FinTech Female Fridays: Candace Wanner, Marketplace Director, EquityZen
When you pivoted your career from Deloitte to EquityZen, what were you looking for in a company and why did you make this change in your career to join EquityZen?
When I left Deloitte, I was hungry for a new challenge where I could put the skills and experience I had honed in Deloitte's M&A Strategy & Operations practice to the test on a blank slate. I wanted to help build something from the ground up and to partner with a leadership team that was ready to let me run with that challenge. The EquityZen leadership team not only embraced that hunger from day one, but the company culture, values and mission also resonated with me. I remain enthusiastic about what is ahead for the company and the next set of challenges we will tackle together.
Tribe Experiment is an organization that you started February 2018; it is a dinner forum in which advisors and founders come together to discuss early stage businesses. What led you start this forum and what are your long-term goals for this organization?
My co-founder and I believed there was something missing from the way that most scaled networking works in the startup space. We believed starting from a place of authenticity, humility and trust rather than playing a numbers game and hoping someone "clicks" is a better approach. We intentionally host dinners in small groups at our members' homes and hand-pick attendees we are confident embrace our shared values - setting the tone before anyone has even walked in the door. Long term, we will continue to experiment with it as a catalyst for new relationships and a curated forum for sharing and exploring ideas.
What has been one of the biggest challenges in your career so far and how have you overcome it?
Learning to accept what may not get done. When you are building and managing a business unit it becomes your decision on what is prioritized. I think the most important key to this is trust; trust your team enough to make them a part of that process, learn to trust your own judgment, and trust that if you do not get it right your team will be there to help you course-correct.
What is the best piece of professional advice you have received?
"Get comfortable with being uncomfortable." If you can master this, you will learn to thrive in the most difficult environments. You will enjoy surprising yourself with what you are capable of.
What is one piece of advice that you can give someone who is looking to change their career in the FinTech space?
Do your research, know exactly what you hope to achieve, trust your instincts and be picky. I have found that the startup/FinTech space can be a challenge to navigate for those unfamiliar with it and, as a result, they may make hasty decisions. Take the time understand what risks you are and are not willing to take with your career (and who you will take those risks with) then embrace the journey with eyes wide open
Reach out to Candace on LinkedIn.