186: Don't focus on perfection - with Molly Dill

About Molly Dill

Molly Dill is the director of gBETA Milwaukee at gener8tor. She joined gener8tor after a nine-year journalism career. Molly most recently served as managing editor of BizTimes Milwaukee, a bi-weekly regional business magazine where she also covered the Milwaukee startups, technology, and financial services beats. Molly previously was a reporter at the Marshfield News-Herald in Marshfield, Wisconsin. An Illinois native, she earned a bachelor's in journalism from Marquette University.


Why did you switch from journalism to startups?

“I had been covering startups for the last two years at BizTimes and I had been at BizTimes about eight years and rose to managing editor there. I felt that I kind of had plateaued and I needed a new challenge in my career and since I was covering startups and I had developed a lot of contacts in the startup world, it was kind of a natural evolution actually as a result of networking.”


What is gBETA Milwaukee?

“gBETA Milwaukee is a program of gener8tor. So, just to kind of give you an overview of gener8tor, it's a startup accelerator that was started in 2012. Joe Kirgues and Troy Vosseller are two of the co-founders who are still active today…we do take an ownership stake in return for a hundred-thousand-dollar investment and we only accept five startups per program.”


If a startup founder wants to apply to gBETA Milwaukee, what’s the best way to go about that?

“They can contact me. My email is molly@gener8tor.com as generator with an eight. And we have a website gbetastartups.com. There's different city pages on there. Our fall program began October 24th and that goes through December 13th and then we'll take a little bit of a winter break and begin again in the spring.”

“We're looking for startups that are highly unique and highly scalable, and they must be based in greater Milwaukee for my program. So, it's not so much the main street businesses like a barbershop or a restaurant. It's more really original solutions to problems that others haven't come up with before or that are filling a need or a niche or are uniquely different.”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“my first job was at the Marshfield News-Herald in Marshfield, which is in Marshfield, Wisconsin like you mentioned. And then I wanted to get back to Milwaukee. I went to Marquette and I really loved Milwaukee. I wanted to be here and so I had kept in touch with a mentor from that, from my internship during college. And this mentor, Julie, she kept me in mind…”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

“several times per week, I try to meet various contacts for coffee, for drinks, whatever, just to make sure that we're keeping in touch and I know what's going on with them and they know what's going on with me and how we might be able to help each other or work together. So, I think a good networking interaction is a kind of give and take.”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“go to a networking event in your industry that, you know, you'll want to meet people at and then just strike up conversations. It's really hard at first, but the more you go, the more everyone in the room isn't a stranger anymore. And these are some people you've met before and you can just pick up where you left off. So, I would say kind of forcing yourself to get out there and meet new people can help you so much.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

“I like traditional networking. Digital networking, I think can be kind of a companion, but traditional in person, that's way more memorable than someone connecting with you on LinkedIn.”


If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“I think I was a little hesitant at first to ask for help in building my network and advancing my career. And so, I would just kind of push myself to ask people to connect me to other people.”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

“when it comes to founders, I would love to meet the founders of Airbnb because I remember my initial reaction to Airbnb being just completely appalled. Like, why would you go stay in someone's house, particularly if that person is still there, like just in their spare bedroom that you've never met before and how they overcame that challenge.”


What book are you reading right now?

“I'm currently reading The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. So, like we said, I'm relatively new to my role at gener8tor and I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the models that they find to be most effective. So, like they have an internal model, but a lot of it is based on The Lean Startup.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“I would say just be outgoing. Try not to be too shy and just ask for what you need from your network, and you like try to be helpful to your network as well so it's that mutually beneficial relationship.”


You can get in contact with Molly at:

Email: molly@gener8tor.com

Website: www.gbetastartups.com

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Twitter: Click Here