Founders Table is a free event series from Amazon Small Business Academy, for early-stage small business owners to learn from experts and peers while building a sense of community. With each event, we explore a different topic from the unique perspectives of a celebrated business expert, a small business owner, and entrepreneurs like you through fireside chats, a spotlight case study, expert AMAs (Ask Me Anything), and topic-driven networking sessions. Here at Founders Table, everyone has a seat.
Founders Table: Scaling with Strategy
Discover the path to funding and financial opportunities at Founders Table: Scaling with Strategy. Watch the recording for first-hand experience, key insights and a few caveats, when growing your business. Prepare to be inspired and empowered by stories about lessons learned, how to navigate chaos in early years, how to set realistic growth goals and meet them.
Our guest speaker, Neil Parikh, Co-Founder of Casper Sleep, will share his expertise during an engaging fireside chat. Having gone from concept to their first sales in just nine months, the five co-founders moved quickly. Neil describes how they made it happen, and why staffing and customer service are so critical to their business. From research and product development, to addressing challenges with supply chain, storage and delivery – Neil shares what it takes to innovate and scale at break-neck speed.
Our small business spotlight shines on New Orleans native Kristen Preau, the founder of Jambalaya Girl, who combined her love of Louisiana, with her family’s traditions of cooking and sharing food in the community – to create a series of boxed spice mixes that make cajun cooking fast, simple and delicious. She’ll share her origin story and some of the decisions she faced in order to grow her business.
Then, listen in as founders and early-stage entrepreneurs pose questions to our guest experts in a Founders Table favorite: Ask Me Anything. You’ll gain practical insights and strategies to apply to your own business.
Carefully curated bite-sized takeaways from our Founders Table event.
CEO & Owner, Jambalaya Girl New Orleans Food Products
Kristen Preau was born and raised in New Orleans, and always wanted to celebrate the place she proudly calls home, as part of her career. Her father Paul, was an entrepreneur who made outdoor cooking equipment, so Kristen spent her childhood at large cookouts sharing Cajun dishes with friends, family, chefs and would-be customers. Before long, Kristen had earned the nickname Jambalaya Girl. She graduated college the year Katrina hit and amid the devastation, the Preau family did what they always do – they fed people in the community. Serving jambalaya in exchange for donations in any amount, Kristen raised $100,000 for relief efforts. People universally loved the food and regularly asked for the recipe. That’s when Kristen realized, this could be the business of her dreams – to create custom mixes that make New Orleans dishes fast and easy to make and enjoy. Now, 14 years later, the Jambalaya Girl has surpassed $1 million in sales. Kristen proudly credits her success to the support of her growing family, and growing business. While her tasks have multiplied as a CEO, her favorite part of the job continues to be sharing great food with people in the community.LinkedIn
Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Casper Sleep
Neil Parikh is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Casper, the global sleep brand. He co-founded Casper in 2014 with the ambition of developing technology to help the world sleep better. He helped grow the company to over $500 million in sales and through its IPO in 2020. Neil is an angel investor in over 150 disruptive companies like Affirm, Archer, Graza, Reddit, Ro, Relativity, Tia and Tomorrow Health. Neil has experience ranging from e-commerce to robotics and synthetic biology. He coaches ambitious founders on building world-class companies and is a regular speaker on startups, fundraising, bootstrapping, product development, operations and more. He is a big believer in hiring the right people who believe in the mission and vision of the company – and heavily invests in developing and managing talent.LinkedIn
Manager of Small Business Partnerships at Amazon
Abby Malchow is a Sr. Business Development Manager for Small Business Empowerment at Amazon where she manages partnerships that help drive success for early-stage entrepreneurs and small businesses through delivering programs and investments that support their continued growth. Abby joined Amazon in December 2018 and during her tenure she has remained focused on enabling the success of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and underserved businesses through various roles, programs, and initiatives to include creating the Military Entrepreneurship Program and supporting the launch of Amazon’s Supplier Diversity Program. Prior to joining Amazon, Abby worked at Intel Corporation and is a retired U.S. Navy Chief and combat veteran, serving more than 20 years in the military.LinkedIn
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To learn more about Founders Table, visit: https://www.smallbusiness.amazon/events.
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