Nebraska Girl Scouts Interview Entrepreneur Lizz Whitacre
As part of the Nebraska College of Business Girl Scout Cookie Challenge, Nebraska Girl Scouts Aurora and Lana interview Lizz Whitacre, UNL alumna and founder and CEO of Pawlytics. After learning about business and entrepreneurship through their cookie sales, Aurora and Lana ask Lizz about her entrepreneurial journey and how resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln made it possible for her to succeed. Nebraska Girl Scouts who met their individual cookie sale goals received an exclusive invite to virtually chat with Lizz during a live webinar.
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[00:00:06.350]Well hello, it's so good to be here with you two today.
[00:00:09.210]It's nice to meet you Aurora and Lana.
[00:00:11.400]Do you two wanna introduce yourselves?
[00:00:13.190]Sure, my name is Aurora, I'm a Junior Girl Scout,
[00:00:16.850]and I'm from Lincoln.
[00:00:18.660]I'm Lana, I'm a Senior Girl Scout
[00:00:20.170]and I'm also from Lincoln.
[00:00:21.510]Thank you for joining us Lizz.
[00:00:22.860]Well thank you so much for having me here today.
[00:00:24.920]I heard you guys have some questions for me about Pawlytics.
[00:00:28.490]Yes we do, can you explain what Pawlytics is?
[00:00:31.610]Yeah absolutely, so Pawlytics is software
[00:00:34.150]that helps animal shelters and animal rescue's
[00:00:36.648]save more lives.
[00:00:37.990]And we do that by giving them a tool,
[00:00:39.610]so that they can streamline their operations,
[00:00:41.900]and really maximize their volunteers hours,
[00:00:44.130]so that they can get more animals through their system
[00:00:47.700]in a shorter amount of time.
[00:00:49.750]So, why did you start Pawlytics?
[00:00:51.670]Well I started Pawlytics
[00:00:52.930]because I seriously love animals,
[00:00:55.220]and I wanted to have a really big impact
[00:00:57.310]on all pets across the nation.
[00:00:59.290]And I saw technology as a really good way
[00:01:01.480]to help animals that were out of my reach physically.
[00:01:04.550]Can you share with us your business process?
[00:01:07.660]Yeah, so a little bit about my journey
[00:01:09.810]as an entrepreneur has been...
[00:01:11.560]I started my first company here
[00:01:13.258]at the University of Nebraska Lincoln as a sophomore.
[00:01:16.310]And it was a small animal rescue where I was taking pets in,
[00:01:19.930]getting them the treatment that they needed,
[00:01:21.580]and getting them ready for their next homes.
[00:01:23.670]Well I realized that I was only able to save
[00:01:25.870]about 50 to 60 pets a year when I was doing it that way,
[00:01:28.870]and that just wasn't a big enough impact for myself.
[00:01:31.770]And so I decided to turn to technology,
[00:01:34.540]and I started my last company, Family Pet Project.
[00:01:37.390]And did a couple things wrong
[00:01:39.300]and it turned out to be a failure.
[00:01:41.200]But that's okay because I knew I wasn't done
[00:01:43.450]trying to reach my mission of helping animals
[00:01:46.390]all over the nation.
[00:01:47.340]And so I picked myself back up,
[00:01:49.350]and through a big support system
[00:01:51.090]was able to come up with Pawlytics.
[00:01:52.890]And that's where we are today,
[00:01:54.300]with great software product and market
[00:01:56.450]that's helping a lot of pets and people across the nation.
[00:01:59.730]Wow, that's quiet the entrepreneurial journey.
[00:02:02.010]Could you tell us how the University of Nebraska, Lincoln,
[00:02:05.610]helped you throughout it?
[00:02:06.860]Yeah definitely, so you UNL
[00:02:09.120]has been a pivotal part of my journey.
[00:02:11.100]And there's two things that going to the school
[00:02:13.340]really provided me with.
[00:02:15.130]First was the text book knowledge, so that you know,
[00:02:17.860]I'm out in the business world and I can talk the talk,
[00:02:20.460]and understand the business jargon and be taken seriously.
[00:02:23.620]On the other side of that, there were the intangibles
[00:02:26.280]that the University offered,
[00:02:27.430]that I really wasn't expecting,
[00:02:28.930]but I hold really near and dear to my heart.
[00:02:31.100]And that's the big support system that I've gotten
[00:02:33.790]out of this University.
[00:02:34.820]And the network and all the professors
[00:02:36.810]that really believed in me
[00:02:38.090]and wanted to see me hit my goals.
[00:02:40.090]And provided me with resources
[00:02:41.550]that I wouldn't have been able to reach
[00:02:42.960]without going to this school.
[00:02:45.290]Cool, can you share with us some of your pets
[00:02:47.593]and what your favorite part about your job is?
[00:02:50.120]Yeah definitely, so I do have a lot of animals,
[00:02:53.010]it's quite the list.
[00:02:54.200]I have four dogs and three cats.
[00:02:57.020]I also have two ferrets and three axolotl's,
[00:03:00.040]which are like these salamander looking things.
[00:03:02.820]And then I also have two horses that live in a barn
[00:03:05.270]pretty close to my house.
[00:03:06.870]And I would have to say,
[00:03:08.310]my favorite part of my job is problem solving.
[00:03:11.820]Everyday I'm faced with new challenges,
[00:03:13.720]and I get to come up with really creative ways
[00:03:15.610]to solve these problems.
[00:03:16.760]And I really enjoy that and I love getting to use technology
[00:03:19.620]in ways that other people haven't used it before.
[00:03:22.170]And to top it all off, with this nice bow,
[00:03:24.870]I get to live my dream of saving animals and I never thought
[00:03:28.410]that this would get to be my full-time job.
[00:03:30.180]And so I really enjoy what I do everyday.
[00:03:32.970]You have so much business experience,
[00:03:34.900]could you please share some advice
[00:03:36.130]for those who are thinking of starting in business.
[00:03:39.040]Yeah absolutely, I think something I would tell myself,
[00:03:42.360]a younger me, and other people
[00:03:43.660]wanting to start their own company,
[00:03:45.150]is that you're gonna fail
[00:03:47.070]and you need to embrace the failing.
[00:03:48.580]It is definitely part of the journey
[00:03:50.430]and you can learn so much
[00:03:52.230]from doing things wrong so many times.
[00:03:54.250]And it's absolutely going to take a number of failures
[00:03:56.900]before you reach that success.
[00:03:58.700]And the most important thing, is to not give up
[00:04:01.230]and take what you can from those failures
[00:04:03.080]and apply it to your next opportunities.
[00:04:05.240]So embrace the journey, it's hard but it's fun.
[00:04:08.120]And I'll think you'll really enjoy it.
[00:04:10.150]So do you guys have any more questions for me today?
[00:04:13.490]Well thank you so much Aurora and Lana,
[00:04:15.690]for taking the time to sit down and ask me about Pawlytics.
[00:04:18.790]I loved getting to share my journey with you guys.
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