CoCo Uptown Garage
6 – 9 p.m.
From startup “scrappiness” to well-executed strategies, the various stages of building a business expose you to it all. Hear from three women entrepreneurs who, between them, have built six businesses from the ground up. This expert panel will dive into discussions regarding customer discovery, startup business models, niche markets and the importance of strong partnerships.
Whether driven by a passion to launch their business or focused on solving a unique problem, these women bring serious street cred to the startup space.
The Unlea(she)d panel includes:
- Mary Meehan, Co-Founder of Panoramix Global, and Co-Founder of Iconoculture
- Zahra Aljabri, Co-Founder of Mode-sty, and Co-Founder of Muslim Buddy
- Ashlee Olds, Founder and Chef, Sweet Science Ice Cream, and Founder of Clean House
There will also be time for Q&A and networking. Appetizers and snacks and a cash bar will be provided.
Zahra Aljabri is the Co-Founder of Mode-sty the largest online retailer dedicated to fashionable and conservative women. In 2013, Mode-sty placed second in the MN Cup General Division and has been selected as one of the hottest fashion startups by Forbes (2012) and Business of Everything magazine (2013).
In 2013, she was an invited speaker at Gel 2013 a conference that showcases “customer experience innovators” before they hit the mainstream. The Gel conference was the first speaking platform for Marissa Mayer (CEO Yahoo!), Salman Khan (CEO Khan Academy), and Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia). You can view Zahra’s talk here.
Prior to Mode-sty, Zahra co-founded and was COO of MuslimBuddy, Inc. a nonprofit dedicated to building the capacity of community institutions serving Twin Cities Muslims. Her role at MuslimBuddy helped her win a four-year Bush Foundation Fellowship to continue her community activism. She is also a principal at Zahra Aljabri Estate Planning, the first law practice in the Twin Cities that specializes in Islamic Wills and Estate Planning. Through her various roles within these startups, Zahra has gained expertise in customer discovery, startup business models, and niche markets. Zahra obtained a J.D. from Syracuse University and B.S. from UCLA. She began her professional path in the media and entertainment industry where she worked for Hollywood directors and producers Ridley Scott and Tony Scott at RSA Productions/Scott Free Productions, as well as local TV station KTLA in Los Angeles. Follow Zahra at @ModestyFashion.
Mary Meehan is the co-founder and lead cultural Intelligence analyst for Panoramix Global, an international research consultancy helping brands and organizations understand the complexities of future consumer behavior as a pathway to growth and innovation. She is an expert in providing clients with ahead of the curve insights on trends, movements, and market changes that will profoundly influence their business outcomes.
A serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience as a leader in consumer behavior analysis, in 1992, Meehan co-founded the international consumer trend agency Iconoculture, recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the 500 fastest growing private companies in America and providing the research industry’s first theoretical framework for translating trends into practical insights using a highly qualitative, proprietary methodology. Meehan has worked with Volvo, Hasbro, Wal-Mart, Pepsi Co, General Mills, J.P. Morgan, Time Inc., AARP, and a myriad of other companies in helping to better understand the realities of the consumer landscape.
In 2010 Meehan sold her firm and founded Panoramix Global, a next generation research and consumer behavior firm that specializes in providing clients with a hybrid, analytic perspective that maximizes cultural data to deliver expert foresights driving consumer decision-making, working with clients to develop effective strategies for growth in the face of these learnings.
Meehan is the co-author of The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be: The 40 Cultural Trends Transforming Your Job, Your Life, And Your World. She speaks and writes frequently on the topics of consumer behavior and the market forces that influence change, currently a contributor to Forbes.com. Her opinions and insights have appeared in Advertising Age, the Associated Press, BBC, CNN, Wired, and The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek. A frequent speaker, she has appeared at the Research Advertising Conference, Ad-tech, Future Trends, The Market Research Event, and the CEO Leadership Roundtable. Follow Mary at @PanoramixGlobal.
Ashlee is Chef and Founder of Sweet Science Ice Cream. Sweet Science Ice Cream was born out of her lifetime mission to create the perfect scoop. An East St. Paul resident, Ashlee, 33, started churning small-batch all-natural artisan ice cream in her kitchen for friends over a decade ago. After realizing her passion and buoyed by her friends’ enthusiastic praise, she started renting space in a commercial kitchen in early 2012 to craft pints for the masses.
Ashlee’s ice cream flavors, bases, and components are handmade from real ingredients, and each small batch is hand-packed. The all-natural ice creams are without added chemicals such as high-fructose corn syrup, stabilizers, artificial flavors, and additives. “Using the highest-quality ingredients and the properties of science, I’m able to craft the best ice cream you’ve ever tasted,” said Olds.
Most of the ingredients are organic, and Ashlee sources from local suppliers whenever possible. “I look for companies that share my dedication to not only quality, but the betterment of the community.” Sweet Science Ice Cream recently received the City Pages 2014 Best of the Twin Cities Award for Best Ice Cream in Minneapolis. Follow Ashlee at @Ashleebug
Unlea(she)d is a monthly speaker series, held at CoCo, in which we invite women entrepreneurs and leaders to talk about their journeys in life and business. Unlea(she)d is part of CoCo’s effort to increase the presence and participation of women in our community. Join our mailing list for updates on future women’s happenings at CoCo.