Frida Polli b
Co-founder and CEO of Pymetrics,
an A.I.-powered recruiting software
company whose clients include
Unilever, Accenture, and Tesla.
I was a single mother raising my
6-year-old daughter, Ele, when
I decided to start my company. I’ll
never forget my dad pulling me aside
and being like, “Are you sure you want
to do this? You have a lot on your
plate already.” But I was passionate
about it. I didn’t want to look back in
fve or 10 years and regret not having
tried it. And I wanted to inspire my
daughter to pursue her dreams.
When you’re a parent, child care
issues come up all the time. When
you’re a single parent, you don’t have
a spouse, so you can be like, “Hey, by
the way … ” One time, I had to bring
Ele to an investor meeting. I remember walking in and saying, “Here she
is—the newest member of the
Pymetrics team.” I’m sure the whole
thing would have been a turnoff for
some investors. Luckily, they rolled
with it. It was an endearing moment,
and I think it kind of broke the ice.
They ended up investing.
When we were launching, I
couldn’t stay until 10, 11, 12 at night
when the engineers were all working.
I couldn’t just not see my daughter
for a month. I doubt anyone believes
this anymore, but I think in those
early days people questioned whether
I was committed.
My co-founder left the company
last year, and I had a really rough time
with it. I was going through all this
self-doubt—can I even do this by
myself? I’m a pretty open and emotional person, and one night I was
crying. Ele came up to me and said,
“Mom, are you crying about Julie
leaving? It’s gonna be OK. You’re
gonna do great.” It was the craziest
thing that she knew what it was about
and that she had such faith that
things were going to be fne. It means
she sees how much passion I have
for the company and how much
it means to me. I’m glad I’m teaching
her that I have something I love so
much. Hopefully that rubs off on her.
Frida Polli, a Harvard- and
with her daughters, Ele, 12,
and Rosie, 1, in their