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Young Founder Wants to Help You Know Yourself and Your Teammates Better With New Product, A Founder’s Story with Kelsey Bishop

I’m Kelsey Bishop, the Founder, and CEO of Candor, a professional network that’s focused on authentic profiles of how people work, not just what they’ve worked on. Previously, I’ve led Partnerships, Operations, and Growth teams at companies like Vanta, Omni, and Campus Insights. I also am an active angel investor in pre-seed and seed-stage companies. I’m originally from New Jersey, went to Boston College, and currently live in Lisbon.
Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?
I grew up in a small town in New Jersey called Kinnelon with four younger brothers. I didn’t love the chaos of my household growing up, but I think it shaped how I work today. My brothers were all incredibly hard-working, honest, and so kind and in a way, my family was the first team I was on. I take a lot of what I’ve learned from them to how I am building the Candor team today.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur? 
Most of my career has been as an early-stage startup employee. I spent time working on Operations, Growth, Partnerships, and anything else under the hood that is part of early company building. After reflecting on 7 years of building, I realized that the most invigorating part of my startup experience has been on teams with incredible culture – where the team pushed each other to be better, strived for excellent performance, and where days of grit and hard work felt like magic. After reflecting on this a bit and realizing that employees take such a gamble when they join a company, not knowing whether the team will be a fit, I launched Candor in August 2021 to try to solve that problem. I built the first version of Candor in Bubble, a no-code tool, and launched it on Product Hunt. After bootstrapping initial growth, I decided to raise venture funding and bring on a team.
What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
Create a high culture bar and don’t hire anyone who doesn’t meet it. Every founding teammate you bring on will be a part of the fabric of your culture. We’ve had to make some tough calls to get this right, but ultimately it’s worth it to have a team that feels like magic to work on.

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