Mentor Corner: Meet Lynn Jennifer Kulli
Mentor Corner is a monthly feature highlighting the incredible contributions made by our mentor network to our venture community.
At entrepreneurship@UBC, we are privileged to work with a pool of 250+ mentors across the Vancouver and BC innovation ecosystem who invest their time, expertise, and insights into growing the early-stage ventures of tomorrow. From entrepreneurial leadership development to scaling venture creation, our mentor network is fundamental to what we do here, and we are excited to introduce you to them in our monthly feature, Mentor Corner!
Meet Lynn Jennifer Kulli
Lynn is an Executive Project Specialist at Nexii Building Solutions, a unicorn startup that provides innovative sustainable materials that enables the rapid assembly of safer, healthier, and more resilient buildings, thus combating the massive CO2 footprint of the construction market. She is a former product manager turned intrapreneur recruited to design and implement the first apparel strategy for Switzerland's largest online retailer ($2B in revenue 2021). She pursued her MBA at the UBC Sauder School of Business, where the Creative Destruction Lab and a Tech Entrepreneurship course sparked her interest in the startup ecosystem. When not immersed in the local startup ecosystem, you can find Lynn climbing in Squamish, enjoying the sunset at Spanish Banks, or somewhere on a yoga mat. Lynn is a new mentor at entrepreneurship@UBC and is involved in the Social Venture Studio, specifically CASE, working with startups like OnDeck and Seleste. Fun fact: Lynn was a Venture Development Specialist Intern at entrepreneurship@UBC several years ago during her MBA - and we are so pleased to have her back part of the community!
Learn more about how Lynn works with ventures as a mentor, what advice she’d give to our community, and the most important lessons she’s learned along the way.
How did you get into mentorship? What brought you here?
I love innovation, and I really missed the interaction with startups, especially when I left my job at a local incubator last year and stopped volunteering at CDL. So I reached out to Andrea Lloyd, who introduced me to Angela Hamilton, Lead of the Social Venture Stream, where I am currently engaged. I am honored to be of support; it is a fantastic way to be involved, keep learning, and stay inspired.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your mentorship career?
I learned how valuable it is to be a safe place that listens. I am happy to be a sounding board, a place to vent, a space to discuss new ideas, share opinions, or brainstorm solutions. Start-up founders have intense workloads, and giving them dedicated time and a safe space to pause and reflect can spark new ideas and solutions.
Working with early-stage startups, you have the opportunity to make a huge impact on the founders you are working with. What impacts have founders made on you?
I feel humbled to get the chance to work with so many brilliant minds who genuinely inspire me with innovative ideas, new perspectives, and fantastic insights. I get to stay at the pulse of innovation, learn, collaborate and see things differently, which is not only exciting, but I believe also benefits my personal growth.
"I feel humbled to get the chance to work with so many brilliant minds who genuinely inspire me with innovative ideas, new perspectives, and fantastic insights. I get to stay at the pulse of innovation, learn, collaborate and see things differently."
- Lynn Jennifer Kulli
If you could impart one piece of sage advice to our community, what would it be?
I owe this one to UBC Sauder marketing professor Tim Silk. He taught us to always consider ourselves as a sample of one who is making an assumption if we don’t have data to back it up. Therefore, I learned that listening to users is crucial in order to validate or invalidate our assumptions so we can produce an outcome that is truly relevant to the audience.
"I learned that listening to users is crucial in order to validate or invalidate our assumptions so we can produce an outcome that is truly relevant for the audience."
- Lynn Jennifer Kulli
What book are you reading? What playlist are you listening to?
Currently, I am reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and Winning at New Products by Robert G. Cooper. I love podcasts; my all-time favourites are The Future of Everything - Wall Street Journal,
Science Weekly - The Guardian, The Journal - Wall Street Journal. When not listening to podcasts, you’ll find me lip-syncing to various songs from indie rock, soul, and pop, to old-school hip hop at my desk at home or in the office.
Fun fact: I can't sing at all - my chorus teacher gave me a pass back in elementary school because he felt sorry, but I am still taking pride in singing off-key happy birthday voice messages and sending them to friends and family.
Thank you Lynn for your expert insights and continued impact on our community!
Are you interested in joining our mentor network?