Kelly O’Malley

Tell us about your background: What do you do now, where did you get your start?

I am the City Fellow at the Vinetta Project, where I help match female founders of startups to investment capital. Prior the tech world, I worked in entertainment as a film & television development executive.

How do you believe you use your strengths in the context of your work?

More than 50% of my job is networking and my greatest strength from the assessment is relationships.

Detail a day in your life — from wake to sleep.

I wake up, workout, drink coffee, some mix of meetings / emails / events / calls and either a lot of running around DC or having people come meet me at my office in Shaw. I try to read the paper while I’m eating lunch to give myself a bit of downtime. Then usually a networking or work event in the evening and once I get home, I try to read until I fall asleep.

Why did you join/start your current company?

I was affiliated with Vinetta as a founder. Last year, I applied to pitch the showcase events and attended some of their workshops. When the opportunity came up to join the team full-time, it just made a lot of sense for a lot of reasons.

What has been an unexpected challenge along the way?

I didn’t realize how much work went on behind the scenes until I was doing the job. This organization is incredibly high-touch when it comes to building relationships and I didn’t realize how much of my day a lot of little things would take up.

Who or what motivates you?

The founders we work with motivate me. I genuinely like meeting new people and hearing their stories. When I meet someone who is incredibly passionate about a product or industry that I know nothing about, I love to learn from them, but also figure out how I can help them get from point A to point B.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

You can’t do everything.

Was there a moment in your life where you decided to change paths/pivot? If so, what was it?

There have been a few, but moving out of entertainment was probably the most impactful. I don’t remember the exact moment, but I know that I had felt unfulfilled for a while and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. What I’ve realized about myself since that time is that I don’t like being reactionary – I want to spend time working on things I believe in and have a strategy in place around what I’m doing. The entertainment industry as a whole right now is very reactionary, it’s all about what everyone else is doing and how you can find the next version of something that’s already been successful – that’s not exciting to me and I think it’s why I like tech so much. People coming up with new ideas to change the status quo, that’s inherently exciting.

What is one word that describes your leadership style?


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