Founder Profile

Jaclyn Baumgarten

BoatSetter

She’s made boat-sharing safe, legal—and possible.

Jaclyn Baumgarten. Courtesy subject

In 2012, Jacyln Baumgarten remembered that her happiest childhood memories as a kid involved boating on lakes outside Chicago. Then, within two weeks, her brothers called, each saying he hadn’t used his boat in a year and was going to sell it. Seeing a need--and inspired by the success of platforms like Airbnb--Baumgarten launched peer-to-peer boat-sharing company BoatSetter. (Initially it was called Cruzin; she merged with another company and rebranded in 2015.) The platform allows owners to rent out their boats for a few hours or a few months, thus off-setting the cost of ownership. (Some even come with captains.) Baumgarten’s real innovation was pioneering the first peer-to-peer marine insurance policy, without which boat-sharing would not be possible. The company is speeding forward: this year it has expanded its reach to the Balearic Islands, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and Mexico, bringing registered users to over 350,000 in 70 countries. --Hannah Wallace

Industry
Travel & Hospitality
Year Founded
2012
Location
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Industry
The Platform Economy
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2019

In 2012, Jacyln Baumgarten remembered that her happiest childhood memories as a kid involved boating on lakes outside Chicago. Then, within two weeks, her brothers called, each saying he hadn’t used his boat in a year and was going to sell it. Seeing a need--and inspired by the success of platforms like Airbnb--Baumgarten launched peer-to-peer boat-sharing company BoatSetter. (Initially it was called Cruzin; she merged with another company and rebranded in 2015.) The platform allows owners to rent out their boats for a few hours or a few months, thus off-setting the cost of ownership. (Some even come with captains.) Baumgarten’s real innovation was pioneering the first peer-to-peer marine insurance policy, without which boat-sharing would not be possible. The company is speeding forward: this year it has expanded its reach to the Balearic Islands, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and Mexico, bringing registered users to over 350,000 in 70 countries. --Hannah Wallace

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Nadia Boujarwah

Dia&Co

She created a fashion brand—and a platform—to support a new generation of plus-size consumers and designers.

Like many plus-size women, Nadia Boujarwah often felt ignored by the fashion industry. So, she co-founded clothing and accessory subscription service Dia&Co for women in sizes 14 to 32. Its four million users represent 90 percent of U.S ZIP codes. To date, the five-year-old start up has received $95 million in venture funding, with almost half of that coming from a single round last November. Boujarwah uses her company’s success as a platform to advocate for size inclusivity that’s “not just lip service.” In 2019, Dia&Co partnered with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to review grant proposals for their design schools that she would help fund. Her goal: "Ensuring that the next generation of designers are taught the importance of and the skills for inclusive design from the very, very beginning.” --Anna Meyer

Industry
Retail
Year Founded
2015
Location
New York, New York
Industry
Fashion Forward
Co-founder
Lydia Gilbert
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2019

Like many plus-size women, Nadia Boujarwah often felt ignored by the fashion industry. So, she co-founded clothing and accessory subscription service Dia&Co for women in sizes 14 to 32. Its four million users represent 90 percent of U.S ZIP codes. To date, the five-year-old start up has received $95 million in venture funding, with almost half of that coming from a single round last November. Boujarwah uses her company’s success as a platform to advocate for size inclusivity that’s “not just lip service.” In 2019, Dia&Co partnered with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to review grant proposals for their design schools that she would help fund. Her goal: "Ensuring that the next generation of designers are taught the importance of and the skills for inclusive design from the very, very beginning.” --Anna Meyer

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Lindsey Boyd

The Laundress

Looking for luxury in a laundry detergent? She sells hers in boutiques.

Lindsey Boyd Courtesy subject

Having handled corporate sales for Chanel, Lindsey Boyd knew that her clients hated taking their designer duds to the dry cleaner. But they had to, because mainstream detergents are far too harsh to wash these fabrics at home, and few eco-friendly products are effective at removing odors and stains. So along with one of her former Cornell classmates, Gwen Whiting, who had been working at Ralph Lauren, Boyd set out to fill an obvious void in the market: luxury detergents and cleaning products. “We wanted to turn a necessary domestic chore into a luxurious experience,” she says. Launched online in 2004 and now with products in boutiques worldwide and its own store, too, the New York-based Laundress is bringing an elevated laundry experience to the masses. Next up: Rolling out more stores in 2020. --Jill Krasny

Industry
Consumer Products
Year Founded
2004
Location
New York, New York
Industry
All Things Consumer
Co-founder
Gwen Whiting
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2019

Having handled corporate sales for Chanel, Lindsey Boyd knew that her clients hated taking their designer duds to the dry cleaner. But they had to, because mainstream detergents are far too harsh to wash these fabrics at home, and few eco-friendly products are effective at removing odors and stains. So along with one of her former Cornell classmates, Gwen Whiting, who had been working at Ralph Lauren, Boyd set out to fill an obvious void in the market: luxury detergents and cleaning products. “We wanted to turn a necessary domestic chore into a luxurious experience,” she says. Launched online in 2004 and now with products in boutiques worldwide and its own store, too, the New York-based Laundress is bringing an elevated laundry experience to the masses. Next up: Rolling out more stores in 2020. --Jill Krasny

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Loren Brill

Sweet Loren's

She makes vegan cookie dough that's safe for most consumers with food sensitivities.

Loren Brill. Courtesy subject

When Loren Brill was 22, she learned she had Stage II cancer, and started monitoring how certain foods made her feel. Heavily processed ones zapped her energy. She was able to find healthy alternatives to most--except for her favorite baked goods. So in 2011, she began making cookie dough without ingredients like refined sugar and flour, and consumers’ growing appetites for healthier alternatives helped Sweet Loren’s take off. In 2018, Brill released a vegan, kosher, non-GMO, gluten- and nut-free version; sales boomed. That August, she discontinued her original recipe to focus on the one that the greatest number of people could enjoy. Sweet Loren’s, which is on the shelves in more than 10,000 supermarkets, booked $6.4 million in revenue last year and clocked in at No. 114 on this year’s Inc. 5000. “I can turn this negative thing that happened to me into a positive,” says Brill. “Nothing feels better than reaching millions of people and making them happy.” --Emily Canal

Industry
Food & Beverage
Year Founded
2011
Location
New York, New York
Industry
Food Revolutionaries
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2019

When Loren Brill was 22, she learned she had Stage II cancer, and started monitoring how certain foods made her feel. Heavily processed ones zapped her energy. She was able to find healthy alternatives to most--except for her favorite baked goods. So in 2011, she began making cookie dough without ingredients like refined sugar and flour, and consumers’ growing appetites for healthier alternatives helped Sweet Loren’s take off. In 2018, Brill released a vegan, kosher, non-GMO, gluten- and nut-free version; sales boomed. That August, she discontinued her original recipe to focus on the one that the greatest number of people could enjoy. Sweet Loren’s, which is on the shelves in more than 10,000 supermarkets, booked $6.4 million in revenue last year and clocked in at No. 114 on this year’s Inc. 5000. “I can turn this negative thing that happened to me into a positive,” says Brill. “Nothing feels better than reaching millions of people and making them happy.” --Emily Canal

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Jean Brownhill

Sweeten

She’s simplifying the process of finding a contractor, and closing the gender gap in construction.

Jean Brownhill. Courtesy subject

Finding a contractor is a nightmare, but Cooper Union-trained architect Jean Brownhill knows that the business isn’t broken only for its customers. “General contractors are almost as in the dark as homeowners when it comes to pricing," says Brownhill. "It is an opaque market for everyone.” That’s why, in 2011, she founded Sweeten, a tightly curated platform that helps renovators find contractors, compare prices, and track their project from start to finish. Sweeten is now in four cities and has raised $20 million. Brownhill's target for Sweeten: to serve the top 35 U.S. cities by the end of 2020. And in June she launched the Sweeten Accelerator for Women, which will, among other things, provide a peer network for female general contractors and help them find more jobs. “Three percent of the construction industry is women,” says Brownhill. "It's not that women general contractors can't get hired in this is crazy industry. It’s that male subcontractors don't want to work for them.” --Brit Morse

Industry
Construction
Year Founded
2011
Location
New York, New York
Industry
The Platform Economy
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2019

Finding a contractor is a nightmare, but Cooper Union-trained architect Jean Brownhill knows that the business isn’t broken only for its customers. “General contractors are almost as in the dark as homeowners when it comes to pricing," says Brownhill. "It is an opaque market for everyone.” That’s why, in 2011, she founded Sweeten, a tightly curated platform that helps renovators find contractors, compare prices, and track their project from start to finish. Sweeten is now in four cities and has raised $20 million. Brownhill's target for Sweeten: to serve the top 35 U.S. cities by the end of 2020. And in June she launched the Sweeten Accelerator for Women, which will, among other things, provide a peer network for female general contractors and help them find more jobs. “Three percent of the construction industry is women,” says Brownhill. "It's not that women general contractors can't get hired in this is crazy industry. It’s that male subcontractors don't want to work for them.” --Brit Morse

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