Five Questions For … Carolyn Rodz, Founder of the Circular Board

Houston—As a child, Carolyn Rodz couldn’t decide what she wanted to do when she grew up.

Doctor, lawyer, teacher: they each appealed to her. Rodz finally figured out the common thread among all of her interests—a desire to help others. “I’m an idealist,” she says. “I truly believe there is a solution to everything, and I think that is why I want to help drive those [solutions] forward.”

Today, she’s the founder and CEO of the Circular Board, a Houston accelerator for women entrepreneurs that she founded two years ago. The program is online and eschews traditional pitch-oriented demo days for feedback sessions that she says are more valuable for women.

For this week’s “Five Questions For …” Rodz talks about why she’s motivated to help others, her favorite snack, and cocktails with Amelia Earhart.

Here is a lightly edited transcript of our conversation.

Xconomy: Where do you think your drive comes from?

Carolyn Rodz: I am very driven by our mission. It’s easy when you’re running a company to get caught up in the details of daily task list. When I get around female founders and hear stories and the difference we’re making, it just makes me want to work harder. It’s the fuel at 2 am to get me excited about what I’m doing. I know it matters but to be reminded of it helps.

Helping others has always been in many ways core to my being. I don’t like to see problems and leave them alone. Every time I see  problems—as evidence of notebooks of the business ideas I’ve had next to my bed since I was 10—I am driven to solve them.

X: What’s the most embarrassing thing about yourself that you’re willing to admit publicly?

CR: I can eat an entire, well, multiple boxes of Girl Scout cookies in a single sitting. [Editor’s note: She might not be alone in said compunction. …] I’m a cookie addict. My entire team now knows when things are crazy busy and anyone needs a pick-me-up, cookies are our company go-to. Any cookie, really. We’re pretty cookie agnostic.

I do Tiff’s Treats orders late at night; it helps me power through late-at-night work. I feel like what I’m doing is justifiable because it’s a woman-owned company … or Betty … Next Page »

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Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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