December 16, 2021
Earlier in 2021, Gopuff announced “Put Me On,” a small business accelerator program designed to help underrepresented entrepreneurs grow their businesses. The first group of participants include entrepreneurs in the beauty, home essentials, and food and beverage categories, including Jennifer Martin, Co-founder of Pipcorn.
Pipcorn is a minority and women-led brand that reimagines nostalgic snacks with heirloom corn to create modern, better-for-you, sustainable favorites. Founded in 2012 and based in Bethlehem, PA, Pipcorn is on a mission to revolutionize traditional snacks with its staple ingredient – heirloom corn.
Read on to learn more about Jen and Pipcorn.
What was the tipping point for you to become an entrepreneur?
I didn’t plan it. I didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur. I would just make things and think “I could sell this” or “I could make this a business” and then I would. I was never afraid of starting a business, and I was young enough that I didn’t worry about the potential of failure.
I owe a lot of credit to my parents who, aside from always being supportive of whatever I was doing, instilled in us from a young age that we could achieve anything and that if we were going to do a job, that it was imperative we did the whole job. So, starting something always led me to something bigger.
What are you hoping to get out of the “Put Me On” program?
I am hoping to build an even deeper community of fellow small business leaders and to be able to pass along all that I am learning to the next generation of entrepreneurs!
What is one piece of advice you would give to other entrepreneurs and why?
My advice would be to find mentors, partners, or investors who believe in you as an individual as much as they believe in your product. So much of being an entrepreneur is learning, adapting, getting better, and making the next move quickly. You need people in your corner to help you with that. I think all entrepreneurs love to learn and figure things out, and you need someone to support and encourage that side of you.
What is something you wish you knew about business, entrepreneurship, or leadership when you were first starting your company and why?
I wish I had known that a good leader doesn’t need to know all the answers; they just need to know how to help find them. In the beginning, I felt like I needed to know the right answer to be valuable, to prove myself, or to be respected, and I would be so hard on myself if I didn’t know what to do. Then I started looking at the people I admire most, how they look for answers or solutions, and how that only made me trust them more. As minorities and women, we are taught, whether at home or in society, that if everyone is giving 100% we have to give 120%. I had to learn how to be vulnerable without doubting myself, and that changed everything.
What was the last item you purchased on Gopuff?
Sesame Seaweed Snacks!