I co-founded my start-up at 21-years-old and grew it to a 100+ person tech company that raised $45+ million in VC funding.
I co-founded Odyssey at 21-years-old, while in college. It started as a weekly newspaper at Indiana University. We wanted a way to connect with our peers to share information & opinions. It took off like wild fire. We knew we needed to create a digital platform for the world to use.
Odyssey became a millennial social content platform, one that democratizes content to bring new, meaningful ideas to the world while enabling businesses to build relationships with more engaged audiences. In less than two years after the platform launched, Odyssey grew to a 30+ million audience, with 14,000+ 18-34 year-old millennial creators posting 40,000+ pieces of unique content each month. As a result, in 2016, Odyssey raised more than $25 million in venture funding and to date more than $45+ million.
As Chief Creative Officer, I was responsible for driving the company’s growth and expanding its offerings, including our marketing services division Odyssey Brand Labs. I orchestrated millennial market research that resulted in unique influencer activation and native content strategies for Fortune 10-500 clients such as P&G, Verizon, Victoria’s Secret PINK, Starbucks, and more.
In early 2016, I shifted my focus to internal and external marketing for the organization, building Odyssey’s brand in the market. My role included creating and managing social branding and targeting campaigns, proprietary events of 50-250+, sponsorships & partnerships, building strategic relationships with brands and agencies as well as speaking and attending 40+ industry events in the last year alone.
After eight amazing years, in Summer 2017 I transitioned from day-to-day operations to an advisory role. Sold my house, my car and bought a one-way ticket for a sabbatical in Bali to refresh, reset, and realize life's next step.
During my sabbatical in Ubud, I was surrounded by an incredible, eclectic group of digital nomads & entrepreneurs from around the world. They kept asking me, “What do you do?” And I would always respond, “Well, I’m here to figure that out.” To which they would reply, “Well, what are you most passionate about? What do you have the most fun doing.”
... and then it hit me!
Every time I kept coming back to the moments I spent mentoring and advising young entrepreneurs and those hungry souls with the entrepreneurial spirit. I had spent countless hours with them working in and on their business and helping others find their passions and even join innovative start-ups.
Entrepreneurs are a different breed and the traditional world hasn't exactly set us up for success. You end up growing up while growing a business and there is a whole list of things you just simply don't know. And when you seek out advice from other entrepreneurs you see the 100-hour work week glorified, that if you get more than 4 hours sleep, you don't want it enough and that my friends... is bullshit.
This is why I work with founders & entrepreneurs.
I've earned my "blood, sweat and tears MBA" - quite literally. I've failed more times than I can count. I've burned out - more than once. Entrepreneurship sucks. There's no sugarcoating it. You just have different challenges as an entrepreneur, and more than likely your friends can't relate. I'm here to help you become a better entrepreneur both professionally and personally, with everything that life will throw at you. It's a dark road as an entrepreneur, but I've already walked it, so I'm here to give you a flashlight and a map.
Born and raised in Indiana, like a true Hoosier I graduated from Indiana University and am still an active advisor to my sorority, Delta Zeta. I lived in Ubud, Bali for four months where I worked, spoke, and hosted workshops at the world renowned co-working space, Hubud. Currently I'm back stateside, still a digital nomad working around the country but I know I'll return soon! :)