What I am doing with my life now…Time to Grows Up!

Following my post from the other day in regards to my leaving Europe and Atomico Ventures (www.nerdgirl.com/i-have-officially-departed-atomico-venturesbu) I wanted to write a post about what it is that I am doing now.

2010 has been a life changing year in many ways.  I left my fantastic position at Atomico, I moved back to San Francisco after 9 1/2 years in Europe and I am starting a company!  Wow!

So let’s talk about the biggest part of that statement.  The company starting stuffs…

I have been working in the Internet world since ’97.  Starting out at Netscape and moving through several startups to finally end up at Skype and Atomico.  Talk about Toad’s Wild Ride.  I have seen boom and bust and boom and flatline.  I have been privileged to have worked with some of the most brilliant minds that this world has come across – and a few freaky Estonians that I love dearly. 

Throughout my journey which has taken me from a chicken farm in Fresno to the beaches of So Cal to SF to London to Barcelona to London to cold Estonia and finally back to SF, I have always harboured one dream.  That dream is to start a company.   This may have something to do with the fact that my mother was so entrepreneurial that I always admired her and was always encouraged to believe that I could do anything / be anything.  This also might have something to do with the personal challenge that it requires.  I have never been one for taking the easy road.  There are many different reasons for wanting to do this that as time goes on I will explore further.

So why now?

After 14 years of working in various startups and positions and finally having transitioned into the great unknown of venture capital, I decided it was time to throw myself back into the trenches.  Being comfortable has never really appealed to me anyways.  Had I been younger (and dumber) I would have done this earlier, but now feels like the right time in my life to do this.

So what now?

Atomico Ventures has been beyond awesome to me.  Niklas, Janus, Geoff, Mattias and Hiro are like big brothers / mentors to me and they have been 100% supportive of my dream.  After pitching the concept of the company to them they decided to give me seed funding for it and also have been kind enough to allow me to share office space with rdio, their music startup in San Francisco.  Niklas and Janus didn’t even need much explanation surrounding my reasons to want to do this company.  They totally get the entrepreneurial drive.  They didn’t just give me money, but have offered me moral support and advice as well.  It kind of makes me teary-eyed to have people that believe that much in me!

The company itself is called Grows Up (www.growsup.com).  We are building a marketplace that allows Moms to buy and sell children’s clothing in a family-friendly environment.  We want to empower Mompreneurs, we want to make it easier for Moms to find awesome high-quality goods for their children, we want to be social, we want to be eco-friendly, we want to be charitable.  I believe that we can accomplish all of these things.  Building a sustainable company that gives back to the community in a meaningful way is something that is important to me.  It ain’t all about the money, folks.

It is still early days for us and, like the name of the company, we also have to Grows Up some more before the rest of the world will see us.  We are located in San Francisco and are looking for great team members that want to help build not just an awesome product, but an awesome company.  If you know of any kick ass devs, then please send them our way.