My guest today is Roxanne Petraeus, co-founder and CEO of Ethena, a modern compliance platform for businesses. Roxanne’s background is pretty incredible, before starting Ethena she was a Rhodes Scholar, served in the US Army, and worked at McKinsey. In our conversation, we cover the lessons Roxanne ported over from her military career to building a business, how she’s trying to make compliance training not suck, and the woeful state of funding female founders in VC today and what can be done about it. Far from a boring conversation about compliance, this was an incredible discussion with one of the best founders I’ve met recently. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Roxanne Petraeus.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:03:29] - [First question] - What Ethena does
[00:06:31] - Lessons from her military career
[00:09:13] - Good and bad elements of leadership training from the military
[00:11:35] - The problem of what sucks in compliance training
[00:14:33] - The enablement of bad behavior among people with power
[00:17:56] - The original idea for Ethena and bringing it to market
[00:21:15] - Determining who is the right person to serve first
[00:24:03] - Lessons for building good software
[00:26:21] - How they have adapted to working in and around regulation
[00:29:31] - Getting other companies to buy into the product
[00:34:45] - Creating effective content and measuring that effectiveness
[00:38:13] - Darker sides of growing the business and raising money
[00:39:57] - How ‘the Motherhood Penalty’ Plays Out for Startup Founders
[00:43:12] - Fixing the problems with bias in venture capital investing
[00:46:57] - What is the outlook and long-term vision for the business
[00:50:38] - What has her most excited for the future
[00:51:53] - Most interesting about the Rhodes Scholar program
[00:54:02] - Kindest thing anyone has done for her