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Ep. 8: Vanessa Chan Invents LoopIt, Begins Wild Ride

From getting her engineering PhD at MIT to becoming a partner at McKinsey & Co, Vanessa Chan had a strong track record of achievement.  After some soul searching, she decided to challenge herself in a new way, inventing a solution to tangled headphones.  What followed was an adventure, from appearing on national TV to having an entire Amtrak train rallying to her support. The best part: she has only just begun the entrepreneurial journey, and she's bringing her kids along for the ride.


  • Relationships are so important; carve out more time to spend on making new friendships and helping people.
  • There are more hours in the day than you think – use them effectively.
  • Kids are vey resilient and only know the reality you create for them.
  • Use the quality time with your kids so that you don’t feel guilty about taking that work trip.
  • Marry the right person; you will need a partner along the way who can share the load.

Key notes:

  • Vanessa is the inventor of Loop-It, headphones that are a tangle-free necklace.
  • Vanessa graduated from MIT with a PhD in engineering and spent 14 years working at McKinsey.
  • Loop-It was funded through a kickstarter campaign where it raised $35,000, beating the original $15,000 target.
  • Loop-It was entered into a competition on the Today Show and is now sold on
  • Vanessa sits on the board of her daughter's school, helping the next generation of young entrepreneurs as a mentor.
  • Vanessa has involved her children in the whole process from prototype to sale.
  • She is showing her children the process of trying and creating a product.
  • Vanessa is co-president for the Ellevate Network Philadelphia chapter.
  • Insecure overachievers are people who have been working hard all their lives, becoming trapped into seeking the next big achievement so that they fail to see things more broadly.


"If these kids can do it, I can as well"

"It's been like drinking from a fire hose"

"This has been a journey I'm taking with my children"

"If you want to become a basketball player, don't hang out with swimmers"

"The best advice I've got on my journey so far was from my kids"