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How to Develop an MVP and Raise Capital for a Startup- Lauren Picasso Ep82

“What makes really a good entrepreneur is resilience, being able to handle rejection, and belief in their ideas.”– Lauren [30:56]

“Prioritize the roles where you have the least experience.”– Lauren [21:41]

“It is important to raise money at the right time.”– Lauren [26:28]

Lauren Picasso: How to Develop an MVP and Raise Capital for a Startup

Thinking of launching a new product into the market? How about formulating an MVP to first test the market? This not only ensures feedback for your product before launching but also helps you understand what to invest in the business.

In this episode of the Page One Podcast, Luke Peters speaks with Lauren Picasso, the CEO, and founder of Cure Hydration, an electrolyte beverage that comes in powder form. She has a background in e-commerce and marketing, having worked in startups like Jet.com.

Listen in to learn the importance of raising capital for your startup at the right time. You will also learn the process of formulating and developing an MVP to experiment with your product before launching.

Key Takeaways:

  • The importance of sharpening your skills in business before starting one.
  • The value of having in your team when starting out, someone who’s already done it before.
  • Why you should prioritize hiring for the roles where you have the least experience.
  • How to create value for a startup and waiting for the appropriate time to raise money.

Episode Timeline:

  • [2:08] She explains what Cure Hydration is which is an organic electrolyte mix for oral hydration.
  • [5:04] She explains how they’re using the LTV metric as the core KPI driver at Cure Hydration.
  • [7:25] She talks about her background in e-commerce and marketing in retail background.
  • [8:47] The Grassroot marketing they did when they first started and are continuing to do for their product.
  • [11:12] Why she started Cure Hydration which is an effective product for active people.
  • [12:49] The process that Lauren used to formulate and develop an MVP.
  • [18:07] How they bootstrapped the Cure Hydration brand before launching a pilot based on feedback and engaging investors.
  • [20:38] Lauren describes the titles of the team that forms Cure Hydration and the roles they each perform.
  • [22:24] How they’re differentiating themselves by being the only organic product in their category, plus their initial sales strategy before approaching retailers.
  • [24:38] How investors cared about profitability and cash efficiency during the pandemic.
  • [27:54] Lauren advises founders to have a mindset of experimentation and creativity.
  • [29:07] She explains how she was inspired by her father’s entrepreneurial spirit.
  • [30:41] What Lauren looks for in an entrepreneur before investing.

Relevant Links:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurenpicasso/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laurenpicasso/

Announcer: Welcome to the Page 1 Podcast, a podcast featuring a variety of guests and thought leaders on topics ranging from digital marketing, sales channel strategies, influencer marketing, best in class product launches, and all the details about how to accelerate sales. Now here’s your host, Luke Peters.

Luke Peters: Thanks for joining us on the Page 1 Podcast. I’m your host Luke Peters, CEO of NewAir Appliances. And in this episode, you’re going to learn from Lauren Picasso, CEO and founder of Cure Hydration, on how to raise capital and how to go to market D2C with Amazon and on marketplace sales accounts.

Luke Peters: Lauren is the founder and CEO of Cure Hydration, a VC backed functional hydration brand that launched in 2019 after she was training for a triathlon and struggling to recover from the long workouts. Prior to Cure Hydration, she was an early employee at Jet.com, which is acquired by Walmart. As director of marketing at Jet, Lauren worked across a variety of online and offline marketing channels and helped to scale the company to over 10 million customers. She’s also an early employee of Rent the Runway, has worked for Google, Bloomingdale’s and Ralph Lauren.

Luke Peters: Lauren also earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree from University of Pennsylvania in cognitive neuroscience.

Luke Peters: Lauren, thanks for joining us on the Page 1 Podcast.

Lauren Picasso: Thanks so much for having me.

Luke Peters: Yeah, it’s great to have you here, and always a little intimidated with these degrees you have. So it’s like I always remember going through high school, and I was just happy to graduate. And then there’s people like you who are going off to Harvard and studying these degrees I can’t even pronounce. Yeah, it’s cool that you make it into entrepreneurship because I think folks sometimes don’t think about what a big difference it can make in the world. So we’re going to have a fun conversation today.

Luke Peters: Before we jump into it, why don’t you quickly tell the audience a little bit about Cure Hydration and what kind of customers you serve.

Lauren Picasso: Absolutely. So Cure Hydration is an organic electrolyte mix. It’s based on the science behind the World Health Organization’s formula for oral rehydration solutions. This formula has been around for over 50 years, and it’s actually proven to hydrate as effectively as an IV drip. So really powerful. It’s primarily been used in developing countries for people who are suffering from severe dehydration. And what we’ve done is actually taken that same formula but updated it with organic ingredients. So instead of using sugar or dextrose, which is what most other players in the market are using, we use a base of organic coconut water and pink Himalayan salt. Our product’s organic certified, non-GMO, sustainably sourced, and has no added sugar. So essentially a healthier product than what else is on the market but just as effective.

Luke Peters: That’s awesome. If you don’t mind, I’ll ask you a few more questions on this. I know there’s probably a bunch of athletes listening. So does it have any calories, or it’s just the calories that are inside the coconut water?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah, from the coconut water. So it’s 25 calories per serving, and there’s four grams of naturally occurring sugar from the organic coconut water. That sugar is actually what makes the formula effective when it’s paired with sodium. So that’s the mechanism behind the WHO formula. But all of the sugar comes from the coconut water. There’s no added sugar at all.

Luke Peters: Okay. Cool. I’ve done some distanced sports, and Lauren and I were talking about that before the podcast. And one thing is I started out drinking the sports’ drinks, but after a while, I just totally gave them up because a lot of times they’ll have fructose in it, especially if you’re doing… Yeah, and it’s not good for your stomach. Actually, your body kind of gets used to taking on less sugar over time, and it’s definitely a healthier, better way to go. So yeah, I totally understand that formula, and really glad there’s more options on the market like this compared to just the sugary waters with salt in them.

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. Absolutely. It’s amazing how prominent sports’ drinks still are with professional athletes and amateur athletes despite having an average of 30 plus grams of sugar per bottle.

Luke Peters: Yeah. And the wrong kind of sugar too.

Lauren Picasso: Exactly.

Luke Peters: Cool. So how many team members do you have in Cure Hydration?

Lauren Picasso: We’re a small team. So right now we’re a team of four full time employees, and then we have 10 part time and contractor employees.

Luke Peters: Great. And what is your most important KPI now? Like I mentioned to the audience, you launched this in 2019. So still relatively new, but it looks like you have some great distribution that we’ll talk about. So what kind of KPIs are you really focused on as a business owner?

Lauren Picasso: The main KPI we’re looking at is LTV. So we are primarily looking at our cost of acquisition as it relates to LTV. The nature of our product is [inaudible 00:05:17]. It’s a fairly low average price or average cart value is super higher. Our product is a rather low price point. So because of that, we’re really trying to drive frequency of purchase. So looking at that LTV metric is really the core driver.

Luke Peters: Great. Can you explain the size of the product to the listener because I have more questions about LTV, such as like how many units, average order size. We can get more into that. But what size are the typical orders in each unit?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. So our product comes in a single serve six pack that you mix with eight to 16 ounces of water, depending on your preference. We have two different formats that we sell. Online, we’re primarily selling a 14 pack pouch. So there’s 14 servings inside. We see that on average customers are ordering two packs at a time, especially our customers who are subscribing to the product. So the idea is that they’re drinking the product every day, and so often they’ll subscribe to monthly shipments and have a pack of each flavor in 28 servings in total.

Luke Peters: That’s great. Your primary advertising platforms. Are you using Google, Facebook for the primary traffic source or lead generation?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. So our primary channels are the traditional channels, social and paid search. We also do a lot of affiliate marketing. So we have an ambassador program of professional athletes, mostly women, that are marketing our product on social media and getting commission for the sales that they drive. We have a referral token for our customers that actually drive a decent amount of traffic as well. And then we do a lot of sampling programs.

Luke Peters: Awesome. Okay, cool. So we’re going to get into that for the audience. Great. So again, kind of the theme of this is we’re going to talk about raising capital, but also how you take it to market. So why don’t we start with the years leading up to Cure Hydration. Where did you kind of gain the confidence and experience to launch your own brand?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. Absolutely. So my background is in eCommerce and marketing. I’ve spent my career working in retail. So started off as a buyer for Bloomingdale’s and then I was an early employee at Rent the Runway, which is my first real pace of the startup world. I absolutely loved it. I really enjoyed building products and solving problem, and so knew that that was what I wanted to do with my career.

Lauren Picasso: After that, I went to business school to really try to gain a foundation in some of the areas that I didn’t have expertise in. I was a psychology and cognitive neuroscience major undergrad. So really wanted to have a better understanding of finance, accounting, and just get that high level bird’s eye view of business.

Lauren Picasso: After going to business school, I was an early employee at Jet.com where I was the director of marketing. I started the company about a year before they launched, and stayed all the way through the Walmart acquisition. So was there for about four years in total before deciding to leave and start Cure.

Luke Peters: That’s awesome. In doing director of marketing for a larger company, a fast growing company, Jet.com, but now you’re doing as a founder of a startup, it’s probably a totally different style of marketing. Is that fair to say? It’s really guerrilla marketing and grassroots and really having to get down to the actual customer where maybe a Jet, you’re building a larger organization. Or did those skills transfer over pretty good?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. So I mean, it was totally different at Jet. We had raised $570 million before we launched. So had a massive marketing budget out of the gate and really day one we were advertising in offline channels like TV and out of home and direct mail and radio, which most startups wouldn’t do. I honestly wouldn’t recommend that they do. But Jet’s ambition really was to be going after Amazon. So trying to get scale really quickly.

Lauren Picasso: In the case of a CBG brand, we are much smaller in a number of ways, but just in the nature of the products we’re selling, we have about 10 skews and Jet.com had 30,000 products. So very different in nature.

Lauren Picasso: Yeah, a lot of what we’re doing is much scrappier, much more grassroots, as you said. It’s very much focused on sampling and tried in trial because pace is so important for conversion and also getting credibility. So gaining credibility with our ambassador program, our medical advisory board. So a lot of our marketing is focused on that.

Lauren Picasso: That being said, I think getting such broad exposure at Jet.com is really helpful. Being able to get experience in every marketing channel out there since we were really live in every channel, really just gave me a solid toolkit that I could apply to a number of different types of businesses, including Cure.

Luke Peters: Great. And leading up to that, you have a really great education. So if you could sum up the value of your Harvard MBA in 30 seconds… Obviously there’s so many different things you must’ve learned, but really making that, just sum it up in a tangible way of how that translates into your business. That’d be great to hear.

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. So my business school experience is very focused on entrepreneurship, but most of the classes I took were focused on entrepreneurship. I’d say the biggest lesson I learned was to build an MVP and validate your idea before investing a lot of money. So getting those prove points before you launch so that you can iterate the product and save a lot of time and money in the long run.

Luke Peters: That’s great advice and a great learning. 100% agree with that after not doing it a few times myself in the past. So let’s move on to Cure Hydration. What led you to start the company? And where’d you see the white space in the market?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. So I started the company when I was training for a triathlon a few years ago. And I would come back from my long runs and feel terrible, to the point where I would get headaches, I would feel nauseous, and I’d essentially be out of commission for 24 hours. What I found was that drinking water on its own was just not enough to replace the electrolytes I was losing. But all of the electrolyte products on the market, like Gatorade and Powerade, were just full of added sugar and artificial ingredients. So I wanted to create a product that was both effective but that I felt good about drinking every day because even though I was training for a triathlon, I’m not a professional athlete and didn’t want to be consuming all of this sugar, let alone all these artificial ingredients. So the idea to make Cure Hydration is an effective product that’s made with ingredients that you can feel good about drinking every day. So even if you’re not training for a triathlon, if you’re just… You don’t even have to be that active. It’s a product that you can enjoy and even just use to drink more water.

Luke Peters: Great. And then from there, take us from there to… I guess the next thing I want to get into is how did you go to market with an MVP and things that you did to differentiate the brand. But how about kind of fill in the white space between those things. So you had an idea. You’re training. Who’d your first call go to? Did you bring on any other experts that kind of helped you develop this idea? What was going through your mind between then and actually having a product and that MVP stage?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. So it started off with a lot of research. I started combing different running blogs and triathlon blogs to find different types of products. I actually saw a lot of athletes are using Pedialyte, which is something that’s gotten very popular for hangovers, but a lot of athletes are using it to recover and hydrate from their long workouts. I found that Pedialyte was really the only product that worked for me, but like I said earlier, it’s still full of sugar and artificial ingredients. It’s obviously branded for children.

Lauren Picasso: So I started doing more research to figure out why Pedialyte is effective. That’s how I discovered the World Health Organization formula, and it was this big aha moment for me. I saw that the formula, it’s published online, over 50 years of research to show that it hydrates two to three times faster and more effectively than water on its own. And it’s really quite simple. It’s just components of the formula are sodium, glucose, and potassium. And I thought, “Well, maybe I can get those electrolytes and that glucose from natural and organic ingredients instead of synthetic ingredients.” So that’s really how it started.

Lauren Picasso: My first email actually out to an investor in the space was to Peter Rahal who is one of the founders of RX Bar. He had actually just gotten acquired by Kellogg, and I decided to reach out. He had just gotten acquired so was really excited to talk to a young founder. Yeah, he essentially did the same thing in the space for bars, which is a lot more crowded than the hydration space. But came in and really saw there wasn’t a protein bar on the market that wasn’t full of junk. So yeah, he’s sort of the first phone call to help me through what an MVP might look like and how I would test it.

Luke Peters: Okay, great. So you reach out to someone who’s already done it before. I’d just like to state that’s the number one thing, especially when you’re hiring, bringing on people on your team, you want someone who’s done that before. And I’ve learned all different ways, but that’s a good starting point. And then how did you move to an MVP?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. So I just started mixing in my kitchen. So I would buy coconut water, which I knew was really high in potassium but also was a source of sugar, glucose. I started mixing together coconut water, pink Himalayan salt and lemon juice, and started testing it out in my workouts to see if it made me feel better. And it did. So it worked really well. The main problem with it was that it didn’t taste very good, as you can imagine. Salty coconut water on its own is not necessarily delicious. So I ended up hiring a formulator to help me develop the formula and really make it taste better while still holding true to the science behind the WHO formula.

Lauren Picasso: So I found a formulator to help me develop the original formula. And at that point, I decided instead of doing a liquid, I really wanted to do a powder. I really like powder because it’s lightweight and cheap to ship online. But it’s also a lot more environmentally friendly. So I just couldn’t get around creating another plastic [inaudible 00:16:11] drink bottle and really liked that powder was super portable, much more lightweight, less packaging. So it had a lot of elements that I really liked.

Lauren Picasso: So we found dehydrated coconut water, and the formulator started mixing around different flavors. From there, I hired a manufacturer to help me produce the product, but our MVP really was actually a pilot run. So they have minimum order quantities that they require but was able to convince them to let me do a trial with much lower quantities. And launched that product into market on Shopify to test and see whether the formula would work or not.

Luke Peters: Awesome. I have a bunch of questions about that. I definitely completely like and agree with the idea of going on the powder-based formula, especially, I mean, obviously for the environmental reasons, but just for the customer not having to lug around a bunch of bottles of stuff, especially if they’re traveling.

Lauren Picasso: Right.

Luke Peters: You just bring your water bottle or water container you’re drinking out of, and you can just wash that out. And also for shipping because we ship big stuff at my company, so we’re always 95% of our stuff can’t go into certain small packages that a product like yours can. So it’s really easy if you wanted to work with Amazon and go FBA or even through Shopify or even through different postal methods that can reduce shipping fees. So there’s a lot of advantages to get down to that form factor. Luke Peters: When you’re making decisions and you come up with your MVP, you said you launched a Shopify site. Let’s talk about the fundraising. Let’s kind of jump down to that really quick.

Lauren Picasso: Yeah.

Luke Peters: You could’ve maybe thought about bootstrapping it, but maybe that would’ve slowed down your marketing and go to market strategy. What was your decision criteria that you used?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. So I actually did switch drastic companies for the first nine months. My goal was really to develop a brand. We didn’t invest really heavily in it. We didn’t carry an agency or anything like that. Just a couple of freelancers, but some brands and MVPs of some early prototypes of the formula and decided to raise money, this was back in 2018, a small pre-seed round essentially just to purchase inventory for this pilot run.

Luke Peters: Okay.

Lauren Picasso: So then, I felt like we had a prototype in place. We had sampled it and done focus groups with hundreds of people and had already gotten a lot of feedback on the product from potential customers. So it felt like at that point, and I had enough information to feel confident in launching a pilot. And then from there, after we launched the pilot, we actually ended up making some tweaks to our formula based on feedback, launched a new formula last year in early 2020. And from there saw a lot of growth, and that’s when we decided to raise our seed round.

Luke Peters: Great. Was there a particular reason? Because you could’ve maybe continued, right? Or did the seed round also allow you to maybe engage with some investors that were going to help you expand your distribution? Are you able to kind of talk us through that strategy?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah, I mean, really the point of raising that seed round was to build out a team. So up until September 2020, it was just me, and we had started getting into a lot of stores. We had launched in CVS and Walmart and Whole Foods. It was just simply too much to take on all by myself. I knew that if I started hiring people, that we could accelerate the growth of the company much faster.

Luke Peters: That’s awesome, and that’s also the definition of a sure bet for those investors. You’re already in store.

Lauren Picasso: Right, right.

Luke Peters: A one person shop. So that’s great.

Lauren Picasso: I encourage people to have case studies and proof points at every single stage so that they’re fundraising at the right time and striking when the iron is hot versus trying to fundraise when you don’t have data, you don’t have momentum.

Luke Peters: No, that’s a great point. You always want to be on the way up. So talk about, because I did want to get into that, and I know it’s always interesting to other business owners that are listening. Let’s talk about these hires. What were the key titles that you wanted to build out on the team?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. So we have four full time employees, including myself. So we have a head of operations who oversees supply chain production, fulfillment and customer service. Still a very meaty role for one person. A head of sales who oversees business development and account management for all of our existing accounts, as well as retail marketing in those stores. And then we have a head of brand marketing who oversees all of our organic channels. So email, affiliate marketing, social media, managing all of our creative freelancers, and really owning the creative development process.

Luke Peters: And I’m guessing that’s the hardest role because that’s the one you know most about. So you’re to lean in on that one the most. That’s funny.

Lauren Picasso: It’s funny. I actually hired the team in the reverse order, I mean, in that order. So I first hired operations and sales and marketing. And my thought process is actually let’s prioritize the roles where you have the least experience. So I didn’t have any background in operations or manufacturing, and that was really where I was struggling the most and having to spend a lot of my time just because I was so new to the business. So that was the number one role that I hired for because I knew that we couldn’t support these big retail launches unless we got our supply chain in a really good place.

Luke Peters: Great. And then can you quickly touch on launching the products. How did you get into these stores? You got into three stores in nine months. That’s phenomenal success. You probably had a bunch of options when you were fundraising. How’d you get in there? Talk about how you differentiated the product and kind of created that compelling reason to get into those stores.

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. So we were fortunate that this category is gaining a lot of momentum. There’s other brands in the market that has been really successful, like Liquid IV. So retailers are already really excited about this category, which is great. Our main differentiation is really our ingredients. So everyone else in the market is using a base of cane sugar and synthetic minerals, and we’re using organic coconut water and pink Himalayan salt. So we’re the only organic product in the market, and really are positioning ourselves if you think of the good, better, best strategy, thinking of ourselves as the premium brand in the category, and that’s certainly what our customers are coming to us for.

Lauren Picasso: As far as how we got into different retailers, each retailer was totally different we did do a lot of testing. Our first year, we launched in Shopify, Amazon, and Thrive Market. But we did a lot of testing locally in New York. So starting going literally door-to-door selling into different bodegas and small grocery stores, fitness studios, and just trying to get a good understanding of the right format. So should we be selling single serve or full size pouches or boxes? Understanding pricing and velocity, and that really helped us hone in on our sales strategy moving forward before going and approaching some of these bigger retailers.

Lauren Picasso: We were also fortunate to be part of CVS’s Health Care Innovation Program. So they have really invested in trying to bring on new emerging brands in CVS, which typically is hard for a small brand to get into a big retailer. So we done a pilot with them in July of 2019 in eight stores. And similarly actually got to test a couple of different formats and flavors, different pricing until we found something that worked. And then once we started seeing the velocities we needed, that’s when they decided to scale us to 4000 stores.

Luke Peters: What a great story. That’s so fast that you’re able to ramp that up. So it sounds like you definitely needed the support and capital for that. What was your biggest surprise you had when were in the fundraising process? And then also how long did it take a start to finish for that seed round?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. So the biggest surprise, it was an interesting time to be fundraising because it was during the pandemic. So you didn’t meet any of the investors in person, which is unusual. But I think the biggest surprise partially because of the pandemic was how much investors cared about profitability and cash efficiency. So in my previous days at Jet.com, it was quite the opposite. It was all about growth and there really was no focus on profitability at all. So much so that we didn’t even have a positive first margin. So that’s really what I was surprised at. What I found was that investors were most impressed with how little capital we had raised up until that point and how much progress we had made. So by the time we got to that round, we were actually profitable, and that was something that really stood out about Cure compared to other players in the space but also other companies seen in other categories.

Luke Peters: Yeah. In that process, how do you avoid being diluted too much? I’m sure with the listeners, there’s all different types of investors, and some of them 100% shareholders. And some of them might’ve worked with PEs or strategics, but in your case, you’re working with VC. Did you have options, or did you have guidance on avoiding too much dilution, and how did that work?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. I mean, I always try to tell other founders to not think too much about dilution because it’s really actually the founder’s job to be maximizing value. So I like to think about it I would prefer personally to own 10% out of a $100 million company than a 100% of a $10 million company because that would have met that I created a lot more value. So that’s really how I think about it. I do think that being said, it’s important to raise money at the right time. So figuring out what those next milestones are to get the valuation that you’re looking for so that you can raise money at appropriate levels is important. I know that is at the end of the day about creating value. You’re trying to take what investment you have, whether that’s your own savings that you’re bootstrapping or a small pre-seed round, taking that and really maximizing it as far as possible is going to end up creating more value for your company and then inherently actually diluting you at the end.

Luke Peters: That makes a lot of sense. Are you going back for another round, or where are you in that process?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. We’ll likely raise a series A round in the next 12-18 months. Then after that, we don’t plan to raise any additional capital.

Luke Peters: Along this process, getting into the different stores and really… You’ve worked with obviously large companies with Jet, and then having to bootstrap this and really become a guerrilla marketer in the sense that I’m sure you had to… It sounds like you’re going right to the end customer. You’re serving people. You’re really finding out their preferences. Along that whole thing, that whole journey, what’s the best marketing advice that you think you can now share with other people because you’ve learned it through this process?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. I think it’s really important to have a mindset of experimentation. So you should always be testing different channels, channels that are proven to have worked like Facebook. Always testing new creative, new offers, new landing pages. Really just always challenging whatever was working in the past and testing as much as possible to see if you can beat it. That’s really the way to grow within marketing because eventually you’re going to see diminishing returns on whatever you were doing before.

Luke Peters: I love it. Totally with it. It’s the most fun to work with other marketing people who kind of see that same way, and they have fun and like the challenge maybe an initial thesis on something. It’s just a lot more fun to be running a business that way when you’re creative and always testing and always moving because the world doesn’t stop.

Lauren Picasso: Exactly.

Luke Peters: That’s great advice. Just kind of finishing up here. Especially for younger entrepreneurs, you’ve had a fast moving career. You got your education, worked, then got your MBA, then worked for Jet, doing all kinds of other things like competing in triathlons. What drives you? Where did that kind of internal motivation come from?

Lauren Picasso: I’d say I’ve always grown up that way, and I was always really inspired by my father. My father always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but he was pretty risk adverse and really wanted to make sure that he provided us with a really good education. So he worked in corporate America, various companies like GE for years, and then when we finally went to college, he decided that’s when he wanted to start a company. He waited until he had all of the experience and contacts and capital to do it without any of the risk of potentially ruining our own trajectory. So I always saw him just working so hard to inevitably get where he wanted to go. I didn’t wait as long as he waited, but similarly, really wanted to get the experience and confidence in working at other startups that were successful before starting my own.

Luke Peters: I have actually one last question because I know, and we talked about this pre-podcast. Were you also are now starting to invest in other female founded companies. So on that same thing, you had your father as a role model. Now you’re starting your own business. Is there something specific that you look for in these female entrepreneurs that makes you maybe want to invest? Besides the idea or the product or what successes, is there like an attribute or characteristic that you’re really hoping to find?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. I’m looking for entrepreneurs that are super scrappy, really resourceful. I’m looking for people who are trying to make the most out of what they have and really maximize that. I think that’s for me what makes a really good entrepreneur, I think resilience is really important. I think being able to handle rejection and keep going and believing in your ideas is super important. That being said, I always do look for products and ideas that I can relate to. So I’m not spending 100% of my time investing, I try to find products where I have expertise or I feel like I can really add value since it’s not something that I’m doing with 100% of my time.

Luke Peters: Well, that’s so well said. You choose really good words there. Scrappy, not afraid of rejection. Those are such important themes and rare, even just those two in combination. Wow. It’s been a lot of fun to have you on the podcast today, Lauren. How can listeners find you or learn more about you or Cure Hydration?

Lauren Picasso: Yeah. The best place to find me would be on LinkedIn, just search for Lauren Picasso. And then our website Cure Hydration is curehydration.com.

Luke Peters: Great. We’ll have that in the show notes. Again, I want to thank you for being a guest and thank everybody for listening to this episode of the Page 1 Podcast. Hope you all enjoyed the interview today. Truly appreciate your reviews on iTunes and hope everybody joins us for the next interview. Take care.

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Episode References:

Contact Lauren Picasso: LinkedIn

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