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Achilli Matteo Egomnia Founder/CEO
Ansel Dominque Dominique Ansel Bakery Owner
Antebi Marcus JuicePress Founder
Avino Mariella Palazzo Avino Owner/CEO
Barker John Barker/DZP Founder/President
Bassett Jennifer Jennifer Bassett Events Owner
Bastianich Lidia Felidia, Eataly, Del Posto Owner
Belfort Jordan Straight Line Systems Founder
Berman Sarah The Berman Group Founder/President
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Borries/Stefano Philippe/Justin Refinery29 CEO/Founders
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Burke David David Burke Group Owner
Carter Will Burner App/AhHoc Labs Co-Founder
Cassidy Sean DKC President
Chapur Rafael Hard Rock Inclusive Resorts COO
Chevanne Antione Groupe Floriat CEO
Chong Alexandra LuLu Founder/CEO
Church Jeff SUJA Juice Founder
Cuomo Cristina Modern Luxury EIC
Cutler Elizabeth SoulCyle Co-Founder
Dadich Scott WIRED EIC
Darabi Soraya Zady Co-Founder
Davis Peter Scene Magazine EIC
Desseigne Dominque Groupe Lucien Barriere CEO
Doyle Patrick Domino's President/CEO
Ducasse Alain Alain Duccase Restaurants Owner
Dufresne David Bandzoogle CEO
Evans Annie Beautified App Co-Founder
Feeley Tom Sole Hotels Owner
Ferdman Michael Firstborn Founder
Foster Stuart Luxury Brands, Hilton VP of Marketing
Freid Brandon Sanctuary Hotel President
Georges Elie Hotel San Regis President/Owner
Gillis Neil Round Hill Music President
Godfrey Jay Jay Godfrey Founder
Goldstein Tara Brookfield VP of Marketing
Gomes Philma Cape Grace Hotel DOSM
Guest Cornelia Cornelia Guest Cookies Owner
Harrison Phil Perkins+Will CEO
Hendry Ricky Isaora Founder
Hiltzik Matthew Hiltzik Strategies President/CEO
Hofstetter Sarah 360i CEO
Hostettler Daniel Ocean House Management President
Humm Daniel Eleven Madison Park Owner
Huvane Stephen Slate PR Partner
Ivan Sir Peaceman Foundation Founder
Jackson Lisa LJ Cross Jewelry Founder/CEO

James Paul Starwood Luxury Collection Global Leader
Javian Michelle Harboring Hearts CEO/Co-Founder
Kaplow Liz Kaplow Communications Founder/CEO
Karan Donna DKNY Founder
Karlitz Herb Karlitz & Company Founder
Katz Allen NY Distilling Company Fonder
Kenner Nick Just Salad Founder
Kepmner Michael MWW Founder/President
Kessler Richard The Kessler Collection Chairman/CEO
Kliegerman Stephen Halstead President
Kolodny Shawn VIP Room Managing Director
Kunkel John 50 Eggs, Yardbird CEO/Founder
Labrecque Paul Paul Labrecque Owner
LaForce James LaForce + Stevens Founder/CEO
Le Calvez Didier Le Bristol Paris CEO
Lee Stacy Brazilian Court Hotel DOSM
Leggett Jaimes M&C Saatchi Australia CEO
Lekach David Dream Water Founder/CEO
Leyland Chelsea Chelsea Leyland Owner/Producer
Ljunberg Jenny C/O Hotels, Maidstone Owner
Ljung Alex SoundCloud Founder
Lo Anita Annisa Owner
Maccioni Mario Maccioni Group Partner
Malin/Goetz Matthew/Andrew Malin + Goetz Founders
Mamone Tony Livingly Media Founder/CEO
Martin Amy Jo Digital Royalty CEO/Founder
Matsuhisa Nobu Nobu Restaurants Owner
Mazar Mike Tenthwave Partner
Morimoto Iron Chef Morimoto Owner
Moscot Zack MOSCOT Creative Director
Murphy Sean Jetsetter EIC
Murphy Rhona The Daily Beast CEO
Musolino Sheila Ronald McDonald Chairty VP/COO
Nardoza Edward WWD EIC
Novogrod Nancy Travel + Leisure EIC
Olay Pablo PaddilaCRT VP
Osher Shaun CORE Founder/CEO

Pauli Dimitri Sant Ambroeus Owner
Pechar Edward McCormick/360 Vodka Chairman
Pecker David American Media Chairman/CEO
Perkins Lynn UrbanSitter Founder/CEO

Preysman Michael Everlane Founder/CEO

Rabin David Skylark, Lambs Club Owner
Reckford Jonathan Habitat for Humanity CEO
Rondeau Chris Planet Fitness CEO

Ronson Charlotte Charlotte Ronson Owner
Rotten Lilian Swissotel VP
Rousseau Linda Singita Group DOSM
Russell Charles Stribling & Associates DOSM

Sawyer Linda Deutsch CEO
Schoenberg Bruce Oasis Spa Owner
Senbahar Izak The Mark Hotel Owner
Siegel Alan Siegelvision CEO
Silvstedt Victoria Very Victoria Silvstedt Owner
Spencer Miles Mojiva/TrustCloud Founder
Spindel Janice Serious Matchmaking Owner
Steinberg Leonard Urban Compass President
Steinberg Richard Warburg Realty Managing Director
Tahlin Jonas Absolut Elyx CEO
Tanaka Patrice PaddilaCRT Founder
Tarkoff Rob Lithium Tech CEO
Tetrick Joshua Hampton Creek CEO/Founder
Thomson Amy ATM Artists President
Torossian Ron 5W PR Founder/President
Van der Meer Antonia Coastal Living EIC
Verschleiser Eli American Jewish Congress Treasurer
Vongerichten Jean-Georges Jean Georges Restaurants Owner
Wagner James Emory University President
Wales Jimmy Wikipedia Founder
Westergren Tim Pandora Founder
White Alex Next Big Sound Co-Founder
Wiedlin Andy BuzzFeed CRO
Wilcox Alex JetSuite CEO
Winter Alexandre Placemeter CEO/Founder
Wolffer Marc Wolffer Estate Vineyard Owner
Wunderman Lester Wunderman Chairman/Founder
Zecher Linda Houghton Mifflin Harcourt President/CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASPIRING.

PICTURE YOURSELF

 

 

 

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Monday
Oct272014

Tech Titan: Lynn Perkins, Co-Founder of UrbanSitter

As a startup veteran, Lynn has more than 15 years of experience building and growing consumer Internet businesses. Prior to founding UrbanSitter, Lynn served as founder and CEO of Xuny.com and VP of Business Development at Bridgepath.com. At Gap Inc., LaSalle Partners, and Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Lynn gained extensive business and transaction experience.

How did you get into the tech industry?

After college I was working in real estate finance in Chicago, but I was extremely interested in doing something more entrepreneurial.  One of my roommates had founded a startup company.  He introduced me to cofounders of a startup company in the Bay Area that was looking to make their first permanent hire, a business development person.  I joined the company and made the leap into the tech industry.  Since then I’ve bounced back and forth between real estate development and tech startup companies.  I guess I like businesses that build something.

Tell us about UrbanSitter. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

As busy parents, my co-founders and I saw a need—we were finding it time consuming and difficult to find a trusted babysitter who was actually available when we needed the help. We needed a way to simplify and personalize the process.  So we created UrbanSitter to help parents find and book babysitters they are connected to through friends and common affiliations. It makes booking a trusted babysitter as easy as booking dinner reservations.  The site and app enable parents to search, book and review trusted sitters within minutes.

What strategic partnerships have you implemented that have attributed to UrbanSitter's success?

One of the most valuable aspects of UrbanSitter is how we integrate a user’s social graph.  As a parent, not only do we show you connections to sitters through your Facebook or LinkedIn, we also surface connections through local organizations you trust such as your child’s school or your moms’ group.  We have over 10,000 of these schools and organizations on our site.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

UrbanSitter is at the intersection of some key macro trends, including social and local recommendations, the growing trust economy, as well as personalization and mobile transactions.  For instance, we facilitate mobile payment to make it easy for parents to pay sitters from their mobile device.  Not only is this incredibly convenient, but parents and sitters also tell us it removes the awkwardness at the end of the job when a parent asks the sitter for her rate, struggles to calculate the total, then proceeds to dig in their wallet for enough cash.  Paying via mobile relieves both parties from this uncomfortable ending to a job.

Life Motto? 

There’s a saying I love – "Leap and the net will appear."  Throughout my career, I’ve tackled jobs in unfamiliar sectors where I felt my skills and passions could transfer.  If the job sounded interesting and offered the potential to learn and grow, I’d take that leap. Approaching each new role with an attitude that nothing great can be achieved without a little risk has been the key to not just the success I’ve found in business, but also to loving what I do.

UrbanSitter's Motto? 

Your last minute hero. 

Your greatest success as founder of UrbanSitter? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?

When we launched a mobile app, our sitter response time dropped from hours to minutes.  Most of our sitter members are on their mobile phones all the time, so being able to respond to job requests from their phones is not only convenient for them, but also exciting for parents who are looking for a last minute sitter.  It’s not uncommon for a sitter to respond to a job request seconds after they receive it.  This makes finding a last minute sitter a reality for parents in need of help, which was a big milestone for the company and our members.

Personally, for me, I was thrilled when a parent who I had just met at the park suggested that I try UrbanSitter.  The fact that UrbanSitter was being recommended by moms to other moms was very meaningful to me.

One of our biggest challenges was helping parents feel comfortable with the idea of booking a babysitter on the internet.  We realized the key to overcoming this challenge was integrating social recommendations from friends and other trusted parent organizations. When parents realized that they could find sitters previously vetted by friends and other parents from their child’s school or moms group, they were excited about UrbanSitter. 

Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

My advice would be to build an initial product or service that is, in the entrepreneur’s opinion, excellent but not perfect.  I meet with many entrepreneurs who want to wait until they have the product or business perfected before releasing it to the public.  I think this can be a mistake, because you learn a lot from initial customer feedback. Don’t spend too much time planning for what the customer may want versus getting real feedback.  I also think you can use this same approach to figure out if you have a viable business idea.  If you think you want to leave your current job to start your own business, start by building the product or business in the simplest way possible.  This will force you to prioritize and focus on the most important things.  If your idea resonates with potential customers then you may be on to something!

Favorite travel destination? 

Italy.

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose? 

A good glass of red wine and a prosciutto pizza.

childcare resources

What literature is on your bed stand? 

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (fun reading)
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith (for work)
Dinner at the Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson (to read to my kids)

Role model - business and personal?

Diane Von Furstenburg is known for saying “fear is not an option.” That resonates particularly well with me.  In addition to her enormous professional success for 30+ years, she’s also an icon of female liberation and is considered a voice of authority who passes on her wisdom and positive outlook.

Current passion? 

When I’m not spending time with my family or working it’s a toss up between watching Scandal while exercising or finding the best cappuccino in San Francisco.

Most interesting headline you've read this week?

Living in San Francisco I'm partial to this headline:

Nightengale: Bumgarner, Giants flatten Royals, crowd in Game 1 – USA Today

What's next for UrbanSitter?

We are very focused on mobile right now.  Our goal is to build out mobile features and leverage integration points that are unique to mobile to “wow” parents and sitters.  Instead of offering the same functionality on mobile and web, we are developing mobile components that take advantage of the on-the-go immediacy of mobile device usage.

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https://www.urbansitter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/urbansitter

https://twitter.com/urbansitter

Lynn is passionate about connecting people with each other. Uniting babysitters and parents is her latest quest. Previous accomplishments include introducing three couples who are now married, matching apartment-seeking friends with roommates in rent-controlled units, and numerous job placements.

Lynn is a graduate of Stanford University. She and her husband enjoy exploring San Francisco with their three adventurous boys.