Kimmy Scotti

Kimmy Scotti

General Partner at eight Partners and Founder of the women’s health and wellness company Monthly Gift.

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON November 25, 2015

Discussion

Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
Hi all, Kimmy here. I'm a General Partner at eight Partners and Founder of the women’s health and wellness company Monthly Gift. Prior to eight Partners, I served as the Executive Director of Business Development & Operations at Loeb Enterprises where I co-founded Script Relief, a direct-to-consumer healthcare company that has helped over 10 million Americans afford their prescription medications. I also serve as the Executive Chairman of The RunThrough, the international, digital showroom connecting established and emerging designers to the fashion press. Prior to graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology, I created Mimz New York, a fashion jewelry line that was sold at Bloomingdales and featured on the hit show, “Project Runway”. I'm also a member of New York Angels, an advisor to the CFDA Incubator, and an advisor to Cornell Tech. Happy to be here today! Ask away.
Andrew Brandeis, ND
Andrew Brandeis, ND@mhealthdr · CEO, SharePractice
@kimmyscotti Long time listener, first time caller. Question: how did you become so fabulous?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@mhealthdr Hahaha - moving right along.
Jonathan Shriftman
Jonathan Shriftman@shriftman · BD, Snaps / Founder, Humin (acq Tinder)
Hey Kimmy, thanks for being here today! Can you share some more how you evaluate potential companies? What criteria do you look for?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@shriftman So I answered this a bit below in detail as well, but really it boils down to do we believe the founder is a winner, can they take the idea the distance, does the idea map to reality, does it solve a BIG problem, do they take guidance well are they good collaborators, are they a flexible thinker, do they have a strong engineering culture, etc!
Ryan Matzner
Ryan Matzner@rdm · Director, Fueled
@kimmyscotti You're all over the place. From fashion to health care. And you do a lot at once. How do you stay focused and organized?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@rdm I have serious ADD and way too many interests...clearly. I have this best friend, Nicole Williams, who is a bestselling author and career expert (can't hurt to have one of these in your corner, right!?) who told me like 9 years ao that "balance is bullsh*t and focus is all you can really do." and so when I am working on something, I try to just give that 100% of my attention and not think about everything else at that moment. So I'm actually only masquerading as an organized person. I also have this really amazing TEAM (hi guys!) and PARTNERS (yay!) who help support all of my craziness and enable me to scale my time.
Kate
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
Who are some of the people that have made the greatest impact on your life? (Stories, please!)
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@katesegrin Hi Kate! I have been incredibly lucky to great people around me and they have made huge impact on my life. So Ill start early. My parents are absolute hustlers, they worked so hard to give me an education and taught me the importance of hard work and also of family, I have two brothers and a sister who are my best friends and always in my corner. When I wanted to start my first company at 15 years old...a jewelry line...they didn't say, "you are insane"...my Dad drove me to the county clerks office and staples to get a little book to write receipts and turned over their dining room as my office. Michael Loeb, who I went to work with at Loeb Enterprises after college, taught me about abundance...he showed me that the sky is the limit and that I wasn't just "back", that I could also think my way through problem solving. Joe Lonsdale, one of my partners at eight Partners is the first person to tell me that I needed to solve BIGGER problems. I'll come back to more of these people!
Kate
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
Who are some of the most kickass women in tech (besides yourself 😉) that we may not have heard of?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@katesegrin Kate! There are so. many. kickass. women. in. tech. I. love. Okay...the one I probably love most...is Meredith Finkelstein, co-founder of Print All Over Me. PAOM is a platform for creating customized clothing - Meredith is like superwoman...wife, mother, sister (her brother, Jesse, is her co-founder!), rocket scientist, engineer. She literally does it all and inspires me every time I see her. Sterling Witzke @ Winklevoss has a great eye for identifying incredible early stage founders...and this girl's nail game is seriously on point. Morgan Beller @ Andreessen...understands the need to build a community and makes it her mission, literally couldn't adore a human more. Daniel Goldstein @ Innovation Endeavors in Tel Aviv, few people bring more heart to their day to day than this girl. Heather Marie @ Shoppable...crushing the universal shopping cart game...and with such poise. Erin Yogasundran, founder of ShopJeen...this girl truly understands the importance in of-the-moment-trends in e-com. Vanessa Pestritto @ New York Angels showed me the ropes of the NY angel scene early on. I try to keep all the smart girls together!
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@kimmyscotti @katesegrin OMG I missed some...Alexandra & Katherine Keating...sister geniuses...AK founded @dwnldmedia and KK founded, One on One series - the coolest mobile first interview platform where she talks to all of these great leaders about something that is important to them that we might not know about. Obsessed with these two and crazy about their content. OH and Maddy Maxey @thecrated, lets please make LED clothing all day, seriously.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Hi, Kimmy! You've done a lot of different things. Why did you choose to become a VC?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@rrhoover This is a question people ask me a lot - its so fun building companies, so why move to investing in companies...I fell in love with investing because it's really the only place that you can sit in between the two things I value most highly in the world - People and Ideas. As an investor, the most creative people in the world come and see you and tell about something they hope to create, and they are asking for YOUR help to bring it to fruition, I loved that process as an angel and decided to go industrial strength!
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
What markets or type of ideas are you most excited to invest in and why? What do you look for in founders you angel invest in?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@alexcartaz Alex! This changes for me all the time...Im really excited about just-in-time-produced everything and mass customization. I think it means less waste in general, more investment in the things we buy because they are truly for you (and maybe by you - like in the case of Print All Over Me) and a lot if taking middle-men out of transactions.
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
What is the most insightful thing you've learned from being a founder? From being an investor? And from being a creative?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@alexcartaz This is such a great question! So from being a founder, I think one of the most important things I have learned is that your plan is like a good roadmap, but it can't be set in stone. We pivoted to building ScriptRelief from a digital magazine company...super random. You have to be flexible and listen not just to the information that comes in loud and clear, but look in the data for the ground swell...little whispers...to tell you where you should be going next. As an investor, I think the most important thing I'm learning is to truly partner with your companies and be there during the tough times...I always want to be the first phone call when something is going wrong, not the kind of investor you hide from when you have bad news. I want to roll up my sleeves and get in the trenches with my founders and their teams. As a creative...the most insightful thing I have learned is to just CREATE...don't over think it. People often plan and plan and plan...planning is the enemy of the creative. Just create and then iterate. Also I think in all of these roles I take on, I apply my creative self. I always just define myself as a "Maker." Sometimes I make companies, sometimes I make investments, sometimes...I make meatballs.
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
What advice would you give your 20 year old self?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@alexcartaz So this year I turned 30...(WTF. THIRTY!?) and I think I would have told myself 10 years ago to just worry less...I would tell myself what I tell my founders now..."You won the 'brain lottery', you make things with your mind, it's rare, enjoy it." I was so focused on my work/company/etc..that I didn't stop a ton to look around and realize how fun it all was in the process. Now I am more present...at the end of a busy day, even when it's a really really hard one, I'm super grateful for the work I get to do and I realize it.
Tim Porthouse
Tim Porthouse@timporthouse · CEO Coach, Zealeap
What has surprised you about the business person you've become in the last few years Kimmy?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@timporthouse I think what is surprising in general is that I just am allowed to do what I do all day long. I'm always sitting in these rooms with my team or partners or other founders and someone asks a question and then all the heads turn and look at me and you sometimes get this overwhelming fear that you don't know the answer to something, and then you hear an answer and some of the heads nod and you look around and realize it was you talking and that you had the answer! What a concept!? I think if you are doing things right you always feel like a bit of an imposter and that you are in a gig thats too big for you, and then you prove to yourself you can do it and move on to the next thing. I am always surprised that no matter how many people think you are successful, you always just feel like you stepped in to that movie, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, and you are mistaken for the boss but are really just a little kid in your moms clothes answering questions of other kids wearing their mom's clothes and sometimes...hopefully most of the time...getting the answers right.
Adam Carver
Adam Carver@adamcarv · AngelList
Wow @kimmyscotti! I'm very interested in females and female products. But sometimes feel awkward talking about it. How can I bridge into demographics where I'm not a member?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@adamcarv You are right to want to invest in females and female products...we are THE consumers, right? I think it's important to kind of note the gap here..."I know Im not the end user of this product, but I've done my research and I'm passionate about the problem and supportive of what you are doing...tell me more about it." Trying to raise money for a feminine care product was hilarious. My male investor counterparts were like, "just stop saying tampon to me and I'll give you whatever you want."
Michael Farber
Michael Farber@michaelxfarber
Hi Kimmy! What is the most frustrating question you receive as a female founder/vc?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@michaelxfarber UGH I get the most frustrating questions being female in this space...but I wouldn't change it for the whole world...you should see my shoe closet. I think the most difficult thing that happens but less so now, is that people bring you "girl" things to evaluate only. "Hey can you look at this bra company or make-up company or fashion company..." rather than just allowing me to evaluate all different kinds of deals that I could be interested in, I want to see everything, so bring on the referrals! I think the worst thing that happens is kind of hilarious...I'll be on a date and the guy finds out what I do, and the next day, I get the dreaded 'deck pic'..."Hi Kimmy, I thought I would share what I'm working on..." The end. No second date. Lose my number!
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@kimmyscotti @michaelxfarber i keep my deck picks to snap chat
Andrew Brandeis, ND
Andrew Brandeis, ND@mhealthdr · CEO, SharePractice
@kimmyscotti @michaelxfarber ....is that why you're not returning my calls?
Diana Rube
Diana Rube@di4rube
@kimmyscotti Is there one piece of career advice you have received that you always come back to? If so, what makes it so important to you?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@di4rube So this piece of advice came from Michael Loeb...Founder & CEO of ScriptRelief. Michael told me once that I would always win because I can work the hardest and that because of that I rely on my "back" all the time, but that I should learn to trust my brain because I am also smart...essentially don't always use the hammer...use a scalpel. So whenever I am working on something, I ask myself first brain or back? Hammer or scalpel?
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
2) You + Jake + Drew + Joe are a dream team - but with hundreds of other funds out there, what's your unique core offering to startups? What do you guys do or believe about what makes a great investor that other's don't?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@eriktorenberg We really are a great team to have in your corner because we are this unique blend...Joe is a top founder/serial entrepreneur, Drew is an incredible investor with a killer track record, Alex is one of the MOST technical investors around, Jake is a founder the BEST business development person ever and then I'm an operator/founder. We are so founder friendly because so many of us are founders ourselves. We have all spent our careers building relationships with other founders and business leaders and creating community around ourselves. I think that what is most important is that we work as a team and leverage these communities and provide access to our founders to the people and information that they need. This ensures that our founders get the best advice or the help that they need. We are also really great at involving one another when we need help, I am new to industrial-strength investing...even though I have been an angel...so when I have a question about terms that I'm not sure of or something about a deal that doesn't seem right, I can call on Drew or Alex, who have literally seen it all. I seriously could not ask for better partners!
AALLEEXX
AALLEEXX@aalleexx · Product Designer
@kimmyscotti I am excited about rumors I've heard related to you starting a podcast. Can you tell us more?
Dre Durr💡
Dre Durr💡@dredurr · Growth is the only thing that matters
@kimmyscotti Hi Kimmy In the spirit of Thanksgiving. 🐓 If you were to hold a Thanksgiving dinner with 5 of the greatest minds dead or alive for you to learn from. While also eating a delicious dinner. Who would be at your table?
Arpit Gupta
Arpit Gupta@arpitgupta · Product Manager
@kimmyscotti Can you tell more about MonthlyGift? What's the offering? Monthly gift box for women? Looks like you already made some great hires. Good luck.
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@arpitgupta Monthly Gift. is going to be EPIC and you are right, we made amazing hires (Shout out to my "Girl Band!"). First, the idea. Monthly Gift is a tech-enabled subscription service for all of your feminine care needs. In one box you can have tampons, pads, liners - all fully customizable to a woman and her individual needs (LADIES...go sign up for launch info at monthlygift.com now!) My team is incredible and we are doing a lot of innovative things in the space. Also...LisaMarie, my sister is my COO on Monthly Gift...its the most fun part of my day is that I get to work with my sister. In reality, we are launching with menstruation, but we are really striving to build a women's health company, for women by women...so stay tuned. Thanks for the well wishes.
Arpit Gupta
Arpit Gupta@arpitgupta · Product Manager
@kimmyscotti @arpitgupta Awesome. Thanks for the info. Any thoughts on targeting this to men so they can buy this care package for the women in their lives? Also, might want to look into http://www.menstrupedia.com/ @menstrupedia -- comics to lift taboos (big problem in various parts of the world) related to Menstruation
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Services for startups
What part of your day/week is the most valuable (to you) with regards to work?
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@bentossell I never really think about work day/week in general - I always say my work isn't 9-5 it's more eyes open-eyes shut. So I call my weekends the "sides of the pool" it's like all week long you are swimming in the deep end and treading water because you have TONS of meetings, and when you are in meetings your time is standing still because you are focused on that person, and then when you get to Friday night lots of other people switch off so it's a great time to get ahead of my schedule, get tasks done and just power through my work work, reading through decks/presentations, etc.
daniellevine
daniellevine@daniellevine · Fireside
@kimmyscotti Hey Kimmy! Thank's for doing this AMA. I'm wondering, what's the best thing you've come across in the last 30 days and why? Could be anything, a product, an article, a tea, a quote. Anything! Thanks for answering.
Kimmy Scotti
Kimmy Scotti@kimmyscotti · Partner, eight
@daniellevine First of all...I am like a crazy seeker of new things I can obsess about. One of my latest obsessions is Hey Day, it's like a little mini spa that takes the ceremony, but not the ritual, out of getting a facial while still allowing you the glowy skin. They have 30 and 50 minute facials and you just sign in, jump in a chair and get prettier. I am on the go a lot and I travel a TON (My partners are all in SF and I am based in NY so I am on long haul flights all month long), which dulls your skin and makes you look tired so Hey Day has been my saving grace! While on beauty, I'm also a CAPbeauty.com junky, it's newly launched in the west village and I'm crazy about their curation. On the content front, I'm loving Finimize.com right now - it's this email that translates financial news into english so that I better understand what is going on in the world. And Ill end with a new quote that I am nuts about...I was Alice in Wonderland for Halloween this year and so in re-reading the story I came across this Lewis Carroll quote, "It's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then." I feel like I am constantly reinventing myself, and this so accurately describes that feeling.