Female Founder Stories: Fei Deyle, Founder of Lollipuff (YC W13)

by Y Combinator2/8/2015

Lollipuff is an auction site for authentic designer items.

Q: How did you get started?
I was just a woman in a regular engineering job. I had a passion against counterfeits on eBay and a love for deals on designer items, so I started a blog for fun. Surprisingly, the readers of my blog started requesting to buy and sell designer items on it. Very quickly there was a 2-month wait list to sell on the blog. It was obvious that there was an unfulfilled need in this space.

Q: How did you meet your cofounder?
Dave is a close friend of my husband. Though I didn’t know him well before the startup, we work incredibly well together. He is a constant source of inspiration, and I now consider him one of my closest friends. Startups will either rip you apart or create an indescribable bond that’s unique to starting a company together.

Q: Was being female either an advantage or disadvantage in working on your startup?
It can be harder raising money. Many male VCs relate more to male cofounders and they tend to focus on the male cofounder during conversations. But it’s also way easier for people to remember you; there are so few females in the startup world.

Q: What was the hardest part about being a female founder?
I guess I have an ego. I like people to think of me as technical or at least somewhat. That’s one of the reasons why I went to school to be an engineer. A lot of people always assume that I’m non-technical even after I tell them.

Q: Why do you think there are fewer startups with female founders than male ones?
In general, women take less risks. Also, many of us are non-technical. Not knowing how to program is a huge hurdle for most startups.


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