52 minutes | May 28th 2019

#40: Julie Penner | People over Product, Process, and Profit

Julie Penner on the MindMill Podcast Julie Penner is the former director of the famed Techstars business accelerator program.  She has worked with hundreds of diverse companies; challenging, empowering, and propelling them into new arenas of success.  Julie now works as COO of Halp. This episode is with Julie Penner (@soulofstartups), former director of the famed Techstars business accelerator program in Boulder Colorado.  She has worked with hundreds of diverse companies; challenging, empowering, exposing, and propelling them into new arenas of success.  Despite the endless metrics and data-points of analysis, Julie maintains that its always human development that governs the success of a company.  The Techstars accelerator has expanded to over a hundred global programs, but started in Boulder.  There are few people who have the collective knowledge and experience Julie possesses.  Julie now works as COO of Halp. Julie is one of those people who I immediately felt connected to.  She has incredibly demanding schedules and responsibilities, yet I have never had an interaction with her where she has come off rushed, uninterested, or not present.  This interview was much different than i expected.  I had prepared a series of analytical questions surrounding startups, founders, and processes.  While we touch on these topics,  the resounding theme of our conversation is on intentional self-growth and genuine connection.  We discuss the emotional challenges that founders face, embracing humanity to propel teams, the power of self-reflection, and strength through vulnerability.  We also touch on intentional ways to celebrate holidays, the Burning Man festival , and the Danish lifestyle of Hygge.  Julie is a fantastic individual, i learn so much from her every time we speak.  Im proud to share this conversation with Julie Penner on the  MindMill podcast.    https://youtu.be/HVULp7oG0Dw SHOWNOTES ABOUT JULIE PENNER BIO From Linked in I am currently the COO at Halp. Before Halp, I worked as Director at Techstars Boulder, investing and working with 60+ early-stage companies. Prior to Techstars, I worked as VP of Operations for Graphicly, an automated ebooks conversion and distribution platform. I managed a team of eight employees and contractors. My responsibilities included process improvement, weekly cash management and forecasting, contract management and negotiation, metrics tracking, HR and other non-product/sales functions. Prior to that, I worked as a corporate development analyst at Liberty Media. My work involved industry and company-specific research, strategy development, technology trend tracking, and valuation support. I graduated with an JD/MBA from University of Colorado focusing on entrepreneurship and technology in both the law school and the business school, graduating top third in my class with an entrepreneurial law certificate. Prior work also includes internships at SRS, a company that manages escrows and holdbacks in VC-backed M&A deals, Lijit (now Sovrn), a Boulder-based VC-backed startup and interning at the CU Tech Transfer Office. I also worked at Zeo, a Boston-based VC-backed startup that developed a consumer product. Specialties: consumer web, ebooks, eCommerce, strategy, social media, digital media, social commerce, entrepreneurship, start-ups, broadband, financial modeling, valuation analysis, market analysis. CONTACT JULIE Linked InEmailHalp WebsiteInstagram THE FEELING WHEEL Full Transcript Julie Penner | People over Product, Process, and Profit Intro: Welcome to the MindMill Podcast, where host, Seth Marcus dissect and discusses all things impacting young adults. Peers, mentors and professional share intimate conversations on subjects such as entrepreneurship, exercise and health, music and art, the blessings and curses of technology, travel, and how to navigate adulthood in this age of information. We are the largest generation in history and we dictate the future. The MindMill. Find your purpose. Fuel your purpose. The MindMill booklet has arrived. This back pocket notebook is designed to be your catchall for daily life. For many of us, note taking is an absolute free for all. An idea strikes us. A friend recommends a good book. We remember that the bill is due tomorrow. What do we do? For most of my life, I was the quintessential random note taker. I tried to jot things down on the back of receipts and keep notes in my phone. These habits left me disorganized, and simply did not work. Without a system in place were doomed to continue scribbling on scraps, searching for random notes and getting lost in our phones. Letting our genius slowly slip away. It is for that exact reason that we created the MindMill Booklet. It fits in your back pocket or purse and goes wherever you go. It’s packed with templates and organization systems for productivity and clarity. Features in the booklet include dedicated areas for to do’s, categorize shopping lis, habit tracking, cash transactions, idea developments, AM, and PM routines, and much, much more. This booklet is packed with useful and intuitive sections. Easy navigation, inspiring art, and powerful quotes. While the MindMill Booklet is incredibly easy to use, we’ve included a detailed instructive introduction to help guide beginners inexperienced noters alike in maximizing their writing habits and overall productivity. The MindMill Booklet is a game changer. Consolidating your daily ideas and notes while limiting distraction, giving you much-needed reprieve from your phone. Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t bashing technology. Tech is a wonderful tool in a crucial part of our society. But we see legions of distracted folks out there, and we’re here to help the world reclaim their attention spans. The booklet provides tips on how to use it alongside your tech to maximize productivity and design for your most mindful life. With the MindMill Booklet there are or no dings and alerts. Just your thoughts ready to be captured and developed. So whether you’re looking to optimize your productivity, build a writing practice or just limit your screen time. The MindMill Boklet, is your best companion. Go to the mindmill.com for more information, tutorial, sample pages, one hell of a podcast and much more. Seth Marcus: Hello, and welcome to the MindMill Podcast. Today’s episode with Julie Penner. Director of the famed Techstars business accelerator program in Boulder, Colorado. She has worked with hundreds of diverse companies. Challenging, empowering, exposing propelling them into new arenas of success. Despite the endless metrics and data points of analysis, Julie maintains that it’s always human development that governs the success of a company. The Techstars accelerator has expanded over a hundred global programs but started here in Boulder. There are few people who have the collective knowledge and experience Julie possesses. Julie is one of those people who I immediately felt connected to. She has incredibly demanding schedules and responsibilities, yet, I have never had interaction with her where she has come off rushed uninterested or not present. This interview is much different than I expected. I had prepared a series of analytical questions, surrounding startups, founders, and processes. While we touch on these subjects, the resounding theme of our conversation is on intentional self-growth and genuine connection. We discuss the emotional challenges that founders face, embracing humanity to propel teams, the power of self-reflection, and strength through vulnerability. We also touch on intentional ways to celebrate holidays, the Burning Man Festival, the Danish Lifestyle of Hygee. Julie is a fantastic individual. I learned so much from her every time we speak, I’m proud to share this conversation with Julie Penner on the MineMill podcast. Seth: Well, Julie Penner welcome to MindMill Podcast. Julie Penner: Thanks Seth. It’s great to be here. Seth: It’s great to see you. It’s been a long time in the making. I remember very distinctly when I, was like I want Julia to be on the show was when we spontaneously met at Techstars sustainability demo. It was just were walking out early at the same time those. But no, we were both had to get out of there and I was like, you look so familiar and we had met at a different event in Denver and you offered to give me a ride back to my car when I was going to take a scooter. So I really appreciate that. Julie: In retrospect, I’ve ridden a lot of scooters maybe that would have been more fun. But I you know, I remember really enjoying our conversation. Seth: Yeah, we just had this very quick Powell across Denver metro, and I was like, awesome Julie’s great and then that was totally strengthened when we shared New Year’s Eve with that great group of people at Winter Park, and I was so floored by how intentional that New Year’s Eve was and you really have a big part putting together. So thank you for that. Julie: Welcome. It’s great to have you as part of that. Seth: It seemed that you and our mutual friend, Amy Baglan structure that, was their inspiration for why that happened or is that something that you do every year? Julie: I think New Years, I’ve had both really good ones, and really terrible, probably more terrible ones then than really great one because probably a shared experience. There can be expectations for that day that are hard to meet. Seth: Absolutely. Julie: It is a resetting of the clock. Each New Year is a time to be reflective. I enjoy some introspection, and I think those triggers around introspection are helpful, birthdays or another one. Sometimes they make us uncomfortable because not measuring up to some of the expectations that we might have for ourselves. But I think there
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