Carla Mckay – CEO & Founder of To-Go Bike, Serial Entrepreneur, and StartOut Mentorship Alum

 

StartOut spent a few minutes to learn more about Carla McKay, CEO and Founder of To-Go Bike, and current StartOut Board member. From leaving her comfy sales position in Corporate America to currently starting her third startup, Carla shared her journey which includes StartOut providing invaluable professional and emotional support along the way.

Why did you join StartOut four years ago? I left Corporate America knowing I wanted to do something on my own. I had no idea what and StartOut was there. With Corporate America, you can still face discrimination in the workplace. StartOut presented a safe place for me to network with others and to explore my ideas. StartOut and the Mentorship Program helped me figure it all out.

What was the Mentorship Program like for you? I was one of the first 12 mentees to be paired with a mentor. My mentor was handpicked and was the “perfect match.” She helped educate and advise me on the many challenges and rewards that await any startup entrepreneur. She was also well connected. We got together almost every week and a small group of us also met up each month to practice pitches and to learn from each other. The AT&T StartOut Mentorship Program has come a long way from those initial days.

What would you like to share with anyone thinking about signing up for the AT&T StartOut Mentorship Program? I’ve been a mentee and a mentor. As a mentee, I had a mentor who really cared and was there for me especially on my tougher days. She motivated me to work even harder. As a mentor, I learned about completely new and different industries — that the same rules in business still apply. You can have a great idea but without the support or foundation like having a mentor, it can go nowhere.

What would you like to share about your new startup, To-Go Bike? This is my third startup. I took up triathlons later in life and have the good fortune to tie this passion in with my new business. To-Go Bike is developing a line of bike accessories to power your commuter ride in a safer, smarter and sleeker way. We’re looking to launch this summer and currently exploring funding. Sign-up for To-Go Bike news

To learn more about the AT&T StartOut Mentorship Program, visit us at www.startout.org/mentors