Lynn Greenburg: [00:00:00] What gets me up in the morning too is just knowing that I'm going to learn so much just in that day, and it's going to be kind of crafted around something that I love.

Andy Molinsky: [00:00:16] Welcome to From the Dorm Room to the Board Room, a podcast where we provide insights, tips, and inspiration for college students and young professionals, so they can make a really successful transition from college life to the professional world and beyond.

Andy Molinsky: [00:00:33] My name is Andy Molinsky, and I'm your host. I am also a professor of Organizational Behavior and International Management at Brandeis University's International Business School where we record and produce this podcast.

Andy Molinsky: [00:00:54] So, our guest today is Lynn Greenburg, who's the Co-Founder and CEO of Pivt, the app for people moving and traveling to make you feel more at home. Lynn was a Senior Associate at Autonomy Ventures prior to founding and being the CEO of Pvot. And at Autonomy Ventures, she helped find startups that would be investable for the firm. She managed teams, and she helped these startups build and grow. Lynn is a Board Member and the Vice President of Panels for the New York Venture Community, and a mentor at For Women in Business at Yeshiva University and Astia. Lynn is a frequent speaker and thought leader in the startup community. And we are very happy to have her with us here today. Welcome.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:01:45] Thank you so much for having me.

Andy Molinsky: [00:01:46] Awesome. So, tell us a bit about what you do now. Tell us a bit about, I guess, the founding of your company, what your company is doing, what your day-to-day is. And then, I'm going to actually ask you after that to rewind back to college and put yourself there. But right now, tell us what you do right now.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:02:08] Yeah. So, as you mentioned, I'm the Co-Founder and CEO of a mobile app, which is Pvot. And what this is, it's a tool for relocated employees to help acclimate in their new city right away. So, we do that by two main ways. The first is by connecting you to employees around the world who are in a similar situation or have a similar interest or hobby. And, also, connecting you to people that do know and should know, so that when you land, you, right away, know where to start make your new city feel like home.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:02:53] Day-to-day for me, it really varies. So, obviously, on a three-person team, you're doing a little bit of everything. So, everything from PR, to marketing, to sales, to try to work with your clients. And then, most importantly, working with your customers to really make sure that you understand their needs and are building something that really suits their issue at hand.

Andy Molinsky: [00:03:25] So, you're building this from scratch, right? You guys just had this idea, and you're building it absolutely from scratch. Am I right?

Lynn Greenburg: [00:03:34] Correct. And I'm happy to kind of walk through how we got there, but yeah, absolutely.

Andy Molinsky: [00:03:41] Okay, awesome. Yeah. Well, I'm sure we're going to get to that. But let's now rewind quickly back to college. So, where did you go to college? What did you major in? Tell us about, did you like college? What was your college experience like?

Lynn Greenburg: [00:03:55] I graduated from Franklin & Marshall College, a small school in Pennsylvania. And I majored in Government and Sociology. So, obviously, very different from where I am now in the technology and startup phase. But I, absolutely, loved my experience back then. It is there that I really feel like I love to learn. And the liberal arts experience for me was fantastic. It was very instruction-based, and the work was very intensive, but the professors there were really, really, really helpful and really have been kind of giving you the ball, and letting you run with it. So, to this day, I'm very, very grateful for that education.

Andy Molinsky: [00:04:48] So, you're a senior in college. Your -- I don't know. Maybe a friend's applying to law schools, some friends applying to medical schools, friends getting jobs, friends not sure what they want to do. Where were you at? And how did you move from Government and -- What was your other major? I'm sorry.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:05:10] Sociology.

Andy Molinsky: [00:05:10] So, Government and Sociology major. How did you move sort of from there to the startup world? So, I guess, my first question is, what was it like that senior year trying to figure out what to do? And then, how did you make the move?

Lynn Greenburg: [00:05:27] Absolutely. So, senior year is really that. Anyone that says it isn't is probably blind. And what I mean by that is you really have to kind of shield yourself from what everyone else is talking about and doing and really try to focus on what's best for you. Go into senior year, and a lot of your friends will have job commitments at financial firms. A lot of them will "know what they're doing.".

Lynn Greenburg: [00:05:56] And the important thing to remember that I wish I knew that then is (A), this is your first job. Especially with our generation, it's not the be all end all. And you probably will switch over to a new profession. So, it's about kind of emulating great skill set to kind of prepare you for what's to come in the future.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:06:23] And the second thing and, obviously, easier said than done is to really try to focus on your interest, in yourself, and not worry that your friends are going to law school, or your other friends are going into investment banking. So, really try to box them out and hone in on the skill set you want to work on, and your likes, and dislikes. And the rest will kind of take you from there.

Andy Molinsky: [00:06:49] How do you do that?

Lynn Greenburg: [00:06:51] It's hard. It's really, really hard. I think what helped me was being kind of proactive in that. So, I was very proactive in my job search. Even if that wasn't to find a job, I was looking to see what was out there. I was speaking to alumni who were in different professions to be potentially what I would be interested in going into. But really kind of staying proactive and feeling like you're doing something to get to the next level. I know a number of schools. Franklin & Marshall has a great career services program in which you could go there, and you can get help with your interviewing, and your cover letters, and your résumé. And that was a;; super helpful. But, again, it is really tough.

Andy Molinsky: [00:07:45] So, tell us then what you did right after college. What was your landing point? What was your first professional experience?

Lynn Greenburg: [00:07:55] Yes, absolutely. So, I graduated from Franklin & Marshall. And two weeks after, I moved to London to work for Bloomberg. And this, again, kind of came out of a little bit of nowhere. So, I applied to a position working for Bloomberg Law. And I thought, Government major, law, that kind of makes sense. But what ends up happening is Bloomberg was quite different in the UK than it is in the US. And it's a very manual part of the job in which none of the court cases are digitalized. So, you go to the court, you pick them up, and then you come back to the office, and you send them over for the client.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:08:41] And so, the manager that was interviewing me said. "Look, I know you applied to Bloomberg Law, but you seem like you really enjoy speaking with other people and working with customers. So, let me suggest that you apply for my other team, which is message compliant. It's a growing industry. And 80% of your work will be working directly with clients." So, I said, "Sure. Why not?"

Lynn Greenburg: [00:09:13] So, I applied for that. Seven interviews later, I ended up getting it and jumped right over to London after graduating. So, I was there for about three years. And, again, with a Government and Sociology degree, I found myself smacked in the middle of a financial company, and I had only taken one business class in college, and in a very tech-intensive department, and I had zero technology background.

Andy Molinsky: [00:09:45] So, a lot of people, a lot of young college -- I say young. You're pretty young, but college students worried that they're not going to be prepared and that they wouldn't have taken the right classes, they don't have all the skills. And clearly, from your experience, that wasn't the case. You're able to do quite well without that. What advice would you give to someone who has those concerns?

Lynn Greenburg: [00:10:11] Yeah. So. my biggest advice coming from my personal experience is to (A), keep an open mind; (B), really embrace the opportunity; and (C), don't get your mind stuck on following a specific path. What you learn in Brandeis and great colleges here in the US, so fortunate, is that you learn how to think. You learn how to interact with people and solve problems.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:10:40] And that along with innovation is really what's going to get you anywhere. My brother studied Entrepreneurship and Management in college. And while he got a fantastic education, a lot of his work in startups following graduation, he had to learn kind of from the ground up because each situation is different. So, I really think -- And then, this also stems from my time investing in robotics, and really seeing what robots are going to do, and to adapt what they're going to acquire is I would really say that you shouldn't be stuck on a specific path. You just focus on acquiring the best skill set.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:11:29] And another thing that I wish I knew is that when you're going into a job, it's actually more important to recognize what you don't like than what you do like. So, for instance, for me, I absolutely love my experience at Bloomberg. But one thing that I didn't really enjoy was the 12-hour at your desk, day-to-day job. So, going into my next role, I knew that was something that I wanted to avoid. And sometimes, this process of elimination, you can really find the best path forward.

Andy Molinsky: [00:12:06] So, that's really interesting advice. Find out what you don't like or, I guess, also, what you do like. But how would someone do that? Is there a set of questions you should be asking yourself? What would be actually -- Is there any structured way that people should approach that?

Lynn Greenburg: [00:12:24] Yeah. That's just -- Really, it's all about self-reflection, but asking yourself, "What is not ideal about this situation? What is making me not want to be here? Or what is preventing me from really doing passionate about what I'm doing or not wanting to be here?"

Lynn Greenburg: [00:12:42] And I think it might be a small thing. After Bloomberg, for instance, I worked also in this global data team, which was fantastic for me because I am a big picture thinker, and that required me to really hone in on analytical skills and data sets. And while I'm so grateful that I was given that experience, and I know how to navigate it, it's something that I just -- it wasn't in my DNA. I just dreaded doing it. And so, I knew that kind of going into my next role, it ideally would not have 80% of your day being data-intensive. And I think you can really see. If you're in a job for 6 to 12 months, you can really kind of culminate on those things.

Andy Molinsky: [00:13:35] Interesting. Excellent. So, let's hear from a student. We have a student question. And I will play it for you right now. And then, you can see what you think.

Isabelle: [00:13:43] Hi. My name is Isabelle and I'm a college student majoring in Business and Psychology. I'm from Hong Kong. So, my question is I'm a student who doesn't really know what to do after graduation. So, I'd really like to hear more about how you figured out your career path.

Andy Molinsky: [00:14:02] So, it sounds like we've been talking about that. What advice might you give to Isabelle about that, about not knowing what you want to do and figuring out a career path.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:14:13] Yeah. Again, I think, we touched on a lot of it, but just kind of go back to what I said before. I My biggest advice would be to keep an open mind, to understand that you don't have to follow a specific path. What you think that you might do as entering college is not necessarily what you will be doing in the next year or two. And that's okay. And I think embracing opportunity and kind of looking to see what you can squeeze out at each job and each opportunity in terms of skill set, in terms of the people and relationships that you make through those, those job choices are really, really important and kind of thinking to yourself, "How can I use this to better my story? And how can I use this kind of help build my personal brand and allow me to be a more valuable employer but, also, a more valuable citizen.

Andy Molinsky: [00:15:19] Yeah. It's funny. As you're talking, I was realizing there's a key part of your story we haven't heard yet. And I think that that might connect and, sort of, fill in some of the -- fill in the dots here. You talked about how you went to Bloomberg, and we opened by talking about your cool new startup, Pivt Can you draw the connection between the two? What happened after Bloomberg? How are you now the CEO and Founder of the startup? Tell us the story.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:15:49] Yeah, absolutely. So, I graduated from F&M. Two weeks later, I moved to London to work for Bloomberg. And what immediately happened to me is I think what happens to most people when they moved to a new and unfamiliar place, which is where do you start to make your new city feel like home? I didn't know anyone, and was starting a new job, and didn't have time to recreate my network from scratch. But as anyone, as most know, it's friends that you need the most when you're adjusting to a new and unfamiliar place.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:16:25] The other issue that I faced was I moved there and had no idea where to live, which bank to join, where to take my mom for dinner when she visited. And these weren't things that I wanted to rely on Google or TripAdvisor for.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:16:45] So, driven out of pure curiosity, on top of my role at Bloomberg, on the side, I asked other people that I worked with, London is a Bloomberg international hub, so most of my colleagues were also expats. And I started speaking to them to see if they were having a similar issue. And when I found out that there was a common thread, I started thinking about what could be done to alleviate this and make people's experiences with these places more seamless and, hopefully, that's what we're building.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:17:16] So, this wasn't something that I set out to do. As I mentioned, I had no technology background and no business background. But I was really determined to fill the gap to try to solve this issue. So., I went to workshop, went the classes, talked to to as many people and would listen.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:17:41] And the one piece that I wasn't able to kind of grasp about building a startup, and more importantly, going out as highly effective was the venture capital piece. And I was curious about what made my idea valuable and, ultimately, investable. So, I got -- I was very fortunate. I reached out to some colleagues at Bloomberg Data, which is the venture capital branch over at Bloomberg. And I asked them if I could help them with their day-to-day work on top of my role just so I could understand the investing side a little bit better. So, I did that for about six months. And was at the point where I really felt ready to take Pivt off the ground.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:18:31] So, I moved back to New York, and we started building out the beta version of Pivt. And I was at the point where I couldn't take it full time. It wasn't ready to go. And, financially, I still had to work to support it. So, I joined Autonomy Venture, which is a venture capital branch here in New York. And back then, AI, autonomous mobility, and robotics. So, again, jumping into new industries that I had no idea what it was and what it entails but really kind of just took it head on and did a lot of research.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:19:13] And, yeah, after about two years at Autonomy and really, really enjoying the venture capital space, I got to the point where I was able to take Pivt full time. A lot of people had told me that you need to know when you have to take your startup full time, there will be a point where it is all-encompassing, and it's all you're going to think about, and all you're going to want to do. And it's at that point that you really have to go with it and give it a shot. So, that's where I'm at now.

Andy Molinsky: [00:19:46] It's a great story. I think, inspirational, probably to a lot of people. It's funny. When I hear it, I think, I hear a very proactive-driven person. Were there moments of doubt, questioning, insecurity, or not. You could tell us a little bit about sort of the inner world of making these you know zigzags to where you are.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:20:13] Absolutely. Every other day, I have that. And building a startup is really, really hard. I always say it's one step forward, two steps back a lot of the time. And what really -- I am, now, putting my investing hat on, what we really looked for in early stage startup is that they experienced the problem personally. And the reason being is that building a startup is so difficult, and that if you can go through the experience itself and really have that inner passion to drive it forward, you're just not going to have the stamina to keep it up.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:20:56] And so, for me, what keeps me going every day is really the method of making everyone experience being relocated much more seamless and to make sure that people take unfamiliar opportunities in faraway places and expand their outlook. And so, whenever things get tough, which it's often, you always kind of have to remind yourself of that and keep going.

Andy Molinsky: [00:21:27] So, I want to ask you a couple of quick questions now as we sort of near the end of our interview. And I know, sometimes, these questions aren't really so quick, but I'll ask them anyways. And you kind of answered the first one, but I'd love to hear more about it. The first question is really simple. What gets you motivated at work? And you just talked about that sense of meaning, that sense of purpose, that you've been through this yourself, that you want to try to help others. Is that the main motivator? Is there anything else to it?

Lynn Greenburg: [00:21:58] Yeah. So, the main motivation is definitely the mission of the company and the fact that I want people to experience their new opportunities in the best possible way. The other thing that I will say that is really, really self-fulfilling is that building a startup, especially when you're on a three-person team, as I mentioned earlier, you're wearing all different hats. So, you're really forced to learn at an expedited rate. And so, selfishly, what gets me up in the morning too is just knowing that I'm going to learn so much just in that day, and it's going to be kind of crafted around something that I love. And for that reason, I feel very, very fortunate, and I just want to kind of keep that going as long as I can.

Andy Molinsky: [00:22:56] It sounds like you're not learning hypotheticals. You're learning to solve real problems associated with your real company, with real deadlines and pressure, right? So, I imagine that really intensifies things.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:23:08] Definitely. And what I've really learned is what's important is knowing what you're not good at. And when you're on a three-person team, there's a lot that you're not going to be good at, and there's a lot that your teammates are not going to be good at. And so, not being afraid to  reach out to experts, and really seek the right information, and get to the bottom of it is important. Just being resourceful is really important.

Andy Molinsky: [00:23:35] Talk to us about -- Another question I have is about mentoring. You've you've kind of, I guess, hinted at it a bit, but let's be explicit about it. Do you have a mentor? Do you have mentors? Do you mentor others? I think you do from the bio where you talked about that. Talk about the role of mentoring, its importance, its challenges, and so on.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:23:59] It's so important. I'm very fortunate in the past that I have a bunch of great mentors and a bunch of different expertise that have kind of led me to where I am now. And I think it's so important, especially being a woman in tech, that you do have a mentor. And it's always great when you're going through a difficult task, like building a startup, that you have someone that you can bounce ideas off of, that you can go to and say, "Look, I know you've been through this situation before. What would you say are the best ways to go about it?" And just having people that you can rely on that have your best interests in mind is so, so important.

Andy Molinsky: [00:24:47] How do you-

Lynn Greenburg: [00:24:49] And-

Andy Molinsky: [00:24:49] Yeah. I was just going to ask. I mean, I totally agree. And what you said just opens up so many other questions. I mean, the very first one that I have, if I take the perspective of someone listening, is, how do I find a mentor? How do you do it? You can't just email someone and say, "Please be my mentor." How do you develop-

Lynn Greenburg: [00:25:12] Yeah.

Andy Molinsky: [00:25:12] How do you find, and cultivate, and develop mentors?

Lynn Greenburg: [00:25:16] Yes. So, they come in a bunch of different forms. So, a professor could be a mentor. A parent could be a mentor. There are also a lot of different programs like what I'm a part of where you see the Women in Business Initiative is a whole mentoring program in which they match you with people that are willing to mentor. There are also ways that you can form relationships with people that you admire, either their skill sets or holistically in person and just continue the dialogue with them.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:25:55] I have a lot of people that reach out to me, a lot of college students or people that have just started out with a startup that have said, "Can I just kind of put you in the loop? And can I keep your number on hand if I have a question or if I want to bounce some idea?" And people that have been in the industry have been in that situation, and they're really just really, really open to give back and to help in any way that they can.

Andy Molinsky: [00:26:28] So, I can't help but ask you one quick follow up. You mentioned about being a woman in tech, and you mentioned -- you, sort of, insinuated that that was challenging. Can you, sort of, build that out just a little bit? Maybe what are some of the top two or three challenges of being a woman and tech for people listening who might be interested in that, might be interested in going into tech?

Lynn Greenburg: [00:26:52] Yeah. So, on top of the statistic that really indicate that, I think, it's less than 3% of venture capital funding goes towards women founders, there are still some challenges with, I would say, the -- how would I -- how do I phrase this? Kind of the gender roles. And kind of, for instance, guys are more likely to boast about their startup and first be accepted; whereas, women are more likely to downplay it, and use words that are maybe not as aggressive. And as a result, it prevents them, a lot of times, from getting funding and getting clients.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:27:42] And so, it's problem that we see in the industry, but, I think, what I've tried to do is really flipping it and seeing how can I use it towards my advantage. So, for instance, there are a lot of venture capital funds now that are solely focusing on female investors. So, how can identify those? How can I approach venture capital firms and say, "Look, I see that you have not invested in a female founder. How can -- I can provide value in this way. So, being a woman in venture capital has opened up a ton of different doors just in terms of speaking engagement and being able to mentor people. Again, you're unique. And I think there's something to be said about that.

Andy Molinsky: [00:28:36] Well, this has been great. I just have one final question for you. It's a question I've been asking everyone. And every time I ask it, I always think of how I would answer it, and I still don't have a great answer. Hoping you do. The question is, if you could just rewind back to college - and for you, it wasn't that long ago, but you've gotten a lot of experience now from your experience in London, Bloomberg, and now Pivt, and so on - what advice would you give the, sort of, 20-year-old version of you in college majoring in Politics and Sociology, not quite sure what you want to do? Maybe even a little worried about the future. What advice would you give?

Lynn Greenburg: [00:29:20] I would say just enjoy. First of all, enjoy every moment of college. There's so much to take advantage of there from the great speakers to the fantastic professors, to the friends that you will make that will be by your side forever. It's such a fantastic experience. And I would just adjust to really take it all in and make the most of it.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:29:45] In terms of you know worrying about what your next step is, I think, like I said, really trying to box out everyone else. Just focus in on what's important to you. What makes you happy? What makes you tick? And are there skills that you really want to develop to make you more valuable to the leaders, to the society in the future?

Lynn Greenburg: [00:30:13] And really understanding that your first job is not going to be your last one. And nothing is [merry]. And you can really -- it's really important to keep an open mind, and to embrace opportunity, and to really stay in tune as much as you can with what you're feeling, and what you like, what you don't like, what you want to change. And most of all, stay curious. I think that's the biggest thing that has served me to this point is all of that has been driven through curiosity and just not giving up. So, wishing them all the best, and it's a fantastic time to be in. So, really, just that.

Andy Molinsky: [00:31:06] That's great. I love that point about curiosity. Okay. So, we're at the end. Thank you so much for being our guest today. Really, really interesting stuff. And if listeners want to find out more about you and your work, how can they find you?

Lynn Greenburg: [00:31:22] Absolutely. So, I'm more than happy to speak to anyone. So, feel free to e-mail me at That's P-I-V-T-A-P-P dot com. Or you can find me on LinkedIn as Lynn Greenburg.

Andy Molinsky: [00:31:39] All right. Well, thanks again. Really, really great stuff. Thanks, Lynn.

Lynn Greenburg: [00:31:43] Thank you for having me.

Andy Molinsky: [00:31:46] Thank you for listening to From the Dorm Room to the Board Room. If you're interested in learning more about the work that I do in helping people step outside their comfort zones and transition successfully into the professional world, please visit my website, That's A-N-D-Y-M-O-L-I-N-S-K-Y dot com. And also feel free to email me directly at with any feedback or ideas for guests for feature podcasts.

Andy Molinsky: [00:32:15] This podcast is brought to you by Brandeis University's International Business School. By teaching rigorous business, finance, and economics, connecting students to best practices, and immersing them in international experiences, Brandeis International Business School prepares exceptional individuals from around the globe to become principled professionals in companies and public institutions worldwide. Thank you so much for listening.