From Facebook to Founder with Sara Adler of Wave Capital

July 11, 2022

Any entrepreneur knows the fear and uncertainty that comes with starting your own business. Trying to get started can make you feel insecure and unsure of yourself and your abilities, regardless of what you’ve accomplished in the past and what you know you’re capable of. 

Our guest today, Sara Adler, graduated with a degree in economics looking to pursue a career in investment banking. She soon realized, however, that it wasn’t the right path for her and so she started to pursue other options. Sara went on to work for Facebook, Dropbox, and Airbnb in mergers and acquisitions before finally deciding to start her own venture capital firm with a fellow colleague. 

In this episode, Sara shares a bit about her career journey and what inspired her decisions along the way. She talks to us about her experience working for founder-led companies like Facebook and Airbnb and why she eventually chose to start her own firm over continuing in corporate life. Sara also walks us through her business thesis and portfolio and shares her take on the current market situation and what it means for entrepreneurs. 

“I was clearly not someone who was willing to just coast and let things slide. I really wanted to keep learning.” – Sara Adler

If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, join the Entreprenista League today at entreprenista.com/join. We can’t wait to welcome you, support you, and be part of your business journey!

This week’s takeaways from Entreprenista:

  • Sara’s career path after graduating (4:49)
  • The reason Sara decided to start Wave Capital instead of continuing in corporate life (9:20)
  • How Sara knew her current business partner would be the right fit for her and their business (11:00)
  • What drew Sara to founder-led companies (13:07)
  • Sara’s take on founders trying to run a company and raise capital in the current market situation (21:20)
  • Wave Capital’s thesis (25:14)
  • Sara’s advice for entrepreneurs looking to reach out to VCs (30:04)

Resources Mentioned:

Our Favorite Quotes:

  • “Just being in a hypergrowth environment, it doesn’t really matter what function you are, if you are working cross functionally, you’re just absorbing so much.” – Sara Adler
  • “Having been an employee at all three companies and not a founder, I think I am very empathetic to the employee journey.” – Sara Adler
  • “It took me a while to really understand that the reins are in my hands, and no one is going to help me through it. And that means that I can ask people for advice, but that’s on me to solicit it. And I can ask for mentorship. But that’s on me to find it.” – Sara Adler
  • “I want to be motivating for them and a good role model, for both my daughter and my son, for what it means to be ambitious.” – Sara Adler
  • “I used to look up to people at bigger firms and thought, I’m nothing compared to them. And then I just realized we’re playing different games. And so they actually wouldn’t know how to do this. And that’s okay. And it’s not a competition.” – Sara Adler
  • “In hindsight, it’s so easy to kind of create this narrative of what your career looks like. And it all fits together. And it all leads from one to the next. But in any given moment. It never felt obvious.” – Sara Adler

Connect with Sara Adler:

If you’re looking to take your business to the next level:

Join our Entreprenista League community of women founders! You’ll have access to a private community of like-minded Entreprenistas who are making an impact in business every day, special discounts on business products and solutions, exclusive content, private events, the opportunity to have your story featured on our website and social channels, and MORE!

Whether you’re looking to scale your existing business and want to make the right connections, or you’re thinking about finally taking the leap to launch your business, we’re here to give you access to a community of women who will celebrate your every step, and with whom you can share the candid reality of building a business from scratch.

Join the Entreprenista League today at entreprenista.com/join. We can’t wait to welcome you, support you, and be part of your business journey!

PNC Celebrates Women Business Leaders

Each year, PNC celebrates women business leaders by hosting Women in Business Week. As co-founders of SocialFly and Entreprenista, Courtney and I were invited to join the lineup of this year’s keynote speakers!

Join us on Thursday, May 12th at 1p.m. Eastern Time for our keynote event, but you won’t want to miss any of the webcasts. This year’s all-virtual line up is absolutely inspiring.

To register for PNC’s Women in Business Week webcast event, head over to PNC.com/businesswebcasts – we can’t wait to see you there!

Become An Entreprenista!

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Entreprenista Podcast – the most fun business meeting for female founders, by female founders. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and leave a review wherever you get your podcasts.

Apple Podcasts | TuneIn | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Radio | GooglePlay

Be sure to share your favorite episodes across social media to help us reach more amazing female founders, like you.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn and for more exclusive content, tips, and insight, join the Entreprenistas Facebook group and visit the SocialFly website.