For the first Meet The Doers feature, we asked our friend Angie Sticher, CoFounder + COO/CPO of Ursaleo, a few questions about her work and inspirations.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you found your way to this business/passion.
I’ve worked in technology since the mid-90s. I worked hard and climbed the corporate ladder in two stints at larger companies. In 2014, I needed a break so I left my job to take some time off. During this break, I met my UrsaLeo cofounder, John Burton. He and I were in a similar position, a bit burned out while also wanting to do something fun and challenging. We began by discussing what we would both like to create in a company. We set out to create the environment we wished to work in and quickly realized a product for an underserved market that could utilize his hardware knowledge paired with my software delivery strengths.
2. What excites you most about your business/industry?
Creating a solution for an underserved niche is rewarding and challenging. Our respective backgrounds are leading us in the right direction and giving our clients the right mix of voice to make them successful in the data analytics age.
3. What character trait do you see most common in yourself and fellow entrepreneurs/business leaders?
Strength, humility, curiosity, and drive. Building something from scratch requires you to look outside of the paths that guided you in a school or corporate environment. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, ask questions, and take risks in order to move the ball forward.
4. What virtue do you value the most in your team members?
Honesty. When you’re in a small startup, you need to be able to trust your partners every step of the way. Likewise, they need to trust you.
5. What advice would you give your younger self?
Trust your gut. Every time my gut wasn’t fully on board with a decision, it has almost always ended up in a negative place. It’s not always easy to trust your gut, especially when you can’t pinpoint why your “spidey sense” is tingling, but it’s something I’ve learned to trust.
6. Living business visionary you’d like to share a cup of coffee with?
Sheryl Sandberg. I saw her speak at the Grace Hopper conference in 2013 around the time her book, Lean In, came out. As a female leader in technology and with so few role models around me, I was so motivated and inspired by her words. I devoured her book when it came out. I’d love to discuss Lean In with her now, a few years after its release and after the #metoo movement, to see how her views and opinions have changed. Would she give the same advice to young women today?
7. What is one strategy you’ve seen work when growing your business?
Communicate. Even when you think it’s not necessary. Things move quickly and everyone isn’t always aware of changes to plan. Speak up and do it often so everyone stays on the same page. We’re a team and the team only works if we are all on the same page.
Lightning Round, Answer with the first thing that comes to mind?
- Coffee or Tea?
- Michelin Star Restaurant or BBQ?
- Michelin Star!
- Would you describe yourself as more of a Beyoncé or an Adele?
- Personal hero?
- My grandmother. She started in the workforce later in life but still managed to carve out a career for herself. She brought her daughters in with her and helped them grow into strong providers. She was the nucleus of our family and made every person feel like they were essential and loved.
- Last good book you read, show you watched, record you listened to, or movie you consumed?
- Reading Warlight right now for book club. Loving POSE on FX. I listen more to podcasts and artist radio stations - I really enjoy the No Such Thing as a Fish podcast and I’m currently listening to Bryan Ferry radio.