Featured Entrepreneur: Lauren Parish // Featured Member // Jun 06 2018
Doyenne Group (DG): What business do you own?
Lauren Parish (LP): Akuraa Technologies
DG: What is your role/title within your business?
LP:VP Customer Care and Retention
DG: What is the goal/mission of your business?
LP: The mission of Akuraa Technologies is to provide a communication platform for collegiate athletic departments both in house and as a mentorship opportunity to help college athletes prepare for life after college.
DG: What is your background? What got you to where you are now?
LP: I have a degree from UW-Madison in Kinesiology and currently am a full-time personal trainer. In 2012 I was presented with an opportunity to get involved in a non-profit organization called the Chins Up Foundation. Chins Up was founded by my best friend and helped pair collegiate athletes with kids in a penpal mentorship program. I always had a greater mission in life to continue to find ways to give back and influence kids, especially in a mentorship and leadership-type way. As the program coordinator, I facilitated the exchange of letters between the athletes and kids and got several other growth opportunities I did not anticipate. We threw several fundraisers which continued my pursuit in personal and professional growth.
DG: What made you decide to start your business?
LP: Israel Lopez and I, along with 2 others started Akuraa Technologies as a stem off of the Chins Up Foundation. After connecting with several collegiate athletic departments, we discovered the lack of organization and commitment to personal mentorship for collegiate athletes themselves. Preparing collegiate athletes for life after college was a secondary goal of the original non-profit and we transitioned to making it our primary goal. Mainstreaming communication within the athletic department along with providing a mentorship aspect for collegiate athletes solved 2 major problems that many D1, D2 and D3 schools were facing. We could see many possibilities for multiple revenue streams along with core values of mentoring future generations.
DG: What is your biggest accomplishment in your business to date, and why?
LP: To date, our biggest accomplishment is the development of our software. To find individuals who were willing to work for our company for very little money was a huge initial concern. However, we have been extremely blessed to come across individuals who were inspired by our vision and wanted to be a part of the project because of who we are as individuals and what our company is trying to accomplish. Our team is selfless, supportive and grateful to each other every step of the way and that is both humbling and exciting!
DG: If you could give one quote to live by, what would it be?
LP:“Do something today that your future self with thank you for.”
DG: What are three things that people may not know about you?
- My love for people and helping them discover their best selves is my personal mission
- I hate chocolate!
- I coach gymnastics for Monona Grove
DG: What words of advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
LP:I never EVER thought being a founder of a business was for me. I didn’t go to business school, I didn’t have dreams of owning my own company one day, but once I had a vision and team of people whom I believed in, I then started to believe in my abilities to make that vision a reality! If you believe strongly about something, pursue it with all you have and make that imprint on the world
DG: What does Madison need to encourage entrepreneurs to stay and grow their businesses?
LP: Warmer weather! LOL, I believe Madison has many positives that help aspiring entrepreneurs however, more funding opportunities as well as a stronger economy where larger businesses can thrive will help the small ones take off and become acquired. Madison needs to be a place where future leaders apply for jobs and what future business owners and business professionals think of when they think of corporate, economic, and personal success.
Join us at our monthly Connect Event on Wednesday, June 27 from 6-8pm for an evening of networking with other women professionals and a presentation from this inspirational entrepreneur.