Tereza Nemessanyi is Co-Founder and CEO of Honestly Now, where your friends and smart strangers give you advice on all your burning questions. A seasoned media and tech entrepreneur, she was the first employee of CETV, which IPO’d in 1995. Tereza has worked at senior levels with dozens of companies including PwC, The Walt Disney Company, Unilever and Interpublic. She was named one of Forbes’ “Top Ten Female Entrepreneurs to Watch” (2011), and gained wide acclaim with her Reuters OpEd proposing an “XX Combinator” to overcome the barriers which keep women out of venture-grade tech entrepreneurship. She has an MBA from The Wharton School and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania; however, her deepest inspiration comes from her mother, an immigrant from Czechoslovakia who restarted her own career at age 40. She lives in New York with her husband and two young daughters. You can find Tereza on her blog & HonestlyNow blog & on Twitter @TerezaN & @HonestlyNowInc
Transcript follows & video below. This is Part II of interview, you can view Part I here.
I believed in my own idea from the beginning & I was confident in my skills & my experience. But there was a change when I started to have people committing to me & committing to that vision. Whereas earlier, it was a little bit scary for me to go to someone & ask for money just for me, suddenly when I was standing for a group of people who believed in me the equation & the chemistry there was completely different. So going & asking on behalf of my team who are dedicated to this was a completely empowering moment & I’d liken to the lioness with cubs. I’m a mother, once your children or your people need something, they need tools to get done what they need to get done, you don’t hesitate for one minute not only to make the ask, but to turn every single stone that you can to do right by them. It becomes not only a rational question but a totally emotional one in the most positive way. You just will not take no for an answer! I think that’s a great strength that women have, that we just want to see more & more of.
- Do you think that this is a common thing because many people have said to me that women have trouble asking for money?
I don’t know. I haven’t asked that question per se. I guess I would compare it more to the side of my life that’s a mother. Because I know lots & lots of women who are essentially the CEO of their own household & are making big decisions every day that have life long implications. And a lot of them used to be shy people. I just see that every mother I know turning it on 100% of the time in that population. I have to imagine that it translates over.
Brilliant, brilliant. Thank you so much for your time today Tereza, I really appreciated your feedback.
Pemo it’s always a pleasure. Thank you for everything you are doing, truly! You are such a gift to every single one of us in this ecosystem. You’re so generous in doing what you’re doing! Really thank you!
- Tereza Nemessanyi on ‘xx combinator’ & Women Entrepreneurs (ezebis.com)
- Why are Women Funded Less than Men?: A crowdsourced conversation (ezebis.com)
- Incubating Women Entrepreneurs (readwriteweb.com)
- Women’s Entrepreneur Festival Has a Reunion (thenextwomen.com)
- Why are Women Funded Less than Men? A Crowdsourced Conversation (thenextwomen.com)
- Sharon Vosmek, CEO Astia: European Entrepreneurs are Not Interested in Playing Small! (thenextwomen.com)
- Dave McClure,500 Startups & founders:Taking Advantage & Arbitrage of other Investor’s Disinclination (ezebis.com)