Serial Entreprenista, Victoria Yampolsky, on Helping Entreprenuers Transform Their Dreams into Profitable and Fundable Businesses
Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
I am a startup advisor, mentor, speaker, serial entrepreneur and an experienced business and finance executive with extensive startup experience. I founded The Startup Station in 2013 after I realized that while startup founders had a lot of passion and technical knowledge about what they were doing, they rarely had business acumen about how to bring their idea to market. Even more rarely they could analyze the financial implications of their decisions, let alone explain the business in financial terms to investors. The Startup Station was created to empower startup founders and business owners to use finance to drive their business forward and accelerate their fundraising process. We help entrepreneurs transform their dreams into profitable and fundable businesses.
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
I am launching a new strategic and financial planning program for female entrepreneurs, and I am excited to raise awareness about it. I also love meeting other fellow female entrepreneurs. We all need to help each other.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
I hated my job on Wall Street and wanted to find something I would be passionate about.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I worked as an IT consultant and then on Wall Street in Research.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
I did not have a marketing strategy and got my first clients by word of mouth, sort of accidentally. Then I tried many things via trial and error.
What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
The biggest challenge I encountered was my personality. Being an A student and having never failed before, I thought I knew everything. Until my first venture miserably failed and I learned the power of humility and began listening more.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
My personal accomplishment is my son. He gives meaning to everything I do. My professional accomplishment is the finance curriculum that I created for entrepreneurs (over 1000 founders have taken it). I have now adapted it to female entrepreneurs, expanded it to include strategic planning, and changed focus from pre-revenue businesses to those ready to scale. I’ve always wanted to empower every entrepreneur to make their dreams come true and I now have the vehicle to do it with this program for women. On a philanthropic level, together with my co-founder and childhood friend, Svetlana Zelenskiy, I recently produced the World Unite for Ukraine concert. The concert raised humanitarian aid for Ukrainian refugees with the help of the US -Ukraine Foundation, a 30-year-old Washington-based do tank doing business in Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union. 22 artists, including Pink Floyd, joined the concert from 9 countries. The production was supported by over 100 volunteers from 11 countries. I was proud to do something meaningful for Ukraine and proud to have done it with no experience in 4 months.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Yes, I think it is absolutely essential and focusing on mindset and self-care is key to success in my experience. If one feels overwhelmed, it is because of control and lack of delegating.
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
Dream big, don’t think whether or not you can do it – just do what you do best every day and ask for help with the rest.
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
Power-up program and my efforts to raise money for Ukraine. Also one of my clients Janice Omadeke’s company recently got acquired: The Mentor Method. She is a Black founder, and it is a truly amazing achievement.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
Power-Up program to roll out in the US and other regions. The program will also include quarterly follow-ups so that companies stay on track. We will also launch the “Train the Trainers” program, so that every founder can learn how to turn their dreams into profitable and fundable businesses.