In a way, Shan-Lyn Ma started attending business school when she was 11 years old and hasn't stopped since. She was hooked on entrepreneurship after winning her first business competition in grade school; and a few years later, she began accumulating lessons from the successes and failures she observed while working at Yahoo and other young companies. In 2013, she and a former colleague applied many of those lessons to their own startup: an online registry designed to make wedding planning easier and more personal. Still, Shan had a lot more to learn—starting with how to convince dubious investors that the world needed another wedding registry. Today, despite the gut-punch of COVID, Zola has grown into a robust wedding-planning platform, valued at $600 million in 2018.

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