Speaking: Sandy Lerner, Cisco Co-Founder and Urban Decay Founder
Nina Nandi , Editor | Oct 8, 2014
Title: Editor, WED Network
Topic category: 2014 WED

Sandy Lerner has been incredibly successful in diverse fields, as the co-founder of Cisco Systems and the founder of the Urban Decay cosmetics line, in addition to writing a few novels and owing her own farm.

In an interview with Forbes, she urged women entrepreneurs to ensure intellectual property and build brand credibility. She discouraged heavy reliance on venture capitalists, partly due to her bad experience with them through Cisco, and partly because the VC community tends to be largely male. She supports women using their own money to fund projects, because then the money is used more wisely and there is no need to deal with the male-dominated world of venture capital.

The last bit of advice she gave for women was to network well, because then you have more connections, and thus more people on your side when you are in a tough situation.

Lerner, along with Cisco cofounder Leonard Bosack, have donated over 70% of the wealth they earned from Cisco to charitable causes. Lerner is still heavily involved in philanthropic efforts, supporting causes such as animal welfare, education, family farms, arts and culture, and space exploration. She is a large proponent of animal welfare, demonstrating this in the Virginia farm she owns that was certified for its humane treatment of animals. She has donated to many groups, both domestic and international, that support animal welfare, in addition to funding academic research related to animal welfare.

Forbes, Inside Philanthropy
Tags: WED, Women's Entrepreneurship Day, UN, Cisco, Sandy Lerner, Urban Decay, Women Entrepreneurs
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