Meet the entrepreneur who describes herself as a ‘non risk-taker’ – interview with Ellen Windemuth

Watch the full interview with Ellen Windemuth here

In this fascinating Business Leader Insight interview, we were joined by Ellen Windemuth, founder of the WaterBear Network; the first interactive streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet.

Ellen’s passion for nature and conservation led to the creation of the WaterBear Network. This unique, free streaming service provides access to award-winning and inspirational content that empowers members to dive deeper, learn more and take action. Prior to WaterBear, she was the owner and CEO of Off the Fence, having founded the company in 1994. Under her leadership Off the Fence has acquired, produced and co-produced over 6,000 hours of content.

Ellen is a seasoned Executive Producer and Distributor and has produced over 500 hours to date herself. She is the Chair of the Jackson Hole Film Festival Board, Honorary President of the Sunnyside Doc 2019 festival in La Rochelle, France and is active in conservation and land development. Her experience in factual entertainment programming is extensive in both production and distribution.

Here’s a breakdown of what we discussed in the interview:

  • Before we talk about Waterbear and your current focus, I wanted to start talking about the early days of your production company Off the Fence. What led you to make the decision to start your own business? (1:12)
  • You described yourself as “unemployable” was that also because you had strong views on how a business should be and that kind of thing? (1:55)
  • Could you tell us about Off the Fence as far as growth and reach is concerned? (2:42)
  • As a business grows, an entrepreneur has to give up some of their control, in important decision making for example. How did you find this in your company, and would you have any tips for viewers going through this? (4:05)
  • Off the Fence was acquired after 25 years, and of course, you’re still a part of the business today but what led you to take that decision? (5:41)
  • Could you tell us about Waterbear and the vision for the company? (6:53)
  • You’ve described yourself in the past as someone who doesn’t like taking risks. This often flies in the face of the stereotypical entrepreneur. What clicked for you to decide that you wanted to launch Waterbear? (9:23)
  • Where do you see Waterbear in 10 years’ time? (11:01)
  • How have you found the last few months and how has the pandemic affected your business? (12:12)
  • What drives you on and gets you up in the morning? (14:05)
  • Final word (14:55)

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