Susan A. Schreter

Chief Executive Officer and Entrepreneurship Educator
Start on Purpose

Susan Schreter is an MBA-level educator with career expertise that covers the entire life cycle of starting, building and selling a business in America. She is the CEO of Start On Purpose Corporation, a mission-driven enterprise committed to improving financial know how and tactical decision making in the startup and greater small business community.

Susan serves on the board and chairwoman of the audit committee for Jones Soda and is a National Association of Corporate Directors fellow.

Susan is the author of Start on Purpose: Everything You Need to Know and Do to Startup with Strength, which is based on her field research on the leading factors that cause "startups and small businesses to fail." Her research demonstrates that other issues and circumstances matter more than the startup business plan making her a popular and informative speaker and advisor to angel investment groups, venture capital funds, and directors of venture-backed businesses.

She is a media-trained emerging media voice in public policy and other issues affecting startup to high growth companies and is guest on talk shows, online webinars, and judge for business plan competitions. She is a frequent contributor to and past weekly Q & A format newspaper columnist for Hearst. She also has developed series and articles for MSN, Yahoo Small Business, San Francisco Chronicle, Inc. and other online and offline publications on venture capital and best practices for startup business management. She is known for her motivating, encouraging voice and making seemingly intimidating financial subjects easy and actionable for high tech and low tech audiences.

Susan conducts pro bono coaching and "teach-the-teacher" workshops for SCORE, micro-lending organizations and Yellow Ribbon events for Veterans and spouses of active duty military personnel throughout the United States. She also developed the first courses in for-profit and non-profit social enterprise development for the University of Washington MBA program.

Prior to Susan's shift to entrepreneurial education, she worked for 20+ years in investment banking and private equity lower middle market buyouts in New York City, with specialization in consumer-facing turnaround situations; recapitalization plans; industry rollups; acquisition valuation and integration; and working collaboratively with management to help define the operating risks and financing requirements associated with transformational strategic initiatives. This unusual foundation in equity finance distinguishes Susan today and her work to improve small business financial performance with less risk to young companies and their founders.

Susan is an honors graduate of Smith College. She is married and active in skiing, biking, and hiking the Pacific Northwest.