Author Archives: C. DAY

A Pure Startup, Stella & Chewy’s Success.









14 years ago…

…Marie met Chewy, a sweet slightly destructive pup looking for his forever home. Marie and Chewy instantly fell for each other and there was nothing Marie wouldn’t do for Chewy. Soon after rescuing Chewy, Marie found out he was sick with distemper and began to prepare and feed him a raw diet. Chewy’s health quickly and dramatically improved and Marie was determined to bring raw food to the masses.  Inspired by her own dogs, she has created a movement that has inspired the overall health and happiness of hundreds of thousands of pets and pet parents all over the world.

Marie Moody, Founder and President of Stella & Chewy’s, a multi-million dollar pet food company, reflected on her company’s history as we were sitting in a café in New YorkCity. In 2002, she had just been given the boot at her third fashion industry job. But this serendipitous event launched her career as a raw, natural pet food advocate and manufacturer.

While living in Los Angeles, Marie adopted Chewy, a rescue dog who was seriously ill. Following her veterinarian’s advice, she fed Chewy a homemade diet of raw meats and vegetables. Chewy’s rapid return to health inspired Marie to learn more about the benefits of feeding less processed, grain-free foods to animals. The more she learned, the more convinced she was that there were other pet parents like her who would want to feed their animals high-quality meals. After relocating back to New York City and finding herself between jobs, she started preparing raw pet food in her Manhattanapartment. Her two dogs, Stella and Chewy, were early product testers. Now, nearly 10 years later, Stella & Chewy’s frozen and freeze-dried raw, natural dog and cat food is available in more than 3,000 retail stores nationwide.

But how did a young, single woman living on the Upper West Side, who didn’t even cook her own meals, start to tackle that project? Marie took it on with single-minded determination – and no shortage of obstacles. She purchased huge quantities of organic ingredients and several industrial freezers, which took up residence in her living room. Then she had to market, sell and deliver the food to retailers in New York – all without owning a car. During our meeting, she described hailing taxis with her boxes of frozen food stashed behind parked cars (because no taxi driver wants to pick up a fare hauling that sort of baggage). In the process, Marie attracted the interest of a young Wall Street trader who helped her in her delivery efforts as a part-time job on the side.

“I guess I thought he needed the extra money.” He eventually became her husband, and despite no longer being married, works closely with Marie as Director of Sales for Stella & Chewy’s.

Expanding the Business

As her operation grew, Marie outsourced the manufacturing to a production facility. That worked well for a while (and liberated her living room from the freezers), but it brought on additional challenges.

“Imagine a semi pulling up at 4 a.m. and having to unload it using the residential elevator!” Furthermore, the lack of control over the process irked her. “The equipment broke down; and the manufacturer wasn’t able to do more flavors. Then I wanted organic fruits and vegetables; I wanted statements where the meat was sourced from; I wanted proof. So it became apparent to me that if I wanted to grow the business, I was going to have to figure out the manufacturing piece of it.”

In 2007, Marie relocated her family and opened a small manufacturing plant in Muskego, Wisconsin – a suburb of Milwaukee and her hometown, an area well known for food and beverage manufacturing.  Her timing was impeccable. Suddenly, many pet food manufacturers were facing product recalls because of contaminated ingredients sourced from China. People were paying much more attention to where and how their pet food was manufactured. Health and safety – for people and animals – became the primary focus.

The ability to control all phases of her raw pet food operation led Marie, working with a leading food safety scientist, to develop an exclusive, patent-pending, food safety procedure called Hydrostatic High Pressure Process (HPP). HPP kills pathogens, such as E. coli and salmonella, using high pressure without diminishing the health benefits of raw ingredients. “Nobody had ever considered using HPP on a pet food product before it was further processed.” In addition, Stella & Chewy’s has an independent lab test each batch to check for pathogens and they post the results on their website. You’d be hard pressed to find a human food manufacturer that’s using such stringent food safety processes.

Non-Traditional Leadership

Marie Moody

Marie has implemented some other “non-traditional” activities in her female-dominated manufacturing operation. Of 155 employees, 98 are women – or 63 percent. And just over half of her senior management team is female, which is typical for a woman-created enterprise. “Our first banker was a woman, and presently our accountant, attorney, and CEO are all women. We really have a lot of women in management positions and that’s just part of our culture.”

“I find that the types of people who thrive in the Stella & Chewy’s environment are really good at what they do, and self-starters. They wouldn’t work well if they were being micromanaged. They tend to need room in order to fly and they need the right tools. I feel like that is our job – management’s job – to give people what they need in order to best do their jobs.”

“We went through a couple of plant managers. The first one had a military background, which is great and can really be an asset. But he used to not let the guys on the line take a bathroom break. They could only use the bathroom on their break. When I heard this, I said, ‘No, that’s not okay. I’m not comfortable with that.’ He just didn’t know how to manage. Then we had another plant manager and he was very political. It was all about his ego. He forbade people to come and talk to me. They had to go through him and that’s just not the culture of our Company. I’m always available.”

Traditionally, the command-and-control manager tends to be associated more often with men. Marie seems to embody a type of management philosophy that is more “female,” and certainly at odds with many of today’s alpha-driven entrepreneurs.


Communities Helped by College Ecosystem Mapping.





Entrepreneurship is so closely linked with Silicon Valley it may seem preposterous California is learning how to build entrepreneurial ecosystems from Appalachia, but it is. Eleven community colleges in Appalachia have been creating ecosystem maps — an effort that has led to a larger ecosystem building project in California. Both efforts can inform communities nationwide.

Looking toward local assets to promote entrepreneurship

The 11 community colleges in rural Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia began working with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship(NACCE) to map their local assets for entrepreneurship. Many of the communities, especially in Kentucky and West Virginia, are impacted by the decline of the coal industry and the need to replace its jobs with new ones.

The assets include strengths and attributes of the communities, local industries and businesses, resident talent and skills, nearby community colleges and other institutions. Mapping those assets compiles — on a community or ecosystem basis — what Dr. Saras Sarasvathy, Professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, calls the “Bird in Hand Principle” for entrepreneurs. Those entrepreneurs must start with their means, which can be grouped into three categories: Who I am – my traits, tastes, and abilities; What I know – my education, training, expertise, and experience; and Who I know – my social and professional networks.

In mapping those means or assets across an ecosystem, communities have not just assembled them but discovered new ones. Certain skills essential to traditional industries, for instance, have application to new technology. In West Virginia skilled labor in old-school manufacturing has proven to be an advantage for advanced manufacturing. Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College has transformed agricultural expertise into AgTech proficiency.

Sharing best ecosystem mapping practices across the nation

NACCE shared best practices in ecosystem mapping from its work in Appalachia, and it inspired the California Community Colleges Maker Initiative to incorporate ecosystem mapping into the development of its makerspaces (collaborative workspaces with high-tech equipment for prototyping and fabricating). Thirty colleges went through the ecosystem mapping process with NACCE, which provided a focus to individual makerspaces such as one at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, focusing on arts and creativity. The mapping also provided direction in creating makerspace communities beyond the college, placing students in internships, and developing curricula that prepare students with appropriate skills.

Twenty-eight community colleges submitted grant proposals to the state, and 24 received a total of $6 million in grants, renewable for a second year, to create or strengthen inclusive makerspaces that will foster innovation and entrepreneurial skills that prepare students for impactful careers. The 28 colleges that submitted grant proposals documented more than 1000 ecosystem partners, 1,000 student and community activity participants, and 200 engaged faculty. The colleges proposed 1,400 student internships and leveraged more than $10 million in matched resources.

Helping institutions yield greater benefits to society

That’s an extraordinary outcome already for ecosystem mapping – and one with national implications. New businesses create almost all net new jobs in America, and ecosystem mapping and development are vital to generating those businesses and jobs on the scale that is needed.

Fortunately, ecosystems are evolving across the nation, as evidenced by the first-ever ESHIP Summit convened last summer by the Kauffman Foundation. It brought together more than 400 ecosystem builders from 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, plus nine other countries. The resulting digital playbooknow makes the ideas, insights, and solutions that emerged available free to all.

Every community in the nation can benefit from ecosystem mapping, and the nation’s 1,462 community colleges can be a vital resource. But other institutions can benefit as well. Public libraries are starting to host makerspaces, for instance, as their missions evolve and relate increasingly to job readiness.

Silicon Valley may be world-renowned for its entrepreneurship, but even California community colleges looked to Appalachia for help with ecosystem mapping. That’s an important lesson for the nation, because the answers to our national challenges will not come from any one place. They will come from talent throughout the country and an openness to embrace solutions wherever they arise.


Rethink Entrepreneurship, Solution to the Gig Economy.

Our labor force is on the verge of a massive displacement.  Take truckers as one example.  There are 3.5 million professional truckers in the U. S., all facing unemployment because of the driverless automation of their industry.  Robotics and computers are mechanizing all facets of the workforce.  Only entrepreneurship training holds the promise of helping at least 40-50% of the force by giving them the tools to create their own jobs.  Entrepreneurship is teachable, and, thanks to Silicon Valley’s evidenced-based (aka lean startup) entrepreneurship method, startups are less risky and twice as successful.  Go to for more.

Entrepreneurship Is the Answer to Workforce Displacement.

FreshBooks, the #1 accounting and invoicing software in the cloud designed exclusively for self-employed professionals and their teams, today announced results from 2nd annual “SelfEmployment Report

The data suggest a dramatic shift in the American workforce, whereby the number of Americans working for themselves could triple, bringing the total population of self-employed professionals to 42 million by 2020. For this year’s report FreshBooks, in conjunction with Research Now, surveyed more than 2,700 people in the U.S. who work full time – either as traditional employees, independent professionals, or small business owners.

A Paradigm Shift in Real Time

“The data suggest that over the next two years, the number of self-employed professionals in the U.S. could triple,” said Mike McDerment, co-founder and CEO at FreshBooks. “Whether or not change occurs at this pace, it’s clear the mindset of the American worker has shifted. With significantly more people aspiring to work for themselves versus holding a traditional job, it’s critical that we build a world to support them. To do that well we need all the data we can get.”

Millennials Continue to Change Everything

Now the largest generational cohort in the United States, it’s no wonder millennials are setting and bucking trends with every activity they do and every philosophy they subscribe to en masse. Their opinions about workplace culture are no different.

  1. Of the next 27 million independent workers, 42 percent will be millennials. This finding bucks Bureau of Labor Statistics figures that suggest most self-employed workers of the past have been older. This number also represents growth upon the current self-employed population, of which just 18 percent are millennials.
  2. The next wave of independent workers will also be more ethnically diverse than the existing contingent of self-employed professionals. The 27 million new independent workers will exhibit a higher percentage of African American, Asian, and Hispanic workers than that of the existing independent cohort.
  3. Newcomers to the independent workforce are also slightly more educated than the existing self-employed group. The next 27 million will have a slightly higher rate of bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees, while the rate of self-employed professionals with no college will fall.

Autonomy Is the Greatest Motivator

Americans are choosing to move away from traditional 9-to-5 jobs because they feel independent employment allows for more freedom.

  1. Twenty percent of those entering the independent workforce plan to change their careers once they begin working for themselves, suggesting the ability to change their career trajectory is a strong motivator.
  2. Forty-three percent of respondents feel becoming self-employed will give them more control over their career. Nearly one-third of respondents also selected “Family reasons” as a motivating factor, while 55 percent expect to have better health after becoming self-employed, lending credence to the idea a stronger work/life balance is part of gaining more control over their careers.

Incoming Independent Workers Are Preparing for Satisfying, Yet Difficult Work

While increased freedom is a major benefit of self-employment, most who are either currently self-employed or plan to be soon understand with great freedom comes great responsibility.

  1. Fifty-nine percent of professionals who plan to switch to self-employment expect they will have to work harder once they move to independent work.
  2. A higher proportion (71 percent) of existing self-employed professionals report enjoying overall career satisfaction, compared to 61 percent of traditionally employed individuals.
  3. Nearly 65 percent of currently self-employed professionals between the ages of 50 and 65 report wanting to work longer, as opposed to retiring. Millennials seem to understand this is now commonplace behavior, as 62 percent of self-employed people in that generational cohort plan to work beyond the age of 65.

Despite Increased Control, Self-Employed Professionals Still Have Needs

Self-employment may offer greater autonomy over one’s life and work, but independent workers must still contend with challenges as they start and build their new careers.

  1. Ninety-seven percent – up 10 percent from 2016 – of current self-employed professionals have no desire to return to traditional work, and 70 percent are actively trying to grow their businesses. This growth does not come without challenges.
  2. Self-employed professionals report that finding talented staff or contractors and acquiring new customers are the most difficult challenges they face as they attempt to grow their businesses (27 percent and 23 percent respectively).
  3. Just nine percent of self-employed individuals feel the federal government represents their business needs well, down from 17 percent in 2016.
  4. Very few (10 percent) of independent workers “strongly agree” they take advantage of data to make business decisions, and 20 percent either disagree or strongly disagree they leverage data to help their businesses.

Survey Methodology

FreshBooks conducted this study in collaboration with Research Now. More than 2,700 people who work full time – either as traditional employees, independent professionals, or small business owners – were surveyed online in November of 2017. Samples have been weighted (as required) to reflect various characteristics of their target populations (e.g., age, gender and industry) leveraging data from the U.S. Census, U.S. Small Business Administration, the NAICS Association and other sources. The study’s margin of error is +/- 2.3% at 95% confidence.

Why Entrepreneurship Is So Important

A Gig Economy* has been slowly created by the rise of software and the internet.  Many USA jobs are going overseas or being replaced by machines.  As an example, Watson, IBM’s cognitive computer that uses artificial intelligence, can make business decisions.  Its ability to research legal precedent better than humans is replacing entry jobs for new lawyers.  The work of understanding and replacing both simple and complex jobs, is making entrepreneurship increasingly in demand.  Because it is the primary solution to job displacement, the knowledge revolution, which supplanted the industrial revolution, is shifting to an entrepreneurial period. In this transition from knowledge to entrepreneurship, it is the individuals who invest early and heavily in entrepreneurship who will gain the most.  Fortunately, entrepreneurship is a skill set which can be taught, and this blog and ERI, Entrepreneurship Resources, Inc. strive to spread the empowerment and job of self-employment far and wide -

*Automation is already all around us. Cities are seeing front-end automated restaurants like Eatsa gaining popularity, while in factories automation has already arguably been a part of life for years (if not decades) in the form of heavy industrial and agricultural robots.  Analyzing the automation landscape, we found that 10 million service and warehouse jobs are at high risk of displacement within the next 5 – 10 years in the US alone. This includes jobs like cooks and servers, cleaners and janitors, as well as warehouse workers.

Meanwhile, nearly 5 million retail workers are at a medium risk of automation within 10 years. To put these numbers into perspective, estimates are that over a few years the Great Recession of 2007 – 2010 destroyed 8.7 million jobs in the US.

The Gig Economy is Giving Entrepreneurship a New Face

The Gig Economy is Giving Entrepreneurship a New Face. Here’s How


Millennials are known for their entrepreneurial chops; most of them even say they want to start a business. Yet, the Wall Street Journal reports that millennials are the least entrepreneurial generation of the last 25 years.

Twenty years ago, more than a third of new businesses were started by people the same age that millennials are now. Today, less than a quarter of startups are owned by people under 35 years old — meaning that of the 540,000 adults starting businesses each month, 75 percent are gen X or older. And for the first time ever, businesses are dying faster than they’re being born.

This begs the question: if millennials want to be entrepreneurs, how come so few of them are making it happen? Maybe it’s because they don’t have the same opportunity as older generations. They grew up during the Recession, and watched their parents’ financial struggles first hand. In many cases, they carry student debt and lack the experience required to secure a business loan. This makes them less inclined (and in some cases, literally unable) to take the financial risk associated with entrepreneurship. In short, millennials may want to start businesses, but they can’t do it on their own.

Fortunately, millennials haven’t abandoned their dreams of working for themselves — they’ve found opportunities in unexpected places. By doing so, they have changed the concept of entrepreneurship. Instead of settling for a job working for someone else, many have leveraged the gig economy and made a business of themselves as independent contractors. This used to refer to blue collar jobs, but now it applies to everyone from construction workers to coders.

Rethinking what entrepreneurship means has even extended to franchising. Our system is built on the entrepreneurial strength of people who had the drive to be their own boss. They prove that there’s more to entrepreneurship than simply starting a business or inventing a new product. It’s the ability to innovate, take risks, and seize opportunity — which is exactly what our business (and the gig economy) is all about. For us, it’s not about being the one with the big idea; it’s about building something bigger and better than any one of us could do alone.

You don’t need to be an entrepreneur in the traditional sense to be entrepreneurial. In fact, the gig economy demands the same constant grind as building a business from the ground up. Unlike their ancestors who became entrepreneurs by default, this generation are entrepreneurs by design.

Artificial Intelligence, New Educator’s Toolkit.

Why This Matters Now

Movie buffs have been hearing about artificial intelligence for years – from Steven Spielberg’s 2001 science fiction drama AI to the 2015 robotic police force in Chappieand beyond. AI is no longer the stuff of science fiction. This essential part of the technology sector aims to create intelligent machines of all kinds that think, work and react like humans. Just as electricity transformed the way industries functioned in the past century, artificial intelligence — the science of programming cognitive abilities into machines — has the power to substantially change society in the next 100 years. AI is being harnessed to enable such things as home robots, robo-taxis and mental health chatbots to make you feel better. The growth in this industry suggests great opportunity for Generation Z (today’s high school students) as they prepare for life after high school and college. Computer scientists tell us that the AI field requires strong foundations in math, technology, logic and engineering. Careers in AI use automation, robotics and sophisticated computer software and programs. Giving students a deeper understanding of AI and its business dimensions will inspire them to think about their potential place in this exciting, high-tech market.


The Allure of Artificial Intelligence
Get the conversation about AI started with this introduction to the industry and all its moving parts, from machine learning and RoboBees, to Cortana and computer science. Then use the conversation starters accompanying the article to do a deeper dive into the topic. For example: “What do you see as the greatest reward of AI? What about the greatest risk? Using the article and the toolbar to the right, find out what people are saying on both sides of the argument. Use what you learn to reflect on where you stand on the future of Artificial Intelligence. Log in to KWHS and share your insights in the comment section of this article.” Once you’ve discussed the article, assign this follow-on KWHS piece for a fascinating perspective on the AI start-up culture: A Teen App Developer Embraces a World Where ‘AI Is Going to Get into Everything.’

Lesson Plan
Management: ‘The Power of Impossible Thinking’
Students interested in the business of AI will need to embrace their innovative spirits. Many of them may someday manage businesses on the cutting-edge of technology. This lesson provides students access to some of the ideas presented in Colin Crook and Jerry Wind’s book The Power of Impossible Thinking: Transform the Business of Your Life and the Life of Your Business. Through a guided discussion, students will address thought-provoking concepts like: “We think the barriers are in the world, but often they are in our own minds,” and then apply their new knowledge through the development of a strategic plan for a business, product or service in the local community. We encourage you to add an AI twist to their innovation exercise by incorporating intelligent machines into their strategic plans, thus exploring the power of their own thinking with that of manmade minds.

Hands-on Learning
It can be difficult to grasp the depth and scope of artificial intelligence. It is literally transforming the business landscape as we know it. Specific jobs held by AI professionals include surgical technicians working with robotics, manufacturing and electrical engineers, software analysts and developers, mechanical engineers and algorithm specialists. Seeing is believing – and understanding. Plan a series of “AI Adventures” for your students that involve guest speakers working in the field, trips (either physical or virtual) to AI start-ups, companies or college classrooms developing technology, and even movie and YouTube viewings that will get students thinking in new ways about how artificial intelligence is developed and applied. Millennial entrepreneurs tell us that they love to share their knowledge and advice with the next generation. Why not Skype with the CEO of an AI startup in Silicon Valley? Be sure to read A Teen App Developer Embraces a World Where ‘AI Is Going to Get into Everything’ for a list of cool startups. Honda is also a great place to explore the latest applications of AI. Or watch an AI movie and then discuss this article. The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence may also spark ideas for your next “AI Adventure.”

Video Glossary
Provide an extra layer of learning for your students with our video glossary. Here, Wharton professors define terms: Computer Science, Startup, Venture Capital and Innovator

Courtesy Knowledge at Wharton Feb. 21, 2018

New Rise of the Rest Road Trip Revealed

Today, Feb. 14th we announced the first round of investments from the Rise of the Rest Seed fund and the next five cities on our seventh Rise of the Rest road trip!  The first startups to receive an investment from the Rise of the Rest Seed fund represent cities across the country from Pikeville, KY to Columbus, OH to Salt Lake City, UT. These companies are further proof that there are compelling startups starting and scaling outside of Silicon Valley, New York City, and Boston.  This spring, the bus tour will make stops in Birmingham, AL, Chattanooga, TN, Dallas, TX, Louisville, KY, and Memphis, TN to showcase emerging startup ecosystems and invest $500,000 from the Rise of the Rest Seed fund ($100,000 will be invested in a local startup at each stop).

Case founded his Washington, DC-based venture capital firm Revolution in 2005 with what he called a “Rise of the Rest” ethos: the idea that there are more places to invest in than California, New York, and Massachusetts. These three locations — essentially Silicon Valley, Manhattan, and Cambridge — have been the country’s startup centers for decades, and they have taken an increasing share of investments in the last decade, according to CB Insights. The firm reported that the states accounted for roughly 75% of all US venture capital funding from 2014-2016.

Case saw this trend in 2014 and decided to double down on one of his investing principles, resulting in the first Rise of the Rest bus tour, a four-day investing trip through the Rust Belt cities of Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Cincinnati, and then ending in Nashville, which had emerged as one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. Each day, he’d meet with local entrepreneurs and city leaders and host a startup pitch competition in which the winner received $100,000 of his personal wealth toward a seed round.

Significant change wasn’t going to come from one day in each city, but the idea was to start ongoing relationships in these communities and put a media spotlight on their business scenes.  Case and members of his Revolution team have gone on six more bus tours, establishing a network across 33 American cities. So far, Case has invested more than $3 million of his personal money during the tours, and to date, Revolution has invested more than $1 billion across its funds in companies outside of the Bay Area.


Change Entrepreneurship High Barriers for Women with Disabilities

The University of Illinois — Chicago is home to a unique education program for entrepreneurs with disabilities run by associate professor Dr. Katherine Caldwell. It’s called Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Education for People with Disabilities.

“We wanted to really bring disability studies and entrepreneurship to the same table to look at, ‘Okay, well where are we now?’” Caldwell said. “What does it look like, what are the main barriers that they’re running into, and what sort of facilitators would help them out?”

Caldwell found that Chicago-area entrepreneurs with disabilities had trouble finding resources to grow their businesses, had high barriers to entry and faced structural challenges from the disability benefits system.

Caldwell also notes that most of the entrepreneurs she works with are women of color. Women and minorities with disabilities face extra challenges. “There’s that whole discussion of the pay gap that we’ve been having in women’s rights circles,” Caldwell said. “But it hasn’t included women with disabilities.”

Accessible opportunities

Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Education for People with Disabilities aims to help participants understand the benefit system and other typical barriers to entrepreneurship so that they can find a way to be most successful in building a business.

Like in any demographic group, there’s plenty of desire to build businesses in the disability community. Perhaps, it’s even stronger, Caldwell said, because traditional employment opportunities for people with disabilities are often less than ideal.

“They want to take control,” she said. “ They want to start a business so they can, not just create a job for themselves, but also create jobs for other people with disabilities.”

Many people with disabilities are employed through something called sheltered workshops. Which, Caldwell said, “Is basically work in a segregated work setting where they’re paid less than minimum wage.”

Sheltered employment was originally intended to give people with disabilities a chance to get work experience and skills that they could use to get other jobs. But, “Only five percent of workers actually go on to competitive employment from sheltered workshops,” Caldwell said. “So it’s not effective at achieving what it was supposed to back in the ’30s and yet for some reason we’re still doing it.”

In fact, she argues many companies are exploiting workers with disabilities through sheltered employment because it’s a way for companies to employ people who they can pay significantly less than minimum wage.

In addition to entrepreneurship as an escape from sheltered work, people with disabilities can use entrepreneurship to tackle challenges they face every day navigating a mostly inaccessible world.

“They can tap into that innovative potential of having experienced the problems that their business serves first hand,” Caldwell said.


Entrepreneurial Women.

Jaclyn Johnson is the CEO and powerhouse behind beloved conference and site for millennial working women, Create & Cultivate. Having worked in the digital marketing space for the past 12 years, Jaclyn launched her first company at the age of 23 a creatively- driven marketing, influencer and events agency. Launched in 2010, established itself one of the go-to marketing, influencer and events agencies in Los Angeles servicing clients such as Simon Malls, Westfield, L’Oreal Paris, Microsoft, Nasty Gal, Levi’s, Sprint, Baxter of California, Urban Decay and more. (No Subject) was acquired by Small Girls PR in August 2016. In 2011, she introduce the online platform and offline conference series, Create & Cultivate. Johnson wanted to create a 365 day conversation around entrepreneurship and being a woman in the modern digital world. The conference gathers hundreds of thousands of the next generation of curious creatives, entrepreneurs and bad ass women to spark conversation around the topics they are passionate about from influencer marketing and brand building to raising money. Jaclyn also angel invests in female owned businesses such as AWAY luggage and is an advisor to several start ups.