Nicole Walters, CEO and founder of Inherit Learning Company, chats with Andres Wydler, executive director of StartOut, about how technology unlocks new opportunities.
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The pandemic forced many companies to make big pivots, and by utilizing tech, some found ways to actually positively affect their overall business.
Nicole Walters, founder and CEO of Inherit Learning Company and star of USA Network’s She’s The Boss, recently spoke with Andres Wydler, executive director of StartOut, about the role technology played in shaping how the LGBTQ nonprofit operated over the last year — and the opportunities it unlocked. “By going virtual during the pandemic, we found the opportunity to turn all of our local events into national ones,” he explained.
StartOut immediately refocused its efforts from in-person to virtual events and, Wydler says, “The community responded incredibly positively. With tech, we were suddenly able to expand our reach nationwide and so our members could likewise expand their reach nationwide.”
Wydler says that during the pandemic, he found that people were more generous with their time, thanks to tech. “You no longer have to deal with getting to the office — it is no longer a time challenge to meet with people,” he says. “And we found that venture capitalists and angel investors were much more willing to listen to many more pitches than before because these meetings were just a Zoom link away. So that was incredibly positive.”
StartOut benefitted as well from the new possibilities of virtual offices. The company was able to significantly reduce overhead expenses and was no longer bound by geography when recruiting talent. “We tried to make lemon-aid out of lemons, and that’s just what entrepreneurs do,” he says. And despite all of the hardships of the past year, he believes that StartOut, and the members it serves, is now in a very strong and positive position.