In 2019, Lynn Greenberg founded Pivt Enterprise, a social platform for people on the move. She was inspired by her own struggles relocating and adjusting to life in a new country, for work purposes. Pivt was initially a consumer app that helped people moving and traveling, to adjust to a new city, but it has since evolved into a platform for businesses to support their relocated, mobile and remote workers.
Prior to founding Pivt, Lynn worked at Bloomberg LP in London and then in venture capital, with Automomy Ventures. She currently serves as the VP of Panels for the New York Venture Community (NYVC), and is an Adviser and Mentor at several companies.
In our interview with Lynn, we explore the origin story of Pivt. Lynn also talks about her approach to managing the challenges that come with being an Entrepreneur and business leader.
Hello Lynn and thank you for participating in this Q&A session. Please give us an overview of your background and entrepreneurial journey?
Lynn: I am the Founder and CEO of Pivt, a social app company designed to reduce turnover and improve the social well-being of relocated, mobile, remote employees, and their families. I never sought out to be an entrepreneur but after moving to London for work, I faced the same challenges and anxiety that so many people experience when moving to a new and unfamiliar place. Finding information from people I trusted, building a community from scratch, and navigating cultural nuance were just some of the challenges I faced.
As it turns out, it wasn’t just me, the number one concern for relocated and mobile employees is their social well-being. Annually, companies expense millions of dollars on relocation packages focused primarily on logistics, yet most provide little to no support for the social wellbeing of their employees. This has led to millions of dollars in lost revenue, production time, and most importantly, lonely employees and family members.
I was determined to find a better way, so I launched Pivt. Initially a consumer facing app for those adjusting to a new city, Pivt has since evolved into a platform for corporations to support their entire relocated, mobile and remote workforce.
What began for us as a personal problem quickly grew to be a shared passion. Our team wakes up every morning devoted to our mission of making anywhere feel like home before, during, and after moving somewhere new. Pivt is the social platform I wish I had back in 2014, and we can’t wait to introduce it to more companies and employees!
Prior to founding Pivt, I worked at Bloomberg LP in London and then in venture capital, where I procured startup deal-flow, managed teams, and drove value creation for portfolio companies. I currently serve as the VP of Panels for the New York Venture Community (NYVC).
I also mentor/advise at Women in Business at Yeshiva University, Astia Angels, London & Partners, and Athletic Venture Advisors. I am a frequent panelist, startup judge, and speaker, including at SXSW, Harvard University, NYU Stern Business School, Columbia University Business School, NY Venture Summit, and the University of Oxford. I’ve been featured by several media outlets such as Forbes, The London Evening Standard, Digital Trends, Thrive Global, ERC Worldwide Mobility Magazine, Startup Magazine, and Entrepreneur Podcast Network.
Annually, companies expense millions of dollars on relocation packages focused primarily on logistics, yet most provide little to no support for the social wellbeing of their employees - Lynn Greenberg
Has your entrepreneurial journey been influenced by any past or current business leaders?
Lynn: Absolutely. I am lucky to have a handful of personal mentors and advisors of Pivt, who have been pivotal to our success and my personal development. They include people like, Evan Segal, Randi Zuckerberg, and Levi Aron.
I regularly call on fellow founders to ask for advice, and I'm always reading and looking to speak to others I can learn from. I also admire and look up to entrepreneurs like Whitney Wolfe Herd, Sarah Blakely, and Richard Branson, all of whom have broken barriers and created impact in their space(s). More than anything, I am inspired by the leadership my teammates bring.
I am lucky to have a handful of personal mentors and advisors of Pivt, who have been pivotal to our success and my personal development. They include, Evan Segal, Randi Zuckerberg, and Levi Aron. - Lynn Greenberg
What key challenges have you faced as an Entrepreneur, and how did you manage them?
Lynn: How much time do you have? Hahah! Here are a few:
Navigating the unknown - Know your strengths, know what you don’t know, and most importantly, do not be afraid to ask for help. I found that most people regardless of their status will almost always be willing to give you 5 minutes of their time.
Persevering through the naysayers and the many many "Nos"- I often joke that I could fill my entire apartment with wallpaper of "Nos" I have gotten since starting Pivt. This is where passion and your "WHY" comes back into play. You need to truly believe in what you're doing and why you're doing it, to persevere and stay competitive.
Hire well - Team is everything. Check references and make sure that beyond skill, especially at an early stage startup, they represent your culture and brand.
You need to truly believe in what you're doing and why you're doing it, to persevere and stay competitive. - Lynn Greenberg
Overall what do you attribute your success to as an Entrepreneur?
Lynn: Consistency, perseverance, surrounding myself with people who make me and Pivt better (team/mentors/advisors/investors), and Passion with a capital "P". An overnight success often takes years. Because of this, when things get tough (because they will) passion and your "Why" drives you through it.
Know your strengths, know what you don’t know, and most importantly, do not be afraid to ask for help. - Lynn Greenberg
How would you describe the unique value proposition offered by Pivt to its users?
Lynn: Pivt is not just another social networking app. Our platform was designed with the express purpose of helping people find a sense of community and build real relationships wherever they are in the world. Pivt helps transform the employee experience for those on the move.
Chat messaging, virtual meetings, community forums, Pivt connects you with the people you need to know and then encourages you to get together in real life, translating the in- app experience into get out there experiences.
A big part of Pivt's sales pitch is that it reduces employee turnover and improves the well-being of relocated, mobile, and remote employees. How exactly does the Pivt app achieve this?
Lynn: Through a social networking interface, trusted advice from peers, regional information guides, and social planning tools, employees around the world can now take advantage of life-changing opportunities in unfamiliar places, and make the most of their experience to feel at home...anywhere in the world.
Chat messaging, virtual meetings, community forums, Pivt connects you with the people you need to know and then encourages you to get together in real life, translating the in- app experience into get out there experiences. - Lynn Greenberg
Do you have any advice for new Entrepreneurs trying to launch or run their startup?
Lynn: Lots! Here are some that I recently delivered in a keynote:
An overnight success often takes years, because of this, know your WHY! - One of the first questions I ask founders when looking to invest is, why are you doing this? Entrepreneurship is often falsely glorified and unless you’ve gone through it, you can’t appreciate the ups and downs that come with it. When things get tough (because they will) you will need the passion and your WHY to drive you through it.
Live and breathe your customer - Know everything about them AND don't build anything without customer validation. We made the mistake when Pivt was a consumer app to build features based on the false assumption that since we had needed the features personally, that all of our customers would too. This was a big mistake that cost us time and money.
Dream big, but work small - While it’s important to have large aspirations and missions, you can’t build a successful product without focus. Don’t be afraid to fail, just fail fast. In fact, the best lessons come from failures. You will be surprised by what can happen when you take a risk because you’re not afraid to fail. You will never regret betting on yourself and remember that if you don’t explore your possibilities, you limit them. By the same token, if you’re not pushing yourself forward, you’re holding yourself back. Innovation is the antidote to limits.
We have come to the end of this Q&A. Thank you for participating in it. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours.
Lynn: Thank you.
Innovation is the antidote to limits. - Lynn Greenberg