Alina Okun and Jessica Seepersad
Alina and Jessica share a passion for helping young people launch their careers. They believe that many of the job-related resources and knowledge they wished they had after college still aren’t available to young grads today. Together they have 40+ years of combined corporate, startup and government experience. Their company, walnut helps Gen Z launch and manage successful and fulfilling careers. Alina and Jessica met in a Day One coaching pod, so it is safe to say that without Day One, there would be no Walnut. Some of Walnut’s strongest supporters are other Day One fellows. According to them, the Day One community has been the most impactful part of their experience. They’re currently developing a 30-day training program for Gen Z to help them future-proof their careers. Over the past year, they’ve conducted customer research, identified initial product-market fit, and developed a roadmap for the next 12 months. Most of all, they’ve discovered “founder fit” by finding a topic they are both super passionate about and qualified to solve. Their biggest goals of 2023 are to launch "The Career Code: How to Future-Proof Your Career" program, and form relationships with college career center personnel, company hiring managers, recruiters, and recent college graduates.
Amaraj is a product manager with over 5 years of experience in Health Tech and HR Tech. He is interested in all things related to solving chronic conditions. Plus, he spends his free time playing basketball and DJ-ing. His company, HeyAunty, is bringing Ayurvedic supplements mainstream to help people lead healthier lives. The part of Day One that was the most impactful for Amaraj was the network and support system. The founders have always pushed him in the right direction and believed in him, and the mentors have given him the knowledge he needs to succeed. Currently, he is working on HeyAunty as well consulting on product at a few startups. In 2022, he found a contract manufacturer for the supplements and developed a marketing strategy. His biggest goals for 2023 are to develop a waiting list for the product and soft-launch the brand.
Amina has always had a passion for photography. She spent fifteen years exploring this passion while working in film and television as a producer and production manager on numerous movies and documentaries. In 2018, she started a for-profit travel business, Triple F Photo Tours and an initiative called Cameras For Girls, which was granted charity status in 2021. Through Cameras For Girls, her mission is to teach photography and business skills to marginalized females across Africa who endeavor to become journalists. She gives them a camera to keep and a 4-phase program that empowers them to find paid work and escape poverty. She has taught 47 young women via an in-person and online workshop in Uganda. 65% now have full-time jobs! Joining Day One with other founders who were in the beginning stages was impactful for two reasons. First, she got to learn from the ground up how to build out her business. Second, she got to meet and learn with other founders, which made it an easier journey. Day One helped her see what parts of her entrepreneur journey needed working on. In 2022, she got charity status in Canada and merged her photo tour division into another established Canadian travel company that was missing this part of their travel offerings. Her biggest goal in 2023 is to raise at least $250K so that she can grow her team and expand their training to 3 other countries in Africa. Her second biggest goal is to bring on collaborative partners in the international development space.
Amir is from Los Angeles, California and has 12+ years of software engineering experience in the digital entertainment industry, mainly through his work at Sony PlayStation. He is pursuing a MBA at Pepperdine University with an emphasis in entrepreneurship & sports media/entertainment management. He graduated from UC Irvine in 2011 with a B.S. in Information & Computer Science. He graduated from UCLA in 2014 with a M.S. in Systems Engineering with an emphasis in Information Systems. His company, Fan Access Pass, is a mobile application that provides fans access to their favorite influencers via meet & greets. Their mission is to provide in-person experiences with athletes, celebrities, artists, & influencers that are easy, enjoyable, and guaranteed. His Day One experience helped him grow his business from an idea to an actual early stage business. He notes that he is very grateful to Day One for helping him validate him idea and motivate him to build Fan Access Pass. In 2022, he developed the MVP for Fan Access Pass, which is a iOS mobile application, and formed the C-Corp. His goals for 2023 are to find strategic partners who want to sign up for Fan Access Pass, to be accepted into a launchpad or accelerator, and to launch the mobile application.
Aparna is a multi-faceted artist specializing in experience and product. She is the founder and CEO (That's Chief Experience Officer!!) of Denimrush and is changing the creative process behind merchandising by introducing a specialized creative framework to create intentional merchandise / swag while infusing experience. Before Day One, she was the founding partner and head of creative at Arcadia Earth, building in person experiences, while building Denimrush as a e-commerce brand. She was not fulfilled in the direction that Denimrush was going in (ecommerce) - but Day One helped her recognize the problem within the merch/swag industry and how she is uniquely equipped to solve it. She re-launched the business in August, 2022 after a pivot and was invited to join the Board of Decorators for Gildan, which recognized Denimrush to be at the forefront of the merchandising industry. Her biggest goals of 2023 are to build more structure around the business to be able to handle more clients, hire at least two full time employees (in house production manager and sales) and hit $500k in revenue.
Berta Argenté is the founder and CEO of Blum, a Company Builder for Impact that builds social businesses to create opportunities for women. Her experience includes business design and investment roles at leading Company Builders and social impact funds in Colombia, India and Spain. She holds a BBA from ESADE Business School, a BSc in International Development from University of London & London School of Economics and is a Georgetown University GCL fellow. Berta is passionate about women’s empowerment and leveraging business as a force for change. Before her time at Day One, she was a Business Designer at Polymath Ventures in Colombia. Day One was a key experience for her that contributed to her decision to launch a mission-driven Company Builder to reinvent the way social businesses are created and scale. Weekly gatherings with entrepreneurs were the most impactful part of the experience, as they inspired her to build something from scratch and embark on a new adventure. In 2022, she raised 270K€ in funding and launched the first social business—SHE bistro, a social business that offers training, employment and community to female survivors of gender violence and people with intellectual disabilities. Plus, she built the initial team (Co-founder, Launcher and Advisory Board). Her biggest goals for 2023 are to raise 100K€ to sustain operations for 2023, strengthen the Advisory Board, and launch a second social business that is currently in the design phase.
Brian has nearly 20 years of business experience working in various roles for small and large companies. He left his corporate job in 2019 and is now the CEO and Co-Founder of Baby Chick, a digital media and lifestyle brand and pregnancy to parenthood resource for expectant and new mothers. Day One helped them expand and improve the vision for their company. They realized they need to (and can) go bigger by leveraging the brand they've built. They started Day One as a digital media company looking to raise funds to grow the digital media operation. After Day One, they started thinking beyond being 'just' a digital media company. They’re leveraging the brand they’ve built by introducing brand extensions, and now have a new outlook and understanding of investors' role in the growing business. Aside from growing revenue year over year, their biggest win in 2022 was getting much smarter on how they take the company to the next level. In addition, they made multiple hires and now have a stronger team. Looking ahead in 2023, their biggest goals are raising more funds to build brand extensions and adding multiple revenue streams.
Zach is a long time community builder, tech enthusiast, gaming/esports fanatic, and professional pirate. He is multi-talented and always willing to learn a new skill in order to further his goals of bringing communities together and building the tools and infrastructure to support them. He’s working on two projects, Yor TCG and Venue Menu. Yor TCG is a physical/digital hybrid NFT Trading Card Game. Venue Menu is a marketplace for venues and organizers to collaborate on free public events. He joined Day One when he had solidified the idea of his NFT TCG in his head, and realized he had a goal that he felt compelled to reach, but no idea how to get there. Day One has been the ultimate cartographer for this journey, laying out a map before him to not only allow him to get to where he wants, but to be aware of all of the obstacles, other routes, and useful stops along the way. In 2022, he finished the first paper prototype of his game, and negotiated a promotion at his day job that will allow him to prioritize his entrepreneurial aspirations. In 2023, his biggest is to launch a closed beta for Venue menu in Q1. Plus, polish the core game-design and and do the team building necessary for Yor to move forward and potentially acquire crowdfunding or other investment by the end of Q4.
Entrepreneur at heart, Conner built his first business at age 12 by doing other student's science homework, where he generated a whopping $100 MRR. Also at age 12, Conner began working as a carpenter, but only because his dad made him. Now, by choice, Conner is working full time to advance the world of photography through software. His company, Clik, offers professional event photos delivered direct to guests in real time. Before Day One and working on Clik, he was working at General Motors as a Product Manager in Connected Vehicle Services. According to Conner, the accountability he gained through Day One has been huge. Each week he was working towards deliverables. Before Day One, he was less intentional with his tasks and goals week-to-week. Over the past year, he quit his comfy (and cool) job as a PM at GM to work on his photography passion project full time. With no income, he continues to break even on NYC living expenses by using his camera to make money, all while experimenting on his vision for Clik. His biggest goals for 2023 are to raise a pre-seed round, find a co-founder, and deliver 250,000 photos in one month.
David Chase is the CEO and Founder of Possible, an education start-up that is on a mission to try on careers like we try on shoes. David has worked and consulted for all different types of companies from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 enterprises. Prior to Possible, David was Head of Marketing at CodeCombat (Series A, YC 14), did growth at eSpark Learning, and worked at Microsoft leading content strategy for Xbox Live. In 2022, he closed a partnership with Rutgers University, ran multiple paid consumer cohorts, and landed various employer sponsorships. Looking ahead in 2023, his biggest goals are to paise a pre-seed round and hire a small, but powerful team so that they can continue to grow partnerships with great universities that want to better support their students' career goals, and reach more employers looking to hire the best, brightest, and diverse early talent.
Deeckla is the founder & CEO of SCRUFF & SMOOTH, a men's skincare and grooming company. Prior to Day One, Deeckla was a marketing leader at Eddie Bauer, Nordstrom, and Microsoft (Xbox). In her latest role at Eddie Bauer, she drove their marketing and customer growth strategy, while leading the loyalty, SMS, email, gift card, and direct mail programs. Being in Day One was essential to her journey as an early-stage founder. The community was there for her before she even considered herself a founder, helping her learn how to get started, and how to tackle new challenges. In 2022, she launched SCRUFF & SMOOTH within three months from idea conception - an MVP complete with multiple men's skincare brands and products. Her biggest goals for 2023 are to grow SCRUFF & SMOOTH with more men's grooming brands and products and run customer research for her second startup project, which will be in the baking space.
Diana has been a seasoned entrepreneur since the age of 19 with a detour at Amazon and Microsoft to specialize in innovation and new product launches. After working with Gary Vaynerchuk's team as a VaynerX Fellow, she is currently building Brief, a web3 platform that empowers businesses and users to read, red flag and TLDR contracts quickly. Day One gave her the courage to dive deep and commit to launching Brief. The day-to-day network and conversations of other founders made the journey more introspective and motivating. Now, she’s diving full time into building a team and seeking funding to launch the product. Her biggest goals in 2023 are to raise $250k to launch the MVP. Plus, to build an experienced board of advisors with experience in legal, B2B sales, AI and growth marketing.
Dylan has been innovating in hospitality and travel for the past 10 years with the ultimate goal of creating memorable moments. After great success in luxury travel, platinum music experiences, and outdoor hospitality/glamping, Dylan launched his legacy project with his partner, Mo; Connecting Roads. Connecting Roads is an Experience Marketplace connecting creators and their communities through once-in-a-lifetime, bucketlist-worthy experiences. Day One gave him the support and mentorship to break through the noise of early-stage startup growth. One of the most impactful calls he had put into perspective how important money truly is in building a business. He learned that money is oxygen, and oxygen is needed for survival. After going through Day One, they’ve been hyper-focused on securing sustainable partners that believe in their vision. They are currently building retreats for early-stage entrepreneurs and investors, artist experiences for musicians and their die-hard fans, and connecting with web3 communities in need of ways to bring their communities together IRL. Their biggest wins of 2022 were securing partnerships across several industries including Web3, Music, Fashion, and Entrepreneurship. Plus, they executed several high-level, curated experiences for major music festivals including Electric Forest, Firefly Music Festival and Art Basel. Their biggest goals for 2023 are to raise their series A round to hire a developer full-time to create our token-gated marketplace, and they are also looking forward to launching their retreats and experiences while developing a YouTube series; Retreat Reviews.
Words like 'creative' and 'innovative' were invented for people like Florin Grozea. Some people can do, but not teach. Some, the other way around. Florin does both exceedingly well! Florin’s company is called MOCAPP Digital. In 2022, he raised €0.5M for a new product, and his biggest goal in 2023 is to exceed €2M ARR.
Garrett is a hacker, entrepreneur, and autodidact, and enjoys building companies and products for niche audiences. His company, Godai Group, owns and operates several companies such as Hacker Warehouse, Paragon Gear, and Hacker Couture. In 2022, he led a successful Kickstarter campaign of a patent-pending modular strap system called Paragon Straps. Looking ahead in 2023, his biggest goals are to (1) land partnership / licensing agreement with a large bag company like Bellroy or Peak Designs for Paragon Gear, (2) sell Hacker Warehouse, and (3) have an exploding Podcast and youtube channel to start marketing the book The Hacker Mindset.
Jay is a first-generation American and founder of Riven; a rising consumer product goods company. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and is sometimes in shape and sometimes not. Riven makes oral care products using probiotics to help you achieve a biologically healthier mouth. According to Jay, starting a new company in a new space with zero experience can feel very isolating, like you've been dropped in the middle of the deep Ocean. Day One helps him feel like he’s not being constantly crushed by the waves. Day One provides him with resources and a support system of individuals who've succeeded at all levels, helping him find his own way to shore. His biggest wins of 2022 were launching in January after a year of research, testing, and R&D. Plus, Riven sold out three times with national media coverage. Looking ahead, his biggest goals in 2023 are to get into mass retail, add new product SKUs, and hire a superstar growth marketer.
After 25 years in the tech world Jeff’s life has now gone to the dogs, literally. His business is the first canine wellness brand that promotes healthy living geared towards our faithful companions. Figuring out what your passionate about in your career is everything! Before Day One, Jeff was building Customer Success organizations to scale and expand SaaS businesses. But now, since he joined Day One, Jeff figured out how to pivot, and then you’re on an accelerated track, work like crazy. Then be sure to continue to validate your products and service, as not to lose momentum. When he’s not doing 1:1 training sessions with dogs, he’s either making his nutritious dog food topper or working on advertising the business. It was clear in 2022 that he wanted to build a practice around fine tuning a canine lifestyle brand with services. But, he’s not interested in building out an e-commerce business. His biggest goals for 2023 are to hire a talented team of contractors, complete forming the LLC and trademarks, and double his 1:1 training business.
Flexy Art, Schad Tracy Signs, Highway Handyman Products
Jeff is a focused entrepreneur/business operator/family man who builds along side good humans. He runs numerous companies; Flexy Art, Schad Tracy Signs, and Highway Handyman Products. His companies help companies and people communicate their brands visually and artistically. He recently joined Day One, and will be seeking advice with the startup. Plus, he looks forward to contributing to helping others as well! In 2022, he built an amazing team all driving towards one goal, reinvested profits into a concept, and more recently filed for a patent. His goals for 2023 are to reach $200k in revenue within his startup, guide his team to maximize profitability within their main business, and evolve their sales teams from reactive selling to proactively generating business.
Jerome has over 20 years of experience in Software Development and he is currently working on his 3rd Start-up. He has extensive experience in the Behavior Driven Development (BDD) space and the company he has founded, NoCodeBDD, allows organisations to roll out BDD without code and improve software delivery by 10X. Day One helped Jerome understand his GTM messaging, ICP, and the road map for success. In 2022, he closed 2 clients, hired 2 more resources, and got selected by an Accelerator with a funding option of $100K. His biggest goals for 2023 are to raise $1M and close 25 more clients.
Jesse is the Co-Founder and CEO of Rella, a company that brings the human touch to digital wedding planning. Prior to Rella, Jesse spent 6+ years at Goldman Sachs in NYC and London in Private Investments. Based in NYC now, he was originally a New Englander who holds a Masters and Bachelors in Economics and Finance from Brandeis University, where he pitched for their NCAA baseball team. Day One helped Jesse get back on the horse. He found Day One after working through numerous "first time founder problems" and Day One not only gave him the structure he needed to reset, but also a community that helped him process their missteps and move forward. In 2022, he successfully pivoted towards solving for a very real overlooked pain point within their space that much closer resonates with their mission and value prop. Plus, they doubled the size of their team. Looking ahead in 2023, their biggest goals are to go live with a public / PR launch, support their first 250 couples (via live platform offering), and raise $1mm+ to propel them to support their first 1000 couples and beyond.
Jimmy is a 25 year vet in Corporate Finance and Accounting with the last 10 in several Tech Start-ups in Toronto. This experience has inspired him to become a first time Founder at the ripe old age of 45! Father of 3, general sports nut and always-learning basketball coach, Jimmy and the rest of the Ymmij team are building something intended to make us all better! The Platform is intended for users to curate a true depiction of themselves. Ymmij will push light and simple activities to make inputs easy, and over time a personal and private reflection of one's self. In 2022, they built and "very soft" launched their MVP, and launched and completed a successful equity crowdfund. In 2023, their biggest goal is to raise $500K for continued development to launch, provide customer support, and market the product.
Joseph is a multi-disciplined artist and NFT project founder. His visual art, music, comedy and writing is influenced by his multicultural heritage and world travels. His goal is to use these talents and skills to bring joy to the world. His company, CoolCrocs, is a multi-media brand and NFT project which produces fun cartoons, toys, games, and clothing and spreads awareness about ADHD and Neurodivergence. Day One helped him with business fundamentals, the customer interview process, and pitching. Now, he’s creating in a way that is more financially viable. In 2022. he launched multiple new products and started selling them on their online store. In 2023, his biggest goal is to increase revenue and make the business profitable.
Justin is the founder of Fractional Biz, a platform that allows anyone to invest in cash-flowing small businesses. He was previously a founder and consultant who worked with small businesses to help them grow their operations, sales and products. For Justin, Day One was an excellent testing ground for ideas which allowed him to explore what was next. In 2022, he gathering a ton of early customer feedback and got accepted to a pre-accelator. His biggest goals for 2023 are to continue to add customers and raise funding to grow Fractional Biz.
Kartik is an entrepreneur trying to change the way people think about investing. There is an awesome opportunity to create financial freedom that has never existed before. His company, Avocado, is a web3 based social investing platform incentivizing content consumption and interaction before an investment is made. Prior to his time at Day One, Kartik was working at Square full-time, but now that Day One helped provide him with resources and insights that he didn’t know were available before, he is also working on Avocado on the side. In 2022, he built our platform and is now heading into their fundraise. His biggest goals of 2023 are to finish their raise and launch Avocado to the masses.
After a decade-long career working in curatorial departments in Museums across New York and New England, Kristen founded Brilliantly, an app controlled, rechargeable wearable that delivers full-body, natural-feeling warmth at the press of a button. All from your bra.A writer, public speaker, and solution finder, she serves on the Advisory Council for the Breasties, and is a member of Dreamers & Doers, The Fourth Floor, Female Founders Community and Women of Wearables. Kristen joined Day One in the summer of 2020 when she was struggling to see a way to keep Brilliantly afloat during the pandemic. The connections she made through the program helped her to zoom out of her rut and continue moving forward. She’s not sure that Brilliantly would have made it through the pandemic without this program! In 2022, she won the Dream Ventures pitch competition in the spring and Brilliantly Warm was featured in GOOP this fall. Her first goal in 2023 is to close a $1.5M seed raise, then bring on two new hires and to solidify contracts with two, major strategic sales partners.
Lana Colleen Elfstrom
Lana Elfstrom is a Unity Developer and Student Success Advisor. She has thirty years of experience in Public Works and Public Health and a passion for education, art, science, and technology. Plus, as a passionate advocate for women in STEM, Lana is particularly interested in developing innovative solutions to provide support and resources to help women in STEM overcome the challenges and barriers they face and achieve success in their careers and businesses. She never believed she could actually start her own business. She didn't know the first thing about how to do it. If it weren't for the supportive community and team at Day One, in addition to everything she’s learned through the tracks, she would never have found the courage to do this. It would never have become a reality for her. Her top wins for 2022 were joining Day One, and the new friends and the priceless community that has her back and cheers her on. Her biggest goal is to begin the first steps of building the business. She can't wait to take all of the lessons she’s learned and apply them. She has a blueprint now, and wants to go all in and learn as much as possible through the process. Her second goal is to complete the VaynerX Bootcamp and learn about operations. She doesn’t have experience as an operator, and this Bootcamp will be invaluable to her journey as a new founder.
Leah Miller is the founder of AlcheMĒ Wellness, a digital health startup providing at-home testing for biomarkers associated with mental health. Leah is a skilled, multi-disciplinary Licensed Professional Counselor and a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with advanced training in nutrition and integrative medicine for mental health professionals. Leah has utilized her vast clinical experience to build AlcheMĒ Wellness with the goal of making mental health mainstream and providing alternative options for improving mental wellness. Before Day One, as a licensed professional counselor, Leah was the owner and therapist at her psychotherapy practice, Leah Miller Integrative Psychotherapy. Leah is also adjunct faculty at the Arizona Trauma Institute, teaching the intersection of trauma and Mind/Body Medicine. Her most impactful experience at Day One has been meeting like-minded peers in her cohort and knowledgeable mentors that have encouraged her on her journey. Startup life can be lonely, and Day One helped her build a community. In 2022, she onboarded three advisors to her company, and started beta testing. Her biggest goals for 2023 are to raise $150k and hire a data analyst with digital health experience.
Leslie W. Stewart IV
Leslie W. Stewart IV is a US-born entrepreneur based out of Nicaragua and the founder of Invest Nicaragua, one of the country's top Real Estate Agencies. He initially arrived in Nicaragua as a US Peace Corps volunteer, working with the Ministry of Education to train high school teachers in an entrepreneurship-based curriculum and consulting for small businesses & microfinancing companies. Outside of real estate and international development, Leslie is passionate about fintech, and it's role in developing countries, especially Latin America. As an entrepreneur, he always tells people that it is very easy to feel like you are running a marathon alone with no end in sight. Day One has provided him with a community of other entrepreneurs running alongside him, pushing him to keep going, helping him keep pace, and providing the support needed to finish the race. 2022 was his most profitable year to date, where he made key hires and created the framework to allow him to focus on growth and own his operator role. This year, he wants to introduce new products and services to make real estate purchases in Nicaragua more accessible to the local & global community.
Lori is a former beauty industry publicist specializing in 'green' cosmetics. She spent a lifetime sending flowers to editors in thanks for covering her clients on their pages, and never giving a thought to their seasonality or provenance. Flash forward to 2020, while ordering flowers for all the mama's in her life, Lori stumbled upon some little known "dirty" secrets about conventional and fast flowers—the carbon footprint, the toxic pesticides, the marginalized workers—that inspired a business idea. Lori launched THE FLOWRY to bring attention to a better way to buy and send bouquets for special occasions and everyday celebrations, through a marketplace of foam free and eco-conscious florists, prioritizing locally grown flowers, in season and sustainable design practices. Day One provided her with a place to go to show up, share, learn, and listen to others on an entrepreneurial path, which was both fascinating and frightening at times. Day One introduced her to "free" tools and resources that she wasn't aware existed, which are extremely helpful for cash-poor startups. The most important thing she learned is that even if an idea is validated, the path to revenue may be less obvious or achievable for factors, both intrinsic and extrinsic. Looking ahead in 2023, her bluesky goal is to identify a tech-driven co-founder.
Lucas is a media Professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the Media & Entertainment industry performing Strategy and management roles. He has a wide-ranging knowledge of Pay Tv, Digital Media, Information Technology and Web3. He is a Former executive of Warner Media. In the last 7 years he co-founded of Intec (Intecgs.com), Inway Media (Inwaymedia.com) and recently Inforce (inforcelatam.com), a Digital content creator, streaming production, and gaming lifestyle company. Joining Day One allowed him to be involved and interact with a community of entrepreneurs and have access to experienced leaders. His biggest wins of 2022 were the consolidation of Inforce and being involved in the web3 ecosystem. His biggest goal of 2023 is to complete the assembly of a team for launching a new marketing web3 project.
Luke Lennon (they/he/any) is the Founder and CEO of Namesake Collaborative, where they work to reduce barriers to wealth and health building for the trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive community. Prior to Namesake, Luke led brand and community for Stratyfy, an AI fintech company, and MassChallenge, a global startup accelerator. He has a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from Boston College. In their spare time, Luke loves poetry, hiking, and good food with good company. Namesake is a trans-led tech company that empowers the transgender, nonbinary, and gender expansive community to maintain autonomy over their identities, starting with the legal name & gender marker change process. When Luke came to Day One, everything was just an idea. Day One helped him take idea to reality, really encouraging him to build in public while keeping the customer at the center. In 2023, he went full-time on Namesake and launched beta with a pilot partner in MA. In 2023, his biggest goals are to expand the product beyond beta, raise a pre-seed round, and hire a lead engineer.
As a dedicated gender equality and global impact professional, Lynn is committed to providing the right tools to women at the right time to empower them to build their desired futures. She has collaborated with various organizations, including think tanks, nonprofits, and fintech start-ups, to enhance women's labor force participation and entrepreneurship. Currently, Lynn is the founder of Hokouki (my rights), an app designed for women, researchers, activists, and human rights NGOs in the MENA region to easily access relevant laws and regulations. She also serves as a Global Fellow and Lead Research Analyst at the Wilson Center, where she aims to identify the connections between low women's economic participation, entrepreneurship, and financial and digital inclusion. In 2022, she built a team of more than 20 volunteers around the MENA region helping the development of Hokouki, and was able to go full time on the company. Her biggest goals in 2023 are to raise around $500k to go live and to build partnerships all over the region.
Mason is a designer and maker. After working as an automotive designer, he now works independently with startups ranging from UI/UX, brand design, and industrial design. He's building Viewport to create a better place for designers to share work and get feedback. Before Day One, he was building his micro agency - Arcade Labs, which partners with startups on design services. The most valuable aspects of his Day One experience was the mentorship and community, which led him to his biggest wins in 2022: Onboarding their first users to a working app, and continuing to iterate and pushing big updates while slowly starting to spread the word about it. Looking ahead in 2023, his biggest goal is to make Viewport self-sustaining. He plans to launch a paid, pro tier with more features to help keep the app independent and funded for future development.
Maximilian Fleitmann is an active angel investor and the Co-Founder of Wizard Ventures, where he buys and operates online businesses with a special focus on the next generation of products for founders and investors. He has been passionate about building tech businesses since he was 15. Plus. he co-founded one of Germany's most successful ed-tech companies, StudyHelp, before he decided to spend two years on the VC side. His portfolio of >20 ventures worldwide focuses on B2B Saas, Education, and community-driven products. Before Day One, he was full time investing while looking for his next business idea. Having a great community of fellow entrepreneurs at Day One helped him get Wizard Ventures off the ground. He noted that he can tap into so many great experiences - from marketing to hiring - and not make the same mistakes that others made. His biggest learning was that many businesses out there can't be venture scale but can still be great businesses. So, he and his team decided to combine a bunch of them under one roof and create an internet holding company. Wizard Ventures is something he thought about for years, and now it is finally a reality. And the best part about is they are empowering thousands of investors & entrepreneurs every day. In 2023, they want to cross $1M in ARR, hire a team of 5, and buy the next projects.
Meghan is a Holistic Nutrition Health Coach and Wellness Consultant with a focus on gut health, hormone health, cleansing and detoxification, and cellular regeneration through her 1:1 and corporate wellness practices. Before Day One, she had just quit a venture capital job and left the corporate world to pursue her long-term passion for health and wellness. Day One was very impactful in her life, and therefore played a huge role in what she chose to focus on in 2022. At the time, she was contemplating building a plant-based CPG company. Through customer research and user interviews with her Instagram community, she realized that they just wanted more knowledge/information, which led her to write her book, FROM WITHIN. It’s a comprehensive print handbook to help readers resolve gut issues and live a happier, healthier, more meaningful life, and will highlight accessible and affordable wellness practices available to anyone and everyone. Her biggest goal for 2023 is to grow and expand the corporate wellness practice.
Mike is an NYC architect turned fitness tech entrepreneur, and co-founder of Redprint. He’s an avid creator of all things; woodworking, drawing, making music, but most importantly, creating meaningful tools that help people. His company, Redprint, is a fitness app that augments existing equipment inside gyms to interact with their mobile app, so beginners can access on-demand instructional content, have an easier time staying consistent with incentivized awards, and get to know others in their local fitness community. Before Day One, he was a full-time architect and was working part-time on Redprint. He spent his time at Day One connecting with other like-minded, motivated individuals in the community, which allowed him to learn from others’ experiences, gain perspectives he didn't have before, and develop a confidence to go all-in with his startup. He’s learned that a supportive network and community around him is vital to an entrepreneurs’ journey, especially in the beginning stages. He and his co-founder recently raised a pre-seed round and have just taken on Redprint full time, and are now focused on growth. Their biggest wins of 2022 were raising some funds and going full-time on the venture, and getting their first paying customer. Their biggest goals in 2023 are to see significant growth in gyms, users, and revenue. Plus, meeting more amazing people in the startup world, and raising a seed round of funding.
With a background in technology, sales, and marketing and a life-long passion for understanding the brain and mental health, Michelle is the London based founder of Wondersource. She launched Wondersource due to a spirited desire to solve a problem she faced; finding credible, knowledgeable and passionate experts to tackle health, career and life areas and support the whole person. Michelle holds an Executive Global Master’s in Management from the London School of Economics. Before her time at Day One, Wondersource was a B2C platform. Now, they’ve pivoted to focus on businesses by making a healthier, more empowered life accessible for ambitious employees and individuals. Wondersource is the first comprehensive wellbeing and empowerment platform built around a relentless focus on driving organisational impact, leadership development and employee wellbeing. In 2022, they launched monthly consumer workshops and went live with their first corporate client. In 2023, her biggest goals are to end the year with 10 corporate clients, find the right dev support, hire key roles and raise a seed round.
Nicholas is an entrepreneur and executive with a history of building top-performing teams. He has deep experience in AI, data science and engineering, and supply chain optimization, honing his skills at companies like Amazon, Bloomberg, and YouNow. He has also taught graduate-level statistics and capstone projects at top universities. In his free time, he enjoys running marathons, boxing, and playing music. Day One provided him the early support community and network that he needed to find the confidence in pursuing his idea. In 2022, he went from zero to being accepted into Techstars NY, built a team, launched his MVP, and is now processing over $170M in transactions across 40K products & variants. The biggest goals for 2023 are to grow their customers by solving more of their pain points, expand their team to support the roadmap, and raise a few million dollars to fund their growth.
Nick is a biophysicist and data scientist with a PhD in physics and 10+ years of research experience in theoretical and computational molecular biophysics. He has worked at research institutions in Nebraska, Wisconsin, California, Texas, and Denmark and was, until recently, a Director of Data Science. Nick co-founded Constantiam Biosciences where he is currently serving as CEO and co-leads technical development. Constantiam Biosciences is leveraging experimental data on gene function to inform genetic variant interpretation at scale. Day One was his first education in being an entrepreneur. Both the direct instruction and the network were helpful in his development as an founder. After several years of working nights and weekends, in 2022 he and his team received grant funding and a seed investment that has allowed all three co-founders to work full-time on the company. They also completed building their MVP and have used it to initiate conversations with potential customers. In 2023, they will be focused on carrying out the work described in their funded grant and preparing to apply for the next phase of the grant.
Nicole is a social entrepreneur, design researcher, and animal lover. Currently, she is the founder of Springrose, which designs adaptive intimate apparel that improves the quality of life for women who have limited mobility as a result of injury, illness, or disability. Before starting Springrose, she honed her skills in design thinking and strategy at Deloitte, where she focused on designing solutions for underserved populations. Nicole has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, an MS in Design Innovation from the McCormick School of Engineering, and a BA from Brown University. She joined Day One right at the beginning of her journey with Springrose, so more than anything, it served to give her a community of peers and to show her the power of a network. She learned from Day One that if you put yourself out there and ask for help, people are usually willing to lend a hand. She’s now working full-time on Springrose, where the current priorities are finishing their fundraise, finalize the product, and formalize partnerships. They’re getting everything ready to launch in 2023. In 2022, she raised $500K+ in non-dilutive and dilutive capital, and created partnerships with 10+ industry-leading institutions that will help them reach over 30,000 women.
Paul Girgis is a strategic optimist with a background in innovation, marketing, and sales. As a Partner at OnCenter, he loves inviting leaders into conversations around how their teams might flourish. OnCenter is a tech-enabled strategy consultancy that helps leaders make wise decisions with adaptive strategy. His experience in the Day One community helped bring the clarity and belief that jumping into OnCenter's specific team/problem/solution/timing was right for him, right now. Day One showed and reminded him that he had everything he needed to be successful. He’s currently leading their biz dev team, refining their design-centric consulting approach, and commercializing their in-house strategy software, Pathways. In Q1 2023 they'll be a full-time team of five and eagerly looking to sustainably scale. Their goals for the year ahead are to excellently serve a dozen executive teams as they pursue transformative change across their organizations, and make $50k in revenue from their software.
Renee Russo and Annie Reardon
Renee and Annie are both software engineers building Glow Labs, a loyalty rewards program on the blockchain. They have a passion for tech and helping brands design blockchain-based loyalty rewards. The New York City-based company's no-code software has raised $5 million in less than a year. In 2022, they raised $5M and were named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list & Fast Company's Next Big Thing in Tech. Before Day One, they both worked at JP Morgan as software engineers. Day One helped them build the foundation of their business and startup network. According to Renee and Annie, It was great to have someone who kept them accountable as they started. Their biggest goals for 2023 are to onboard 2-3 major brands in web3.
Sawsan is a mother of two kids, from Jordan, and has always had a passion and interest in women's empowerment and gender equality. Through her startup, she aims to redefine the world of work for women so they can achieve financial independence and build a more equal and sustainable future. She’s a self-motivated learner and an unwavering optimist who believes there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Her company, iRole, is an integrated platform that aims to redefine the world of work for women in the MENA region by connecting them with remote job opportunities. The most impactful experience for her in Day One is the connections. For example, she got to know Amina Mohamed, who introduced her to the award-winning Jordanian - Canadian photojournalist and Filmmaker Annie Sakkab. Now, the three of them are working on "Through a Female Lens", a 3-day workshop to teach photography and business skills to females in Jordan and empower them through their passion for storytelling to find meaningful work. In 2022, she won the International Women's Prize with OSVP "Orange Social Venture Prize projects" and was the First-Place winner of the 7th National Forum For Youth Entrepreneurs in Jordan. In 2023, her biggest goals are to officially Launch the website and build a community of professional women.
Seth Silvers is the Founder and Lead Strategist at Story On Media, a premier podcast agency helping business leaders build thriving podcasts. After running a content agency for 5 years, he realized podcasting was one of the most authentic and scalable ways for businesses to build trust with their audiences. Seth and his team focus on helping businesses create can't miss podcasts that nurture business audiences as a business is scaling. Day One helped provide him with a roadmap and process for building a scalable company. The education has answered the questions he’s previously tried answering on his own and provided a community to support him on the journey. His biggest wins of 2022 were nailing down the pricing model, and getting rid of clients that where draining the company. His biggest goals for 2023 are to have a predictable sales process implemented and to save 4 months of reserve funds for the company.
Sheryl is the founder of Beauty Apiary. Previously having success in R&D and product management roles in the biotech space, she decided to bet on herself and her desire to make an impact on empowering women. Empathy is her superpower. Beauty Apiary is a community that allows women to connect with others sharing similar pain points related to beauty products and services. After having validated her concept for Beauty Apiary, but before joining Day One, she was looking for a technical co-founder and, at the same time, trying to push forward in building an MVP without a significant amount of financial investment. At Day One, not only did she learn about tools that were instrumental in removing what she then thought were roadblocks, but she also developed valuable connections with other entrepreneurs in the network. The entrepreneurial journey is HARD, and having an inspirational community that understands your pain like no-one else has been wildly important to keep her going when times are lonely and difficult. In 2023, her biggest goals are to launch Beauty Apiary, find a technical co-founder, and raise funding to hire marketing and content managers.
Sid spent the last few years working with the biggest companies in finance, seeing first-hand how they work to keep people in a cycle of confusion, anxiety and debt. With Bolder Money, Sid is on a mission to make guidance around money more human, and equitable. Bolder Money is a money-coaching platform for consumers who don't work with financial advisors. They help consumers achieve their financial goals by addressing the emotional and behavioral side of money. Day One helped Sid to identify the gaps in his knowledge, and put him in touch with experts, especially those who get the nuances of building things from scratch. In 2022, they've helped their members save thousands of dollars, change jobs, get out of difficult relationships, and take more control of their lives and their future by providing them with the support and guidance to build financial security. On the business front, they've been able to scale their team and product from pen and paper to hundreds of users and raised their pre-seed round. Their biggest goal of 2023 is to find financial services partners as theyr focus on a B2B2C strategy, and 10x their user base.
Soren John Wrenn
Soren is designer and storyteller for unique digital experiences. He is the founder of TITLES, a new way to discover, remix, and publish cryptomedia. Previously, he did pre-seed investments at betaworks ventures. During his time at Day One, he and his team got a ton of value from being around a a large group of other folks chasing the startup dream, moving through ideas, and learning how to build. In 2022, they raised $1.7M from top tier firms and angels, hired talent from great companies like Apple, and built + shipped multiple new products. Looking ahead in 2023, their biggest goals are launching their next product called "SOURCE", raising their next round of financing, and continuing to build their talented team.
Suzanne has been designing and building digital products for almost 10 years as the founder of Art+Soul Design. Prior to that, she led design and dev teams for an international corporation working on multimillion dollar projects. Informed by a degree in psychology, she has co-founded a new venture to tackle the problem of excessive screen use for families. Her new company, HeroMaker Quests, is a two-sided gamified platform that rewards real world activity for kids, while providing parents with a road map to reduce excessive screen time. Day One was invaluable in providing a wide range of mentors who helped her develop and hone their investor deck and pitch. Day One’s supportive peer community also 10X’ed the fun of being an entrepreneur! Over the last year, she joined forces with 2 exceptional co-founders, built their prototype, and gained support and guidance they needed to prepare a strong investor deck and pitch presentation. Their biggest win for 2022 is a potential partnership and pilot program with the Boys & Girls Club for early distribution. Her biggest goal for 2023 is to secure funding to build and launch their MVP. Her ongoing goal is to be introduced to as many parents as possible who want to create more balance, exploration, and self-discovery for their kids.
Tanner is the founder of Copilot (a company-building agency), an investor at WAGMI Ventures, and host of the WAGMI Ventures Podcast (featuring interviews with founders across web3, w/ companies like Goldfinch, Autograph, and Mythical Games). He’s formerly an MBA Associate with Blossom Street Ventures, and prior to that worked independently with clients like Human Ventures, PS Kitchen, Lasting (acquired by Talkspace), and more. He holds an MBA from SMU, a BA in Economics from Wheaton College, and currently resides in Texas. Before Day One, he felt fairly fluent in the tools and frameworks involved in conceiving, validating, and launching a startup. But Day One took his understanding to a completely new level, and added a community of bright/ambitious founders as well—which continues to build his intellectual and digital toolkit. In 2022, he began the transition to going full-time on Copilot (and their subsequent non-client-facing SaaS products), and signed his first client in the first week of the decision. His biggest goals for 2023 are to sell via MicroAcquire at least one of our SaaS products by December 2023 (would be a quick turnaround!), and to sign at least 3 major clients at Copilot.
Thomi recognized the importance of personal relationship dynamics and it’s affects on mental health by experiencing these problems throughout his life. Without previous experience in the tech industry, he designed a system that combines aspects from psychology and game design so people can learn from their emotions. His motto to heal, dream, and execute led him to take actions on his idea so people can improve their relationships with themselves and others. His company, Selfrell, is a wellness app for personal relationships in RPG-style to help people understand, communicate, and play their emotional experiences. Day One allowed him to be with a group of entrepreneurs who are driven and willing to support one another. Being a founder can be lonely, so having a community to relate each others' challenges helps to keep moving forward. In 2022, he deployed the first version of his app on the app stores, plus pivoted and set a direction of his company to combine mental health with fun. He’s currently improving the user flow experience of his app to implement Pokemon and collection card game mechanics to mimic emotional relationship events. He’s also putting a lot of effort in educating people about the app to acquire users and gaining feedback from them. His biggest goals for 2023 are to deploy version 2 of the app, gather a passionate team of designers and engineers, and also raise $650k to take the company to the next stage.
Tony is a technology leader with a record of building highly successful and talented distributed teams from a wide range of companies. He’s dedicated to developing people, scaling technology platforms, building great products, and growing businesses. His company, mombo, is a collaborative, visual, decision-making platform. Day One was instrumental in providing him with a roadmap, knowledge, tools, and support for taking an idea from conception to realization as a product business. In 2022, he validated the existence of the problem, and created a solution to address it. In 2023, his biggest goals are to launch a stand-alone MVP version of the product, validate product-market fit, and grow the company.
Trupti J Patel
Trupti Patel is currently serving her third term as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner. She has been engaged on issues around labor and is considered one of the faces of the New Labor Movement in the United States. Trupti has been plotting and scheming with other good troublemakers in shifting the political terrain in the country. Day One has been instrumental in getting her to lay down the foundation for starting her own consultancy in a way that will be sustainable. The most impactful thing about Day One has been the mentors and the speakers. She claims that she could not have done it without them. Today, she is currently figuring out her next steps on which clients she wants to take on next. In 2023, she wants people to hold her accountable in making sure that she’s building properly and not shortcutting things. She would love for folks who know candidates that are thinking of running for office to connect her with them and see if they'd be a good fit.
Vicki is a Chicago native and fitness industry professional with deep roots in the fashion industry. She is a seasoned entrepreneur at heart and has previously owned a successful knitwear company in addition to being the sole proprietor of a health and wellness coaching business. Her current project, Litknit LLC, combines her passion for fashion and functional health, as they are an eco-friendly compression-apparel brand made from hemp fiber. Day One helped her to shape her large, expansive thinking into a focused plan of action so she doesn’t lose sight of her goals. She is currently working for a pharmaceutical Stem Cell company where she’s gaining professional experience, while also discovering the demographics and target audience for Litknit customers. Over the past year, their formed their LLC and began the process of grant submissions. Plus, she developed a partnership with the Wilson College of Textiles at NC State for their prototype development and discovered a way to recycle their products so nothing in the supply chain will go into landfills. Her biggest goals in 2023 are to raise $500k, expand their digital presence, complete their product line, and establish relationships with launch partners in the Health& Beauty, and Travel & Leisure industries.
Vikram Karnaker is the founder of Agapic. Prior to Agapic, he led Bloomberg’s intelligent virtual assistant product, and established STEC as the SSD market leader. Agapic’s mission is to serve others by creating AI assistants that help living beings everywhere reach their health goals. He benefits from the structure, guidance, and mentorship that Day One provides from experienced entrepreneurs who have been successful and/or are a couple steps ahead of where he is. According to Vikram, it’s helpful to be building within Day One’s supportive frameworks and community. Currently, he's working to expand the team, raise some initial capital for Agapic, and start a few pilots with different patient groups. Vikram noted that joining Day One was the best thing that happened to Agapic in 2022! His biggest goals of the year ahead are to incorporate the learnings from their beta into their product, and expand their user base beyond the initial beta to a few solid pilots in partnership with patient advocacy groups and related health institutions. He would also like to expand the team and raise some initial capital for Agapic.
Vincent's curiosity has lead him on a very diverse journey with big wins and huge adversities. He’s constantly enjoying the game of life, continues to explore uncharted terrain, and challenges his innate problem solving skills. This is where he finds peace, as “there's no downside in these tests”. His company, meCo, is gamifying the growing trend of decentralization and is built as a no code, 'Build in Public Suite', incorporating web3 tools. In 2022, he released the functional buildout of an MVP and discovered Day One just as the validation phase became the next biggest problem to solve. With the MVP functional, the main goals for 2023 are to build communities [in public], raise $1.5-2.5 million to cover legal costs to properly structure sharing of equity with contributors of the build out; fund the marketing budget of collaborating business partners to help them grow 'their' business within the suite (a viral component built in); and to hire a bigger team of devs to improve the design and tool functions.
Vivian is the Founder and CEO of Heyo (heyo.at), a personal pitch platform for professional success. Heyo is backed by BAM Ventures, Dispatch Ventures, The Operator Fund, Stonks, scouts from a16z, Foundation Capital, and leading angels, operators, and founders. Prior to Heyo, Vivian was an operator who built products for global enterprises, high-growth startups, and leading VCs, PE firms, and global institutions. She has advised and worked with companies such as Greenhouse Software, Klarna, Bain Capital, Settle, Everbody, and more. Day One got her out of her shell and connected her with a supportive and aligned community of curious entrepreneurs. Day One also helped her hone her pitch and land her first investor check, which happened during the program. Her biggest goals in 2023 are to raise a seed round and find PMF in a changing tech environment.
Wiets is an engineer, a food explorer, a lightweight-rowing champion, global citizen and mother of 3 teenagers. She is finally marrying her passions: Food and Data, to help make food's “where what and how” more transparent. Her company, EatQ, is a Food Data Platform empowering Food Brands to take control of their data; to share, compare and get discovered. Before Day One, she was struggling to get an earlier concept of her startup (a B2C solution) funded. And before that, she almost accepted a job at Deloitte, until she decided to try something on her own. For Wiets, Day One has been the most helpful for connections with people who bring their own entrepreneurial stories and learning points. It helps immensely to learn from others, but also the feedback these connections have given along her journey are wildly valuable. In 2022, she pivoted, raised a F&F round, got a full time cofounder on board, and started building. Her biggest goal is to build something that food brands will rave about because it's useful to them. Then they'll get our first subscription revenues, and finally, they'll raise their seed round in 2Q23 to grow!
Willow Wen Li
Willow Li is the founder of AyiConnect, a multilingual care app to help families find individual caregivers in their preferred language. Driven by her personal experiences from the outdated searching process for multilingual child and senior care, she set out to make the process easier for others with similar needs. Passionate about helping others, she and her team have helped thousands of helpers find positions with families in various professional fields including technology, law, medical and others. Before Day One, she worked as a product/deployment/growth lead at GigNow. Day One helped her connect with founders in similar stages and refine her pitch. In 2022, she went full time on the company, transitioned from outsourcing to an agency to an in-house team, and had close to 20,000 users. Her biggest goals for 2023 are to engage and grow her user base to 50,000 users, and close a $350k pre-seed round ($300k currently committed).
Zette’s CEO & Founder, Yehong Zhu, is a former Forbes journalist, Twitter product manager, and Harvard alum. She credits her time in the Forbes newsroom as the genesis behind Zette’s mission of democratizing access to journalism. She is also an angel investor and VC scout. Zette is a venture-backed media tech startup that gives readers pay-per-article access to paywalled publications, all while sharing revenue with newsrooms. She’s met incredible people through Day One. Seeing the breadth of companies and problems that people are solving from the very earliest stages has been inspiring to her, both personally and professionally. Having that community of fellow founders around her has been invaluable, especially as a solo founder. In 2022, they launched their beta in front of hundreds on the TechCrunch Disrupt stage in October and got featured in TechCrunch. Their team also doubled in size–they’ve cultivated an international team that includes folks from the US, Argentina, Colombia, Ghana, and more. Zette is currently raising a $6 million seed round and they’re looking for interested VCs and strategic consumer angels. Plus, they’re launching to the public in January 2023!