25 October 2018

A Tale of Two Cities

All week, I was looking forward to Saturday July 28th. Then it came. I woke up at 5am because I couldn’t sleep. In a few hours, we would be headed to a walking tour of a neighborhood well-known for gun violence and I was getting nervous. I didn’t want to back out, but I was […]

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25 August 2018

A Meeting Ten Years in the Making

I was so nervous, I felt nauseous. It was Saturday August 11th at 9am and I was on my way downtown to see my mom for the first time in ten years. Would I remember what she looked like? Would she remember what I looked like? Do I look anything like I did at 22 […]

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15 August 2018

About Journalism

I’ve been thinking a lot about a recent event I attended featuring Jennifer Brandel of Hearken. If you haven’t heard of Hearken, the best way I can explain it is to send you to Curious City, a WBEZ program she also founded that has served as Hearken’s inspiration. It’s a model of journalism rooted in […]

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10 April 2018


Several years ago, after not speaking to or seeing my mom in many many months, I got a text message asking me to meet her at the Starbucks at Eastview Mall. At the time, I thought the mall Starbucks to be such an odd choice of location, but I’d understand why she chose it later […]

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15 March 2018

What I Learned From Several Years in Startups

You already know that after several years, I stepped off the startup hamster wheel. While I’m sure that separation will give me more and much better perspective, I’ve been itching to get some of my experiences down on paper. I’ve been given a wealth of opportunity in this community and am thankful for all it […]

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14 January 2018

A tough lesson

Here’s a little story about a lot of screw-ups that finally pushed me to design my work around my life, instead of the other way around.

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30 October 2017

Back to My Roots

It took writing the following into the card for a departing colleague to remind me of the kind of work that sets my heart ablaze: “I don’t know what to say other than thank you. You challenged me without even knowing it. You made me think bigger. Made me aspire to be something greater. Showed […]

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3 May 2015

Where Did All My Posts Go?

Oof. So, when you get distracted and let your hosting lapse, turns out they do actually end up deleting all of your website content.

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14 January 2014

The Rollercoaster of Emotions That is Startup Hiring

When you uproot your entire life and move across the country to chase a crazy dream, you gain a weird sort of notoriety back home. A mix of hope and cynicism. Wide-eyed encouragement with a dash of misanthropy. When you fly in the face of everything you’ve been cautioned against, your elders are sitting on […]

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30 December 2013

Thanks, 2013

As I sit in my Chicago apartment, an official Startup Institute alumna, preparing for interviews for jobs I only dreamed about a couple months prior, I can’t help but to think about the year that got me here. What were some of the defining moments?

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20 December 2013

Top Ten Startup Institute Chicago Moments

It’s hard to distill eight life-changing weeks down to ten top moments, but here’s my best shot:

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11 December 2013

The Finish Line

It still doesn’t feel real yet, but I’m less than a week away from officially being a Startup Institute graduate.

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11 December 2013

The Goods: Part Two

A continuation of some of my favorite learnings as a student of Startup Institute:

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10 December 2013

The Goods: Part One

So many people have asked, “What are you actually learning there at Startup Institute? Do you feel like you’re coming away with worthwhile skills? Are you getting your money’s worth?” Here’s the short answer: yes.

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1 December 2013

From Scratch

A good friend from home was in town last night and even just seeing his face reminded me of how much I miss about the network of friends and colleagues I left back in Rochester. Mostly, the pure existence of one.

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22 November 2013

Don’t Be a Jerk

If there’s one theme that has been pretty consistent through the all-star lineup of Startup Institute fireside chat speakers, it’s this – don’t be an asshole.

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12 November 2013

Drinking From the Fire Hose

One of the things I remember distinctly about the first day of Startup Institute came from Jenn, the director.

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24 October 2013


Yesterday, we had a session on emotional intelligence. What it means, how it affects your relationships with your team and how you can be better at it.

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22 October 2013

Drawing the Owl

I had read about this trademark Startup Institute phrase long before I walked in the doors, but it meant something today.

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8 October 2013

Dream Makers

During my last week of work, I received an email in my inbox with the subject line, “for Kaleigh.”

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7 October 2013

How it Feels

It’s Monday morning. For the past five years of my life, that has meant getting up at 6am and getting ready for work. Skirt and high heels, meetings and cubicles, 8 to 5, rinse and repeat. Today, Monday morning means the start of my two weeks journey packing up my life and everything I’ve known […]

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