Executive Director, Rent the Runway Foundation
Jennifer Stybel is Executive Director of Rent the Runway Foundation, a nonprofit that democratizes entrepreneurship for female founders. The Foundation’s signature program is Project Entrepreneur—a national initiative launched with founding partner UBS to grow the pipeline of women building high-growth businesses through its accelerator, venture competition, educational workshops, and digital hub. Jennifer is host of Project Entrepreneur’s podcast #theTools. Her career has spanned the media, arts, and tech industries—including Shutterstock, EMI Music, The Paley Center for Media, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts—where she supports creators and their work. Jennifer holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Describe a moment that could’ve broken you, but didn’t. How did you get past the struggle?
There was a moment where my personal, family, and professional lives all hit a low point at the same time. To get through it, I leaned heavily on my family and friends, joined a women’s circle, and asked for help when I needed it. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
You really can do anything you put your mind to (so choose wisely).
Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
My mother. She was the first in her family to go to college, put herself through school while working as a nurse, got her MBA, founded a company that has been in business for 37 years, and created a wonderful life for her family. And she’s my best friend.
If you could create a slogan for your life, what would it be?
Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.
How do you define your purpose & mission in life?