Kinethics has come a long way since we first started in the basement of UNC’s School of Media and Journalism. We spun out of the university, incorporated and formed a board, and were accepted into Launch Chapel Hill, an award-winning accelerator program. Sometime in there, I graduated from college and went full time. Now, my team and I have decided to sell Kinethics.
With the help of incredible mentors, we learned a thousand lessons (both personal and professional,) launched an awesome new site, tested our assumptions and validated our product.
This decision to sell was one of the hardest ones I’ve ever had to make. When you run a startup, “work-life balance” doesn’t really exist — life choices and business choices can feel hopelessly intertwined. After months of testing and researching, however, we knew selling Kinethics was the best way to reach our original goal of transforming compliance training and tackling global corruption.
I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve built. Kinethics has been a crazy, stressful, overwhelming and completely incredible experience. Startup founders — especially ones my age — are often portrayed as wunderkinds, achieving success exclusively their own ingenuity and ambition. When you run a startup, you realize that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
First of all, true innovation requires failure and persistence in the face of ego-crushing setbacks. But most importantly, success is rarely individual. Since our inception, we’ve had a web of supporters holding us up and pushing us forward. We’ve had wise mentors at Launch Chapel Hill, Reese News Lab, and throughout the Triangle startup community providing advice, and, at times, a swift kick in the ass. Informally, we had our friends, family and partners that listened to us talk endlessly about corruption, helped us practice for pitches and meetings, and occasionally cooked us dinner.
Then there’s the Kinethics team, which I’ve written about before and I’ll write about again. I’m deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such strong, smart women, and I know Kris, Pooja and Hannah will continue in their #bossgirl ways.
As for me, I’m excited to move into my post-Kinethics life. While my first priority is getting myself a dog, I’d also like to return to my first love (reinventing journalism as we know it!) Stay tuned.