Our Woman’s Power Hour profiles and celebrates women who are storming the short stay industry and this edition is showcasing Elaine Kunda from Disruption Ventures a VC fund that invests in female founded and managed companies.
How are you connected to the short-term rentals industry?
Our very first fund investment was in a Hostfully, an award winning software company that provides end-to-end solutions for short term rental owners and property managers.
How did you come to found your company and what were the biggest challenges you faced when setting it up?
I was a tech CEO and recognised the challenges women faced when raising venture capital money. I saw it as an opportunity as many of these women had incredible experience, businesses and vision.
The biggest challenge I faced and continue to face is that women fund managers also struggle to raise money regardless of experience or track record. Many people just don’t see that there is a HUGE missed opportunity it women.
What is your advice for the next generation of leaders and change-makers?
We naturally look for patterns in life and get comfortable with what we believe to be true. These patterns can lead to bias, most often unconscious. There is so much we miss because we can’t see outside of the box, what we know or believe to know. Diversity of thought becomes incredibly important. We need to welcome those who think differently and challenge what we believe. It’s not comfortable but it is necessary for adapting, growing and ultimately surviving.
How do you keep self-motivated?
I’m a naturally self-motivated person. In fact I’m more motivated by my own internal goals than anything else. “Staying” motivated is not hard if I believe in what I’m doing and committed to the outcome. I hate quitting!!
Biggest lesson you have learnt about yourself?
I beat to my own drum. I suppose I always have. I am unhappy when I’m put in a box, I lose my passion, creativity and drive. I thrive on challenge and making things work that other people don’t believe in or see.
Best piece of advice you were given?
Understand when you lead that not everyone is motivated by the same things. Figure out what drives someone else. Don’t expect people to have the same ambitions. Help people to achieve their goals, not yours and they will stay engaged and committed.
Who is the individual you admire the most?
That’s such a hard question. I admire many people. I will say that my mother has much of my admiration. She somehow manages to stay positive no matter the outcome. She has a quiet confidence and strength. I’m not sure people always overtly see it but the fact that she’s never had to prove anything to anyone but herself is such an amazing quality and quite rare.
Holiday destination of choice?
Winter skiing in Aspen, summer in Muskoka.
Your Favourite city in the world?
To live, Toronto is a great place. To visit, London is pretty awesome.
How do you celebrate your achievements?
I’m not very good at that. Do you have any suggestions? 😉
If you could run any company in the world what would it be and why?
I’m running the company I want to be running. There’s ABSOLUTELY nowhere else I want to be than where I am right now.
Chelsea Handler – but who doesn’t love her??!
What book would you recommend?
Depends for who. I’m an Ayn Rand fan, she was a woman so far ahead of her time. She really understood people, their ultimate strengths and weaknesses. How humans can justify their behaviours to themselves and how we can self sabotage from our insecurities or greed.
Best way for women entrepreneurs that are looking for funding to contact you?
I will admit that referrals work the best. If someone can make an intro. But if that’s not possible, I try to stay up to date on LinkedIn.
Want to feature in our Next Power Hour? Email Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org for your submission.