In the first edition of ifempower “Get inspired from other female entrepreneur”, please allow us to share an inspirational story of Mette Lykke, a start-up empress from Denmark. Mette Lykke is a wife and a mother of two. In 2007, she and her two other friends founded a very successful fitness start-up called ‘Endomondo’.
Her career life started when she joined McKinsey & Company after her graduation from Aarhus University, where she studied political sciences. She described that she liked it working at McKinsey, as she solved the problems and gave strategic advices to the corporate clients.
Yet, her role as a management consultant never allows her to live up her suggestion. Being a consultant at McKinsey, she could only state her advices and recommendations based on the consultation phase; never once could she be able to experience the results of her advices delivered. Also, sometimes she felt the challenges and problems given to her were too narrow.
After years working at McKinsey, she and her two other colleagues realises the great opportunity of creating a start-up for exercise enthusiasts. However, leaving the prestigious company came with huge risk of not having good job title and stable-income. She also shared her stories to have faced oppositions from her loved ones, when telling her plan of leaving McKinsey to be an entrepreneur.
Thinking about this big entrepreneurial plan of her life, it was really challenging for her to decide. Few of her considerations were coming from her doubts of not having stable income and also oppositions from her surroundings, including from a partner of McKinsey.
Her turning point came suddenly when she was returning to her hotel in New York, a stranger gave her a postcard with a quote “Whatever our wildest dreams may be, they only scratch the surface of what’s possible”. Having read this, she abruptly made up her mind to leave McKinsey to be an entrepreneur.
It was very challenging for her in the beginning of her entrepreneurship days; there were days when no new user was registered on her developed App of Endomondo. However, her experience in McKinsey helped her to stay motivated and strong through the dark days as an entrepreneur.
The “can-do” attitude and her strong sense of purpose allowed her to make the impossible. She also described the challenge of not having someone to look up to, not having a mentor; as she is one of the very first female start-up founders at her field. However, looking after her surrounding and the user, she learned that they inspire her to realise her entrepreneurial dream.
Through all the initial challenges, her huge effort paid off. Her success was well reflected when Endomondo was eventually acquired by the famous athletic apparel, Under Armour, at $ 85 million in February 2015, also admitting her for a senior digital role.
After ten years building up her start-up and starting her entrepreneurial career, she decided to again get out of her comfort zone by moving to a growing tech platform to solve the food waste problem; the tech platform is called ‘Too Good To Go’. Here, she is entrusted with the role of becoming the CEO for the tech platform, after proving her leadership and learning the key entrepreneurial skills from her previous experiences.
Ifempower loves such an inspiring story from female entrepreneurs all over the world! Follow us also on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. In case you have any question or idea how to build synergies, do not hesitate to contact us via the project website.