Bring us home to mom: a compliance love story

A piece I wrote for Kinethics on Medium.

As a young, female startup team, expectations rarely meet reality. I can’t say for sure what people expect when they see our team, but I can guarantee “compliance training for multinational corporations” isn’t what pops into their heads first.

Some level of involvement in the startup world isn’t rare in the 20-to-30 age bracket. Younger millennials (that’s me!) love to #startup — you can probably find 10 think pieces on this idea this week alone. Even outside the San Francisco and New York bubbles, the words “innovation,” “disruption,” and “special sauce” are everywhere — peppering the resumes and interviews of even my friends going into old-guard industries like accounting and banking.

So if we followed the traditional #snakeperson path, we’d probably be building an app or a consumer (read: college student) facing product. Plenty of people our age are building “the Uber of, the Tinder of, the Airbnb of”… classically sexy startup products. Compliance training might just be the least sexy product of all unsexy products, and our dream is to build really great compliance training.

We daydream about awesome, corruption-fighting compliance training all day long. Apparently, that surprises people. Kinethics recently joined the community at Launch Chapel Hill, recently named one of the top 5 best college-based accelerators in North America. Three weeks into the Launch program, our unsexy startup has garnered lots of surprised looks and “was not expecting that” comments.

Kinethics may not be sexy, but we do think we are marriage material — the take-her-home-to-mom of startups. It turns out that most people, even those with no exposure to the compliance industry past taking a couple painfully boring courses, can get pretty excited about Kinethics. Few want to sit around and talk for hours about the FCPA or UK Anti-Bribery Act (always looking for these people!). But most people we talk to are excited by the possibility of turning something universally regarded as boring into something impactful, engaging, and even a little bit fun — just like the husband or wife of your dreams.

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