For some, entrepreneurship seems to be in their blood. From a young age, Jennifer Cosco dreamt of building her own business. She sought out to make her dreams a reality, as she now owns not one business, but two. Jennifer's first business venture began when she opened Studio Barre Bird Rock with her sister, but many know Jennifer for her startup, Envy. Envy is a visual search engine redefining the way we recommend places. Think of it like Yelp meets Instagram, or just download it yourself to find out. Not only is Jennifer a double-business owner, she’s an ultra-marathon runner too! Just one of the many reasons she's our #RealInfluencer of the week.
What has been the biggest obstacle as a woman in your industry?
I didn't think that women faced as much bias because here I am starting my own business, but the tech world has been tough. It's all men and I have yet to really meet any women in the tech industry who have been able to give guidance. I don't want to say that it's biased because I think any startup faces challenges, but I definitely think that showing that women can be as successful has been somewhat of a challenge.
What has been the biggest advantage as a woman in your industry?
I think that women are resilient. I used to run ultra-marathons and the finishing rates are usually pretty low, but what's so crazy is that in the hundred mile distances, even if the overall finish rate was 50%, the women's finish rate would be like 90%. Women are resilient. I think that women can also use their emotions in business for the better because women usually look at things from a bird's eye view.
What trait do women in your industry have that you admire?
Confidence, but not in an overconfident way. Just confidence in what they're doing. Again, I really admire resilience, because I think that people from the outside don't understand how many times in any startup that you hear “no” or “sorry that's not going to work.” So I think I admire people who've been through that and make it look effortless because it's usually not.
How do you keep pushing yourself after a failure?
I think you just have to always be learning from what didn't work, adjusting as you go. And realize that any bumps in the road are what make you better and stronger. I know people always say that, but it's very true. People used to tell me, "If your castle crumbles you can either rebuild with the stones or get buried underneath it." Some people experience a failure or hear “no” and think that's it they're done, but you really just have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going.
How or what do you want to be remembered for?
I just want to build really cool things. I think people so often dream but don't actually attack what it is that they want to do, so if I can do that, and help other people realize that they can too, then that's all I want.