Finance

Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Network and Springboard Enterprises, talks entrepreneurship, embracing financial competency and why women entrepreneurs are excelling.

I was inspired to co-found Springboard Enterprises when…

There was so much venture capital pouring over the transom in the late 90’s, over $100 billion, and only 1.7 percent backed women-led businesses. I felt that women should have parity in fund-raising and someone had to do something about moving the needle. I decided to take on the challenge.

Common traits I see in women entrepreneurs excelling are…

Delivering on their projections! Often criticized for not being aggressive enough in projects, women nonetheless deliver on their projections much more often than men. That makes them a good investment.

I would like more women to embrace…

Financial competency and get comfortable with their personal financials.

Where I envision Springboard in the next five years…

Springboard is the premiere accelerator for women entrepreneurs and has built a vast network of expert advisors. The organization will grow into different stages of guiding companies through growth stages – including financing from start-up to liquidity.

3 lessons from my book, Been There, Run That…

  1. Having the right advisors, even in early stage start-ups, is key to accelerating rapidly.
  2. As you learn new information about your business be prepared to iterate rapidly.
  3. Be an authentic leader. Open, transparent, inclusive and also decisive. Shared values are important for all in the company and your leadership should provide the guidelines for success.

How to find the right investors for Your business…

Research investors who are active in your business sector and find friendly access to those investors through your network of contacts. The right person making the introduction for you is key to securing entrée.

The factors that I attribute to USA Network’s success were…

Teamwork and a sense that everyone in the company made a contribution to the company’s success. It is really important that everyone has an ownership perspective. We were also risk takers and industries leaders and not reluctant to take the lead.

Skills I learned early in my career that helped me launch USA Networks…

I had a strong belief in satellite technology when it wasn’t being used for commercial communications. I could envision the role it would play in the future of television, radio and telephones when all were still earthbound. Building on my beliefs and working to learn the skills in the television, cable and satellite businesses was key to being in the right place at the right time to launch what became USA Networks.

 My favorite websites for entrepreneurs…

Springboard Enterprises.org. Likeable; Business Insider; Forbes.com and Plum Alley

Entrepreneurs can get involved with Springboard by…

Applying for our Programs, which are open to women entrepreneurs, or becoming an advisor to other entrepreneurs.

What entrepreneurship means to me…

Entrepreneurship is a creative process for me. I started out on the programming side of television, but discovered that I loved creating big sustainable businesses, and television was my industry of choice. I love creating something new and big. USA Network and the Syfy channel were certainly both. Now I help others do the same.