[S1,E8] Making a new start in San Francisco. Emily Baum builds Keyrious – high-tech fine jewelry that unlocks surprises

Emily Baum is the CEO of Keyrious — high-tech fine jewelry – that unlocks extraordinary experiences with a turn of a key. Emily lived in New York, studied in Chicago, and then moved to San Francisco to pursue her dream of running a business. She tells about the beginnings of Keyrious, the first steps of getting settled in SF, her experience building a team, raising angel investment in Silicon Valley as a female founder, and many more lessons learned along the way. Watch the video and discover the great story of Keyrious.


Here are a couple of highlights from the interview:

  • One day in a jewelry store…

    “I happened into this fantastic jewelry store and saw a case full of necklaces in a shape of a key, I thought ‘Ok, those are beautiful, but what if they worked? What if inside the box with the key necklace there was an address or latitude and longitude and whoever was giving it, had hidden something somewhere in the world for that person to find?'”

  • Emily moved to San Francisco from Chicago, where she had big network of friends and colleagues. It turned out, that she actually managed to build the new network from scratch pretty quickly:

    “San Francisco is one of the easiest places to move and meet people. There is a culture of ‘Oh, what are you working on? How can I help you? Who can I introduce you too? How can I help make this happen?”

  • “San Francisco is tech. San Francisco is founders. I am not really special being a founder here. People are like ‘Okay, great. You’re a founder. So is everybody.’ which is funny on one hand, but super helpful when it comes to the network that’s here.”

  • Life can be tricky, sometimes we meet the best people at meetups or events, at which we almost hadn’t shown up:

    “The [events] where you’re like, ‘Oh, I don’t know…’ and then you make yourself go, sometimes those are the ones where you eventually think: ‘I can’t imagine my life if i didn’t show up here’.”

  • It’s important not to wait too long with giving updates to potential investors:

    “There is this need for comparison with investors. They look for the deal that’s hot, they look for the thing that everyone is talking about. So if you are talking to people three, four, eight weeks apart, they will not get the impression that [your business] is hot. There is this interesting game element and design to how you have these conversations.”

  • Whenever there is an opportunity, grab it, you are never too early.

    “Realize that you are never too early, (…) the idea that you’re too early is a crutch. Get out of your own way. No one expects you to be perfect. Just take the opportunities as they come.”

  • Investors identify patterns, and the fact that there are a lot less female founders currently running global companies may unconsciously restrain them from investing in women:

    “I’ve been an outlier most of my life. Neuroscience, Musical Theatre, an MBA and a Masters in Engineering is not a common profile, but I think that’s one of the things that make me great. It’s a struggle though if the people with the capital are looking for someone that’s going to fit into a mold. I’m never going to fit into their mold. The only mold I’m going to fit into is the wacky one that is me.”

  • Time stamps:

    [column size=one_half position=first ]– Product 0:29
    – First customers 3:49
    – Past experience 5:23
    – Start in San Francisco 9:47
    – Startup scene in NYC 10:47[/column]
    [column size=one_half position=middle ]– Building the team 12:05
    – Raising money 17:42
    – Lessons learned 22:00
    – Women in tech 24:09
    – Plans for Keyrious 27:08


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