START-UP ROUND TABLE: BIG RESULTS ON A SMALL BUDGET
Hear C-suite executives answer some burning questions: How do you acquire new customers & scale a brand while operating without a physical footprint? How do you build an organization from the ground up? What are the trade-offs you make when building a brand on a shoestring budget? What are the personal and professional challenges entrepreneurs face? What does it take to succeed?
Founder and CEO Matt Taylor is (and has always been) a runner, competing in track and cross country through out high school and then as an undergraduate at Yale. Following a start in the sports industry at IMG, he built his career in running, most notably as Puma's Global Head of Marketing for the Running, Training and Fitness categories and as co-creator of Usain Bolt’s iPhone game. But over time he became increasingly frustrated with the state of the industry, as
he saw the sport become subsumed by watered-down messaging and an "everyone gets a medal" mentality that diminished reverence for achievement.
Tracksmith was born from the seeds of this frustration. From a desire to treat running with the respect it deserves, to celebrate its competitive spirit and preserve its legacy for all time. Since launching Tracksmith as a direct-to-consumer running brand in 2014, the brand has received backing from major industry players including Pentland, Lerer Hippeau and Everlane CEO, Michael Preysman and been laudedfor “further defining what running apparel can be” and for its “anti-Nike” approach to marketing.
FOUNDER & cEO, GOBY
Ben graduated from Arizona State University with a dual BS in Finance and Economics before pursuing a job at investment bank Moelis &Co. After three years at Moelis, Ben joined Crescent Capital where he focused on investing in late stage companies. In August 2014, Ben left his job in finance to travel the world. His path to entrepreneurship began while traveling through South America, where he witnessed firsthand the impact the lack of access to oral care had in developing countries. Personally, Ben was growing increasingly frustrated with the outrageous cost of premium oral care products and overwhelmed with the dizzying options, and discovering the void within the market, he decided to tackle both issues head on when he returned to New York City to develop Goby.
Colin Raney serves as the Chief Marketing Officer at PillPack, a pharmacy designing experiences that hep people stay healthy. In this role, Colin is responsible for the brand an experiences that help people think differently about their health.
Before joining PillPack, Colin served at the CMO of Formlabs, and was the managing director of IDEO Boston, where he pioneered the firm’s Business Design discipline. Colin sits on the Advisory Council of the MIT Media Lab, advises several startups and is a trustee of the Awesome Foundation. His written for the Harvard Business Review and Fast Company.
Co-founder and CEO, Dia & Co
Nadia Boujarwah is the Co-Founder and CEO of Dia&Co, a body-positive shopping experience for women who wear sizes 14 and up.
Dia&Co stylists work with top brands – from industry staples to up-and-coming young designers – to provide each customer with curated looks to suit their unique style and shape.
Two years ago, Nadia was driven to found Dia&Co by the belief that style can act as a catalyst for self-love. Through Dia&Co’s vibrant community this belief is reinforced every day. Nadia is continually inspired by women looking and feeling beautiful in clothes they were told they couldn’t or shouldn’t wear; embracing the body they have today – and dressing for it. Dia&Co was founded to support these women, and to help every woman find clothes that make her feel uniquely her.
Prior to founding Dia&Co, Nadia worked as an investment banker at Perella Weinberg Partners and most recently served as COO and CFO of New York-based jewelry brand Frieda and Nellie. Nadia holds a B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School. With a Cuban mother and Kuwaiti father, Nadia hails from both Miami and the Middle East, and is currently based in New York.
MARKETING LEAD, LOLA
Becca heads marketing for LOLA where she oversees all customer acquisition, retention, and brand building efforts. Launched in July 2015, LOLA is the first company to provide 100% organic tampons in a customizable, direct-to-consumer subscription model. Prior, Becca led customer acquisition at BaubleBar. She holds a BA from Boston College.
MODERATOR: THARA PILLAI
PRINCIPAL, TNP CONSULTING
Thara Pillai is a marketing and business development professional with nearly two decades of experience in North America & EMEA. She advises companies on building brand and community, growing revenues, and driving ROI.
She is passionate about helping first-time founders and early-stage companies hit those first key milestones, as well as supporting mature companies that need to re-define their product-market fit or expand into new markets.
Thara’s career began in broadcasting, where she worked as a television journalist, producer, and bureau manager. In Toronto, New York, and London she worked for companies such as ABC, CBC, CTV, Discovery, and WTN.
She holds a BA in Media from Ryerson University in Toronto, a Master of Journalism from Carlton University in Ottawa, and a MBA in Global Media & Telecommunications from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.