Here is the second half of The Venture SpotLight interview with Rebecca Lovell, the Chief Business Officer of GeekWire, the tech news site based in Seattle.  You can find the first installment of our talk with Rebecca here.

Biggest mistake you have made in your career/business?  Staying in a comfortable job for too long back in my corporate days.

What did you study as an undergraduate at Carleton College?  I designed my own American Studies Major: sort of history-based with a little English and religion and women’s studies all mashed up.  I was absolutely set to go into a non-profit.  That was my game plan.

What did you do instead?  Great big companies would come to Carleton, this little liberal arts college, because they wanted to hire smart people and train them to do whatever it was they needed.  I ended up filling a slot at an informational session to take notes for someone else.  The recruiter convinced me to come meet with him.  I borrowed a suit, interviewed and the next thing I know, I am in a management development program for an industrial supply distribution company in Chicago.  So that’s what I did with my liberal arts degree.  I went and learned everything there is to learn about logistics and socket head cap screws and marketing and finance and accounts receivable and inventory management along the way and six years later I woke up in Cleveland.

How did you end up getting involved with startups?  I had moved back to Seattle and decided to pursue my life dream of getting involved in the non-profit world.  I decided to get my MBA because I wish there were a little more business acumen infused into running a non-profit like a business – it’s got to be a sustainable entity.

[While in the University of Washington MBA Program], I was asked to join a team entering a venture capital investment competition.  We got great advice from the Seattle venture community and ended up winning the Intramural, Regional and International Competition.  [Note: Rebecca now teaches a class at the UW for MBA students entering this competition.]  That led to an internship with the non-profit Alliance of Angels, a regional group of angel investors with an economic development mission, and ended up with me becoming their program director.

That nonlinear path got me into the wonderful world of start-ups and technology and investing.  After Alliance of Angels, I ran the Northwest Entrepreneur Network for a few years, which was all about helping entrepreneurs.  And now with GeekWire, we want to be the megaphone for innovation in this region and that supports all of things that I care about and what I think this community needs, which is great talent, innovative companies and people putting money into them and you know, once the money is out, putting it back into the tank.

You are known for enjoying karaoke.  I would say I’m a junkie, a full-on karaoke addict.  I have this saying about how karaoke is similar to a startup:  it is forty percent song selection which is essentially product market fit; forty percent selling it, which is all about execution and not being afraid of failure; and twenty percent actual talent. 

What music are you listening to these days?  I’m a Pandora girl.  I would say that my current flavor right now is Devil’s Haircut by Beck, mixed with Cake and White Stripes.  It’s a delicious cocktail.

Best advice anyone ever gave you?  That I need to just get over myself.  If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.

What would you be doing if you were not with GeekWire/working in technology?  Probably teaching I get my fix one class/one quarter a year.  And of course pursuing a nationwide karaoke tour. :-)