FinTech Female Fridays: Meet Chief Operating Officer at NeuroID, Courtney Laabs
"I have always loved startups. It is in my blood and it fuels me", says Courtney.
Courtney Laabs, is COO at NeuroID, a Series B, venture-backed startup whose technology translates human digital behavior into actionable insights for companies to better understand the identities and intent of new digital users. Before coming to FinTech, she also worked in startups in various industries including retail, insurance, and manufacturing. "I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had over the years to grow early-stage companies", she says: "Yes, they all have consisted of many long days and a lot of work. But overall, the hard work was worth it because of the incredible teammates I have been in the trenches with along the way! "
Courtney met Jack Alton, the CEO of NeuroID, in Whitefish in 2012. “Jack and I met in 2012 and have closely followed each other’s careers for years. While pregnant with my first child and wrapping up a consulting project, I imagined taking the next couple years off from my career to focus on raising children. But, when Jack called to tell me about the opportunity at NeuroID, I quickly found myself embarking on my next, and most significant role to date. My head was spinning. The more that I dug into the technology at NeuroID, the more I realized that I just could not turn down his ask to help him build a company around it. A few days later, I was on my baby moon in Napa, putting together proformas and a pitch deck for our convertible note seed round! "
At NeuroID, the culture is one of teamwork. "We win as a team and we lose as a team. We do not point fingers and we work hard to get the job done. We also reward excellence here at NeuroID. We like to celebrate successes (we have “win-wire” and “shoutout” slack channels) to ensure we recognize the efforts of those who’s hard work produced great results.”
Looking forward, Courtney is ambitious to influence FinTech industry by letting her work at NeuroID speak for itself as far as how a successful female COO can make an impact on the company. "Additionally, I am looking forward to mentoring and guiding the next group of budding entrepreneurs and operators in the future!"
More on Courtney
Where you currently live: Whitefish, Montana
Family at home: Live with my husband, Kelly and my 2 daughters (Parker (5.5) and Quinn (4) and our almost 13 year-old Yellow Lab, Fenway
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Favorite hobby: Skiing with my daughters and husband
Favorite part of your day: For sure the morning! The wee early morning, like 5am is golden hour for me. So quiet and fresh start to tackle the day.
Favorite show to binge: Full Swing has been our newest Netflix binge. We love everything about golf in our house.
What is the most important lesson you have learned from a mistake you’ve made in the past?
As I tell my daughters all the time, if you aren’t making mistakes, then you are most certainly not learning! It is what you do after the mistake that defines our character. I have always been an athlete and I get my energy from staying healthy and active. I had two very difficult pregnancies that forced me to be on active bed rest for about 2/3 of each pregnancy. I got out of my rhythm and routine. At the same time, NeuroID was still a very early-stage startup and between raising two girls under the age of 2 and the hours I put into growing the company, I was left with no time for myself and I could not find my way back my own health. I was struggling with severe anxiety and I was depleted. However, as of about 6 months ago, I finally found me again! I learned that in order to be the best version of myself, I needed to fill my own cup up before anyone else’s. Never have I been able to figure out until now how to put me first. The result? I am more present, much less anxious, and I have more energy than I did when I was 20! I am finally training again for my first Ironman 70.3 since having children. To have my girls and my husband cheering me along and watching me cross that finish line will be exhilarating! In short, as a female, we oftentimes find ourselves putting others first all the time. If anyone wants to connect on how to reverse this course, I would be happy to share some of my learnings along this path!
What's your favorite quote?
“Knowing what must be done, does away with fear.” Rosa Parks, Civil Rights Activist.
Fear is a natural human instinct. I have felt fear many times in my life. However, I always feel much, much better (less fearful) when I am in action and “getting to work.” Sometimes, you just need to start doing! And it is amazing what power you will feel and what you will learn.
4:30 am: Wake up! I call this hour my golden hour. It is my quiet. My peace. My sanity time.
4:45 am: Get much much needed coffee with a bit of cream. Get my water bottle filled with ice and electrolytes
5:00 am – 6:00 am: Get my sweat on. (Yes, I will admit this doesn’t happen 5 days a week religiously, BUT, it does happen most days and Oh my goodness does it change the day for me! I am training for a ½ Ironman right now, so lately this sweat session has consisted of a bike on my Wahoo trainer (as it is zero degrees in Whitefish right now), an Interval workout on my Assault Fitness treadmill, a Masters swim at our local gym, the Wave, or a body weight Tabat exercise.
6:00 am – 7:30 am: Spend time with my girls and my husband before our days get crazy! Get them ready for school (an outdoor forest school), make lunches, help them get their checklist all ready to go for their outdoor school. OH I try not to forget to get myself ready too during this period! That is an easy one to forget.
7:30 am – 8:00 am : School Dropoff
8:00 am: Head to work at NeuroID’s Whitefish HQ. Variety of meetings, deep work, and organizing the troops!
5:00 pm: Head Home (sometimes this is earlier if I am coaching one of the girls soccer, t-ball, or ski teams.
6:00 pm: Get dinner on the table for the family, talk about our highs and our lows, and essentially decompress together.
7:30 pm: Get girls ready for bed, storytime, cuddles
8:00 pm: Time with my husband by the fire and connecting, sometimes on tactical items and sometimes on larger, more complex topics!
8:30 pm: Lights out for me! (I certainly am not a night owl!)
Because we have seasonal weather, our activities change so much during the weekends throughout the year!
But since we are in the wintertime, I will diary that!
6:00 am – I give myself a bit more time to sleep in, but not too much time as my girls are up religiously at 6:00 am even on the weekends!
6:00 am – 8:00 am – Relax with the family, get a small workout in downstairs, get them some warm breakfast.
8:00 – Head to the ski mountain! We live 10 minutes from the base of a great ski resort. So that is what we do on weekends, we get up and ski!
9:00 am – Drop girls off with their ski teams and my husband and I get a few uninterrupted laps together on the mountain. Sometimes meet up with friends and sometimes it’s just the two of us.
Noon – Meet up with our youngest daughter (4) to have lunch
3:30 pm – Pick up my eldest daughter (5) and head home for one of my favorite parts of my ski day, apres ski! We hot all tub all together and I will have a nice cold lager, most likely local.
6:00 pm – Usually get together with another family for dinner at their house or ours, play games and enjoy life.
9:00 pm – In bed (and exhausted!)