When you're starting a company--especially when you're a woman with a controversial product--you're bound to face skepticism, and even ridicule. That was Cindy Eckert's experience founding Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the company behind Addyi, a drug meant to increase libido in women. In 2015, immediately after Addyi received FDA approval, Eckert sold Sprout to Valeant Pharmaceuticals for $1 billion. (Valeant later sold the company back to former Sprout shareholders, and Eckert regained her CEO role.) She's also an investor: In 2016, she founded The Pink Ceiling, a venture capital firm that invests in female-led businesses. She spoke to Inc. senior writer Christine Lagorio-Chafkin during Inc.'s "Real Talk" streaming event on Tuesday. Watch the clips below for Eckert's advice to entrepreneurs.
On what a "culture of ownership" really means:
On why your company's values should be more than a few words written on the office wall:
On the importance of trusting your gut and acting quickly:
Why Eckert believes in bootstrapping your company at the beginning:
On the three ingredients for a successful pitch:
Eckert's favorite strategy to win over naysayers: