Editor’s note: WRAL TechWire contributor Dr. Sarah Glova is a globally recognized speaker, successful entrepreneur, university instructor, and business consultant. A seasoned educator and entrepreneur, Sarah is CEO of the award-winning digital media firm, Reify Media, With a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology and a Master of Science in Technical Communication, she is dedicated to cultivating forward-thinking work environments.


RALEIGH – Angel investor Robbie Hardy is on a mission to support entrepreneurs.

Her latest book is Fed Up to Start Up: A Story of Strength and the Value of Your Connections, out June 13. It tells the fictional but believable tale of a disillusioned manager who jumps off the corporate ladder and into a startup journey.

Part fable, part professional development, the book follows the main character, Rebecca, as she learns many crucial startup lessons—and offers readers practical advice along the way.

“I’m really focused on how we pass these lessons forward,” said Hardy in an exclusive interview with WRAL TechWire. “You know, we’ve earned all these lessons. So what do we do with them?”

Hardy earned the lessons she put in the book while on her path to becoming an “entrepreneurologist,” her favorite nickname. (Her other titles include Executive Mentor in Residence at Duke University and Founder of xElle Ventures, an Angel fund designed to empower women investors.)

Fed Up to Start Up is her second book. She told me that, while the book has lessons for any entrepreneur, she wrote it for women CEOs.

“What I want us all to do is to support other women, and you don’t want to do it for them, you want to, sort of, ‘teach a man to fish,’ you know?” Hardy told me. “But if you help them, and give them the tools they need, the opportunities will come, and they know how to take them.”

Sarah Glova

‘How not far we’ve come’

Hardy founded or co-founded over a dozen companies in her lifetime, many based in North Carolina, and prior to her work as an entrepreneur and investor, she was in corporate, devising strategies for Fortune 500 companies.

“When I was coming up, you know, being the only woman in the room was normal, but I didn’t know that was normal or not normal,” Hardy told me. “But what I realized is—you’ll see this in the book—suddenly, I was with all women, but we were all fighting for the one seat we thought was the only one at the table. Because we didn’t think there was room for other women. So we were not nice to each other. And we’re much better about that now, but there’s still a sense that there’s only one seat at the table.”

I asked Hardy what message she hoped the book will send to women who are working for a seat at the table.

“Know that you’re enough,” Hardy told me. “With impostor syndrome and all that crap, I always hope to leave that with women that I work with, helping women be comfortable in their own skin, with their self confidence and their self esteem.”

She hopes the book will find its way to women who are interested in leaving corporate life and becoming entrepreneurs.

“You don’t have to sit in the slog,” Hardy said. “All the women who left the workforce because they had to, from the pandemic, had to be the ones to do all the home stuff, and now it’s even worse.”

She also said the book was a way to think about entrepreneurship as an equalizer for women.

“It was hard, as I was writing it, to realize how not far we’ve come in so many ways,” Hardy told me. “Because you hope, eventually, this disparity will go away. When I sold my first company, I would be interviewed, and they’d ask, ‘What does it feel like to be a successful female technology CEO?’ and I’d be like, ‘Well, how does it feel to be a mediocre male?’ How do you answer that question? I can’t tell you what it’s like. I feel like I’m the grandmother of female founders in the Triangle, you know. So when’s that day we don’t need to ask that question?”

The Launch Place to host book launch party on June 13

The Launch Place (TLP), a venture development organization located in RTP and in Danville, Virginia, is hosting a book launch party for Hardy at First Flight Venture Center on June 13.

I caught up with Eva Doss, President and CEO of TLP, who received an early preview of Fed Up to Start Up. She told me that Hardy’s book makes the startup journey “relatable” for anyone—but especially for women.

“Robbie weaves personal experiences into a fictional work as tenacious principal character, Rebecca, dives into starting her own company after realizing there’s more to her career than the corporate world,” Doss told me.

Overall, Doss dubbed the book “incredibly inspiring and educational.”

“Robbie drives home the importance of staying the course, standing up for what is right and work-life balance. Fed Up to Start Up is a testament to the power of creativity, problem solving, breaking the status quo and the discovery of the magic that unfolds when we are audacious, persistent, humble and have the courage to step into the unknown and build something bigger than ourselves,” said Doss.

I asked Hardy how she’ll know if the book accomplishes her mission of passing lessons forward.

“I’ll know that this is good if people relate to Rebecca, and to the other characters, and can use it,” said Hardy. “What I really, really, really, really, really want is for people to take the lesson. And I’m trying to give them something in a way they can remember it.”

For more information about Robbie Hardy and her work, visit robbiehardy.com.