Meet the Laura Barnes, a shining star among our Luminaries cohort! 💫 We caught up with Laura to dive deep into her awe-inspiring entrepreneurial journey and why she decided to join our Mastermind program alongside other trailblazing early stage female founders. Check out her interview below!
Welcome to the tribe Laura! For those in our community who may not know you yet, may you briefly introduce yourself?
I am an early stage entrepreneur but I think entrepreneurship has always been a part of me; I love thinking up new solutions to old problems, identifying gaps in what’s currently offered, and helping people look at their problems and challenges from a new angle. My background is a blend of hospitality, sports, private service, and leadership/personal development. My current business is sport-focused, which was born during my time in my Masters program where I studied sport management. I’m hoping to create solutions to challenges that have existed for years – even if you didn’t realize it was a challenge!
We know that you’re working on an exciting product that blends technology and sports. Can you tell us more about your startup and what inspired you to build a convenient app like this for sport fanatics?
I attended the University of Florida to earn my Master’s Degree in Sport Management. The program was awesome and we were given the opportunity to attend sporting events that also allowed us to network with alumni who worked for the various teams. I realized that I was visiting new venues on a fairly regular basis and that I had a blast even if my favorite team wasn’t playing. In a moment of reflection, I was trying to recount every sport venue I’d been to and the teams I had seen. I realized that my memory is pretty good, but not everyone can say that. And there aren’t any platforms that really allow sport fans (casual or fanatic) to track the venues they’ve been to and the teams they saw. I am ultimately creating a platform that will allow fans to attend events and track their progress, store their digital assets from live events (photos, ticket stubs, etc.), and learn about new venues from fellow members of the app. I also plan to incorporate some really fun engagement opportunities, incentives, and exciting offers for our users! Plus, growing into so many other markets and fan-focused areas of interest! The sky’s the limit!!
As technology startups continue to surge in the business landscape, it’s highly likely that some of our readers either currently own or might consider launching one in the future! Could you offer valuable advice to help them on their entrepreneurial journey?
For a long time, I was being transparent and telling people, “I have no idea what I’m doing.” But I recently shifted that mindset because I’ve learned so much from the people I’ve worked with and been mentored by. I now say, “I know more now than I did 6 months ago, but I’m still learning.” The biggest piece of advice I can offer is to stay in the mindset of growing & learning, every day. Even if you’re a bad a** in the tech world, you might lack skills or knowledge in other areas – so commit to learning about those areas.
My other piece of advice is that you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Remember that there are amazingly skilled people in this world who are willing to help you with the things you may not be great at — let them help you. And be willing to invest in that process (financially, emotionally, etc.). I call it “getting out of my own way” in order to move the business forward. Growth takes much longer if you insist on teaching yourself everything and doing it all on your own. Being resilient and resourceful and trusting yourself are paramount to your success – and trusting that other people know more than you do in specific areas and they should be trusted to do the things you don’t know how to do!
We are thrilled to have you in our 6th mastermind cohort, where you have access to a tribe supporting you every step of the way! What are you looking forward to the most over the next 12 months with your cohort members?
I’m most looking forward to having different perspectives to support my journey. The women in my cohort are amazing and bring insights and suggestions from their experiences, which are often much different from the sport industry. I love hearing their perspectives and being able to offer them mine as well. The sense of community and the vulnerability shared among the members is awesome. It’s also refreshing to be in a cohort where there isn’t competition – we all have different areas of focus, which means that we aren’t competing for market share, customers, or investor dollars. I’m looking forward to learning more from the women in my cohort and watching all of us rise together!
We believe everyone has a unique superpower. What is your superpower?
My superpowers are writing and problem-solving. I love writing and am beginning to tap more into that capacity. I also love solving problems, especially when I get to work with someone who is feeling stuck and can’t seem to get out of their own way; I have the ability to de-mystify the problem, break down the solutions, and create actionable plans.
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