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    Meet The Team: Pete Cipollone

    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."

    USAGold_PeteInstaViserPhoto 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.

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    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?

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    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.

    Meet The Team: Michael Colella

    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 Michael Colella, one of our customer success managers at InstaViser. 

    At InstaViser, Michael is responsible for helping launch our customers' individually branded platforms. He's there to make sure our software runs smoothly and our users have a great experience. 

    When he’s not working on InstaViser, he is competing on the US National Rowing Team as he pursues his dream of making the 2020 Summer Olympics. We sat down with Michael to talk about what he loves about InstaViser and how mentorship has played a role in his life.

    What do you do at InstaViser?

    I am member of the Customer Success Team at InstaViser! In this role, I work with our customer service and technology teams to ensure a smooth platform launch and to maximize the impact of our connective platforms. I take pride in understanding our customer’s unique user population and creatively customizing our solution to their specific needs.

    How did you first get started at IV?

    Our vice president, Meghan O’Leary approached me in August of 2017. I had a background in the SaaS industry (Service as a Software) and was looking for a job where I could work while continuing to pursue my Olympic dreams. I was moved by InstaViser’s mission to empower people through connections and knew I wanted to be a member of this team.

    What do you do outside of IV?

    I am currently a member of the Oakland Training Center for Men’s Rowing and I'm pursuing a spot on the 2020 Olympic team. It is absolute dream to train with such a talented group of athletes and a truly inspirational coaching staff.

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    How does your National team background impact your work?

    Rowing is truly a team sport. It takes every athlete in the boat to get across the finish line first. A huge part of achieving success is understanding how you best help the team reach peak performance when it matter most. I take this approach in my work by identifying our biggest opportunities and understanding the role I can play in creating a solution.

    Why do you think that mentoring is important?

    I am self proclaimed mentorship nerd. Through academics, athletics, and my career I have been lucky to have amazing role models and mentors that have dramatically impacted my professional and athletic career. I believe that mentors show you that success is possible, provide invaluable feedback, and help you pick up the pieces when you lose your way. 

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    Little known fact about yourself.

    Before I began rowing, I was determined to become an executive chef. I have since traded in my knife for an oar, but you can still catch me impressing a crowd with my mise en place skills and I am always ready for a Top Chef QuickFire Challenge.

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    Meet The Team: Meghan O'Leary

    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 Meghan O’Leary, the Vice President at InstaViser. 

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    At InstaViser, Meghan is responsible for our marketing, sales, business development and customer success departments. (She's busy!) She serves as the lead on making sure that our customer networks are running smoothly and especially loves hearing from users who’ve had life-changing conversations with mentors they met on our platforms.

    When she’s not working on InstaViser, she can be found competing for Team USA around the world as a professional athlete for the United States Rowing Team. We asked Meghan what she likes about InstaViser and how her professional athletic career plays a part in her day-to-day.

    What do you do at InstaViser?

    Basically, a little bit of everything! As Vice President, I spend most of our time leading our Customer Success, Marketing, Sales and Business Development efforts. Pete Cipollone (CEO) is the lead on the Product and Technology side of things, and so I primarily manage the “other” which involves selling our product and ensuring our customers have the most optimal experience possible with our platforms. In the early stages of any startup, everybody has to inevitably wear many hats. This suits me well, as I pride myself on my ability to multi-task and truly enjoy learning different parts of building and managing a business.

    Meghan O'Leary Work 

    How did you first get started at IV?

    I literally ran into Pete in the Atlanta airport during the fall of 2014. We are both Olympic rowers (though at different times) and had served on the USRowing Board of Directors together for a brief period. We got to catching up and told me about InstaViser. The company was still in its very early stages of launching and he was looking for someone to help with some content and UI improvements. I was intrigued so came on part-time for what I thought would be about a month or two of contract work, and here I am three and half years later, helping build and lead the company!

    What do you do outside of IV?

    Outside of my time with InstaViser, I spend most of my time training and competing with the United States National Rowing Team.  Additionally, I travel as a motivational speaker, serve on the USRowing Board of Directors, and “walking the InstaViser walk,” I take the time to mentor student-athletes as they are preparing for life after college athletics. In my other, though limited free time, I love going on hikes and exploring the San Francisco Bay Area (Marin Highlands, Half Moon Bay and the Santa Cruz Mountains are some of my favorites).

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    How does your Olympic background impact your work?

    All elite athletes have to be a bit entrepreneurial in their pursuit of career success. Throughout my journey to the Rio 2016 Olympics and continued road to Tokyo 2020, I am constantly innovating, self-reflecting, and analyzing what works and what doesn’t about my training, nutrition and recovery. As you need to do with any startup in order to grow and become profitable, I’m always learning from the successes and failures I face as an athlete. Perhaps my best preparation for working at InstaViser has been having to manage my own athletic success and the problem-solving, strategy, and logistics that goes into it.

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    Why do you think that mentoring is important?

    Mentorship, coaching, advising, teaching, or whatever term you use for it is the way of progress and making our world a better place. Mentorship is essentially sharing wisdom from experiences, and passing on the lessons learned from successes and failures in hopes to improve the lives of the next generation so that they can start a few rungs higher on the ladder (or skip a few steps even!) and achieve great things. Especially as a woman in today’s socioeconomic climate and for those who have paved new paths and achieved success, it is so important to put your hand out to lift young girls up and bring other women with you. No one does it alone and mentorship is the key to keeping that positive feedback loop of progress and positive change in motion.

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    Little known fact about yourself.

    I have a twin brother, Jon who is way cooler than I’ll ever be.

     

    Keep up with Meghan on Twitter and Instagram