Clara Brenner is co-founder of Tumml, an urban impact accelerator that connects entrepreneurs with funding, mentors, and a community of people dedicated to urban impact. Clara was named one of Forbes’ 2014 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs. This week on Sam’s Dream Blog, Clara shares about doing something that’s never been done before and about convincing others of the benefits.
Sam's Dream Blog: What’s your professional dream? How did your dream originate?
Clara Brenner: My dream is to build a pipeline of companies who are making our cities better places to live. I started thinking about this when I was working for a company called Fundrise, which is an investment platform that lets members of the community invest directly in local real estate. I wanted to see more companies like this -- mission-oriented and highly scalable -- out there improving quality of life for communities across the US.
SDB: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Clara Brenner: I'm very proud to have started my organization, Tumml, with my friend Julie [Lein]. We both feel very passionately about urban impact entrepreneurship, and we knew we wanted to work together. It's been a year and a half, and I'm so glad we got our dream off the ground!
SDB: What have been the biggest obstacles or challenges to realizing your dream?
Clara Brenner: While getting Tumml off the ground, the biggest challenge was convincing potential funders of our vision. No one had done anything like Tumml before, so explaining our plans was difficult -- and it took time. We got a lot of nos before we got some yeses. But it was totally worth it!
SDB: What reasons were most compelling in convincing potential funders to invest in Tumml?
Clara Brenner: We found that many of our funders were very interested in supporting urban revitalization and economic development. When we were able to show them the direct benefit Tumml startups have on these efforts, they got excited.
SDB: What lessons have you learned in pursuit of your professional dream?
Clara Brenner: I have learned that everything takes longer than you think it will. You can set timetables for yourself, but don't expect everything to fall into place exactly when you want it to!