At InstaViser, we’re fueled by an amazing group of people who are dedicated to building communities and helping people forge connections. Outside of the office, our interests vary, with several Olympians, Olympic hopefuls and professional athletes. One key ingredient that brings us together is a passion for mentorship and appreciation for the value that advisors and mentors bring to guiding you along the way on your path to success.
Meet Pete Cipollone, our founder and CEO of InstaViser.
"I am now chief cook and bottle washer at InstaViser, working with an incredibly motivated and talented team," said Cipollone. "Going way back, in third grade, I started programming Commodore PETs and Radio Shack TRS-80s and was immediately enthralled. A few years later I got involved in rowing as a coxswain. Those two things led to three Olympics, a gold medal, a couple of software patents, and a wonderful group of friends who joined up along the way."
Photo Credit: Andy Clark
We sat down with Pete to talk about how he started the company, what he loves about InstaViser and how mentorship has played a role in his life.
What do you do at InstaViser?
I still do a bit of everything but my main focus is on ensuring our people have what they need to make our customers successful, and also growing our customer base, of course.
How did you first get started at IV?
While I was training for the Olympics, I worked at big companies. It was an extremely valuable experience but I knew that early-stage tech is where my heart lies and I couldn't shake that feeling. InstaViser is the synthesis of my passions: using technology to help people achieve their goals by connecting them to people who have accomplished great things and want to give back. From my experience, I think of it as “world-class coaching” and I know the difference it makes in people’s lives.
What do you do outside of IV?
Not much! I try to get a couple workouts in during the week, and like to cook when I have time. I tend to pick a recipe, throw on some Wu-Tang, and then try to perfect my own take on it. The habit of practice-practice-practice until you can’t get it wrong is way too ingrained in me now.
How does your Olympic background impact your work?
That gold medal team is still as central to my identity as InstaViser. In going through the Olympic experience, the biggest realization for me was the power of the once-in-a-lifetime team. It’s something I’m always working toward. I also learned that the first step toward being the best at something is being, um, not so good at it. If a goal is worth achieving, then it’s worth fighting through the part where you suck at it.
Why do you think that mentoring is important?
Anyone who has tasted even the smallest bite of success can point back to the people who steered them along the way. Maybe it was a teacher or a coach, but just as often, it was someone who stepped in and made the difference, for no reason other than they saw potential and wanted to see it realized. Maybe they saw a bit of themselves in this person and hoped to be a role model. The whys matter less than the fact that they stepped up. Talent is everywhere but opportunity is less so. Technology can and should be doing more to fix this.
Little known fact about yourself.
About six weeks before we won the Olympics, I was diagnosed with melanoma. It took 60 stitches to close the excision. Our team doctor removed the stitches the day before racing started. Being that young and listening to a dermatologist rattling off five-year survival rates was my memento mori. It totally changed how I live my life.