Forty Under 40: Erin Rollenhagen
Founder and CEO, Entrepreneurial Technologies LLC
Friday, March 07, 2014 7:00 AM
Entrepreneurship seems to be in Erin Rollenhagen’s blood. Both of her parents have been entrepreneurs, and she’s had as many as three startups on her plate at one time.
Mentor: Sondra Ashmore, assistant director of information technology, Principal Financial Group Inc.
Rollenhagen likes to make things out of clay, particularly owls. “I got to see owls up close when I was a little kid, and they are just really neat animals,” she said
“I really like the idea that entrepreneurship kind of enables people to determine their own destiny,” Rollenhagen said. “That’s something that our country was built on. And it’s also led to a lot of growth in our economy over the last several years.”
Her current company, Entrepreneurial Technologies LLC, is a Web and mobile app consulting company that does development for businesses that lack the in-house resources to do it. She’s also the co-owner of Pikuzone, an email platform for children that allows parents to approve email senders and filter out junk mail.
Her love for entrepreneurship is married to an interest in technology, and Rollenhagen’s community involvement is rooted in both. She’s a board member of the Technology Association of Iowa, a judge for Startup Weekend events and has taken on numerous speaking engagements.
Rollenhagen is particularly interested in helping more girls get interested and involved in technology.
“Women are horribly underrepresented in entrepreneurship and particularly in technology entrepreneurship,” she said. “And I think there are definitely a lot of challenges in starting a business in any area, particularly in technology. To me, it’s important to do what we can to try to foster that entrepreneurship and innovation to try to drive our society forward.”
Rollenhagen faced another challenge in her life when she was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease. She turned it into a positive, by getting a group of more than 50 friends, called “Team Foxy,” together to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
“I’m grateful to have that wake-up call and to change my life so I can get the most out of my life from here on out,” she said.
Reasons she’s a Forty:
• She founded and grew Entrepreneurial Technologies without taking funding from investors or going into debt.
• Rollenhagen has been heavily involved as an advocate for the technology startup scene in Central Iowa.
• Team Foxy raised $13,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation by running in the Dam to Dam race last year.
• Pikuzone has safely handled more than 65,000 email messages to or from children.
• “Erin is making an impact today that will be felt in the state’s STEM industry and in the lives of countless young women, children and entrepreneurs for years to come,” wrote Leann Jacobson, president of the Technology Association of Iowa.
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