from Fast Company
Impact investor Nathalie Molina Niño gets a lot of emails from people looking to connect, and for good reason. After dropping out of college at 20 to run a startup, the former engineer spent several decades as both an intrapreneur (advising corporate giants like Microsoft and Disney) and entrepreneur (most recently as founder and CEO of BRAVA Investments, which backs high-growth businesses benefiting women). Her Rolodex spans not only business and technology but also politics, entertainment, and activism. Networking guru and Never Eat Aloneauthor Keith Ferrazzi called her a “super-connector.”
Still, the challenge of cultivating professional connections isn’t lost on Molina Niño. She grew up in Los Angeles far more exposed to the garment industry her immigrant parents worked in than to venture capital. Her experience outsmarting the status quo and seeing other entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds do the same inspired her new book, Leapfrog. In it, she shares 50 hacks crowdsourced from leaders in her network to help others without pre-existing cultural and financial capital reach their business goals.
While she knows getting your foot in the door can be daunting, she is equally adamant that, with the right ingenuity, anyone can cultivate the connections and capital it takes to succeed. Looking to break in? Here’s where to start.