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Thursday
Dec062018

Smile: The terminal of the future has landed

John Paul Van Wert/Delta(ATLANTA) -- Next time you're catching a flight, think about how many times you're asked to prove you are who you say you are. At the ticket counter, at security and again at the gate -- sifting through your wallet, phone or bag for those verifying documents.

It's a time consuming process for any passenger, especially those flying internationally, but necessary for security on the ground and in the air.

But for some passengers at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world's busiest, there's a few less steps. Just look up and smile for the camera.

Delta Air Lines says their international passengers in Terminal F are the first in the country to have access to biometric technology "from curb to gate," designed to streamline a faster, safer journey onto their flight.

"As a flyer you'll save nine minutes of boarding time a flight flying internationally. So that's nine less minutes you've got to wait in line to get on the aircraft," Delta's Chief Operating Officer Gil West told ABC News. "Rather than having somebody in front of you fumble for their passport and wait for them to do it, wait for somebody to read it."

So how does it work?

First, book an international flight on Delta out of Atlanta (there's plans to expand the program to their smaller hub in Detroit soon). Make sure you enter your passport information during on-line check in. If you don't, no big deal, you can just do it at the airport.

After arriving at the airport, find one of the kiosks in the lobby. You will have more traditional check-in options or you can select "Look."

The camera will perform a facial scan and, if you are who you say you are, match that scan against your passport or visa photo on file with Customs and Border Protection.

If you need to check a bag, the camera will scan your face again at the counter, functioning as your ID and your boarding pass.

You will repeat this process at security and at the gate when you board. A grand total of four times you'd normally scan multiple documents, but instead just look up. Smiling is not required if you are not in the mood.

But please, don't forget to bring the passport. You'll need it when you arrive at your destination.

Delta says they do not store the images of passengers. And, if customers do not want to participate, they just proceed normally, as they’ve always done, through the airport.

"Nearly all 25,000 customers who travel through ATL Terminal F each week are choosing this optional process, with less than 2 percent opting out," Delta said in a press release.

The airline will make Detroit the next home of the "biometric terminal," available to internationally traveling Delta passengers in 2019.

The technology isn't just good news for passengers, but checking images on file with the Department of Homeland Security against the image of the passenger who showed up, provides a clearer picture of who is on each flight, according to CBP's Executive Assistant Commissioner John Wagner.

"We run a series of national security checks, law enforcement checks against that information with the biometrics," Wagner told ABC News. "It allows us to make sure that it belongs to the person."

CBP has been using biometric technology at ports of entry into the country for months and has caught at least 36 people lying about their identity using it.

"Through our inspection, we determined they were not U.S. citizens," the agency said.

In the future, the technology is expected to grow to other airlines. But for now is only in use in Atlanta's international terminal.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Dec052018

24 Amazon workers sent to hospital after robot accidentally unleashes bear spray

GRANT HINDSLEY/AFP/Getty Images(ROBBINSVILLE, N.J.) -- Twenty-four Amazon workers in New Jersey have been hospitalized after a robot accidentally tore a can of bear repellent spray in a warehouse, officials said.

The two dozen workers were treated at five local hospitals, Robbinsville Township communications and public information officer John Nalbone told ABC News. One remains in critical condition and 30 additional workers were treated at the scene.

The official investigation revealed "an automated machine accidentally punctured a 9-ounce bear repellent can, releasing concentrated Capsaican," Nalbone said. Capsaican is the major ingredient in pepper spray.

The fulfillment center was given the all clear by Wednesday evening.

“Today at our Robbinsville fulfillment center, a damaged aerosol can dispensed strong fumes in a contained area of the facility. The safety of our employees is our top priority, and as such, all employees in that area have been relocated to safe place and employees experiencing symptoms are being treated onsite. As a precaution, some employees have been transported to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment,” an Amazon spokeswoman told ABC News in a statement.

The company said safety of employees is always their top priority.

"All of the impacted employees have been or are expected to be released from hospital within the next 24 hours. The safety of our employees is always our top priority and a full investigation is already underway. We’d like to thank all of the first responders who helped with today’s incident,” Amazon said in a statement Wednesday night.

"Robbinsville Fire Dept on scene at Amazon Warehouse on New Canton Way investigating 'fumes' that have several employees complaining of illness. Fire Dept is attempting to isolate the source. EMTs are triaging multiple patients. 7 ambulances and a medic currently assigned," the Robbinsville Fire Department tweeted at 6:05 a.m. on Wednesday.

There is no threat to residents in the area and the fumes were confined to the fulfillment center's third floor south wing, Nalbone said earlier. The warehouse is approximately 1.3 million-square-feet and was ventilated.

Amazon employees are not unionized, but the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union issued a statement about the danger that robots pose to human workers.

"Amazon's automated robots put humans in life-threatening danger today, the effects of which could be catastrophic and the long-term effects for 80 plus workers are unknown," union president Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement. "The richest company in the world cannot continue to be let off the hook for putting hard working people's lives at risk. Our union will not back down until Amazon is held accountable for these and so many more dangerous labor practices."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Dec052018

Newly renovated London movie theater will charge up to $51 a ticket for luxury seating

SrdjanPav/iStock(LONDON) -- A movie theater in London will now charge up to $51 for a single movie ticket after undergoing an 11-month, multimillion-dollar renovation.

The Odeon Luxe Leicester Square, which is in the heart of London, is reopening on Dec. 20. It will have the United Kingdom’s first Dolby Cinema room, with 800 seats.

For moviegoers, it is a "truly immersive and unforgettable cinematic experience, no matter where they are in the 800-seat auditorium," a spokesperson for ODEON said in a statement to ABC News.

The cheapest option available at the theater is the Luxe Classic, with prices ranging from $13 to $29 for a reclinable seat.

The most expensive option — in the Royal Box — can cost anywhere from $26 to $51.

"In the heart of the auditorium, our best ever seats offer a full recline, masses of legroom and extra width and personal tables,” the statement said.

Prices vary depending on the time of day, the location of the seat in the auditorium and date of the movie showing.

After the announcement, people took to Twitter to express both their support and outrage at the prices in the new movie theater.

A Twitter user saying that there are plenty of other options in London, adding that “the ODEON must think we are all stupid or can’t do arithmetic.”

Others said they would be willing to pay for the experience, calling it “cutting edge.”

The theater will also have a selection of food and drinks for sale at its Oscar’s Bar and Cafe, including afternoon tea and champagne, but it has not yet released the price list for its menu.

The Odeon Luxe Leicester Square will reopen later on this month, with showings for Mary Poppins Returns in the Dolby Cinema theater. As it prepares to reopen, the company emphasized that prices will vary in the future.

“The first week of the biggest film of the year during the festive season is obviously peak,” the statement said. “Guests can expect prices will flex throughout the year.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Dec052018

Trump downplays China tensions day after stock market plummets over trade fears

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ahead of his attendance at former President George H.W. Bush's state funeral Wednesday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to express optimism about the state of trade negotiations with China following Tuesday's stock market plunge.

"Very strong signals being sent by China once they returned home from their long trip, including stops, from Argentina," Trump said, speaking of China's attendance at the G-20 summit last weekend. "Not to sound naive or anything, but I believe President Xi meant every word of what he said at our long and hopefully historic meeting. ALL subjects discussed!"

The president's optimism comes just after a day since he publicly declared himself a "Tariff Man," and stood by his protectionist trade policies even after stocks fell nearly 800 points amid confusion over the result of Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

While at the conclusion of Saturday's working dinner, both the U.S. and Chinese delegations said that what amounted to a trade war "truce" between the leaders had been reached, the messaging from the White House that followed seemed to only muddy the waters.

The White House on Monday had to correct a statement by economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who incorrectly told reporters in a conference call that the 90-day negotiating period between the U.S. and China would begin on Jan. 1 instead of Dec. 1.

But the president clarified the next morning in a tweet that the 90-day period began from the time of his sit-down with Xi.

Furthermore, Kudlow seemed to downplay Trump's assertion following the meeting that China agreed to reduce or eliminate its tariffs on American automobiles, telling reporters that there was no "specific" agreement reached.

But Trump again sought to paint the talks in a more positive light, highlighting a report from Bloomberg that "Chinese officials have begun preparing to restart imports of U.S. Soybeans & Liquified Natural Gas" that were put on hold as a result of the president's initial tariffs.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Dec052018

Trump administration recommends postal rate increases

Jorge Villalba/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- A new Trump administration report on the financial challenges facing the U.S. Postal Service could lead to cost increases for online retail giants like Amazon.

Released during the holiday shopping season, the Treasury Department suggested that the Postal Service needs more flexibility in setting rates and that, “packages have not been priced with profitability in mind.”

This formal review comes after President Donald Trump himself has called for rate increases, specifically targeting Amazon. Trump issued an executive order in April that created the Treasury Department Task Force to conduct the review.

Amazon announced that customers bought more products during this year's "Cyber Monday" than any other single day in Amazon's history. Customers of the "Amazon Prime" subscription service ordered more than two billion products with one day or faster delivery times in the past year, the company said Monday.

The 74-page report suggests a singular fix with Amazon alone will not solve the postal services profitability struggles as competitors like UPS and FedEx continue to dominate the shipping market.

“The benefits of the USPS monopolies continue to diminish,” according to the report. “The USPS must pursue price increases, reduce service costs, or exit the business line for any class of mail that falls outside of the determined essential services and that does not cover attributable costs.”

The recommendations also include expanding the definition of those “essential services” to include person-to-person shipping, so small businesses run from residential homes might not see the same increases as online retail giants.

“The USPS should have the authority to charge market-based prices for both mail and package items that are not deemed 'essential services,'” according to the review.

Both Amazon and Treasury Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment from ABC News.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Dec052018

Wells Fargo customer explains how computer glitch cost him his home

Paul Blake/ABC(NEW YORK) -- Financially strapped, Jose Aguilar said it felt as though he'd let his family down in 2015 when Wells Fargo foreclosed on his mortgage. But his disappointment redoubled earlier this year when the bank sent him a letter that said a system glitch caused him to lose his home of four years, he says.

Aguilar is one of an estimated 545 customers who lost their homes when the bank incorrectly denied 870 loan modification requests due to calculation errors.

Wells Fargo, one of the country's largest lenders, revealed the error in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last month.

"Twelve, 13, 15 months time passed, and there was no way of catching up at that point," Aguilar said. "That's when the whole foreclosure proceedings started."

Aguilar, who owned a home in upstate New York, said his wife was so exasperated at one point she was "just like, 'I can't do this anymore,'" and she took their kids and moved back to Florida.

With the foreclosure weighing on his credit score, Aguilar, who works at a manufacturing plant near Syracuse, found it hard to rent a new place and ended up moving into a friend's basement.

"I actually felt like, 'What the hell happened?' Like, I had I thought about suicide many times," he added. "I lost that and everything -- all the money that I put into that house, all the monthly payments that I had to work six, seven days a week just to stay on top of the mortgage."

Aguilar said the bank sent him a check for $25,000 earlier this year in an effort to rectify the mistake, but it was far too late -- he'd already lost his home and his family had been torn apart.

"My kids are going through hell and back," Aguilar said. "My kids still look at me like it was my fault. Now, I'm the one that let them down. Everything is my fault."

Wells Fargo said it's offered the affected families continuing mediation at no cost to them, and has successfully given loan modifications to nearly one million consumers since the glitch occurred.

But Aguilar's lawyer, Mark Dann, said the bank has a lot more explaining to do.

"Wells Fargo has not been transparent at all about how this happened," Dann said. "Wells Fargo told us well we're not servicing these loans anymore because these people have been foreclosed on. I mean, there's all kinds of things that we need to know so that we can form a lawsuit against them or try to negotiate some sort of a reasonable resolution with them."

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Tuesday
Dec042018

Dow dives nearly 800 points on fears of economic slowdown

lucky-photographer/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged on Tuesday amid fears of an economic downturn, led by disappointing bank earnings and unresolved trade issues between the U.S. and China.

The Dow closed 799 points or 3.1 percent lower at 25,027. Shares of major U.S. banks also took a dive with Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Capital One bottoming out at 52-week lows. Toll Brothers also gave weaker-than-expected guidance for 2019, citing a slowing housing market.

The uncertainty over the global economy weighed down all of the indices. The tech-heavy NASDAQ ended the day 3.8 percent or 283 points lower at 7,158. The S&P 500 index closed at 2,700, down 90 points or 3.24 percent.

“Violent volatility resumed as tumbling bond yields, a flattening yield curve and lingering questions about the G20 US-China trade truce combined to stoke increasing recession fears. While US growth is still holding up OK, worries are increasing about the overseas economic outlook. All this macro-economic uncertainty is clouding the 2019 earnings outlook, leading to increasingly violent equity swings as investors try to handicap what 2019 will look like," Alec Young, managing director of Global Markets Research, FTSE Russell, told ABC News.

"Cyclical sectors like technology, financials and industrials led markets lower, while defensive areas like utilities and real estate weathered the storm best. Until confidence in the global economy improves and bond yields stabilize, market psychology is likely to remain fragile," Young added.

On Tuesday, President Trump has declared himself a "Tariff Man" in tweeting about the state of progress with China, doubling down the threat to raise tariffs on Chinese goods if a deal isn't solidified.

Over the weekend, Trump had boasted that he had reached a deal with China's President Xi Jinping, although details remained unclear into late Tuesday. Senior administration officials also had trouble articulating any specifics about the deal in press briefings.

The president tweeted optimistically about the chances for a deal with China, writing "President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will." But if a deal doesn't happen, he reminds his followers, "I am a Tariff Man."

"MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN," Trump tweeted.

However, traders across the board seemed to doubt progress on the trade talks with China.

"People think there is not 'substance' behind Trumps tweets about tariffs so the markets are giving back the gains from before the G20 meeting," Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors, told ABC News.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Tuesday
Dec042018

The NYPD, the nation's largest police department, puts its eyes in the skies with new drone program 

DJI Technology Inc.(NEW YORK) --  The nation’s largest police force said Tuesday it is adding drones to its crime-fighting arsenal.

More than a dozen unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will be used for search and rescue, to investigate hazardous materials, and to access crime scenes in tall buildings.

The move is particularly significant benchmark for U.S. law enforcement agencies because smaller police departments often follow the lead of larger, big city forces like the New York Police Department (NYPD).

“The NYPD has a trailblazing effect when it comes to new technology and almost all aspects of policing,” said Christopher Dickey, author of “Securing the City: Inside America’s Best Counterterror Force," which chronicled groundbreaking technology innovations within the NYPD under former police commissioner Ray Kelly, following the 9/11 terror attacks.

The New York City Fire Department has used drones to monitor fires but, until now, the New York Police Department (NYPD) had relied on drones that belong to law enforcement partners.

“As the largest municipal police department in the United States, the NYPD must always be willing to leverage the benefits of new and always-improving technology,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

“Our new Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program is part of this evolution -– it enables our highly-trained cops to be even more responsive to the people we serve, and to carry out the NYPD’s critical work in ways that are more effective, efficient, and safe for everyone,” O’Neill said.

The drones will be unarmed and not equipped with facial recognition technology, according to a department spokeswoman who added they would not be used for warrantless surveillance.

Specially-trained officers from the department's Technical Assistance Response Unit (TARU) will operate the drones, the department said.

Still, the use of drones by New York police continue to raise concerns among civil liberties and privacy advocates, some of whom were consulted by the NYPD prior to the unveiling of the new drone program, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU).

"While we appreciate the NYPD’s willingness to meet with us before it announced this program, we believe the new policy falls far short of what is needed to balance the department’s legitimate law-enforcement needs against the privacy interests of New Yorkers,” NYCLU associate legal director Christopher Dunn said in a statement.

Dunn said the group is concerned about the lack of restrictions on police deployment of drones in the city.

Law enforcement officials with extensive experience flying drones as part of their work said that two of the most common and valuable uses of the devices are for 3-dimensional digital crime scene and accident reconstruction.

Using drones for accident reconstruction can dramatically shortened the time it takes to measure, evaluate and clear a highway crash, freeing up miles of backed up traffic in a few minutes rather than a few hours.

“That scenario, where [accident investigators] can do their measurements in just a few minutes – that’s got major implications in the next five or ten years,” said Ben Miller, director of research and development at Colorado’s Department of Public Safety.

Drone usage is also on the rise in crime scene investigations and reconstructions.

“You’d never ask for a million dollar satellite for a homicide investigation, but if you can put a drone up in the air for $25 or $30 bucks, it’s more than worth it,” said Miller, a law enforcement drone pioneer who flew the devices for the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, which was one of the nation's first law enforcement agencies to incorporate drones into their department's work.

“Like a lot of law enforcement agencies, our first thoughts were, ‘Cool! Let’s use it for tactical missions -- for chasing bad guys across the county,’” Miller told Reuters in 2013.

“But the reality is you’ll have a mission like that once or twice a year,” he said. “The real utility of unmanned aerial systems is not the sexy stuff. It’s the crime scene and accident reconstruction.”

More than 900 public safety agencies are currently operating drones, according to a recent study by Bard College's Center for the Study of the Drone. The center estimates that the number of public safety agencies using drones has spiked 82 percent in the past year.

Normally, the nation's largest police departments, including the NYPD and the Los Angeles Police Department are leaders in policing innovations but drones are a unique type of law enforcement tool -- and experts say there is good reason for a department like the NYPD to proceed with caution in creating their own drone program.

 “Some of the big [police] departments have taken a wait-and-see approach, especially if you’ve got areas that service large, dense populations it can be beneficial for the department [to wait], because there can be a lot more pushback” from the public, said Dan Schwarzbach, executive director of the Airborne Public Safety Association, a non-profit that supports and promotes the use of drones among public safety agencies.

The Seattle Police Department scuttled it's nascent drone program in 2013 after an outcry from Seattle residents concerned about unlawful surveillance and other privacy issues. Those fears of intrusive surveillance have subsided, to some degree, in recent years, experts said.

“Seattle was one of the first to go out and put the time and the effort and the personnel capital into training and certification back when it was still pretty new, and they got pushback from citizens, had to end the program, and ended up donating the drones they bought to the [Los Angeles Police Department], where I believe they ended up in a closet somewhere.”

Still, Schwarzbach said, the rate of law enforcement adoption of drones is rapidly increasing due to innovation, falling price points and a gradually more accepting attitude towards responsible drone use among much of the public.

“I’ve got [airborne rescue] success stories coming in all the time, and for every one helicopter or airplane public safety success story, I get ten UAS success stories,” he said, using industry terminology for drones.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec042018

Police chased the 'unresponsive' driver of a Tesla S that was on Autopilot for 7 miles in California. How can that happen?

Tesla(NEW YORK) -- In the early morning hours, California Highway Patrol chased a grey Tesla Model S for an unfathomable seven miles down Highway 101 as the driver slept, police said.

Redwood City Area CHP officers said they observed Alexander Joseph Samek, a local Los Altos politician, driving at around 3:30 a.m. PST on Nov. 30. Police followed Samek with lights and siren on, but he remained “unresponsive,” and “appeared to be asleep at the wheel,” according to the arrest report.

Assuming that the car was on Autopilot, police drove in front of Samek and "began slowing directly in front of the Tesla in hopes that the ‘driver assist’ feature had been activated and the Tesla would slow to a stop as the patrol vehicle came to a stop," the arrest report said. Samek was charged on suspicion of driving under the influence.

But what is befuddling transportation analysts and Tesla watchers is that the chase could even go on for that long. Tesla's "Autopilot" feature requires a driver to touch the steering wheel every minute, or the system alerts the driver and gradually brings the car to a stop. It seems that in this case, Autopilot may not have worked, or the driver somehow subverted the process, experts say.

Tesla declined to comment on the accident or confirm the car was in Autopilot mode. But on Sunday night, Musk tweeted: "Default Autopilot behavior, if there’s no driver input, is to slow gradually to a stop & turn on hazard lights. Tesla service then contacts the owner. Looking into what happened here."

In a follow-up tweet, Musk said that Autopilot could not distinguish between different types of emergency vehicles, but that it would be able to in the near future. "We’re adding police car, fire truck & ambulance to the Tesla neural net in coming months," he wrote.

Redwood City CHP is familiar with the Tesla Autopilot feature in part because of a fatal crash the agency investigated in March. A 38-year old engineer at Apple died after he did not place his hands on the wheel in time when the car was in Autopilot mode, Tesla said.

The March crash is being investigated by the National Transportation and Safety Board.

Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing at Edmunds, an automotive research firm, has been reviewing partially automated vehicles, and called Tesla’s Autopilot a misleading term for an "overhyped automated cruise control system." He said it was difficult to come up with an explanation for such a long car chase, and it underscored shortcomings with Tesla's safety features.

"Certainly somebody could defeat the one minute timeout that allows you to put your hands on the wheel and the car could go longer,” Edmunds told ABC News. “Cadillac's Super Cruise system would not have allowed you to behave this way because Super Cruise does something that Tesla doesn't do and should do. It has sensors look at your head to see which way it's pointed to make sure your chin's up and not down against your shirt, and also looks at your eyeballs to see where they're looking. So even if you're head's up, and you look off to the side, it will warn you and eventually disengage."

"The fact that it doesn't monitor the driver's head position and line of sight is really a major shortcoming," Edmunds said. "Just because somebody has their hands on the wheel, maybe the guy's leaning on it, passed out, with just enough force to make it think that he's got his hands on the wheel. The car isn't really sure what the driver's looking at. It doesn't matter if you have your hands on the wheel or not, it matters if you're looking out the windshield at the cars ahead."

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Tuesday
Dec042018

Venture capitalist behind Glossier, Warby Parker, on how to pitch your company

Taylor Dunn/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Kirsten Green is the venture capitalist behind Jet.com, Glossier, Warby Parker, Outdoor Voices, Birchbox, Away, and many more well-known companies. As the head of Forerunner Ventures, a venture capital firm, her job is to spot ambitious entrepreneurs who are seeking to be a part of the next generation of commerce.

Numbers and practicality always came easy to Green, but her passion for people and relationships was the driving force behind her decision to start Forerunner. After being laid off during the banking industry consolidation of the early 2000s, Kirsten was at a loss of how to move forward.

“On a practical level, I said, ‘Geez, no matter how good of a job I'm doing, my opportunity here changed. It got taken away from me for one reason or another, I'm not going to put myself in that situation again,’ and I think that really unearthed the entrepreneurial side of me, which was taking things into my own hands,” Green told ABC News’ Chief Business, Technology and Economics correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of the “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” podcast.

Green began her career immediately after graduating from college. She accepted an auditor position at Deloitte & Touche, a major accounting firm, while many of her friends opted to take the year off and explore the world.

“In retrospect, I think I should’ve done that because I think there's so much to be had for being open-minded about what your path and your journey looks like and embracing experiences,” Green said.

While many would have jumped at the opportunity to ski snow-covered mountains or sunbathe in the Greek islands, Green was too overwhelmed with the excitement of having a business card to think about much else.

After three years with Deloitte and getting her accounting license, Kirsten decided to try her luck in the world of investing. She ended up at Montgomery Securities, which later merged with Bank of America. The team Kirsten was working on was eventually dismantled, leaving her feeling completely upended. However, it was also during this time that Green was able to take a step back and discover who she was outside of her career.

“It made me step back and reflect on what does a career journey look like, and not to be so caught up in climbing a ladder, but thinking a little bit more open-ended about what each step could lead you to,” Kirsten explains. “I'd been heads-down in a particular job and I needed to poke my head up and explore a little bit.”

Instead of looking for a set and structured plan, Kirsten spent the next five to six years seeking a variety of opportunities and taking things along the way that she felt were fostering her development. She worked on consulting projects, helped different investment firms, made her own investments and took time to enjoy writing, photography and painting classes for her own personal growth, something she had never made time for in her previous roles.

Throughout her years of internal exploration, Kirsten was able to pinpoint exactly what it was she was passionate about, aside from numbers and strategy.

“I loved the opportunity to engage with people and learn from people, and have relationships be a big part of whatever I was doing.”

She realized investing in private companies was a way she could combine her strategic side with her personal side to create a business that allowed her to engage with others and form relationships while also allowing using spreadsheets.

And that’s how Forerunner Ventures began.

Of course, there were people along the way who voiced their doubts, but Kirsten chose to ignore the negatives and focus on the people giving her good advice instead.

“There were plenty of people that told me along the way, ‘you can't start your own venture firm when you haven't been in venture.’ Good thing I didn't listen to them,” she said.

You could say Kirsten has come full circle from raising capital to start a business she was passionate about, to now funding others who also have aspirations of becoming their own boss.

And if you’re wondering what matters most to Kirsten when pitching an idea, it’s to just be yourself.

“Don't try to come in with just a formula. Be informed. Do your homework. Know the things that are important, but also be you. Show up and let me know why you're excited about what you're doing.”

Hear more from Kirsten Green on episode #113 of the “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” podcast.

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