Name: Rachel Kimelman
Title: Co-Founder of LGBTQutie
Twitter: @lgbtqutieTennis instructor, social worker and now startup founder! Rachel Kimelman is the founder of LGBTQutie.com, a progressive relationship and social networking platform for the entire LGBTQ community. Rachel is also a member of Dreamers // Doers, a highly curated community of high-achieving trailblazing women who come together to support each other on their entrepreneurial paths. The community encompasses a diverse mix of female founders, women working at startups, and other female creators, change-makers, and influencers.Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?Rachel: It takes a certain person to have the drive, passion and dedication to be an entrepreneur. I've always felt that I was meant to lead, not follow. Working in the 9-5 structure never really called out to me. Creating a business is creating something from scratch. Being an entrepreneur makes me feel alive.Me: What problem would you like solved?Rachel: My Co-Founder, Jordan, and I created LGBTQutie.com to address the need for a relationship-oriented dating and social networking app that caters to the entire LGBTQ community. Many online dating sites/apps promote hook-ups for just a limited segment of the community. Our site (soon to be mobile app) facilitates relationships, friendships and meaningful connections and also features an events section for users and businesses to create LGBT specific events. We are more than online dating, we are a community.Me: Advice you’d wished you’d had or had followed?Rachel: One of our consultants told us that the cost of our app would be much greater than the initial quote we received from our previous developer. It turned out to be true because we needed a larger team for our project since we decided to develop our app in native IOS and native Android. This made the cost higher than anticipated, but we felt this was a necessary decision for us to create the optimal product. We had to account for these unforeseen costs and adjust accordingly. Me: What does success look like for you?Rachel: As an entrepreneur, I know I can be hard on myself, which I'm sure is common. I ponder to myself "Maybe once we get a certain investment or a certain amount of revenue or followers, then we have reached success". The truth is, there is no one point that can measure success. We each as individuals determine what success means to us. Success is a process and a journey on a continuum. There are milestones along the journey that are benchmarks toward success but one can always keep going. It is when you know you've created something with passion and persistence and continue to grow and learn along the way. Knowing that you never gave up. Making your passion come to life and seeing your creation make an impact on others in a meaningful way is success. Me: Who are your heroes?Rachel: My heroes are Lady Gaga, Ellen DeGeneres and Senator Elizabeth Warren. They are all inspirational women of high status. I admire Lady Gaga and Ellen because they have done so much for the LGBT community and are both extremely talented. And Senator Warren for going against the grain and standing up for what she believes in as a woman in politics. Me: What is your best discovery?Rachel: After being invited to pitch at a women's business event, I was at first very nervous. However, once I went on stage and pitched in front of more than 200 people, I felt the energy of the crowd. They gave multiple applauses and I realized how well I engaged with them. This lead me to discover my talent for public speaking and face my fear. Me: What would the title of your biography be?Rachel: Hmmm... I'd say, Overcoming Adversity, because I've been through many twists and turns in my life, which could have brought me down, but I keep finding ways to be resilient. From these struggles, I have become a stronger and more well-rounded person.Me: What is your biggest regret?Rachel: In business, one can always think of what they could have done better. My biggest regret is being too hard on myself. Being an entrepreneur means you must make a lot of tough calls and big decisions for your company. Some of these decisions come from research, past precedent, advice from advisors, trial and error, intuition etc. some decisions work wonderfully and others flop. That's when you must pivot and not let it get you down. In time, you learn what works best for your company.Me: Anything else we should know about?Rachel: We anticipate launching the highly demanded LGBTQutie mobile app for both iPhone and Android in February. Be on the lookout!