Built By: Karolina Starczak of Nutrimedy
Karolina Starczak’s ‘superpower’ is enormous focus. While most entrepreneurs often struggle to allocate finite resources, Karolina can easily zero in on a product roadmap and focus resources in order to achieve key milestones more quickly. This very ability was probably key in Nutrimedy’s decision to appoint her as CEO in September 2017.
Born in Poland, she moved to New Jersey at the age of eight. She remembers that adjusting to their new life was very difficult for her and her family, but believes that, ultimately, it brought them closer together. Despite being a child, Karolina herself struggled to assimilate in the US. Since she grappled with learning English to understand her school lessons, she found a natural comfort in numbers and excelled at math. This made her develop a strong love for science, and would later become the foundation of her career as a nutritionist.
Karolina believes that she owes her success in the startup world partially to her immigrant background. She thinks that moving to a new country “makes you grow up more quickly”, as you face challenges unfamiliar to your peers. Given that her family took a big risk by moving to the US, she feels responsibility to take advantage of the opportunity she’s been given and “do something to make [her parents] proud”. Her desire to make a real difference in people’s lives found a natural fit at Nutrimedy, a company that connects future moms to nutritionists. Having worked in corporate wellness, she joined the startup in July 2017 in order to make a bigger impact. While she loves the challenge of building a company, she also sees it as a test of her own resilience. Aware that “the cards are stacked against” her Karolina took the risk of joining Nutrimedy because “life goes by very quickly”, and she’d like to “look back and know” that she’s left a trace behind her.
During the last few months she’s become more comfortable with the word ‘no’, and believes that her upbringing played a role in helping her accept rejection and adjust to new circumstances with ease. Having developed resilience in the childhood, Karolina has been able to embrace the uncertainty of the startup world and persevere, despite the obstacles.
She believes that entrepreneurship and immigration are similar because in both cases you either “make it or you don’t”. The lack of safety net immigrants face plays a big role in their success, and can serve as an inspiration to “do your best and strive for success”. Ultimately, she views each immigrant as an entrepreneur because “immigrating is a big risk”, and it takes a special kind of person to leave everything behind in order to reach for the stars.
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