Today's Entrepreneur


Today's Entrepreneur: Melinda Wittstock

No. 1 mistake: Surrounding themselves with 'yes-men' and b-listers

Innovation series by Kristin Karaoglu
January 11, 2013
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Today's Entrepreneur is Melinda Wittstock,  CEO and founder of NewsiT. NewsiT is a mobile ‘big data’ platform for real-time algorithmic validation of original crowd-sourced content for brands, campaigns, media seeking to attract and retain committed consumers. People connect around interests they share and people they trust to get more relevant and accurate information – and valuable conversations with other users.

According to her VEQ, Melinda is a thought leader and is good at sales execution and product management.

NewsiT is competing in the Splash SF startup competition. Check out who's competing, and vote for your favorite or enter to compete.

Vator’s community is the home to entrepreneurs who embrace their passion and follow their dreams. Our profiles allow members to express themselves by sharing their interests, lessons learned, as well as bits and pieces of their roller-coaster journey.

These profiles give entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase themselves and tell their story. So if you are an entrepreneur, a serial entrepreneur, or even an aspiring entrepreneur, we'd like to hear from you.  

I am a(n):

Companies I've founded or co-founded:
NewsiT, Capitol News Connection, Montreal Mirror

Startups I worked for:
NewsiT, Capitol News Connection, Montreal Mirror

If you are an entrepreneur, why?
I want to change the world.

My favorite startups:
Airbnb, LinkedIn, Evernote, Pandora, Instagram

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?
Reward and frustration are two sides of the same coin. No one ever said being an entrepreneur and pioneer was easy. I love being able to put my prescience and vision into practice, and being ahead of the curve is empowering if at times a little lonely. You need superhuman strength from within, the stamina to stay the course and humility to know when to change course. I love iterating to create a product people want to use - something that can improve lives. And working to build the great team of 'A' people you need to succeed.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?
Either surrounding themselves with 'yes-men' and b-listers, or failing to identify and plan for the 'what if's'.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?
1. There are things you cannot control, and success is measured by how you respond and learn from challenges. (Or, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger".
2. The team is everything. Bring in people smarter with different perspectives and expertise. Hire A people.
3. Don't expect to raise money until you have a great product people are using and paying for.

What do people misunderstand about being an entrepreneur?
They think it is easy and glamorous.

What investors, angels, VCs, do you most admire and why?
At NewsiT we see our investors as partners in growing an exciting, scalable and game changing business. We admire angels and VCs who work with management to grow valuable businesses. These are investors - not speculators!

(Want to be profiled? Just fill out your Vator profile and we'll find you! Or you can email

Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

NewsiT LLC
Description: NewsiT’s mobile and social platform verifies original crowd-sourced content in real time to help media, campaigns and brands attrac...
Bio: My grandmother told me I was 'disruptive' when at 5 I launched my first business. I'm an entrepreneur and award winning journal...

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