Interested in technology startups? Here is some must-read advice from the founder of Poshly.
Meet Doreen Bloch, founder of Poshly and author of The Coolest Startups in America. Doreen is reimagining the relationship between beauty consumers and their favorite brands. Her company, featured by L'Oreal and Instyle magazine, offers free beauty giveaways for customers in exchange for surveys about their characteristics and preferences. This valuable data then helps beauty companies better target its consumers.
As a fellow NY Geek Girl, Bloch is leading the way for young women interested in entrepreneurship, technology, and fashion. I had the privilege of asking Doreen some questions about how she got started and how young women can follow in her footsteps.
How did you first become interested in tech entrepreneurship?
I grew up in the Silicon Valley so I was surrounded by technology and company formation for as long as I can remember. I think that growing up around entrepreneurs, engineers, and the venture capital community positioned me well to be excited about a career in technology and innovation after college. Also, during college I had phenomenal internships at both a startup and large tech company, which exposed me to the incredible job opportunities within this space.
Tell us a little bit about Poshly and how it works.
Poshly is a personalization technology company. We believe the next frontier of the web is personalization. Whether it’s content or commerce, people’s experiences online are becoming more and more customized to who they are as individuals. Poshly is focused on servicing beauty consumers and brands with our personalization work. We focus on the question: how can we help a beauty consumer find the best products based on other people like them? This personalized ecommerce experience that Poshly is building is currently in private beta, and we can’t wait to debut it to the market this year.
How does Poshly fit in to the emerging intersection between beauty and technology?
Poshly’s identity is as a technology company first, and our customers are beauty and personal care brands and consumers. Beauty is a massive and fun industry, so we love getting to be at the intersection of both tech and beauty.
What is the most exciting part of starting a company?
It’s a daily thrill to launch a company. Seeing an innovative idea come to reality through the hard work of an incredible team is a privilege.
What are some of the major challenges that you have faced?
Running your own company is all about actively problem-solving all the time. Whether you’re trying to improve a process, sell your offerings to brands, or testing your technology to make sure it’s delivering the highest performing results, doing a startup is about constantly being challenged and consistently working through them to hit new milestones.
What is is like to be a woman in tech?
Being a woman in tech can be isolating at times. The statistics show that females are still a minority of engineers, tech entrepreneurs, and tech investors. But honestly, there isn’t time to focus on gender when you’re running a company -- I just focus on doing the best job I can.
How have mentors played a role in the path you’ve taken?
Mentors are incredibly important in any career path. I have been profoundly impacted by what I’ve learned from my mentors, whether it’s in business, technology or now, the beauty industry. One of the best places to learn is under the wing of someone who is at the top of their game.
What advice do you have for young women who want to make a name for themselves in tech?
Dream big, plan well, and just go for it! Be tenacious. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask experts and mentors for guidance. At the same time, keep your cards close to your chest; this is a competitive time to be a tech entrepreneur so focus ruthlessly on the day-to-day priorities that will help you to fulfill your entrepreneurial vision.