Fundraising, Wellness, and the Marketing World from the Eyes of a Woman: A Conversation with Kate Bradley Chernis

Lots of talk in this industry sounds like people just yelling “GO GO GO!”. As CEOs and business owners, we would work ourselves to death if we could. Our James VanReusel sat down with Lately CEO Kate Bradley Chernis to talk about how the world of marketing and fundraising intersects with the difficulties that can come with this industry, financially, physically, and mentally. 

What Is Lately?

Lately is a social media management platform that atomizes any video and turns it into mini movie trailers automatically. No more sifting through longform video content by hand, Lately’s AI takes out all the best chunks for you. The AI is soooo smart that it can do the same thing with blogs and podcasts!

How Does Lately Prep a Company to Go Fundraising? 

“If you build it they will come” IS NOT TRUE.

Lately markets Lately, 98% sales conversion all because the AI is smart AND because we can do it all by hand (but don’t need to). Lately gives you another FULL-TIME employee who just does marketing… except it’s a bunch of code

What Have You Learned on Your Journey?

Kate has raised 3.23 million from some of the top investors in Silicon Valley AND New York, and yet has raised no venture money. 

Truth is,the goal posts keep moving for women. Even if you check all the boxes and are by far the best in the room (as Kate is), it’s still about a billion times harder to raise capital for women than your male competitors. 

Kate’s mindset around fundraising is that the venture capital world is mostly broken. She’s met with over 614 investors in 2 years ALONE and only 2 or 3 have taken the time to not “science the system” to death. Thanks Shark Tank. 

People forget you’re more than just an elevator pitch full of BS buzzwords. We’re human.

Being a Woman Sucks Sometimes

Male investors LOVE to waste women’s time. This business world does not operate like the rest of the world. In this world, no one says what they want and when they are bored with you they just disappear. 

At the start of her journey, Kate wanted to come across as a professional, briefcase and all. Now, she’s realized that people want you to OWN them. Confidence that crosses the line over to arrogance, even if you come across as a rude because you’re a woman. 

Every meeting is a demo day, not a coffee talk. They want a show, they want you to dance. 

How to Stay Sane

All of this is easier said than done, right? But here are a few things Kate touches on that help keep her going amid all the chaos.

Gym and meditation are something that she does daily, as well as focusing on getting the best sleep and diet as possible. One thing to keep you sane is finding a Who for the How. Who can do this for you, who can help with that. Create an army of Whos! 

Bottom line: IT’S HARD. 

One nugget of truth she’s had to learn along the way is to grant herself the grace to say no, which is sooo much harder than expected because the pressure is so great. It is essential to acknowledge when it’s not working. Whether it’s your health, or your business… When you acknowledge it, you can begin making the change. 

If something goes wrong at work, it’s a bouncy ball that bounces back. But if something happens with your family life or physical health, it’s like dropping a crystal ball. Don’t drop the crystal ball for a ball that will just bounce back. 


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