Jessica Livingston

Jessica Livingston25 posts

Jessica Livingston is a venture capitalist and author from Boston. She is a founding partner of Y Combinator. In 2007, she published Founders At Work, a collection of interviews about startup companies. She previously worked at Adams Harkness Financial Group as the company’s VP of marketing. She has a BA in English from Bucknell University. She is married to Paul Graham, and they have two children.

1 Mar, 2014

Female Founders Conference 2014

Gives Talk

Y Combinator holds its first ever Female Founders Conference at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. In her opening remarks, Livingston says that the sold-out gathering is “the most over-subscribed event” in their history.

I wouldn’t be surprised if in five years, we feel like 2014 was the tipping point for female founders.

She shares some basic advice that she likes to share with all start-up founders: the importance of having determination, empathy, living frugally at the start, and focus. She then goes on to spell out some key pieces of advice for female founders in particular: Having children and starting a business is hard — but possible; It’s OK to be the ‘quiet cofounder’; Learn how to code — and don’t be afraid to start up with a spouse or personal partner.

Don’t feel like there’s anything weird about starting a startup with your significant other. We have significant evidence it works.

Jessica Livingston at Female Founders Conference 2014

31 Dec, 2012

Startup School 2012

Gives Talk

Livingston talks about co-founders leaving and other issues that can de-rail a startup:

It’s a red flag when you find yourself wondering if you can trust your co-founder

Investors tend to have a herd mentality, which she says is a Catch-22 situation, but once it is overcome it can work in the company’s favor:

If they like you, others like you. If noone likes you until others do, what happens when you talk to the first one? Noone likes you. You’re really starting off in a hole and you have to work your way out of it.

Jessica Livingston - Startup School 2012

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