No Funding and Friends Don’t Support You

Business Playbooks – “Women Entrepreneurs Hustling from the Heart” is a new feature brought to you by  We interview women and mom entrepreneurs who mean business and we get their insights on starting and running a business so you can have a head start on yours.Here, you get an opportunity to hear their inner thoughts and get advice on lessons learned, challenges they faced and systems they use to start and run their business.

We had the opportunity to talk to Heddi Cundle – the “big cheese” of

She spoke with to share her experiences as a technology entrepreneur and some of the challenges she has had since launching.

A Little Background

Heddi Cundle has nearly 20 years of public relations and marketing experience which spans the travel and hospitality industries; television, music and consumer retail; and now technology.

On a personal note, she has reached Level 4 of Krav Maga.  So don’t mess with her!

Her first entrepreneurial venture is  What is

It is an online gift card platform that enables you, your family and friends to contribute cash towards travel. With, exclusive deals with travel suppliers are negotiated on your behalf and this takes the stress out of hunting for them yourself.

How Heddi is Hustling from the Heart

Heddi is a passionate woman (and you will experience this passion as you watch the video), who doesn’t care about what other people think of her because she believes in what she is doing. You will find that Heddi is very hard-working and her energy and enthusiasm is contagious.

She has had setbacks as a first time entrepreneur, from not getting funding to losing many friends who didn’t support her. 

But you know what?

She looks at that as a chance to maneuver and make the necessary changes. This has NOT broken her spirit or mission with her business.  I admire her tenacity and her will to fight.

Note:  We didn’t go over everything from A to Z in the video, so some additional insights are below.

Don’t have time to watch the entire interview?  Pick what is of most interest to you by minutes. 


1:55 – How Heddi came up with her business idea and why it took till 2011 to launch.

4:55 – Heddi describes the moment the idea came to her in 2005 and what problem she is solving in her industry.

8:06 – Thoughts on funding, what she has learned from this process and how she is running her business without it.

14:00 – Are they profitable?  Find out here. How she makes revenue (look in Insights section below).

15:33 – Challenges – Main challenges Heddi has experienced.

17:11 – How her lifestyle completely changed running a start-up. Get ready for this!

21:53 – Insights on MISTAKES she feels she made, so you don’t make the same.

27:19 – Main methods she built traffic and got into major publications.

32:25 – Three juicy, “STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART” pieces of advice. You don’t want to miss this. Plus – Her views on the lack of women founders, especially in the technology space.

If you have any questions for Heddi, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section.

Other Key Insights

  • One big challenge she had was in educating the customer as to why they can’t take out their funds from PayPal and use them elsewhere for travel versus on the website.  She continues to make sure her customers “get it.”  Her company is FDIC insured, so her members don’t need to worry.
  • How she makes REVENUELicensing and from the travel bookings made on site (paid from the travel partners, not the members). is the only company that has pre-travel booking data.  Meaning they have a captured audience on their website who describe the trip they are looking for, have cash ready to spend, and when they might be traveling.  This information is useful to airlines for their pricing and marketing strategy, especially during slow times of the year. She is licensing this technology to other industries, like Best Buy, to have pre-buying data on potential customers.
  • Press – She recommends a company called and (HARO) that has great media pitch ideas & contacts.

“If your customers don’t like your product, don’t do it, but just because your customer doesn’t understand what you are doing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.” “That just means you are doing something different and continue to help them get it.”  Heddi Cundle

Action: Would Love to Hear From You

What setbacks have you had and how did you overcome them?

Please share your comments because there is no reason to hold in all that wisdom……

Also, if you don’t, Heddi will come after you with her Krav Maga moves!

P.S. If you got one good nugget of information from Heddi, we always appreciate shares.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Stein owns, is a college business professor and a mom to Gabriela and Elle. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle. You can find her online on Facebook and Twitter or at home burning something in the kitchen.