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8Qs with a Silicon Prairie Founder: Elizabeth Gore

Elizabeth Gore
President and Chairwoman of Alice

Elizabeth Gore serves as President of Alice, a digital ecosystem connecting entrepreneurs with the resources they need to scale and succeed. The first-ever artificial intelligence platform for business owners, Alice prioritizes services for women, minorities and veterans.

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Alice founder Elizabeth Gore, photo by Sharon Suh.

SPN: How did you get started?
EG: Fifteen years ago this month, I started my service as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Bolivia. That experience set the stage for my career at the United Nations Foundation and Dell Technologies, where I found a passion for entrepreneurship and the power of small businesses to build our economies and solve global problems. In my role as entrepreneur in residence at the UN Foundation and Dell, I spoke to thousands of women entrepreneurs and heard common challenges: the need for greater access to capital, mentorship, networks and knowledge. I realized then that I needed and wanted to be a part of the solution, and, so, my co-founder and I set out to build the first-ever virtual accelerator for female founders, which then became an even bigger dream – Alice, the first data-driven, machine learning platform for business owners. Through Alice, we are now able to match business owners with the right resources for them at the right time, from a bookkeeping software to information on obtaining loans to the coworking space down the street.

SPN: Is your job what you thought you would be doing when you were a child?
EG: I’m a born-and-raised Texan and grew up at the wrong end of cattle and horses, so I had smelly dreams of being a professional rancher. I certainly didn’t think I’d be leading a technology startup!

SPN: What are you building right now? Why is it important to you?
EG: At Alice, we’re building more than just a technology platform. We’re building a movement that will help more business owners—particularly those who are traditionally underrepresented—succeed big. At our core, helloalice.com helps entrepreneurs connect with all of the resources available to help them achieve their goals, but we’re also working to change things on the macro level through policy changes, community commitments and better, more inclusive storytelling.

SPN: What is your favorite thing that you have ever built? Why was it your favorite?
EG: Alice, of course! I’m so proud of what Carolyn Rodz, our team and I have created. We all come to work pumped up to change the world, so that more business owners can succeed, no matter where they come from or who they know. Passion and purpose get me through the harder days of entrepreneurship.

SPN: If you could improve one thing about your job or the place that you live, what would the change be?
EG: I want what every entrepreneur wants…more hours in the day. I tend to work crazy fast, and there is still never enough time to get everything done, spend time with the family, exercise and accomplish a million other things on the to-do list.

SPN: Was there anything looking back that you would do differently?
EG: One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is to get to “no” fast, whether that’s a partnership or investor opportunity, or something else. I wish I’d learned that sooner because it would have saved a lot of time and energy chasing things that likely weren’t a great fit in the first place.

SPN: What could the SPN community do to help you succeed?
EG: We want to help SPN business owners succeed. That’s success in my mind. We’d love for readers to sign up at helloalice.com (it’s free!) and start exploring the many resources available to them. Alice works by getting to know the individual business owner and matching them to the resources that are right for them, so no two experiences will be exactly the same.

SPN: If you could ask these questions to anyone, who would it be?
EG: Melinda Gates is a hero of mine, and I could listen to her/read about her endlessly. She’s a brilliant businesswoman in her own right and so committed to making the world a better place – there’s so much to admire about her.

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