question is, “What is it that I want?” or what is a deal that will not be a ‘spaghetti on the wall’? What is an offer that you will never regret if you take it? Thus, Shpilberg said no to the second buyer as it did not meet the terms that she was looking for in exchange for her company. Until the third company came along a couple of months later, they asked Shpilberg what she was looking for and what she wanted to get. At that moment, Shpilberg knew that the third company, Eversana, is the one that suits her preferences.

The significant lesson that Shpilberg learned on this ordeal is to be firm and specific about what you want and what you need. It is okay to find a person who could help you deal with this matter, whether it be a coach, a partner, or even a friend.

Journey to Adnexi

As Shpilberg was bringing into the foundation of Adnexi, she had to combine her experiences and connections to solve another problem in the biopharmaceutical industry – finding information about what disease is all about and where it originated. Adnexi is a platform for finding strategic information about a medical condition, including patients and biopharmaceutical professionals who come in to find information about their stakeholders.

What Shpilberg learned from her experiences was that if you could think of a startup as a project, it can succeed and let you gain revenues and profits, or it can fail, where you can still be intact and take the lessons that can be useful for your next projects. This case is significant for young entrepreneurs who are giving their all on a specific project but stopped midway due to failure. When it comes to mindset shifts in starting a company, being open, curious, and humble to accept and reach help regarding the things you don’t know is also vital for beginner’s mindsets.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Steve:

Hello, and welcome to The Exit, presented by Flippa. This is a 30-minute podcast featuring amazing entrepreneurs and operators who have been there and they’ve done it. The Exit talks to amazing entrepreneurs that have bought and sold businesses from all over the world and you’ll learn how they did it, why they did it, and the exposure that the world needs to learn more about around the world of the exits.

Before we get into my interview with Sandra, definitely be sure to check out episode 13 with Michele Romanow, the CEO and founder of Clearbanc, a super exciting episode previously. And if you aren’t familiar with what we talk about, definitely go give that a listen before you dive into to today’s episode. Now, what we’re going to do today is we’re going to sit down with Sandra Shpilberg and she is the CEO of a company called Adnexi. It’s a disease intelligence platform that unites patients and biopharma. It’s a really exciting project, but her background is really, really, really cool.

She talks about all the different ways of starting a business, and this is about a mindset shift and she lives in Silicon Valley. She talks a lot about the kind of stereotypical way to start a business in Silicon Valley, raising money from venture capital and things like that, and she realized while she was living there and starting her first company, Seeker Health, that she was doing things differently. She didn’t raise a bunch of money. Her customers were her investors, and she was able to literally exit that business by doing it all herself in terms of the funding, the getting the customers and just setting up a business without investors.

And this is something that I’m really passionate about because I love the idea of entrepreneurs going out there, not following the norm of taking on huge amounts of investor money and selling parts of their company. They’re in control, building a business that is about serving the customer. So she exited her company Seeker Health, and now she is working on Adnexi, but wrote a book called New Startup Mindset about her experience with doing this entirely different, and there’s some really great pieces in this interview about some myths that are surrounding startups in the world of Silicon Valley. So definitely sit down and enjoy this amazing interview of a deep dive into the new startup mindset with Sandra Shpilberg. All right. I am here with Sandra Shpilberg, the CEO of Adnexi. How are you doing today, Sandra?

Sandra Shpilberg:

I’m doing great. Steve. Thank for having me on this podcast.

Steve:

Certainly, certainly. I’m really excited to talk about your origin story and about Adnexi and your book that you currently have out, and I think that what we’ve done in the past is really start with an origin story. So let’s dive into that first. What led you to start Adnexi and what were you doing prior to it?

Sandra Shpilberg:

Yeah, I start at the beginning. I was born in Uruguay in South America, immigrated to the US at age 16 with my family, and then it became kind of like all hustle, go get college degrees, go get jobs at employers, and my parents would have had this thing that the safer the employer, the better, especially when they became immigrants. Interestingly, my dad was an entrepreneur in Uruguay. He had a mom and pop store, a hardware store and a furniture making facility. So I had seen a little bit of like what it takes to be an entrepreneur, what it takes to get up every day and show up and serve your customers.

So I did that. I pursued these really safe jobs with really big companies like JPMorgan and Citigroup and Johnson & Johnson, and then pretty quickly I realized that I wanted to go to smaller and smaller companies. So I did that. I went to BioMarin, a smaller biopharmaceutical company and the Nora Therapeutics, a startup biopharmaceutical company. And in that process of working at the smaller companies is where I noticed that there was a huge problem in our industry, and that was how to find the patients that our company needed for the clinical trials.

I ended up working primarily in rare diseases and the way millions of these patients that were generally less than 200,000 of these patients defined, and many of them were online. They were online sharing information, seeking information, but biopharma wasn’t necessarily going online or they didn’t have the tools to go online to find them. And so, as my last job was finishing up with Nora Therapeutics, I said I’m going to start a company, is going to be called Seeker Health because we go into go seek and find these patients.

And initially I started by providing a service and that service was to create campaigns, compliant campaigns that would promote a clinical trial again in a compliant way to a possible patient that would be interested in learning more about that clinical trial. That was the beginning of the company, simply a service, and this service, honestly, I could do myself because pretty much anyone could put a Facebook ad together or a Google ad together. Of course, as the company grew, we became much more sophisticated in how that gets done, but in the beginning, anyone can do these things. It didn’t require any capital. It just required me learning a new skill and eventually training other people to do this job.

As I went into this market with this first offering the service, I realized that there was so much more that we could do on. There was so much more that our customers needed us to do in order to solve the problem and to end. And so I ended up developing software, hiring some software developers to develop software so that we could create a platform where the patients could actually be administered. They could be adjudicated to the clinical trial site that was looking to enroll them, and that was incredibly successful in terms of creating scale for the company and really providing an end to end solution, then now lots of customers wanted to buy.

And so along that process, one of the things that I realized as I was building my company. I was going to some of these events that a lot of founders go to, and I do live in Silicon Valley. I live in Palo Alto, and everybody was asking me this same questions. They were asking me how much money that you raise, and I would say zero. I have customers that pay me for the service and the product that we’re providing. Who did you raise this money from? No one, I have customers. And how many employees do you have? Because usually the answer was that, whenever you got money from venture capital, you were going to go spend it on getting lots of employees and expensive employees who had hopefully done this before, and my answer was always the opposite. I have very few employees. We’re really trying to let the machine do most of the work here and scale us in that way, and many of my employees are actually people who’ve never done this before, because I can’t really find that many people who’ve done this before.

And so as I was going to this conference, I realized, wait, I am doing everything different. I am doing it the way that makes sense to me, but it is not the way of the traditional formula that is sort of promulgated in Silicon Valley, and that formula is sort of, first of all, you’re going to be a man. I’m a woman, but you’re going to have a co-founder and you’re going to be a programmer, and you’re going to go to an incubator and then you’re going to get venture funding, and then you’re going to use this other people’s money to build a company. And profitability is kind of like not in the picture for a decade, probably for many companies. And I was doing everything different. I was building a company with customers, it was profitable pretty much from year one. I was trying to keep expenses very tight and controlled, and it was not relying on other people’s money and venture capital to fund the company or to take a stake of the company as well.

And so with all of that, I realized I had done everything differently. Then I had a couple of companies come my way looking to acquire Seeker Health, and so I went through that entire process of contemplating each one of the three companies that came my way and I ended up selling the company to the last company that came, which was EVERSANA. And then after all that, I decided that I had learned so much in this process and that being an entrepreneur who doesn’t follow the formula requires such mindset shifts because the culture is so strong around this formula that I decided to write a book. And I wrote this book, New Startup Mindset: Ten Mindset Shifts to Build the Company of Your Dreams, which talks about shifting your mind, like opening your mind to other possibilities.

Just because Facebook and Google and all these other companies were built this way doesn’t mean that, that’s the only way to build a company, and it doesn’t mean that, that’s the only outcome for a founder to become a Mark Zuckerberg. A lot of people want that and some people don’t want that. Some people want to run a company that makes an impact, makes a profit, makes them financially independent and something that they can feel good about. So that’s where I am today. I finished all of that and then decided that I had another idea on a problem to fix in the biopharmaceutical industry, and that’s the problem of where companies and patients get information about their disease and how do they get it. And that’s what Adnexi is all about.

The second company Adnexi is a platform for finding information, strategic information about the disease. So we have right now an instance for biopharma, where professionals come in to find information on their stakeholders, and then also an instance for patients where they can find that information. And this is all nascent. It’s when the start and build portion of it definitely. So that’s a story, Steve.

Steve:

Very cool, very cool. And I love the different path. I think I lived in Mountain View for two years and then San Francisco for three years, and I know exactly what you’re talking about with the track of raise as much money as humanly possible, hire fast and either explode going upwards or make a unicorn type company and have this very big tech crunch article on exit and everything like that, and it’s very daunting when you’re there and that’s what everybody’s talking about and you feel like that’s the right route while you’re there, but yet in the rest of the world, that’s not. It’s your customers or your investors, which I love that’s the approach that you took.

Who would have thought that a business was about making money from customers, and in Silicon Valley it just can really get away from you. That, that concept of just providing value to a customer it’s like just scale as fast as possible. Take on all this money from VCs and sell parts of the company, but that’s really cool. I’m glad that you wrote a book also about this. So before we get into the book a little bit deeper, let’s talk a little bit about the exit experience and that’s in the book as well, but what was that like you had three companies come to you and what was your mindset on like, okay, who do I want to have take control? How did you do that process when you were going through all three companies?

Hi guys. Steve here taking a quick pause from the interview. I know that selling a business it can feel unattainable and just out of reach for everybody, but it’s definitely something that is very reachable for people that are listening to this podcast with Flippa, and I’ve mentioned that this show is presented by Flippa. They have over three million users on their platform who are looking to acquire everything from content sites to e-commerce stores, to SAS platforms or even mobile applications. So if you’re curious and want to know more about what your business is worth, head to flippa.com/theexit for free valuations on your business. It takes a couple minutes to literally go through and you can just go through the whole process without committing to anything at all. So once again, flippa.com/theexit, check it out, get a valuation on your business without any commitments and just see exactly what your valuation of your business’ worth. So let’s dive into the interview.

Sandra Shpilberg:

Yeah. So the first company came around the start of year three, and this is a company where I knew the founder. So we had sort of like a personal relationship. The company was medical communications company in the healthcare industry, and they were sort of trying to understand if they should build a clinical trial enrollment platform or they should buy one, and they tended to buy things. So they came to me to say, well, we’re interested. We want to see what you built and how it scales.

And so initially, I went through this process of getting an LOI from them, assembling a team, a lawyer or a CPA, all the people that need to review what’s going to happen in this transaction. And then one of the things that happened was that as part of the due diligence, we sort of went to market together, and it didn’t quite work as well as I wanted it to work or as well as they wanted it to work. And so we decided to walk away, but before I walked away, a second company came my way, inquiring again about acquiring Seeker Health, different type of company, more focused on the physician side of the equation.

And so with this company again, they put together a letter of intent on the acquisition and it wasn’t quite the type of deal that I was looking for. And so at that time, I decided I need somebody to bounce off what the framework is for making this decision. And so I hired a coach, an executive coach that was Charles Rose, and the great thing about Charles is he had been an entrepreneur. He had sold a company, and now he was on the other side coaching people on things that come up when you’re trying to do that type of transaction. 

And so with Charles, we went through an entire framework for basically figuring out, do I want to sell Seeker Health now? I’m getting these offers. They’re kind of almost like throwing spaghetti at the wall. I don’t like the spaghetti that’s landing on the wall. So, do I want to sell the company? That was the question to answer, or do I want to continue running it for another year and see what happens? That was the first question to answer. And then the second question is, if I do want to sell the company, then what is it that I want? What is an offer that would not be spaghetti on the wall, but instead would be something that I would want to take without having regret?

And so we worked on all of that. I said no to offer number two, because it did not meet the criteria that I was looking for. And then I waited and then a third company came around just a couple months later, and that company by the time they came, and companies may often ask you, what are you looking for in this deal? And so now I was able to very specifically tell them, this is what I’m looking for in a deal. This is the valuation range that I’m looking for. This is how long I am willing to work through the integration as an employee. This is what I want the location to be. This is what I wanted to happen to the employees of the company.

So I was able to communicate all of this and then they were able to say, okay, that sounds okay, and we’ll put a letter of intent that fits that criteria. And so super important lesson learned here, I’ve really taken the time to think through, what is it that you want? And sometimes you might need another person to help you bounce things off of. This could be a coach, it could be a partner, it could be a friend even, but it’s good for them to be a little bit detached from you in the sense that I thought with the coach it was really a really good investment of the money and the time, because he didn’t have a stake in it. In a sense, he wasn’t going to get compensated by how much I got paid or any of that. He was just trying to make sure I wasn’t going to be regretful at the end.

So in terms of the exit process, it was very intense in the sense that once I signed these LOI, generally we went into a period of due diligence and that period really required me to present to the company basically the entire financial customer, legal HR history, and one of the things that I talked about in the book very specifically as some of the ideas for founders early on is to one stay visible as a company, because that’s why I was getting these offers. I was getting this offers because my company was out there. We were at conferences, we were trying to get customers, but in the process of getting customers, we were also getting adjacent companies that were looking to build into this space.

So stay visible. Number two, be profitable. Generally in the area that I was working in, companies like to acquire other companies that are profitable or that at least have a bunch of customers that eventually can be turned into profit. And then number three, really do this work of keeping squeaky, clean records, financial records, legal records, HR records, because at the time of sale, all of that is going to need to be reviewed.

Steve:

I love the fact that you say, be visible, get out there to people in your industry, whether you’re getting customers, which is the beneficial part of it, but there’s also an adjacent benefit, which is potential acquirers swimming in front of these big sharks that are going to potentially add you to their portfolio, which I love that concept, and that’s a good segue into the book. And I love the mindset shift of thinking about this unicorn and having the animals, like healthy giraffes and other healthy animals underneath the unicorn, and I think that that is something that’s really beautifully said and very simplistically laid out, but I’d love to dig into that a little bit more. And I think that, that’s similar to what you were just talking about with those bullet points about what’s important, like squeaky, clean records and things like that.

But for people that are just getting started, listeners out there, younger people in their 20s that are just really trying to get used to starting something and get out there and get visible and keep records, I guess, what would you say in terms of your book would highlight that would help them out in terms of getting started with this new mindset that’s kind of ignoring the norm of Silicon Valley raise as much money, hire, get unicorn status, live on a yacht. [inaudible 00:19:21].

Sandra Shpilberg:

Yeah. So Steve, I’m going to do two things to that question. The first thing is, I do want to spend a little bit of time talking about some of these myths that I was able to see and that I’m putting in the book so that other people can see, and there may be even more myths that I discovered. So I’m going to spend that little bit of time in the myths and then I’m going to spend a little bit of time on one or two of the mindset shifts to begin to really begin and not feel afraid to begin.

So one of the most important myths out there that is incorrect is unicorn or nothing, and this is the concept that unless you end up building a unicorn, which is a company valued at 1 billion in market capitalization or more, that what you’ve done is nothing, and nothing could be further from the truth. So the line reads … Let me see. Right under unicorns, you’ll find lions, giraffes, horses, gazelles, and all sorts of valuable, real and well said animals.

And so the thing about the unicorn is that, that is generally what venture capital is after. They’re making lots of bets and then they need some of these bets to be outlier results. That’s what they need. But that’s not easy to do, especially as a first-time entrepreneur. It requires lots of things happening in the market that may or may not happen for you. And number two, it just sets up the founder to have this impossible expectation, and that impossible expectation can become really self-defeating where you don’t want to get up, because what you have to build is so big, but how the hell are you going to do this?

And so instead, what I am counseling founders is, don’t set out necessarily to build a unicorn which is an outlier result, set out to build a company that makes revenue, the [inaudible 00:21:03] profit that has an impact that’s solving a problem, and that is growing as it is doing all of that. And then before you notice, if you do that, hopefully, and you’re in a good market, your revenue will grow from a million to five to 10 million. Your profit hopefully will grow if you’re managing the company in a fiscally responsible way. So that’s one of the most important myths that is important to unveil pretty early on.

And then the other myth that I see a lot of people kind of get hung up on is this concept that they are the startup, and it’s very common to see this because when I say Elon Musk, you’ll say Tesla, and when I say Sarah Blakely, you’ll say Spanx, like the person becomes kind of like the center of that startup, but you really not, and that’s also important in the beginning, because if you can think of the startup as a project that you’re working on, then the project can succeed or it can not succeed, but in any case, you’re still kind of intact and you’re taking the lessons to your next project.

Your startup dies, you don’t die. It’s just a project that you were working on, and they find that kind of deep pressurizing the cabin also helps some of the younger entrepreneurs to sort of say, well, I’m going to work on this project. I’m going to give it my best, but if it fails, it’s not all up to me that it failed. I’m going into a market that is dynamic, and I can try as best as I can to stay up with the market and follow where the need is, but it may not work at the end of the day. So also that’s important.

So those are just two of the seven myths that I cover in the book. And then in terms of mindset shifts when we are starting a company, one of the ones that I really love is this concept of beginner’s mindset. So I started my company with 15 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. There were a lot of things that I knew about the market, but there were a lot of things I didn’t know about how to start a company, how to develop software, how to acquire clients, how to hire, every single person on my team had to file a patent. I didn’t know these things. I’d never done them before.

And so, one of the things I realized as I was doing these things I didn’t know how to do was that my mindset was different. It was more open. I was more curious. I was more humble. I was more willing to accept help or go reach out for help, because I was basically practicing a beginner’s mindset. The concept that it is perfectly okay to be a beginner. We are learning individuals, and in fact, one of the characteristics of millionaires and billionaires is that they are learning machines. And so the ability to learn is what we’re practicing in that beginning stage when we’re starting the company.

And so as an entrepreneur approaches this process of I’m going to start a company, it’s perfectly okay that half of the things that he or she will need to do, they will not know how to do because the beginner’s mindset is something that can be cultivated to say, I am going to be showing up in a different way to these things that I don’t know how to do. I’m going to get help, I’m going to be humble, I’m going to be patient, I’m going to be curious about the best way to do this. And an expert doesn’t quite have that, An expert has already kind of in their mind sort of said, this is the best way to do it and is less open to these options. So beginner’s mindset is really something super important for new entrepreneurs to practice early on as they are learning these new things that they need to learn to start their business.

Steve:

Yeah. Very well said. And I love just even the word mindset and the power of that. I myself I’m always trying to learn new things, very much trying to ask as many questions as I possibly can to everybody no matter who they are, what their background is, where they come from. I think that it’s very important to constantly have that learning mindset, and in align with what we were talking about before, I follow Chamath, the CEO of Social Capital really closely because I think he’s kind of like the Warren Buffett of the next generation, and I think that he did a really good job dissecting out the issue with taking on venture money and I think that’s a really important concept that you’re talking about of changing the narrative that a lot of this comes from venture capitalists. A lot of this startup mentality comes from them saying unicorn or nothing.

So he said that 40 cents out of every dollar on Sand Hill Road, which if you guys that are listening don’t know where that is, it’s in Silicon Valley, very famous venture capital area where you can go and raise money from some of the prestigious firms, and 40 cents out of every dollar goes to Facebook ads and Google ads and the primary driver there is in board meetings. What’ll happen is the venture firm says, grow faster. You need to grow faster. So the entrepreneur, what Sandra was just talking about, they say, okay, well, I’m supposed to grow faster. I need to grow faster to please my investors.

So they invest 40% of what they’ve raised into pushing money into Facebook ads and Google ads, and they’re just really pumping their business up and growing as fast as possible. And there’s so many growing pains associated with that, that you touched on briefly about like learning how to hire rapidly and the faster you’re growing, the faster you have to learn these things or the wheels come off. And I think that you did a great job of articulating for newcomers into startups in business in general how they need to learn and how they need to surround themselves by mentors, people that aren’t financially incentivized, like the mentor that you found that helped you that he had no upside for helping you, it was just genuinely trying to help you out, and I think that, that’s very important.

Sandra Shpilberg:

Yes. I want to make a comment on these Facebook and Google ads, because that was actually how we found patients for a clinical trials. However, it was not how we found the customers to pay for our service. In my company, it was a B2B company. The client or customer was a biopharmaceutical company or a clinical research organization. They’re generally anywhere from small, medium or large companies that used our service. They paid for our service, and if you told me that what I have to do is grow my business and I go on, I put Facebook ads about Seeker Health trying to target biopharmaceutical buyers, I would have wasted all of my money.

In fact, I don’t like wasting money. So what I did was experiments, like small micro experiments of try and Google ads, trying Facebook ads, trying going to conferences, trying different ways to get leads on who is a buyer for this type of product that I am providing. But Google and Facebook ads would have not been the correct way to grow this business. It would have been wasting the money. We got leads, but they were not useful leads. They were not the buyer for our product. And so I’m really surprised that when founders get all this money from venture capital, then they go to waste 40% of it on Facebook and Google ads pumping these other big companies, of course, but likely for some of those services and products, they are better marketing and promotion strategies than that, than Facebook and Google.

Steve:

Well, that’s the majority of the questions that I have for you. I love that we went through the mindset concepts helping out beginners getting into this startups. The question that we ask everybody on the show is, knowing what you know now, what would you tell Sandra 10 years ago as you were coming into the pharmaceutical world starting up?

Sandra Shpilberg:

Yeah. I would tell Sandra 10 years ago to start sooner, to start a company sooner, because it’s not until you start that you can see what the next step is. For me, I started a company when it was obviously clear that this was the next step. I had an idea, I had a job ending. It was kind of like perfect time, but I could have taken this risk earlier I think, and I think it would have panned out really well. So, I mean, you never know, but I would tell any entrepreneur to start earlier. The most important experiences that you need to accumulate will happen on the job as you are a founder. They are unlikely to happen to you while still working for an employer. And so that’s what I would tell myself, just start earlier.

Steve:

Awesome. Awesome. Well, that’s all the questions I have for you. Where can people go and learn more about not only Adnexi, but New Startup Mindset?

Sandra Shpilberg:

Yeah. So my website, sandrashpilberg.com, my name, that has a lot of information about the book and then Adnexi has its own website, adnexi.com.

Steve:

Perfect. Perfect. Well, once again, thank you so much for coming on the show. If you guys are listening in on iTunes or Spotify, all the things that Sandra mentioned will be linked in the show notes on the blog, but once again, thank you so much for coming on the show, Sandra.

Sandra Shpilberg:

My pleasure, Steve.

Steve McGarry

Steve McGarry

Steve McGarry is an entrepreneur, content creator, and investor based in sunny Tampa, Florida. In 2015, while living in San Francisco, Steve sold his first fintech startup LendLayer to Max Levchin’s (founder of PayPal) consumer finance company Affirm. In the last 5 years, Steve has both built an online community that reaches 1.4 million people every month on social media and a portfolio of over a dozen web properties. Currently, he’s the co-founder of a next-generation fintech startup called GrowYourBase while managing his portfolio of online businesses.